Tuesday, June 30, 2020

From the Archive: SHTF and WROL from 1919 (plus additional commentary)

Below is a repost of my September 21, 2019, post comparing 1919 to 2019 and looking at the possibility of violent civil unrest. At the time of my article, Z Blog was giving an almost zero chance of civil war or armed rebellion. While apparently holding to that opinion, the author, Z Man, does believe we have entered a period of systemic collapse: "when the people charged with enforcing the laws simply stop doing it on a consistent basis," and "[t]he law becomes arbitrary and selective." He believes it is because "[t]he people charged with enforcing the rules either refuse for factional reasons or they simply can no longer project the power they theoretically possess." 

      I've blogged about systemic collapse before, mostly relying on Joseph Tainter's work, The Collapse of Complex Societies (see my posts: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4Part 5, and Part 6). Essentially, Tainter posited that societies become increasingly complex over time as they respond to threats or problems, but each ratcheting up of complexity reduces the resources available to combat a new threat or problem (essentially the law of diminishing returns) until one finally comes along that beyond the capacity of the society to endure at its level of complexity. At that point, the society will devolve into simpler forms until some homeostasis is reached, generally by the old society collapsing into smaller, more manageable chunks (i.e., the post Roman world), although sometimes the collapse can completely destroy the society (e.g., the late Mayan collapse or the collapse of the Chaco Canyon culture). We've been receiving a negative return on government spending for some time, and it may be that our debt-ridden society has reached the point of collapse due to the response to the coronavirus and subsequent economic shutdown.

     But collapse will not necessarily be a peaceful process. I would encourage you to review a series of articles by a blogger calling himself Metallicman about the historical process carried out by progressive socialists when taking over a traditional society: Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5, and Part 6. The short version, however, is that it leads to genocides, ethnic cleansings, ideological cleansings, following similar steps:
  1. Demonize a class of people, and in the case of the United States this is white males, conservative Christians, or any others deemed to be "Deplorables".
  2. Promote that demonization into mainstream society.
  3. Normalize it to a point where pure hatred manifests (e.g., Black Lives Matter, Antifa).
  4. Create rallies and protests that will inflame the hatred.
  5. Then disarm the people so hated. 
  6. Make lists and check them twice identifying the Deplorables.
  7. Round up the Deplorables or force them into cities (aka, ghettos).
  8. Torture, rape and/or kill the Deplorables and their families.
  9. Expand the imprisonment and killing to other segments of the population.
The author warns: "Once you are told to turn around and put your hands behind your back it will be too late. You will be lead politely into the vehicle. Then as door after door closes behind you, you will discover yourself in a position of disadvantage and you will be killed. It will happen and you won’t be aware of it until it is too late." He began posting his articles in 2018 and into 2019. You judge how accurate was his assessment. It looks to me as though we are already to varying degrees at stages 4 (the current protests and riots) and 5 (primarily red flag laws and continued gun control efforts) and 6 (social media and doxxing).  

     My personal belief is the result will not be a Soviet-style Amerika, but Balkanization. I have three reasons for this view. First, I believe that the U.S. will follow the trend line outlined about the Nephite nation in The Book of Mormon, which saw, prior to Christ's visit following his resurrection, the national leader assassinated by a secret cabal attempting to gain power. This cabal generated such antipathy, that they were driven out by other coalitions; but the damage had been done, and the Nephite nation fragmented along tribal lines. 

    Second, the United States is divided right now not only racially, ethnically, ideologically, and geographically (North East and Left Coast versus interior states, as well as urban versus rural), but there is also large economic divide between our elites ("the citizens of the world") and the working and middle class ("American citizens"). At best, these post-national elites are indifferent to nation-states or peoples; at worst, they are actively hostile toward Western civilization and white people. And for the very elite, they are so rich, so isolated from the human experience, that it is not clear whether they could identify with humanity even if they wanted. Trump tapped into this division between the elites and citizens, but it is now being overshadowed by certain of the other divisions. 

    Finally, in my opinion, the United States has become too large and complex to be governed by a single, central government at the same time as the people and states continue to cede power to the federal government. We had already entered a period of negative return on government and social spending, and probably have entered a Tainter-style collapse.

    Anyway, below is my article from 2019. Enjoy.   

* * * * *

Time to take a step back to the good old days: 1919. Although World War I ("The Great War") had officially ended, there was still widespread fighting throughout Europe, the Near East, and Russia as the Austro-Hungarian, Ottoman, and Russian Empires fell apart and new nations-states arose.

     As part of the "Early Cold War," the Allies had moved troops into Russia to fight the Bolsheviks and support the White Russian faction, even as Communism was making serious in-roads into Western nations via both intellectuals at the top of the food chain and labor organizations representing people at the bottom. This initiated what has since been called the First Red Scare.

     The Spanish Flu was still in full swing, and would eventually cause at least 50 million deaths worldwide, including 675,000 in the United States alone (out of a total population of about 103 million). Since the Spanish Flu mostly killed healthy young adults, that generation that was coming of age was particularly hard hit.

     U.S. troops were returning from France to a nation that was going into recession as war contracts evaporated and the economy contracted. Decades of immigration had seriously strained ethnic relations in the United States, while promoting poor wages and working conditions that drove often violent labor disputes. Anarchist terrorists were setting off bombs across the nation. And to further strain labor and ethnic unrest, hundreds of thousands of Blacks had migrated from the Old South to Northern and Mid-Western industrial cities at the same time that Democratic President Woodrow Wilson was working to re-segregate the federal government (which had been integrated since Reconstruction).

     One of the consequences of this unhappy state of affairs is what is termed the "Red Summer", "a series of approximately 25 'anti-black riots' that erupted in major cities throughout the nation in 1919, including Houston, Texas; East St. Louis and Chicago, Illinois; Washington, D.C.; Omaha, Nebraska; Elaine, Arkansas; Tulsa, Oklahoma; and Charleston, South Carolina." (See also here). The video below gives a pretty good summary of the situation:

"The 1919 'Red Summer'"--The History Guy (14 min.)

     Today, the "Red Summer" is described as unwarranted attacks on blacks led by "white supremacists."  According to Time Magazine article on the topic:
During that season, there were at least 25 major riots and mob actions across the country, according to Cameron McWhirter’s Red Summer: The Summer of 1919 and the Awakening of Black America. Hundreds of people, most of them black, were killed, and thousands were injured and forced to flee their homes. 
One of the worst riots was in Chicago, which ultimately left twenty-three Blacks and fifteen Whites dead.

      The situation in Chicago was ripe for trouble.
      So many newcomers [from black migration] at once strained the city's resources. "At the time, people in Northern cities—especially Chicago—saw it as an invasion," says John Russick of the Chicago History Museum.

      The South Side neighborhoods to which black Chicagoans had been traditionally relegated were bursting at the seams. There was fierce competition for the existing apartments and homes, even though many of them were substandard.
 In Chicago, as well as other communities, Black troops, who had mostly fought under French commanders and with French soldiers, were returning from the war in Europe with a sense of "Liberté, Equalité, Fraternité" and a willingness (and the training) to fight back. “By the God of Heaven,” W.E.B. Du Bois said of returning veterans, “we are cowards and jackasses if now that the war is over, we do not marshal every ounce of our brain and brawn to fight a sterner, longer, more unbending battle against the forces of hell in our own land.”

     Although modern sources seem to downplay the role that Communism played in these riots, it is clear that the belief that Blacks were conspiring with Communists played a role in the events that transpired. (And I'm not so sure that there wasn't communist or socialist influence since communists were active among French soldiers during World War I, and it is clear that by the early 1920s there was a close association between communist groups and black civil rights groups (see also this article and this article, the latter of which describes the Communist work in Alabama in the late 1920's)).

     The spark that set off the Chicago riot was the drowning of a black youth named Eugene Williams. Williams had been swimming in Lake Michigan and had ridden a raft into an area reserved for whites to swim. A man on the shore started throwing rocks at Williams and he was struck by one, falling into the water where he drowned. Police that responded refused to arrest the man who had stoned Williams. Then, "[o]ne especially distraught black beachgoer pulled out a gun and fired into a knot of police. He was shot dead immediately."
The tale of Eugene's death and the shooting that followed angered groups of young white men. Some climbed into cars and began racing through major streets in the city's black neighborhoods, randomly firing at homes and businesses. Others armed themselves with guns, sticks and rocks and began marching up 35th street, assaulting any black person unfortunate enough to cross their path.
But Blacks fought back, with groups of returning soldiers breaking into an armory to obtain weapons. The result was rioting, fighting, burning and looting that lasted almost two weeks. As Wikipedia summarizes:
 Violence between mobs and gangs of both races lasted thirteen days. White mobs were led by ethnic Irish. The resulting 38 fatalities included 23 black people and 15 whites. The injured totaled 537, and 1,000 black families were left homeless. Other accounts reported 50 people were killed, with unofficial numbers and rumors reporting more. White mobs destroyed hundreds of mostly black homes and businesses on the South Side of Chicago; Illinois called in a militia force of seven regiments: several thousand men, to restore order.
     These dry facts don't really do justice to the actual situation. However, Harry Haywood's account, in his autobiography Black Bolshevik gives a bit better of a picture. He wrote:
      ... I went up to the Regimental Armory at Thirty-fifth and Giles Avenue because I wanted to find some of my buddies from the regiment. The street, old Forrest Avenue, had recently been renamed in honor of Lt. Giles, a member of our outfit killed in France. I knew they would be planning an armed defense and I wanted to get in on the action. I found them and they told me their plans. It was rumored that Irishmen from the west of the Wentworth Avenue dividing line were planning to invade the ghetto that night, coming in across the tracks by way of Fifty-first Street. We planned a defensive action to meet them.

      It was not surprising that defensive preparations were under way. There had been clashed before, often when white youths in 'athletic clubs' invaded the Black community. These "clubs" were really racist gangs, organized by the city ward heelers and precinct captains.

      One of the guys from the regiment took us to the apartment of a friend. It had a good position overlooking Fifty-first Street near State. Someone had brought a Browning submachine [sic] gun; he'd gotten it sometime before, most likely from the Regiment Armory. We didn't ask where it had come from, or the origin of the 1903 Springfield rifles (Army issue) that appeared. We set to work mounting the submachine [sic] gun and set up watch for the invaders. Fortunately for them, they never arrived and we all returned home in the morning. The following day it rained and the National Guard moved into the Black community, so overt raids by whites did not materialize.

      Ours was not the only group which used its recent Army training for self-defense of the Black community. We heard rumors about another group of veterans who set up a similar ambush. On several occasions groups of whites had driven a truck at breakneck speed up south State Street, in the heart of of the Black ghetto, with six or seven men in the back firing indiscriminately at the people on the sidewalks.

      The Black veterans set up their ambush at Thirty-fifth and State, waiting in a car with the engine running. When the whites on the truck came through, they pulled in behind and opened up with a machine gun. The truck crashed into a telephone pole at Thirty-ninth Street; most of the men in the truck had been shot down and the others fled. Among them were several Chicago police officers—"off duty," of course!

      I remember standing before the Angeles Flats on Thirty-fifth and Wabash where the day before four Blacks had been shot by police. It appeared that enranged Blacks had set fire to the building and were attacking some white police officers when the latter fired on them.

      Along with other Blacks, I gloated over the mysterious killing of two Black cops with a history of viciousness in the Black community. They had been found dead in an alley between State and Wabash. Undoubtedly they had been killed by Blacks who had taken advantage of the confusion to settle old scores with these Black enforcers of the white man's law.
     There seems to be a belief among some preppers that armed conflict, short of a civil war, would be near impossible; and that a civil war is extremely unlikely. For instance, the author of the Z Blog recently commented on the possibility of armed conflict in the United States, concluding that "[w]hen you start to puzzle through it, the probability of an old fashioned civil war is close to zero, while armed rebellion is in the single digits." He reasons:
      Even if you can conjure a scenario in which a group revolts or the ruling class splits, resulting in a civil war of some type, it’s hard to imagine it being violent. For starters, rebelling against the local police department, much less the military is laughably implausible, given the disparity in firepower. Even small town cops these days have been militarized. They have assault units, armored vehicles, drones and electronic surveillance equipment. America is literally a police state now.

      Rebellion would have to be guerrilla war, turning the weight of the surveillance state against itself. Instead of blowing stuff up, the rebellion of the future will be placing racist material in strategic locations, forcing the police to spend hundreds of man hours looking for invisible Nazis. More sophisticated tactics will require infiltration of ruling class assets, so rebels can easily and surreptitiously throw sand in the gears of the custodial state. The war will be fought in cubicles, not the streets.
And perhaps he is correct that an organized rebellion would be nigh impossible. But widespread and violent rioting? I think that easily within the realm of possibility. And like 1919, it may require neighborhoods to conduct armed patrols and ambushes to protect their inhabitants. It is silly to dismiss the possibility of organized violence even if you think that civil war is unlikely.

Update (9/23/2019): One of the things that I forget to point out was that while the Chicago riot was described as being "whites" attacking "blacks," the reality is that it was Irish immigrants controlled by the Chicago political machine that attacked blacks.

Monday, June 29, 2020

Runner Up QOTD: The Wealth Gap and Civil War

"The Fed has created the largest wealth gap in U.S. history and bears responsibility for the approaching civil war and eventual financial collapse of our debt saturated system."--"Boiling Point" at The Burning Platform.

QOTD: What The Coming Election Is Really About

"Columnist, farmer and classicist Victor Davis Hanson has cast the 2020 election as a choice between civilization and a return to primitivism. It’s unfortunate that we’ve come to that, but here we are." -- "Why Is The Mob Winning?" by the Issues & Insights editorial board.

Sometimes The Old Ways Are The Best Ways

From Second Hand Lions (Source)
Disclaimer: I'm not your attorney and this is not legal advice.

      As was inevitable, the protesters have begun to turn on the rich. I had noted recently that some protesters had the temerity to take their protests into Beverly Hills were they were met with the first instance I could find of a Long Range Acoustical Device (LRAD) being used in this 2020 protest season. A couple days ago, protesters again returned to Beverly Hills, this time shouting "Eat the rich!" Again, police quickly dispersed the crowds. The elites are quite fine with protesters destroying others' neighborhoods, but not their own. I don't expect a single Hollywood star or starlet to call for defunding the Beverly Hills police.

     But where the police are simply unavailable or don't care, your only protection against protesters might be you and your firearms. Unfortunately, there seems to be a large number of people that too easily step out of the box of self-defense, and don't seem to understand that this is, for now, a media war. Video recordings and doxxing are the primary weapon of choice.

     And that brings me to this story from the Daily Mail, "'Keep moving!' Moment lawyer couple brandish an AR-15 and a handgun at protesters marching past their mansion in an upscale St. Louis neighborhood." (See also this article). Although the Daily Mail is well-known for using hyperbole in its headlines, I'm not sure that they are wrong.

     As I gather from this and other accounts, protesters somehow got through the gate to a gated subdivision in order to march to Mayor Lyda Krewson's home to demand her resignation for doxxing people that supported defunding police. A couple living on the street took exception to the protesters forcing their way into the neighborhood. Video and photographs show the couple standing outside their home, the husband with an AR rifle and the wife with a handgun. Although I don't see any photographs or video of the husband pointing his rifle at protesters (he had it at a lazy port arms or ready position from what I saw), the wife appeared to be more agitated and, although not aiming at anyone, was muzzling people in the crowd with her pistol with her finger on the trigger. Both the husband and wife also said things to some of the protesters, although I couldn't make anything out on the video and the article didn't report what was said. True to their hypocritical roots, the protesters later doxxed the couple.

     The optics look bad, especially since the couple (the wife especially) had poor muzzle and trigger discipline. But what should they have done? The police were doing nothing to stop the mob, but neither were the protesters attempting to attack the couple or their home. If you feel the need to go outside to make sure no mischief is being done, there is always the old practice--really a stereotype now--of the peaceable homeowner on his porch sitting in a chair with a rifle or shotgun casually resting across his legs or propped up nearby. (Be sure to check your local laws on openly carrying a firearm outside your home and what your rights are if someone enters your curtilage with the intent to commit a crime, whether you have a duty to retreat, etc.). Don't engage with or say anything to the protesters--it's a waste of breath and could give the appearance that you were initiating a confrontation. Just sitting there, prepared, still conveys the message of "don't mess with me" without brandishing or appearing aggressive. And, if the situation changes, you are there and ready to respond with a verbal warning or, if necessary, employing your weapon.

Update: Tom Gara reporting that "Police investigating the St Louis incident are considering it a case of 'fourth-degree assault by intimidation' — by the protesters." Also has photos of the gate that the mob broke down to access the neighborhood. As this article makes clear, while the police investigation has taken the position that the protesters were trespassing and assaulted the couple, the local prosecutor, St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly M. Gardner, had released a statement condemning the couple for assaulting the peaceful protesters. Wikipedia has this to say about Gardner: "Gardner took office on January 6, 2017. She is the first African-American to head the Circuit Attorney's Office (CAO). Under Gardner's tenure, St. Louis has seen a significant increase in non-prosecuted felonies."

Friday, June 26, 2020

A Quick Run Around the Web (6/26/2020)

"Shooting Around Corners"--11BravoTraining (2 min.)
  • TGIF: A new "Weekend Knowledge Dump" from Active Response Training. Topics include shooting through windshield glass, managing unknown contacts, first-aid for pets, first aid kits for travelers, information on choke holds (and, no, I don't think they need to be completely banned), information about blunt force trauma, and lots more.
  • "5 MUST-KNOW SKILLS FOR SHOOTING AROUND CORNERS"--Guns.com. Main points: (1) feet close together and parallel with the barricade; (2) lean over the hips; (3) torso square with the barricade; (4) heads up; and (5) buttstock on the collar bone. On the latter point, the author explains:
When it comes to tactics and CQB, when using a long gun, the buttstock should be placed in the collar bone area, not in the pocket of the shoulder. Placing the buttstock on or near the collar bone allows the head to be upright, the torso to be parallel with the threat, and shooter to have maximum concealing ability around the corner of a barricade. Inevitably, this will lead to shooters having a quality pie technique.
Having everything you could possibly have in your tactical pants seems like a great idea but it doesn’t take long to realize the truth behind it. Carrying a ton of stuff is a ton of work with little to no pay off in the long term. The biggest issue that arises is the amount of bulk that happens in your pockets once you start shoving things in every pocket possible. It’s hard to stay mobile and quick on your feet if you have an extra 5-10LBS of gear in your pant pockets all the time. This goes hand in hand with another big issue of keeping inconspicuous with too much gear. Having too many things stuck in your pants pockets can bring attention to yourself when having a concealed handgun and simple pocket knife can be just as effective without the extra bulk.
Also: "The old saying 'Keep It Simple Stupid' really does apply to carrying a concealed firearm. There are a number of issues that can arise from carrying too much stuff on your body and in the long run, it’s really not worth the hassle for that one low chance where you may need a second folding knife or third pistol magazine."
      ... Simply, a bullet doesn’t travel as well through dense, thick air. In the last column, we learned that air pressure is directly related to air density — when one goes up, so does the other.
          More air pressure = denser air = slower bullet = lower impact on target
            Now it’s time to move on to temperature’s role. Temperature affects a bullet’s speed in two ways: The ambient air temperature plays a role in the air’s pressure, and the temperature of your cartridge — more accurately, the temperature of the powder in your cartridge — will cause varying velocities.
                How much of a difference can this make? Great question. If you’re shooting 175-grain Federal Gold Medal Match bullets out of a .308 Win. rifle at about 2,600 fps on a 55-degree winter day, you can expect about 223 inches of drop from your 100-yard zero at 800 yards. If you didn’t get back to the range until it was 95 degrees in the summer and you expected to make an adjustment on your scope to account for the 223 inches your bullet previously dropped at 800 yards, then you’d miss where you were aiming by about 10 inches.
                 Cartridge Temperature
                    The other influence on bullet velocity due to temperature has to do with the temperature of the powder in your cartridge of ammunition. This variable is unique because it doesn’t just change with the outside air temperature and weather: It can change even though the environment is exactly the same. If you’re shooting multiple rounds and heat up the chamber of your rifle, and then you let the next round sit in your chamber for a while, you can increase the temperature of your powder.
                     Hotter temperature creates a hotter and faster-burning powder. This usually results in higher muzzle velocities.
                        Many a civilian would give red points to get his hands on a little DDT, the Army's high-priority insecticide. Recently citizens of Media and Swarthmore, Philadelphia suburbs, were astonished: two of the towns' hardware stores offered bottles of DDT for sale across the open counter. The solution was just right for killing flies and mosquitoes. The stores did a land-office business at $1 per pint. Then WPB heard about it and asked grimly: where did the stuff come from?
                          The answer: a Swarthmore chemist named Walter Steuber (of Houdry Process Corp.) had decided that the easiest way to get DDT was to make it himself. He was turning it out by the gallon in his cellar. Said Steuber: any competent chemist can figure out the formula and make DDT out of non-priority materials. The ingredients are: chloral hydrate (better known as "Mickey Finn"), monochlor benzine, and concentrated sulfuric acid.
                           WPB solemnly ruled: "Anybody can make DDT, provided he uses non-priority materials or materials for which he has obtained a priority rating. But you can't sell it except for military or experimental purposes."
                             Last week, as a result of Steuber's enterprise, WPB suddenly changed its mind. Beginning this month, it announced, regular manufacturers will be allowed to sell limited supplies of DDT to civilians, manufacturers producing less than 1,000 lbs. weekly may sell their product to anyone they choose.
                        • "45/70 Government: Staying Power"--Steinel Ammunition. The cartridge dates back to 1873 and is till going strong. While I wouldn't say that it is a common cartridge that you will find in every country store, it seems that most any gun store with a large selection of calibers will carry it regularly in various loads. The article discusses various reasons while .45/70 has stayed reasonably popular, but it really comes down to the fact that the cartridge still works very well at what it was intended to do:
                          The terminal performance of 45–70 is impressive even at the antique level. 405gr soft lead bullet deforms upon impact, producing expansion to about .70” and 25 inches or deeper penetration. With mid-range loads, lighter bullets often expand to an inch, reducing penetration to levels more reasonable for stopping deer or bad hominids. The same weight and velocity applied to an all-brass machined projectile just drills a caliber-sized hole through bone, gristle plate or muscle, making it an effective dangerous game stopper for North America. At the top of the ballistics chart, mid-weight bullets expand and penetrate impressively, while hard-case lead or machined brass bullets drill even deeper holes at the cost of significantly increased recoil. While a factor, recoil is pretty reasonable with the milder loads in even light rifles, as well as mid-level loads in a typical lever action. At short range, 45–70 out-stops 6mm Lee and 30-40 Krag, the two calibers that replaced it in Navy and Army use, by a significant margin. At longer ranges, the smaller calibers provide a flatter trajectory, and the cartridges are easier to carry in large amounts, valid concerns for the military but less for the hunter and the sports shooter who instead can appreciate the greater stopping power, the longer barrel life and the more illustrious history of the 45–70 Government.
                                  If one were looking to measure and track one’s raw shooting skill development, there are several good tests out there one can use to do so. The simplest benchmark is the 5x5 (sometimes called the 5x5x5) from trainer Gila Hayes. A fairly basic skills assessment, it involves starting from low ready and, in a 5-second par time, putting five rounds in a 5-inch circle at 5 yards. Once this becomes second nature, you can make it more difficult by starting from the holster, moving the target back, making it smaller, or trying to do it five times in a row without dropping a shot (hence adding an extra “x5”).
                                   A more challenging skills test is the creatively named “The Test,” from Larry Vickers, which would substitute a B8 bullseye repair center for the 5-inch circle and involve 10 shots in 10 seconds from 10 yards, with heavy penalties for inaccuracy.
                                    Beyond this, there are various qualification courses that can be looked up online, like the current FBI qualification or the qualification course used by Massad Ayoob in his MAG-40 class. ...
                                • "Mountain Rifles — A Brief History"--Rifleshooter Magazine. If you haven't heard the term before, a mountain rifle is a light weight hunting rifle intended for carrying while scrambling around on the steep slopes in mountainous terrain. In the United States, these are typically bolt action rifles with thin barrels in standard deer calibers such as .308, .30-06, .270, etc., with synthetic stocks or thin wooden stocks to cut down on weight. The article gives a history of the development of these rifles and some of the tricks used to reduce weight. 
                                • "The .500 S&W Magnum: Most Powerful Handgun Round In The World"--American Rifleman. History and comments on this cartridge and the pistol that S&W developed to shoot it as well as commentary on shooting it.
                                • "Rural Defense Comms: The Hardware"--Lizard Farmer. The author begins:
                                  We’re going to take a little break from terrain and touch on another topic – Communications or Comms.  I’ll say it right up front – I know I’m going to catch a ton of shit over this little gem.  Comms is about as hot a topic as different shades of Multicam and there’s as many arguments over the merits of what is and isn’t best in comms gear.  But remember what the focus of this blog is:  Rural Defense when SHTF.  That SHTF could be in any number of forms – economic collapse, widespread civil unrest, Insurrection, a Zombie Apocalypse (I got an email asking why I don’t use that scenario since it’s such a “great catch-all surrogate” – Are you happy now?).  This article isn’t geared for the Militia Unit in a tactical environment – there are better options for those folks.  If you’ve read The Farmer at War you’ll remember the mention of their radio system: The Agric-Alert Radio system.  This system allowed farms and ranches not only to alert security forces of attacks, but also to call for assistance from their neighbors.  And just like those Marxist thugs that attacked those farmers you can bet that if you’re going to get hit the threat is going to take your phone and power out if it’s still on (those little green telecom boxes up and down the roadside don’t hold up to being run over – and please don’t ask me how I know this).   In this entry we’ll look at some examples of comms solutions.
                                    Read the whole thing.
                                            KTLA reports the two suspects, 18-year-old Jose Perez and 25-year-old Sergio Pacheco, were both from Long Beach and are alleged to have broken into the home “around 12:10 a.m.”
                                             One of the residents retrieved a gun to fight back the two suspects.
                                               ABC 7 quotes police saying, “Both Pacheco and Perez arrived at the residence unannounced, forced their way inside and assaulted the two residents. During the altercation, one resident fired a firearm at Pacheco and Perez, who were both struck by the gunfire.”
                                                 Officers arrived to find Perez fatally wounded inside the home and Pacheco lying fatally wounded in the street.

                                            The part I want to focus on starts about 1:45 into the video (the link should start you at the right time) when they interview one of the BLM organizers who bluntly expresses one of the goals of the group--to literally tear or burn it all down as a prelude to rebuilding.
                                                  As Vox Day recently reminded us, one of the primary architects of our current disaster was Emanuel Celler who served as a Representative for New York in the House of Representatives for 50 years. As a reminder that stereotypes can, at times, be useful heuristic tools, Celler was a communist descended from Jewish immigrants from Germany and an enemy of the Second Amendment and the American populous. Wikipedia succinctly summarizes Celler's main evils as follows:
                                            As Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee from 1949 to 1973 (except for a break from 1953–55 when the Republicans controlled the House), Celler was involved in drafting and passing the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Civil Rights Act of 1968 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. In January 1965, Celler proposed in the House of Representatives the Twenty-fifth Amendment, which clarifies an ambiguous provision of the Constitution regarding succession to the presidency. Also in 1965, he proposed and steered to passage the Hart-Celler Act, which eliminated national origins as a consideration for immigration. This was the culminating moment in Celler's 41-year fight to overcome restriction on immigration to the United States based on national origin. The US Gun Control Act of 1968 directly evolved from Celler's Bill H.R. 17735.
                                                     The ideological divide in this country has reeked of irreconcilable differences for some time, they’re just manifesting themselves a bit more acutely right now. I’ve been advocating for cutting the lib cesspool cities loose but not because I want to avoid future conflict with them or I don’t think they’re worth saving. As my headline indicates, it’s because I believe the war has already been fought and those cities are lost.
                                                       We have arrived at this powder keg point in American history precisely because that’s where Academia and public education have been steering generations of our young people. I wrote a short book about it in 2013 (updated in 2018) that was humorous in tone but still acknowledged that it was a serious subject. In it I detail how and why liberals try to get their commie little hands on American kids as early as possible. They indoctrinate and groom them from pre-K through high school, then they weaponize them in college.
                                                        The weapons have been deployed.

                                                    * * *

                                                            The second Civil War that was waged wasn’t for physical territory, but for the hearts and minds of America’s young people. It was a brilliant long game that was played right in front of our faces but went largely unnoticed until recent years when the anti-free speech “safe zones” began springing up on campuses and mini riots broke out every time a conservative speaker was booked for an appearance at a university.
                                                             We are now seeing the rise of a young electorate that is very comfortable with socialism and will soon be seizing political power. The meteoric rise of the all-mouth, no-brain Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is all the chilling evidence you should need to see how lost young voters are. In a very short time, she has become the conscience of the Democratic party. The Elders of the Village all kowtow to her, living in constant fear of what kind of damage her camera-seeking mouth might do.
                                                        And this from (no reactionary he) Sohrab Ahmari: “White liberals I know — some of the wealthiest in my social orbit — are cheering the riots and calling for the shedding of ‘pig’s blood.’ Of course, they and their families own multiple homes outside the city, where they can retreat in utter safety.”
                                                        Yet the global adoption of US causes has a more explicitly political function as well. As James Hunter, the first theorist of the “culture war” has argued, a culture war is also a class war, built around the controversial accumulation of status by educated and urban representatives of cognitive-cultural capitalism. Some form of contest will always occur when industry and agriculture decline, and when higher education swells in response, as there is so much status, and wealth, waiting to be claimed. But American media directs these contests onto battlegrounds of cultural values.
                                                        If this sounds familiar, it is because it resembles the theories espoused by Peter Turchin, who famously predicted in 2010 that there would be civil unrest in the 2020's due to what he terms elite overproduction (generating a competition among elites) and popular immiseration (e.g., stagnant or falling wages) (See, e.g., this 2013 article by Turchin at Bloomberg and, from his own blog, "The Science behind My Forecast for 2020"). In a 2013 article for Aeon, Turchin explained that inequality historically is addressed when the elites finally realize "that they need to suppress their internal rivalries, and switch to a more co-operative way of governing, if they are to have any hope of preserving the social order." For instance, looking at the United States in the early 20th Century, Turchin writes:
                                                             These were the years of extreme insecurity. There were race riots (the ‘Red Summer of 1919’), worker insurrections, and an Italian anarchist terrorist campaign aimed directly at the elites. The worst incident in US labour history was the West Virginia Mine War of 1920—21, culminating in the Battle of Blair Mountain. Although it started as a workers’ dispute, the Mine War eventually turned into the largest armed insurrection that the US has ever seen, the Civil War excepted. Between 10,000 and 15,000 miners armed with rifles battled against thousands of strikebreakers and sheriff deputies. The federal government eventually called in the US Army, the only time it has ever done so against its own people. Add to all this the rise of the Soviet Union and the wave of socialist revolutions that swept Europe after the First World War, triggering the Red Scare of 1921, and you get a sense of the atmosphere. Quantitative data indicate that this period was the most violent in US history, second only to the Civil War. It was much, much worse than the 1960s.
                                                                The US, in short, was in a revolutionary situation, and many among the political and business elites realised it. They began to push through a remarkable series of reforms. In 1921 and 1924, Congress passed legislation that effectively shut down immigration into the US. Although much of the motivation behind these laws was to exclude ‘dangerous aliens’ such as Italian anarchists and Eastern European socialists, the broader effect was to reduce the labour surplus. Worker wages grew rapidly. At around the same time, federal income tax came in and the rate at which top incomes were taxed began to increase. Somewhat later, provoked by the Great Depression, other laws legalised collective bargaining through unions, introduced a minimum wage, and established Social Security.
                                                                  The US elites entered into an unwritten compact with the working classes. This implicit contract included the promise that the fruits of economic growth would be distributed more equitably among both workers and owners. In return, the fundamentals of the political-economic system would not be challenged (no revolution). The deal allowed the lower and upper classes to co-operate in solving the challenges facing the American Republic — overcoming the Great Depression, winning the Second World War, and countering the Soviet threat during the Cold War.
                                                              Obviously, this unwritten compact was broken. Nevertheless, Turchin concluded the article with a hope that, with some understanding of the cycles, the cycle could be broken or softened. It was not to be. Turchin wrote on June 1 of this year:
                                                                      Our conclusion is that, unfortunately, my 2010 forecast is correct. Unfortunately, because I would have greatly preferred it to become a “self-defeating prophecy”, but that clearly has not happened.
                                                                       What does it mean for the current wave of protests and riots? The nature of such dynamical processes is such that it can subside tomorrow, or escalate; either outcome is possible.A spark landing even in abundant fuel can either go out, or grow to a conflagration.
                                                                        What is much more certain is that the deep structural drivers for instability continue to operate unabated. Worse, the Covid-19 pandemic exacerbated several of these instability drivers. This means that even after the current wave of indignation, caused by the killing of George Floyd, subsides, there will be other triggers that will continue to spark more fires—as long as the structural forces, undermining the stability of our society, continue to provide abundant fuel for them.
                                                                            When California State Assemblywoman Shirley Weber introduced a bill last year to study reparations for African Americans, she was worried people wouldn't accept that racial inequality and injustice were still alive and well.
                                                                             Instead, the bill came up for a vote two weeks after the death of an unarmed Black man, George Floyd, at the hands of a white police officer spurred a nationwide reckoning on that very topic. It passed the assembly on June 11 with a 56-5 vote.
                                                                               "Maybe we'll be a model for what can happen at the federal level," Weber told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
                                                                                 The bill goes next to the California State Senate, where she expects it to pass and then be signed into law by the governor.
                                                                            As we have seen with gun legislation, the legislation is drafted and queued up in the event that something happens that could quickly shift public opinion. 
                                                                                    The U.S. Supreme Court says Congress can bar the nation’s federal courts from interfering in the agencies’ deportation of illegal aliens.
                                                                                     “An alien … has only those rights regarding admission that Congress has provided by statute,” said the 7-2 decision by Justice Samuel Alito. “An alien who tries to enter the country illegally is treated an an ‘applicant for admission,’ an alien who is detained shortly after unlawful entry cannot be said to have ‘effected an [legal] entry.”
                                                                                          The Supreme Court ruled Thursday for the Trump administration in a key immigration case, determining that a federal law limiting an asylum applicant’s ability to appeal a determination that he lacked a credible fear of persecution from his home country does not violate the Constitution.
                                                                                            The ruling means the administration can deport some people seeking asylum without allowing them to make their case to a federal judge. The 7-2 ruling applies to those who fail their initial asylum screenings, making them eligible for quick deportation.
                                                                                              In a decision in the case of Dept. of Homeland Security v. Thuraissigiam, the court ruled that the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA) – which prevents judicial review of the credible fear determination – does not violate the Constitution’s Suspension Clause, which protects habeas corpus privileges that allow courts to determine if a person should be released due to unlawful detention.
                                                                                                Beginning in April, the Trump administration postponed asylum hearings for immigrants and froze the issuance of a broad range of visas, citing the need to protect American jobs. President Donald Trump signed an executive order Monday extending and expanding his original proclamation through Dec. 31.
                                                                                                 But there are other categories of visa applicants, including health care workers responding to the COVID-19 outbreak, and food processing workers, who are still allowed into the United States and whose applications may be slowed by the reduction in staff.
                                                                                                    “We are a teeny tiny hospital but have always been able to manage, calling in staff on their days off or transferring one or two patients out a day to bigger facilities,” said Ms. Cruz, director of the emergency department of the El Centro Regional Medical Center. “We’d get a surge for 24 or 48 hours that required all hands on the deck.”
                                                                                                     Then came the coronavirus.
                                                                                                       The hospital, which has a 20-bed intensive-care unit, has been overwhelmed with ailing residents of the Imperial Valley, as well as Americans and U.S. green card holders fleeing overcrowded clinics and hospitals in Mexicali, a city of 1.1 million on the other side of the border.
                                                                                                       To alleviate the pressure, hospitals in nearby San Diego and Riverside counties began accepting transfers in April. But the intensifying crisis prompted California last week to activate an extraordinary response, enlisting hospitals as far north as Santa Barbara, San Francisco and Sacramento to accept patients from this remote southeastern corner of the state.
                                                                                                         Bournemouth and Sandbanks, in Dorset, were hit particularly hard as crowds came to enjoy the hottest day of the year so far, according to a statement released Thursday by local authority Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) Council.
                                                                                                            Despite advice to stay away from the area, it was overrun with cars and sunbathers, leading to gridlock, illegal parking and anti-social behavior. By Thursday morning, more than 40 tons of waste had been removed from the coastline.
                                                                                                              Council leader Vikki Slade said she was "absolutely appalled" by the scenes.
                                                                                                                 "The irresponsible behavior and actions of so many people is just shocking and our services are stretched to the absolute hilt trying to keep everyone safe," said Slade in the statement. "We have had no choice now but to declare a major incident and initiate an emergency response."
                                                                                                                  Justin Welby said monuments would be looked at 'very carefully' to see if they all 'should be there'. 
                                                                                                                   In a wide-ranging interview, he also urged the West to reconsider its prevailing mindset that Jesus was white, and pointed to different portrayals of Christ as Black, Middle Eastern and Chinese in different countries.
                                                                                                                Christians in the West understand that Jesus was Jewish--at least those that actually know anything about the Bible. That Welby questions this suggests that he does not know his Bible or the members of his flock.
                                                                                                                       China has urged more than a dozen provinces to take precautions against another round of heavy rain in the next few days after turbulent weather brought floods to large swathes of the country this month.
                                                                                                                         Rainstorms and downpours are expected to hit vast stretches of China from Friday through Tuesday, with a high risk of flooding, landslides and urban waterlogging, the flood control agency said in a website statement.
                                                                                                                      And from China.org.cn
                                                                                                                              The new round of torrential rains from Friday to Tuesday will affect 13 provincial regions, including Hubei and Hunan provinces, according to the Ministry of Emergency Management.
                                                                                                                               China's national observatory renewed blue alerts for rainstorms and severe convective weather, which is characterized by strong winds, hail, thunderstorms and brief but heavy rainfall, for the 24 hours starting from 2 pm on Thursday.
                                                                                                                                 Generally, the biggest hourly precipitation in the affected areas, including southern parts of Hunan and northern parts of Fujian province, will be 3 to 5 centimeters. In the most extreme situation, however, some areas may receive 7 centimeters of precipitation in an hour, the National Meteorological Center said.
                                                                                                                            • Related: "Miles on “Three Gorges Dam”: CCP ignores warning signs, even wants it to collapse"--G News. I don't believe that the CCP wants the dam to collapse because it would be the greatest disaster in history. Money quote: "The Three Gorges Dam has become a no-flight zone recently due to heavy flooding and online discussions of structural issues. It is being patrolled by the army, and aerial photography of the dam is prohibited."
                                                                                                                                    The Three Gorges Dam in China has become a center of attention, as waters rise and local authorities issue flood warnings nearby. Taiwan News reports that a prominent Chinese hydrologist, Wang Weiluo, is claiming the dam “could collapse at any moment.” He pointed to existing concerns over the dam’s design, construction, and process for inspections.
                                                                                                                                     Chinese authorities, meanwhile, are declaring that information on the flood in Chongqing is “sensitive information,” which subjects it to censorship. The floods havee already hit 26 provinces, required emergency rescue of over 213,000 people, and damaged over 171,000 homes. The situation may grow worse as the 980 reservoirs are impacted.
                                                                                                                                • Related: "Is The Three Gorges Dam on the Brink of Collapse?"--OilPrice.com. (Keep scrolling down to get to the article). The article notes that China is experiencing the heaviest rains it has had since 1949--the Three Gorges Dam was completed in 2008. 400 million people live downstream of the dam. 
                                                                                                                                By the time night fell on Aug. 8 [1975], as many as 65 area dams had collapsed. But despite the fact that water levels at the Banqiao Dam had far exceeded a safe capacity, and a number of sluice gates for controlling water flow were clogged with silt, authorities felt confident they’d skirt disaster. After all, the Soviet-designed dam had been built to survive a typhoon — a once-every-1,000-year occurrence that could dump 11 inches of rain per day. Unfortunately, Typhoon Nina would prove to be a once-every-2,000-year storm, bearing down with enough force to cause the world’s deadliest infrastructure failure ever.
                                                                                                                                Christ said that the Gospel would be taught to all nations before his return. China doesn't allow proselyting and barely tolerates the Church and other Christian faiths as it is. Something big will have to happen to China in order to open its doors. I'm not saying this is it, but Christianity is not going to be able to spread in China until the CCP either makes a significant change in its laws and policy, or the CCP falls from power. The same lies in store for India and the Muslim world: voluntary change (e.g., Dubai allowing a temple to be built) or some event or disaster forcing the change (e.g., collapse of the Soviet Union).
                                                                                                                                     We cannot be at ease here in the United States, though. As it states in Ether:
                                                                                                                                And now, we can behold the decrees of God concerning this land [i.e., America], that it is a land of promise; and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall serve God, or they shall be swept off when the fulness of his wrath shall come upon them. And the fulness of his wrath cometh upon them when they are ripened in iniquity.

                                                                                                                                Wednesday, June 24, 2020

                                                                                                                                A Quick Run Around The Web (6/24/2020)

                                                                                                                                The future of law enforcement: "Robbery Victim Decides He Has Had Enough"--Active Self Protection (6 min.). Note the group beat-down of the perp at the end.
                                                                                                                                      Taking the idea and what we had from the last Terrain Article we’re going to work it a bit.     We established our point defenses (Homesteads), we established what we consider is the perimeter for an Area Defense, We identified possible problem areas and activities, and we planned for some future obstacles if necessary.  Now we have to be able to get John and Sue to be able to orient and possibly move from one point on our AO map to another will as little confusion as possible.
                                                                                                                                        Why the need to go?  Maybe they need to send a couple of guys as a QRF to another homestead.  Maybe there’s been some activity spotted and they need to know where it is.  Maybe we got a little intel that told us a truckload of dirtbags are coming in tonight to try and raid and we do want to set an ambush up.  The ability to send location information in a clear, concise manner without confusion is critical.  Now as I’ve stated most folks just don’t or won’t have enough time for a full blown land nav and mapreading course.  So what do we do?  We simplify.  You ever see those tourist maps of theme parks?  They’re simple for a reason.  Anyone can go to “Goofy Five” and find the pisser with those maps.  You give a tourist a UTM location for the bathroom he’s going to need some help.  So we “cheat a bit here” and dumb it down.  Using the actual UTM 1k grids we develop a matrix of letters and numbers.  Now we still have our grids along the map and can still nav with it the old fashioned way, but we also have simplified it so after about three minutes anyone can find a location on it.   One Klick is still kind of open so we go a step further and break each grid into four sections (i.e. what’s on the bottom right).  That gives us roughly a 250 meter resolution.  Not the greatest but for our work we don’t need 10 meter resolution – not considering the size of our AO (well, unless you’ve squirreled some Mortars away, but I’m not that lucky).
                                                                                                                                  • "Resistance to Violent Crime: What Does the Research Show?"--Active Response Training. Warning: much of what Ellifritz has found looking through the research contradicts what you generally hear from police or experts in the main stream media. First of all, he notes that most criminals rely on fear of harm rather than the actual use of violence to obtain compliance. Thus, the majority of violent offenders do not use weapons. If the criminal does have a firearm, there is a good chance it won't work: 41% of the actual guns seized from criminals are either broken or unloaded; an additional 15% are toy guns. He also notes statistics showing even when a criminal does use lethal force, it typically will be ineffective. But, to me, this was the most striking part of his article:
                                                                                                                                  Resisting a crime by using a firearm generally reduces your chance of being hurt or killed, especially for women.  A study by Gary Kleck found that the probability of serious injury in a criminal attack is two and a half times greater for women offering no resistance than women resisting with a firearm.  Men are also safer if they resist with a firearm than if they do not resist at all, but the difference is smaller (1.5 times less likely to be injured).
                                                                                                                                  Conversely, resisting while unarmed actually increases the odds of being killed or wounded. But even there, there are exceptions depending on the crime. 
                                                                                                                                  One meta-analysis, controlling for type of resistance, victim/offender relationships, location, and demographic characteristics, reports that women were least likely to be injured in assaults if they employed some non-physical (arguing, screaming, threatening to call police, etc.) method of resistance.  Non-physically resisting victims suffered fewer injuries than women who either physically resisted or complied with their attackers (19).  Additionally, specific to the crime of rape, amount of resistance is not correlated to amount of injury.  There is also no correlation between presence of a weapon and amount of injury in rape cases (20).
                                                                                                                                  Read the whole thing.
                                                                                                                                  • "Saving Yourself in a Crowd"--YMAA. Although primarily directed toward police having to work crowd-control duties, it nevertheless has good information for the civilian, including the psychology of crowds and types of people that make up a mob or unruly crowd. Also: "If you are a civilian concerned about self-defense then your goal will be to escape to safety, remaining as anonymous and avoiding as much of the conflict as possible in the process. You will move away from the danger." Also, for the civilian:
                                                                                                                                           Recognize that riots can materialize unexpectedly – Almost any incident involving people and emotion can trigger a violent disturbance, particularly when alcohol or other intoxicants are thrown into the mix. The situation may ignite suddenly with very little warning. Maintain a higher than normal level of situational awareness when navigating crowds, identifying and evading potential sources of trouble to the extent practicable. Diligent observation can protect you not only from violence but also from more mundane threats like pickpockets. Be constantly aware of cover, concealment, and potential escape routes as you move about in case you are forced to flee with little warning.
                                                                                                                                            Monitor warning signs – Like a rock thrown into a pond, you may not spot the initial impact but you can readily detect the ripple effect that flows outward from the point of contact. Pay attention to the body language of people around you. They may be reacting to something important they noticed that you have missed. Any sudden change in the demeanor of the crowd, gathering of onlookers, agitators urging a confrontation, or people rapidly moving into your space may be warning signs of impending violence. Look and listen to what is going on around you; shouting, screaming, or other loud commotions also constitute danger signals.
                                                                                                                                              Watch everyone – Be especially alert for the presence of weapons. If a weapon is fired the situation immediately escalates into a very serious tactical affair. You may be assaulted directly, caught in the cross-fire as law enforcement officers move to restore order, or trampled by terrified bystanders who are trying to get out of the way. Everyone can become a threat, even the good guys. In addition to monitoring the crowd, pay attention to unattended vehicles parked where they shouldn't be, packages left in high traffic areas, abandoned luggage, or anything else that appears suspicious. The sooner you spot potential dangers the better your chances of reacting appropriately.
                                                                                                                                                Evaluate your options before you act – Sometimes it is best to flee right away, but occasionally it may be more sensible to hunker down behind something and defend in place. Take a moment to evaluate your options and make a reasoned choice before embarking on any course of action. If you are inside a building look for alternate exits, particularly in a panicked crowd scenario where the main exit will almost certainly be blocked. In night clubs, for example, windows are often blacked-out so they are easy to miss if you are not actively looking for them.
                                                                                                                                                 Don't enter an agitated crowd if other alternatives exist – There is a huge difference between a highly-spirited crowd of shoppers, a restless throng teetering on the edge of violence, and a riotous mob, one that most anyone actively paying attention can sense. As things begin to turn ugly, don't hang around to watch no matter how fascinating it might be. Leave as quickly and quietly as possible. Plan your exit route to minimize contact with others, even if it means taking the “long way” around the scene. Slip through gaps between others rather than shoving people out of your way to the extent practicable.
                                                                                                                                                    Don't fight unless you have no alternative – If you are forced to fight you may attract undue attention and quickly find yourself facing multiple opponents who want to beat you down or law enforcement officers who don't realize that you are the good guy. If you are knocked to the ground or stumble and fall you may very well be trampled. If you have to fight you will lose valuable time and there is no guarantee that you will survive the encounter, so rather than engaging opponents directly, attempt to deflect or redirect anyone who tries to slow your escape using open-hand techniques.
                                                                                                                                                    While the wildfire season, particularly in the southwestern corner of the United States, doesn't have a defined start and end date, large blazes more typically ignite in the summer months. That time frame has given shelter organizers, such as the Red Cross, plenty of time to prepare for the unique summer.
                                                                                                                                                     "When there was rumblings in the news about COVID-19, the Red Cross really put its focus on 'Well, we know that during the summer months whether it's a hurricane or a wildfire that these disasters will be coming, so things could look different for us so how do we get prepared?' And over the last several months, that's exactly what we've been doing," Nicole Maul, a spokesperson for the Red Cross, told AccuWeather.
                                                                                                                                                       New shelter locations, such as dorms and hotels, are also being considered for shelters this year as a way to address social distancing concerns. When fires threaten densely populated areas, such as in Southern California, hundreds of families are often forced to evacuate. According to Maul, opening additional shelters and finding alternate sheltering options has been one of the most important priorities for the Red Cross this season.
                                                                                                                                                  • "Your Rifle Needs a Bayonet"--The New Rifleman. I've noted many times that the bayonet is an underappreciated weapon. The author here sets out an argument why a rifle with a bayonet mounted makes sense if defending against a mob or looters. He also discusses a product designed to allow you to correctly mount a bayonet on a 16-inch AR with the carbine length system (assuming that you are starting out with a bayonet lug) and other methods for attaching a bayonet to a rifle not otherwise designed for a bayonet. Finally:
                                                                                                                                                  It is true that I have no experience bayoneting anything, and have never received official government bayonet training.  But my dad fought in Korea and told a story or two. His advice was to turn the rifle sideways so that the blade goes between the ribs, parallel with them, instead of thrusting straight out with the blade edge perpendicular to the ribs, which usually resulted in a stuck blade.  But that’s all the advice I can pass along.
                                                                                                                                                  • "Tips on Choosing Ammunition for Your Concealed-Carry Revolver"--Richard Mann at Shooting Illustrated. Mann starts out with noting some observations of the results of ballistic gel testing of various .32 revolver ammunition, but then extrapolates from this experience to discuss ammunition performance in general. 
                                                                                                                                                          This brings me to the main point I’d like to make, and that’s how I think you ought to be comparing terminal performance. With defensive-handgun ammunition, bullet weight alone means nothing; its contribution is ultimately measured in penetration. In most cases, the same goes for velocity, as long as the bullet expands. Kinetic energy doesn’t matter much either. The .327 Fed. Mag. 100-grain JSP load generates more energy than both .38 Spl. loads shown for comparison. However, the crush cavities created by both .38 Spl. loads were twice as large.
                                                                                                                                                           The crush cavity created by common defensive-handgun bullets may in fact be the best way to compare wounding potential. It’s relatively easy to calculate, just plug the values into this formula: (R^2πP), where, R is the radius of expanded bullet, π is, of course, 3.14, and P is penetration depth. For example, with a bullet expanding to .50 inch and penetrating to 14 inches, the formula would look like: (.25^2π14) = 2.74. The key is to base any comparisons on test data obtained out of the gun you will be carrying as opposed to advertisements and data obtained with other handguns, especially those with longer barrels.
                                                                                                                                                      ... What if the man with the gun had it at low ready and not pointed directly at the other man? How about if the person holding the gun was giving loud, authoritative commands to the other person in the room to not move and to keep his hands in view? The officer would have more indicators of who was the homeowner and who was the intruder. You have to help the police make the right decision, and to help them, you will have to overcome certain instincts. That means you must train and mentally prepare.
                                                                                                                                                      • Anyone have this on their 2020 Bingo? "Massive Sahara desert dust plume drifting toward the United States"--CBS News. "While summer dust plumes are a common occurrence, the one sailing through the Caribbean right now is generating quite the buzz. That's because it appears to be one of the most extreme in recent memory and it's heading for the southeastern states." In addition, while the dust plumes generally diffuse as they travel across the Atlantic, this one is not.
                                                                                                                                                              There have been scores of attacks, thefts and other criminal acts in the area in the last few years, according to the Mexican Navy Ministry. Other estimates suggest the number may be far greater.
                                                                                                                                                               The attacks — mainly on vessels and offshore platforms associated with the Mexican oil industry — have added another hefty burden to Mexico’s overstretched security forces and threatened to chill foreign investment in Mexico’s oil sector.
                                                                                                                                                                 On Wednesday, the American government issued a special security alert about the danger of pirates in Mexican waters of the Gulf, particularly in a vast bight called the Bay of Campeche, where offshore oil wells are concentrated.
                                                                                                                                                                   “Armed criminal groups have been known to target and rob commercial vessels, oil platforms and offshore supply vehicles,” the alert said.
                                                                                                                                                                     Pirates have not only robbed crew members of their money, phones, computers and other valuables but have stripped vessels and oil platforms of big-ticket items to be sold in the region’s thriving black markets, including sophisticated communication and navigation equipment, fuel, motors, oxygen tanks, construction material and, in several cases, the lights from helicopter landing pads.

                                                                                                                                                                "Opportunity of a Lifetime | President of the AGU"--Suspicious Observers (11 min.)
                                                                                                                                                                A letter to the president of the American Geophysical Union noting the plethora of research showing solar and solar wind influence on climate and asking that it be considered for future climate research.

                                                                                                                                                                      The FBI has determined that NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace was not the victim of a hate crime and that a pull rope fashioned like a noose had been on a garage door at Talladega Superspeedway since as early as October, NASCAR said Tuesday.
                                                                                                                                                                       "The FBI report concludes, and photographic evidence confirms, that the garage door pull rope fashioned like a noose had been positioned there since as early as last fall," NASCAR said in its statement. "This was obviously well before the 43 team's arrival and garage assignment.
                                                                                                                                                                  But, as we know, SJWs always double down when caught in a falsehood: "Bubba Wallace defiant, calls rope 'straight-up noose' after FBI says no crime occurred," according to Fox News. According to the article, Wallace admitted that he hadn’t seen the noose himself but had seen photos of it. "It wasn’t directed at me,” Wallace added, “but it was a noose.”
                                                                                                                                                                  • "Don’t Blame Police Racism for America’s Violence Epidemic"--Quillette. This July 2019 article relates:
                                                                                                                                                                    •       Putting statistics aside, is it true that police killings of African Americans are driven by racial bias—by white police officers with a Jim-Crow mindset who view blacks as less than human? A new study by a group of American researchers offers some insight, and suggests that the conventional narrative is misleading. 
                                                                                                                                                                            Lead researcher David Johnson, psychologist and postdoctoral fellow at the University of Maryland, led a team that analyzed police shootings in America by building a database of 917 fatal officer-involved shootings (FOIS) from over 650 different police departments in 2015. They looked at both the race of the police officers doing the shooting and the races of the individuals killed. If America had an epidemic of white-on-black police shootings, you would expect that white police officers would be more likely to shoot African Americans. But that isn’t what they found. 
                                                                                                                                                                           Instead, they found that when the data is sorted according to the race of the involved officers, “as the percentage of black officers who shot in a FOIS increased, a person fatally shot was more likely to be black…than white. As the percentage of Hispanic officers who shot in a FOIS increased, a person fatally shot was more likely to be Hispanic…than white.” It is actually more likely for black and Hispanic citizens to be killed by black and Hispanic police officers than by white officers. 
                                                                                                                                                                           This doesn’t mean that the black and Hispanic officers are more biased against fellow black and Hispanic residents. Instead, the researchers postulate that this may be due to “simple overlap between officer and county demographics.” Police departments in areas with greater numbers of ethnic minorities tend to have a more diverse police force. Indeed, the paper notes that “when county variables were included, the relationship between office and civilian race was attenuated or eliminated….This suggests that the association between officer race and black and Hispanic disparities in FOIS largely occur because officers and civilians are drawn from the same population.” 
                                                                                                                                                                            In an interview, Johnson stressed that we shouldn’t conclude that just because racial diversity in a police force does not reduce lethal shootings doesn’t mean it has no value. “Another possibility is we might find that officer race matters more for other kinds of force, so baton use, taser use, those sorts of things,” he said. “Our data is just about shootings that resulted in fatality….What I want to be clear on, is we don’t find evidence for racial disparities, at least as tied to officer race. It’s not the case that white officers seem to be primarily responsible for these shootings. But we’re not at all trying to argue that the police are, say, free of racial bias. The data we have just don’t answer that kind of question.” 
                                                                                                                                                                           This isn’t the only research that shows that white officers aren’t more likely to shoot black citizens. Last year, a study from Rutgers University found that “white officers are no more likely to use lethal force against minorities than nonwhite officers,” in the words of lead researcher Charles Menifield. 
                                                                                                                                                                           But what of the disproportionate number of black citizens killed by police every year? As a Vox writer has noted, in 2012, 31 percent of all people killed by police were African American, while only about 13 percent of the total American population is black. Isn’t that a sign of racial bias? 
                                                                                                                                                                           The new study disputes the use of this metric as a means to prove bias. “Using population as a benchmark makes the strong assumption that white and black civilians have equal exposure to situations that result in FOIS,” it writes. “If there are racial differences in exposure to these situations, calculations of racial disparity based on population benchmarks will be misleading.” 
                                                                                                                                                                           The researchers found that the factor that most predicted the race of a citizen fatally shot was homicide rates for those groups in particular counties. For instance, in counties where whites committed a higher percentage of homicides, victims of police shootings are 3.5 times more likely to be white; in counties where blacks commit more homicides, victims are 3.7 times more likely to be black. 
                                                                                                                                                                           This suggests that violent crime rates correlate to—and perhaps may be used to predict—fatal interactions between police and citizens. The Washington Post’s police shootings database, which serves to document every fatal police shooting in the country, provides more evidence in this regard. Of the 505 fatal police shootings cataloged in 2019 as of this writing, only 20 involved a victim who was unarmed (although 12 of the victims carried toy weapons). If these victims were being targeted for reasons unrelated to their possible identity as criminal suspects, one would not expect that 96 percent would be armed.
                                                                                                                                                                    • "Upcoming movie 'Cracka' imagines a world in which whites are enslaved and black people rule over America"--Daily Mail. According to the article, the film's tagline includes "you raped our daughters, what if we raped yours?" According to the 2016 crime statistics, blacks committed 29.1% of the rapes, and 24.7% of the sex crimes (not including rape or prostitution), even though they comprised only 13.31% of the population.
                                                                                                                                                                            Two Tampa police officers were injured early Saturday after a crowd of hundreds surrounded a group of officers in an "ambush," the Tampa police chief said.
                                                                                                                                                                             Officers were responding to a report of shots fired and a possible gunshot victim at an intersection near the Ybor City neighborhood around 1 a.m., Chief Brian Duggan told reporters Monday. A crowd of hundreds was at the scene when police arrived.
                                                                                                                                                                               As offices searched for a possible victim, Duggan said the hundreds of people blocked all four ends of the intersection and became aggressive. The crowd surrounded officers, threw bottles and glass, and jumped on a police vehicle. Officers could not locate a victim.
                                                                                                                                                                                 "It's an ambush. I have no other way to describe it,” Duggan said. “When there are that many people out there and clearly no one had been shot. It was just a set up to get the cops there."
                                                                                                                                                                                    Drug “crimes” are qualitatively different from other types of crimes, i.e. real crimes. Real crimes have victims, and victims call the police to investigate and hopefully catch the perpetrator. The victim of a robbery calls the police, invites the police into his house, asks them to take evidence, and gives them all the information he has.
                                                                                                                                                                                     When crimes have no real victims, however, policing fundamentally changes. With drug use, the purported victim and the criminal are the same person, guilty of the grave crime of preferring a different intoxicant than the one available at the local bar. Victims no longer participate in catching the criminals, since they are the same person. Police must therefore adopt strategies to catch unwilling “victims” and to interdict the drugs at their source.
                                                                                                                                                                                        Catching unwilling victims is difficult. Anyone could be a criminal/​victim, after all, hiding illicit drugs on their body, car, or property. What were once casual interactions with citizens become riddled with suspicion. Is this driver hiding something? Perhaps if I search that random person on the street, I’ll find drugs, after all, he looks like a druggie.
                                                                                                                                                                                         Not to mention that finding drugs on someone can become a pretense for abusive behavior. Perhaps a cop wants to bust up some unruly teenagers to “teach them a lesson” about loitering and disobeying his authority? Is that marijuana he smells? Who could possibly question him on that?
                                                                                                                                                                                           If drug users are out in the street, it’s relatively easy. But what if they’re in their homes, carrying out their crimes in private? Surveillance is the first priority. Helicopters can be flown over the house or, now, more likely drones. Heat‐​sensitive cameras can test for “grow rooms,” and there are always informants who are more than willing to fess up for leniency or a small cash payment. There’s a drug dealer in there, they tell the cops, and now police can go after the source.
                                                                                                                                                                                             But the criminals/​victims still won’t invite the police into the house, so it is time to suit up and go in with force. Thankfully for the police, the American military has been transferring surplus gear to local police departments for a few decades, primarily to fight the drug war. With all this gear laying around, why not use it?
                                                                                                                                                                                               A modern police officer can don the accoutrements of a soldier fighting in Fallujah and arrive at the “scene of the crime” in an armored personnel carrier designed for military use. They can also request permission from a magistrate judge (nearly always given) to carry out a “no‐​knock” raid—such as the raid that killed a young black woman named Breonna Taylor—and go in with full force. The door is violently busted open, flash bang grenades are thrown in, and armed men come rushing in throwing the occupants to the ground threatening to shoot them, if not actually pulling the trigger.
                                                                                                                                                                                                 What else could they do? After all, drugs were in there.
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Related: "Explosive New FBI Notes Confirm Obama Directed Anti-Flynn Operation"--The Federalist. "The handwritten notes, which were first disclosed in a federal court filing made by the Department of Justice on Tuesday, show President Obama himself personally directed former FBI Director James Comey and former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates to investigate Flynn for having routine phone calls with a Russian counterpart. He also suggests they withhold information from President Trump and his key national security figures."
                                                                                                                                                                                                     The initiative is being led by John Bellinger III and Ken Wainstein, according to the people involved, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Both held senior posts under George W. Bush. Bellinger served as legal adviser to the National Security Council and State Department. Wainstein served as Bush’s homeland security adviser and as chief of staff to former FBI Director Robert Mueller.
                                                                                                                                                                                                     Another member of the group, the sources said, is Robert Blackwill, who served as a foreign policy adviser under both Bushes and ambassador to India under George W. Bush. The group includes some independents and officials from outside the national security arena, the sources said.
                                                                                                                                                                                                • "How to fight the Woke and win"--Vox Popoli. Tips include becoming more self-sufficient, recognizing the Woke will turn on you in a heartbeat, never apologize and never quit or resign from a job (make them fire you) and be willing to engage in lawfare.
                                                                                                                                                                                                The left is in the final stages of executing a top-down cultural revolution in America, argues Mike Gonzalez in this important book. The Plot to Change America lifts the lid on a half-century old New Left march through the country’s elite institutions. Their goal: to deconstruct the national story, replacing it with a neo-Marxist account of hierarchy and group conflict. The new national epic is about confessing the sins of the past to enter a millennium of equity and diversity. The fallen white oppressor redeems himself by agreeing to live in a state of permanent repentance. In place of allegiance to the Constitution, the Founding, liberal principles of equal treatment and an optimistic view of American history comes the usual hierarchy of racial and sexual victim groups at the top and white male oppressor at the bottom. Equal treatment even if resulting in somewhat unequal outcomes is to be replaced with unequal treatment to engineer equal outcomes. Minorities are dissuaded from assimilating—encouraged to nurture separateness, marinate in historic grievances, and develop what Jonathan Haidt terms a “common enemy” form of identity, coalescing around manufactured categories such as “Asian-American” or “People of Color.”
                                                                                                                                                                                                • "The GOP Is Not For Me"--Identity Dixie. Reagan and other conservatives spent considerable time and effort in the 1970s and 80s convincing Southern Democrats to switch to voting for Republicans. The Republican party has squandered all of that. From the article:
                                                                                                                                                                                                         It is time to face a tough fact: the South has no political home in the United States of America.  The Democratic Party long since abandoned the South.  Its strategy is clearly aligned with (largely urban) minority constituents, sexual degenerates from across the LGBT+ spectrum, and Marxist indoctrinated cat moms.  However, the Republican Party was supposed to be the conservative option.  It was the retooling of a Dixiecrat bloc that shared some traditionalist ideological camaraderie with Yankee elites.  That was a happy fantasy that has long since died.
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Today, as monuments are torn down, our heritage is vilified, and politicians race to out-virtue signal each other on the backs of our deceased kin, the Republican Party – from Trump down – has proven that the South is on her own. It is time to walk away from that party. It is time to show those within the party that our loyalty to them comes with a price: loyalty to us.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    One of the most pernicious phenomena of modern times is the collusive lawsuit. This is how it works: a left-wing organization sues a government agency that is also controlled by the left. The lawsuit alleges that the agency is obliged to do something that the agency would like to do, but the Democrats can’t get it passed. Then the parties–supposedly adverse, but actually in collusion–“settle” the case by having the agency agree to do what it wanted to do all along. If all goes well, a court enters an order enforcing the settlement. So the net effect is that a policy that the Democrats couldn’t get passed is now a court-ordered mandate. This happens often.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    It is common with environmental lawsuits.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            USA Rare Earth, the funding and development partner of the Round Top heavy rare earth project and Texas Mineral Resources announced Thursday that its rare earths pilot plant processing facility in Wheat Ridge, Colorado has received the required permits and officially opened.
                                                                                                                                                                                                             Once fully commissioned, the plant will be focused on group separation of rare earths into heavy (dysprosium, terbium), middle, and light (neodymium, praseodymium) rare earths (REE’s) and will be the first facility to separate the full range of rare earth elements in the US since 1999.
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Related: "The treasure trove hidden in discarded computers"--BBC. "Four years ago at the University of Birmingham, Prof Walton and his mentor, Prof Rex Harris, discovered that running hydrogen gas through old hard-disk drives turns the [neodymium] magnets into powder which can be harvested, re-packed and coated, to become new magnets."
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Related: "SHOCK CLAIM: Chinese Troops in 'Panic Mode' After Border Clash with India"--PJ Media. "Inputs accessed by The Sunday Guardian post the debriefing of these 10 men [captured Chinese troops], revealed that the outnumbered and 'unarmed' (as the rules required them to be) Indian troops, rather than retreating in view of the huge number of Chinese soldiers, grabbed the improvised clubs and rods that the Chinese were using to batter Indian soldiers, and used the same to kill 'at least' 20 Chinese soldiers and officers at patrol point 14."
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 In 2005, University of California, Berkeley, researchers made the surprising discovery that making conjoined twins out of young and old mice — such that they share blood and organs — can rejuvenate tissues and reverse the signs of aging in the old mice. The finding sparked a flurry of research into whether a youngster’s blood might contain special proteins or molecules that could serve as a “fountain of youth” for mice and humans alike.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 But a new study by the same team shows that similar age-reversing effects can be achieved by simply diluting the blood plasma of old mice — no young blood needed.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   In the study, the team found that replacing half of the blood plasma of old mice with a mixture of saline and albumin — where the albumin simply replaces protein that was lost when the original blood plasma was removed — has the same or stronger rejuvenation effects on the brain, liver and muscle than pairing with young mice or young blood exchange. Performing the same procedure on young mice had no detrimental effects on their health.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     This discovery shifts the dominant model of rejuvenation away from young blood and toward the benefits of removing age-elevated, and potentially harmful, factors in old blood.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Docent's Memo (May 16, 2022)

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