Thursday, November 5, 2020

A Quick Run Around The Web (11/5/2020)

VIDEO: "Are Lever Action Rifles Reliable?"--Lucky Gunner (16 min.)
A look at why they aren't as reliable as most people probably think.

Firearms/Self-Defense/Prepping:

  • Because of election distractions and work projects, I'm late getting to this, but be sure to check out Greg Ellifritz's Weekend Knowledge Dump from last weekend. Lot's of good articles as always. One of the articles provided advice from an attorney to police officers on what to do if they are served with a lawsuit. Not to be critical, but things are a little different for the private person. Service, if you don't know, is the formal notice that you have been sued and starts the clock ticking on when you need to file a response (typically designated as an "Answer") to the Complaint filed by the plaintiff(s) (the person(s) that has or have sued you). 
    Typically, there will be at least two documents served on you: a copy of the Summons and a copy of the Complaint. However angry you are, don't throw these away or deface them. As the article suggests, write down the date and time you were served, and some description of the person that served you. Good advice. 

    Now the article suggests that you have 20 or 30 days to respond depending on whether the suit was filed in federal or state court. That is jurisdiction dependent and might be different for you! Fortunately, you don't have to guess. The Summons will identify the court where you need to file a response, and tell you how long you have to file a response. Take note of that date because if a response is not filed by that date, the plaintiff can obtain a default judgment against you.

    The next thing to do is to contact your insurance company--not your insurance agent, but the insurance company. There should be a telephone number with your insurance information with your policy or, for auto insurance, your insurance card or certificate that you keep in your car. The reason you want to do this is because if there is coverage under your insurance policy for whatever claim that is being brought against you, the insurance company will in almost all cases also provide you with an attorney. But if you fail to timely notify the insurance company, you could lose your coverage. If you have multiple policies or insurers, obviously you will need to notify the correct company or companies (e.g., your auto insurer for an auto accident, your homeowner's insurance for something at your home, your business insurer for something involving your business, etc.). You may have policies that provide overlapping coverage, so if in doubt, go ahead and notify all the companies. The worst that can happen is they tell you is that their policy doesn't apply.

    The insurance company will want information, so don't be an ass--cooperate with them. They will need copies of the documents that were served with you, so think of some means to provide them with photocopies or scanned/faxed copies of the documents. Keep the originals. After your initial call to the insurance company, the matter will be assigned to an adjuster (or whatever they call the equivalent) and this will be the person that you really want to get on your side. Don't be afraid to ask questions of the adjuster and make sure you understand the instructions or requests that he or she will give you. 

    Keep an eye on the date that a response has to be filed with the court, though, because if there is no coverage under your insurance policy or policies, it will be up to you to hire an attorney and get a response filed within the deadline.

    As always, I'm not your attorney and the foregoing is not legal advice. If you want legal advice, hire your own attorney.
  • "Should You Change Your Defensive Ammunition During Colder Weather?"--Active Response Training. The short answer is "no". A lot of people are concerned about penetration against assailants that are bundled up in heavy winter clothing and wonder about changing to a full metal jacket bullet. Greg Ellifritz explains that lack of penetration due to heavy clothing is rarely an issue with hollow-point defensive ammunition because heavy clothing tends to clog the nose of the bullet which results in less (or no) expansion and, consequently, deeper penetration. (Remember, that when the bullet opens up, it acts like a drogue chute and quickly slows the bullet; so, no expansion, no drogue chute effect). Good quality defensive ammunition will still expand and adequately penetrate through heavy clothing.
    The one caveat I would make is if you are using a handgun in a marginal caliber that already has problems with adequate penetration, such as .22 LR, .25 ACP, or .32 ACP. If you live where it might have to be punching through several layers of a heavy parka, thick wool fleece, a heavy leather coat over a couple sweaters, etc., you might want to go up to a heavier hitting caliber.
“Imagine having your pistol tucked inside your waistband and while picking up your dog, a paw gets lodged in the trigger and fires the weapon, sending a bullet into and through your thigh. Well, that happened here in Plano,” according to a post on the police department’s Facebook page.
When should you bug out and when should you bug in? The choice to stay or to go when disaster strikes should be determined by credible, timely information. If your home and safety are threatened by:
  • floodwaters
  • wildfire
  • hurricane
  • HAZMAT or chemical spill, or if
  • civil unrest has escalated to dangerous levels (riots, looting, mass panic, breakdown in civil order)
It may be time to bug out. You may not need to go to a stereotypical bug out location deep in the mountains but it may be wise to evacuate to a predetermined safe place.
    Now, in the American context, it might not be new and more draconian Covid-19 lockdowns that spurs a rash of mass exoduses from our major cities, it might be civil disorder, looting, riots and widespread arson. In any event, rural folks had better start thinking about ways to stop a flood of angry, frightened, hungry and dehydrated city dwellers who might be arriving in their zip-code on short notice. 

    I’m reminded of a Hurricane Katrina story that was once well known on Arfcom. A fellow in northern Louisiana had told a few prepper friends that they could park their RVs on his small farm. So far so good, but friends told friends, the address was passed around, and soon every square foot of the tract was covered in RVs and tents. It wasn’t long before a power shift occurred, and a “committee” of RV-dwelling perfect strangers marched to the house to demand access to the facilities. The owner of the land was no longer calling the shots, simply by weight of numbers.

    Have a plan to keep this from happening in your AO, even if it means temporarily blocking bridges or other choke points.



VIDEO: "The Mini-14: A Cost-Effective Scaled-Down M14"--Forgotten Weapons (14 min.)
In this video, Ian looks at how Ruger was able to make a functional scaled down replica of the M14 at a much lower cost.

The Current Unrest:
    The state of Arizona may flip back to President Donald Trump, according to George Khalaf the president of Data Orbital, a Phoenix-based data analysis and political consulting firm.

    In a Nov. 4 interview on The Epoch Times’ “Crossroads,” Khalaf said it was “completely premature” for both the Associated Press and Fox News to call the race in Arizona.

    “People are making a mistake with equating the ballots that are left that came in early [with] the early ballots that were sent back in the mail,” he said.

    “Unlike in other states, it’s actually the inverse in Arizona. Democrats dominated early ballots that were mailed back earlier in the cycle, and Republicans absolutely dominated ballots that arrived between last Friday and election day,” he added. “Like how they dominated Election Day itself.”

    Trump’s vote deficit in Arizona has been shrinking, with a recent tally reported from the state’s largest county showing that Democratic challenger Joe Biden’s lead in the battleground has shrunk to around 68,390 votes.

    Khalaf said Democrats initially had a 1 percent advantage for the results counted early on in the night of the election, but Republicans have “a 20 percent advantage of the ballots that have yet to be counted.”

    Khalaf said that, based on their data, “we strongly feel that it [Arizona] will flip back to President trump … we feel like he will win a narrow victory.”

    “At this point we are expecting him to win anywhere between 0.5 and 1 percent,” he said.
    As of this writing, it appears that Democratic Party machines in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania are trying to steal the election.

    As reporters and commentators went to bed early Tuesday morning, all three states were too close to call, but President Trump led former Vice President Joe Biden by comfortable margins—far beyond what had been predicted in the polls. None of the networks called these states because enough mail-in ballots remained uncounted that it could swing either way, but Trump’s position looked good.

    Then, something strange happened in the dead of the night. In both Michigan and Wisconsin, vote dumps early Wednesday morning showed 100 percent of the votes going for Biden and zero percent—that’s zero, so not even one vote—for Trump.

    In Michigan, Biden somehow got 138,339 votes and Trump got none, zero, in an overnight vote-dump.

* * *

    It turns out, the vote dump was the result of an alleged typo, an extra zero that had been tacked onto Biden’s vote total in Shiawassee County, Michigan. It seems the error was discovered only because Davis and other Twitter users noted how insane and suspicious the vote totals looked, and demanded an investigation that uncovered what was either a typo or an incredibly clumsy attempt to boost Biden’s vote count.

    There was also something suspicious about the vote reporting in Antrim County, Michigan, where Trump beat Hillary Clinton by 30 points in 2016. Initial vote totals there showed Biden ahead of Trump by 29 points, a result that can’t possibly be accurate, as plenty of journalists noted.

    After the strange results caught national attention, election officials in Antrim County said they were investigating what they called “skewed” results, working with the company that provides their election software to see what went wrong. The county clerk said they plan to have an answer by Wednesday afternoon.

    Then another mysterious all-Biden vote dump happened in Wisconsin. Biden miraculously overcame a 4.1-point Trump lead in the middle of the night thanks to vote dumps in which he got—you guessed it—100 percent of the votes and Trump got zero.

* * *

    In Pennsylvania, the Democratic scheme to steal the election is a bit different. Rather than vote dumps that impossibly go 100 percent to Biden, Pennsylvania is relying on the Democratic Secretary of State’s plan to count indisputably late mail-in ballots as though they were received on Election Day—even if they have no postmark.

    This plan was of course rubber-stamped by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, which cited the need for “equitable relief” to address mail delays amid the pandemic.

    Note that this isn’t just about ballots that come in after Election Day, but about ballots that come in after Election Day that don’t even have a postmark—that is, there is no way to tell when the ballots were mailed, or from where.
    ... Take Wisconsin: four years ago, Trump carried the state with 1,405,284 votes. This year, with 99% of the vote tabulated, Trump had 1,610,007 votes, more than 200,000 more votes than he received four years ago. Yet, we are told, he lost the state to the inept Joe Biden.

    That seems unlikely. There were 3,684,726 registered voters in Wisconsin going into Election day. The total votes recorded in Wisconsin were 3,240,549. That would give Wisconsin a turnout of 88%. According to Ballotpedia, no American state in the period 2002-2018 has ever achieved a turnout rate of 80% or higher. For purposes of comparison, in 2016 Wisconsin had a 67 percent turnout rate. If you are credulous, you can believe that 21% more Wisconsinites voted this year, compared with the red-hot election of four years ago, and 248,000 more Wisconsinites turned out to vote for the charismatic Joe Biden this year than voted for Hillary Clinton four years ago. I think those numbers are almost certainly false, the result of ballot manipulation.

    The Gateway Pundit has more on this issue. It says that seven Democratic wards in Milwaukee reported more votes than registered voters, while 90 Milwaukee wards reported turnouts of more than 90%. Altogether, the City of Milwaukee reported a “record turnout of 84 percent.” That includes, of course, registered voters who have died, moved elsewhere, and so on.

    Some of those Biden votes, according to the Gateway Pundit and the sources it links to, showed up suddenly in the middle of the night. Funny how that happens. Gateway produces this chart, which I have NOT verified, showing a sudden infusion of Biden votes when no one was watching:

    Packing the U.S. Supreme Court is not normal. Creating new states as a way to pack the Senate is not normal. Abolishing the Electoral College is not normal. Establishing a South African-style “Truth and Reconciliation Commission” is not normal. Codifying Roe v. Wade into law and forcing taxpayers to pay for abortions is not normal. A ban on fracking—or, as Biden likes to put it, “transitioning out of fossil fuels”—is not normal. Passing any version of the Green New Deal is not normal. Raising the top income tax rate to a level not seen since the Carter administration is not normal.

    These things are radical, and Democrats broadly support all of them. ...
    European journalists have expressed shock and outrage that millions of Americans voted for President Donald Trump this week, the failure of Biden to deliver a landslide win showing the U.S. had failed to “purge” itself of Trumpism.

    As Europe woke up to a closely fought election going down to the wire — an upset against the Biden landslide many clearly expected — some major European newspapers poured scorn on U.S. voters themselves for voting wrong.

    In Germany, Deutsche Welle’s U.S. correspondent was particularly hectoring in expressing her disapproval at the early results in the presidential election, saying that “not enough Americans [are] appalled by Trump’s actions”. After a list of perceived failings that should have put every single American off voting Trump from the Muslim ban to the impeachment attempt, the piece made clear that Wednesday’s news was disappointing to Germany whatever way it went.

    DW’s front-page analysis piece concluded: “The fact that a significant number of Americans still voted for Donald Trump despite his actions over the past four years shows what is acceptable in the United States. And that is devastating, no matter who ends up in the White House.”

The reason they are so upset? David P. Goldman explains in his article "The Good News Is That Biden Is Screwed, Even if He Wins." 

    ... The Republicans kept a Senate majority and reduced the Democratic majority in the House. If Biden squeaks by, he will have no popular mandate, no Senate, and no help from the Supreme Court. He won’t be able to pass tax increases, big changes in health care, or his Green New Deal boondoggles. He will have the same headaches confirming his favorite nominees as Trump did, and worse, as a Republican Senate casts a jaundiced eye at Biden’s supporting cast.

    The good news is that the election stymied the Democratic Party’s plan for radical transformation of the United States into an Orwellian state enforcing political correctness, and turning the federal budget into a pinata for Democratic constituencies. That’s the genius of the American political system. To make big changes you need either a big majority or a small majority for a very long time, and the Democrats have neither.

    Of course, a Biden administration would have the freedom to undo some of President Trump’s accomplishments in foreign policy, for example, returning to the repugant Obama policy of coddling Iran.

    As readers of this blog know, structural-demographic theorists distinguish between two causes of revolutions and civil wars: structural trends, which build slowly and are quite predictable, and much less predictable, or even unpredictable, triggering events. In this view, a revolution is like an earthquake or a forest fire. As Mao once wrote, “a single spark can start a prairie fire.” A fire needs fuel—dead plant material—which accumulates gradually as plants die and fall down. But what it needs to start is a spark—somebody throwing away a careless match, or a lighting strike coming from the sky.

    Structural trends undermining social resilience in the United States have been building up for decades. It became clear to me 10 years ago (see my 2010 forecast) and has become obvious to most everybody in the last few years. These structural forces are: increasing popular immiseration (declining incomes, falling life expectancies, growing social pessimism and despair), elite overproduction and intra-elite conflict, and failing state (growing state debt and collapsing trust in state institutions). The Covid-19 pandemic put even more pressure on the system, especially exacerbating immiseration.

    What is somewhat unusual is that the triggering event for USA in 2020 is also highly predictable. Every four years America elects president. Even under “normal” circumstances a ruler transition stresses the system, but when it happens under conditions of high social fragility, it can deliver a death blow to it. Last time this happened was in 1860. The result was the American Civil War and what many historians call the “Second American Revolution,” because it overturned the previous social order, dominated by slave-owning southern planters in alliance with northern merchants who shipped their products overseas. This ruling class was replaced with the new governing class, the northern manufacturing, mining, railroad, and agro-business elites. The main fault-line then was between the slave-owning South and the free-labor North.

    Today the faultline is between what could be called the Red and Blue Americas. Blue Americans hate and fear Trump and everything he stands for. Red Americans hate and fear what Biden stands for. Either side is united primarily not because they particularly like their candidate, but by their dislike of the opposing party. There is a geographic aspect to this confrontation (the coasts versus the heartland) but it is not as clear-cut as it was in 1860. Also, the Red and Blue parties coincide imperfectly with the Republicans and Democrats, because many Obama voters switched to Trump in 2016, while many republican politicians have endorsed Biden. The division is over the issues.

* * *

    What comes next—in November and in the months ahead? In dynamic systems terms, we are on the cusp with a highly positive Lyapunov exponent. What it means in English is that, unless there is a clean win, we will be in situation where possible trajectories start diverging dramatically. All kinds of outcomes become possible, even ones that seem outlandish right now, such as American Civil War II.

    Many social scientists, who study civil wars and revolutions, don’t believe that a civil war here is likely. They look at the current wave of violence and don’t see how it could escalate to a civil war—the United States has a strong and well-armed police force that can easily put down any popular insurrection. But this view misses an important point: successful revolutions rarely result from the revolt of the masses. The most important factor is the divisions at the top, with dissident elites mobilizing the masses to advance their political agendas.

* * *

    One final thought is that the timing of any such possibilities is completely unpredictable. Social breakdown can happen in days, but historical comparisons suggest that usually it takes many months. For example, Lincoln was elected on Nov. 6, 1860, but the first real battle of the Civil War took place in July 1861.

    Until the late 1990s, employment in manufacturing, although steadily falling as a share of total employment, had remained more or less flat in absolute terms. But manufacturing employment fell off a cliff after 2000, and this decline corresponded to a sharp increase in the non-oil deficit.

    Does the surge in the trade deficit explain the fall in employment? Yes, a lot of it. A reasonable estimate is that the deficit surge reduced the share of manufacturing in GDP by around 1.5 percentage points, or more than 10%, which means that it explains more than half the roughly 20% decline in manufacturing employment between 1997 and 2005.

    On the face of it, these should be heady times for American workers. U.S. unemployment is as low as it’s been in nearly two decades (3.9% as of July) and the nation’s private-sector employers have been adding jobs for 101 straight months – 19.5 million since the Great Recession-related cuts finally abated in early 2010, and 1.5 million just since the beginning of the year.

    But despite the strong labor market, wage growth has lagged economists’ expectations. In fact, despite some ups and downs over the past several decades, today’s real average wage (that is, the wage after accounting for inflation) has about the same purchasing power it did 40 years ago. And what wage gains there have been have mostly flowed to the highest-paid tier of workers.

Unrewarded Effort

Since the 1970s, wages and benefits have stagnated, falling out of step with workers’ productivity.

 Recession

Cumulative percentage change

252.9%

Productivity

250%

200

150

115.6%

Hourly compensation

100

50

0

1950

1960

1970

1980

1990

2000

2010

2020

Source: Economic Policy Institute
While authorized Hispanic immigrants tend to become citizens through the family unification program, Asian Americans are over-represented in the college and skilled worker pipelines to green cards and citizenship. Through diversity training on campus and in large, mostly-liberal corporations, they are socialized into progressive culture and ideology—including, paradoxically, the idea that they belong to an “over-represented” minority. Meanwhile, it appears that longer-resident and second-generation Hispanics without college educations are assimilating to the norms and culture of non-college-educated working class whites in their regions.


VIDEO: "Easiest way to make ammonium nitrate"--Arthur Eby (7 min.)
For you home schoolers wanting to delve into a bit of chemistry with your kids.

Miscellany:

    After we eliminate the impossible – which is that somehow these massive, well-funded bodies have missed month after month of accumulating evidence in support of ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine, vitamin D, NAC, zinc, selenium and doxycycline/azithromycin – what remains must be the truth.

    As improbable as it seems, the only conclusion we’re left with is that the machinery of politics, money and corporate psychopathy is suppressing life saving treatments because these managers have other priorities besides public health and saving lives.

    This is a terribly difficult conclusion, because it means suspending so much that we hold dear.  Things like the notion that people are basically good. The idea that the government generally means well. The thought that somehow when the chips are down and a crisis is afoot, good will emerge and triumph over evil.

    I’m sorry to say, the exact opposite of all of that has emerged as true.

    Medical doctors in the UK NHS system purposely used toxic doses of hydroxychloroquine far too late in the disease cycle to be of any help simply to ‘make a point’ about hydroxychloroquine.  They rather desperately wanted that drug to fail, so they made it fail.

    After deliberately setting their trial up for failure, they concluded: “Hydroxychloroquine doesn’t help, and it even makes things worse.”

    Note that in order to be able to make this claim, they had to be willing to cause harm — even to let people die.  What kind of health official does that?

    Not one who actually has compassion, a heart, or functioning level of sympathy.  It’s an awful conclusion but it’s what remains after we eliminate the impossible.

* * *

     ... So we have to ask: What’s the calculation being performed here?  It’s not public safety. It’s not your personal health. So… What is it?

    This is our line of questioning and observation. It’s like the short story by Arthur Conan Doyle in Silver Blaze that many of us informally know as “the case of the dog that didn’t bark”.  As the story goes, because of a missing clue – a dog who remained silent as a murder was committed – this conclusion could be drawn: the dog was already familiar with the killer!

    The silence around Vitamin D alone is extremely telling. It is the pharmacological dog that did not bark.

    One true inference suggests others.  Here, too, we can deduce from the near total silence around Vitamin D that the health managers would prefer not to talk about it. They don’t want people to know. That much is painfully clear.

    Such lack of promotion (let alone appropriate study) of safe, effective treatments is a thread that, if tugged, can unravel the whole rug.  The silence tells us everything we need to know.

    Do they want people to suffer and die?  I don’t know. My belief systems certainly hope not. Perhaps the death and suffering are merely collateral damage as they pursue a different goal — money, power, politics?  Simply the depressing result of a contentious election year?  More than that?

    We’ve now reached the jumping off point where we may well find out just how far down the rabbit hole goes.

    A massive grab for tighter control over the global populace is now being fast-tracked at the highest levels. Have you heard of the Great Reset yet?

    If not, you soon will.

    In 2014 and 2015, then-Vice President Joe Biden traveled to Guatemala three times to pressure the government to maintain a United Nations body known as the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG). CICIG was established in Guatemala in 2006 under the pretext of prosecuting "crimes committed by members of illegal security forces and clandestine security structures," during Guatemala's long civil war. Instead, CICIG -- an international body unaccountable to Guatemalan law, worked with Guatemala's Justice Ministry to arrest and jail the left's opponents. Many remain illegally detained to this day without trial. Two prominent doctors and a Guatemalan congressman died in jail. All suffered ill health, did not receive proper treatment and were detained much longer than legally allowed. None got a trial. All were absolved following their deaths.

    Biden met with then-Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina, who did not want to renew CICIG's charter. The Obama administration had promised a $1 billion aid package to Northern Triangle countries (Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador), but Biden made the aid and upcoming trade agreements contingent upon renewing CICIG's contract. First cajoling then threatening, Biden finally announced, "The CICIG is staying, period." Biden used this same tactic in Ukraine, where he bragged about threatening to withhold loan guarantees until the Ukrainian government fired the prosecutor investigating Hunter Biden. Biden also sought Pérez's help in extending CICIG's rule to El Salvador and Honduras.

    Pérez reluctantly agreed to renew CICIG's charter. He was then pressured to resign under accusations of corruption and stripped by the Guatemalan Congress of legal immunity. The day after he resigned he was arrested and thrown in jail. He has remained there ever since, without trial. In a Daily Caller interview from jail, Pérez called these efforts, "a coup without bullets."

    Pérez said that, "CICIG amounts to a new form of U.S. interference in Guatemala's affairs and that his country has surrendered its sovereignty over its justice system by allowing the unit to operate."

    CICIG's litany of abuses includes arbitrary arrest, detention and interrogation without charges or trial, fabricated evidence, illegal break-ins and denial of due process, pretrial detention for years longer than allowed by Guatemalan law and many other abuses. Some of the charges it has brought are valid, given endemic corruption in Guatemala. But CICIG's goal was not to stem corruption, rather to use it as a pretext to dispatch the left's enemies and install vastly more corrupt individuals who will advance the Communist cause in Guatemala.
There is a growing body of literature that suggests the religious and spiritual practices associated with drug cartels, such as their worship of “narco-saints,” may reflect an emerging trend toward greater criminal involvement.  The narco-saints, like Jesus Malverde and Santa Muerte, have gained such prominence with drug traffickers throughout the Western Hemisphere that law enforcement note their shrines, imagery, and associated items, using them as evidence in court proceedings, and identifying them as objects that serve as indicia of drug trafficking.  In addition to the traditionally-recognized correlation between religiosity and self-control, it is generally accepted at the law enforcement organizational level that spirituality is related to officer well-being, and this spirituality may also influence officer actions against religious activities seen through their eyes as sacrilegious.  As drug traffickers pray to their respective protectors, law enforcement officers carrying out targeted actions against traffickers also pray to guardians such as Saint Michael and Saint Christopher, in what could be considered an archetypal showdown of good versus evil.  Moreover, some on both sides of the drug war will seek favor from the same sentinels.  Recognition of religious and spiritual influences on both sides of the drug war—law enforcement officers and narco-traffickers—could be a first step in finding a beneficial way forward to a new drug strategy.
This spring the Army had a real-world Mission Command challenge as COVID-19 forced continued operations and training while within Social Distancing guidelines. Units began operating remotely, using a variety of platforms and apps including Line, WhatsApp, and zoom. Some utilized Defense Collaboration Services while others relied on teleconference lines. A common theme, however, is that many tactical units did not deploy their Mission Command Systems (MCS) Command Post of the Future (CPOF) connected via JNN/CPN/STT - the systems designed for communication during combat and tested during every Combat Training Center (CTC) rotation. In other words, at a critical moment, systems either failed or simply fell by the wayside, unused because of broad agreement on a lack of utility.

I am reminded of an incident from the invasion of Grenada in 1983, where a group of forward observers had to call long distance from a pay phone and get patched in to a navy ship to direct shell fire because the military systems didn't work.
    The new tablet, currently code-named AD109, contains two existing medications.

    The first, atomoxetine, has been around for nearly 20 years and is widely used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children, by increasing levels of a brain chemical called noradrenaline, which helps to improve concentration.

    U.S. scientists developing the new pill believe noradrenaline also stimulates the release of cells, called motor neurons, that keep airway muscles in good condition — reducing the risk of them 'collapsing' during sleep.

    The other drug, oxybutynin, is usually prescribed to patients with urinary incontinence, stopping embarrassing leaks by reducing spasms in muscles that control the bladder.

    In the throat and airway, oxybutynin is thought to act on receptors that make the muscles controlling the tongue contract — effectively holding it in place, rather than blocking the throat and causing snoring.

    Neither of these drugs is currently used to treat OSA, but a 2018 study, by Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, U.S., in which the two drugs were given at the same time to 20 snorers, revealed a powerful effect after just one night.

    Some patients went from suffering an average of nearly 30 breathing interruptions an hour to just seven — a drop of 74 per cent – with symptoms improving from the first night in some cases.

    Patients' blood oxygen levels — important for heart and brain function — also increased significantly as they were able to get more air into their lungs.

    Now a U.S. firm, called Apnimed, has combined these two medicines into one capsule and is setting up a clinical trial.
    "The majority of extracts that produce chills are specific to people, very personal, linked to the memory, to the musical styles people usually listened to," lead study author Thibault Chabin told UPI in an email.

    "Chills are associated with some musical characteristics such as new and unprepared harmonies, sudden dynamic or textural changes, harmonic or melodic sequences, rhythm, resolutions etc. It depends on the musical experiences of the listener, and on how he is able to anticipate what happened next," said Chabin, researcher at the University Bourgogne Franche-Comté in France.

    During the moments when listeners reported experiencing musical chills, the scalp-attached electrodes revealed a burst of electrical activity in the orbitofrontal cortex, a portion of the brain involved in emotional processing.

    EEG recordings also revealed heightened activity in the supplementary motor area, a mid-brain region responsible for movement control, and the right temporal lobe, part of the right side of the brain tasked with auditory processing and musical appreciation.

    The three regions of the brain work in conjunction to process musical experience, coordinate a pleasure response and release dopamine, a "feel-good" hormone and neurotransmitter.

    Warfare is an intrinsic part of being human. War isn’t a modern invention, but an ancient, fundamental part of our humanity. Historically, all peoples warred. Our oldest writings are filled with war stories. Archaeology reveals ancient fortresses and battles, and sites of prehistoric massacres going back millennia.

    To war is human – and Neanderthals were very like us. We’re remarkably similar in our skull and skeletal anatomy, and share 99.7% of our DNA. Behaviourally, Neanderthals were astonishingly like us. They made fire, buried their dead, fashioned jewellery from seashells and animal teeth, made artwork and stone shrines. If Neanderthals shared so many of our creative instincts, they probably shared many of our destructive instincts, too.

    The archaeological record confirms Neanderthal lives were anything but peaceful.

The implication is that this is what occurred to other hominids such as the Denisovans.

    Venus will be the brightest of the worlds, but Mercury, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn will be visible to the naked eye and Uranus and Neptune visible with binoculars. 

    Mars, Saturn and Jupiter will be best viewed in the evenings and, assuming the clouds hold off and the sky is clear, Venus will be unmissable in the morning sky.

    A team at the University of Tsukuba modified Madagascar cockroaches with cybernetic implants that navigate the insects up walls and across floors – places other robots have difficult accessing.

    Called 'Calmbots,' the cockroaches were installed with electrodes, a chip antenna, battery and a pixel strapped to its back that can be used as a display.

    Researchers say the cyborgs can transport objects around the home, drawing things on paper and may one day act as an 'input or haptic interfaces or an audio device.

    Calmbots are a project of Digital Nature Group, a department at the university, which aims to release their creations into people's homes.

    The Madagascar cockroach was chosen specifically for its capabilities of mobilization, self-maintenance and ability to hide.

    The team says that 'in the future, they'll appear out of nowhere without us recognizing it, fulfilling their tasks and then hiding.'
  • Students of Spengler should find this piece interesting: "Our Imperial Presidency" by Charles Hugh Smith, SHTF Plan. An excerpt:
    While elections and party politics generate the emotions and headlines, the truly consequential change in American governance has been the ascendancy of the Imperial Presidency over the past 75 years, since the end of World War II.

    As commander-in-chief of the armed forces, the Constitution grants the President extraordinary but temporary powers in wartime. With the power to declare war granted solely to Congress, this dangerous (in the Founders’ view) expansion of Executive power was tolerated because it was temporary and necessary in the fast-moving emergency of war.

    Congress has declared war a total of five times, while U.S. armed forces have been deployed in conflicts 300 times. So in 295 conflicts out of 300, the president had sole discretion. Various stamps of Congressional approval of these wartime powers have been given over the decades, but these are more for show than actual limits on presidential powers.

    The extraordinary powers granted to President Roosevelt in World War II did not expire at the end of the war. Rather, the powers of the presidency expanded along with the National Security agencies which rose to unprecedented power in the Cold War era of 1945 – 1991. The entire alphabet soup of the National Security State–CIA, NSA, DIA, etc.–serve the president, not Congress, which has been relegated the role of toothless oversight.

    Historian Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.’s 1973 book, The Imperial Presidency, introduced the term Imperial Presidency into the American lexicon.

    While historians have documented the rise of Executive power at the expense of the legislative branch and pundits have wrung their hands over this concentration of vast, often secret power in the presidency, nobody within the status quo has addressed the core reason behind the rise of the Imperial Presidency: America’s Empire requires a CEO/Emperor as a simple operational reality.

    You can’t run a global military/commercial/diplomatic empire with a slow-moving legislative body; you need a dynamic CEO (chief executive officer) with essentially unlimited powers to do whatever it takes to run the empire.

    Empires need an emperor, and this is the history of post-WW2 America. As the victor, the U.S. emerged with a global reach and power that can only be described as imperial. While the USSR soon gained military parity with nuclear weapons and vast tank armies aimed at Western Europe, the commercial empire was solely American.

    While some cheered America’s global empire and others shouldered it as a necessary Cold war burden, the status quo relished the immense expansion of centralized bureaucratic and executive powers.

    An Imperial President requires the Imperial machinery of global hegemony, and so the National Security State replaced the elected government as the real power. ... 

And who controls who gets accepted into the National Security State? Ultimately, a small number of psychologists.
    It is in the nature of the conservative people of the Anglosphere, despite their capacity for lethal fury when aroused at last, to prefer a quiet and local life until they no longer have any choice. (The old English saying “Never trouble trouble till trouble troubles you!” sums this up neatly.) The runup to World War II was a perfect example: even as it became clearer and clearer, during the 1920s and ’30s, that Germany was intent on diabolical mischief that would affect the security of all of Europe, the British, still in shock from the maiming of Europe in the First World War, clung desperately, and naively, to hopes of peace. Winston Churchill, who was the only prominent man in all of England to sound the alarm — and who was excommunicated from political life for it — would later refer to this period of squandered opportunity as “the years the locusts have eaten”.

    And so it has been for us: for at least the last sixty years, a poisonous, corrosive ideology has made its long march through our institutions. The Marxist rebels of the 1960s assimilated themselves into every corner of our academies, media, and government, and made it their top priority to take charge of the education of our children. What they sowed so patiently for so long has now produced its bitter harvest. When Barack Obama promised, in 2008, that his election would herald the fundamental transformation of America”, he wasn’t kidding. (A lesson that we never seem to learn is this: when these people tell you what they intend to do, you should believe them.)

* * *

    Can we now mount a reaction? The election of Donald Trump four years ago, and the massive outpouring of support he has awakened this time around, are heartening signs, but our national illness is now very far advanced. If we had sensed the urgency twenty years ago, we might perhaps have prevented the current crisis — but we didn’t, and it’s no use crying about it.

    So: although the point of my original post was to focus on the positive, and to remind us of our natural assets, I think our commenters are quite right: something must be done, and it has to begin now. As I write, merchants in cities everywhere in America are boarding up their properties, knowing that if the Party of Love and Inclusion loses the election, its brownshirts will embark on a vengeful and destructive rampage. The era of comity and national unity in America is over, and we must face this horrifying truth without further delay. A resounding Trump victory tomorrow will, perhaps, buy us a few years without the government itself wielding its crushing power against us; if so, that’s a blessing, but we must not be lulled into feeding more years to the locusts. It is already evident that 2016 was the last “normal” election in America; from now on, nothing is ever going to be “normal” again, not for a very long time.

    The message of our commenters “vxxc” and JK is simple: ORGANIZE. The Left has been doing this energetically for decades, while the rest of us coasted along thinking that, having “organized” in 1776 and 1787, we needn’t bother now. How to do this is not my area of expertise, but there are a very great number of patriots — ex-military people, in particular — who can help. I do know that it will, almost necessarily, have to begin locally: as the Framers understood, a “well regulated militia” is “necessary for the security of a free State”.
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) recently announced it will no longer call black separatist and black nationalist organizations “hate groups” unless they are antisemitic, anti-gay, or misogynistic. In other words, hatred of whites won’t earn anybody the “hater” label, because “Black separatism was born out of valid anger against very real historical and systemic oppression.”
  • "The war that was lost"--Vox Popoli. Vox Day writes: "Immigration, as the great Israeli military historian Martin van Creveld has shown, is war. And that war, not WWI, WWII, or the Cold War, was the true existential war that America faced, and lost, as demonstrated by this selection from The Old World in the New: The Significance of Past and Present Immigration to the American People, published in 1914 by sociologist E.A. Ross[.]" After the quoted selection, Day concludes:
If America is to leave behind any historical legacy for the ages, it is this. First, pick your own damn cotton. Second, always sink the ships. Third, never let business-minded men set national policy, because for all their pragmatism, they are totally incapable of seeing anything beyond tomorrow's pocketbook.
    Elements of the left and their allies in the media are constantly driving this point home: White people are bad and so is the culture that they have created. Everything we value as a society is bad and, more than that, little more than an ex post facto justification for the subjugation of non-whites. Western culture is white culture, and all things white are bad.

    But as with everything else which these elements of the left and their allies in the media push, this is simply false. While the overlap between white people – that is, people of European descent and some Christian populations in the Caucasus – and Western culture is undeniable, it is likewise undeniable that Western culture is no longer the exclusive domain of whites. What we can call, without the slightest bit of stretching the truth, Western culture is present not just in Western Europe, North America and Australia, but also in former British colonies such as Israel, Singapore and Hong Kong.

    What’s more, a country simply being part of Europe does not make it “Western” in any meaningful sense. While there is a certain Western cultural continuum based around Christianity that extends from Lisbon to Vladivostok, it would be overly simplistic (and indeed, a bit demeaning) to label the post-Soviet countries as “Western.” They have a similar set of cultural values rooted in Christianity, however, even the introduction of democracy has not made many post-Soviet and post-colonial nations more liberal in the true sense of the word – open markets, an emphasis on free speech, strong private property rights, an independent, impartial judiciary, and the primacy of the individual over that of the group.

    Throughout this article we will provide some terms to define what we mean by “Western culture.” We will also make the case that Western cultural values have a universal aspect in the sense that they can be applied with success anywhere in the world, that these values are objectively superior to other value sets at maximizing human freedom, quality of life, and potential, and that the belief in this superiority has nothing to do with “racism” in the sense that it is commonly understood by ordinary people.

    One demonstration of the proof that these values are objectively superior is that "people vote with their feet", as Dr. Jordan Peterson points out: "The fundamental assumptions of Western civilization are valid. Here's how you know: Which countries do people want to move away from? Not ours. Which countries do people want to move to? Ours! Guess what, they work better. And it's not because we went around the world stealing everything we could get our hands on. It's because we got certain fundamental assumptions right - and thank God for that."

 Read the whole thing.

2 comments:

  1. #1, when I retire? You and I should podcast.
    #2, the Mini-14 is by far the favorite of The Boy and Pugsley, and they've shot nearly everything I own.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. #1: Agreed.
      #2: The overall balance and feel of the Mini-14 is better, IMHO. Hence, the AR is a tool, but the Mini-14 is fun. Old man Ruger made a huge mistake when he decided to stop selling the 20- and 30-round magazines to the public.

      Delete

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