Monday, November 30, 2020

Recommended Reading: New Post From Defensive Pistol Craft

Jon Low at Defensive Pistolcraft has published his (generally) monthly roundup of articles, video, and commentary. Lots of good stuff. But before we get started, I want to say thanks to Jon for the shout-out and link to a recent review I did of a shoulder roto-holster for Craft Holsters. 

    Jon begins this month with the following advice:

     You must carry your loaded pistol on your body concealed.  You won't have time to get it.  You won't have time to load it.  If you open carry, you will be the first one shot to death.  

     When the violence starts, there will be no warning.  All is calm, and then all hell breaks loose.  When nation states go to war, there is troop movement and massing of forces.  At our level, there is no telegraphing of intention; not by the enemy, not by you.  So, you must be aware.  You must prepare.  

     As all 2nd Lieutenants are taught, you may be forgiven for losing a battle.  But, you will never be forgiven for being taken by surprise.  Why was the Commander of the Pearl Harbor Naval Base court martialed?  Because he allowed a surprise attack by the Japanese on his base.  

     I read of an incident where a man was stopped at a road block in Portland, OR, pulled out of his car, and beaten.  This will never happen to you, because you are in condition yellow and see the road block in time to U turn.  If not, you will have your doors locked and your windows up, because you're not an idiot.  You won't worry about running over the rioters, because you must protect your child in the back seat.

     Remember, self defense is to prevent the attack.  (So, you should never get hurt.)  If you fail at that, self defense is to stop the attack.  (So, you don't get hurt too much.)

     After the attack it is not self defense.  It is revenge and retribution, which is not legal.  (If you're not dead.)

He links to a lot of articles on self-defense, including an article noting incidents where people had to use more than 10 rounds in a self-defense shooting, another on the topic of "Everything you know about violence is wrong" unless you are a professional with exposure to violence, and a couple on using flashlights (I'm skipping a lot). He discusses some training classes he attended and lessons learned. Jon recommends using pistols that are ambidextrous in case of having to shoot using your off-hand, and discusses some that are truly ambidextrous in their controls. And he has a lengthy discussion of different types of self-defense insurance as well as articles discussing the different carriers, and a list of the insurance carriers. For instance, he notes that you should avoid the reimbursement plans as you will need the money up front. Finally, Jon ends with a personal anecdote about confronting some drug dealers at his apartment complex, and the absolute disinterest expressed by the Nashville PD. 

Read the whole thing.

UPDATE (12/3/2020): Mr. Low writes concerning some of the items mentioned above...

    Some misunderstood my comments in the last post.  The police lady from the vice department telling me "not to cause trouble" was actually telling me not to make more work for her.  

     Yes, confronting drug dealers is dangerous.  But, if you don't chase them out of your neighborhood, they will scare off the nice residents.  And before your children graduate from high school, your neighborhood will turn into a slum.  Yes, it does happen that fast.  No, as a matter of fact, the police will not chase the drug dealers out of your neighborhood for you.  As you can see from John Farnam's comments above, the police won't even rescue you from a home invader.  You think they are going to chase drug dealers out of your neighborhood for you?  

    The John Farnam referrence is to:

"COVID-19 Lockdowns: Liberty and Science" By Sam Jacobs

Sam Jacobs, writing at the Libertas Bella blog, discusses the Covid-19 lockdowns and their threat to liberty. He begins:

    The Chinese Coronavirus (COVID-19) hit American shores — officially, anyway, there is significant evidence that it arrived earlier — in late January 2020. The American public was then told that a two-week shutdown of the economy would “flatten the curve,” relieving the pressure on hospital intensive care units and saving lives in the long run.

    The average American, including conservatives, being people of good faith, complied, thinking that this was a common-sense measure that would save lives in the wake of a new and mysterious pandemic. 

    But two things quickly happened: First, the goalposts moved. No longer was it enough to “flatten the curve.” Now we were to be locked down until there was a cure. 

    Even the cure was not enough for some figures like the lionized-by-liberals Dr. Anthony Fauci — we would continue to be locked down even after a vaccine had been rammed through the approvals process with limited testing. When would we be allowed out by our masters? No one could answer this. 

    Second, there was an intensification of the authoritarian measures. Some states, aided by Big Tech, introduced “contact tracing” where people had to sign in with extensive personal information if they wanted to, for example, eat out at a restaurant. This was so that, in the event of infection with COVID-19, the state health department would be able to track and trace everyone you had contact with. 

    We should add that a third thing didn’t so much “happen” but was discovered: As it turns out unless you are old (over the age of 65), morbidly obese or suffer from a complicating disorder (such as diabetes or asthma), COVID-19 was little more than a bad cold or the flu. 

    What’s more, there was a financial incentive from the government to mark deaths as COVID-19 deaths when they were not. George Floyd, the man who died while being arrested by the Minneapolis Police Department, sparking riots over the summer of 2020, is officially a COVID-19 death because he died with COVID-19, despite not dying of COVID-19.

    By the fall of 2020, the facts became clear: While COVID-19 was dangerous for select populations, it had an extremely low death rate among the young and healthy. 

    The generous or naive might say that the COVID-19 health measures are misguided attempts to protect the population. A more hard-nosed or cynical person likely thinks that these measures are a deliberate attempt to enact totalitarian measures leveraging public panic.

    This, of course, would not be the first time the government and its toadies took advantage of such a panic, with the 9/11 attacks presenting a recent example of such. 

    We believe that COVID-19 measures are little more than a cynical power grab. We also believe that they have no basis in “the science” often breathlessly invoked by the toadies of this power grab. 

    In this article, we will make a compelling case that there is nothing scientific about this attack on the individual civil liberties of Americans. As Canadian Dr. Roger Hodkinson, a top pathologist, virologist, and CEO of a biotech company manufacturing COVID tests said, “this (COVID-19) is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on an unsuspecting public.”

Read the whole thing. And consider that COVID-19 is being used to terrorize the public in order to force political change, even if that is merely the accumulation of state power. As such, it is a form of terrorism, and those officials falsely and dishonestly pushing lockdowns and other power grabs could, and maybe should, be considered terrorists.

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Book Review: "The 100 Greatest Combat Pistols" by Timothy J. Mullin

  Book: The 100 Greatest Combat Pistols: Hands-On Tests And Evaluations Of Handguns From Around The World by Timothy J. Mullin. Boulder, Co., Paladin Press, 1994 (408 pages).

    This is the first of three books that Mullin published evaluating military arms: later books covered rifles and light machine guns, and submachine guns, machine pistols, and shotguns. I'm sure that Mullin is not the one that chose the title because it is misleading. The book isn't about the "greatest" combat pistols, but instead covers some 100+  handguns used by major militaries from approximately 1880 to 1990, providing Mullin's own evaluation of the firearms as a combat weapon based on his experience in the military in Vietnam, law enforcement, and as a civilian shooter and writer. Some were excellent in his opinion; most were indifferent; and probably more than you would expect were terrible. 

    Obviously, it currently being 25 years after the book was completed, the book is somewhat out of date because it does not include some of the more modern polymer handguns that have gained acceptance among various military and paramilitary organizations. The intent of the book wasn't to provide information on the latest military arms, however, but to provide information on firearms one might encounter in out-of-the-way places around the globe. But for someone interested in military weapons and wanting something more than the bare statistics or history of the weapon, this is a good book to add to your collection. 

    Mullin's evaluations consisted of shooting the weapon on a target range at 50 feet, and using the handgun in a police-style "cinema range", combined with his thoughts on how easy it was to activate or deactivate the safety, general feel, the quality or usefulness of the sights, etc. There were some firearms that were terrible as target pistols, but proved very effective on the cinema range--and vice versa--but Mullin gave greater weight to its performance on the cinema range. 

    Through the book, and more comprehensively at the end, he provides his thoughts on what is needed in a military pistol, some of which won't sit well with experienced shooters. But, as he explains, his focus is on qualities for a trooper on the front lines with little or no experience in handguns, and little interest in handguns to boot, so he tends to emphasize passive safety features more than would an experienced shooter. For instance, throughout the book, he mentions his preference for military pistols using a form of magazine safety to avoid accidental discharges after a soldier has "unloaded" his weapon. 

    Mullin also makes an interesting test of the effectiveness of various popular handgun calibers against two loaded AR magazines such as a soldier or marine would carry in an ammo pouch. The results from this was that 9 mm ball from a Beretta 92 penetrated the first magazine and got stuck in the second; 9 mm Makarov did not go through even one magazine; .45 ACP ball ammo penetrated one magazine and only dented the second; but Czech AP rounds fired from the Beretta 92 had complete penetration of both magazines, pouches, and a 900 page book, coming to rest in the ground.

    Another factor to keep in mind is that Mullin has more concern for what would make a good backup weapon for a frontline soldier or marine over someone behind the lines, which means that he places greater weight on small size and light weight over large and cumbersome handguns. This comes from his own experience in Vietnam where a lot of soldiers carried privately purchased small revolvers that they could carry in the breastpocket of their fatigues as a backup in the event of a primary weapon malfunction.

    And, due to the limitations on ammunition design and construction imposed by the Hague Convention, which prohibited explosive ammunition and hollow-points, he tends to prefer larger calibers over smaller. In this regard, he definitely holds that the .45 ACP is the superior pistol cartridge for standard full-metal jacket military handguns unless penetration of body armor is a concern.

    With all that in mind, his top 5 picks (actually 7 with a couple of ties) for a handgun for a frontline soldier or marine are: (1) S&W Model 65 .357 Magnum with a 2-inch barrel; (2) S&W Model 940; (3) Glock 17; (4) Sig P225 in 9 mm or Sig P220 in .45 ACP; (5) S&W .38 Special 2-inch stainless steel Chief's Special or the Model 642. The five worst were: (1) the Dreyse .32; (2) the "Brixia"; (3) the Montenegren revolver; (4) the Japanese Type 26; and (5) Italian 10.35 mm. He also was surprised at several handguns that performed extraordinarily well on the cinema range and would have been his recommendation for the time when they were issued: (1) the French M1873 11 mm revolver; (2) Mauser M96 broomhandle;  (3) Roth-Steyr M1907; (4) Webley Mark VI; and (5) Soviet PSM in 5.45 mm.

    Interestingly, although Mullin likes the Colt 1911, he did not think it was very good as a military pistol because it needed to be carried cocked and locked to be quickly ready to fire, and lacked a magazine safety, making it too complex to safely use by standard troops. Mullin disliked the Browning Hi-Power because of its hard to use manual safety. Ironically, neither of the semi-auto pistols that made his top 5 had magazine safeties.

    As noted above, one of Mullin's intents was to provide information about firearms that one might come across in journeys around the world, particularly if one had to obtain a weapon from less than legal sources. As part of his discussion, he notes that "you may be in a position where you can get a weapon but not the proper ammunition." He goes on to relate:

Even if you cannot get the proper ammunition, you may be able to modify what you have to fit. For instance, you can expand the base of a .32 ACP to make a rim, and it will work in an 8 mm M1892 revolver. The .380 ACP pistols can fire .32 ACP and .38 Super. You can shoot .380 ACP ammo in a 9x19mm pistol. You can fire .38/.40 in a .44/.40 pistol by wrapping paper around the cartridge. You can single-load .30 Mauser into a 9x19mm pistol and fire it, and .30 Luger will work fine, also. ...

    One thing that Mullin mentions repeatedly is how much more effective handguns would be if the person had access to Très Haute Vitesse (THV) ammunition: ammunition using high velocity solid bullets that were good at both barrier penetration and wounding.  

The bullets had a sharp point which in conjunction with the high velocity was intended to provide excellent barrier penetration. However, the sudden widening of the bullet behind the point was designed to generate a wide wound channel, and the light weight meant that it would quickly lose velocity, both in the target and (should it miss) in the open air. 

Although the source cited above indicates that the bullet material was copper, other sources indicate that the bullets were brass. In any event, they were not allowed to be imported into the United States, having been decreed illegal armor-piercing handgun bullets. Because the manufacturer, Société Française de Munitions (SFM), had been relying on the U.S. market for sales, the loss of access spelled the end of the French efforts, although the same or similar projectiles continued to be used in South Africa.

    The Dutch performed more formal tests that were written up in a research paper. The abstract reports:

The Très Haute Vitesse (THV) bullet was introduced to meet the requirements of law enforcement officers, as an alternative to larger calibre fully jacketed bullets, since expanding or exploding bullets are not relevant in Europe. To examine the effect of the THV bullet in tissue, especially the size of the lesion and the degree of overpenetration, 11 recently killed pigs were shot with the weapons used by the Danish Police Force and a 9-mm pistol for reference. The ammunition was THV in the calibres 7.65 mm, 0.38, and 9 mm, using conventional fully jacketed bullets for comparison. The lesions were considerably larger when the THV bullet was used, the entry wound in particular, being roughly twice the diameter in the case of the THV bullet as compared to the fully jacketed bullet of similar calibre. Only one 7.65-mm THV bullet overpenetrated the target when fired against the thorax or abdomen of the pigs and then with only minimal residual energy. All fully jacketed 7.65-mm bullets, all 0.38 bullets, with the exception of one THV bullet, and all 9-mm bullets overpenetrated the target. The 7.65-mm THV bullet produced a lesion which in its extent resembled that of the fully jacketed 9-mm bullet, and should be a suitable alternative for the Danish Police Force.

Velocities with these bullets is so high--well over 2,000 f/s--that I suspect that hydrostatic shock plays a role in wounding.

Saturday, November 28, 2020

#GiveThanks Day Seven: Thank You Readers, Contributors, Commentors and More...

Last Friday, President Nelson asked members to give thanks each day for a week in a post on social media. This is the final post for this #GiveThanks series, so I want to say thank you to:

  • My readers. My goal with this blog was to point people to useful resources and sources of information concerning the end times and prepping/survivalism in preparation for those times and any lesser emergencies. I've learned far more from the journey than I knew before I started it.  
  • The commentators. There is always a lower number of people commenting on blogs versus the number that do leave comments. The comments I receive have, by and large, been positive and either shared new information or ideas and/or been supportive. I especially want to thank some of my regular commentators including Brian, John Wilder, Bad Attitude, and 1chota, as well as those that have left comments over the past few months including KA9OFF, McChuck, Shootist143, Bob, Jeff, Paul, Francis T. Taylor, Greg Ellifritz, and many more, as well as all those that have left comments over the years.
  • My sometimes contributor, The Realist, who brings a different perspective, skill set and experience to prepping and the end times.
  • Those people that have reached out to me via email. I don't have your permission to post your names, but you know who you are, and I have really benefited from your comments and ideas, sharing links to other articles and videos, and just generally looking out for me. 
  • Those people that have provided products and books to me free of charge to review: Al at Craft Holsters who has provided excellent holsters and provided me the opportunity to try different methods of daily concealed carry that otherwise would not have been possible, Ralph Mroz author of the superb Street Focused Handgun Training series of books, and Evan at Hill People Gear for sending me two different sizes of their high quality and comfortable kit bags which are perfect for carrying on the trail or in the woods. 
  • Those other bloggers that have linked to my blog at various times, including KA9OFF, Greg Ellifritz, Jon Low, and probably many others of whom I am not aware. 
Thank you all!

Friday, November 27, 2020

A Quick Run Around the Web (11/27/2020)


VIDEO: "Testing old body armor - bullet proof vest."--30 Second Tactics (7 min.). Greg Ellifritz has pointed out that body armor can retain its effectiveness well beyond its manufacturer's guaranteed life (assuming it hasn't been damaged by moisture, exposure to the sun, or chemicals), and that is what this video demonstrates using soft armor from the 1980s.


  • "Weekend Knowledge Dump- November 27, 2020"--Active Response Training. First, I want to thank Mr. Ellifritz for the shout-out. Second, of course, I recommend that you check out the links to great articles and the commentary. Articles include, but are not limited to, a couple articles on knives and self-defense issues, why BB shot (or any small pellet shotgun load) should not be your first choice for a defensive shotgun load, an article and comments from Greg about melatonin including that it seems to offer some protection against COVID-19, building a get-home bag tailored to your needs, the M-1 carbines being imported from Ethiopia, the success in the 1970s of New York's stake out squad, and a lot more.
  • "B-52 Reconnaissance Tips Of The Trade, Vietnam"--American Partisan. Great tips for working in the bush. You probably should print this up.
  • "Skill Set: Crawl, Walk, Run …"--Tiger McKee, Tactical Wire. McKee explains that "[u]ntil one has learned how to manipulate the weapon and fire it accurately, there’s no reason to even think about progressing into any defensive work. You have to 'crawl' first." And by "crawl" he means learn the basics of firearm safety and principles of marksmanship.
  • "New K-PAK and J-CLIP-R Loaders From Zeta-6"--Revolver Guy. One of the products the company had previously released was the J-Clip which is a flexible speed-loader for the S&W J-frame revolvers. The J-CLIP-R is a version designed for the Ruger LCR revolver. The K-Pak is a speed strip style reloader but with round slightly offset making them quicker and easier to use in reloading over a straight speed strip.
  • "Henry Announces 29 New Rifles & Shotguns"--Guns Magazine. Including a bunch of new lever action models with side-loading gates. 
  • "Featured Gun: The Marlin model 70P 'Papoose'"--Tincanbandit's Gunsmithing. A review of the history and features of this weapon. The first .22 rifle I bought was a Papoose because I wanted something that could be broken down easily for travel--at the time, I was living some distance from home attending college. I loved that rifle. In fact, later, when I was forced to sell some firearms due to money concerns, I opted to keep the Papoose over a Ruger 10/22 I had simply because the Papoose was just as accurate, was more reliable, and had the take-down feature. I passed it on to my oldest son.
  • "The ATF’s False Narrative Surrounding the Legality of SB Tactical Pistol Braces Exposed"--The Truth About Guns. An excerpt:

Then, as we neared the election, the ATF dropped an October surprise, declaring some braced pistols were actually SBRs — NFA-regulated short barreled rifles — only to later back off that determination under pressure. That declaration was in direct disobedience to the Department of Justice’s edict (which happened, in a big part, thanks to Rep. Gaetz with help from brace manufacturer SB Tactical) that ATF could not pursue any new rulings or regulations on pistol braces without first setting clear standards for the accessories in cooperation with the firearm industry.

  • "10 Tools Every Prepper Should Have"--Urban Prepper. He gives some very specific recommendations: (1) a tool box; (2) Black & Decker LDX Drill; (3) DeWalt Grinder; (4) Dremel 4300; (5) hatchet; (6) an Ontario machete; (7) an Eastwing crowbar; (8) a Gerber eTool; (9) a Stanley handsaw; (10) and an arc welder. I'm assuming that this list is in addition to having basic carpenter, mechanics, and gardening tools. I'm also assuming that the handsaw he is recommending is a rip saw, although he doesn't say. I'm not sure about the arc welder--it takes training and practice to be able to use one effectively. I think a beginner would do better with a smaller acetylene welder, which could be used for welding, brazing and cutting with the appropriate tips. In any event, a wire-fed arc-welder will be better for the beginner than one using welding rods.
  • "Are You Prepared? 2020 Winter Holiday Travel Prep Tips"--Survival Life. The author lists 7 things to make sure you have with your care: (1) first aid kit; (2) get home bag; (3) seasonal weather preps such as heavy blankets or sleeping bags, hats, gloves, and emergency communications; (4) a jump starter; (5) something to inflate you tires, whether a bottle of fix-a-flat or compressor; (6) fire extinguisher; and (7) road safety kit. I would add having some sand for traction and tire chains/cables, and probably a tow strap. Even if your vehicle would be incapable of towing another car, it is possible that someone with a truck might stop to help, but not have a tow strap or tow chain. Having your own remedies this problem.
  • "How To Choose The Best Wool Pants For Winter Comfort, Camping And Survival"--Survival Common Sense. An excerpt:
Get a couple inches or so bigger around the waist. They will shrink with use. You may want to wear polypropylene long underwear underneath, or synthetic pajama bottoms if wool makes you itch. Never wear 100-percent cotton thermal longjohns – they will get damp from perspiration and suck the heat away. Also, you’ll want plenty of room in the seat and thighs of the pants if the plans include vigorous snow sports, such as snowshoeing or cross-country skiing.

When the weather turns cold it forces us to modify how we dress, and sometimes how we carry.  While I recommend one carry method consistent for all seasons if you do switch how you carry I recommend limiting it as much as possible.  The main thing that you will want to do is begin to train with the same clothing garments that you will be wearing most of the time.  If you wear gloves, then you need to train with those gloves on to ensure that you will be able to manipulate and shoot your weapon without any problems.  Don’t forget to practice some reloading and malfunction drills with them on, you will find that thick gloves will seriously impede your ability to work the smaller manipulation devices on your handguns like the slide and magazine release. 

Read the whole thing.

  • "Top 10 Things Preppers Forget"--SHTF Preparedness.  (1) a sewing machine to mend clothes (get a mechanical powered one if you envision a lengthy grid down situation); (2) paper towels; (3) baking soda (used for much more than baking); (4) plastic sheeting; (5) paper maps; (6) fire starters; (7) BOBs for each family member; (8) a bicycle or bicycles; (9) spare eyeglasses; and (10) bullion cubes for rehydration (see the B-52 reconnaissance tips article above as well). The author also goes on to list items that people forget to include in their BOBs.
  • "A Long-Term Survival Food That Actually Tastes Good"--Apartment Prepper. The product is NutrientSurvival: Homestyle Scramble dehydrated food made with hash browns, eggs, peppers and cheese. The author particularly liked it in a wrap as a breakfast burrito. 
  • "Alkaline or Rechargeable?"--Blue Collar Prepping. The author writes:

    ... While there is no denying the efficiency and savings of rechargeable, there's also a huge convenience in the ability to quickly swap out exhausted batteries for fresh ones. What's a prepper to do?

    My answer is to take the best of both worlds by purchasing rechargeable AA and AAA batteries to put inside your electronics, along with a recharger unit and a solar panel. This allows you to take advantage of the ready availability of alkaline batteries while also having a semi-renewable* source of power.

She goes on to explain that her set-up is an Eastshine Universal Smart Battery Charger and uses AmazonBasics High-Capacity Ni-MH Rechargeable Batteries. 

    Measure the circumference of your dominant hand (right handed or left handed) which tends to be slightly larger.

    Use a soft flexible tape measure (sewing tape measure) around the palm. Wrap it around the fullest part of your palm – excluding the thumb – as shown.

    Then measure from the tip of your middle finger to the bottom of your hand.

    Your glove size will be the larger of the two measurements.

He also includes tables showing how this translates into sizes for men's, women's, an unisex gloves. 

... Though the terms can be used as synonyms, there’s a difference between a prepper and a survivalist. A prepper seeks to get the tools and supplies needed to react to disasters and emergencies. A survivalist changes their lifestyle according to what response they anticipate would be required to survive the same situation. Preppers are more concerned with accumulating provisions and gear, where survivalists are more concerned with skillsets and lifestyle choices.

  • "SELCO: Timing Is EVERYTHING When the SHTF"--Organic Prepper. Selco begins: "For a starting point, you need to understand something that I mentioned in previous posts. When SHTF occurs, the situation is fluid – it can change quickly, and you need to recognize those changes so you can react in time, and in the proper way." Also, he notes that the real danger is other people.
  • "Top Common Misconceptions About Volcano Eruptions" (h/t KA9OFF). The first misconception has to do with the role of molten rock in powering eruptions. The article explains:
    About 25-30 kilometers (15-20 miles) below our feet, there is intense heat and pressure. Some kinds of rock melt under these conditions, forming magma.

    That red-hot liquid rock has enough buoyancy to rise towards the surface through cracks in the overlying crust. It might not get there but if it does, there will be an eruption.

    There’s a long way to go, though. Surely the weight of the overlying rock helps squeeze the magma along?

    Nope. It’s running on gas — not fossil fuel, the gases dissolved in the molten rock. These include water vapor, carbon dioxide, and sulfur dioxide.

    Gases bubble out of the magma as it gets higher, since the pressure is decreasing because there is less rock. You can safely get the same effect by opening a carbonated beverage bottle; the contents are under pressure, but carbon dioxide bubble appear when the seal is released.

    But our magma conduit is still capped, so the gases have nowhere to go but out into the conduit. This speeds up the rising melt, and a chain reaction starts that can lead to an eruption, if the gases don’t run out and the magma doesn’t encounter a barrier of some sort that it can’t pass.

    If it does stop, then the magma will begin to cool, eventually freezing in place as a dike, sill, or pluton. Erosion sometimes uncovers these structures, revealing their beauty in places like Devil’s Tower in Wyoming.
There are 9 more points discussed in the article, so read the whole thing.

VIDEO: "Canting Your Rifle with a Red Dot"--Tactical Hyve (3 min.)
Demonstrating how canting your rifle slightly when using a red dot allows you to keep your head straight and makes it faster and easier to use the rifle.

The Current Unrest:

    Surprisingly, the deaths of older people stayed the same before and after COVID-19. Since COVID-19 mainly affects the elderly, experts expected an increase in the percentage of deaths in older age groups. However, this increase is not seen from the CDC data. In fact, the percentages of deaths among all age groups remain relatively the same. “The reason we have a higher number of reported COVID-19 deaths among older individuals than younger individuals is simply because every day in the U.S. older individuals die in higher numbers than younger individuals,” Briand said.

    Briand also noted that 50,000 to 70,000 deaths are seen both before and after COVID-19, indicating that this number of deaths was normal long before COVID-19 emerged. Therefore, according to Briand, not only has COVID-19 had no effect on the percentage of deaths of older people, but it has also not increased the total number of deaths.

    These data analyses suggest that in contrast to most people’s assumptions, the number of deaths by COVID-19 is not alarming. In fact, it has relatively no effect on deaths in the United States.

This jives with other reports indicating that there have been no flu deaths in 2020--i.e., flu deaths were attributed to COVID-19.

    “To the extent that there remains any further action to perfect the certification of the results of the 2020 General Election for the offices of President and Vice President of the United States of America, respondents are preliminarily enjoined from doing so, pending an evidentiary hearing to be held on Friday,” read the injunction from Judge Patricia McCullough.

    Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, a Democrat, has promised to appeal the decision but also claims the order has no bearing on the results, as the election was already certified and electors chosen.
    A Nevada judge has agreed to let the Trump campaign present its evidence that fraud and illegalities plagued the state’s election, enough to reverse Joe Biden's win and set an example for other state challenges.

    According to Trump officials, the judge set a Dec. 3 hearing date and is allowing 15 depositions. What’s more, the campaign plans to present its evidence that could result in the rejection of tens of thousands of mail-in ballots in Democratic Clark County, where Biden ballots outnumbered Trump ballots by 91,000 in unofficial results.
    Joe Biden’s lead in Arizona dropped from 10,377 votes to 4,202 after a machine error was discovered on Tuesday. 
    The error was from a faulty upload from Greenlee County, which showed 22,110 votes — but should have been 3,723. State officials say that it was temporary and has now been corrected.

These are the days when all voices will be heard and loyalties tried. This is no time to offer allegiance to your enemies and hope your allies will understand. One either believes in freedom enough to risk death, or pension, or accept the fate of those who would destroy it. The 80 million know they are the last vestiges of freedom on earth. They are being asked to accept a fraud, to acquiesce to communism, but they cannot. No matter what the flawed election returns, it cannot be allowed to stand. We know the outcome already and anything less is unacceptable. 

    Many have debated, and Rudy Giuliani only vaguely explained on Lou Dobbs’ show by saying they had “different theories” of the case, why the Trump legal team separated from Sidney Powell.

    Occam’s Razor has a simpler explanation: What Powell is investigating—complicated trans-national computer fraud, involving multiple countries, not just the United States, with immense implications for the democratic system worldwide—takes considerably longer to explicate and prove than the time available to question a presidential election before votes are certified and the Electoral College meets.

    This was corroborated by discussions I held with two men in a position to understand a great deal of this fraud that they say originated in and still emanates to a great degree from Venezuela (with a little help from Cuban, Iranian and Hezbollah friends, possibly others).

    These men wish to remain anonymous because they fear for their safety operating in foreign territory as they frequently do.

    One of them is a former CIA officer who served in the Directorate of Operations and as chief of station in several countries. The other is of Venezuelan birth and lives in the United States.

    In recent years, in conjunction with the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and others, they have worked to “flip” leaders and military personnel inside the Venezuelan and Cuban establishments, many of whom were involved with or had information about the extensive narcotics trade undertaken by those two countries as well as Iran and Hezbollah.

    This billion-dollar criminal enterprise, particularly regarding Hezbollah in this instance, was on the brink of an exposure and prosecution that was ultimately ignored, as Politico reported, by the Obama administration on the urgings of the mullahs in order to protect the then-incipient Iran Deal.

    Some of what these men told me can be authenticated, some not for reasons beyond anyone’s control at the moment. I leave it to readers to decide for themselves.

    Nevertheless, for the record, and to understand what we are dealing with, the following members of the Venezuelan leadership are currently indicted in the United States for narcotics trafficking: President Nicolas Maduro, National Assembly leader Diosdado Cabello, petroleum minister Tareck El Aissami, Vice President Delcy Rodriguez, former intelligence chief Hugo Carvajal, and Venezuelan Army Chief of Staff Vladimir Padrino.

    To give an idea of the extent of the crime, notorious Mexican “narcotrafficante” El Chapo was said to be worth $1.2 billion. Diosdado Cabello, I was told by one of my informants, is worth in excess of $20 billion! That puts him up there among the richest people in the world. Mix petrodollars—Venezuela, in whatever condition, has one of the richest oil fields on the planet—with drug dollars and you have a lucrative cocktail.


    The two men spoke with me about the origins of the Smartmatic system, which they analogized in some respects to 9/11, mentioning that it was another example of how we tend to underestimate our adversaries, in this case their computer capabilities.

    With China and Russia to worry about, Venezuela has been more or less off our radar, but, given the figures above, it shouldn’t be. Their ruling class—not their people, clearly—has enough working capital to do as much damage as anyone.

    More than a mere Banana Republic, they are a growing criminal state with tentacles reaching into Colombia and across the Atlantic into one of the major parties of our NATO ally Spain, I was told.

    But back to Smartmatic.

    In 1998, socialist Hugo Chavez, on his way to being maximum leader for life, changed the constitution of his country, allowing him to serve a six-year term instead of five—with the caveat that if 20 percent of Venezuelans were to sign a petition demanding a recall, an election would be held.

    To the surprise of Chavez, such a petition was forthcoming and his attempt to invalidate the signatures failed.

    A system had to be invented to guarantee the caudillo’s victory in the forthcoming presidential recall referendum.

    Enter Smartmatic, a company founded in Delaware in April 2000 by three young  Venezuelan engineers.

    January 2004, a Venezuelan government agency, the New York Times reported, invested $200,000 in a technology company owned by those same three.
Defense Attorneys Sidney Powell, Lin Wood and others have filed a lawsuit in Georgia demanding that the results of the 2020 election be set aside because of “massive election fraud” and foreign influence in the election. The lawsuit claims that 96,600 mail-in ballots “were fraudulently cast” and that “136,098 ballots were illegally counted as a result of improper manipulation of the Dominion software.”

    A Salt Lake City coffee company said it objected to a tweet posted by a Blaze Media reporter who tied its coffee to Kyle Rittenhouse, accused of killing two people during an August protest in Wisconsin.

    Elijah Schaffer tweeted a since-removed photo of the 17-year-old wearing a Black Rifle Coffee Company shirt with the caption, “Kyle Rittenhouse drinks the best coffee in America.” The teenager was released Friday after supporters raised his $2 million bail.

    Schaffer posted a discount code for the coffee under the post with the photo. And online, commenters questioned whether the coffee company had a sponsorship deal with Rittenhouse and accused it of supporting murder and hate.

    But Black Rifle Coffee, a sponsor of Schaffer’s Slightly Offens*ve podcast, said in a statement Saturday that it is not sponsoring or supporting Rittenhouse.

    A spokesperson for the coffee company told The Salt Lake Tribune on Saturday afternoon that the company was terminating its sponsorship of Slightly Offens*ve, but late Saturday, she said she had misunderstood.

    “We are not fluctuating our ad spend,” she said in a text message. “We did have a conversation with Schaffer, and he understands that the post was a mistake.”

* * *

    Blaze employees “make decisions about how to allocate ad dollars within the Blaze,” she said, but she did not clarify whether Black Rifle would request to end its placement as a podcast sponsor. She said the company and Blaze are discussing “how to move forward with the allocation of ad dollars.”

    Black Rifle Coffee is a Salt Lake City-based roaster that brands itself as a gun-loving, conservative company started by veterans. In a statement Saturday afternoon, co-founder Evan Hafer said, “We do not support legal advocacy efforts. We do not sponsor nor do we have a relationship with the 17-year-old facing charges in Kenosha, WI.”

Contrary to  the opinion of some christian commentators it is my opinion that there is plausible statistical evidence that Trump was defrauded of an electoral victory. It's also my opinion that real Christian persecution is going to begin with a Biden ascendancy and I think that it's safe to say that I think that many Trump supporters are of the same mind. I'm also of the opinion that should the Democrats lose any Supreme Court contest they will not respect it's decision and will try to force their claim.  Should Trump try to preempt this by arresting those responsible, it will be perceived by his opponents and as an attempt at a coup. I really hope I'm wrong but I can't see a "peaceful" solution to this.  This does not mean that that the country will turn into a Yugoslavia or Syria but I can imagine a prolonged period of quite nasty civil unrest.

    And now we see how far they proved themselves willing to go. Do we really want to find out how much further they’ll dare to take things? People unafraid to annul the last presidential election, if they really tried to steal this one, are coldly and deadly serious about holding onto power. They’re willing to imprison innocent men like General Mike Flynn, and Kyle Rittenhouse, and David Daleiden. To persecute innocent citizens like Brett Kavanaugh, Nicholas Sandmann, and Mark Judge. To close all our churches, open our borders, create new farcical states, and pack the Supreme Court with flunkies. What will they do to us and our cities if we try to resist them now?

    I think a lot of Republicans consider this, and cower. In their heart of hearts they know that U.S. elites, allied with foreign billionaires and social engineers eager to start the Great Reset, will literally stop at nothing. And that frightens them, as it should.

    An oil tanker in the Red Sea has been subject of a mysterious attack while it was anchored at the Saudi port city of Shuqaiq on the Red Sea, reportedly after a mine exploded.

    The vessel has been identified in Bloomberg as the Maltese-flagged, Greek-managed Aframax tanker Agrari which early unconfirmed reports are saying was “attacked while at a berth” according to a statement on behalf of its owner TMS Tankers.

Conveniently, "[b]oth the BBC and CNN are now reporting that a number of Iranian passports were apparently found floating around the oil tanker."
Gratitude is the basis for a fulfilled life.  Practicing gratitude provides lower stress, better sleep, and generally better health.  It makes people around you happier, too, because who likes living around a tool?  Gratitude might seem like something that you’d do for other people, but it turns out the biggest beneficiary is . . . you.
Sources told the Chicago Sun-Times that Lt. Patrick Quinn was pulled from his position in the Crime Prevention and Information Center in police headquarters and sent to the Rogers Park District on the North Side after Mayor Lori Lightfoot and CPD brass learned of Barr’s visit during a conference call Nov. 17 — just a day before Barr, the nation’s top law enforcement officer, was scheduled to arrive in Chicago.

Of course, the bigger question is why the mayor was so upset that the department's intelligence unit hadn't picked up on the visit earlier.
... Why are affluent white liberals so eager to believe we’re living in a white supremacy, for example? Here’s my best guess: The narrative of wokeness or “anti-racism” as it is often called is an outgrowth of an academic discipline called “Critical Race Theory.” This view has its origins in philosophers like Hegel, Marx, and Foucault, who share a common belief: Equality is impossible, because at the core of every human interaction is a power struggle that someone is winning and someone is losing. Human history for these guys is just an endless rotation of oppressor and oppressed, a revolving door of masters and slaves in Hegel’s view, proletariat and bourgeoisie for Marx, privileged white people vs. marginalized people of color in Critical Race Theory. For these thinkers, power struggles are inescapable, and the whole idea of equality is just a fiction behind which the oppressor hides.
  • "Condition Red: Your Visual Displacement Is Now Complete"--The Unz Review. A look at how visual media, both advertising and entertainment, has been used to diminish white people and, especially, white men.
  • DC Comics is a perfect example of "get woke, go broke." If Vox Day's sources are correct, the actual comic publishing arm of DC Comics will completely shut down this coming spring. But, just to prove that you can't teach a liberal new tricks, we learn that "DC Comics introducing non-binary hero Kid Quick." 
    According to reports, the character is a younger, gender-fluid spin on the Flash with “they/them” pronouns. The new hero will debut as part of the “Teen Justice” team, which showcases new spins on classic characters.

    Reports further said that Kid Quick will later take on the Flash moniker in the upcoming “Future State: Justice League” series in 2021.

Thursday, November 26, 2020

#GiveThanks Day Six: Happy Thanksgiving!

 "The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth" (1914) By Jennie A. Brownscombe

    Last Friday, President Nelson asked members to give thanks each day for a week in a post on social media. Since today is Thanksgiving, it is appropriate to express thanks to our God for the many blessings He has given us. My oldest brother once pointed out that while our family had never been rich (or even been particularly well off), we also had never starved.  And that is what I think of today: I have a roof over my head and my wife has prepared a wonderful feast for later today. 

    The Federalist Magazine has put together a series of articles concerning Thanksgiving, ranging across a multitude of topics including how the Pilgrims starved (and many died) their first winter because they had practiced socialism, and this taught them to value individual freedom and private property which led to a prosperous second year, to one unearthing new information of how far back the Thanksgiving tradition extended, to how the Pilgrims planted the seeds to self-rule and constitutional rights. One article looked at some of the Presidential Proclamations from President Grover Cleveland suggesting how we should spend Thanksgiving. From his 1885 Proclamation:

     The American people have always abundant cause to be thankful to Almighty God, whose watchful care and guiding hand have been manifested in every stage of their national life, guarding and protecting them in time of peril and safely leading them in the hour of darkness and of danger.

    It is fitting and proper that a nation thus favored should on one day in every year, for that purpose especially appointed, publicly acknowledge the goodness of God and return thanks to Him for all His gracious gifts.

    Therefore, I, Grover Cleveland, President of the United States of America, do hereby designate and set apart Thursday, the 26th day of November instant, as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, and do invoke the observance of the same by all the people of the land.

    On that day let all secular business be suspended, and let the people assemble in their usual places of worship and with prayer and songs of praise devoutly testify their gratitude to the Giver of Every Good and Perfect Gift for all that He has done for us in the year that has passed; for our preservation as a united nation and for our deliverance from the shock and danger of political convulsion; for the blessings of peace and for our safety and quiet while wars and rumors of wars have agitated and afflicted other nations of the earth; for our security against the scourge of pestilence, which in other lands has claimed its dead by thousands and filled the streets with mourners; for plenteous crops which reward the labor of the husbandman and increase our nation's wealth, and for the contentment throughout our borders which follows in the train of prosperity and abundance.

    And let there also be on the day thus set apart a reunion of families, sanctified and chastened by tender memories and associations; and let the social intercourse of friends, with pleasant reminiscence, renew the ties of affection and strengthen the bonds of kindly feeling.

    And let us by no means forget while we give thanks and enjoy the comforts which have crowned our lives that truly grateful hearts are inclined to deeds of charity, and that a kind and thoughtful remembrance of the poor will double the pleasures of our condition and render our praise and thanksgiving more acceptable in the sight of the Lord.

Free Book Today and Tomorrow

 Unless you are like Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, who told his constituents to not travel this Thanksgiving just before boarding a flight to Mississippi, you probably won't be celebrating with as many people today as might be your wont in other years. So, may I suggest a free book to pass your time. Marcus Wynne has announced that his book Ariel: Book 2 of the Revengers is free to download for Kindle today and tomorrow. It is a useful background to his latest book, Macon. Beyond just the story, itself, his books give you a look at the surveillance capabilities that can be unleashed on someone. So check it out. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

#GiveThanks Day Five: IFAK Kit

Last Friday, President Nelson asked members to give thanks each day for a week in a post on social media. I've been running a day behind, so this one is for Tuesday.

    I've been trying to get my preps caught up since last December, initially focusing on getting my ammunition topped off (I had let some stockpiles get dangerously low) and plug some holes. One of the holes in my preps was having a proper IFAK/Trauma kit. We've always had a fairly well-stocked first-aid kit available, but like most home first-aid kits, it's really more of a "boo-boo" kit than something for serious trauma. In addition, my bleed-stop gauze had been used up and not replaced. 

    Thankfully, I recently had some opportunities to start rectifying this problem which have come together quite nicely. My first major purchase was a used Czechoslovakian Vz.80 Field Medical Kit from Mike's Militaria. MSRP is $68, but will be a bit over $80 with shipping. Although "used" these kits appear from the reviews to be mostly complete with unused original or unused restocked supplies. Mostly what they consist of are bandages and dressing, including an impressive amount of gauze for packing wounds. This is a big headstart in that direction. I thought that these might be a one-off item, but I've checked back periodically, and he seems to have a steady supply. So if Mike's Militaria is out of kits, wait a couple weeks and check back.

    Several years ago, a reader had recommended to me the RevMedX TX ratcheting tourniquet. At the time, however, it has not yet been approved by CoTCCC, so I held off. Once it became available, other things seemed to come up. But I finally purchased a TX2 version a couple weeks ago. Price was $38.95, but I was able to find a discount code with a quick Google search that saved me 10%. It's is a little more expensive than other CoTCCC approved tourniquets, but it is supposed to be easier to apply one-handed.

    Also a couple weeks ago, a friend pointed me to a NSN MARCH IFAK Resupply Kit being sold by Kommando Store for $59.99. But as often happens, I was too slow to order, and when I went to the site they were all sold out. Yesterday (Tuesday) I decided to check and, lo and behold, they have the kits back in stock so I ordered one. Per the description, the kit contains:

  • TMT™ Tourniquet 1 ea
  • Celox® RAPID 1 ea
  • Pre-Lubricated Nasal Airway 1 ea
  • Sentinel Chest Seal 1 ea
  • Dart 1 ea
  • Battle Bandage 1 ea
  • Battle Wrap 1 ea
  • Rolled Gauze 1 ea
  • Eye Shield w/ Garter – Polycarbonate 1 ea
  • Gloves (pair) 1 ea
  • TCCC Card DD-1380 1 ea
  • Mini-Sharpie 1 ea
  • Quick Start Guide 1 ea

Obviously, there are a few other items to collect, including at least a couple more chest seals (probably with a valve to let out air since I really don't want to have to use the dart if I don't have to), more rapid-clot gauze, a skin stapler and EMT shears. I also know that I will want to make sure that each family member has an IFAK but that is going to have to be down the road a bit. In the interim, I will practice and try to find some training.

    Like I said, this all suddenly came together, which I always attribute to divine intervention; and so, accordingly, I am thankful.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020


"Neural based learning"--Marcus Wynne (37 min.)
Wynne explains neural based learning, and gives some examples that you can easily learn and incorporate yourself.

If you have read posts by Marcus Wynne at his older blog or his new location, you know that his specialty is neural-based training. He has trained not just war-fighters, but applied his skills to many different fields, including fire-fighters (see also here). 

    Some of you may remember from your school or college experience discussions of how students may have different learning styles--e.g., visual, auditory, and kinesthetic--and that students learn better if they can use different learning styles to reinforce what they have learned. ("Visual learners must see it to absorb it; auditory learners need to hear it to master it; and kinesthetic or tactile learners need to move or experience it to understand it."). In fact, the traditional method of teaching via lecture may be one of the worst ways to teach as the typical person has poor auditory memory.

    For instance, it is common to be told to not only read something, but to, in addition, hear it or write it out. In fact, one of the key breakthroughs in learning that I had in my university days was learning the importance of reading the material before-hand, drafting an outline, and then taking that outline to class and adding or modifying it during the lecture. Unfortunately, I didn't learn that until I was in my advanced studies, but it proved very useful to my wife in her classes. 

    As you will see from the video above, Wynne goes well beyond even that to provide all sorts of feedback and reinforcement mechanisms, and break through barriers to learning and observing that we have learned through our civilized, passive lives.

    "extract from NEURAL-BASED TRAINING BOOK ONE: RETROSPECTIVES" is an article that presents a snippet from what appears to be an upcoming book on neural based training. He even includes a simple exercise for shooting instructors to use to easily determine which students actually have some experience or skills versus those who don't. I was also glad to see an explanation of "shadowboxing with guns"--a phrase and concept that Wynne had discussed in an earlier post but which I didn't quite grasp (although my 5-year old self probably would have instantly understood). 

    Just a quick excerpt from the article shows the need to think outside the box when it comes to training. Wynne explains:

The importance of integrating movement into firearms training that’s meant to be used in a fight is generally addressed as an “advanced skill.” Since all fights involve movement, it’s important to identify square range training and over-safety requirements as an artifact of the 1700s era model for CURRENT DAY FIREARMS TRAINING, which came to us American peasants via Baron Von Steuben, whose training methods are enshrined in the US Army’s NCO manuals.  The emphasis on control, staying in line, square range and known distance comes from those antiquated methods, though they are the basis for ALL current firearms training in the United States.  Experimenting with approaches validated by neuroscience as being faster and more applicable to the modern adult learner who has limited time to learn and practice skills before they must be used under stress might lead some to reconsider the paradigm they lock themselves into.

Read the whole thing. 

Wokeness is War

     I post a lot about the decline of our civilization, including topics about declining morality, the war on fathers and the traditional f...