Wednesday, August 4, 2021

The Docent's Memo (8/4/2021)

 

VIDEO: "Why I Switched to Double Action Semi-Autos"--Lucky Gunner (8 min.)

Firearms/Shooting/Self-Defense:

    1. Buying too big of a gun.
    2. Underestimating ammo needs (i.e., not buying enough ammo).
    3. Assuming you know what holster you'll use.
    4. All talk, no action (basically poor OPSEC by bragging about your new gun or CCL in inappropriate places or to the wrong people).
    5. Neglecting practice.
    6. Ignoring the "sacred" ritual of gun carrying.
    7. Over-doing modifications.
    • Related: "Buying a Semi and 2 Other Mistakes Concealed Carry Newbies Make: Guns for Beginners"--The Truth About Guns. Building off the foregoing article, the author suggest three more mistakes: (1) selecting a semi-auto over a revolver (he thinks that a gun newbie would be better off learning with a revolver); (2) storing their gun in a drawer; and (3) not talking enough about their gun (or, more precisely, discussing self-defense and advocating for personal ownership of firearms).
  • "12 Gauge Buckshot Range Report" by Ben Adams, Appalachian Tactical Academy. A comparison between Federal Tactical 00 8-pellet Buck with Federal’s Flitecontrol wad and Remington Express Tac 12 00 8-pellet Buck, pattern tested at 5, 15, 25, and 35 yards. At 5 yards, the Remington had already opened up a lot more than the Federal, although both patterned within the A-zone on the target. At 15 yards, however, the Remington pattern was significantly larger than the Federal. At 25 yards, the Federal load's pattern was about the size of the Remington's at 15 yards, while the Remington had opened up enough that some pellets were no longer striking on the silhouette. At 35 yards, the Federal was still doing pretty well (1 pellet off the target), but the Remington pattern was so large that it was no longer going to be effective. 35 yards is far beyond any distance you would ever need to shoot in a home defense scenario (unless you lived in a mansion), but could be well short of a property line (or border of your curtilage). Just something to keep in mind. In any event, the author concludes:
    The Federal load I tested is the clear winner over the Remington, but what does that actually mean for you as the end user? Don’t assume that the Federal load is automatically superior for your purposes. A 25+ yard shot just may not be a reality for your individual situation, so why stress about ensuring you have ammo to meet a situation that you are not going to experience?

    Both loads do just fine at distances of 15y and in, which accounts for the longest indoor shot 99% of Americans might have to take. Keep that in mind when choosing a load for your gun. With all that said, my preference is still going to be for the tighter-patterning load, all other things being equal. But what if all other things aren’t equal? Price and availability have to factor into your decision-making process as well.

The latter has certainly played into my selection of shotgun ammo. I've never been able to find the Federal load available when I've searched with it on-line, which means that I've resorted to purchasing more standard 00 loadings. 

    1. Eject the magazine. Pull back on the charging handle. Keeping your fingers away from the trigger, visually and physically inspect the AR-15 to make certain there is no cartridge in its chamber. Once you have ensured the AR-15 is incapable of firing, it is ready for cleaning.
    2. Place the AR-15 on its side so it points in a safe direction. (Although you have already ensured it cannot fire, you must always treat any firearm like it is loaded.) Using a punch tool or bullet tip, press inward on the rear takedown pin. Repeat on the front pivot pin. Turn the AR-15 over to pull upward on both pins until the upper receiver is detached from the lower receiver.
    3. Disassemble the AR-15 down to its three main components: upper receiver, lower receiver, and bolt carrier group. If you would like tips on how to field strip an AR-15, please check out our helpful video.
    4. Begin by cleaning the chamber and barrel. You may use either a cleaning rod with patches or a BoreSnake for this step. We’ll explain how to use both, but whichever you prefer always make certain to clean in the same direction as the path the bullet takes: from breech to muzzle.
After giving specific instructions as to using a rod or a boresnake, the article continues with instructions on cleaning the chamber:
      Dip the nylon brush in solvent. Rotate the upper receiver so that its chamber is facing you and begin brushing away all visible debris. Use a cotton swab to clean difficult-to-reach areas as needed. Wipe down the chamber with a clean patch or cotton rag. Finish by applying a thin film of lubricant to the chamber with a cotton rag, as well as any other areas that experience friction or movement.

      And, finally, it discusses cleaning the bolt and bolt carrier group, as well as the buffer tube. 

      And we certainly see complacency among armed citizens. These are the folks who have a defensive handgun, but only carry when they think they might need it. Or they leave it in their car to keep it handy—which assumes they will be anywhere near their car when the balloon goes up, or that they will have time to get to the gun.

      Under the new laws, police are limited on what they can do in traffic enforcement as well. Police can stop a vehicle, but they cannot require the occupants to exit the vehicle, cannot pat them down for weapons without their consent, and cannot put them in handcuffs without probable cause.

      And:

          Traffic stops are one of the most dangerous acts an officer performs, and often proactive enforcement of traffic laws leads to arrests for drugs and other crimes. Under the new law, police will not be able to take proactive steps, because they cannot put themselves in a situation where force may be required before probable cause is established.

          In addition, police can only pursue a vehicle suspected of major crimes, including robbery, rape, and homicide. 

      • "The History of the 'Assault Weapon' Hoax. Part 1: The Crime that Started it All" by David B. Kopel, Reason. A look back at the crime that started the whole "assault weapon" hysteria: the 1989 Stockton schoolyard shooting. As the article documents, the perpatrator had a long history of mental illness and crimes, but seemed to never be charged with a felony. Accordingly, he was able to buy all his weapons while complying with California's strict gun control laws, including 15-day waiting periods. However, for those you that think the AK in 7.62x39 is a better weapon than the 5.56:

          The criminal brought two guns. One was a 9mm pistol, with which he later committed suicide. He did the killing with a semiautomatic rifle, an AKM-56S. (135 Cong. Rec. S1870, Feb. 28, 1989.)

          In a period of about two to five minutes (reports vary), he fired around 105 shots. He hit 37 people, including one adult; five children were killed. The police arrived five minutes after he had begun shooting. By that point, he had killed himself.

      VIDEO: "Pocket EMP v. Timer Padlock"--Lock Picking Lawyer (2 min.)

      Prepping/Survival

      • "How To Suture: DIY Guide To Wound Closure Methods" by Joe Alton, M.D., Off Grid Magazine. Dr. Alton states that "the well-rounded medic should be familiar with the various methods and materials used in closing a laceration. More important still is the proper judgement as to when an open wound should be closed and when it should not. Having the necessary knowledge, training, and equipment is imperative to be an effective caregiver." The rest of the article covers those topics. Probably something you will want to print up.
      • "Travel Berkey Features – Smallest Berkey Water Filter For A Countertop"--Modern Survival Blog. A look at a Berkey filter system with a smaller footprint. Per the article, the filter elements will process about 2.75 gallons of water per hour (6,000 gallons total), which the author believes is sufficient for 2 to 3 people.
      • "How to Charge Your Phone When the Power is Out"--Modern Survival Blog. Or other small electronic devices which increasingly includes flashlights. The primary method recommended by the author is a portable phone charger (the author recommends ANKER brand). The backup is a small, portable solar panel intended for charging phones (or phone chargers). The author recommends the Big Blue – 28 Watt Folding Solar Panel Charger.
      • Warrior Up Guides. This is a collection of training manuals and guides apparently authored by radical environmental groups, anarchists, with a few military training manuals thrown in. Subjects cover: arson, sabotage and blockades; counter-forensics and security; hacking; field-craft; and counter-surveillance.
      • Heh: "America fails to make it into the top five places most likely to survive the end of the world because its giant borders make it vulnerable to mass migration, study finds"--Daily Mail.
      • "Are Americans Preparing For a Second Civil War?"--The Truth About Guns. The author provides a fair description of what a civil war in today's America would be like:
        • Massive numbers of people are inhibited from going about their normal business because of danger in the streets. Businesses large and small are interrupted and/or destroyed, thereby disrupting many essential goods and services just like in 2020, but on a much larger scale.
        • Arson becomes a weapon of choice. Houses and other buildings are torched on a grand scale leaving large numbers of people without shelter, if they are fortunate enough to escape the burning buildings. Over many years in the Detroit area, we have been sickened by the phenomenon of arson as an offensive weapon.
        • Infrastructure is destroyed to the extent that the lifestyle of city dwellers (and the majority of us in America are city dwellers) is totally disrupted. Utilities such as electricity, gas, water, telephones, and cable are interrupted, causing the loss of air conditioning in the summer, heat in the winter, and communication any time. Without electricity there is no refrigeration for the preservation of foodstuffs and no clean water to drink. Diseases like typhoid and cholera spread due to the lack of sanitation, since sewage disposal and trash removal are also interrupted.
        • Disruption of transportation causes failure of the food supply chain and thousands, perhaps millions, of people begin to starve. Of course, there are some who have hoarded, or begin to hoard, large supplies of preserved food. This hoarding exacerbates shortages, and others who have become desperate, try to take that food away from the hoarders, which causes additional conflict.
        • With depletion of food supplies in the cities, strife spills into the countryside as starving people go there to forage. Eventually no one is exempt, and massive starvation ensues.
        • Hospitals become overwhelmed by the carnage and disease. They begin to fail, both because of the loss of utilities and because staff members are: a) overworked to the point of exhaustion, b) unable to get to work, or c) killed in the conflict.
        • The aged and the infirm begin to die in large numbers because of all of the above, and there is no one around to even dispose of their bodies.
        • Finally, the United States government manages to enforce marshal law leading to the complete suppression of violence accompanied by a total suppression of civil rights including the loss of all of the freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. But disaster relief is not forthcoming, because the destruction is so massive that any possible government response is totally inadequate.
        • Alternatively, the United States government is so weakened by the ensuing disorder and destruction that it fails to bring the situation under control. The United States loses its status as a world superpower and becomes vulnerable to attack by its enemies, both foreign and domestic.

      VIDEO: "Afghanistan staring at the abyss"--Caspian Report (12 min.)
      The Taliban already control 3/4 of the country, including important border crossings. Western intelligence gives the country 6 months before if falls under full Taliban control.

      The Decline Of The West:
      • When finance and banking becomes more important than industry: "Addressing gun violence means considering solutions other than policing"--The Washington Post (h/t KA9OFF). I link to this not because of the lame solutions offered to counter gun violence, but because the author inadvertently reveals the cause of the decline of the United States:
        • "Like other cities, Philadelphia was hit hard by post-1960s deindustrialization, depopulation and a dwindling tax base."
        • "But as more data became available, it became clear that more police funding didn’t result in less crime. Disinvestment, deindustrialization and depopulation made crime more concentrated in the city. By the summer of 1977, more than 11,900 jobs in construction, factories, services and government had disappeared, the unemployment rate teetered between 7.1 and 8.8 percent, and nearly 250,000 people moved out of the city."
      And none of this was helped by allowing the influx of a large number of low-IQ, low-education immigrants to take whatever jobs remained.
      • The Left thinks victory is imminent: "Liberal journalist: There is 'no good reason' only citizens can vote"--The Blaze. The journalist in question is Atossa Araxia Abrahamian, a New York-based progressive journalist and former senior editor of the Nation. At issue is the op-ed she penned for the New York Times that was published this past Wednesday in which she wrote, "it's time for Democrats to radically expand the electorate."
      How? First by granting permanent legal residents the right to vote. Why? Because, according to Abrahamian, they contribute as much to the country as any natural-born citizen.

      "Nearly 15 million people living legally in the United States, most of whom contribute as much as any natural-born American to this country's civic, cultural and economic life, don't have a say in matters of politics and policy because we — resident foreign nationals, or 'aliens' as we are sometimes called — cannot vote," Abrahamian wrote.

      According to her, the non-citizens who ought to be able to vote include "people with green cards, people here on work visas, and those who arrived in the country as children and are still waiting for permanent papers."
          The Left, no longer the party of the common man, the little man, or the forgotten man, is now a party entirely for the made man. Those already among the rich and powerful are automatically accepted, and the Left graciously allows plebs to join and minister unto them, so long as they attend the proper institutions, perform the proper induction ceremonies, and devote their lives to the bureaucracy or mechanism of the state. 
       
          The lowest rung of the leftist coalition is composed of the sainted hordes, which—as is obvious to every Californian not currently making money or gaining influence by servicing the Left’s one-percenters—is defined roughly as any group of disadvantaged people likely to vote for leftists. Much of the time the sainted hordes are synonymous with immigrants, but not always. The Left is very meticulous in its support for the lowly. Only those likely to be made useful in further empowering the made Left are welcome. Cubans, Eastern Europeans, and those who (like the California Right) might properly be called “dissidents” are wise to the game and are, therefore, unwelcome. 

      • "General Milley’s Imaginary Coup" by Peter Van Buren, American Conservative. Van Buren explores how General Milley was, in a word, delusional when it came to his beliefs that Trump was going to try a stage a coup d'etat or that the January 6 protests were an insurrection. But perhaps Milley was projecting as he was more than happy to disobey orders from the Commander in Chief and use the military against Americans over a political issue. As Van Buren concludes:
      As for a real threat to democracy: It is General Milley preparing to disobey the Constitution and take a patriot-sized dump on his chain of command; it is progressive rag the Nation telling their readers they will fight a guerrilla war against other Americans, and that the Supreme Court, the third branch of our republican government, is an illegitimate, antidemocratic institution. Who again is the threat? Trump is out of office, but Milley still holds command of the entire U.S. military.
      • "The Rule of Law Hostage to ‘Enemy Action’" by Roger Kimball, The Epoch Times. The subject here is how prosecutorial discretion has been weaponized by the Left to persecute the Right. (For my European readers, the Right--the Conservatives--in the United States are largely concerned with conserving the founding ideals of the United States which is basically classical liberalism and egalitarianism with a healthy dose of Christianity; the Left, on the other hand, is all about government control, government freebies, etc., whether you want to term it fascism, socialism, communism, Marxism, monarchism, etc.). An excerpt from the article:
          In a rational society, the laws are few, publicly proclaimed, and impartially enforced.
       
          How about in our society?
       
          As to the number, I’ll just say that in 2008, The Heritage Foundation estimated that there were nearly 4,500 federal crimes on the books. That was thirteen years ago.
       
          The question of their impartial enforcement brings me to my real subject.
       
          One impediment to the impartiality is pragmatic. There are only so many prosecutors and so many judges.
       
          Hence the phenomenon of “prosecutorial discretion.”
       
          The Department of Justice has to pick and choose which bad guys to go after because it doesn’t have the resources to go after them all.
       
          OK, but is it impartial in its discretion?
       
          No. Which is why another reason for the lack of impartiality is political.
       
          During the Trump years, why was it that the awesome power of the state was routinely brought to bear against anyone in the president’s orbit while people in the Justice Department and various intelligence services could lie, leak, and even alter critical evidence with essentially no consequences?
       
          Why is it that the Biden DOJ “declines to prosecute” five people arrested as Chinese spies while it continues its policy of harassing, arresting, and incarcerating people who were milling about the Capitol on Jan. 6?
       
          Why is it that the Biden DOJ has declined to investigate the scandal of blue-state nursing home deaths in the wake of the COVID hysteria?
       
          “The Department of Justice will not pursue investigations into New York, Pennsylvania, or Michigan nursing home policies,” The Washington Examiner reported, “that resulted in thousands of residential COVID-19 deaths.”
       
          It wasn’t just that the policy of stashing COVID patients in nursing homes was a deadly mistake, there was also a massive coverup.
       
          In New York, for example, an aide to Governor Cuomo admitted in a leaked Zoom video that the Cuomo administration “purposely undercounted nursing home deaths to avoid a federal investigation.”
       
          Don’t try this if you are Republican governor.
       
          Meanwhile, what about the battalions of protestors who rampaged throughout American cities last summer, smashing, burning, maiming, and murdering people?
       
          They caused some $2 billion in damages, injured scores, and killed at least a dozen.
      What happened to them?
       
          The headline says it all: “Charges against hundreds of NYC rioters, looters have been dropped.”
       
          It was the same thing in cities across the country. “Portland drops charges for 90% arrested during recent riots.”
       
          In Washington, D.C.: “Nearly All Rioters Freed from Jail in D.C., Most Avoid Felony Riot Charges.”
       
          In Minneapolis: “Most charges against George Floyd protesters dropped, analysis shows.”
       
          The moral? George Orwell got to the heart of the matter in Animal Farm: “All animals are equal. But some are more equal than others.”
          ... It is now a standard trope, implanted in freshmen summer reading lists through the works of Ta-Nehesi Coates and others, that whites pose a severe, if not mortal, threat to blacks. That may have once been true, but it is no longer so today. Just this month, the Bureau of Justice Statistics released its 2018 survey of criminal victimization. According to the study, there were 593,598 interracial violent victimizations (excluding homicide) between blacks and whites last year, including white-on-black and black-on-white attacks. Blacks committed 537,204 of those interracial felonies, or 90 percent, and whites committed 56,394 of them, or less than 10 percent. That ratio is becoming more skewed, despite the Democratic claim of Trump-inspired white violence. In 2012-13, blacks committed 85 percent of all interracial victimizations between blacks and whites; whites committed 15 percent. From 2015 to 2018, the total number of white victims and the incidence of white victimization have grown as well.  

          Blacks are also overrepresented among perpetrators of hate crimes—by 50 percent—according to the most recent Justice Department data from 2017; whites are underrepresented by 24 percent. This is particularly true for anti-gay and anti-Semitic hate crimes.

      As I mentioned the other day, it is a subset of criminals (approximately 6 %) that commit the majority of crimes (i.e., roughly 50%) (see, e.g., "Ravenous wolves revisited: a systematic review of offending concentration"--Crime Science Journal). This probably represents the ones suffering from anti-social disorders. Blacks may also be over-represented in violent crime statistics due to a higher prevalence of what has euphemistically been dubbed the "warrior gene" (see, e.g., "The 2-repeat allele of the MAOA gene confers an increased risk for shooting and stabbing behaviors"--The Psychiatric Quarterly).

      COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) disease severity and stages varies from asymptomatic, mild flu-like symptoms, moderate, severe, critical, and chronic disease. COVID-19 disease progression include lymphopenia, elevated proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines, accumulation of macrophages and neutrophils in lungs, immune dysregulation, cytokine storms, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), etc. Development of vaccines to severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), and other coronavirus has been difficult to create due to vaccine induced enhanced disease responses in animal models. Multiple betacoronaviruses including SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV-1 expand cellular tropism by infecting some phagocytic cells (immature macrophages and dendritic cells) via antibody bound Fc receptor uptake of virus. Antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE) may be involved in the clinical observation of increased severity of symptoms associated with early high levels of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in patients. Infants with multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) associated with COVID-19 may also have ADE caused by maternally acquired SARS-CoV-2 antibodies bound to mast cells. ADE risks associated with SARS-CoV-2 has implications for COVID-19 and MIS-C treatments, B-cell vaccines, SARS-CoV-2 antibody therapy, and convalescent plasma therapy for patients. SARS-CoV-2 antibodies bound to mast cells may be involved in MIS-C and multisystem inflammatory syndrome in adults (MIS-A) following initial COVID-19 infection. SARS-CoV-2 antibodies bound to Fc receptors on macrophages and mast cells may represent two different mechanisms for ADE in patients. These two different ADE risks have possible implications for SARS-CoV-2 B-cell vaccines for subsets of populations based on age, cross-reactive antibodies, variabilities in antibody levels over time, and pregnancy. These models place increased emphasis on the importance of developing safe SARS-CoV-2 T cell vaccines that are not dependent upon antibodies.
      • The Day of the Pillow: "Implementing Geronticide"--Gates of Vienna. When tax supported pensions and medical care (e.g., Social Security and Medicare) were first implemented, most people did not live long after retirement. But that has changed with life expectancies having increased in most countries with the concomitant increase in the costs of caring for the elderly. At the same time, most industrialized countries saw their fecundity (number of children born for each woman) decline. The result was a perfect storm: a growing number of elderly people on government support, but a declining tax base to support the systems. 
          The solution, envisioned in the 1960s and carried forward to today, was to artificially increase the number of younger workers by opening up the doors to immigration from third world countries. But, as the author of this piece notes, "the newcomers tend to consume more in government benefits than they contribute in taxes. Furthermore, their occupational skills haven’t managed to reach the level of the natives they are supplanting...."
       
          Once those in power start (or started) to realize that third world immigrants are not viable replacements for native workers, the only other solution is to reduce the number of elderly. The author speculates that this might have been the real purpose behind the gain of function research that led to Covid-19, writing:

          We’ll start by looking at the characteristics of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. It was engineered to spread rapidly. It poses almost no danger to the young, but can be deadly to the elderly. What better agent to spread like wildfire through nursing homes?

          Consider the fact that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered that COVID-19 patients be transferred from hospitals to nursing homes. Was that simple incompetence on his part? Or did someone higher up the food chain whisper the suggestion into his ear? Either explanation is possible.

          Now consider the “vaccine”. First of all, the basic technique used in the jab was developed and even patented long before COVID-19 hit the scene. It was obviously a crucial component of the larger project.

          The spike protein manufactured by the vax can do serious harm, spreading throughout the body via the bloodstream and potentially causing thromboses and auto-immune disorders. Among its sequelae is possible infertility, which would be an added bonus for the architects of the plan — population reduction has long been an announced goal for Bill Gates and other advocates of mass vaccination. So the disease itself knocks off the elderly, while the vax gelds and spays the next generation — giving the population-planners a twofer.

          The long-range outcome of mass “vaccination” is to select for more virulent strains of the virus in those who enjoy its protection, while simultaneously inhibiting the immune response of its recipients to those variants. In other words, people who get the vax are more susceptible to later versions of the same virus against which they have supposedly been inoculated. Once again, the elderly and those with existing health problems are the most likely to die from it, thereby curtailing the expensive medical and maintenance care the state is providing for them.
      The shielding approach aims to reduce the number of severe COVID-19 cases by limiting contact between individuals at higher risk of developing severe disease (“high-risk”) and the general population (“low-risk”). High-risk individuals would be temporarily relocated to safe or “green zones” established at the household, neighborhood, camp/sector or community level depending on the context and setting. They would have minimal contact with family members and other low-risk residents.

      VIDEO: "What in the World is God doing in Afghanistan?"--Joel Richardson (28 min.)
      Believe it or not, Richardson claims that the highest rate of conversion to Christianity is in Afghanistan followed by Iran.

      Miscellany:
      • "Drafting Our Daughters" by Shaun Rieley, The American Conservative. Rieley makes the argument that because men and women are different--that is, women are not physically able to withstand the rigors of combat and owe different duties to one another--women should not be drafted. As I noted recently, women largely have failed in their duties to men or society at large, and there are plenty of non-combat position that women can fill (I've read that the ratio of support to combat roles are 10:1). Thus, I do not find Rieley's arguments compelling. 
      • "Navy Charges Sailor with Arson, Hazarding a Vessel in 2020 Bonhomme Richard Fire"--USNI News. The sailor has not been named, but he is alleged to have deliberately started the fire. Whether he intended to destroy the ship, however, is not mentioned.
      • "In Mexico’s Cartel Country, a Murderer Who Kills Murderers Tells His Story"--Daily Beast.  An interesting article from 2019. The sicario being interviewed--a man calling himself Capache--had worked for a couple cartels, but at the time of the interview was working for an autodefensa. An excerpt:

          “When a community is no longer protected by a sovereign state the contract between the government and the governed is effectively broken,” says Robert Bunker, a professor at the Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College, in an email to The Daily Beast. “At that point local citizens who are being robbed, raped, and who are living under the constant fear of bodily injury and death have the option of either fleeing, joining the local crime groups oppressing them, or standing up and taking matters in their own hands as vigilantes.”

          Capache, having undergone a rigorous and bloody training regimen as a CJNG recruit, now uses his paramilitary background, his knowledge of the dark arts of assassination, to strike back against the narcos. He works as a “cleaner” in Chilpancingo, stalking and killing cartel members who, in his words, “prey on society like vampires.”

      * * *

          Capache looks to be in his early twenties. He wears jeans and desert-issue combat boots. A tight-fitting, long-sleeve camouflage T-shirt shows off the shoulders of a dedicated weightlifter. He’s got skull tattoos on the back of his right hand, a stud earring, and a finger ring that bears the head of a snarling wolf [ed: a fighting ring].  

          Certain sicarios I’ve met in the past have come across as arrogant, eager to boast about their exploits. Tout their love of violence for its own sake. Others are given to lamentations for their misdeeds. But Capache is different. Formal and soft-spoken, he talks of his past without braggadocio or any gnashing of teeth, but instead with an almost monotone matter-of-factness, as if the spirit of youth has been burned out of him by all he’s seen. Turned into an old soul before his time.

          “I was just 14 when I left home to join the [Jalisco] Cartel,” he says. The son of a single mother with 10 other children, Capache had stopped going to school the year before because the family had no money to pay for his tuition. He was working in a restaurant in the village of Ocotito when a childhood friend recruited him to enter the CJNG’s training program.

          “We had nothing. No money to eat with. I was tired of seeing my mom go hungry. And I knew I could make 10 times more working for them. As soon as I heard the offer I knew that’s what I had to do. Less than a week later I was on a bus for Jalisco.”

          CJNG leader Nemesio Oseguera, aka “El Mencho,” has long sought to control drug production zones in Guerrero, which is the point of origin for about 50 percent of the heroin that enters the U.S. Lately it’s also become an important staging ground for synthetic drugs like fentanyl, which is mixed with heroin in processing labs located in the state’s remote and lawless mountains. An extensive recruitment effort aimed at the masses of impoverished young men with bleak futures from across Mexico is one of the reasons CJNG has become so powerful so fast.

          Less than a decade old, the CJNG has already proved itself “to be an extremely violent, predatory, and ascendant cartel backed up by increasingly capable paramilitary forces,” says Bunker. “When pushed by the Mexican state it is also not afraid to directly strike back and ambush federal forces.”

          Mencho’s mafia is now present in some two dozen Mexican states, as well as the U.S., South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia, according to Bunker. While many crime groups in Mexico act more like loose coalitions, with little top-down planning  or organization, Mencho has taken a different tack.

          As Bunker explains, part of the secret to his group’s success is “the centralization of CJNG under one leader and some capable senior officers,” which allows for the close planning and coordination needed “to shift its paramilitary units from one operational area to another.”

      Training Day

          Capache arrived in Guachinango, state of Jalisco, with little more than the clothes on his back. He slept with other young recruits in a cluster of tents. Some of the instructors were retired members of the Mexican special forces. Others were active-duty military personnel who were also on the cartel payroll. One of the first things they told Capache was that he did not have the right to leave.

          “At first I missed my family and thought about running away. But if you tried to escape you’d be hunted down and killed. I saw others try to get away and they were always caught.” Some of those would-be escapees were doused with gasoline and burned alive in front of their comrades, Capache says. Others had explosives taped to their body and ignited.

          “There was no going back,” he says, seated at the scarred wooden table in the safe house. 

          As an initiate Capache received general infantry-style training, including small-unit tactics, target practice with assault rifles, belt-fed machine guns and grenade launchers, and field-stripping weapons while blindfolded. 

          Large-scale gangs like the CJNG consider this kind of curriculum worth the cost of investment because “criminal groups that field untrained gunmen get chewed to bits in [armed] engagements with cartel personnel that have better paramilitary and military levels of training,” Bunker says.

          In addition to such traditional schooling, Capache says he and other recruits were also forced to undergo arduous trials meant to desensitize them to pain. One such exercise involved forcing trainees to undress beneath wasp nests lodged in trees. 

          “Then they [drill instructors] hit the nests with poles or rifle barrels until the wasps came out to attack us. You had to stand there for 10 minutes and without moving at all. If you moved or screamed they beat you for it,” he recalls, “so it was better just to take the pain.” 

          After about three months of training it was time for the “final exam,” which involved “cutting people up a special way,” Capache explains. Recruits took turns administering a specific, byzantine series of stabs and slashes to a live victim—usually a thief or petty criminal the cartel deemed deserving of such punishment. The first series of ordered knife cuts was meant to torture for information without killing. Then to strike fatal blows. And at last to cut up the body by hand for disposal.

      Read the whole thing. We'll be seeing groups like these more and more in the coming years.

          In late June 2021, The New York Times broke a very important story about Chinese construction of large numbers of ICBM silos for its new large DF-41 ICBM stating, “Researchers in the United States have identified the construction of 119 new intercontinental ballistic missile silos in a desert in northwestern China …” The analysis was conducted by Mr. Jeffery Lewis of the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies. According to Mr. Lewis, “If the silos under construction at other sites across China are added to the count, the total comes to about 145 silos under construction.” The U.S. Department of State voiced concern about China’s actions.

          The Chinese DF-41 ICBM is not a small Minuteman-class missile but rather a large Peacekeeper-class missile and is generally reported as capable of carrying ten warheads. Peter Huessy of the Mitchell Institute has pointed out, “Just this deployment alone will provide China over one thousand new on-alert warheads—1,450—almost double the day-to-day U.S.A. on-alert force and by itself a nuclear force roughly equal to the entire current U.S. nuclear-deployed force of 1,490 sea- and land-based missile warheads.”

      Satellite images reveal that China is building a second nuclear missile silo field. The discovery follows the report earlier this month that China appears to be constructing 120 missile silos near Yumen in Gansu province. The second missile silo field is located 380 kilometers (240 miles) northwest of the Yumen field near the prefecture-level city of Hami in Eastern Xinjiang.

      2 comments:

      1. It looks like Atossa's transition is going well. I wonder how long "she" has been on hormone treatments?

        ReplyDelete
        Replies
        1. She's just upset that, not being an American, she was unable to legally vote against Trump.

          Delete

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