Wednesday, August 11, 2021

The Docent's Memo (8/11/2021)

VIDEO: "Testing Two Battle Belts - Lessons Learned"--Hoplopfheil (14 min.)

Firearms/Shooting/Self-Defense:

  • "The Sentry Gunnar Belt — Up Your Batman Belt"--The Mag Life. Battle belts have largely replaced carrier vests as the primary means of carrying basic combat/fighting gear. They are essentially oversized versions of the duty belts long used by law enforcement, but generally incorporating MOLLE attachment points. But, just as with vests, there has been a see-saw effect of adding more and more to battle belt with the inevitable backlash and move to more minimalist designs. In this article, the author tests the SENTRY Gunnar™ Low Profile Operator Belt ($119.99 - $139.99) and SENTRY Gunnar™ Inner Belt ($27.99). The Gunner belt is 1.75-inches wide making it pretty minimalist compared to the majority of other systems using a belt and pad system (see, e.g., this Condor Outdoor LCS Cobra Tactical Belt or this belt and pad system from Wilder Tactical). If you are not familiar with such systems, the inner belt is the one that actually goes through the belt loops on your slacks, and makes use of a hook and loop system to attach the operator belt. That keeps the operator belt from sliding around, but also allows you to easily strip off the operator belt should you need to do so. Anyway, getting back to the review, the author explains the reasoning for such system:
    Before we dive into the Sentry Gunnar belt, let’s talk about belts in general. Our guys used them because they didn’t have room on their carriers for six mags, grenades, belt-fed ammo, knives, tools, and more they carried on patrol. Minimalist plate carriers simply don’t offer lots of room for mission-essential gear.
 
    Moving some gear to the belt allows you to have plenty of room for your goods. Beyond that, you’re probably going to be rocking a belt to carry a sidearm anyway, so now you have an option for your handgun and some extra gear.

    I’ve fallen in love with belts due to their ergonomics. Reloading a rifle, pistol, or subgun from a belt-mounted pouch feels more natural and ergonomic than reloading from the front of my armor. Retrieving other goodies, like tools, knives, and medical kits also feels more ergonomic and intuitive.

He also discussed the advantages to accessing an IFAK on your belt versus on the side or rear of your armor. Moving on to the specific belt, the author observes:

    First, the belt is high quality. Duh. That’s the first obvious reason. The Gunnar belt is made from high-strength nylon that’s 1.75 inches wide. It’s dummy thicc [sic] too, almost a quarter inch total.

    At 1.75 inches thick, the belt provides you a minimalist platform for mounting gear. Lots of gear belts are massive in size, and that’s fine when you want to go off with a pad, awesome suspenders, and all that jazz. If you believe smaller and lighter is better, then the Gunnar gives you that. In a pinch, a minimalist battle belt can be concealed under a jacket or flannel shirt.
    The guts of it is that whatever you want the ‘06 to do, it will do. It’s too big for varmints and too small for the heaviest dangerous game, but it will handle both in a pinch. Give the ’06 something to put on the ground and down that animal will go. Grancel Fitz, one of the first men to take all 28 of the Boone and Crockett North American big-game species, did it over the 1930s and 40s with an iron-sighted .30/06 and nothing else.

    The .30/06 has another virtue which I think was arrived at accidentally: It’s at the limit of what an average hunter can handle in the way of recoil. I don’t think its designers cared much about recoil. They just wanted something that could compete with the German 7.92mm service cartridge, and if our Doughboys got kicked, too bad. An 8-pound .30/06 firing a 165-grain bullet at 2,800 fps produces about 20 foot-pounds of recoil, and that happens to be just about what the typical hunter, who will not practice, can handle.

    To put this a little differently, let me quote from the Book of Aagaard, Finn, to be specific, Guns and Hunting, to be even more specific, page 223 to really be a pain in the ass about it. Mr. Aagaard, in case you haven’t read him, was an African professional hunter who was blessed with enough experience and common sense for a dozen gun writers. He wrote: “The .30/06 is about the most powerful cartridge that can reasonably be chambered in a short and handy 8-pound rifle.”

When the author discusses that it can be used in a pinch, he is talking about the fact that the .30-06 can be downloaded to shoot bullets in the 110 grain class that are great for varmints, or it can be uploaded into 220 grain bullets that are more typical of some of the magnum rounds; and, as I learned from shooting my father's handloaded hunting rounds, you can stuff enough powder in the case to bring it up to almost magnum performance (and recoil). 

  • "The SKS Carbine is Still Viable After a Quarter Century"--Ammo Land. A peon to this venerable weapon. "The SKS, no matter which version, is still a great alternative to the AR-15," says the author, "and is excellent [for those] living where politicians have restricted what you can or can’t have. Don’t let the fact that you’re loading ten rounds from a stripper clip deter you from buying one. These guns were designed to work in some of the worst conditions and in places where the populace might not have much in the way of education and they’re tough as nails. Give the SKS a try, you’ll be surprised at how much you like it."
  • "Shots Fired: A Reporter Visits Vermont’s First Indoor Gun Range" by Kevin McCallum, Seven Days. The author, McCallum, seems to have been the subject of ridicule on some of the shooting blogs and firearms news sites because of his description of his reaction to touching off his first shot with an AR-15 style rifle:

It is difficult to describe the impact — physical and personal — of that first shot. It felt like a meteor had struck the earth in front of me. A deep shock wave coursed through my body, the recoil rippling through my arms and right shoulder with astounding power. Being that close to an explosion of such magnitude — controlled and focused as it was — rattled me.

Frankly, I have to say that I had a similar experience at an indoor shooting range that did not have dividers between shooters when someone touched off a Desert Eagle (I assume .44 Magnum or larger cartridge) right next to me. I've also experienced the concussive effect of standing next to various rifles when they are being fired, especially when outfitted with muzzle devices that divert gases to the sides. Rather than criticize McCullum, I would suggest that you should take it as a lesson on what you might experience when you touch off a defensive firearm inside your home, particularly if you are standing in a corridor and shooting a weapon (a rifle or shotgun) that you have not previously used in an enclosed space.

  • "How to Make Exploding Targets"--Field & Stream. DYI pressurized 2-liter bottle targets.
  • "Concealed Carry Corner: Carrying Concealed While Hiking"--The Firearm Blog. The article discusses carrying while on populated trails, carrying while using a pack, using chest rigs, and pocket carry. It all depends on where you are hiking, what you expect as a possible threat, and how much gear or weight you want to be carrying. My experience is that chest rigs or fanny packs are nice and balanced. Although the author didn't like pocket carry, if you are just wanting something for a coyote, dog, a two-legged predator, a smaller firearm in .380 or .38 Special in a pocket is a nice way to carry for a day hike.
  • "Dog Bites: What To Do When You’re Attacked"--Cattle Dog Publishing. An excerpt:

    Say you’re running along and a dog comes sprinting out from his front yard. If you run faster, you may elicit a chase reflex, the same reflex triggered when a dog sees a cat or a squirrel run by. What you should do instead is face the dog and stand still, like a pole or a tree. Your arms can be folded in front of you so that you don’t accidentally swing them around.

    Most dogs that race toward you, even aggressively do not have the intention of biting; rather the charge, bark and growl, are just a threat to get you to go away. When you stand still instead of continuing to move, they bark and back away, and if you step towards them they back away faster. So once you’ve stopped and they realize you’re not going to run away for them to chase, they will generally walk away on their own. You can also back away slowly in a ho-hum, relaxed manner. Once you’ve built up some distance you can turn and continue on your planned route.

    Some dogs run out towards you because they’ve just practiced barking at things that go by and when those people continue to pass, the dogs learned that barking and chasing work. They’ve done this so much without thinking that they have no clue why they are barking at you. They may actually want to play, but in their hyper-excited state, if you yell or swing your arms around, they will get more excited and just grab whatever is swinging in the same way they would grab a flailing squeaky toy. This is why it’s especially important to be completely still like a tree.


Even if you aren't interested in the Kit Bag, you might want to watch his discussion concerning his water system and modifications to the Sawyer water filter.

Prepping/Survival:

  • "Prepping Project: Sawyer Squeeze Pouch Hanger"--Blue Collar Prepping. The author punched a couple holes in the extra material at the bottom of the pouch to hang it, and then replaced the cap with a leftover adapter, length of hose, and bite valve, giving her a hands-free, wearable drink pouch that uses gravity, not squeezing, to send water to her mouth. 
  • "How Many Pounds Of Flour or Wheat To Make Bread"--Modern Survivalist. A look at how much flour you need to make a standard loaf of bread and how much flour and/or wheat you will need to store. It is, therefore, a good resource for planning your long term storage. For instance, the author reports that for a 3-month supply you would need the following:
1 loaf per week = 12 pounds of flour (3) 5-pound bags
2 loaves per week = 23 pounds of flour (5) 5-pound bags
3 loaves per week = 35 pounds of flour (7) 5-pound bags

I'm guessing, however, that in a post-SHTF situation, you will probably be wanting to bake a loaf per day (7 per week). Anyway, for the amount of wheat you would need to store for a whole year:

 (loaves per week = lbs of wheat) 

1 = 54 pounds (1.6) 5-gallon buckets 

2 = 108 pounds (3.3) 5-gallon buckets

3 = 162 pounds (4.9) 5-gallon buckets

In Switzerland, Garrett informs us, there is bunker space for 8.6 million people. And North Korea “is the most bunkered society in the history of the Earth”. But in the UK and the US, during the cold war, government preparation for a nuclear Armageddon was limited to taking care of themselves and state bureaucracies. Everyone else was quietly left to fend for themselves.

    Before Mom and Dad getting sick, life was beginning to feel normal. Mom and I spoke of the need to procure some greenies, spices, and things like cherry tomatoes. Mom mentioned “washing” the white rice before cooking it with a strainer, collecting that water in a bowl, and adding it to the plants. It was a trick that she learned years ago, and it has some logic behind it.

    Some planning was taking place, like traveling to the city I used to work where my house is and grabbing some of the gear I need the most. If it is still there: it seems the “friend” we left to take care of things was illegally selling my items online. That planning and other projects are now on hold. 

    So far, we’ve been able to put food on our table. But, my next move is to put together a system to bring in income and staples as independently as possible. Given the current state of the economy, it is going to be hard but not impossible. I descent from one of the most laborious and resilient people on Earth: the Dutchmen.  

    Last month we spent an extraordinary two weeks in Argentina--two weeks of riding in a fast car headed directly at a wall. Everyone in Argentina is now poorer than they have ever been, with the exception of a few gamblers who have been winning fortunes on the high wire of speculation. The money is evaporating, in the fascinating and horrible process called hyper-inflation, and evaporating with it are security and the society itself.

    Buenos Aires is a beautiful and bustling city. On the surface, life seems to go on as always, but pervading everything is the anxiety of a people suddenly caught in a room where the lights have gone out. No one knows what is coming next, but it seems to be coming quickly.

    Both the tango and the surrealist literature of Borges and Sabato embody the country’s contradictions. There has always been a dark and tragically self-destructive side to the coin of Argentine life, and the coin has turned over from time to time to show that face. Now it is spinning in the air, and it is impossible to escape the feeling that it is going to hit something very hard very soon.

    The horror stories of Weimar Germany are being re-enacted now in Argentina. Price jumps are on the order of 30% or 50% or even 100% at a time, and the prices of everything change nearly every day; they change even as you wait in line at the supermarket.

    The abstract concept that currency’s value depends on collective trust in the government is painfully concrete in Argentina today. That trust has evaporated. No one believes that the outgoing government of Raul Alfonsin can cure the inflation, and few think that the incoming Peronist regime of Carlos Saul Menem will do much better.

    Everybody blames somebody else. A tiny fraction of Argentines pay their taxes. There is no capital reserve in the government’s coffers. The rich have long since moved most of their portable assets out of the country; the horrendous external debt that underlies this crisis is reputed to be dwarfed by the privately held assets in Argentine hands in Switzerland, the United States and Uruguay. But who can blame them? Since Juan Peron disbursed the national treasury 40 years ago to buy popularity, people with assets have been careful not to lose them to the government.

    In this decade there has been a struggle to re-establish democratic rule, and everyone is proud of the peaceful presidential election May 14. A week later, the euphoria over the election had given way to urgent discussions about how to bring the country back from fiscal collapse.

    Prices were spiraling upward and the exchange rate against the dollar was in free fall. Two years ago the austral was at about three to the dollar. By last February it had fallen to 17; on May 17 it was just over 100 to the dollar. Outside the exchange houses on Corrientes and San Martin, crowds of people hypnotically watched the blackboards quoting the constantly changing rate. Each time it went up or down, dozens of people rushed into each exchange house to turn bags and even briefcases full of australes into dollars, dollars into australes.

    On Friday, May 19, the dollar opened at 140, climbed as high as 210 in some exchange houses, and finally closed at 170. The instability that other countries have suffered in decades was compressed into hours, even minutes. The government announced that the following Monday and Tuesday were bank and exchange holidays. Congress and both outgoing and incoming executive authorities spent the weekend trying to work out new austerity measures with which to retrench. As the government extended the bank and exchange holiday day by day over the next eight days, the economy ground to a halt.

    We could no longer obtain australes, but the dollar was accepted virtually everywhere for significant purchases. One could buy shoes and books and expensive meals for dollars but had to scrape to find australes for taxis, groceries, newspapers, etc. We could have bought a car with dollars, but we had to walk most places for fear of running out of our few australes.

    With the banks closed, it was difficult for anyone to find enough money to function. Half the businesses we walked past were closed. For months, as interest rates fluctuated in the range of 50% to 200%, it has been impossible to make any rational financial plans.

    In supermarkets, hoarders were buying as much as they could afford. Once, we waited in a checkout line for 40 minutes; the delay came both from the number of people in line and the store’s trouble in keeping up with minute-by-minute price hikes and the shortage of bills with which to make change.

    One Sunday, a cousin drove us out of the city in his car to meet his brother, who is second in command of a tank regiment. We spent most of the day enjoying a bountiful barbecue, and toward sunset we went to see the tank base. Two of our cousin’s subordinate officers proudly showed off their armor and told us that a contingent was always on full alert and could roll in four minutes. Nobody said so, but it was clear that there was no external enemy for whom they were in such a state of readiness.

    The day before we left, a state of siege was imposed on the country, giving the police wide authority to make arrests and suspending guarantees of personal rights. Four bombs either went off or were disarmed in Buenos Aires, and in Rosario and elsewhere there were repeated sackings of supermarkets by large and determined groups of people. Many saw in that episode the return of the subversive left, the same element whose appearance in the mid-1970s sparked the terrible decade of military repression now known as the Dirty War.


The Decline of the West:

  • "America Has Lost the Trade War with China"--Bayou Renaissance Man. Peter Grant cites to an article by Charles Hugh Smith explaining that "America's short-sighted obsession with increasing profits to fund buybacks and golden parachutes for corporate insiders and vast fortunes for financiers has led to a dangerous dependency that has handed China tremendous leverage, which China is now starting to make use of." And the primary tactic at the moment, as the article describes, is the Chinese slow down in production and delivery of goods. Thus, as you may have read recently, the screaming from companies for the government to lift tariffs on Chinese goods.
  • The race to withdraw troops from Afghanistan is going as badly as can be expected: the existing "government" that the U.S. has propped up has proved to be so popular and skilled in governing that it now appears that the Taliban will have control of the country in less than 6 months. Although, as one author noted, country is a misnomer for the region known as Afghanistan: "It’s a convenient shorthand, but it’s wrong to call Afghanistan a country. Afghanistan is a region on the map where neighboring countries aren’t." Of course, many of the elites of both parties are opposed to the withdrawal for a whole bunch of reasons, whether it is the threat of future terrorist groups finding sanctuary there, the inevitable backwardness that will accompany Taliban rule, that we have some noblesse oblige-type of duty to stay, and so on. But that is incorrect. 
    Robert Gaines and Scott Horton noted back in 2019: "There is no longer any relevant mission for the United States in Afghanistan. Western efforts to determine the future of that country have proven futile." One of the reasons is that the culture in Afghanistan is simply incompatible with Western ideals. So, for instance, "Engineering Pashtun tribal culture and freeing women from purdah is beyond the capability of the U.S. military and aid agencies." Moreover, we face the same problems in Afghanistan as we faced in Iraq: an unpopular, brutal, corrupt regime that does not put an value on the welfare of the Afghani people (similar to our own elites attitude toward Americans). This is all exacerbated by the fact that Afghanistan is a true multicultural societies with long-standing enmity between various ethnic groups.


    We aren’t a colonial power, although colonialism is exactly what we’ve been trying to do in Afghanistan since 2002 — remake it in something like our image. Even worse, Afghanistan is not a colonizable country*. At least, not without wanton killing and destruction that would make Curtis LeMay blanch.

    So it’s been time to leave for a long time already.

    And if the Taliban comes back and welcomes in ISIS or al Qaeda? Well, what of it? In 2001 we showed how to topple a government there, on the cheap, in six weeks or less — or your next invasion is free!

    And the “next invasion” wouldn’t have been a joke.

    If necessary, we could have replayed something like the 2001 invasion a half-dozen times by now, for a fraction of what we’ve spent in blood and treasure on our haphazard and doomed attempt at semi-colonization.

    Best of all, we wouldn’t have poured untold hundreds of billions of dollars into a corrupt and useless government — which only incentivizes more bad behavior. Why make peace, or even govern decently, when the other guy keeps giving you money not to?

    A sane Afghan policy would have consisted of kicking in the door, killing a bunch of bad guys, and then skedaddling until and unless we have to do it again. Eventually, the Afghans would figure out this terrorist-harboring stuff doesn’t pay. What has paid for their elites, quite handsomely, is our perennial occupation.

And this brings me to the fundamental crux of the matter in Afghanistan--one that I've discussed before--which is that we don't have backbone to do what it would take to militarily defeat the Taliban. Bevin Alexander wrote in his book, How Great General Wins, that victory in war requires the destruction of the enemy's will to fight, and the best way to do this is devastate the civilian population (he used the example of Sherman's March through the South). I can't remember if it was William Lind or David P. Goldman that asserted that a permanent victory required that you kill 1/3 of the military aged young men in the enemy's population. We haven't done that. In fact, under our watch, the number of military aged men increased: in 2001, there were 2.7 million young men of military age in Afghanistan; in July 2021, Afghanistan had nearly 6 million males of prime fighting age (15–29). If we had been winning the war against the Taliban, the number would have been more like 1.8 million. 

    In my opinion, Afghanistan is our version of Rome's experience in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest. Except, instead of the cry of "Varus, give me back my legions!" Biden or some other future president will be crying, "McChrystal, give us back our trillions!" of dollars.

Our military is led by liars. Our civilian leadership for the past 20 years? Liars. Close to one trillion dollars, down the rat hole. Over 2,300 dead American soldiers, and 20,000 wounded US troops. For what? So Afghanis can loot our abandoned bases, and the Taliban, whom we could no more defeat than the Soviets could defeat their fathers, can have nice new weapons?
For a larger overview, check out Vox Day's post, "The Great Retreat begins." He quotes from an article looking at the choice facing America: "the 'soft landing' (transition from Empire to 'normal' country) many Trump voters were hoping for," a chaotic retreat, and a chaotic retreat combined with collapse seemingly favored by the Left.
  • "How to Not Waste the Next Economic Crisis" by Atossa Araxia Abrahamian, The Nation. The author of this piece isn't an American citizen although she apparently lives here. Nevertheless, she thinks that she knows what's good for us even if we don't:
    ... There’s a narrative about the last crash that begins with the first subprime mortgage and continues through the bank bailout, the Occupy Wall Street protests, and the Tea Party’s rise, then culminates with strong Republican gains in the 2010 midterms, laying the ground for the election of Donald J. Trump. That brings us to where we are today, with a veneer of economic prosperity but few guarantees for working people in the future.

    For conservatives, this narrative mirrors the arc of justice: The market won. But for progressives, the road is paved with missed opportunities. Where would we be if decarbonization had been a precondition for the auto industry bailouts or if the banks’ welfare checks had come stapled to tax reforms that redistributed wealth downward? What might have happened to gender equality or how we measure real unemployment and underemployment if the Obama administration had thought to compensate the labor that takes place in the home as well as in the office and on the factory floor? Would people of color have lost fewer jobs, homes, and livelihoods if economic recovery programs had been designed to address rampant hiring discrimination? Was the previous crisis really the last, best chance to set a more democratic precedent for antitrust legislation and prevent the monopolistic, Uberized mess we’re in today?

    As we continue to obsess over stock prices and prognosticate the end of days (no one wants to be the sucker who didn’t call it), it’s crucial to plan how not to squander the next crisis. ...
    In 2008 the United Arab Emirates came up with a novel solution to their bidoon “problem” — the presence of thousands of stateless persons within their territories. Most bidoon descend from families who resided there long before the creation of the U.A.E.; many were from nomadic tribes and simply failed to register as nationals at the time. Yet they have been denied citizenship. That status would give them access to the myriad benefits accorded full members of this wealthy oil state — from free health care and education, to a guaranteed income, subsidized utilities, a marriage bonus, land and an interest-free house loan. Instead, they are categorized as illegal immigrants.

    To regularize their situation, the authorities hit on the innovative scheme of buying citizenship from an impoverished African state, the Comoro Islands, and bestowing it on the bidoon. By purchasing passports from a country of which the bidoon had neither knowledge nor connection, let alone any desire to join or even visit, the Emiratis sought to divest themselves of any obligations. The bidoon would now be somebody else’s problem. In 2014 Kuwait adopted a similar policy, though the bidoon constitute an ­estimated 25 percent of the army.

    If the bidoon form one strand of Atossa Araxia Abrahamian’s account of the global trade in citizenship in “The Cosmopolites,” another strand is that of the ultra-high-net-worth individuals (U.H.N.W.I.) who buy multiple citizenships from often impoverished countries for themselves. They may never set eyes on their newly adopted lands. What they purchase are passports that offer access to other nations and to foreign markets, as well as an ability to seek out the most advantageous jurisdictions to safeguard their accumulated wealth.

    Writing with pace and passion, Abrahamian, an opinion editor at Al Jazeera America, weaves together her narratives with considerable journalistic flair. She intertwines these two threads with a third, that of the ancient idea of cosmopolitan citizenship and its idealistic modern advocates. She sees the growing market in citizenship as the corruption and commercialization of this idea by a global business elite. And she suggests the obvious reform: making the ancient idea a reality by abolishing borders and transforming all human beings into citizens of the world.
  • "The walls are going up across Europe" by Aris Roussinos, UnHerd. Europe is preparing for a massive influx of refugees fleeing from Afghanistan as the Taliban take control. However, unlike in 2015 when refugees were welcomed with open arms, European countries are looking at trying to repatriate refugees that have already entered their country and not allow additional refugees, with a few even considering the use of the military and physical barriers to keep out flows of refugees. But many of the most liberal countries will take the time honored (and almost universally disastrous policy) of dealing with barbarians: paying them (or rather, the countries through which they will transit) to stay out.
  • "'Where Is Your God Now?' Portland Cops Do NOTHING as Antifa Attacks Prayer Event Led by Persecuted Christian Pastor"--PJ Media.
    If you wondered what it looked like when Nazi brown shirts went after the churches in Germany, wonder no more: It probably looked like Portland on Saturday, when black bloc-outfitted antifa thugs burst into a waterfront prayer event featuring persecuted Canadian Pastor Artur Pawlowski. The antifa members sprayed those gathered, including toddlers, with chemicals and lobbed IEDs.

    “Where is your God, now?” taunted one of the attackers.
    Right around the time the exposé was published, we learned that Richard Trask, an FBI agent at the center of the investigation into the Whitmer plot, has been charged with assaulting his wife. The alleged assault occurred after the couple attended a “swingers’ party.”

    It seems the wife didn’t enjoy the experience and told Trask so. As a result, she suffered bloody lacerations to the right side of her head, and had “blood all over chest, clothing arms and hand,” as well as “severe” bruising to her neck and throat.

Me thinks that if their are so few real crimes being committed that the FBI has to manufacture them, then perhaps the FBI needs to have its budget cut or be forced to re-prioritize their resources. Perhaps the agents currently assigned to seek out imaginary white supremacist "domestic terrorists" should be reassigned to something useful like investigating the rampant identity theft being carried out by all the "harmless" illegal aliens. 

    There’s a devastating shortage of men who have their act together, according to a new study that may not be so surprising to all the single ladies out there.

    Research now suggests that the reason for recent years’ decline in the marriage rate could have something to do with the lack of “economically attractive” male spouses who can bring home the bacon, according to the paper published Wednesday in the Journal of Family and Marriage.

    “Most American women hope to marry, but current shortages of marriageable men — men with a stable job and a good income — make this increasingly difficult,” says lead author Daniel Lichter in a press release.

    Economists have long argued that marriage rates are lower in poorer and less well-educated areas because men in those communities aren’t good financial bets. Without steady incomes, they can’t reliably contribute to a household, so while women might have children with them, they won’t commit to men for life. That’s been the assumption, anyway.

    Fracking booms gave two researchers in the Economics Department at the University of Maryland, College Park, a perfect chance to test the hypothesis. What happens when money pours into a place, enriching the men, specifically, and giving them good jobs? More of them will get married, right?

    As they discovered, to their surprise, the answer is no.

    Melissa S. Kearney and Riley Wilson published their findings in a new paper covered by the Washington Post that concludes, “there is no evidence of an increase in marriage rates. The pattern of results is consistent with positive income effects on births, but no associated increase in marriage.”

    In other words, fracking money made more men dad-material, but it didn’t make them husband-material.

A fun video montage of different dancers from different eras set to a classic rock song.

Miscellany:

‘Demob’ is the most dangerous phase for Green Berets or CIA. As if the other six were a walk in the park. Many fighters will be unwilling to return to the unexciting life of taxi driving. Previously powerless people held the intoxicating power of the gun as tightly as Hillary Clinton. To give up their guns and fighting would be to surrender their power and ‘moral authority’ to do as they wish.

Worse, they could turn their guns (or training they received) on the sponsors of an insurgency. The Communists dealt with this issue by simply killing the insurgents--the "true believers" or "useful idiots". 

    There is great risk in supporting insurgents and terrorists.

    Often — very often — insurgents and/or terrorists turn back and bite those who supported and encouraged the fight. Take Osama bin Laden, as example. We once supported him. The rest is history. This is very common.

    We see this now in Democrat hellhole cities across America.

    The BLM and ANITIFA that Democrats support against Republicans is just as likely to bite Democrats. Democrats are swimming with the crocodiles they feed. The crocodile grows.

    Democrats who support ANTIFA and BLM behave as if they are oblivious to the monster they are creating. At this rate, the monster will kill them. Surely.

  • "Anti-Blackness and transphobia are older than we thought" by Roland Betancourt, Washington Post (h/t American Renaissance). The author is shocked (shocked!) to report that people in the Byzantine Empire were racist and not particularly disposed toward homosexuals. Wait until he finds out what the Arabs and other Muslims thought.
  • "Slave Stories History 'Forgot.' Black People Owned Slaves Too"--PJ Media. Not only that, but the 7-year indentured servitude rule was abandoned in the American Colonies because of a court case by an African master who sued to block having to release his African slave.
  • "Why Men Don’t Read Books by Women"--deus ex magical girl. That standard response within the (largely female) writing industry is "that men have something wrong with them and need to change. It’s not the books that are the problem, it’s you. The customer is in the wrong." But the author explores the fascinating and dangerous theory that it might be because men don't want to read what women write. As an example, the top selling female authors are Jane Austen, Margaret Atwood, Danielle Steel, and Jojo Moyes. 
Danielle Steel writes trashy romances. Jojo Moyes writes trashy romances. Jane Austen wrote non-trashy romances. Atwood writes a variety of things but is best known for a pearl-clutching feminist screed that confuses Baptists with the Taliban, though she also churns out an occasional apocalyptic science-fiction novel disturbingly obsessed with child pornography.

The Boeing Orbital Flight Test-2 (OFT-2) mission was supposed to get off the ground on Tuesday, but “unexpected valve position indications” on the CST-100 Starliner’s propulsion system prompted a delay, according to a NASA statement. The countdown for launch was already underway when the problem was detected, namely valves in the wrong configuration required for launch.

The author, who has been following this program closely, calls it a "sh*t show" and adds: "Boeing needs to get its act together, whether it’s designing safe commercial crew vehicles for NASA astronauts or making pilots aware of frighteningly dangerous features added to next-gen airplanes."  Boeing needs to stop going woke and cheap, and stop hiring from countries where student cheating and nepotism is rampant. 

    In the inner ear, the hearing organ, which is the cochlea, contains two major types of sensory cells: "hair cells" that have hair-like cellular projections that receive sound vibrations; and so-called "supporting cells" that play important structural and functional roles. 

    When the delicate hair cells incur damage from loud noises, certain prescription drugs, or other harmful agents, the resulting hearing loss is permanent in older mammals. However, for the first few days of life, lab mice retain an ability for supporting cells to transform into hair cells through a process known as "transdifferentiation", allowing recovery from hearing loss. By one week of age, mice lose this regenerative capacity—also lost in humans, probably before birth.

    Based on these observations, postdoctoral scholar Litao Tao, Ph.D., graduate student Haoze (Vincent) Yu, and their colleagues took a closer look at neonatal changes that cause supporting cells to lose their potential for transdifferentiation. 

The researchers were able to isolate the activating and repressive molecules and believe that therapeutic drugs, gene editing, or other strategies to make epigenetic modifications may be able to restore the regenerative capacity of inner ear cells and cure hearing loss.

    The Air Force Research Laboratory at Kirtland Air Force Base has released a new analysis of the Department of Defense’s investments into directed energy technologies, or DE. The report, titled “Directed Energy Futures 2060,” makes predictions about what the state of DE weapons and applications will be 40 years from now and offers a range of scenarios in which the United States might find itself either leading the field in DE or lagging behind peer-state adversaries. In examining the current state of the art of this relatively new class of weapons, the authors claim that the world has reached a “tipping point” in which directed energy is now critical to successful military operations.

    One of the document’s most eyebrow-raising predictions is that a “force field” could be created by “a sufficiently large fleet or constellation of high-altitude DEW systems” that could provide a "missile defense umbrella, as part of a layered defense system, if such concepts prove affordable and necessary.” The report cites several existing examples of what it calls “force fields,” including the Active Denial System, or “pain ray,” as well as non-kinetic counter-drone systems, and potentially counter-missile systems, that use high-power microwaves to disable or destroy their targets. Most intriguingly, the press release claims that “the concept of a DE weapon creating a localized force field may be just on the horizon.”

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