Wednesday, December 18, 2019

A Quick Run Around the Web (12/18/2019)

I've set the video to start playing at the 2:42 mark because that is where the host speculates about Jeff Bezos' disaster survival plan. Most of us can't afford to build a bunker deep inside a mountain, or a rocket to take us to low earth orbit, but Bezos can.

          When a wet cartridge is introduced into a chamber, the round brings water molecules with it. Since water is virtually incompressible, this limits the internal chamber space and the ability for the brass to expand — hence increasing chamber pressure.
            If the ammunition is near the top of the pressure scale to begin with, unsafe pressure levels are almost guaranteed. If the load is mild or moderate, then pressures will increase but perhaps not to dangerous levels.
             It is easy to defeat ordinary audio eavesdropping, just by sound-proofing a room. And simply drawing the curtains can defeat newer systems, which shine a laser beam onto a glass window and decode any modulation of the reflected beam caused by sound vibrations in the room.
              So the new "through-the-wall audio surveillance system" uses a powerful beam of very high frequency radio waves instead of light. Radio can penetrate walls – if they didn't, portable radios wouldn't work inside a house.
               The system uses a horn antenna to radiate a beam of microwave energy –between 30 and 100 gigahertz – through a building wall. If people are speaking inside the room, any flimsy surface, such as clothing, will be vibrating. This modulates the radio beam reflected from the surface.
                  Although the radio reflection that passes back through the wall is extremely faint, the kind of electronic extraction and signal cleaning tricks used by NASA to decode signals in space can be used to extract speech.
              The majority of people I know who carry concealed do it regularly. They wouldn't think of leaving the house without having their weapons and being mentally prepared to deal with an attack. But, when they get home, these same people basically disarm themselves, taking off their pistol in the name of comfort while at the same time mentally unplugging.
                His recommendation is to keep a handgun on you--in a holster--at all times. 
                • "THE HOME-CARRY HANDGUN"--Guns Magazine. While McKee's article identified the problem, this article concentrates on the solution: selecting a holster and weapon combination suitable for in-the-home carry. Trigger warning: he suggests that a small handgun in a pocket holster will probably be best for most people. I'm going to add that I think within or around the home will probably be the sole time that a typical civilian would ever use a pistol to fight their way to their rifle (or a more capable pistol).
                • "The Tactical Reload: A Critical Self-Defense Skill"--Shooting Illustrated. From the article:
                       With one exception that I’ll get to in a minute, it is probably not a good idea to try to do a tactical reload while the fight is going on. If the fight is still hot and you can’t get away, the smart thing is to keep firing your pistol until you get to slide lock and then do a speed reload. Frankly, if there is a lull in the fight, the best thing for any armed citizen to do is to use that time to get away.
                         Regardless of what may be required in some combat-shooting matches, it is never a good idea to do any reloading out in the open. Cover is your friend. No matter how fast you are at recharging your pistol, standing out in the open makes you extremely vulnerable, especially when occupied with the task of recharging the pistol. 
                      The exception is having to leave cover (e.g., moving to avoid being flanked, go to the assistance of another person, etc.). 
                        ... All of these movements cause the barrel to stress and vibrate with a number of different harmonic patterns which if not controlled by some means cause each projectile to leave the muzzle at a slightly different point in the vibrational arc. ... Most 3 shot groups you will see will be virtually triangular in shape, this is caused because as the barrel vibrates through its "circular arc" one bullet leaves the muzzle at say 12 o’clock, another at say 4 o’clock and the third at maybe 8 o’clock. The larger the arc of the barrel, the less accurate the rifle will be, and the larger the triangle. As a rule the less mass a barrel has, (the thinner) the more it is affected by the vibrations, this is the reason that a "heavy" barrel seems to shoot more consistently than a sporter barrel, and is also easier to tune.  A shorter barrel of the same diameter will also have less amplitude to its arc of movement. 
                        • Some M-16 history: "When The Army Resisted the M16A2" (Part 1) (Part 2) (Part 3)--Loadout Room. The M16A2 was mostly a Marine Corps project, intended to change the M16 from an assault rifle for storm troops to a weapon suitable for a rifleman. The Army initially rejected the changes advanced by the Marine Corps, offered its own list of changes, but eventually adopted the A2 anyway.
                        • "Pelvic Shooting, the Best Worst Option"--Moderno Blog. The author discusses the medical aspects of pelvic shooting but concludes that "[t]he pelvis is on the bottom of my list of priority targets unless the situation puts it at the top, which I think is how it should be looked at when we consider the facts." Those situations that put it on top? "when it's the only part of the bad guy you can see (extreme angle shooting), the initial rounds in extreme close quarters such as a hip fire situation, or when fire to the chest is ineffective and a head shot is not possible."
                        • "How To Properly Use a Sling"--Shooting Illustrated. This is about using a shooting sling to improve off-hand accuracy, not how best to carry the rifle on your body (although I would like to see an article on that topic).
                        • "SELCO: The Brutal Truth About Violence When the SHTF"--Organic Prepper. The truth about living in a city through a siege and civil war.
                        • "Chainsaw, Tree Felling, and Debris Removal Equipment"--Prepper Link. This article just briefly looks at the equipment, including safety equipment and equipment for skidding.
                        • "Pipelines in the US When SHTF – Could They Be An Option?"--Ed That Matters. The author notes that in a prolonged grid-down, SHTF situation, pipelines and refineries may become useful sources to scavenge fuel. However, he notes that there are dangers, and suggests that you have proper equipment. Unfortunately, he doesn't discuss the actual equipment needed or how t actually safely access these sources.
                        • "5 Secret Ways to Prep in Urban Environments"--Modern Survival Online. The author offers up some suggestions for prepping when living in a city: 1. Become the Gray Man; 2. Always be armed if you can; 3. Use concealments in your home--i.e., don't leave your preps in plain sight; 4. Create and emplace mini-caches, such as rented storage locker; and 5. Know the secret highways--i.e., underused routes for getting out of the city.
                        • "Guest Article: The View From Olympus: A 4GW Impeachment?"--William S. Lind at Martin van Creveld's blog. He notes that the Left generally do not believe that Pres. Trump is the legitimate president, and that if a Democrat wins the 2020 election, many on the Right will think that said Democrat is not legitimate. 
                               ... But considering the current President illegitimate is different from thinking the state itself has lost its legitimacy.
                                 Impeachment could change that.  President Trump’s supporters regard his election as proof their voices can be heard, that their interests will be considered in Washington.  They know that to virtually all Democrats and some Republicans, they are “unpersons”. Why? Because they are White, male, or non-feminist female, straight, and mostly Christian.  They are also struggling economically, which means they are not contributors to politicians’ campaigns. The coastal elites dismiss them as rubes and hicks inhabiting “flyover land”.  The Democratic Party, which has embraced the ideology of cultural Marxism, considers them all inherently evil “oppressors” fit only to kiss the feet of blacks, immigrants, gays, feminists, etc., PC’s sainted “victims” groups.
                                   ...  But if the unholy alliance between Democrats and the Deep State succeeds in driving President Trump from office through impeachment ..., the message to President Trump’s supporters will be, “Your votes don’t matter, because even if you elect a President, we will drive him from office and reduce you to a silent serfdom.  You and your views are entitled to no representation. You are and will remain ‘unpersons.’”
                                     At that point, in the vast electoral sea that is red America, the legitimacy of the system itself, i.e., the state, will be brought into serious question.  And when that happens, the chance of Fourth Generation war here on a large scale will rise dramatically. When you tell people they cannot achieve representation through ballots, they start to think about doing it with bullets.
                                • "My Predictions for Civil War in 2020"--M.D. Creekmore.  The author goes over a couple other topics before getting to the subject of his article, so keep reading. Short take, however:
                                       In my opinion, no matter if Trump wins or the Democrats win there is going to be large scale social upheaval. If Trump wins I look for rioting in the cities and martial law or a state of emergency to be declared in those areas. I’m not sure how long this will last or the ending result but it could cause the country to split into separate nation-states or at least attempting to do so.
                                    * * *
                                            And on the other hand… if the Democrats manage to rig the election enough to “win” then they will go on a legislative rampage with gun bans, attempted gun confiscation, and the whole socialist agenda that they will shove down our throat… and that will result in pushback from Christians and conservatives. 
                                             And that pushback might be violent in nature which will give the newly “elected” president a reason to declare martial law and attempt to crack down on dissidents .... 
                                        Mr. Trump isn’t the problem.  He is the symptom.  The divisions in America, which may prove to be fatal, were there before Trump, and will be there after Trump.  The divisions are only becoming wider and deeper with time.  That’s what should worry Mr. Dunlap.  It won’t take armies marching up the Potomac.  Armies won’t march anywhere in 4GW.

                                        "The Empire Strikes Back - Britain’s Operation Compass - WW2 - 068 - December 14, 1940"--World War Two (14 min.). The British have learned that Germany has indefinitely postponed any invasion of Britain and so take the opportunity to attack Italian forces in North Africa.

                                              The Act offers amnesty to non-Muslim illegal immigrants from three neighbouring Muslim-majority countries.
                                                It amends India's 64-year-old citizenship law, which currently prohibits illegal migrants from becoming Indian citizens.
                                                  It also expedites the path to Indian citizenship for members of six religious minority communities - Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian - if they can prove that they are from Pakistan, Afghanistan or Bangladesh. They will now only have to live or work in India for six years - instead of 11 years - before becoming eligible to apply for citizenship.
                                                   It also says people holding Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cards - an immigration status permitting a foreign citizen of Indian origin to live and work in India indefinitely - can lose their status if they violate local laws for both major and minor offences and violations.
                                                The protests initially began in the Indian state of Assam, but the protests initially had nothing to do with the exclusion of Muslims, but instead "have more to do with indigenous fears about being demographically and culturally swamped by 'outsiders'.
                                                        Assam shares a nearly 900km (560-mile) long border with Bangladesh, and both Hindus and Muslims have trickled in, some fleeing religious persecution and others looking for jobs. Estimates of illegal foreigners in the state range from four million to 10 million.
                                                          A six-year anti-foreigner protest in the 1980s - during which hundreds of people were murdered - led to a 1985 pact between the federal government and protesters. It was agreed that anyone who entered Assam without proper documentation after 24 March 1971 would be declared a foreigner and deported.
                                                           However, when nothing much changed over the next three decades, India's Supreme Court stepped in and ordered that a register of citizens prepared for the state in 1951 should be updated with the aim of identifying "genuine" citizens. In August, the updated National Register of Citizens, as the list is called, left out nearly two million people, effectively stripping them of citizenship.
                                                        * * *
                                                               The citizenship law - together with the NRC - now threaten to crack open old fault lines.
                                                                 The Assamese-speaking people - nearly half of the population - feel that they have been betrayed by the BJP, which had promised to detect and deport illegal immigrants. Muslims are angry with the law because they think it is discriminatory and they will be eventually singled out as illegal immigrants only on the basis of their religion. The Bengali-speaking Hindus are upset because reportedly more of them - and not Muslims - have been left out of the NRC.
                                                                   There are other concerns as well. The law lays out special protections for some areas of Assam which are dominated by tribespeople, to bar illegal immigrants from all communities from settling down there. But many say that because it does not cover the entire state, non-Muslim migrants, living in these "protected" areas could move to other parts of Assam and seek amnesty.
                                                              • Related: "Mexico Travel Advisory"--State Department. A reader directed my attention to the fact that the State Department has issued a new travel advisory for our neighbor to the south because "[v]iolent crime – such as homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery – is widespread." Mexico has 32 states. Per this advisory, 5 states are listed as Level 4 "Do Not Travel" and  11 states are listed as Level 3 "Reconsider Travel." None of the states are less than the Level 2 "Exercise Increased Caution." The advisory also states:
                                                              U.S. government employees may not travel between cities after dark, may not hail taxis on the street, and must rely on dispatched vehicles, including from app-based services like Uber or from regulated taxi stands. U.S. government employees may not drive from the U.S.-Mexico border to or from the interior parts of Mexico, with the exception of daytime travel within Baja California, between Nogales and Hermosillo on Mexican Federal Highway 15D, and between Nuevo Laredo and Monterrey on Highway 85D.
                                                              • More on the Jersey City shooting:
                                                                     "During the search of the pawnshop, law enforcement recovered six rifles (including three AR-15-style assault rifles), three handguns and one shotgun," officials said.
                                                                       Law enforcement also said they found 400 rounds of ammunition, including hollow-point bullets, in A-Hady's home and said he is a convicted felon, who is not legally permitted to own firearms.
                                                                  Keep in mind that New Jersey has some of the strictest gun laws in the nation, including a prohibition on "assault weapons." The state's vaunted "assault weapons" law made zero difference.
                                                                  • Because they still take jobs, dilute the culture, and only hire from within their "tribe": "Why Not A Merit-Based Immigration System?"--The American Conservative. A review of the book Melting Pot or Civil War?: A Son of Immigrants Makes the Case Against Open Borders by Reihan Salam. While I agree that something needs to be done to decrease immigration based on familial connections and eliminate automatic citizenship for the babies of tourists and illegal aliens, I don't agree with Salam's argument for amnesty (we've seen how that didn't work before when Reagan did it), nor do I agree that we should open our doors wide to H1B visa holders from China or India, particularly considering that they operate on principles of nepotism and tribal/cast loyalty (see, e.g., "How Indian families took over the Antwerp diamond trade from orthodox Jews"). Nevertheless, there are some good points that Salam raises:
                                                                    He makes the subtle point that part of the current appeal of America’s major cities to upper middle-class professionals is the presence of a politically docile service class of low-skilled immigrants, many of them undocumented.
                                                                        “The danger, as I see it, is that as the logic of the melting pot fails to take hold, and as more newcomers are incorporated into disadvantaged groups, the level of interethnic tension will skyrocket, and we’ll look back wistfully on the halcyon politics of the Trump years.” Or again, “Imagine an America in which wealthy whites and Asians wall themselves off from the rest of society and low wage immigrants and their offspring constitute a new underclass.”
                                                                            Salam observes immigration scholars who are scrupulous about reporting the ways immigration is making America less united, threatening social cohesion, “leading to greater divisions and tensions,” while never considering reducing or reforming immigration (with greater emphasis on skills) as a possible answer to the problems. They hope— against considerable social science evidence that political instability is endemic to multicultural societies— that greater diversity will somehow bury ethnic conflict. This Salam calls the Backlash Paradox: while mass immigration contributes to bigotry and polarization, the only acceptable option among elites is to double down and hope the storm passes, as slowing the pace of immigration is considered a “callow surrender to bigotry.”
                                                                            • Future criminal on board: "America Has World’s Highest Rate of Single-Parent Households"--Washington Free Beacon. As the article notes, "single parenting is strongly related to risk for poverty and lower educational attainment on the part of the child, as well as incarceration among boys and teenage pregnancy among girls. As the share of single-parent households increases, the risk of these adverse outcomes also rises."
                                                                            • Probably another reason boys don't like to read: "SJW YA Authors Object to 'Clean Teen' Fiction"--PJ Media. The author explains:
                                                                              It's tough to find a book for pre-teens and teens without graphic sex and violence. The "Young Adult" section, which is marketed to kids from nine to seventeen, is full of stuff most parents would not want their children reading about. Because of it, sites like Common Sense Media, where you can see what kind of content is in the books before you let your kid read them, are very popular with parents. ... And now that some websites are answering parents' calls for innocent plotlines by offering "Clean Teen" selections, SJW authors, who think every child should have the sexual knowledge of Caligula, have their panties in a twist about it.
                                                                                While some virtue signallers might be hypocritical, the majority probably are not. So on the whole, virtue signalling has its place in moral discourse, and we shouldn’t be so ready to denigrate it.
                                                                                • "Modesty means more, not less"--Nicolas Bommarito at Aeon. He is not talking about modesty of dress, but modesty as in not engaging in self-aggrandizing. He writes:
                                                                                  An immodest person’s experience is organised around the self: she cares about how things affect her, about comparative judgments where she comes out on top. A modest person, by contrast, doesn’t care so much about these things, and so her experience is one that isn’t coloured by these self-regarding concerns.
                                                                                  • "We Told You So Dept."--Raconteur Report. About the so-called opioid crises: "the CATO Institute has noticed that opioid abuse isn't Rx meds, but rather exclusively street ODs on heroin and fentanyl ...."
                                                                                  • "Is the Great Replacement a Conspiracy Theory?"--American Renaissance. As the author notes, the Left says its a conspiracy theory, but then praises demographic changes because they mean the end of "whiteness," and lists 13 books written by Leftists praising the change. 
                                                                                  • Related: "Another Leftist Brags About the Great Replacement"--American Renaissance. The article reports: "Judith Browne Dianis, executive director of something called the Advancement Project, recently stated: 'You know, people say demographics are not destiny? Well, we’re trying to make it destiny.'" 
                                                                                  • "The Climate Crisis & The Benedict Option"--Rod Dreher at The American Conservative. Dreher wants to talk about how to tackle anthropomorphic global warming resulting from CO2 emissions, but will delete or block comments from anyone that wants to argue whether such AGW is actually happening or relevant.
                                                                                  • Related: "Global Temperature Trends From 2500 B.C. To 2040 A.D."--Long Range Weather. Nice graph showing the variation of global temperatures over time, although I wish they had done it from 10,000 B.C. to present. However, as they observe, "whenever solar radiation had decreased and volcanic activity has increased, global temperatures suddenly plummet, often within weeks or months." 
                                                                                    "The technology is on the engineering benches today. But most Americans and most members of Congress have not had time to really look deeply at what is going on here. But I’ve had the benefit of 33 years of studying and becoming friends with these scientists. This technology can be built today with technology that is not developmental to deliver any human being from any place on planet Earth to any other place in less than an hour."
                                                                                      But he also warned that China could overtake us in space. Given the context, I take his statement to mean that we have developed hypersonic aircraft/rockets.
                                                                                      • A reader directed me to this article: "Astronomers find 19 more galaxies missing their dark matter" The article states: "Instead of dark matter, these strange galaxies are mainly filled with regular matter, like the protons, neutrons, and electrons that make up everything we're familiar with." 


                                                                                      1. Great set of links. The problem, of course, is now I have a browser full of tabs to go through.

                                                                                        Good work!

                                                                                        1. This is probably the special "Year End Edition" aka our Christmas bonus. See y'all again in 2020 !


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