Wednesday, July 21, 2021

The Docent's Memo (7/21/2021)

VIDEO: "WHAT GETTING MADE COST ME: What You Risk When You Carry A Gun In Places You Shouldn't"--The Suited Shootist (20 min.). While we sometimes are dismissive in the gun community about carrying into a non-permissive environment, the Suited Shootists discusses how someone at his workplace overheard him say something about firearms, turned him into HR, and a search of his work area found his firearm, resulting in his being escorted off the property and fired, and it took nearly a year for him to find suitable replacement employment.  Something to consider. 

Firearms/Shooting/Self-Defense:

Too often, even those people who develop defensive plans tend to imagine criminal attacks as a scenario where the good guy always wins and thing work out in the end. It is really a good idea to give serious consideration to worst-case-scenarios, those times when everything goes wrong. Instead of thinking about home invasions where you run the bad guys off, consider dealing with a home invasion where you wake from sleep to find the invaders already in your house and on their way to your kids’ bedrooms. Have you made plans for dealing with that sort of situation?

  1. Many Choices of Handguns
  2. Switching to a Revolver
  3. The Best Handguns for Beginners
  4. Stick to the Basics
  5. Choosing the Best Handguns for Sale
  6. The Popularity of the Glock Handguns
  7. Double-/Single-Action Semi-Auto Handgun
  8. Should You Buy a Sig?
  9. When It Means Life and Death
  10. The Simplicity of the Sig

As you can probably tell, the author is a big Sig DA/SA fan, mostly as a consequence of carrying and using a Sig P220 for many years in law enforcement. But he doesn't argue that the Sig SA/DA pistols are the only viable choice. Rather, he believes that you should get the best pistol you can, and that "once you decided on a pistol you intend to bet your life and your loved ones’ lives on, you need to train with it until it becomes second nature to you."

  • "Heavy 9mm Luger Bullets: Everything You Need To Know" by Brad Miller, Ph.D., Shooting Sports USA. The primary advantages to using the heavy bullets (e.g., 147, 158 or 165 grains) include lower velocity for suppressed shooting, better ability to knock over steel plates in those types of competition, and deeper penetration against barriers or 4-legged predators.
  • "S&W 351PD AirLite .22 Magnum Revolver: Zero Recoil Seven-Shot Defender" by Scott Wagner, US Concealed Carry. An alternative to .38 Special +P or .357 in a lightweight snubby.
  • Or, another alternative: "The Perfect J-Frame: Two Years In Review"--Revolver Guy. The steel framed S&W 640 Pro Series which is heavy enough to dampen the recoil of .357 Magnum loads. It also sports better sights than the typical J-frame.
  • "When Does A .380 Beat A 9mm?" by Grant Cunningham, Personal Defense Network. Essentially, it comes down to a size and recoil issue. Cunningham denies he is saying that the .380 is always a better choice.
    ... But in some very specific cases, it may be. The shooting world should stop and think about the end use of the gun, not how much raw power it produces.

    Back when I was of the “More power!” persuasion, I met a lady who carries a Browning BDA. The BDA is a double-stack .380 ACP pistol holding 13 rounds. It is, as you might expect, fairly large and heavy for a .380. At the time the micro-9mm fad hadn’t yet started, but even then there were a number of 9mm pistols available that were the size of the BDA and lighter to boot. I actually tried to steer her away from her BDA and to one of the 9mm guns, but she wouldn’t hear of it. She’d tried them and, due to some weakness in her hands, simply couldn’t control them (even with my expert instruction).

    For her, being able to deliver all 13 rounds on target in a very short time frame (which she could do) was a significant advantage over delivering only a few 9mm rounds. My mistake was not recognizing that. Thankfully, I failed to get her to change. She knew her needs better than I did, and if we were to have that discussion today, I would simply help her become as competent with her gun as I possibly could. I understand the issues better and have reined in my macho opinions.
  • "Armed Defense from Your Vehicle" by Sheriff Jim Wilson, Shooting Illustrated. Some points that the Sheriff raises is that in most cases, as between your car and your handgun, the car will be the deadlier weapon. Run over or strike people with the car if you have to in order to drive away. It you cannot move the vehicle, then you want better cover and mobility which means evacuating the car and seeking cover (e.g., the engine block) or escaping on foot.
  • "Home Defense Plan: How to make one" by Bill White, Survivopedia. While most preppers have probably thought about how to defend their homes in the face of looters or a violent mob, "There’s a little too much 'High Noon' and not enough infantry tactics in our thoughts about home defense," writes the author. In that regard, the author wants the reader to consider "something detailed, something thought out ahead of time, detailing what every member of the family or survival team will do, including how that plan might change if someone is absent." And, he adds:
Let me make one thing clear, right here. If your plan is to stand between your family and the gang attacking your family while your family cowers in a “safe space” behind you, you’ve got a foolish plan. All that plan will do is ensure that you’re dead before your home is robbed. As a man, I can understand taking a stand like that; but as a former military officer, I recognize that one person can’t hold their ground against more than possibly two others, at the most, and expect to survive.

He then goes on to discuss some basic legalities of armed defense, passive and active defenses, and things to include in the defense plan (including an escape plan).

    Thankfully, the internet is full of firearm enthusiasts who have filmed themselves shooting pretty much every imaginable object. So it’s not hard to find out what works for cover and what doesn’t. This guide curates all of that testing onto one page.
 
    The bad news is that there isn’t much in your house that will reliably stop a random bullet. There are plenty of ways to conceal yourself, but not many ways to cover yourself.

The list and discussion of various objects seem to pretty much match what I've observed from videos: brick, even a single layer, will defeat most bullets ... on the first shot, and then quickly degrade. Cinder block is the same, unless it has been filled with concrete. Tightly packed books on bookcases seem to work pretty well. Most other items in your house won't: not refrigerators, washing machines, dryers, nor couches or beds.

      • "When it’s Time for Vigilantes" by Bill White, Survivopedia.  I consider this to be a follow up on White's article on having a home defense plan. He observes:
          One of the assumptions I see a lot in the prepping and survival community is that a TEOTWAWKI event will cause a breakdown of society; more accurately, a breakdown of law and order. There’s a general assumption that government will collapse when a severe enough disaster strikes, including law enforcement and the judicial system. We’ll have to protect ourselves because those tasked with that job won’t be there to do it.

          I’m not trying to say that there won’t be a breakdown of law and order. That’s happened before, and it can just as well happen to us. But I don’t think we see clearly what a world without law and order will look like. We think we’ll be on our own, with everyone else trying to get what we have. While that may happen, that’s not the biggest risk.

      White warns, however, that a dog-eat-dog, WROL situation will not last long citing the aphorism that "nature abhors a vacuum." That is, one or more warlords will attempt to establish power, White believes, citing such disparate examples as the U.S.'s first attempt to withdraw from Iraq, and the CHAZ zone in Seattle during the Anti-fa and BLM riots. 

      We’re not going to face a world of anarchy for long. Instead, some warlord is going to rise to take over. There will be law and order, but it will be the law and order that the warlord wants, not what anyone else wants. In that, your “rights,” as guaranteed by the Constitution, won’t matter at all.

      White continues:

          What do you think that means for your family or survival team? What will it mean for the stockpile of supplies you have stashed away in your home? These people aren’t the type who will let you stay in your home, eating your food; they’re the type who will come and “confiscate” it in the name of the “greater good.” That greater good is feeding themselves, not those who are hungry.

          If you think you can take on these people, defending your home from attack, realize that you’re not dealing with just a gang of hungry people who have gathered together to get what they can. These will be professional criminals, unrestrained by the law and willing to use force to get what they want. By the time they attack your home, you can be sure that they will have had other battles behind them, and they’ll have a pretty good idea of what to do to take you out, so they can take what you have. They’ll be well-armed and ready to rumble.

      He goes on to discuss different groups that can form the nucleus of a militia to defend against such warlords and methods for getting them to agree to cooperate. One of the important things will be to stabilize access to food so they can focus on more than just finding enough for their families to eat.

      • "Banning America's Rifle: An Assault on the Second Amendment?" by Stephen P. Halbrook, The Federalist Society (h/t Massad Ayoob). A look at the why banning the AR-style rifles would be in violation of the Second Amendment; the deliberate use of the term "assault weapon" by the powers-that-be to obfuscate the truth and, thereby, influence the political and legal debate; and how the five circuits that have upheld such bans have been wrong. This is a long read at 32 pages, so I would recommend taking advantage of the PDF Download link at the top of the article and print it out for later consumption.
      • "1,900 U.S. Military Firearms Were Lost Or Stolen In The 2010s"--Statista. This June 16, 2021, article begins:
      The Associated Press has carried out an investigation which found that 1,900 U.S. military firearms were lost or stolen over the last 10 years, some of which resurfaced in violent crimes. The AP's data covers the Army, Marine Corps, Navy and Air Force, though it is likely an undercount given that all four services have suppressed the release of information about missing weapons. Assault rifles, machine guns, shotguns and pistols are all among the list of items that vanished from armories, supply warehouses, warships and firing ranges over the last decade.

      In other words, even the 1,900 figure is probably a serious undercount.


      VIDEO: "SOLAR KILLSHOT | The Sun Sent a Wake-Up Call"--Suspicious Observers (3 min.)
      The Sun had a couple coronal mass ejections that, had they been aimed at Earth, would have caused serious problems.

      Prepping/Survival:
      • "Map and list of fires currently burning in Idaho, Oregon"--KTVB.
      • The claim that bear spray works better than a firearm to protect you from bears is junk science” by Dean Weingarten, The Truth About Guns. He looks at some specific studies to address the problems with the studies suggesting that bear spray is better than firearms. The common factor seems to be a bias because the firearm statistics included only aggressive bears, while the bear spray data included all uses of bear spray, even against non-aggressive bears (i.e., curious bears or bears that just wandered too close). 
      • "The essential guide to building your ultimate bug out bag" by Brian Smyth, Task & Purpose. This is more than an article listing things to carry. The author expects you to take the time to collect and write down information and plan the contents of your bag before even buying the bag! His first step is to learn about your environment. He has a list, but it includes things like terrain, local shelter, water sources, edible plants, nearest hospital or source of medical supplies, etc. 
          Second, he wants you to consider what skills you have.

          Third, figure out the places (plural) that you could go, and routes (plural) to each location.

           Finally, consider the size of your party.

          Now you are ready to buy the supplies to go into your bug out bag. As the author notes, "everyone’s environment, skill set, and strategy will dictate what their bug out bag should contain." As you do so, you need to keep a list of each item and its weight, as well as a running total of the combined weight, keeping in mind that you shouldn't go above 25% of your body weight and should actually shoot for 15 to 20%. The author includes lists of certain tools or items for different categories of needs, e.g., food, water, heat, etc.

          With all that done, then it is time to consider what you need in a bag/backpack. The author provides guidance on selecting a bag as well. One thing I liked is that the author did not automatically suggest a tactical bag:

      In a bug out situation, you will encounter desperate people, and desperate people do desperate things. As such, make sure your bug out bag will be of little interest to those you run across. In Boston or New York, 5.11 Tactical’s Rush 72 could turn you into Target Number One, but the same pack could work nicely in San Antonio and the surrounding region. A Kelty Redwing 50 may be a smooth move in Portland, Oregon, but it might stand out a bit too much in Chicago or Los Angeles.

      Finally, the author provides tips on packing your backpack and suggests some different tests to see if you and your equipment are up to what you believe you will need.
      • And on the topic of bug-out-bags and bugging out: "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Cache"--Wilder, Wealthy & Wise. Whether bugging in or bugging out, it seems that one of the points raised is resupply. Bugging out, caches serve to resupply you on your route to the your retreat. If you are bugging in, the cache mostly serves the purpose of hiding things that you don't want someone finding in your house. In this article, John goes over his thoughts concerning what items are actually useful to cache. But he also discusses something to never cache: food. He explains:
          ... Many, many people in America have been hungry, as in “I skipped breakfast” but few people living in 2021 America have really been hungry.  I remember reading that T.E. Lawrence (“Lawrence of Arabia” not D.H. Lawrence who was “Lawrence of Chlamydia”) was always showing how tough he was.  Why, one day, he went a whole day without having any food.

          Most people in the United States could go weeks without any chow.  It always amuses me when I read an article about some programmer from San Jose who followed the Apple® Maps™ direction and ended up snowbound for three days is found.  Almost always, the news story ends up with some insanely stupid comment, “And Brandon survived for six days on nothing but Taco Bell® Fire Sauce™ packets.”

          No.  Brandon was [ ] going to be fine.  The 86 calories he got from the hot sauce packets didn’t cover that thin margin between life and death, and he didn’t really need to eat the two people with him.

          When it comes to bug-out bags (or get home bags) the last thing I’d want is to add food.  And that goes for your cache, too.  Food is bulky, and, over time, will spoil.  Food is a difficult thing to conceal for long periods.  I mean, have you ever left a ham sandwich with mayo on the counter for a week or two?  Ugh.

          Freeze dried food or MREs will last quite a long time if kept dry, but how many MREs would you have to bury to survive for a reasonable period?

          A lot.  I could do the math.  And I certainly do suggest that you have a ludicrous amount of food on hand – as much as you can afford and store.  But to go out and bury it?  Unless you have enough land and enough money to build and bury a bunker, creating a food cache would be just as silly as creating a water cache.

          I'm not a big fan of caches because I've watched too many YouTube videos of people finding it impossible to locate their cache a month, 6 months, or a year later. But food makes it even worse. Mostly because the people burying the cache don't figure out how deep they need the hole to be to get below the frost line, and the food then freezes, ruptures its container or packaging, and rots (and ruins other stuff in the bargain). Also, it seems that they always expend more calories retrieving the cache than they could have stored in it, unless they just filled it with lard.

          There is also the issue of people whose hobby is going out onto public lands to search for caches. Yes, such people exist. If you are lucky, they will turn in their find to the local Sheriff and wait the statutory period, whatever it is, for someone to claim the lost property before taking possession of it. It would at least give you the opportunity to notice the cache was gone and try to get your property back. Otherwise, they will just take it and none be the wiser.  

      [Preppers have] a variety of personality traits (e.g., low agreeableness and high neuroticism) and beliefs (e.g., political ideology and conspiracy beliefs). We also found that major political events led to increases in people’s beliefs that they needed to engage in prepping behaviors. However, the general point is that those scoring high on these beliefs have a rather cynical view of human nature, the availability of resources, and our ability, as a society, to handle catastrophes.

          I don't know think it is necessarily cynical. I would call it realistic. After all, look at what lemmings do when faced with a high population and low resources. The lesson being that r-select creatures can act in bizarre ways when faced with scarcity. And that is what prepping is about: preparing for a time of sudden onset of scarcity.

          Anyway, the pandemic and other events let the author see whether prepper beliefs and attitudes were justified. He concluded:

          ... Since we published our work in 2019 we have seen a global pandemic, mass protests for racial justice, a record-setting hurricane season, the storming of the US capitol, and a record-setting freeze in Texas that left millions without electricity or water for days, to name a few. The point is, we have had a number of opportunities to see whether cynical post-apocalyptic and doomsday prepping beliefs are warranted.

          As for concerns about human nature, it does not appear that high levels of cynicism are warranted. While there were some cases of questionable human behavior, people were fairly cooperative in most events. For example, during the Texas freeze, many of the people who did not lose their electricity invited those who did into their homes, even as the threat of the pandemic raged on.

          Concerns over the availability of resources is another story. At the beginning of the pandemic, many stores ran out of essential supplies. Further, during the Texas freeze, supply chains broke down such that many grocery store shelves were empty by the end of the week. Therefore, while concerns about human nature are probably overly cynical, concerns about the availability of resources in post-apocalyptic scenarios may be warranted.

          What about believing in the need to prep? While prepping needs may not be to the level of building bunkers, having elaborate bug-out plans, or stockpiling assault rifles, it does seem fairly legitimate to have enough food and supplies to last at least two weeks. This reality has particularly dawned on me living in the hurricane vulnerable city of Houston, Texas. For example, when we were threatened with a particularly strong storm in 2020, I realized just how unprepared we were in terms of food and supplies.

       Heh.
          Noxious smoke from days of riots and widespread looting hovered over parts of this lush seaside city over the weekend as residents came onto the streets to defend their homes and businesses from further violence.

          “We need to stand (our) ground,” Margaret Westerhof, 42, told NBC News at a volunteer-erected traffic checkpoint on the edge of the suburb of Ballito. Normally an interior designer, Westerhof offered to serve as a media liaison for the community organization that sprung up in response to the unrest.

          “It's our duty to continue to support the local authorities … to patrol our areas, keep our businesses safe,” she added.
      • Seems like we've been seeing a lot of these types of articles over the past 10 years: "Doomsday Prepping Goes Mainstream"--NPR. This actually links to a 35-minute recording of a broadcast, to which I haven't listened. But they do have a short summary which begins:
          Doomsday prepping is no longer a fringe obsession. The survivalist movement, which was long stereotyped as made up of gun-wielding, right-wing older white men, is evolving.

          According to John Ramey, the founder of a popular how-to prepping website called The Prepared, young, urban-dwelling women are his fastest-growing audience. The site experienced a 25-fold boost in traffic the week COVID shut down parts of the U.S.


      VIDEO: "Central Asia on the verge of a water war"--Caspian Report (15 min.)

      The Collapse of Complex Societies:
          [T]he project has caused concern over water shortages and safety in Egypt and Sudan, which also depend on the Nile’s waters.

          Both countries have called for a binding legal arrangement before dam operations begin, but attempts at mediation have failed, raising concerns that tensions could rise following the most recent announcement.

          “The second filling of the Renaissance dam has been completed and the water is overflowing,” Seleshi Bekele, Ethiopia’s minister for water, irrigation and energy said on Monday.

          “It means we have now the needed volume of the water to run the two turbines,” he said on Twitter.
      • "Jefferson Davis: Slavery and the Death of States' Rights" by Sam Jacobs, Ammo.com. An interesting look at Davis's background, including military and political career prior to the Civil War, as well as a discussion of the political conflicts that led to the Civil War and the consequences of the war. Of the consequences, the most powerful was the elevation of the Federal Government over the individual states:
          Before the Civil War, the United States was seen much more as a collective of sovereignties. After the war, it was clear that there was but one – the Federal government. The question remains, was the Civil War the end of States’ Rights?

          It was, albeit briefly. The Reconstruction Era meant the end of states’ rights, but they came back with a vengeance after the end of this period and largely remained unchanged until the Civil Rights Era, when the federal government passed sweeping laws aimed at Jim Crow, voting rights, and other areas.

          State governments are again under renewed attacks by the left in America who are increasingly frustrated that San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles cannot tell the rest of the country how to live. The Democratic regime of Joe Biden is, much like the Reconstruction government that preceded it, looking for ways to centralize power in the hands of the Federal government. This would require a radical attack on states’ rights in its most powerful form – the Electoral College.

          While states’ rights aren’t what they used to be, they still exercise a great deal of power in the United States. For example nullification, generally thought of as a quirky relic of a bygone era of the pre-Civil War days is alive and well today. Additionally, many states have legalized recreational use of marijuana despite federal laws to the contrary, while others have declared that they will not enforce federal immigration laws.

          The only question of states’ rights that the Civil War settled was which body was supreme – the states or the feds. Thus, states’ rights were weakened considerably and the ultimate seat of sovereignty became, indisputably, the federal government. States’ rights are still alive (at least for now) and kicking – they are a lot more powerful than most people think.
          The deadly violence and looting that have rocked South Africa for the past week were planned, President Cyril Ramaphosa has alleged, during his first visit to areas affected by the worst unrest in the country’s post-apartheid era.

          “It is quite clear that all these incidents of unrest and looting were instigated, there were people who planned it and coordinated it,” he said on Friday.
      “These actions are intended to cripple the economy, cause social instability and severely weaken – or even dislodge – the democratic state. Using the pretext of a political grievance, those behind these acts have sought to provoke a popular insurrection,” said Ramaphosa.
          “It’s understood that a container with more than 1.5 million rounds of ammunition was looted at the Mobeni industrial area near Durban. This took place on Wednesday evening and that sources have stated that the ammo, imported from Brazil, would have ordinarily been shipped to Cape Town. It is unclear why the weaponry had been shipped to Durban.”

          “These allegations coincide with a report in the Mail & Guardian this morning claiming that the violent riots, looting, and burning of businesses and malls were simply the first stage of a larger concerted strategy to destabilise the country.”

      In his latest essay, Stephen Walt raises a few fundamental questions. Why did the United States (and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization) imagine they could turn Afghanistan into a modern, Western-style democracy? Why did the Taliban consistently out-fight the Afghan National Security Forces? Finally, why did the war continue for so long?

      The author then attempts to answer these questions, writing:

          The answers to the last two questions are, as I mentioned above, that Afghanistan never had a single identity, so naturally the multi-ethnic Afghan forces kept losing to the primarily Pashtun Taliban; Secondly, the war continued for so long because the American ideological brass was thoroughly detached from their own countrymen. The first question needs to be studied more, as that is the ultimate lesson from this 20-year fiasco.

          Afghanistan (and Iraq, Libya, and Syria) are not isolated debacles, and it would be foolish to consider them so. Fiascos like these will keep happening for as long as we harbor the delusion that all problems in the world are the United States’s concern, and deserve our blood and treasure.

          They are a symptom of a far more entrenched modern and elite worldview, which is essentially radical in nature, believes in a historical arc of progress, and is fundamentally opposed to the guidance of American betters ranging from George Washington to John Quincy Adams. They warned America against foreign overextension and exhaustion, which results in internal social incoherence and collapse.

      I believe in a follow-the-money approach, which suggest that the reason we were in the war were to enrich the contractors that made hundreds of billions off the war, and those shadowy figures that made money from the expansion of opium production. 

      • "The problem with complexity" by Richard Fernandez, PJ Media. This 2017 article has a very prescient example of how our leaders and elites are not very good at managing complexity:

          The dangers of technological complexity were highlighted after authorities in the Philippines suspended the administration of the dengue fever vaccine Dengvaxia when manufacturer Sanofi announced that while it would help those who once had the disease it might produce an even more severe attack in those who were infected for the first time.  The company said:

      Based on up to six years of clinical data, the new analysis …  confirmed that Dengvaxia provides persistent protective benefit against dengue fever in those who had prior infection. For those not previously infected by dengue virus, however, the analysis found that in the longer term, more cases of severe disease could occur following  vaccination upon a subsequent dengue infection.

      “These findings highlight the complex nature of dengue infection. We are working with health authorities to ensure that prescribers, vaccinators and patients are fully  informed of the new findings, with the goal of enhancing the impact of Dengvaxia in dengue- endemic countries.” said Dr. Su-Peing Ng, Global Medical Head, Sanofi Pasteur.

          Unfortunately the warning came too late.  Health authorities had already vaccinated 733,000 children with Dengvaxia before the warning. Philippine authorities had eagerly jumped at a “landmark” program to become “the first country to start using it on a mass scale” after it had been clinically trialed in 10 countries — 5 in Asia and 5 in Latin America — with apparent success. Now all the chastened bureaucrats could belatedly do was glumly announce preparations for a “worst-case scenario” should a spike in the disease occur.

          The bureaucrats had understandably relied on rational ignorance, in this case the prestige of the WHO and French pharmaceuticals, to reach a decision about the safety of a technology.  But what rational ignorance hides is complexity.  Behind the scenes there was dissent over the mechanism by which vaccine worked of which the bureaucrats were unaware.  Even as Dengvaxia passed its trials some researchers feared the vaccine could trigger antibodies in a “na├»ve subject” that would weaken them against a second exposure, a process called ADE. “Protective antibodies can turn double agent, teaming up with the dengue virus to make an infection more severe, even life-threatening.” Those fears might have proved correct.

          What the vaccine might actually have done was kick in the door for those who have never had dengue before. ...

          The latest data from EudraVigilance, a European Union database similar to VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System), shows that nearly 20,000 people have died from Wuhan coronavirus (Covid-19) “vaccines” in the areas of Europe it assesses, along with nearly two million people who have been seriously injured by the injections.

          EudraVigilance covers 27 of Europe’s 50 countries, which suggests that the true figures across the continent could be as high as 40,000 deaths and four million serious injuries. This is substantial, considering far fewer people are getting sick or dying from the Chinese Virus itself.

          “Seriousness provides information on the suspected undesirable effect; it can be classified as ‘serious’ if it corresponds to a medical occurrence that results in death, is life-threatening, requires inpatient hospitalisation, results in another medically important condition, or prolongation of existing hospitalisation, results in persistent or significant disability or incapacity, or is a congenital anomaly / birth defect,” the database explains about how injuries are measured.

          The latest figures are much higher than earlier ones we reported on back in May, which reported about 10,000 deaths and 400,000 injuries.

        • Reports of an increased risk of myocarditis (heart inflammation) after the COVID vaccine were recently confirmed by a study of U.S. military personnel, finding the rate of diagnosis was much higher than would be expected in the same population without a vaccine
        • The new reports also include stories of children dying after the vaccine, including a 13-year-old boy who died days after his second dose of the Pfizer vaccine and a 16-year-old boy who had a heart attack while exercising after his vaccination
        • Evidence demonstrates the spike protein used in the vaccine is dangerous and is responsible for many of the reported vaccine adverse events, including endothelial damage leading to blood clots, inflammation and heart attack
        • Reports to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) have been growing each week, recently showing an increase of 849 deaths, 1,451 hospitalizations, 286 diagnosis of myocarditis and 55 miscarriages over seven days
      • And the reason for higher death rates among black Americans: "Nearly 40% of all US COVID deaths were people with diabetes, expert suggests"--Daily Mail.

      Miscellany

          The tsunami would have been so intense its waves reached a mile high and triggered Earth quakes when they hit the ground more than 11 on the Richter scale. 

          It would have devastated the surrounding regions, sending sea life onto land, land life onto the sea and killing millions of creatures in the process. 

          Study authors say the tsunami would have continued for days, reflecting back from the impact multiple times within the Gulf of Mexico, diminishing each time. 

          The ripples seen in the sediment were the forces of massive walls of water hitting the shallow shelf near the shores and going back towards the source of the tsunami - the asteroid impact. 

      • "How a Machine That Can Make Anything Would Change Everything" by Thomas Hornigold, Singularity Hub. The article begins with a quote from James Burke: “Something is going to happen in the next forty years that will change things, probably more than anything else since we left the caves.” That something is a nanofabricator. 

      Powered by flexible photovoltaic panels that coat your house, it will tear apart the molecules of the raw materials, manipulating them on the atomic level to create…anything you like. Food. A new laptop. A copy of Kate Bush’s debut album, The Kick Inside. Anything, providing you can give it both the raw materials and the blueprint for creation.

      He explains:

          What the internet did for information—allowing it to be shared, transmitted, and replicated with ease, instantaneously—the nanofabricator would do for physical objects. Energy will be in plentiful supply from the sun; your Santa Clause machine will be able to create new solar panels and batteries to harness and store this energy whenever it needs to.

          Suddenly only three commodities have any value: the raw materials for the nanofabricator (many of which, depending on what you want to make, will be plentiful just from the world around you); the nanofabricators themselves (unless, of course, they can self-replicate, in which case they become just a simple ‘conversion’ away from raw materials); and, finally, the blueprints for the things you want to make.

      This is when the true singularity begins. Even science-fiction writers have a hard time imagining a world where there is no scarcity and no death because you can simply grow or print whatever you want with nanobots small enough to fit in your cells and repair everything, or change it to whatever you need. It could be a heaven ...

      Almost 40 years ago, in his book The Third Wave, the futurist Alvin Toffler described technology as “the dawn of a new civilization” with vast opportunities for societal and human growth. But instead we are lurching towards what Taichi Sakaiya has called “a high-tech middle ages.” In his landmark 1973 work, The Coming of Post-Industrial Society, Daniel Bell predicted that, by handing ultimate economic and cultural power to a small number of technologists and financiers the opportunity to monetize every aspect of human behavior and emotion, we would be handing them the chance to fulfill “a social alchemist’s dream: the dream of ordering mass society.”

      Kotkin elucidates:
       
          The oligarchs are creating a “a scientific caste system,” not dissimilar to that outlined in Aldous Huxley’s dystopian 1932 novel, Brave New World. Unlike the former masters of the industrial age, they have little use for the labor of  middle- and working-class people—they need only their data. Virtually all their human resource emphasis relies on cultivating and retaining a relative handful of tech-savvy operators. “Software,” Bill Gates told Forbes in 2005, “is an IQ business. Microsoft must win the IQ war, or we won’t have a future.”

          Perhaps the best insight into the mentality of the tech oligarchy comes from an admirer, researcher Greg Ferenstein, who interviewed 147 digital company founders. The emerging tech world has little place for upward mobility, he found, except for those in the charmed circle at the top of the tech infrastructure; the middle and working classes become, as in feudal times, increasingly marginal.

          This reflects their perception of how society will evolve. Ferenstein notes that most oligarchs believe “an increasingly greater share of economic wealth will be generated by a smaller slice of very talented or original people. Everyone else will increasingly subsist on some combination of part-time entrepreneurial ‘gig work’ and government aid.” Such part-time work has been growing rapidly, accounting for roughly 20 percent of the workforce in the US and Europe, and is expected to grow substantially, adds McKinsey.

          Of course, the oligarchs have no more intention of surrendering their power and wealth to the proletariat than the Commissars did after the 1917 revolution in Russia. Instead, they favor providing what Marx once described as a “proletarian alms bag” to subsidize worker housing, and provide welfare benefits to their ever expanding cadre of “gig” economy serfs. The former head of Uber, Travis Kalanick, was a strong supporter of Obamacare, and many top tech executives—including Mark Zuckerberg, Y combinator founder Sam Altman, and Elon Musk—favor a guaranteed annual wage to help, in part, allay fears about the “disruption” on a potentially exposed workforce.

          Their social vision amounts to what could be called oligarchal socialism, or what the Corbynite Left calls “fully automated luxury communism.” Like the original bolshevist model, technology and science, as suggested by billionaire tech investor Naval Ravikant, would occasion “the breakdown of family structure and religion” while creating the hegemony of a left-wing identity-centered individualism.

      1 comment:

      1. I will say that when the 'rona hit, we had TP for months. When you have what everyone else wants because you prepped and you're not in line at the store: you're part of the solution, not the problem.

        ReplyDelete

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