Sunday, May 31, 2020

A Quick Run Around the Web (5/31/2020)

"SpaceX Demo-2 launch"--SciNews (18 min.)
Today's launch of the crewed Dragon space capsule to the ISS. The video starts with some scenes from pre-launch then goes from launch through the separation of the Dragon from the stage 2 rocket.
         There are a lot of posts about how to prep for a SHTF/TEOTWAWKI scenario and "bugging out" when that happens.
           It's just not practical - for a variety of reasons.  Most people who subscribe to this romantic notion of packing it all up and fleeing to safety in the hinterlands are living in a world not grounded in reality.  Generally, they're people who have never lived off the grid or without modern amenities for any extended period of time.
      The article then discusses ways to better secure garage doors, a front door or other entry, and windows to keep out intruders. Check it out.
             Here's how you use Rem Oil properly:
        1. Apply the oil
        2. Let it sit for a bit
        3. Wipe the oil off completely (Don't leave a single drop hanging there)

              You need to wipe everything off because Rem Oil is a surface treatment.
                       What this means, is that the only useful part of the oil is the one that sticks to the surface of your gun. Any Rem Oil NOT stuck to the surface is useless.
                        After proper application, the surface should appear dry. It shouldn't have a "wax coating". This may seem unnatural, but that's the proper way to use this product. You're basically seasoning the surface as you would do on an iron skillet.
                          By now you can probably guess that -
                      The problem that most people have with Rem Oil is that they put TOO MUCH OIL on their gun.
                               The oil that doesn't soak in runs off the gun. That's where the bad rep comes from - that Rem Oil is "runny".
                                Rem Oil needs to soak because of how it's made.
                          • "The .40 S&W: Ammo History"--Range 365. Although the popularity of the .40 S&W has been plummeting, the author believes that it will see a resurgence. I had someone comment recently about how the .45 ACP is still better than 9 mm. And that is true--the revolution in bullet design has benefited the .40 S&W and .45 ACP making them even better. But as I noted in reply, the real point is that 9 mm is now "good enough" and, sometimes, more of "good enough" is better than a smaller amount of "better." 
                          • "How Temperature, Altitude and Humidity Affect Shooting"--Rifle Shooter Magazine. Excerpt:
                                   Depending on the temperature and the distance of your shot, you may need to worry about the effect of temperature on your cartridge's trajectory. The basic rule is: Colder equals more drop. The problem here is that this is a very inexact science because some propellants are more stable across a greater temperature range than others.
                                    There is a rule of thumb. For every 20 degrees difference (and we deal in Fahrenheit here) from the temperature at which you zeroed, you can expect a drop of 0.5 to 1.0 m.o.a. So if you zeroed at 70 degrees and headed to the Arctic for muskox, caribou or polar bear and it was minus 30 when you arrived, you have a difference of 100 degrees. This should mean that your point of impact will be 2.5 to 5.0 m.o.a. lower. This is too great a variance to help you if you need to make a 300-yard shot, so the best plan is always to check your rifle on site, with the climatic conditions you will be hunting under. To hedge your bet, if you are going from warm to cold, you might consider sighting in a bit higher than you normally would.
                              Also:
                                       Heat has the exact opposite effect, with the same rule of thumb: 0.5 to 1.0 m.o.a. for every 20 degrees warmer than your sight-in temperature. Just remember that rules of thumb are simply guidelines; I've never found any consistency with climatic influences on ballistics. However, it is absolutely true that when ambient temperature increases propellant powder gets "hotter" and produces more velocity, which should raise your point of impact.
                                        There's no substitute for checking your rifle when you get to your hunting location, and if I'm going from temperate or cool to very hot, I usually sight-in dead on and plan to adjust on the ground as needed.
                                          After rough handling and impact testing, I took the optic to a water trough and let the optic sit for a few minutes. No air bubbles escaped from the MD-25 and upon removal, the optic appeared dry inside the body of the optic. For the remainder of my shooting session, no fog or moisture made itself present in the optic.
                                           After the dip, I began to drop the optic on a firmer surface which was comprised of the 2×6 pier. I then returned to the 100-yard line to shoot the 100-yard steel and then confirmed my initial 25-yard zero with a sight-in target. The optic remained dead on and held zero. Throughout my range session, the MD25 exhibited drama-free behavior.
                                      • Overheard at the gun shop: I was in a local gun store a couple days ago, waiting for the clerk to finish up with a gentleman, when I overheard the end of an exchange between the two concerning .44 Magnum ammunition. Essentially, the customer was looking for ammunition for his .44 Magnum that would be good for self-defense. The clerk tried to elicit information as to whether the customer wanted ammunition for defense against something like bear, or for a human attacker, to which the customer responded that he could just use something suitable for bear against a human attacker. In other words, the customer was one of those that believed that a bullet is a bullet is a bullet. 
                                             Of course, that is not true. Different bullet designs are for different purposes and have different properties. 
                                             The FBI standards for handgun ammunition for duty use (and generally accepted for civilian self-defense) is that a handgun bullet should penetrate between 12 and 18-inches of calibrated ballistic gelatin. The 12-inch minimum represents the minimum penetration necessary to reach vital organs even if shooting from an oblique angle. The 18-inch maximum is the upper limit on penetration to avoid over-penetration--exiting a human target and potentially injuring someone beyond the target. 
                                             One of the reasons for using hollow-point ammunition is that a bullet expanding is similar to a drag racer or aircraft deploying a drag chute--it slows the bullet down to prevent over-penetration. So, a good hollow-point will have the energy (or momentum, if you prefer) to penetrate past 12-inches, but then slow and stop before exceeding the 18-inch maximum. (This is why the .357 Sig is considered by some to be a pointless round because all of its extra energy over the 9 mm is wasted because it still needs to slow and stop within the same distance as the 9 mm, but it doesn't necessarily give better expansion). But sometimes you don't care about penetration (e.g., FMJ ammunition is mostly used for target shooting or for military purposes because its cheaper and offers more reliable feeding) or you want deeper penetration for use against a larger target (e.g., a bear).
                                             Although I don't have the source handy, I have read that the Buffalo Bore .44 Magnum loads intended for bear will penetrate over 3 feet into ballistic gel, or at least twice as deep as you would want to use against a human target. In other words, you could shoot such a round at a burglar, for instance, and it would create a through-and-through wound and still have enough energy to go through multiple walls. Thus, a good round for defense against a bear would be horrible for standard self-defense scenarios. 
                                              The second issue is expansion. A good hollow-point will expand and, for that reason, create a larger wound channel than a non-expanding bullet, and perhaps, due to jagged edges, cut something important. Thus, returning to our .44 Magnum example, a non-expanding bear load will leave a wound channel .429 inches in diameter (the actual diameter the bullet), or actually a bit less because tissue will stretch and then constrict as the bullet passes through it. Conversely, a standard hollow point used for .44 Magnum (a 240 grain Hornady XTP) will expand to roughly .80 inches in ballistic gelatin (see, e.g., this video from the Chopping Block).
                                      In comparison to 9mm, .357 Sig is a baby. It hit the scene in 1994 as an answer in search of a question. Alright, that may be a little rude. Technically, it was introduced to reproduce the terminal ballistics of a 125 grain .357 Magnum hollowpoint, but out of a semi-automatic pistol. It accomplished this by taking a 9mm bullet (.355 diameter) and sticking it in a necked down .40 S&W case. Able to hit 1400+ feet per second out of a proof barrel, it certainly accomplished its goal of reproducing the on-paper ballistics of the .357 Magnum.
                                      As for a comparison:
                                              Let’s take a look at terminal ballistics. We tested both .357 Sig and 9mm loads. To make a fair comparison, we’ll look at the results for the Federal 124gr HST in 9mm vs. the Federal 125gr HST in .357 Sig, and the Hornady 135gr Critical Duty +P in 9mm vs. the 135gr Critical Duty in .357 Sig.
                                          HST Comparison
                                                  With the 9mm HST, all five rounds met or exceeded the FBI’s penetration guidelines of 12-18 inches. They expanded to around 0.60 inches. The muzzle velocity for the 9mm was 1135 FPS. The 125gr HST in .357 Sig also met the FBI’s penetration guidelines. The rounds expanded to about 0.60 inches, but had a higher muzzle velocity of 1300+ FPS.
                                              Critical Duty 9mm vs. 357 Sig Comparison
                                                       9mm Critical Duty +P also penetrated about 18 inches, had a muzzle velocity of 1118, and expanded on average to around 0.47 inches. Compare this to the .357 Critical Duty, which penetrated to about 18.9 inches, had identical expansion, and approximately 100 feet more of muzzle velocity.
                                                        What that all those numbers mean in layman’s terms is that all you get with .357 Sig is a round that costs more money, for no improvement in terminal ballistics.
                                                  And all of this with more recoil, flash, and lower magazine capacity.
                                                  • So I've been doing a lot of reloading lately. For 9 mm, I've been sourcing bullets from Rocky Mountain Reloading (RMR), and specifically, their in-house manufacture 9mm 124 Gr. RMR jacketed hollow point ("Multi Purpose Round") bullets which I've loaded over 5.2 grains of Unique. Unfortunately, I don't have the ability to do ballistic gelatin tests of the bullet, but it appears to be similar to hollow point bullet designs from the 1990's and 2000's. More importantly, if you are ordering in large quantities, the cost is about 10 cents per bullet. It has fed and functioned well for me. In weighing the bullets, the actual weight is closer to 123 grains than 124 grains, but, more importantly, the weights have been very consistent--as good or better than bullets from the large manufacturers. Thus, it is a good bullet to load for target practice and, in the event of the zombie apocalypse, would probably serve well enough as a defensive round. With this bullet, even if it is listed out-of-stock, it can be back ordered. My last order just arrived yesterday, and it was only a couple weeks after I ordered it, so the wait time is not bad.
                                                          Another project was figuring out a load for my son's .30-30 using Hornady's 160 grain flex-tip (FTX) bullets. The FTX bullets are pointed, but use a flexible polymer tip to keep from setting off the rounds ahead of it in the tube magazine of a lever action rifle. This gives the round better ballistics at longer ranges, and thus better suited for hunting in this area. Perusing the Hornady reloading manual, the best velocities were obtained using the LeverEvolution powder specifically designed for Hornady, so that is what we went with. We put together loads starting at 32.5 grains and going up to 36.5 grains in 1 grain increments (the maximum load in the manual was 37 grains which was supposed to give velocities of 2300 fps). 32.5 grains gave a pretty good group. It started to open up at 33.5 and 34.5, then started shrinking again at 35.5, and we got our best group at 36.5. The recoil was stouter than my son wanted, however, so we will go with the 32.5 grain load, which had nearly as tight a group as the 36.5 grain load anyway.
                                                  • "Coated Bullets: The future of lead bullets for handloaders?"--Shooting Sports USA. This 2017 article is about polymer coated bullets such as the Federal Syntech. They offer some significant advantages for the handloader. For one thing, polymer coated cast lead bullets do not need the bullet to be lubricated with a wax coating or lubrication in a lubrication groove. Also:
                                                          Coated bullets offer several advantages for handloaders. Coatings that cover the entire bullet, including the base, reduce or eliminate the exposure to lead during handloading and airborne lead particles when shooting. It also means you no longer have to scrape out built-up wax lube from your seating and crimping dies.
                                                            Smoke is reduced or eliminated. Most of the smoke from shooting traditionally lubed lead bullets comes from the waxy lube. The smoke can be so bad you might think you’re shooting black powder. Sometimes the target disappears in the smoke after a few rapidly fired rounds. Coated bullets reduce or eliminate this smoke. They might not be as smokeless as copper jacketed or plated bullets, but they’re darn close.
                                                        The author also notes:
                                                                There might be some differences in the maximum velocities that these coatings should be limited to. Generally, the coatings are good for velocities in the 1200-1500 fps range, similar to copper plated bullets, which covers the speeds of most handgun cartridges. Some polymer coatings can reportedly be driven to 2000 fps or better, such as claimed by Eggleston Munitions, which makes them a possible choice for some rifle loads.
                                                                  Many, but not all, of the coated bullets can be used in Glock’s polygonal barrels, according to the manufacturers. Check the bullet manufacturer's website for details.
                                                                    Generally, one can use lead bullet data for load development. My experience has been that they produce about the same velocity as cast bullets with the same powder charge, but may be a little slower.
                                                                So, much like the copper plated bullets such as sold by Berry's, but less expensive. I saw prices for large bore bullets that were 10 cents or less per bullet. I haven't tried them ... yet. But I purchased some and will give you an opinion after I've had the chance to make up some handloads and test them.

                                                                "2. The Bronze Age Collapse - Mediterranean Apocalypse"--Fall of Civilizations (64 min.)

                                                                         In Minneapolis, protesters were seen fleeing after cops hurled tear gas into the crowds while some responded by launching fireworks back at officers.  
                                                                          The National Guard was activated to defend the White House from attack as the Secret Service agents on the ground struggled to keep control of crowds descending on the seat of the US government.
                                                                            The Big Apple was ablaze as NYPD vehicles were torched and ransacked while shocking footage emerged of cops violently detaining protesters. 
                                                                              A man was left critically injured in Dallas when he was attacked and stomped on by a group of people when he allegedly tried to defend a store with a large sword. 
                                                                                In Atlanta a cop suffered 'significant injuries' when they were hit by an ATV, while in Chicago, a man commandeered a police horse and rode off on it. 
                                                                                  Los Angeles deployed the National Guard for the first since the 1992 riots when the police officers who beat up black man Rodney King walked free of all charges and California Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency in LA County.  
                                                                                    A total of 11 states and the District of Columbia had activated the National Guard by the early hours of Sunday, as law enforcement buckled under the strain of the protests.
                                                                                      States calling for Guard assistance included California, Georgia, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Washington state. 
                                                                                        Meanwhile at least 25 cities roll out emergency curfews to try to bring rioting and looting under control, including San Francisco, Atlanta, Louisville, Los Angeles, Portland, Columbia, South Carolina, Cincinnati, Cleveland and Seattle.
                                                                                  The current riots and looting couldn't have come at a better time for the Democrats, distracting the public from the unfolding Spygate scandal to overturn the election of President Trump, the mechinations to prosecute General Flynn before he could audit the intelligence agencies, and the mounting death toll and dying economies in Blue states that have grossly mishandled the Kung Flu pandemic. China may also be thankful as it takes attention of China as it violates the agreement with the U.K. allowing Hong Kong autonomy. These "protests" have not been peaceful, contrary to many of the main stream news reports. For instance, a Fox News report relates:
                                                                                        During his Saturday morning press conference, [Minnesota Governor] Walz also thanked first responders "who are out there protecting our cities."
                                                                                         "As they were taking incoming fire, improvised explosive devices and a highly evolved and tightly-controlled group of folks bent on adapting their tactics to make it as difficult as possible to maintain that order," he said.
                                                                                    And from New York City:
                                                                                            At a press conference Saturday, NYPD  Commissioner Dermot Shea stated: 'It is by the grace of God that we don’t have dead officers today.'
                                                                                              Shea also stated that, while the vast majority of protesters gathered peacefully, some came with the deliberate intent to sow discord. 
                                                                                                'Coming to an assembly, pre-meditated, with loaded firearms, with bricks, with Molotov cocktails is the furthest thing from civil obedience,' he stated. 
                                                                                                The rioting and looting is also not spontaneous. Attorney General Barr, for instance, stated that "Groups of outside radicals and agitators are exploiting the situation to pursue their own separate and violent agenda," and that "In many places it appears the violence is planned, organized and driven by anarchic and far-left extremist groups using antifa-like tactics." Minnesota Governor Walz also indicated at a press conference that the drug cartels might also be involved in instigating the violence. There is at least one instance where members of the media encouraged protesters to graffiti a building. And I found this snippet interesting:
                                                                                          MSNBC’s Ali Velshi provided live coverage to the network throughout the protests on Thursday night, with a concurrent livestream posted to YouTube. During a moment when Velshi was off camera, he can be heard on a hot mic captured in the YouTube stream discussing the night’s events with Ja’Mal Green, a Black Lives Matter activist and former Chicago mayoral candidate, who approached Velshi and introduced himself as someone “helping . . . lead” the protests.
                                                                                          There are also some interesting aspects to the incident that sparked all of this. From the Conservative Tree House:
                                                                                                  Officer Derek Chauvin and victim George Lloyd knew each-other.  Chauvin was a security officer for a sketchy dance club named El Nuevo Rodeo, and had worked there for 17 years. Chauvin worked for El Nuevo Rodeo cantina and dance club longer than he was a police officer.  Mr. George Lloyd also worked at the restaurant/dance club as a bouncer, for several years.   Chauvin and Lloyd knew eachother.
                                                                                                    The dynamic of the relationship between Lloyd and Chauvin is divergent from the media narrative.  Additionally, the media presentation of the club, and ownership, is also materially flawed.
                                                                                                      The club is not what appears visible on the surface; neither is the relationship between the two men who both worked there.  CTH has reviewed the background, and made a decision to exit the rabbit hole.  Suffice to say it’s better to just sit this one out and watch.
                                                                                                        Speculative reasons for disengagement:
                                                                                                          El Nuevo Rodeo is owned by foreign interests: Omar Investments Inc.  The club appears to be a laundry operation; which is a semi-legitimate business set up as a front to launder illicit income streams which might include counterfeit operations.  Chauvin and Lloyd both worked there. The presented “former club owner”, seen on television, appears to be a purposeful ‘front’ (a face useful in deflecting attention from the primary operations).
                                                                                                            With that in mind, the scale of false information in/around the visible event, horrible as it was/is, creates layers and layers of purposeful misinformation and a need to control what the public sees in the media.  
                                                                                                            Combine a sketchy background of participants who are all very familiar with each-other as noted on video; with a network of foreign interests and false fronts; and overlay a network of federal and national security operations that are well known and specific to Minneapolis… and, well, it’s a rabbit hole best left alone.
                                                                                                      Also, the medical examiner report was released showing no 'traumatic asphyxiation or strangulation' in George Floyd's death. This means that there is a possibility that the officer that knelt on Floyd's neck could be found not guilty, and then there will be more rioting and looting.
                                                                                                      'Our resources were beyond tapped. We had around 30 – 50 priority 1 calls that weren't being responded to at any given moment, on top of what was happening. We were overwhelmed. Every available officer was out,' [Minneapolis Mayor] Frey claimed.
                                                                                                      Now the "protesters" have uniforms and who knows what else that they took from that building.
                                                                                                              In what was dubbed the “long, hot summer," more than 100 poor, largely black communities were rocked by violent incidents in 1967. Some labelled them riots, others called them uprisings and rebellions. Erupting primarily in East Coast and Midwestern cities, including Milwaukee, Buffalo, Tampa and Cincinnati, the incidents resulted in more than 100 deaths, hundreds of millions of dollars in property damage and scores of burned-out neighborhoods, some of which never fully recovered.
                                                                                                                The unrest was a reaction to a larger problem: deep-seated anger and hopelessness simmering in many disenfranchised, urban communities where rates of poverty, joblessness and crime were disproportionately high.
                                                                                                                  But nearly every instance of unrest was ignited by the same kind of spark: an individual local incident involving an unarmed black man (or men) beaten or killed by white police officers for a seemingly minor infraction.
                                                                                                            “This is all evidence of what the American people have done,” Pence said in his first interview to review the battle. “Because of the cooperation and compassion of the American people, we slowed the spread, we flattened the curve, we saved lives, and I have no doubt about that,” said the vice president during an hourlong talk with Secrets.
                                                                                                            • Related: "DHS: Bigger virus ‘catastrophe’ avoided by stopping illegal immigration"--Washington Examiner. "To estimate the potential for further virus spread had the border not been shut down and thousands were still being held, DHS said one infected migrant would have exposed 426 others in the process of being apprehended, put in a holding cell, and then transferred out."
                                                                                                                    One of the problems with Obamagate is that it's incredibly complicated.  It began under the Obama administration and involved the alphabet agencies (the CIA, the FBI, and the DOJ), as well as President Obama, the national security adviser, the director of National Intelligence, the FISA court, and overseas intelligence agencies.
                                                                                                                      The wrongdoing included false affidavits; spying on innocent people, including the president-elect; unmasking; and set-ups, such as perjury traps and spies inveigling people into ambiguous statements that could be used against them.  It then escalated to an attempt to overthrow the Trump presidency through a two-year-long investigation that destroyed several people's lives, even though the special counsel's office knew from Day One that neither Trump nor his team had done anything wrong.
                                                                                                                        Under Obama, the FBI lied to federal judges 17 times to get permission to spy on Donald Trump.
                                                                                                                         Instead of going after those real crimes, Mueller tried to frame President Trump.
                                                                                                                            We tried reining in the FBI. We failed because it still had too much power. It was an Americanized Stasi.
                                                                                                                             President Trump was only the latest politician to be targeted by the FBI. Ted Stevens, Bob Menendez, and Marion Barry are among the many people the FBI targeted. Yes, Mayor Barry was scum. But when he said, "Bitch set me up," something in me clicked. The ends do not justify the means. Sorry. The people of DC wanted him, cocaine habit or not.
                                                                                                                                Dowd told Jarrett, "They knew there was nothing to investigate. People subverted the system of justice. One corrupt act after another. It’s staggering. The lies were monstrous. It was all pretense and fraud. Mueller should not walk. Rod Rosenstein should not walk."
                                                                                                                                 But they will.
                                                                                                                                   We all know that.
                                                                                                                                     The only reform that will work is to get the federal government out of the crime-stopping game because the power of the FBI is too great for mortal man to resist.
                                                                                                                                         As Delhi and Beijing turn to their working mechanism at the level of diplomats to reduce military tensions along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh, there’s evidence of the Chinese having deployed towed artillery and mechanised elements on their side of the LAC opposite the Galwan valley.
                                                                                                                                          Highly placed sources told The Indian Express that a detailed analysis of satellite images has shown extensive deployment of towed artillery and mechanised elements on the Chinese side, bringing Indian deployments within striking distance.
                                                                                                                                            Satellite images also show the presence of at least 16 tanks with a mix of infantry combat vehicles, though camouflaged. Flatbed trucks, excavator machines, dumper trucks too have been identified in the imagery, sources said, adding that these suggest permanent defences are being prepared by the Chinese in the area.
                                                                                                                                              The seized transformer was meant for the Western Area Power Administration for use in its Ault substation. Apart from WAPA, the Chinese firm has also sold units to American customers the New York Power Authority, EDF Renewables, B.C. Hydro and MidAmerican Energy.
                                                                                                                                                The report said WAPA fed wholesale electricity to power stations in 15 states in the western and central US.
                                                                                                                                                 Transformers do not contain software-based control systems and are passive devices, though recent equipment may contain diagnostic electronics, the WSJ said.
                                                                                                                                                   Cai told the newspaper that even if someone accessed the diagnostic data, it was of no import.
                                                                                                                                                     He said the transformer had been built to the buyer's specifications, down to parts the number of which had been bought in the US and UK chosen by WAPA.
                                                                                                                                                        A German spy discovered an unguarded secret entrance into the heavily-fortified embassy compound, through underground water tunnels. The Nazi murder squad planned to parachute into Tehran wearing Russian uniforms to mingle with the heavy Soviet troop presence already there.
                                                                                                                                                          But the Germans were unaware that two of their operatives were double-agents, leaking assassination plans to the Russians.
                                                                                                                                                      The majority of past maras-focused dark spirituality research has centered on the relationship of Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) to this form of veneration and worship. MS-13 links to such magico-religious activities—which presently are active at clica (clique) and individual levels—are well documented. They were evident with the origins of the gang roughly four decades ago, even though such expressions were initially considered ‘Satanic-light’ due to their derivation from Heavy Metal and Stoner influences. The 18th Street gang (Barrio 18), however, which some consider more sophisticated than MS-13 and is not currently under the US national security spotlight, has remained an ongoing enigma concerning its linkages to such practices. This research note seeks to provide some initial and exploratory insights—primarily but not exclusively via imagery interpretation—into 18th Street dark spiritual activities.
                                                                                                                                                        Also:
                                                                                                                                                                Barrio 18, as an extension of 18th Street, in El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala has become—for the want of a better term— increasingly feral from a magio-religious perspective, as has its deadly rival MS-13 or Barrio 13. The gang’s LA street culture and structure has blended with that of individuals from the lower socio-economic rungs of societies found within El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala whose agrarian influences make them more accepting of the supernatural and a world in which witches and sorcerers exist. 
                                                                                                                                                                  This shift in spiritual orientation—from the Los Angeles ideological ‘Satanic-light’ approach to one with an at times deeper and darker magio-religious perspective—is readily evident in IMAGEs 7-9. ...
                                                                                                                                                              And:
                                                                                                                                                                What these images and other supporting information convey is the existence of an array of Barrio 18 dark spiritual practices along a continuum. On the more criminally benign or gray side, the veneration or worship of Santa Muerte is taking place in which narcotics trafficking, extortion, and similar activities are petitioned for protective purposes.  At the other darker extreme, death magic and actual human sacrifices are manifesting themselves. These are taking place in a shifting syncretic blending of Santa Muerte, ‘the Beast’ (as a demonic representation), and Satanic practices, resulting in an emerging form of pandillas and maras ‘Death cult worship.’ To what extent these practices are taking place within Barrio 18 as opposed to Barrio 13 (MS-13) is unknown, but they are ongoing and have been taking place for at least some decades now. One La Policía Nacional Civil (PNC) anti-gang unit investigator who was involved in a raid in Apopa, El Salvador in 2014 explains that both the 13 and 18 pandillas now use much of the same symbology in their cultos satánicos.
                                                                                                                                                                  * * *
                                                                                                                                                                          The mark of the ‘three 6s’ equaling 18 can clearly been seen in IMAGE 5 on another 18th Street gang member’s forearm. This would confirm him as a Mara 18 member when referring to his Satanic practices. The other gang he ran with, specifically MS 13 early on, would immediately order him killed over such a tattoo because the ‘mark of the beast’ equaling 18 is unacceptable to that gang. It is unknown why El Cholo later left Mara 18. Possibly, a disagreement arose in his clique. In 2005, he joined the Braker gang and later engaged in ritual cannibalism in which he and other gang members ate the raw heart of a suicide victim he had ‘killed with death magic’ via a cemetery ritual with a voodoo doll. The victim “…sacrificed herself on her own. She cut her own veins with a machete” because she had been satanically compelled by El Cholo to do so. As part of the devil’s pact, El Cholo and his fellow gang members had to eat her heart or would face demonic retribution for themselves or their families.     

                                                                                                                                                                    Thursday, May 28, 2020

                                                                                                                                                                    A Quick Run Around the Web (5/28/2020)

                                                                                                                                                                    "Five Armed Robberies Teach Us Lessons"--Active Self Protection (12 min.)

                                                                                                                                                                    • A new Hump Day Reading List from Grant Cunningham. The three issues/articles this week are (1) should you intervene? (2) beware the self-defense/firearm instructor insists you have to change your whole lifestyle, and (3) a look at preparing for tornadoes. Back to the second issue, a key point raised in the article to which Cunningham links:
                                                                                                                                                                             In the real world, however, time, money, and resources are limited.  It’s easy to talk a big game about how your students or followers need to TRAIN EVERY DAY. It’s much more difficult to sit down with them, looking over their monthly family budget, and figure out how to pay for that.  I’ve noticed a trend where internet personalities like to make bold, declarative statements that amount to “the lifestyle I live is what you need to do to survive.  Anything less is not enough.”
                                                                                                                                                                             If you encounter this, you have to ask yourself, are they selling reality-based training, or are they selling a lifestyle? If their lifestyle doesn’t seem to work for you, does that mean you’re wrong and that you need to change?  Is their lifestyle something you are able to emulate?  Do you want to emulate it?
                                                                                                                                                                        • "Top Tactical Shotgun Trends"--Shooting Illustrated. The three major trends are (1) the short "not-a-shotgun" firearms like the Tac-14 and Shockwave, (2) semi-automatic shotguns using detachable box magazines and/or (3) in a bull-pup configuration.
                                                                                                                                                                               For a few years, I’d been somewhat obsessed with truly deep concealment. Part of this was prompted by an enquiry we’d received a few years ago – and we responded to with a few features. While we addressed the original – truly deep concealment without being able to use a belt – I knew that I had some age-related medical issues arising. I took this as an opportunity to learn more and to actually test one method to arrange for my own defense. While the actual testing of the concept took a few years – and has been incrementally reported on the wires over time – now I’m in the place I can look back and put the process in context.
                                                                                                                                                                                The range of my medical appointments included a considerable stretch of several-times-per-week therapy in a non-permissive environment with monitor leads patched on the thorax by medical staff and by doing activities during those appointments. For all those who issue the pithy advice to “dress around the gun,” I can only say “there’s no need to frighten the horses.” For those who had to sell me on the travails of those employed in NPEs and the fact that normal service/service-compact sized guns can’t successfully be worn discreetly when you’re around the same people all day, every day, doing all the office stuff – thanks for the warning. It helped me get ready.
                                                                                                                                                                            The author ultimately settled on the Ruger LCP II 380 to be carried in a Galco Stow-N-Go Clip-On IWB holster. 
                                                                                                                                                                              With many restaurants still closed, Americans have turned in droves to home cooking—whether they wanted to or not. The transition has not been smooth. Coronavirus infections have disrupted supply chains, forcing nearly 50 meat processing plants to shut down nationwide. And it's not just beef and pork: "Boneless chicken is first to go scarce as coronavirus hits U.S. meat supply," Fortune reported last month. Bad enough there's a shortage of chicken—but boneless chicken? What's left for us to cook?
                                                                                                                                                                                The goes through his experience with cooking a whole chicken, recommending Michael Ruhlman's cookbook, From Scratch: 10 Meals, 175 Recipes, and Dozens of Techniques You Will Use Over and Over
                                                                                                                                                                                        Less than a decade after the American Civil War ended, the U.S. Army decided to catch up to firearm technology’s leading edge. They set aside the Colt Model 1860 Army percussion revolver and searched for a breach-loaded, metallic cartridge gun. The men who would decide what would follow were themselves combat veterans. They had fought and survived the bloodiest battles in U.S. history. When it came to stopping a man bent on killing you at close range, they knew first-hand what worked and what didn’t.
                                                                                                                                                                                          These hardened soldiers understood handguns were not powerful weapons compared to rifles. They found, over time, a certain power level provided a reasonable balance between lethality and recoil control.
                                                                                                                                                                                            The .44 caliber Model 1860 Army revolver is, by our standards, a .45 caliber weapon, and it in fact used 140 grain, .454-inch diameter, cast lead balls, or 200 grain, .451-inch conical lead bullets.
                                                                                                                                                                                              Propelled by a thirty grain black powder charge, balls left the muzzle around 900 - 1000 feet per second which produced 252 – 311 foot-pounds energy. The conical bullet had a muzzle velocity about 100 fps slower, on average, which gave 284 – 360 ft-lbs. Almost every military or police handgun produced since then has generated between 300 and 450 ft-lbs. muzzle energy. There’s a recurring theme here. This energy range just works. It is well suited to self-defense use by individuals with the training levels found in the military or law enforcement.
                                                                                                                                                                                                 I received a 10% FBI gel block from Clear Ballistics for this section of my testing. The rounds were fired into the gel at a self-defense distance of twenty feet.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  The mild recoil would make you think that this round would simply bounce off a bad guy, but that is hardly the case. Penetration in bare gel was deep, with rounds passing completely through while expanding at a depth of about 3”. The expanded bullets were wide, creating permanent wound channels about .55” wide.
                                                                                                                                                                                                   Penetration through standard fabric, denim, and leather was also great, although in some of the heaviest layers and materials the bullets slightly deformed, but still expanded. Penetration depth was 14-16” in these conditions, with many bullets still passing completely through.
                                                                                                                                                                                                Striking Energy
                                                                                                                                                                                                         As a bullet strikes, then penetrates, the target, it transfer some or all of its kinetic energy to the target. As the bullet penetrates, the kinetic energy performs work by deforming the target and the bullet. Since energy is defined as the capacity to do work, bullet kinetic energy at impact is widely used as a measure of cartridge power. The striking energy of a bullet is normally expressed in the number of foot-pounds (ft.-lbs.) or Joules. 
                                                                                                                                                                                                          While a bullet's muzzle energy is often used for ballistic comparisons, the striking energy of a bullet is a more realistic measure of ballistic potential. However, the striking energy a bullet retains downrange is not necessarily proportional to its muzzle energy.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Striking Velocity
                                                                                                                                                                                                               As a bullet travels downrange, it continuously sheds velocity. Striking velocity is the velocity of a bullet on impact with the target, and it will always be less than the muzzle velocity. In general, the higher the striking velocity, the better. Striking velocity affects terminal performance of the bullet in several ways:
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Striking velocity determines bullet energy on impact;
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Striking energy varies directly with bullet weight; and
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Striking energy varies as the square of velocity.
                                                                                                                                                                                                          In other words, a change in bullet striking velocity will have a much greater effect on bullet striking energy than a proportional change in bullet weight. Doubling bullet weight doubles bullet striking energy, whereas doubling bullet striking velocity quadruples striking energy. At initial impact and penetration, a bullet creates a localized area of high pressure that rapidly displaces target material outward from the impact point. As the bullet penetrates, it creates a permanent wound path. As it does so, it may expand or tumble, considerably increasing the size of the permanent wound path. Bullet fragments, bits of bone and pieces of clothing can become secondary projectiles that can damage tissue at a distance from the point of impact.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  In addition, the shock wave from bullet impacts greater than 2,000 feet per second (f.p.s.) may create a temporary wound cavity in the tissue of a live target. The higher the bullet's striking velocity, the larger the temporary wound cavity...which can stretch or tear blood vessels, nerves and other tissues outside the bullet track.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Scott Kane went 38 years without ever touching a gun. That streak would have continued had it not been for the coronavirus. In March, fearful of the harassment his wife and child experienced over their Asian ancestry, Kane found himself in a California gun shop. His March 11 purchase of a 9mm would have been the end of the story, were it not for a political standoff over shutdown orders and background checks. Now Kane, a former supporter of gun-control measures and AR-15 bans, is frustrated by the arduous process that has denied his family a sense of security. The pandemic has made the soft-spoken software engineer an unlikely Second Amendment supporter.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     "This has taken me, a law-abiding citizen with nary an unpaid parking ticket to my name, over a month," he told the Washington Free Beacon. "Meanwhile Joe Bad Guy has probably purchased several fully automatic AK-47s out of the back of an El Camino in a shady part of town with zero background checks."
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  This is still a guy that would happily ban "assault weapons," but at least he now views guns as a necessity. Baby steps .... 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                           As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concluded in 2013, almost all major studies on the issue have found that Americans use their firearms for self-defense somewhere between 500,000 and 3 million times a year. The database includes only those instances that could be independently verified through public sources, and where sufficient evidence exists to believe the gun owner acted both lawfully and responsibly.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             There’s good reason to believe that most defensive gun uses are never reported to law enforcement, much less picked up by local media or highlighted in national news stories. While my inner lawyer knows that a gun owner should file a report every single time he or she has to draw a weapon, regardless of whether shots are fired, the reality is that many people see such instances as complete non-events, unworthy of getting the police involved.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Worse, gun owners may have a very real fear that calling law enforcement opens the doors for too many legal technicalities that will result in the gun owner — not the criminal— being arrested.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Still, while the Defensive Gun Use Database merely scratches the surface of the importance of the Second Amendment in American society, it provides a much-needed counterbalance to the many false narratives about gun ownership. Most importantly, the database gives hard evidence to support what Americans instinctively know: The government cannot always be there to protect your individual rights and liberties from criminals.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I get it, not everyone is a gun person, and I am not advocating using force to get your significant other to get their concealed carry license with you. But here are a couple of points I want to make in favor of having your spouse attend, even if they are not a gun person.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • If you carry a firearm with proper training you ARE SAFER. When you aren't around, doesn't your spouse deserve to be as safe as they were when they were with you? We also know carrying a firearm every day (or even occasionally for the casual concealed carrier) is a lifestyle. As a couple, you chose that person AND their lifestyle. One of you carrying a firearm means there will be a firearm in the house. This means your partner, at the very least, should take a gun safety course so they are safe around the firearm. One of you carrying a firearm means you both may have instances where you are out of the home with a firearm. This means you now have to worry about the local laws in reference to firearm possession. If only one of you has a license, and, for some reason, the unlicensed person is left in the vehicle with the firearm, while the other person goes into an establishment that does not allow firearms, (however unlikely) you could stumble into a legal issue that is not even worth the hassle.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • If one of you is trained and armed, two is even better. For obvious reasons, having both you and your significant other licensed, trained, and carrying exponentially increases the likelihood of successfully handling situations requiring a firearm.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • It will enrich and strengthen your relationship if you can share a common interest. They may not initially be a gun person but I have had so many people come through my class who were not really into guns, only to get out on the range and catch the shooting bug. They leave pumped up and wanting to shoot more and more. I mean honestly, wouldn't going shopping for a gun with your spouse be pretty darn cool? And date night could be a lot more fun if you were sending lead downrange instead of always watching a lame movie.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ... When SHTF most of your rural folks will prioritize their needs for security in a manner similar to this:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Security of the family – “These are my people”
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Security of the Property (including stock) -“This is my land, my house, my stock, my crops”
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Security of the neighbors – “These are my neighbors”
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Security of “common assets” (i.e. the local Church, Bridge, etc.) – “This is my neck of the woods”
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Everything else it a toss up.  It can go along political lines, racial lines, religious views, hell even what brand of truck or tractor they drive.  All that is sideshow material.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      So we’ve pretty much identified the four basic components of what rural folks worry about security wise.  So what do we do with that?  Quite simply we use those basic needs and desires to not only identify ourselves as a “tribe” but to support each other and reinforce local security. But how?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Sell folks on the concept that nobody is going to take care of us but ourselves.  And frankly that’s true. ...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  "1. Roman Britain - The Work of Giants Crumbled"--Fall of Civilizations (63 min.)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The author wants to understand what it would have been like to experience the fall of civilization, but all he has to do is look around him.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thousands of people across cities in Ecuador defied Chinese coronavirus social distancing advice on Monday to protest against economic cuts passed by President Lenin Moreno aimed at tackling the crisis.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Last week, Moreno announced aggressive public spending cuts including the closure of state companies and embassies around the world. The move infuriated leftist trade unions, who complain that they are paying for the austerity rather than Ecuador’s elite.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             He also confirmed the liquidation of the TAME airline, a state-run carrier that has lost over $400 million in the last five years. Public sector working hours have been reduced by 25 percent and civil servants are facing a hefty 16 percent pay cut. Around 150,000 people have lost their jobs as a result of the lockdown. The government claims the current cost to the economy stands at $8 billion.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Around 2,000 people marched in the capital Quito, waving flags and banners and shouting anti-government slogans calling for a restoration of the education budget and opposition to police repression. Demonstrations also took place in other major cities, including Guayaquil, the epicenter of Ecuador’s coronavirus outbreak, where union leaders claimed that hundreds marched through the city.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  “If the coronavirus doesn’t kill us, the government will,” one trader union leader in Guayaquil told Reuters news agency.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     “A new report via the Department of Homeland Security Counterterrorism Mission Center, first seen by ABC News, warns if additional lockdowns are seen, it could very well spark violence. 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      “A variety of illicit actors are responding violently to stay-at-home orders and social distancing measures in place due to COVID-19, and we assess both public and private authority figures and essential workers are at highest risk of being targeted, particularly as the pandemic persists,” DHS said in the report, which was distributed to law enforcement and the federal government agencies last week. 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        “Even as parts of the country begin lifting some of these measures, some illicit actors probably will view any continued state-mandated orders as government overreach, and anticipated safety guidelines and policies—specifically the use of face masks—probably also will serve as a driving factor behind continued violent incidents related to the pandemic,” the report said. 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The chain of death of a business in after WuFlu looks something like this:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Lockdowns stop businesses from being open, which
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Stops the money coming to Employees so,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Employees stop buying, therefore
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Businesses don’t have money.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Keep this cycle up for two months and in some cases you’ve used up more reserves than the business has.  The result is either more debt, which the business still can’t pay because debt is the problem in the first place, or bankruptcy.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The same cycle can be seen with landlords.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • A dollar owed for rent isn’t owed to a random person,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • It’s often owed to a person who has a mortgage against the property, and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • If the rent isn’t paid, many times the landlord can’t pay his
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • But when the landlord can’t pay the mortgage, the bank isn’t paid.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    If you’re worried about the bank, don’t.  The old saying is that “Debt is always paid, either by the borrower, or the lender.” In the case of banks, there’s the three Fed Amigos:  the Federal government, the Federal Reserve™, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    And don't worry about the large depositors. Although the FDIC supposedly only insures up to $100,000 in deposits, the reality is that when the FDIC has stepped in (at least as to the "too big to fail" banks) the funds have been used to prop up all deposits of all amounts, even for those accounts which should have had no right to any of the insurance. G. Edward Griffin's book, The Creature from Jekyll Island: A Second Look at the Federal Reserve, discusses this factoid in detail. Anyway, be sure to read Wilder's whole article.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           A French ship [not a French flagged ship, but a vessel operated by the French government] escorting a boat of illegal migrants into British waters was potentially breaking international maritime law by travelling without its transponders turned on, according to claims in a film by Nigel Farage.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Brexit leader Nigel Farage — once a British member of the European Parliament now engaged in a journalistic role to expose the scandal of illegal migrant boats and collusion between the French and British governments — filmed another handover in the English Channel on Tuesday, the second in a week.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               In a serious development and apparent escalation by the French government, Farage was able to reveal that the French ship involved in the migrant boat handover in British waters was travelling without its AIS (automatic identification system) transponder turned off, meaning it wouldn’t appear in digital GPS logs or in real-time ship information management systems.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The push to ‘going dark’, in industry parlance, by the French Coastguard cutter came less than a week after Mr Farage was first able to expose the mid-Channel migrant handover involving French and British ships. Breitbart London was able to subsequently collaborate Mr Farage’s claims with publicly available AIS data, showing the French vessel had indeed met with British government vessels mid-Channel while escorting the migrant boat, but also that another French ship was already ‘running dark’, without a working AIS beacon.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Like children throwing a tantrum, members of a certain ethnicity have been rioting and looting in Minneapolis and other cities because one of their own, George Floyd, died in police custody. (Here's a link to an uncut version of a video taken by a bystander, and it doesn't look good for the officers involved). In any event, some of the news of the riots and looting over the last two nights:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • "‘It’s Real Ugly’: Protesters Clash With Minneapolis Police After George Floyd’s Death"--CBS Minnesota. Quote in the article: "'We’re here to let them know this can’t be tolerated, there will be severe consequences if they continue to kill us this will not go on another day,' a protester said." Also, "'It’s real ugly. The police have to understand that this is the climate they have created, this is the climate they created,' another protester said."
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    New Yorker Amy Cooper was walking her dog in Central Park’s Ramble area, a little patch of semi-wilderness in an otherwise manicured park. She allowed her dog off the leash, which is against the rules. But on the other hand, the Ramble is the one little-frequented spot in the entire vast park where it kinda, sorta seems like rules don’t apply. For decades, the rules definitely didn’t apply: It was a popular gay pickup location for connoisseurs of anonymous al fresco sex.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      On Memorial Day, Cooper, a middle-aged white woman, was allowing her dog to run off-leash, breaking a rule that is widely ignored, albeit crucial for bird-watchers. Nearby was Christian Cooper, a middle-aged black man of no relation to her. Mr. Cooper is an avid birder and doesn’t much like dogs interfering with his avian observations. So he issued what to her sounded like a threat to poison her dog. Ms. Cooper freaked out. Who wouldn’t?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Also:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                A charge of racism is the quintessential weapon of our age because it gives those who deploy it such an immense feeling of righteousness and because it’s impossible to disprove. No evidence Ms. Cooper can adduce can clear her name. “I voted for Obama twice!” “I have lots of black friends!” “I bought Ibram X. Kendi’s book!” Ms. Cooper’s goose is well and truly cooked. After the video went viral and she became the world’s designated hate target of the day, her only option was to grovel, which rarely works and didn’t this time. “I’m not a racist. I did not mean to harm that man in any way,” she told the media. Harm that man? She did Mr. Cooper no harm. He encouraged her to call the police as he was filming her. He, on the other hand, threatened to harm her dog, then his sister posted the video on Twitter in order to upend Ms. Cooper’s life. She even lost her dog after social-media users Karened on her for “choking” it in the video. But the dog is trying to get away from her, and she is holding it back, not choking it. As far as she knew, it was crucial to restrain the dog to save it from being poisoned.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Soon after Cuomo’s mandate was announced, a national association of nursing home doctors protested the policy, saying it  posed “a clear and present danger to all of the residents of a nursing home.” A patient advocacy group called The Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths also urged Cuomo to change the policy.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         He did not. He repeatedly defended the policy, as did Howard Zucker, New York state’s health commissioner. As the death toll rose, Cuomo quietly changed the policy so that nursing home patients who died in a hospital were not counted as nursing home deaths to cover-up the devastating impact of his policy.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          As we previously reported, nursing home patients represent less than one percent of the population, but nearly half of all coronavirus deaths. Cuomo dismissed criticism of his policy by saying “Older people, vulnerable people are going to die…That’s going to happen despite whatever you do.”
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              New York Governor Andrew Cuomo received a $1 million donation just before Election Day in 2018 from a big healthcare group that included nursing homes and hospitals.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Last month, Cuomo signed into law a bill that would give immunity to hospitals and nursing homes from lawsuits stemming from the coronavirus.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 The donation and favorable legislation are not surprising. But given Cuomo’s disastrous policy regarding coronavirus patients being moved into nursing homes, causing thousands of deaths, the granting of immunity to a favored campaign contributor might be construed as a quid pro quo.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The immunity law, at the least, indicates that Cuomo knew or suspected at that point that a lot of nursing home residents would be dying because of having to accept Kung Flu patients.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 For most people most of the time, breaking the law is risky business. When individuals violate the law, they face prison, fines, injunctions, damages, and any number of other unpleasant consequences. But although law-breaking is ordinarily fraught with risk, it is not clear that this generalization applies to public officials. The laws that constrain public officials are often, after all, unsupported by the tangible penalties of the legal system. The constitutional constraints on permissible legislation are a prime example, for no formal legal penalty threatens the legislator (Spallone v. United States, 493 U.S. 279 (1990)) who votes for an unconstitutional law or the governor (or President) who signs one (Smiley v. Holm, 285 U.S. 355 (1932)). Similarly, few official legal sanctions are available against a State executive official who violates the Constitution behind the shield of qualified immunity from a civil rights action (Wilson v. Layne, 526 U.S. 603 (1999), a judge who issues an unconstitutional or otherwise substantively illegal ruling (Pierson v. Ray, 386 U.S. 547 (1967)), a prosecutor who acts unconstitutionally in prosecuting a case (Imbler v. Pachtman, 424 U.S. 409 (1976)), or a federal official who for reasons of immunity (Hunter v. Bryant, 502 U.S. 224 (1991)) or otherwise is beyond the reach of a so-called Bivens action (Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of the Federal Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971)).
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  (footnotes omitted).
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          While economists predict there may soon be 41 million unemployed Americans due to the Chinese coronavirus crisis, Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), John Cornyn (R-TX), Mike Crapo (R-ID), James Risch (R-ID), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Todd Young (R-IN), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), and James Lankford (R-OK) are asking Trump to continue an inflow of foreign workers to take agricultural and nonagricultural jobs.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Specifically, the GOP senators say Trump must continue fast-tracking H-2A foreign agricultural workers and H-2B foreign nonagricultural workers into the U.S. and should allow businesses to exempt themselves from foreign worker restrictions so long as they claim they cannot find Americans to hire.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        My Idaho readers should note that two of these vermin are from Idaho: Senators Mike Crapo (pronounced "crêpe-oh") and James Risch. 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 The Center for Medical Progress (CMP), led by David Daleiden, released a new video Tuesday, along with accompanying documents and testimony, that features Planned Parenthood officials’ admissions, under oath, in their organization’s lawsuit against the pro-life group.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The officals’ on-the-record testimony again highlights the allegations the abortion giant illegally profited from the sale of the body parts of babies aborted in its clinics.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Among the Planned Parenthood officials featured in the video is Dr. Deborah Nucatola, senior director of medical services for Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), who appeared in the now familiar first undercover video of the series as she ate a salad and drank wine while discussing how she performs abortions in order to harvest the highest quality unborn baby body parts.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      “I knew [Planned Parenthood Los Angeles] was getting payments because I was a provider there,” Nucatola testified, yet also testified she never felt the need to check PPLA’s compliance with PPFA policies about receiving payments.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Another example of Leftist tolerance: "Anger After Croatian Capital City Replaces Pride Flags with Pro-Life Banners"--Breitbart. Per the article, "Flags marking the anti-abortion March for Life, which was postponed due to the novel coronavirus, were erected in Zagreb on Sunday, to the anger of LGBT activists." The main group opposing giving others their turn to fly flags is Zagreb Pride, "a self-proclaimed “queer feminist and anti-fascist association” which states on its web-site that "it receives funding from Hungarian billionaire George Soros’s Open Society Foundations as well as the governments of Sweden and the U.S." as well as the E.U.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • "Why Did Arizona Democrats Kill A Bill Protecting Citizens From Police Overreach?"--Captain's Journal. The proposed bill would have significantly cracked down on asset forfeitures initiated by law enforcement where no one was charged with a crime. Democrats opposed the bill because "[t]he pandemic is hurting government budgets, and they don’t want to give up the revenue."
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • While we universally refer to China as a communist country, that isn't really true anymore, if it ever was. The key difference between Italian fascism, National Socialism (as practices by the Nazi party) and Communism derived from nationalistic urges. Fascism (and Nazism) was nationalistic, and proudly so, while Communism had the eventual goal of eliminating national barriers. But all three espoused socialism. Thus, the European left/right paradigm being based on affinity for open borders and cosmopolitanism (if on the left) or national loyalties (if on the right). (In stark contrast to the American left/right paradigm being based around the size and role of the government, with the left favoring larger government and greater government intervention, and the right preferring smaller, more limited government). China is not interested in expanding Communism with the eventual goal of eliminating borders. China is nationalistic and, to a significant extent, racist as well. China would be better described and viewed as espousing a form of fascism. 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         But, with all that theory aside, China is a tyranny and, as such, particularly vulnerable to social instability. And one way to dampen domestic anger at the ruling regime is to channel that anger in a nationalistic manner against foreign enemies. Thus, we are seeing headlines like the following:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Up to 5,000 Chinese troops are now massed along the disputed Ladakh border with India, and according to Indian officials, not all of them are staying on China’s side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Tensions along the border have grown steadily over the past three weeks, following the latest in a bizarre series of fistfights and rock-throwing incidents between Indian and Chinese soldiers.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        India has moved additional troops along its northern border as it prepares for an extended conflict with neighbor China, after several rounds of talks failed to ease tensions between the nuclear-armed rivals. China has already placed about 5,000 soldiers and armored vehicles within its side of the disputed border in the Ladakh region, an Indian government official said, asking not to be identified citing rules. India is adding a similar number of troops as well as artillery guns along the border to fend off the continuing incursions by Chinese army, the official said.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • "Hong Kong crisis: at least 360 arrested as China protests grow"--The Guardian. "Thousands of armed police had flooded the streets to stop the planned demonstrations aimed at halting a law criminalising ridicule of China’s national anthem. The protests have been given a fresh urgency with Beijing announcing last week plans to force a sweeping anti-sedition law on Hong Kong, where similar legislation was shelved after it caused mass protests in 2003."
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              As long time readers of this blog know, I served as a missionary in Japan. At that time, Japan occupied much the same position as does China today. Japan was an economic powerhouse with the second largest economy in the world, it was the go-to manufacturer for high-end electronics and automobiles as well as numerous other products, and it was "common knowledge" among the elites that Japan would soon bypass the United States. The Japanese were very aware of this, and quite proud of the fact that the total property valuations of just Tokyo exceeded that of all the property in the United States. During that time, one of the Church's apostles (I think M. Russell Ballard, but I may be wrong) spoke at a Church conference in Japan discussing the importance of Japan in providing future missionaries to China (China at that time was still completely closed to the Church), but that the Lord would first need to humble Japan in order for the Church membership to grow. A year later, the Japanese real-estate bubble popped. 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              In Matthew 24:14, Christ taught: "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come." "The end" could refer to the end of the "old" earth at the conclusion of the Millennium (see Rev. 21:1; also read Chapter 20 of Revelation for additional background). But it could also mean the end of the time of the Gentiles. If so, then it would suggest that China will be opened to missionary work prior to the Second Coming. In most nations, the opening to missionary work has been a peaceful and orderly process. In other instances, the doors have been opened as a result of warfare or political collapse sweeping away the old order (e.g., parts of Europe and Japan after World War II; South Korea after the Korean War; the East Bloc following the fall of the Berlin Wall and collapse of the Soviet Empire). It may be that China will be humbled in some manner that will, among other things, open it up to missionary work.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        They Really Do Hate You: The Left's Double Standard and Virtue Signaling

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Glenn Reynolds likes to point out that with the left, if it weren't for double standards, they'd  have no standards at all. An...