Tuesday, December 3, 2019

A Quick Run Around The Web (12/3/2019)

"Tennessee Officer Resigns After Panic Attack On The Job"--Active Self Protection (13 min.)
In this video we see a police officer succumb to a full-on panic attack. It is disturbing to watch, but I think the video raises an important point: how will you or I respond under intense pressure? As you will see in the video, the officer makes several tactical and observational errors. The basic set up is that the officer was ostensibly called out to a landlord-tenant dispute (although there are EMTs present which suggest that perhaps more was going on). The officer immediately had his gun out pointed at an unarmed female, who he attempts to take into custody, and then goes into full panic mode after an unarmed male steps onto a porch some distance away and announces he is filming the incident.  While John Correa seems to assume that the panic attack started after that, I would not be surprised if the panic had set in earlier and what motivated the officer to draw his weapon in the first place. In any event, you will see as the video goes on how the officer losses control over some of his physical and cognitive functions. I'll leave you with a link to the Mayo Clinic's information page about panic attacks.

  • A friend sent me a translation of the ISIS statement taking credit for the most recent London Bridge stabbing attack: "Aamaq Agency: The executor of yesterday's London attack is one of Islamic State fighters, and carried out the attack in response to calls to target the citizens of the coalition countries." 
     Although I questioned whether the attack was all that successful at terrorizing the British population--yes, two people were killed and others injured, but the news reports seemed mostly full of comments showing resolve and pride that citizens had taken down the attacker--my friend reminded me that it still was a propaganda victory for ISIS among their own supporters. And the worst part was that it probably didn't take any planning or allocation of resources by ISIS. As my friend explained, ISIS has adopted a strategy of “open source terror affiliation” where the terrorist "affiliates" with ISIS, ISIS makes the terrorist famous through its propaganda machine, and in return ISIS gets to take credit for the attack. In short, it ISIS is using a collaborative method of engaging in its form of warfare. 
      Anyway, my friend suggested that I take a look at the works of John Robb, author of the Global Guerrilla blog, a Patreon based blog (the Global Guerrilla Report), and a book, Brave New War. I found the following from an interview of Robb to be insightful:
      Here's an interesting story that may do the trick. Back in 2004, the US military was getting trounced in guerrillas in Iraq. Worse, the US military establishment didn't know why. Didn't have a clue. To correct this, I began to write about how 21st Century warfare actually worked on my blog, Global Guerrillas. Essentially, I concluded that guerrilla groups could use open source organizational models (drawn from the software industry), networked super-empowerment (freely available high tech tools, network information access, connections to a globalized economy), and systems disruption (the targeting of critical points on infrastructure networks that cause cascading failures) to defeat even the most powerful of opponents, even a global superpower.
         The new theories of warfare I developed on the blog proved both predictive and very popular. As a result, I spent a lot of time on the speaking circuit in Washington DC (DoD, CIA, NSA, etc.). Of course, since my work was on a blog everyone could read it, even the guerrillas themselves.
           So, it was a little surprising although not unexpected when I got an e-mail in 2009 from Henry Okah, a leader of MEND (the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta). He invited me to Nigeria and stated that he was an avid reader of my blog.
             It was a moment out of history, as if the UK's General Liddell Hart (the originator of blitzkrieg armored warfare) got a note from Germany's tank General Heinz Guderian in 1939, thanking him for his work. Here's why: MEND's campaign against Shell (the oil company) and the Nigerian government between 2006 and 2008 was a great example of how I thought 21st Century warfare would be fought. The organization structure was loose and organized along the lines of an open source movement. Lots of small autonomous groups joined together to take down the country's oil infrastructure by targeting vulnerable points in the network (Nigeria is a major global oil exporter). During 2007, they were able to take out one million barrels a day of oil production. This shortfall was the reason oil prices rose to $147 a barrel. Those high prices had a negative global economic impact: the start of a global recession and a spike in default rates in US sub-prime mortgages (due to higher driving and food costs). That spike in sub-prime mortgage default rates radically accelerated the demise of our grossly over leveraged global financial sector, which in turn led to the financial panic of 2008.
               In short, MEND's disruption campaign, yielded tens of trillions of dollars in global economic damage for tens of thousands of dollars spent on making the attacks. That's a return on investment (ROI) of 1,000,000,000%. How do nation-states survive when an unknown guerrilla group in a remote corner of the world can generate returns on that magnitude? They don't.
          • While we are on the topic of the spree knife attack, there is the issue of how to defend against such an attack, especially if not armed with a handgun (and, let's be honest, these attacks generally occur in jurisdictions where people aren't likely to carry any weapons, let alone firearms). I think the most detailed and comprehensive articles that I have come across as to defense against knife attacks is from the Urban Fit & Fearless blog (Part 1) (Part 2) (Part 3). The author has done an excellent job of compiling information, including videos, on the topic. I would be remiss if I didn't mention the book Contact Weapons: Lethality and Defense by Steve Tarani and Damon Fay (2004) (see my review here).
                In the London attack, you may have read or seen that two of the men that confronted the terrorist made use of a fire extinguisher (used to good affect to temporarily blind the man) and a 5-foot long Narwhal tusk!  People seem to have had good luck using chairs to fend off or knock over knife wielding attackers (e.g., this Australian terror attack, an attempted robbery in Fall River, Mass., and an attempted robbery in Fresno, California). The advantage of a chair is that it keeps the attacker at enough of a distance that he cannot make good strikes. But the attacker can grab the chair, which means that you need to be aggressive in your use of the chair, pressing the attack or bowling the attacker over with it.
          • Oohrah! "Americans Bought Enough Guns on Black Friday to Arm the Marine Corps – Yet Again!"--Tribunist. "... the FBI states they fielded 202,465 requests during the 24-hour period associated with Black Friday...."
          • Critical failure: "Maine man, 65, is killed by homemade boobytrap which he attached to his front door to shoot anyone who tried to break in to his home"--Daily Mail. The man called 911. Although not clear in the article, it sounds like he was dead by the time police and EMTs got to him, or died shortly thereafter. Per the article, "When responding officers arrived to the scene they discovered a homemade contraption on the front door that was designed to fire a handgun if anyone attempted to enter the home, according to the Van Buren Police Department." Booby traps are problematic for self-protection. First, as this article illustrates, is the problem of one inadvertently being triggered, whether by the person that set the trap or some other innocent. (If you have an alarm system, think of how many times you or a family member has opened a door in the morning without first turning off the alarm). Second, from a legal perspective, is that you can't do something via a booby trap that you would not be permitted to do in person. So, for instance, in the classic example of someone booby trapping a barn or other outbuilding, if a trespasser were to be killed or injured by the booby trap without having presented an imminent threat of grave bodily harm, then the person setting the trap would face criminal and civil liability. 
          • "Everybody’s Lying About the Link Between Gun Ownership and Homicide"--Handwaving Freakoutery at Medium. The article notes that not only is there no statistical correlation between homicide rates and gun ownership when comparing different nations or states. The author does some statistical analysis, but sums it up as follows:
          Gun Murder Rate is not correlated with firearm ownership rate in the United States, on a state by state basis. Firearm Homicide Rate is not correlated with guns per capita globally. It’s not correlated with guns per capita among peaceful countries, nor among violent countries, nor among European countries. 
            The author also notes that gun control proponents also lie by including suicides and accidental deaths with the homicide statistics:
                    This is the biggest trick I see in the media, and very few people seem to pick up on it. Suicide, numerically speaking, is around twice the problem homicide is, both in overall rate and in rate by gun. Two thirds of gun deaths are suicides in the USA. And suicide rates are correlated with gun ownership rates in the USA, because suicide is much easier, and much more final, when done with a gun. If you’re going to kill yourself anyway, and you happen to have a gun in the house, then you choose that method out of convenience. Beyond that, there’s some correlation between overall suicide and gun ownership, owing to the fact that a failed suicide doesn’t show up as a suicide in the numbers, and suicides with guns rarely fail. 
              * * *

                      That is not to belittle the suicide problem. Suicide is twice the problem that homicide is, statistically speaking, but you’re not going to fix that by any of the “common sense measures” the left floats, such as magazine size restrictions. (pro tip: you only need a mag of “1” to shoot yourself) Nor is it to belittle the accident problem, which is itself tremendous. Much could be done to ameliorate both of those problems.
                  And, I would note, that Australia's gun restrictions provided only a temporary dip in suicides, and then suicidal people found other means of ending their lives. 
                           The other lie from the gun control proponents that the author mentions is a particular study often cited by those proponents that uses the number of suicides per capita in a state as a proxy for the per capita gun ownership, even though their conclusions were very different from other studies on gun ownership. Garbage in, garbage out. Related to this is that the authors of the aforementioned study found that there were 6 major factors related to increased homicide rates, and gun ownership (even with their flawed means of determining ownership rates) was no where near the top. Per the article, "[t]he two primary correlations they found were not guns, they were income inequality and black population ratio."
                            The author continues by taking a hard look at some typical anti-gun yellow journalism, with some more statistical analysis. So read the whole thing.
                      • "Ho Ho Ho: The New HK SP5 – Heckler & Koch USA Drops A Real MP5"--The Firearm Blog. It appears to be using the navy lower and standard furniture. There is a sling swivel on the back. Presumably you will be able to switch out the rear piece for one that will allow you to mount a pistol brace. Expensive, though, at $2,800. 
                      • "Comparative Performance of Three Rifle-Caliber Pistols" (Part 1) (Part 2) (Part 3)--All Outdoors. Part 1 looks at the Kel-Tec PLR16 (5.56mm); Part 2 tests the Spike's Tactical ST-15 (an AR design in .300 Blk); and Part 3 covers the Century Arms M92 (an AK design in 7.62x39). 
                      • "TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING IS WONDERFUL"--Guns Magazine. A review of the Crimson Trace CWL-102 (500 lumen) and CWL-202 (900 lumen) lights. 
                      • "How to Purify Water – Making Water Safe to Drink"--Alpha Survivalist. A look at boiling water, water purification tablets, iodine drops, chlorine bleach, and solar water disinfection (i.e., setting water out in the sun and letting the UV kill the microbes). It also discusses the different between water purification and filtration. Although the author recommends using clear PET bottles (polyethylene terephthalate), I would note that Cody Lundin has suggested using gallon size zip-lock bags because, when laid flat, they are thinner and will, therefore, purify the water faster and more reliably than a relatively thicker bottle. 
                      First, continue your diet and exercise. If you’re on oral medications that means you still produce insulin. Insulin works most efficiently when you (1) eat small meals not loaded with simple sugars, (2) stay hydrated with water, (3) do a little exercise.
                      And although not as good as your prescription medication, he briefly discusses the use of a few natural herbs or supplements that might also work: Alpha-lipoic acid (available as a supplement, but also found in liver, spinach, broccoli, and potatoes); American ginseng; and Coccinia indica.

                      "The German Plan to Destroy French Culture - The Occupation of France - WW2 - 066 - November 30, 1940"--World War Two (12 min.). Japanese losses in China; Italy continues to embarrass itself in Greece; Vichy France continued to resist German pressure to join in the war.

                      • "Mexico warns will not allow US military operations against cartels"--France 24. As I noted recently, the offer (threat?) of cross-border operations from the U.S. into Mexico would simply unite Mexicans against the United States due to the long term hostility held toward the United States. A reader directed me to this article which confirmed my prediction, reporting that Pres. Trump's offer (threat?) "insulted national pride in Mexico, which resents a long history of armed interventions by its giant northern neighbor, and where Trump's comments have been taken as a threat of armed cross-border operations. 'Armed foreigners cannot intervene in our territory. We will not allow that,' Lopez Obrador said." The article also explains:
                            Experts say little would likely change on the ground if the US added Mexican cartels to its terror blacklist.
                              "There are DEA agents based here permanently, American personnel embedded with the Mexican marines, accompanying them on their missions.... All this is happening already," Jorge Castaneda, a Mexican academic and former foreign minister, told AFP.
                               "If the United States tells Mexico, 'I want to send in a drone tomorrow,' ... Mexico is going to say, 'Yeah, go ahead.' There's no need to treat it like an invasion."
                          If we’re going to treat cartels like terrorist groups, then there’s no reason not to go after their leaders and networks just as we go after ISIS and al-Qaeda. Unilateral, no-permission special forces raids into Pakistan and Syria took out Osama bin Laden and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and similar capture-or-kill missions could be launched into northern Mexico against the cartels responsible for the LeBaron massacre. Such a move, while certain to provoke international outrage, would nevertheless send a clear message to the cartels that killing Americans isn’t worth it.
                          Good in theory, but more difficult to implement in practice. Military action against Mexico (and given the hand-in-glove relationship between the cartels and the government, it would be a war against Mexico) would certainly unify Mexicans (perhaps all Latinos) against the United States, including the tens of millions already within our borders. I think it would cause an insurgency. 
                          • Related: "MEXICO: SO FAR FROM GOD, SO CLOSE TO THE UNITED STATES"--American Partisan. A prescient article published in April of this year concerning the simmering tensions between the cartels and the Mormon group in Northern Mexico, including a Vice documentary called "The Mexican-Mormon War." The author points out: "The reason this is of interest to us is that 4th generation warfare is coming to the US through immigration."
                          • "The CDC Proves Trump Right on Vaping"--City Journal. The article notes that "[a]fter analyzing fluid from the lungs of patients in the recent vaping-disease epidemic, the Centers for Disease Control reported last week that every victim had traces of an additive used in marijuana vaping but never used in nicotine vaping." The incompetence of the CDC on this issue has been amazing--so much so, that I suspect maliciousness and/or corruption may have played a bigger role than stupidity. Even I, a lowly blogger untrained in the medical sciences, noticed from early on that not only was there no evidence that the lung infections were related to normal vaping products, but there was plenty of evidence linking it to illicit vaping products. In any event, the article continues:
                                  The CDC’s warning, amplified by alarmist media coverage, confused the public about the risk of vaping THC—the active chemical in marijuana—while discouraging smokers from switching to a safer source of nicotine. A national survey in September found that 58 percent of American adults mistakenly believed that the new epidemic was related to e-cigarettes like Juul, and that only 22 percent believed e-cigarettes were healthier than tobacco cigarettes. In reality, researchers have so far failed to find any long-term harm from nicotine vaping, and British public-health authorities have declared e-cigarettes at least 95 percent safer than tobacco cigarettes.
                                    The CDC’s scare, coupled with a subsequent announcement that the Food and Drug Administration planned to ban the flavors used by more than 80 percent of adult vapers, amounted to welcome news for the declining tobacco industry. Cigarette sales had been plummeting (along with smoking rates among adults and young people) since Juul’s rise to popularity three years ago. But after the CDC’s and FDA’s actions, the Wall Street Journal reported, tobacco-industry analysts said that they expected cigarette sales to improve and were already seeing signs of that trend.
                                     Slavery has existed since time immemorial on every continent except Antarctica, as Thomas Sowell wrote years ago. An estimated one-third to one-half of the inhabitants of the Roman empire, for example, were slaves. For more than 1,000 years, slaves (few of them Africans) were one of the basic commodities of trade across most of the world. But let’s focus specifically on African slavery.
                                        Sub-Saharan Africa had a slave economy long before Europeans came along. But the external African slave trade of the early modern era had two basic components: Eastern and Western. The Eastern slave trade went to Arab countries. For a long time, the Arabs bought or captured European slaves, but when that supply dried up, they turned to Africa. Numbers are hard to come by–weirdly, the Arab slave trade hasn’t been as widely studied as the Western trade–but this source estimates that 17 million East Africans were sold into slavery in Islamic countries. If that number is correct, the Eastern slave trade was considerably larger than the Western.
                                  The author continues:
                                  The database shows a total of 10,702,654 slaves transported in the Atlantic trade. Of those, only 388,747 arrived in mainland North America, what became the United States–3.6% of the total in the trans-Atlantic trade, and well under 2% of the total slaves exported from Africa. Trans-Atlantic slaves went primarily to Brazil and the Caribbean. Portuguese Brazil imported more than 12 times as many slaves as North America. Brazil abolished slavery in 1888. Meanwhile, importation of slaves into what became the U.S. declined dramatically beginning in 1776 and terminated in 1807, pursuant to the Constitution, although a few were imported illegally thereafter. 
                                  If we are going to start pointing fingers, keep in mind that the first actual slave holder in the North American colonies was a black African brought to America as an indentured servant and freed after the expiration of his contract who successfully sued to indefinitely extend the servitude of an indentured servant whose contract he had, in turn, purchased. 

                                  5 comments:

                                  1. Where are the descendants of those 17 million East African slaves that were sent to the Islamic world?

                                    ReplyDelete
                                  2. Next up: California outlaws concealed narwhal tusks.

                                    ReplyDelete
                                    Replies
                                    1. Narwhal tusks are considered "ivory" under California law and illegal to sell (see, e.g., https://www.sacbee.com/news/california/article219759200.html)

                                      Delete

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