Wednesday, October 20, 2021

The Docent's Memo (10/20/2021)

VIDEO: "How China's QBZ 95 bullpup fits their tactics"--Task & Purpose (12 min.)
This is a good overview of the QBZ 95 and its 5.8×42mm cartridge. However, I have to disagree with the idea that there was careful forethought as to the design of the weapon to fulfill Chinese tactics. Yes, it is good for mechanized infantry and, conceptually at least, good for CQB (although that advantage disappears when you can't switch shoulders without getting hit in the face with hot brass). I would guess that the main impetus was to have a weapon that looked "cool" and "modern." The weapon was developed when it appeared that bullpups were the future of assault rifle design, so the Chinese were merely following a trend that has since petered out. Almost every country that had adopted a bullpup rifle has since switched back to rifles of standard layout, including the Chinese who stopped production of the QBZ 95 in 2019 and have started replacing it with the QBZ 191 which uses a standard rifle layout. 

Firearms/Self-Defense/Shooting:

  • "Think That Bullet Velocity Doesn’t Matter? Think Again"--Field & Stream. The 6.5 Creedmoor has shown that brutal recoil and ultra-high velocities are not requirements for a long range rifle. It has less recoil than the .308, and although it starts out at about the same muzzle velocity,  it retains its velocity much better than a .308 bullet. This article explains, however, why velocity is still needed in a rifle: (1) it reduces the time of flight, thus reducing drop at equivalent ranges as compared to a lower velocity cartridge (gravity is still the same no matter the bullet weight or speed, so a fast and slow bullet will drop the same distance in one second--but the faster bullet will have covered more ground in that one second); (2) it yields a flatter trajectory (see point (1)); (3) higher velocity bullets can have greater kinetic energy; (4) velocity drives bullet expansion (probably the most important point for most hunters); (5) it helps with penetration (i.e., higher momentum and higher surface pressure at the tip of the bullet); and (6) it helps with accuracy (see points (1) and (2)).
  • "Are Aluminum Magazines Still the Best Fit for the AR-15 Platform?" by Luke C., The Firearm Blog. The author had an experience with a magazine that didn't drop free when he hit the magazine release, and so he decided to test a variety of popular magazines, metal and polymer, to see which ones would drop free and also measure any changes of width when the magazines were fully loaded. Most of the magazines were perfectly fine, as you would expect. However:

The ProMag Rollermags wouldn’t accept the full 30-rounds without great force. This led to the lips of the magazine expanding to well over the .94″ width that my widest AR-15 magwell and even when down loaded to 29-rounds the magazine would still not drop free – I wasn’t able to forcibly seat the magazine in either of my two other AR-15s which measured 0.93 and 0.92″ in width.

He has a table with his full results if you are interested.

The H&K G3 and FN FAL are the two most iconic, prolific and functional battle rifles to come out of the Cold War. While the FAL managed to reach a more symbolic status, the G3 rifle managed to stay in wider service for longer, and with a higher average satisfaction level from its users. Their rugged reliability and relatively low cost have kept G3s in service with many large but less wealthy nations like Turkey and Mexico, while the platform’s inherent modularity has also prolonged its lifespan with groups like the Swedish Home Guard. Whether you’re interested in a G3 rifle as a historical novelty or as a serious shooter, there are options available, but there are some important things to know before diving headfirst into the platform.

The main thing to know is that authenticity is directly related to pricing: e.g. an authentic HK built HK91 (a semiauto version of the G3) is going to cost more than a reproduction from PTR.  Part of the reason for this is that George H.W. Bush banned the import of genuine HK91s in 1989. For those just wanting a shooter, the author relates:

Due to its longevity of service in different armed forces across the world, the G3 has more modern upgrade options available to it than the FN FAL. There are modern free-floated handguards that enable the mounting of bipods, lights or lasers, as well as modern stocks that can majorly improve the ergonomics when the rifle is used with an optic. Some models of PTR come with modernized handguards straight from the factory, but the company leading the charge of G3 modernization is Spuhr out of Sweden. Their products have been purchased by the Swedish government on a large scale for modernizing their home guard’s issued G3s. Spuhr furniture is quite expensive, but it's also the objectively best upgrade package for the G3 currently on the market. For those who plan on running an optic on their G3, the addition of a Spuhr stock would be enough to majorly overhaul the platform’s ergonomics and usability.

    The most drastic change you can make to an HK91 series rifle to mitigate recoil is to change the locking piece. The locking piece is critical to the firearm’s safe and reliable function. With the bolt closed, the locking piece is the part that pushes against the rollers and forces them into the recesses within the rifle’s trunnion. After a round is fired, the chamber pressure pushes the bolt and carrier rearward and the rollers press against the locking piece until it has moved back far enough for them to retreat into the bolt head. With the rollers clear of the trunnion, the bolt and carrier can freely cycle. 
 
    By default, most HK91s/PTR-91s come with unmarked 45-degree pieces. The locking piece’s angle is measured at the part’s nose, between the converging faces on either side of the firing pin hole. A more acutely angled locking piece takes longer to unlock, meaning lower chamber pressure on opening and slower bolt speed. To reduce its rate of fire for better controllability, the HK21E light machine gun includes a part with a tighter 36-degree angle between each face.

    Changing my PTR-91’s locking piece for RCM’s US-made #17 reduced my rifle’s felt recoil by about 20%, but it also came with some additional benefits. Most importantly, my rifle is now 100% reliable when used with suppressors. Since roller locking rifles rely on blowback to operate, increasing backpressure (as a suppressor does) can negatively impact reliability and can even damage the firearm. With the standard locking piece, I frequently experienced double feeds while shooting suppressed. These issues have disappeared since making the swap.

He goes on to discuss a better internal buffer (also designed for the HK21), using a muzzle brake, and using a recoil pad on the butt of the stock. 

  • "AR-10 – The Most Versatile Rifle You Can Own?"--Gun News Daily. The short take on the author's argument is that the modern AR-10 (AR 308) variants offer the ergonomics and customizability of the AR-15, but using a cartridge suitable for big game hunting (or reaching out to touch someone beyond the effective range of the .223).
    • Related: "Survival Debate: .308 Win vs. .223 Rem"--Survival Cache. A fairly good comparison of the pros and cons between the two cartridges and the typical defensive/combat rifle that would use them. Since the most important point is that you actually be able to correctly and efficiently manipulate the weapon and be able to hit the target at which you are aiming, the real issue is which rifle system do you use the best (which is for most shooters going to be the .223 rifle) and whether you will put in the time and money to get better with a .308. Secondary considerations are logistics (e.g., the cost to purchase the weapon and stockpile the ammunition) and transportation (e.g., can you carry the weapon and ammo loadout over distance).
  • "A Page From History: Candle Practice"--Shooting Sports USA.

    Candle practice was a form of indoor marksmanship training wherein the rifleman fired at a candle flame positioned approximately three feet from the gun muzzle. The special load used consisted of a primed cartridge case only, the blast of the primer being sufficient to extinguish the candle flame at three feet. The special primer necessary contained a greater charge of fulminate than the regular service primer.

    The soldier either shot directly at the candle flame or at a target (with bullseye center cut out) placed in front of the candle.

  • For those whose grip strength, arthritis, or other condition makes it difficult to rack the slide on a handgun, this product may help: "Handi-Racker: Lending A Third Hand" by Patrick Sweeney, Gun Digest. Basically it is a rectangular brace that fits on the front of the slide allowing you to push the Handi-Racker against a solid object (e.g., a wall) and rack the slide either to load the weapon or to eject a cartridge. MSRP is $25 according to the article.
  • These look interesting: "Hiperfire Debuts Next Gen Compensators"--American Hunter. From the article cum press release: "Instead of finding this combination using traditional trial and error techniques, Hiperfire took a different approach. By using Fluent computational fluid dynamics software from ANSYS, the company was able to iterate faster while retaining lower development costs. This resulted in the Hipercomp 556 and 9mm Next Gen compensators, along with the Hipercomp 762 Next Gen for 7.62 NATO AR10 and 7.62 Russian AK rifles, from which the company promises unparalleled recoil reduction." The 5.56 and 9 mm versions are $70 and the .30 cal versions are $80.
  • "Illegal gun modification devices proliferate, resulting in more deadly rounds in Minneapolis"--The Star Tribune. Minneapolis has had a dramatic increase in the use of fully automatic weapons being used by criminals. The police apparently believe these are due to ordinary weapons being converted to fully automatic weapons by use of "illegal devices commonly referred to as 'Glock switches' or 'auto-sears,' which are readily available to buy on the internet or can be made on 3-D printers. Police and crime prevention workers say that these converted guns are showing up at more and more crime scenes." And now the crime prevention workers that were supposed to replace the cops lost due to defunding the police are afraid to go out and do their jobs. Only when you are deep into the article does it mention that "[p]ossessing a fully automatic gun is heavily regulated under federal law and only licensed firearms dealer can possess an auto-sear — and then only after paying a special tax...." 
  • "What Working at a Gun Store Taught Me About Gun Ownership in America" by Dillon Melet, Medium. At the time Melet worked at a gun store, he was a Jewish liberal kid (he was 21 years old) that had grown up in Southern California. Not exactly the type of person who would work at a gun store, and he admits as much: he knew nothing about guns, although he apparently did study up on the subject after he was hired. (He later served in combat with the IDF, so he has definitely learned about using a gun). Nevertheless, his liberal dislike of gunowners and his "I'm a professional" attitude still pops up in the article. An excerpt:
    I came to learn that there are three main types of gun purchasers in Southern California.

    The first is the gun enthusiast.

    This guy loves collecting guns. He has a whole closet of them that he hides from his wife (seriously, one guy came in and told us a story of how his wife found his gun collection in the back of his closet. In total the collection was worth $70,000!) and he knows a thing or two about weapons (or at least he thinks he does).

    He’s most concerned about the latest model, with the most badass accessories that he can show off to his buddies. I rolled my eyes at these people as it was clear that looking for the “biggest and best” gun had clear phallic references.

    The second was the actual pro. This guy was either ex-police or ex-military, or active police or active military. In fact, it’s amazing how many police departments allow their officers to purchase whatever they want either for active duty… or at least under the guise of active duty.

    The most bizarre instance was when a female officer came in asking to buy a sawed-off AK-47 with a removed stock. This is quite possibly the most useless and unprofessional weapon, considering you’ll likely never be able to hit anything with it unless whatever you’re shooting at is directly in front of you. We would laugh at people behind their backs who bought these things.

    So having a fully uniformed officer of the law with paperwork signed by her lieutenant saying that she had to have it was a bit bizarre to us. We took the paperwork, asked for her badge, and went to the back to call her station to make sure this wasn’t BS. After her captain assured us that she was authorized to make this purchase we rung her up and she left the same day with the stupid gun tucked underneath her arm.

    The final type of purchaser was my favorite though. These were the first-time buyers, and they usually bought for home defense and nothing more.

    My favorite was a super sweet, young couple who had just moved to California and were now living in one of the many rougher neighborhoods that comprise LA County. I happily spent a couple of hours walking them through their best choices for home defense while also explaining the many tertiary aspects that surround gun ownerships such as buying a safe, cleaning equipment, lessons, ranges, bullets, and, most importantly, the laws that govern when a gun is an is not allowed to be used. 
 
    There are a number of federal laws surrounding gun ownership, but for the most part, it’s left up to each state to decide how its residents purchase guns and what type they can own. Since California was one of the most stringent, I spent just as much time filling out paperwork and explaining ownership laws as I did actually selling the damn things.

    In fact, I probably had enough knowledge of gun laws at the time to qualify me to be a certified paralegal.

It is people like this that have made me wary of talking shop or seeking advice from gun store clerks. Plus the obvious ignorance or hyperbole that I have encountered. My favorite is still when I had a gun store employee ask me if he could help as I was going through the ammunition selection looking for some ammo in .38 S&W.  I told him what I was looking for and he responded in an uptight manner: "Sir, our .38 ammunition will fit any brand of revolver." My immediate thought was to ask if he had any .45 Colt, but I held my tongue.  

VIDEO: "Earth Disaster Cycle | Flood of Evidence"--Suspicious Observers (9 min.)

 Prepping/Survival:

  • "I’m Feeling Apocalyptic…" by Marcus Wynne. And no wonder. Our leaders have pursued policies to push Russia into the arms of the Chinese, while at the same time allowing tech companies and aerospace firms to transfer their intellectual property (and manufacturing capabilities) to China. Marcus writes:
    As an Official Old Guy, white of hair, long of tooth, bent of back, short of breath and recapitulating ontogeny every time I get out of bed in the morning, I find myself more and more being asked by younger people to teach them things that I would have thought their parents or grandparents would have taught them. This is what comes of being old; you have expectations based on your own experience which most of the time has no relation to the younger people we interact with.

    Things like: basic cooking, making a fire from scratch, sharpening a knife, changing oil in a car, changing a tire, purifying water, improvising shelter, staying warm when you don’t have warm clothes, taking a crap in the woods, making a comfortable camp, etc. etc.

    Mind you this is not “survivalism” or “prepping” or whatever the hell its called these days. These are basic life skills for a human. And have been for many many thousands of years.

    One subject that came up recently was: “What could we do if there actually was a nuclear war between the US, China, Russia, North Korea, whoever?” That was from an intelligent young person who reads between the lines in the competing narratives in the media today.

    The United States is closer to a nuclear threat, whether HEMP from hypersonic missiles or satellites or devices in containers on ships or sea-floor based devices, than it has been since 1962. Do your own due diligence. Be an intelligent and discerning reader and look between the lines.

    So I thought I’d post the information below. These are my recommendations from a lifetime being involved in various forms of public safety as a volunteer and as a professional. Work the checklists, and you’ll be better off than 85-90% of the US population for ANY emergency be it bad weather, power outage, or the unfortunate confluence of events that may lead the tall man with the hat of smoke to nod over a city within our borders. Or the HEMP (High Altitude Electro Magnetic Pulse) that takes down our grid.

He then includes the following lists:

    • "Preparedness Thinking Checklist" which is a list of "what-if" scenarios.
    • "Fundamental Preparedness Survey" to gauge where you stand for basic preparations--things all of us should have no matter the size of our apartment or home.
    • "Physical Fitness Baselines" which similarly gives you a list of questions to allow you to gauge your fitness level.
    • "One Week Emergency Preparedness Survey" which is a series of yes/no questions as to what FEMA and the American Red Cross consider the basic preparations for disasters.
    • A "Minimal Emergency Preparedness Checklist" which is a list of basic supplies and preps.
    • And, finally, a list of "Baby Steps" you can take in preparing.
Finally, Marcus has included links to where you can download PDF copies of Cresson Kearney’s Nuclear War Survival Skills and Bruce Clayton's Life After Doomsday, which are both classic survival texts, especially for anyone concerned with the possibility of surviving a nuclear war. 
    A report from Financial Times' Demetri Sevastopulo and Kathrin Hille states that China has tested a nuclear-capable hypersonic glide vehicle that goes into space and traverses the globe in an orbital-like fashion before making its run through the atmosphere toward its target. There would be huge implications if such a system were to be operationalized, and according to this story, which says it talked to five officials confirming the test, the U.S. government was caught totally off-guard by it.

    The trial flight is said to have occurred around August, with the boost-glide vehicle being lifted into space by a Long March 2C rocket. The launch of the rocket, the 77th of its kind, was undisclosed by Beijing, while the 76th and 78th were—the latter of which occurred in late August. The Financial Times says that the tested hypersonic glide vehicle missed its target by a couple of dozen miles, but that is hardly reassuring considering the capabilities that are apparently in development here. 

    The foundation of this Cold War-era concept is commonly referred to as a Fractional Orbital Bombardment System, or FOBS, but instead of carrying a traditional nuclear-armed reentry vehicle, this Chinese system would carry a hypersonic glide vehicle that would possess immense kinetic energy upon reentry. As such, it could make a very long maneuvering flight through the atmosphere at very high speeds to its target.

    The FOBS concept has long been a concern because of its potential to bypass not just missile defenses, but even many early warning capabilities. Compared to a traditional intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), a FOBS can execute the same strikes but from highly unpredictable vectors. Range limitations also become a non-factor and the timing of an inbound strike is also far less predictable. But at least with a traditional FOBS ballistic missile system, some sort of projections could be made if the mid-course "orbital" vehicle can be tracked, although that could still be a real challenge.

    That is not the case at all with a hybrid design like the one being claimed to have been tested here, which would be totally unpredictable.
    Plutonium has a half-life of about 24,000 years. And scientists have known for decades that even in small doses, it is highly toxic, leading to radiation illness, cancer and often to death. After the March nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan, people the world over worried that plutonium poisoning might affect those near the compromised plant—and beyond.

    Inhaled plutonium can land in the lungs, where it can lead to cancer, but it—and any that is ingested—can also find its way into the blood stream where it is slowly absorbed into the body.

    New details about this toxic process are now emerging. "Plutonium is a toxic synthetic element with no natural biological functions," Mark Jensen, of the Argonne National Laboratory, and his colleagues wrote in a new paper, published online June 26 in Nature Chemical Biology (Scientific American is part of Nature Publishing Group). Not only is it useless to the body, "it is strongly retained by humans when ingested," primarily lodging in bone and liver cells, where it can release harmful alpha radiation.

The bulk of the article was on how the plutonium is absorbed by cells. What researchers had found was that one of the cellular receptors that brings iron into cells (known as the transport protein serum transferrin, or Tf) was also transporting the plutonium ions. The reason is because "the most prevalent plutonium ion (Pu 4+) had some similarities to more common metal ions, including iron (Fe 3+), which has a slightly smaller atomic radius but a similar ratio of radius to charge." In other words, plutonium was a good enough mimic to iron that it could be absorbed into the cell. 

But the cellular pathway didn't gobble up the plutonium and bring it into the cell wholesale. Only one of the two binding sites—the C lobe—would take on a plutonium ion. And in order for the transfer to take place, an iron ion needed to be locked into the protein's other lobe, the N lobe. And "the differences between the two lobes restricted, but did not eliminate, cellular Pu uptake," the researchers noted.

Interestingly, this process apparently actually restricted Pu uptake more than the researchers expected. Another article from the same time period further explains:

Outside the immediate vicinity of the nuclear site the primary danger is not radiation emitted directly from the plant as high-energy photons or other subatomic particles but airborne radioactive material released from a damaged reactor into an atmospheric plume. The material in that plume, as it undergoes radioactive decay, gives off dangerous radiation primarily in the form of gamma rays and can pose additional hazards if inhaled, swallowed or absorbed through the skin to emit radiation from inside the body. 

    Across the country, Americans’ expectations of speedy service and easy access to consumer products have been crushed like a Styrofoam container in a trash compactor. Time for some new, more realistic expectations.

    Fast food is less fast. A huge flotilla of container ships is stuck offshore in California, waiting to unload. Shelves normally stocked with Halloween candy this time of year are empty, as I saw the other day at a Target here in Ann Arbor, Mich.

    The issue has become so troublesome — with alarming economic and political ramifications — that the White House is stepping in, urging unions, port operators and big consumer-goods companies to work around the clock (if they aren’t already) to unclog supply pipelines.

    American consumers, their expectations pampered and catered to for decades, are not accustomed to inconvenience.

    “For generations, American shoppers have been trained to be nightmares,” Amanda Mull wrote in August in the Atlantic, before the supply chain problem turned truly ugly. “The pandemic has shown just how desperately the consumer class clings to the feeling of being served.”

    Customers’ persistent whine, “Why don’t they just hire more people?,” sounds feeble in this era of the Great Resignation, especially in industries, such as food service, with reputations for being tough places to work.

    Rather than living constantly on the verge of throwing a fit, and risking taking it out on overwhelmed servers, struggling shop owners or late-arriving delivery people, we’d do ourselves a favor by consciously lowering expectations.

r/K political theory predicts that liberals have lower time preference so I guess it would make sense that they should be concerned about "throwing a fit." But that isn't really what this article is about. It is a plea for the peasants to not revolt. Don't believe me? The author concludes her piece with this:

    All I can do is hope for the best. Like everybody else. And keep those expectations reasonable. Eventually the supply chain will get straightened out.

    American consumers might have been spoiled, but generations of them have also dealt with shortages of some kind — gasoline in the 1970s, food rationing in the 1940s, housing in the 1920s when cities such as Detroit were booming. Now it’s our turn to make adjustments. 

The problem with her analogy is that the other shortages she mentions were dictated by events not within the control of the government. The housing crunch of the 1920s resulted from a great migration of black workers from the South to the northern industrial centers. The food rationing in the 1940s was the consequence of World War II, and when the war ended, people tore up their ration coupons before Congress could even decide to lift the emergency powers it had granted. The gasoline shortages of the 1970s were initially the result of the OPEC oil embargo, but when President Carter exacerbated the problem through government imposed price controls and rationing, voters kicked him out of the White House in favor of a political outsider detested by the Washington Establishment. 

    This crises, however, is largely a consequence of government incompetence. For instance, Peter Grant recently wrote that "[t]he "Green New Deal" turns out to be at the root of supply chain blockages in California." Quoting from an article by The Last Refuge:

The trucking issue with California LA ports, ie the Port of Los Angeles (POLA) and the Port of Long Beach (POLB), is that all semi tractors have to be current with new California emissions standards.  As a consequence, that mean trucks cannot be older than 3 years if they are to pick up or deliver containers at those ports ... In effect, what this 2020 determination and settlement created was an inability of half the nation’s truckers from picking up anything from the Port of LA or Port of Long Beach.  Virtually all private owner operator trucks and half of the fleet trucks that are used for moving containers across the nation were shut out.

Nevertheless, this is something that the U.S. DoT could deal with it it wanted. Many years ago when shippers started attaching two or even three trailers to semi-trucks, several states outlawed such practice. But the DoT overruled them under the authority granted under the commerce clause because such laws interfered with interstate transit. The DoT could do that here, but instead we learn that our Transportation Secretary, Pete Buttigieg, is on paternity leave and apparently not taking any calls.

    It is also telling that Maynard apparently wasn't able to find evidence of shortages during the Spanish Flu outbreak, or any other serious flu outbreaks--at least, not due to the flu. Which merely underscores the fact that the problems with production and distribution are due to government ignorance and incompetence in shutting down the economy and maintaining various restrictions and mandates even though there is no evidence that they did any good. (See, e.g., "How the Amish achieved herd immunity without lockdowns, masks or vaccines"--Millennial Star).

    Even the shortage of workers is the fault of the Biden Administration and various blue states essentially paying people not to work through various programs to increase the amounts and duration of unemployment benefits.

    As for the implied plea to not revolt, I would refer you to a recent post from Michael Yon in which he warns:

    The atmospherics are clear. Fuse is growing shorter.

    This government cannot control a hungry, heavily armed citizenship. Hunger and anger will spill across all party lines, from all sides of political spectrum. When the police are gone and replaced by communists, there will be nobody left to protect the communists, including the police.

    Those of us who spent years in numerous wars are under no illusions about the severe power this government holds, or just how weak they really are in the face of millions of people with guns when they finally have had enough and go WEAPONS FREE. The Hangry Revolt.

    Against a real general uprising, cops will last ten minutes. There will be too much action to write down, much less investigate. It just gets added to the local daily SIGACTs: 41x SAFIRE, 3x IED, 17x arson, 257 KIA, 2210 WIA, etc.

    Police will abandon their uniforms and stations. Seen it happen. Stations will easily be overrun. Like taking a Post Office. Which will be looted. That’s how this really goes.

    National Guard who get squirrelly will be scattered. I am remembering so many things I saw in Iraq, Afghanistan, Nepal, Thailand, Philippines, Hong Kong.

    They will scatter when under command of a “General” who tweets about manicures. Many troops will not follow orders to fight Americans. There likely will be Blue-on-Blue attacks against commanders who order troops to fire on Americans. Frags.

    The Pedicure General will not be able to stop crying when her entire National Guard does not answer her orders, and she will surrender her HQ and hide. She will be a coward and she will hide. That’s how this really goes.

    Active duty call up with serious civilian casualties will lead to a general revolt. All these executives who hired ex-special operations guys and law enforcement for security — they have no idea who is who in the zoo.

    Will Milley feel safe around troops? He’s a tool.

    Meanwhile, CHINA is still out there.

    We are at the edge of war. And this government is doing zero to stop it and everything to start it.

  • "Get Out of the Cities" (Part 1) (Part 2)--by SaraSue, Survival Blog. Part 1 is the author's argument why you need to get out of the cities NOW, instead of later. Part 2 discusses ways of making money in a rural community or on a homestead, and other aspects of adapting to a new life. 
  • "All The Gear I Pack on A Day Hike: Everything You Need"--Range To Reel. First the bag:
    When choosing a pack for a day hike you really don’t need a huge pack. Typically I like to carry a smaller 15L-30L pack on a day hike. It all depends on where I’m hiking and what kind of gear I need for the day.

    Sometimes that means I’ll need to carry extra water, extra snacks, rain gear or maybe even some climbing gear. With a 15-30L pack you can make sure you aren’t carrying too much gear, but you still have enough if you get in a bad situation.

As far as gear and supplies, he discusses water (and how he carries it), water filter, a light jacket and/or rain gear, a light thermal jacket, lots of snacks, trekking poles, sunglasses, a buff or bandana, and a phone and external battery. He also lists the following small items: Toilet Paper, Duct Tape, Emergency Bivy, Compass and Real Map, Bugspray and Sunscreen, Spool of Guy Line, Compact Binoculars, Extra Pills, Emergency Whistle, Headlamp, Knife, and First Aid Kit.
    Let's say you want to reinvent electricity.   The majority of the today’s electricity is generated by moving conductors through a magnetic field.  So you need a magnetic field, a conductor and motion.  A water wheel could provide motion, so then you just need the conductor (wire) and some magnets and you could generate electricity.   This sounds great on paper but in reality it glosses over an interesting Catch-22 in using permanent magnets to generate electricity. It is true that the majority of the today’s electricity is generated by moving conductors through a magnetic field but the strength of the magnetic field needed to create any practical amount of electricity is far stronger than the field produced by a natural lodestone. Today’s magnets are manufactured by using large electric currents. So you need electricity to make a strong magnet but you need a strong magnet to make electricity. That’s the Catch-22. Luckily there is a way around this dilemma. (I’m skipping how to make a permanent magnet but if you really want to know see this video.

    Instead of trying to making a permanent magnet, a much more practical approach would be to make a primitive battery and use it power an electromagnet. Then use the electromagnet in place of the permanent magnet in your generator. Some of the electricity generated is then fed back to the electromagnet and once the generator is going the battery can be completely disconnected. Of course if the generator ever stops then the whole process must be repeated. This is technically called using external-excitation to induce self-excitation in field coils in a generator. Self-excitation is how the majority of large generators, like the ones used in modern power plants, function. They don’t use permanent magnets but rather they power an internal electromagnet with some of the electricity they generate.


The propaganda machine is running overtime in China.

Covid News:
    Latest UK PHE Vaccine Surveillance Report figures on Covid -19 cases show that doubly vaccinated 40-79 year olds have lost 44% of their immune system capability. Their immune systems are deteriorating at around 5% per week (between 3.8% and 9.1%).

    If this continues then 30-59 year olds will have zero Covid/viral defence (and perhaps a form of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) by Christmas and all double vaccinated people over 30 will have completely lost the part of their immune system that tackles Covid-19 by January next year.
“At the country-level, there appears to be no discernable relationship between percentage of population fully vaccinated and new COVID-19 cases in the last 7 days,” the report states. “In fact, the trend line suggests a marginally positive association such that countries with higher percentage of population fully vaccinated have higher COVID-19 cases per 1 million people. Notably, Israel with over 60% of their population fully vaccinated had the highest COVID-19 cases per 1 million people in the last 7 days.”


VIDEO: "The next conflicts will be fought over sand"--Caspian Report (12 min.)
Not all sand can be used for making concrete. And much of the world is running short on river sand.

Miscellany:
    Seventies stagflation resulted from profligate fiscal policy, politicized monetary policy and food and energy shocks. President Lyndon Johnson’s guns-and-butter decision to simultaneously finance both the Vietnam War and his Great Society programs triggered a wave of demand-pull inflation.

    After President Richard Nixon appointed Arthur Burns as Federal Reserve chair, Burns cranked up the Fed printing press in support of Nixon’s re-election efforts. The resulting currency debasement forced Nixon to abandon the US dollar standard, the linchpin of the global monetary system; the dollar cratered, driving up import prices and further stoking inflation.

    The US economy also suffered two crippling supply-side crises. Food prices soared as a result of bad weather, Soviet grain purchases and cropland mismanagement. Energy prices skyrocketed, thanks to the Arab oil embargo. When President Jimmy Carter ran against Ronald Reagan for re-election, America’s “misery index” — the unemployment rate plus the inflation rate — had breached 20 percent.

    Today, fiscal policy is more profligate. In 1979, federal outlays were a bit over 19 percent of gross domestic product. According to the latest Congressional Budget Office numbers, meanwhile, federal outlays will be 30.6 percent in 2021. And the proposed expenditures now on the table for a $3.5 trillion red-ink-palooza and faux $1 trillion “infrastructure” package threaten to sustain that profligacy going forward.
    The father of a girl who was allegedly sexually assaulted in a Virginia school bathroom should be treated as a domestic terrorist, the National School Boards Association (NSBA) suggested in a pointed letter to the White House — after the distraught dad stormed a local school board meeting and demanded officials take responsibility.

    Scott Smith, 48, was filmed being wrestled to the floor and arrested at a June 22 public meeting of the Loudoun County School Board — with his wife yelling, “My child was raped at school and this is what happens!”

    “In Virginia, an individual was arrested,” the NSBA wrote, linking to an NBC Washington report about Smith’s arrest at the meeting.

    It was one of the key examples of what the association said proved that “America’s public schools and its education leaders are under an immediate threat” from a “growing number of threats of violence and acts of intimidation occurring across the nation.”

    “NSBA believes immediate assistance is required,” the group wrote.

    “NSBA specifically solicits the expertise and resources of the US Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), US Department of Homeland Security, US Secret Service, and its National Threat Assessment Center.”

    The letter insisted that the “heinous actions” were “equivalent to a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes.”

Why was Smith so upset? Citizen Free Press explains:

    What people did not know is that, weeks prior, Smith says, a boy wearing a skirt, entered a girls’ bathroom at nearby Stone Bridge High School, where he sexually assaulted Smith’s ninth-grade daughter.

    Scott’s attorney, Elizabeth Lancaster told The Daily Wire that a boy was charged with two counts of forcible sodomy, one count of anal sodomy, and one count of forcible fellatio, related to an incident that day at that school.

But what really touched it off was this:

    Minutes before Smith’s arrest at the school board meeting, the Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) superintendent lectured the public that concerns about the transgender policy were misplaced because the school system had no record of any assault occurring in any school bathroom.

    Then a woman wearing a rainbow heart shirt – a left-wing community activist – told Smith she did not believe his daughter, he says. His rage reached a boil and he had a heated exchange of words with the woman. A police officer, there to keep the peace in the meeting, pulled on his arm. Smith yanked it away. Before he knew it, Smith says, he was hit in the face, handcuffed and dragged across the floor, with his pants pulled down. Images of the incident were splashed on televisions and newspapers across the world.

Oh, and the tranny that attacked his daughter also sexually assaulted another girl in a restroom.

    Burkle rose to public prominence as a close associate of Clinton when the former president joined his financial firm Yucaipa, and their travels became the subject of tabloid headlines.

    'Burkle’s usual means of transport is the custom-converted Boeing 757 that Clinton calls “Ron Air” and that Burkle’s own circle of young aides privately refer to as “Air F*** One,'" said a Vanity Fair piece in 2008.

    The plane included a private bedroom suite.

    The two used the private jet extensively, including on a trip to meet Nelson Mandela. 

    In 2002 they flew on Epstein's jet to Africa, according to flight logs obtained by Gawker, on an anti-Aids and economic development trip. 

    A source close to Burkle later said he flew home on a commercial jet and found Epstein to be 'creepy.' 

    Even so, it emerged this year that Clinton later flew on Burkle's jet with Epstein's close associate Ghislaine Maxwell - now awaiting trial awaiting trial on sex abuse and trafficking charges - during a trip to India in November 2003. Details were revealed by journalist Vicky Ward in her podcast 'Chasing Ghislaine' three months ago. 

    And Burkle's misspelled name was discovered in Epstein's 'black book' of the rich and powerful, alongside the likes of Britain’s Prince Andrew and former Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Our leaders are a bunch of degenerates. 

    The smashed windows and graffiti extended for blocks through downtown Portland. The Nordstrom Rack on Southwest 2nd and Morrison is now boarded up, so is the building across the street, home to a Bank of America. Halfway down the block, the Moda Tower put a letter on the door saying, "We had several windows and the front entry glass broken last night by activists. We are diligently working on getting the entry repaired as soon as possible."

    Police say the group hit 35 different locations, "including banks, retail stores, coffee shops, and government buildings." Graffiti on the side of Nordstrom Rack says, "Breakin windows is good."

    According to social media posts, there was a direct-action march overnight at the same time. The march was in honor of Sean Kealiher. The activist was killed two years ago. His case remains unsolved.

A Daily Mail report indicates that the police basically stood back and did nothing because of a new state law that prohibits police from using crowd control devices like pepper spray or tear gas (although it didn't seem that they did a whole lot last year either). It also reports that Kealiher's mother Laura "organized last Tuesday's protest on Twitter, writing that it was 'not a peaceful event' and dubbing it 'a night of rage and anger.'" She specifically stated she wanted Black Bloc to turn out and wanted obscenity, rage, anger, and to kick out the police. 

    Residents frustrated by the violence last Tuesday questioned whether that meant anything goes now in Portland.

    'Does that mean we are now like a lawless city? Anybody could come in and just bash around and do all the damage that they want without any repercussions whatsoever?' Linda Witt asked during the meeting with police.  

Well, actually, yes. 

        ... according to the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, approximately four out of 10 non-Hispanic Black women, American Indian, or Alaskan Native women, and one in two multi-racial non-Hispanic women have been a victim of physical violence, rape, and/or stalking by a partner in their lifetime.

        This rate is 30 to 50% higher than what is experienced by White non-Hispanic, Hispanic, and Asian women.

        Likewise, 44% of lesbian women and 61% of bisexual women experience rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime. These numbers are significantly higher than the rate of violence that heterosexual women experience, which is 35%. Meanwhile, women between the ages of 18 and 24 are most likely to experience domestic violence, followed by teens between the ages of 11 and 17.

        This age pattern was also observed among Black women. In fact, they were more than three times likely to experience domestic violence under the age of 30 than Black women under the age of 40. Additionally, the same study noted that Black women who live in impoverished areas have a three-fold chance of experiencing domestic violence as those who live in other areas.

    I hate to say it, but this appears to be related to IQ or the rates between blacks in "the hood" wouldn't be all that different from those living in more prosperous circumstances. 

  • The barbarians at the gate: "Welcome To Bidenland – Where The Cartels Are Not In Control Of Our Southern Border" by Charles "Sam" Faddis, AND Magazine. An excerpt:
    One of the many myths in Bidenland is that everyone coming to our southern border has benign intentions. If we are being invaded it is by kindly, hardworking individuals who have traveled from all over the planet to give us hugs and wish us well.
 
    No doubt there are a great many wonderful people arriving at our southern border who simply want to build new lives. There are also a great many other people and things crossing the border, and the vast criminal enterprises that are behind this mass movement are most definitely not well-intentioned.

    Individuals are not crossing into the United States unaided. They are not coming in small groups on their own. They are being transported by the hundreds of thousands by criminal cartels. These are the very same cartels, which are moving massive quantities of drugs, including fentanyl, into our nation to poison our citizens.

    These cartels use the movement of human beings across the border to overwhelm our border defenses and allow them with impunity to then move narcotics through areas of the border left unguarded. The numbers of people moved by these criminal enterprises are so huge that each individual is literally marked with a wristband, so the cartels can keep track of where they are going and where they are coming from. The wristbands are removed once the migrants enter the United States and literally litter the ground near the border.

And:

    Fueled by this new cash flow [from smuggling illegal immigrants across the border] the already powerful cartels are making a real push to challenge the authority of Mexican authorities in the border area. The cartels are heavily armed. They have armored vehicles, belt-fed machineguns, and grenade launchers. They are fighting for territory amongst themselves, and they are openly challenging the Mexican government.

    On July 15, 2021, the Juarez drug cartel detonated a car bomb in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, less than one mile from the U.S. border. The use of car bombs by the cartels is a new tactic and represents a dangerous escalation in the level of violence.

    Inside Mexico, cartels are dividing the country up into what amount to separate kingdoms. Roads are being broken up and checkpoints established to prevent other gangs from entering what is considered “conquered” territory. Nothing moves in or out of these areas without cartel permission.

Also:

    The violence in Mexico is already spilling over into the United States. Instances of cartel members shooting at law enforcement on the American side are increasing.

    ICE Special Agent Victor Avila recently noted in an interview that the El Paso sector of the border was particularly dangerous. “In El Paso, it’s a whole different dynamic. It’s all cartel land over there. Border patrol can’t even go to certain parts of the mountain, or they’ll get shot at from the Mexican side,” Avila said. 

“I have to tell you there’s something that’s happening that’s getting even worse and that’s the cartels are getting even more aggressive and the cartels on the Mexican side of the border, they’re beginning to open fire on the National Guard that Texas has down on the border to secure the border,” [Texas Governor] Abbott told Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures.”  This is escalating into a firing war on each side of the border where Texas and our National Guard are having to defend themselves and defend the state of Texas.”
    According to the Labor Department, 4.3 million workers quit their jobs in August. That represents almost 3 percent of the entire U.S. labor force and is the largest number of workers quitting their jobs in one month in history.

    Nearly 900,000 of those workers were employed in the restaurant industry. Another 720,000 were employed in retail, 700,000 in business services, and 534,000 in health care.
    Only 194,000 jobs were added to the U.S. economy in September, making the smallest gain in available work since December 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor reported on Friday. That number is down from the 366,000 jobs reportedly added to the economy in August — and the 500,000 jobs the Dow Jones estimated would be added last month.

    The unemployment rate fell from 5.2 percent to 4.8 percent, but the drop largely comes from workers leaving the national workforce which, in turn, is causing labor shortages across multiple industries. Labor force participation was down to 61.6 percent, nearly two points below where it was in February 2020 shortly before government-mandated lockdowns ravaged the economy.

    At the lowest tides, Canada's Comox estuary exposes a nearly forgotten story: the nubs of more than 150,000 wooden stakes are spread out across the intertidal zone, forming the remnants of hundreds of ancient fish traps. At peak use, it's believed the industrial-level installation provided food security for an estimated 10,000-12,000 K'ómoks People, the traditional inhabitants of the bountiful, mountain-fringed Comox Valley, located on the east side of Vancouver Island on the edge of the Salish Sea.

    Until recently, the sophisticated technology had been overlooked by Western science. Even though the stakes, which are thumb-sized in diameter in the shallows and increase to the size of small tree trunks in deeper water, are visible from busy shore-side roads, no-one thought much about them. For Cory Frank, manager of the K'ómoks Guardian Watchmen, a role that oversees all aspects of environmental stewardship for the coastal Nation, the stakes were just something he grew up with, playing and fishing among them at low tide.

    When he asked elders about them, they didn't have much information.

    Frank says this began to change almost two decades ago. In 2002, Nancy Greene, then an undergraduate anthropology student, began researching the stakes for her senior thesis. Greene (now a research archaeologist) wanted to know what they were for. So, working with a team of volunteers, she began heading out at low tide and spent months recording the locations of 13,602 exposed tips of Douglas fir and western red cedar stakes. At the same time, she began asking the K'ómoks elders what she was looking at.

    When she plotted them out, taking into account the oral history, the results were astounding. The stakes formed a constellation outlining one of the most extensive and sophisticated Indigenous fishing operations ever found.

  • Demographic winter: "Russian population decline largest ever recorded"--The Hill. "Since last October, Russia's natural population has declined by 997,000, according to The Washington Post." How long, do you think, before China decides it wants some of the Russian territory to its north? They are already flooding the area with immigrants.
  • A reminder that we already live in a science fiction world: "Robot Dogs Now Have Assault Rifles Mounted On Their Backs"--The Drive. They are a creation of Ghost Robotics and SWORD International, mating a 6.5mm Creedmoor rifle from SWORD to one of Ghost Robotics' quadrupedal unmanned ground vehicles, or Q-UGVs. The device is called the Special Purpose Unmanned Rifle, or SPUR. Supposedly it is capable of precision fire out to 1,200 meters, or nearly 3,940 feet.
  • Ditto: "Autonomous Racing Drones Dodge Through Forests at 40 kph"--IEEE Spectrum. Key part: "In a paper published yesterday in Science Robotics, roboticists from Davide Scaramuzza's Robotics and Perception Group at the University of Zurich along with partners at Intel demonstrate a small, self-contained, fully autonomous drone that can aggressively fly through complex environments at speeds of up to 40kph." It is also notable that the AI system controlling the drone was first trained using a simulation before moving to control of the real thing.
  • "The next big cyberthreat isn't ransomware. It's killware. And it's just as bad as it sounds."--MSN. By "killware," they mean cyberattacks that can lead to human deaths. From the article:
    The Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack in April galvanized the public’s attention because of its consumer-related complications, including long lines at gas stations, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in an interview with USA TODAY's Editorial Board last week.

    But "there was a cyber incident that very fortunately did not succeed," he added. "And that is an attempted hack of a water treatment facility in Florida, and the fact that that attack was not for financial gain but rather purely to do harm.”

    That attack on the Oldsmar, Florida, water system in February was intended to  distribute contaminated water to residents, "and that should have gripped our entire country,” Mayorkas said. 

I'm still waiting for the technology that allows us to jack into the web à la Neuromancer and the black ICE (Intruder Countermeasure Electronics) that can mentally cripple or kill a hacker.

2 comments:

A New Defensive Pistolcraft Post ...

  ... from Jon Low . There is a lot of good stuff in this post, and Jon seems (at least to me) to have included much more of his own comment...