Wednesday, June 9, 2021

The Docent's Memo (6/9/2021)

VIDEO: "Pressure & Control: These Knife Disarms are BRUTAL!"--Funker Tactical (11 min.)

Firearms/Self-Defense:

  • "The Guns of the Highway Patrol: A Three-Way Six-Incher Showdown"--The Truth About Guns. The author notes that at one time, it was common for state patrol/highway patrol officers to use .357 Magnum revolvers with 6-inch barrels. He compares the three most popular models in the 1970s: the Ruger Security Six, S&W Model 19, and the Colt Trooper MK III. 
  • "Sig P220 West German Made- Swiss Engineered"--The Mag Life. The author discusses the history of the P220 (as well as the collaboration between Sig (an Austrian company) and J.P. Sauer and Sons (a German company) to develop and manufacture the pistol. Discussing his particular model, manufactured in then-West Germany, the author relates:
    An extremely smooth trigger delivers a wonderful double-action and single-action trigger pull. I imagine thousands upon thousands of trigger pulls have honed the trigger to an extremely smooth pull. The long double-action trigger rolls rearward like a finely done revolver trigger.
 
    Staging the trigger during your double-action pull is possible. You can hold the hammer almost entirely cocked and ensure you have a good sight picture before finishing the trigger pull. The single-action offers a little take-up and what barely qualifies as a wall before breaking and firing. A short reset ensures the trigger is ready to rock and roll again quite quickly.

While a fine weapon in the author's opinion, he adds: "Much like the Government size 1911, the P220 wears the badge of being obsolescent. It weighs a ton and doesn’t offer the capacity to justify the weight or size of the gun." I don't know about that. The P220 is known for its accuracy and the weight helps with recoil control. It makes a good defensive pistol for the home if you want something in .45 ACP.

    The Sig P220 was the same basic concept as my Colt: a single-stack .45 ACP full sized combat pistol. (Though, oddly enough, 9mm, 10mm, .38 Super and .22LR are other available calibers for both pistols). However, the Sig Sauer P220 benefited from another 65 years of pistol evolution and got almost everything right from the start. The P220 felt superb, was stunningly accurate, and--get THIS--I didn't have to do anything to it. It was perfect, straight out of the box. I immediately relegated the Colt to the safe, and haven't looked back.

    The P220 is a far superior carry gun to the 1911 platform. There, I said it. I will champion the following statement till the day I die: Anything the 1911 can do, the Sig Sauer P220 can do better.

His reasoning is that the Sig is more reliable because it is less finicky about ammunition, it has simpler operation than the 1911, only one company makes it (leading to less variability), and it doesn't need to be worked on by a gunsmith to make it usable. On the other hand, the Sig P220 is no more (Sig still makes certain models, but the basic P220 is no longer in its catalog), and I believe that the 1911 is superior for concealment.
    • Related: "The .45 ACP, Part I" by John Taffin, GUNS Magazine. This is the first in a series on reloading for the .45 ACP. In this installment, Taffin tells of the massive quantities of used brass he has on hand and his plans on reloading it. The article then moves on to case preparation and seating the bullets. Taffin uses an RCBS Rock Chucker single-stage press. For sizing and de-priming, he uses the Lee Undersized Carbide Sizing Die. He wants the bullets slightly undersized to better hold the bullet and prevent it from working out under recoil. He also uses the Lee Universal Expanding Die and the Lee Factory Crimp Die. Part 2 discusses loads for cast lead bullets, while Part 3 deals with jacketed bullets.
       
  • "Can’t See The Light? | Keep the Lens Clean" by Patrick A. Rogers, SWAT Magazine. It important, the author explains, to keep the lens of a weapon mounted light clean. The easiest way to facilitate this is to put some transparent barrier between the lens and the cloud of powder residue generated during firing. The author mentions using a WD-40 pen to put a thin coating of oil, Vaseline or a chap stick. When the gunk builds up, wipe off the messy residue and apply a fresh coat and resume shooting. And if you didn't engage in prevention, the author discusses cleaning the dirty lens:
    Carbon left on the lens can solidify after a while and make it more difficult to clean. The potential for scratching the lens increases with time as you use more aggressive cleaning methods. Keep this in mind as you clean the lens.

    There are degrees of obscuration, so let’s start with minor cleaning, the easiest of all, and progress to the grunge.

    Assuming that you have started with a clean lens, your first choice is warm, soapy water. This works on lights that have had minimal rounds fired from the gun they are mounted on. Apply it with a soft cloth or cotton swab, applying gentle pressure. Rinse with water, review and repeat if necessary. The sooner you do this after shooting, the easier it will be to clean.

    If the gunk is caked on and solidified, escalate the cleaning regimen. The excellent SLiP 725 cleaner can be used on the lens and does an excellent job of removing carbon from any surface. As stated above, use a soft cloth or Q-Tip and apply gentle pressure.

    An alternative method is to use lemon juice. Doc Spears has been using this for a long time with excellent results. Apply sparingly and use the soft cloth/Q-Tip as with the other methods. Rub gently and in a circular motion to ensure you get the crud off. Rinse with water when finished.

    For the really tough stuff, use toothpaste. This is a mild abrasive and certainly useful to polish a great number of items. Some successfully use a pencil eraser, rubbing gently to remove the crud. ...
  • "Concealed Carry Corner: Working Around Gun-Free Zones"--The Firearm Blog. It is inevitable that we are going to encounter gun-free zones whether mandated by law (e.g., post offices, schools, court houses, etc.) or posted by a property owner (e.g., most shopping malls and theaters). The author of this piece discusses the options for a concealed carrier for dealing with such places: (i) simply avoiding gun free zones; or (ii) carrying regardless of the gun free status (a possible problem if the violation brings criminal penalties). Other than one sentence--"For legal reasons, I would say to avoid gun-free zones entirely and if you have to go to them to take your gun off and quickly get your task done"--he doesn't add the third option of taking your gun off before entering such location. It's not ideal, but none of the options are.
  • Speaking of gun-free zones: "Weapon Malfunctions in an Active Shooter Event" by Greg Ellifritz, Saddle River Range. The article notes that it is not uncommon for there to be a pause in an active shooter event as the shooter has to deal with a malfunction or reload. "It’s a situation we all should be watching for," writes Ellifritz.  "It happens in quite a few spree shootings.  If you are alert, you can use these moments to escape or attack." He lists shootings where the shooter had to reload or deal with a malfunction, and has advice on taking advantage of those situations.
  • "Sexual Assault: Precautions and Prevention"--Kennedy Torch (h/t KA9OFF).
    Kennedy High School’s Women’s Self Defense Club teaches students about keeping themselves safe in dangerous situations. They teach self-defense techniques, bring in officers and give advice to women on what to do in case of an emergency. 

    “Some precautions women can take to feel safer are always travelling in groups, keeping pepper spray on them, taking public routes, having their keys splayed in between their knuckles or even something as simple as calling a friend when walking in the dark.” Tawil, a student in the Women’s Defense Club, said.

"... having their keys splayed in between their knuckles" is horrible advice. Instead of the old, tired tripe being bandied about, the Club would do better to teach students to be aware, listen to their gut instincts and avoid risky behavior (e.g., Farnham's rules--Jon Low always includes these in his periodic compilations of articles and advice).

    According to NOPD, car thefts have doubled since last year. Women account for more than half of carjacking victims.

    "It is important to have some type of solution to these problems that we are having. A solution that can better help women as they go about their day, " said Justin Brown with Empower You NOLA.

    Empower You NOLA is a local organization looking to combat crime in New Orleans. From pumping gas, to making groceries, the group's newest initiative to make sure women are aware of their surroundings at all times.

    When it comes to self defense, Sensei Jason B. Horne said sadly most of his clients come to him after they have already fallen victim to an attack. But he encourages everyone to learn methods in protecting themselves.

    "Take action first. If you enlighten your awareness. Know where you are parking. How you are holding your keys bags, how you are with kids. These can can prevent a lot of the carjacking's and abduction attacks," said Horne.

    Horne went on to say, "If a person is car jacking you and they have the gun already pulled. Give them the vehicle. Do not fight them."

VIDEO: "Earth Core Protrusion | Advanced Catastrophism"--Suspicious Observers (3 min.)
A look at how the recently discovered protrusion on one side of the Earth's core actually makes a polar reversal more likely.

Prepping/Survivalism

    May had (again) increased violence, but not as bad as it could have been as unseasonably cold weather kept other temperatures down.    Again, none of the violence that I could see originated from the Right.

    I’m holding May at 9 out of 10.  That’s still two minutes to midnight.  Last month I said that “ July or August could take us to a 10” and the reason is becoming clearer, as hot weather and economic woes will be showing up on the street.

    I currently put the total at (this is my best approximation, since no one tracks the death toll from rebellion-related violence) up to around 800 out of the 1,000 required for the international civil war definition.

    As close as we are to the precipice of war, be careful.  Things could change at any minute.  Avoid crowds.  Get out of cities.  Now.  A year too soon is better than one day too late.
    In California, some areas are so dry that farmers are not even bothering to plant crops this season. Growers located north of San Francisco pulled out of local farmers’ markets and now produce-box programs. However, County Line Harvest, which farms around 30 acres in Petaluma, does not have enough water to grow the lettuces, peppers, and other produce that go into the subscription boxes. Many other farms nearby are saying the same thing.

    California grows a third of the US’s vegetables and 2/3 of the nation’s fruits and nuts. Dry weather is now causing a significant hiccup in food prices and inflation that is already taking place across the US.

A big part of the problem with California is that it has refused to build dams over the past 40 or 50 years even as its population has boomed. California's lack of foresight could have an impact on surrounding states as well as California tries to tap into those state's water. For instance, California already uses more than its share of water from the Colorado river, and it will want more to the detriment of Nevada and Arizona. In the past it has even been suggested that a pipeline should be built from Idaho to California to divert some of Idaho's already scarce water to the Sunshine State. 

VIDEO: "Dr. Fauci’s Emails: What We Learned"--America Uncovered (11 min.)
A more balanced reporting of the emails.

Covid News:

  • "No point vaccinating those who’ve had COVID-19: Findings of Cleveland Clinic study"--News-Medical. The study found that individuals that have had a prior SARS-CoV-2 infection do not get additional benefits from vaccination, indicating that those without a prior infection should be prioritized to receive the COVID-19 vaccines.
  • "A Real-Life Bond Villain? Coronavirus Researcher Peter Daszak Is the Golden Thread Weaving Through Lab Leak Theory Dismissals"--Red State.
    • Dr. Peter Daszak funneled tens of millions of dollars in grants from the US government – including the Department of Defense – to the Wuhan Institute of Virology through his non-profit, EcoHealth Alliance.
    • Daszak performed gain-of-function research on SARS coronaviruses at WIV with Dr. Shi Zhengli, including on two [s]trains nearly identical to COVID-19.
    • Daszak spearheaded the drafting and submission of a 2/19/20 letter in the Lancet from 27 scientists declaring that COVID-19 arose naturally, without declaring his conflict.
    • Many of the signatories of that letter had received emails from Daszak soliciting their signature and reminding them of all the research funding they’d received from EcoHealth Alliance.
    • Facebook’s COVID-19 fact-checker, Science Feedback, used Daszak as one of their “experts” to shut down lab leak theory discussion.
    • Daszak emailed Dr. Fauci in the early days of the pandemic, thanking him for shutting down the lab leak theory.
    • Daszak influenced numerous other letters and statements in scientific journals that declared a lab leak was impossible.
    • Daszak was selected to be a member of the WHO study team that declared it “highly unlikely” that the pandemic originated in a lab – without doing an actual investigation or seeing original documentation.
    • Daszak was recently tapped to head an investigation into COVID-19’s origin by Lancet.
  • "The origin of COVID: Did people or nature open Pandora’s box at Wuhan?" by Nicholas Wade, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. An excerpt:
    After the pandemic first broke out in December 2019, Chinese authorities reported that many cases had occurred in the wet market — a place selling wild animals for meat — in Wuhan. This reminded experts of the SARS1 epidemic of 2002 ....

    ... The wet market connection, the major point of similarity with the SARS1 and MERS epidemics, was soon broken: Chinese researchers found earlier cases in Wuhan with no link to the wet market. But that seemed not to matter when so much further evidence in support of natural emergence was expected shortly.

    Wuhan, however, is home of the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a leading world center for research on coronaviruses. So the possibility that the SARS2 virus had escaped from the lab could not be ruled out. Two reasonable scenarios of origin were on the table.

    From early on, public and media perceptions were shaped in favor of the natural emergence scenario by strong statements from two scientific groups. These statements were not at first examined as critically as they should have been.

    “We stand together to strongly condemn conspiracy theories suggesting that COVID-19 does not have a natural origin,” a group of virologists and others wrote in the Lancet on February 19, 2020, when it was really far too soon for anyone to be sure what had happened. Scientists “overwhelmingly conclude that this coronavirus originated in wildlife,” they said, with a stirring rallying call for readers to stand with Chinese colleagues on the frontline of fighting the disease.

    Contrary to the letter writers’ assertion, the idea that the virus might have escaped from a lab invoked accident, not conspiracy. It surely needed to be explored, not rejected out of hand. A defining mark of good scientists is that they go to great pains to distinguish between what they know and what they don’t know. By this criterion, the signatories of the Lancet letter were behaving as poor scientists: They were assuring the public of facts they could not know for sure were true.

    It later turned out that the Lancet letter had been organized and drafted by Peter Daszak, president of the EcoHealth Alliance of New York. Daszak’s organization funded coronavirus research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. If the SARS2 virus had indeed escaped from research he funded, Daszak would be potentially culpable. This acute conflict of interest was not declared to the Lancet’s readers. To the contrary, the letter concluded, “We declare no competing interests.”

    Virologists like Daszak had much at stake in the assigning of blame for the pandemic. For 20 years, mostly beneath the public’s attention, they had been playing a dangerous game. In their laboratories they routinely created viruses more dangerous than those that exist in nature. They argued that they could do so safely, and that by getting ahead of nature they could predict and prevent natural “spillovers,” the cross-over of viruses from an animal host to people. If SARS2 had indeed escaped from such a laboratory experiment, a savage blowback could be expected, and the storm of public indignation would affect virologists everywhere, not just in China. “It would shatter the scientific edifice top to bottom,” an MIT Technology Review editor, Antonio Regalado, said in March 2020.

Also:

Science is supposedly a self-correcting community of experts who constantly check each other’s work. So why didn’t other virologists point out that the Andersen group’s argument was full of absurdly large holes? Perhaps because in today’s universities speech can be very costly. Careers can be destroyed for stepping out of line. Any virologist who challenges the community’s declared view risks having his next grant application turned down by the panel of fellow virologists that advises the government grant distribution agency.

Read the whole thing.

    At some point, the US Congress stopped legislating and handed over most “rulemaking” governing Americans’ lives to the administrative state’s sprawling bureaucracy. The brainchild of progressive President Woodrow Wilson, the modern administrative state is rooted in a disdain for the messy give-and-take of politics and a preference for rule by an enlightened clerisy.

    “Trust the experts,” in other words. Over the century-plus since Wilson’s presidency, the federal mandarins themselves, as well as many citizens and lawmakers, elevated the slogan to the status of dogma. To question the ­numerous agencies of the federal government and their armies of ­“experts” became tantamount to questioning science itself. 

    Then came COVID-19. The virus dealt an irreparable blow to the credibility of our ruling class and its ­appeal to its own authority as a ­coterie of highly credentialed and capable experts. 

    No single person exemplifies this fall more than Dr. Anthony Fauci, who attained celebrity status during the pandemic as the ­nation’s leading immunologist and forward-facing spokesman for our public-policy response. 

    As Steve Deace and Todd Erzen detail in their new book, “Faucian Bargain: The Most Powerful and Dangerous Bureaucrat in American History,” Fauci has repeatedly contradicted himself throughout the pandemic, waffling on what “the Science” demands at any given moment, while still always seeming to err on the side of draconian overreaction.

I have to disagree with the author. Yes, if you look at the news coverage from conservative outlets, it is full of condemnation of Fauci. But if you look at what the rest of the media coverage has been, the emails from Fauci only underline (they argue) how great Fauci is and how tirelessly he has worked to save America from the dreaded pandemic. For that America, the pandemic has only shown what the mandarin class can do when freed from the restraints of the Constitution and elected officials. 

VIDEO: "TRIBALISM & The FALL of the WEST"--Felix Rex (9 min.)

Miscellany:

    Gangs raided multiple police stations for weapons in Haiti's capital, Port-au-Prince, in deadly attacks over the weekend as violence between armed groups flared, with intense conflict in one southern neighborhood forcing thousands to flee.

    The gangs have proliferated in the poorest country in the Americas over the past few years during a period of political unrest and growing economic misery. Armed groups increasingly outgun Haiti's security forces and fight with one another over territory.

Fun fact (per Wikipedia): "Haiti is the world's oldest black republic and one of the oldest republics in the Western Hemisphere."

Congress passed the NFA in 1934 seeking to clamp down on Thompson submachine guns and other weapons frequently involved in organized crime and bank robberies. It applies to fully automatic weapons, suppressors, and sawed-off shotguns. The NFA is widely considered one of the most effective gun-control measures in history because the use of those weapons in crime dropped precipitously after its passage and remains rare today. 

While technically true, the NFA did nothing to reduce crime which was supposedly the purpose of the Act. Moreover, it didn't stop the leftist terrorists of the 1960s, 70s, and early 80s from getting their hands on fully automatic or select fire weapons.

Because of its ubiquity in both soil and industrial goods, perchlorate is a common water contaminant that causes certain thyroid disorders. Perchlorate bioaccumulates in plant tissues and a large amount of perchlorate found in Martian soil could make food grown there unsafe to eat, limiting the potential for human settlements on Mars. Perchlorate in Martian dust could also be hazardous to explorers. Current methods of removing perchlorate from water require either harsh conditions or a multistep enzymatic process to lower the oxidation state of the chlorine element into the harmless chloride ion.

However, researchers discovered a way of doing so simply and in one step:

They found by simply mixing a common fertilizer called sodium molybdate, a common organic ligand called bipyridine to bind the molybdenum, and a common hydrogen-activating catalyst called palladium on carbon, they produced a powerful catalyst that quickly and efficiently broke down the perchlorate in water using hydrogen gas at room temperature with no combustion involved.

4 comments:

  1. Thanks for the article on the guns of the highway patrol. I was a kid in those days and I really enjoyed the trip down memory lane. Aside from my love for the .357 magnum cartridge and the wheelguns chambering it...I think the article appealed to me because it reminded me of more pleasant times when cops drove around in "black and whites" while wearing wheelguns in black, basketweave duty belts. I yearn to return to those simpler times...as nowdays we must contend with militarized automatons...tactical jarheads...most of whom have nasty dispositions and whose only concern is for their own safety.

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    1. Yup. I watched Adam-12 which was supposed to be accurate to the equipment and procedures of the LAPD of that era.

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  2. I'm sure Amazon will stand behind the brave driver who enforced the WP tax.

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    1. This seems the inevitable result of anti-racist indoctrination whatever its source.

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