- "Jeff Cooper: The Forgotten History of Lt. Col. Cooper and his Impact on Combat Readiness" by Sam Jacobs, Ammo.com. An excerpt:
It was at the American Pistol Institute that Cooper developed the modern technique of the pistol. This was his system for pistol combat. Without knowing what it's called or who invented it, much of it will seem familiar to you:
- Large caliber, semi-automatic pistol: Cooper was an early advocate of the 1911 and a big caliber to go in it. At a time when most men favored wheel guns, Cooper believed there was simply no substitute for a semi-automatic with a big round like a .45 ACP.
- The Weaver stance: Opinions vary on the best stance for combat, but Cooper was a strong supporter of the Weaver stance, developed by Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriff Jack Weaver through his experiences in competitive shooting.
- The draw stroke: Cooper preached the importance of the draw stroke. A holstered weapon doesn't do anyone any good. So Cooper drilled his students to consistently practice drawing their weapon with perfect form to be combat-ready.
- The flash sight picture: Just as a holstered weapon is useless until drawn, so too is a weapon useless if not pointed in the right direction. The flash sight picture is a method of quickly targeting an attacker with sufficient accuracy. It is essential in life-or-death situations.
- The compressed surprise trigger break: Considered the "secret" of quick and accurate shooting, the compressed surprise trigger break, which is a somewhat more sophisticated version of the "double tap." While Cooper did not invent the double tap, he systematized the training for such.
All of the above are basic combat training for civilians, military, and law enforcement alike. While Cooper didn't "invent" any of it, per se, he synthesized previously existing methods into a cohesive program of combat readiness just about anyone could learn.
Update: Marcus Wynne has pointed out that the above quotation muddies the water as to what is a double-tap and what is a compressed trigger break. That is, a double tap is two aimed shots fired in rapid succession utilizing the compressed surprised trigger break; but the compressed surprise trigger break, itself, is the practice of pressing the trigger slowly and smoothly so that you are surprised by the shot (i.e. not anticipating the break). He recommended this article for more info: "Compressed Surprise Break: The Secret of Fast and Accurate Shooting" by Dave Campbell, American Rifleman.
- "The Frugal Man’s Custom Precision Rifle" by Bryce M. Towsley, Shooting Illustrated. The author explains:
When I conceived the rifle, I wanted to explore the concept of somebody who is reasonably handy with tools building a precision rifle on the kitchen table or in the basement. I wanted an economy “bolt-together” rifle, with the idea to customize it with select parts and gear while staying within a working-man’s budget. The other important thing is it must shoot well enough to earn the title Precision Rifle.
The author began with a Savage 110 rifle due to the ease of replacing the barrel, added a precision chassis and barrel, topped off with a muzzle brake, with the total build coming in at right about $1,400--which I guess is "budget" if you are comparing it to a custom built rifle. In any event, there are other tools and a few other upgrades he recommends. If you are starting off with a Remington action, there is a company that offers a "Remage" conversion to allow you to use a barrel nut like that used for the Savage to make it easier to install (or replace) the barrel.
- Related: "Precision Rifle Upgrade: From Stock To Sniper Superstar" by Frank Galli, Gun Digest. The author begins:
No need to go top shelf out of the gates. Invest in the right precision rifle upgrades you can take a base model and go the distance.
What Are The Main Precision Rifle Upgrades You Should Focus On:
I look at my rifles like a 350 Chevy—tons of aftermarket parts and the ability to modify it to my heart’s content. I have no problem replacing, modifying and adjusting the weapon system to meet my personal needs. After all, everyone is different; our needs change, so adjusting the rifle to fit the mission is essential in my mind.
I have a lot of videos on YouTube that demonstrate this very fact. If you look at the comment section, you’d think nobody ever burned out a barrel or decided to change a factory stock. Sure, I tend to modify the rifles all at once versus over time. But I have the luxury of access (getting precision rifle upgrades for me is very easy). I’m not saying you have to change everything all at once— heavens, no. You can make any amount of changes over time, so let’s look at the top-line elements that don’t require a gunsmith.
- Q: "What is the Greatest Defensive Skill?" by Sherriff Jim Wilson, Shooting Illustrated. A: heightened awareness.
- "Skill Set: Post-Event Problems – Interviews and Reports" by Rich Grassi at The Tactical Wire. This article is about "post-operational disturbances of the physical and psychological sort," that "may have an impact on 'the story' you tell – and your credibility." A common one is time distortion--“tachypsychia” (the “speed of the mind”)--which can be a sense of everything happening in slow motion or its opposite, that everything happened too fast to perceive. There is also auditory exclusion, tunnel vision, and cognitive dissonance: "a cascade of information that jumbles the re-telling of the tale. This can present – and often does – as recalling the individual events of the encounter in a different order from which they happened."
Cognitive dissonance can also appear as an apparent over-concern with a trivial matter that occurred during a critical incident. The story often told is of an officer who’d been in a fight for his life that ended with the death of his attacker. The officer, shaken and injured, looked down and touched the knee of the rather expensive uniform trousers which had been ripped in the fight.“Damn,” he was reported to have said. “It’s hard enough to get uniforms out of this outfit and now I lost another pair of pants.”To say that while standing in proximity of the corpse of the person you had to kill so you could stay alive could be – and likely will be – repeated in a way to make you appear a callous SOB.These psycho-physiological changes affect your perception of the event – but don’t affect the crime scene. The apparent inconsistencies they create can affect your credibility throughout the phases of investigation.
Read the whole thing.
- A good man with a gun... "Disgruntled Nebraska grain elevator worker shoots ex-colleague dead hours after being fired - but is killed by another worker who returned fire"--Daily Mail. According to the article, after Max Hoskinson opened fire on co-workers with a handgun, killing one and wounding two others, another worker grabbed a shotgun out of an office and open fired on Hoskinson, killing him.
- Related: "Why the Shotgun is One of the Best Options for Personal Defense" by Sherriff Jim Wilson, Shooting Illustrated.
- "The Great American Ammunition Conspiracy" by Herschel Smith, The Captain's Journal. Smith takes a look at an article from the American Prospect on the ammo monopoly in the United States. That is, the major brands--Remington, Winchester, Speer, CCI (Cascade Cartridge, Inc.), Federal Premium--are owned by two companies, Olin Corporation and Vista Outdoor, who can essentially engineer shortages when demand is high.
But due to consolidation within the industry, only a couple of incumbent companies have that ability to make it through low-demand periods. When demand surges, they are no longer forced to produce, but can focus instead on “efficiencies.” They can raise prices and generate shortages, knowing that no one else exists to meet the demand that they cannot or will not fill.Such refusals to invest in increased capacity can clearly be seen as Vista’s plan over the last few years. According to their annual reports, Vista is focused on “long-term shareholder value,” and when they have influxes of cash, they acquire more companies that “deliver top-line growth … within one year of purchase.” They do not build more plants, even though they project more long-term increased demand; building a plant to increase capacity is a long-term project, one that does not return a profit in a year, much less a quarter.
- A lot of interest recently in the Browning P35 "Hi-Power". Browning stopped production of the pistol in 2018 and Regent (a Turkish company) almost immediately released its Hi-Power clone, the BR9, featuring updated sights. It apparently has been since discontinued. Then, in early September this year, EAA announced that it was going to import a Hi-Power clone from another Turkish manufacturer, Girsan, called the MC P35. It featured updated sights as well as a larger capacity (15 round) magazine and ambidextrous safety; but it retained the magazine safety, and sports an MSRP of $528. And this week, Springfield Armory announced that it was releasing its own Hi-Power clone, the SA-35, which features updated sights, a larger safety lever, and does away with the magazine safety. It's MSRP is $699.
- On a related subject, "The Seven Best Surplus Pistols On the Market" by Travis Pike, The Mag Life. His discussion covers the extremely expensive (1911s from CMP and the Swiss P49) to the relatively inexpensive (TT-31 and variants, or Makarov pistols).
- "Gun Review: Ruger LCP MAX .380 Pistol" by John Boch, The Truth About Guns. The author writes:
I’ve got good news for you, ladies and gents. The good folks at Ruger have done one even better than the P365 in the LCP MAX. If you need a smaller, lighter-shooting round than the P365’s 9mm, the Ruger LCP MAX gives you a gun that weighs 40% less, is 20% thinner and with a half-inch less in overall length. It will cost you about 33% less on the credit card, too.
- "The Largely Forgotten AR-18 Was Not a Stoner Design (Entirely)" by Peter Suciu, The Mag Life. A history of the development of the AR-18 and subsequent attempts to revive the design.
- I guess the "no firearms" signs didn't work: "BPD: 2 people killed, 5 others, including suspect and a police officer, injured in Boise mall shooting"--KTVB. As some of you may know, we had a little excitement in my neck of the woods when someone opened fire inside a local mall, then moved outside where he was engaged by police. The shooting occurred yesterday. I was surprised that the suspect survived his encounter with the Boise Police Department, but updates from today relate that the suspect, 27-year-old Jacob Bergquist, had also died from his injuries. USA Today has more details, if you are interested. According to Heavy, Bergquist had been involved in prior incidents at the mall for disruptive behavior, and he apparently had additional encounters with police.
- The story of Alec Baldwin's shooting and killing the cinematographer for his movie Rust keeps getting better and better (or worse and worse, depending on your perspective). There is a certain amount of karma at play here since Baldwin has been a supporter of gun control for many years, including, in 2018, joining a celebrity initiative called No Rifle Association (NoRA) which purpose was to reduce the National Rifle Association's influence in American politics. (See also here). Consequently, there are already memes stating: "My guns have killed less people than Alec Baldwin."
If you aren't familiar with the incident, last Thursday while on the set of a Western he is shooting, Baldwin was practicing a cross-draw and pointing a revolver at the camera when he apparently cocked the hammer and pulled the trigger, shooting cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and director Joel Souza. "Hutchins was wounded in the chest then 'stumbled backwards, holding her mid-section and complaining she couldn't feel her legs', according to witnesses who were interviewed by sheriff's deputies afterwards. She was airlifted to the hospital but was pronounced dead a short time later. Souza was released from the hospital on Thursday night."
Purportedly, Assistant Director Dave Halls handed Baldwin the gun, claiming it was "a cold gun". The armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, is described as being inexperienced. This was her first film as the head armorer. Apparently Gutierrez-Reed had a history of failing to check weapons: on the set of the upcoming Nicholas Cage film, “The Old Way”, she had handed an unchecked firearm to an 11-year old actress temporarily halting shooting.
Safety protocols standard in the industry, including gun inspections, were not strictly followed on the “Rust” set near Santa Fe, the sources said. They said at least one of the camera operators complained last weekend to a production manager about gun safety on the set.Three crew members who were present at the Bonanza Creek Ranch set on Saturday said they were particularly concerned about two accidental prop gun discharges.Baldwin’s stunt double accidentally fired two rounds Saturday after being told that the gun was “cold” — lingo for a weapon that doesn’t have any ammunition, including blanks — two crew members who witnessed the episode told the Los Angeles Times.“There should have been an investigation into what happened,” the crew member said. “There were no safety meetings. There was no assurance that it wouldn’t happen again. All they wanted to do was rush, rush, rush.”A colleague was so alarmed by the prop gun misfires that he sent a text message to the unit production manager. “We’ve now had 3 accidental discharges. This is super unsafe,” according to a copy of the message reviewed by The Times.
But there is more. The New York Post reported:
The prop gun that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on a New Mexico movie set had been used by crew members offsite for fun, a new report claims.
The gun, which was fired by Alec Baldwin on the set of the movie “Rust,” may have even been loaded with live rounds when it was used for what was essentially target practice, TMZ reported.
Multiple sources connected to the production of the film told TMZ that the gun was fired at off-the-clock gatherings – which could explain how a live round found its way into the gun’s chamber.
Also, there are reports that "the police found live ammo alongside blank rounds stored in the same area."
- "How we found our remote backwoods home"--Backwoods Home Magazine. This is a couple that had no real restrictions on where they could live, so they were trying to purchase homes in Alaska and British Columbia, before finally being able to get into a small house in rural Montana.
- "Firewood for Survival – What You Should Know" by Tim Makay, Modern Survival Online. The author briefly discusses how important fires have been throughout human history, before moving on to his topic. The first thing he notes is that "[e]ven cut to the same size and seasoned for the same length of time, different species of wood can behave very differently when it comes to such characteristics as: Ignition temperature; Heat output; Smoke produced; Longevity; and Spitting, sparking and popping." Makay lists the best and worst firewood: black locust, hickory and white oak top his list of best; while the worst includes elm, aspen, and pine. I would also throw poplar into the "worst" category because it burns quickly, has low heat output, and is actually sort of stinky when it burns. On the other hand, it a great wood for getting a fire started because it burns so easily. Anyway, the article goes on to discuss whether you can burn green wood, how to cut and split wood, proper storage, and the legality of gathering wood.
- Related: "What Size Should You Split Your Firewood?" by Tim Makay, Modern Survival Online. Makay goes into detail on the subject, but his short take is: "For most applications, you’ll get the best results from your firewood if split into lengths measuring 12 to 14 inches long (30 to 35 cm), and three to five inches (7 – 12 cm) wide at its widest point."
- "Real Life Survival Stories: The Mystery of The Third Man Factor"--Organic Prepper. This piece relates several instances of a not uncommon phenomena of people in an emergency receiving what appears to be miraculous assistance from "someone" whether it be a small, still voice they hear internally, what appears to be an audible voice, or, in some cases, a person that provides physical assistance, but disappears or can't be found later, generally not seen by anyone else. You might have experienced the intervention of a "guardian angel" yourself, or perhaps there is a family story. If you know of any, write them down so you can share with others in your family.
- The Othering: "Netflix Normalizes Violence Against the Unvaccinated" by Connor Tomlinson, The American Spectator (h/t Anonymous Conservative). Netflix apparently has a serial-killer/vigilante program called You where the protagonist hunts down criminals and other non-desirables. In this most recent season, according to Tomlinson, the protagonist seeks out an anti-vaxxer (meningitis not Covid, but you get the idea), whose failure to vaccinate his son has put the protagonist's son at risk.
As a man who’s had his MMR jabs, I was very uncomfortable watching the disturbing trend of world leaders’ anti-unvaccinated rhetoric translated into glorified violence in popular culture. President Biden and the Australian premier have blamed breakthrough cases on “a pandemic of the unvaccinated.” Scotland, Wales, Italy, and France have introduced vaccine passports to access nightclubs, bars, and restaurants. Citizens of Canada, Queensland, and New York, as well as U.S. federal employees are threatened with unemployment due to vaccine mandates. The worldwide trend of authoritarian action in pursuit of an impossible zero-COVID utopia is instituting medical apartheid, at great profit to manufacturers with a history of unethical testing practices.
The logic of the married murders is that Gil deserves to die because he “put [their] son at risk.” With the show making mention of lockdowns, this appeal to collective responsibility goes for more than just the MMR vaccines. You breaks the fourth wall to accuse its unvaccinated viewers of being walking bioweapons, despite the infinitesimal statistical risk COVID poses to healthy children. In fact, side-effects like heart palpitations from Pfizer and Moderna have caused pauses in usage in Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and Iceland. When You’s writers conflate concerns about COVID vaccines with skepticism of the safety of long-term-tested MMRs and the endangerment of children, they overplay their disingenuous hand.
- They want compliant cops: "Biden says cops and other first responders SHOULD be fired for not getting the vaccine and mocks people who use 'freedom' as a defense for refusing a shot during CNN town hall"--Daily Mail.
Supply Chain Issues:
- "‘People Are Hoarding’ — Food Shortages Spike as Supply Chain Crumbles"--Breitbart (h/t Anonymous Conservative). From the article:
Food shortages were reported to be spiking across the country Tuesday as President Joe Biden struggles to resolve the supply chain crises crippling the nation.
“People are hoarding [food],” CEO and founder of Saffron Road, a producer of frozen and shelf-stable meals, Adnan Durrani told the Seattle Times. “What I think you’ll see over the next six months, all prices will go higher.”
He spoke as evidence shows food costs have dramatically risen since 2020 with meats, poultry, fish and eggs increasing by 10.5 percent.
The increasing food costs have impacted the ability of suppliers to meet the demands of retailers. Durrani warned he is “keeping about four months’ supply on hand instead of the typical one or two months.”
- "‘People are hoarding’: Food shortages are the next supply chain crunch"--Seattle Times (h/t Anonymous Conservative). The article begins:
In Denver, public-school children are facing shortages of milk. In Chicago, a local market is running short of canned goods and boxed items.
But there’s plenty of food. There just isn’t always enough processing and transportation capacity to meet rising demand as the economy revs up.
More than a year and a half after the coronavirus pandemic upended daily life, the supply of basic goods at U.S. grocery stores and restaurants is once again falling victim to intermittent shortages and delays.
“I never imagined that we’d be here in October 2021 talking about supply-chain problems, but it’s a reality,” said Vivek Sankaran, chief executive officer of Albertsons Companies, who echoed the laments of other retailers. “Any given day, you’re going to have something missing in our stores, and it’s across categories.”
- "Procter & Gamble Executive Announces Prices of Household Staples Will Be Increased 'Week After Week'"--The Western Journal.
Procter & Gamble, for example, announced that many of its prices will rise in the coming weeks since the cost of raw materials remains high, according to the Post. The company owns huge brands like Tide, Gillette and Crest.
“We do not anticipate any easing of costs,” P&G chief financial officer Andre Schulten said. “We continue to see increases week after week, though at a slower pace.”
The Post cited an interview Schulten gave to The Wall Street Journal, though the WSJ appears to have removed that specific quote.
And this is not P&G’s first announcement of a price hike. Back in April, the company warned that many paper products would begin costing more, including essentials such as tampons, diapers and paper towels.
And other corporate giants such as Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and General Mills have warned buyers throughout the year that costs will keep going up, according to CNBC.
These costs keep climbing in the aftermath of the economic disruption of COVID-19, and now everyone is suffering from inflation.
- I may be in the wrong profession: "Driving a hard bargain: Haulage firms offer $100,000 salaries and $15,000 bonuses to lure 80,000 truckers and ease supply crisis as empty shipping containers are dumped in streets because California port is full"--Daily Mail. The article mentions that "Facing an exodus of 600,000 retiring truckers by 2028, the transportation industry is desperate to recruit more people and estimates that 80,000 new hires are needed this year to offset attrition and clear a backed-up supply chain." In other words, expect things to get worse. The article also goes into how the dearth of space for shipping containers is exacerbating the problem:
Right now, the mass congestion of empty containers is monopolizing space in nearby truck lots, blocking filled containers from getting moved, and crippling efficiency.
In order to fetch a new order at the port, trucks must first return their previously-used container to the steamships – but with space at a premium, cargo operators are refusing to accept the empty containers.
‘What we’re seeing in [Long Beach and L.A.] is really an issue around productivity, not necessarily a lack of drivers,’ Schrap told DailyMail.com.
‘It’s a function of our inability to return empty containers back into the port to pull the important loads off the docks.’
The empty containers aren’t just taking up space.
They’re also preventing truckers from freeing up their chassis, a piece of equipment necessary to wheel loads of cargo onto modular trailers for delivery.
‘It is extremely inefficient,’ Schrap said. ‘We are essentially moving containers around for the operational needs of the steamship lines and not being compensated for it.’
To top it off, ship operators are charging trucking companies – stuck with storing the equipment on their own lots - a per diem (daily levy) of $40-to-$50 for failing to return them on time, Schrap said.
‘We have to be accountable for them if they're in our possession,’ he said. ‘We just have nowhere to keep them. So that's why they're literally on streets and they’re being graffiti tagged because they're sitting out there.’
The article continues:
Governor Gavin Newsom on October 20 signed an executive order directing state agencies to find ways to alleviate congestion at the ports, including by identifying state-owned properties and other locations that could be used for storage.
While TGS Logistics Inc chief operations officer Robert Loya welcomed the news, he said it wasn’t clear who would pay for storing the empty containers, or whether trucking companies would still be on the hook for per diems.
‘Will they take them off the chassis? Are they going to take the containers and put them on the ground so we can use the chassis?’ Loya told DailyMail.com. ‘There’s a lot of things that need to be worked out, and fingers are going to be pointing about who’s going to pay.’
He said the extra operating costs being brought on by the steamships has driven some small trucking businesses out of business.
‘We operate on razor-thin margins,’ Loya said. ‘These small American companies are going under because these big foreign entity steamship lines are controlling the port and controlling our economy.
‘It's a shame.’
The supply chain crisis is one unseen since World War II when 'there were submarines sinking commercial traders,' an expert has warned.
And it's bringing disaster for shoppers as items are being resold for more than double their cost and shipping delays mean more barren shelves.
- More: "Empty containers are now a big part of the supply chain logjam"--Bayou Renaissance Man.
First, containers that arrive at their destinations have to wait to be emptied, because warehouse space is limited and distribution channels are already overloaded. ... However, the supply pipeline that delivered it is still clogged with more containers being delivered. How is the now-empty container to be returned for another load?
That's a lot more complicated than it sounds. Logically, one would expect that the next rail car or truck to offload its incoming containers would simply be reloaded with empty containers and sent back to a seaport. However, there's such a backlog that those rail cars and trucks may have to sit, loaded, waiting for days, weeks or even months before they can be offloaded. While they're sitting there, they can't carry more containers. They've effectively been removed from the pool of available vehicles. The untold thousands of empty containers awaiting return therefore can't be picked up - they have to sit and wait. That creates immense storage problems for receiving depots and warehouses, which have dozens, or hundreds, or even thousands of empty containers filling all available space, preventing them from taking delivery of more incoming containers.
What's more, when a rail car or truck eventually becomes available, it may be nowhere near where the empty containers are waiting. It might have to be sent back to the port very urgently, to collect the next shipment of incoming containers, even though that may mean leaving empty containers behind. Time (in the form of storage fees for full containers, costs to distributors and retailers through delays in getting their products to market, etc.) may be more expensive than the price of a container these days. If the vehicle is forced to wait to collect empties, some shippers are now adding surcharges to their rates to pay for the delay costs, plus the missed opportunity to load up with better-paying full containers. In so many words, the longer a container remains at a distributor, the more it costs them in storage space, and the more it costs them to get rid of it. They can't win.
That also affects US factories and producers waiting for containers to load products for export. The overloaded road and rail networks can't cope with their present burden. When you add to that the need to ship an empty container from receiving warehouse A to manufacturer B, to be loaded there and then shipped to port C, you're adding in an extra leg of the journey - and there may not be enough vehicles available to cope with that. They're all overloaded just dealing with the present situation, without any extra legs. Hence, US manufacturers are complaining they're being short-changed because they can't get the empty containers they need.
When the empty containers finally get back to a port, the harbor is faced with the dilemma of where to put them if there's no ship on which to load them. ...
Read the whole thing.
- "Victor Davis Hanson: The dangerous, diminishing power of the independent American citizen"--Fox News. Money quote: "our professional legal, academic, and politically active elitists have lost faith in the ancient customs and the Constitution itself. They loath the fact that our traditions have privileged individual liberty over a government-coerced equality of result."
- Black lives matter: "Hitmen kill a mother holding 9-month-old baby in her arms and her husband at Detroit gas station: Infant girl is unharmed in cold-blooded murders"--Daily Mail. The hitmen appear to have been black.
- Honoring St. Floyd: "EXCLUSIVE: Horrific moment woman is yanked to the ground by her HAIR in random street attack in New York as serious assaults spike across the Big Apple"--Daily Mail. A black man is shown in surveillance video racing past a woman, grabbing her hair as he does so and violently throwing her to the ground.
- Life in Sodom and Gomorrah: "Dashcam footage shows brazen smash-and-grab thieves breaking into parked car and snatching bags in crime-ridden San Fran"--Daily Mail. The video of two black men slowly going down a block of cars, peering inside, and smashing windows of vehicles to get to the contests--in broad daylight--is just a symptom of the exploding crime wave in San Francisco. The article goes on to describe the overall increase in crime, including shoplifting, after the prosecutor enacted a policy of not prosecuting thefts of less than $1,000 dollars, including how it is forcing Walgreen to close stores that have been repeatedly looted by "shoplifters." And this is not exactly good optics either:
Last week, Australian singer Clinton Kane posted on social media that robbers made off with more than $30,000 worth of camera equipment after they broke into his SUV, which was parked on the street while he and his crew dined nearby.They rushed over when they heard glass breaking and the robbers pointed guns at them.'They all pulled guns on us, it was two and two of my mates,' he told KGO-TV.'It was very weird, it was very scary having a gun held to my face.'I had so much adrenaline and confusions and shock and fear...I peed my pants. Not actually but in my head I was.'Kane, whose hit song I Guess I'm In Love has been streamed more than 100 million times, was visiting San Francisco to film a music video. He joked that he would not be returning to the city, though he insisted he would come back to perform a concert in December.But he says he doesn't plan on bringing anything expensive.
- Liberals destroy everything beautiful or of good report: "Magnificent Mile no more: Chicago is blighted by shoplifting as ANOTHER American city goes down the toilet because its left-wing AG stops prosecuting shoplifters who steal less than $1000 of goods"--Daily Mail.
Chicago is the latest city to be hit by rampant shoplifting and its Magnificent Mile, the once highly-populated retail destination, is now dotted with empty storefronts as businesses are being driven away by the brazen thieves.The city has been plagued by a string of robberies and a wave of crime in the past few months, as some say that the city's 'soft-on-crime' policies embolden the thieves. The issue may only grow worse as at least 50 cops have been put on unpaid leave for refusing to get the COVID-19 vaccine.Shoplifting cases grew more common following a December 2016 motion from State's Attorney Kim Foxx that mandated Chicago prosecutors only issue felony charges for theft of property over $1,000.
- Speaking of liberals destroying things: "It’s time for Americans to buy less stuff." by Terry Nguyen, Vox. In other words, just accept the decline and be happy:
When the stuff we want is so hard to get ahold of, why go to such great lengths to buy it? Consumers have the option to not order items manufactured overseas, to source things locally from small businesses or artisans. We also have a choice that eliminates the potential for shipping or supply chain mishaps: We can just buy less.We know that our collective consumption of consumer goods, from the creation of plastic toys to the fossil fuels that ship them to our homes, isn’t good for the environment. Yes, on a consumer level, our ability to control resource consumption is minimal, but that doesn’t mean there’s no good in a holiday season where gift exchanges don’t require an Amazon Prime account or transit via multiple shipping containers. Mindfulness has its own benefits, especially for affluent consumers, which includes America’s upper-middle class. The higher-income consumers among us use far more resources than the less well-off and are responsible for influencing shopping norms at large.
- Economists have warned for years that the China real estate bubble could burst with devastating results. This may be the beginning. "Evergrande shares plummet 14% as Chinese property giant ends trading suspension and warns 'there is no guarantee' it will pay $300billion debt that threatens 'Lehman-style' global financial bloodbath"--Daily Mail. The article relates:
In a stark assessment of its current state of trading, Evergrande said it had sold only 405,000 square metres of real estate throughout September and October so far - normally a peak period for sales.
Contracted property sales totalled just 3.65 billion yuan ($571 million) - a near collapse on the 142 billion yuan it recorded in a similar period last year.
Chinese developer Modern Land became the latest company to miss a bond payment, indicating that the country's property market remains in turmoil.
The Beijing-based developer, which is listed in Hong Kong, said in a statement on Tuesday that it had failed to repay a $250 million dollar bond that matured on October 25.
Modern Land blamed the missed payment on an unexpected cash crunch arising from a number of factors "including the macroeconomic environment, the real estate industry environment and the COVID-19 pandemic."
- While I normally would not care much about the Chinese economy going into a decade long decline, this does make it a little more worrying: "Revealed: China 'tested a SECOND hypersonic orbital nuke capable of breaching missile defences' as panicked analysts say it 'defies the laws of physics' and is unlike any weapon the US has"--Daily Mail. An excerpt:
The first test was disclosed earlier this week, when the FT quoted five intelligence sources who said that China had tested what appeared to be an orbital hypersonic nuclear missile some time in early or mid-August.Beijing subsequently acknowledged the test, but said it had taken place on July 16. Intelligence sources now believe the test which the FT initially reported and the test acknowledged by the Chinese are different.The newspaper now reports that the first test took place on July 27, before a second test of the same technology a little over two weeks later, on August 13.Observers say the weapon appears to be an update of Cold War-era Soviet technology called a 'Fractional Orbital Bombardment System' - or FOBS.Soviets developed the technology to get around powerful US radar arrays designed to detect the launch of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) tipped with nukes, and defence systems designed to shoot them down.FOBS works by putting the nuclear warheads into a low-Earth orbit, allowing them to circle the globe and manoeuvre in flight before coming down on their targets.This makes the warheads harder to detect, track and destroy than those carried on board ICBMs.China appears to have updated the concept by fitting the nuclear warhead on to a 'hypersonic glide vehicle', which is designed to travel faster and manoeuvre easier - making it even harder to stop.After the second test was disclosed, Hu Xijin - the editor of the state-owned Global Times newspaper - said the US needs to be 'rational' and accept the idea of 'mutually assured destruction'.'The US must abandon the crazy idea that it can strike China and Russia, but they can’t strike it,' Hu tweeted.
However, he stopped short of confirming the test had taken place - describing it as 'speculation'.
A follow-up editorial in the Global Times also stopped short of confirming the test, but said - if true - the development of hypersonic missiles would 'help contain the US strategic arrogance over China and further exclude the possibility that the US blackmails China with nuclear weapons.'
The paper claims that US policy has been to develop nuclear weapons that will allow it to strike other nations while they cannot strike it - but calls this 'an unattainable mad idea' and says Washington must accept a reality in which all superpowers can strike one-another, describing it as a 'balance of nuclear terror'.
The latter comments from Hu and the Global Times (the Chinese Pravda) are interesting. A weapon such as the Chinese are testing is not defensive, but is a first strike weapon ... unless China believes that the United States has a missile defense system capable of defending against a full-scale launch of missiles from Russia and/or China. So, either China is completely lying about the "defensive" use of such weapons--and we know that China lies about nearly everything--or it is a tacit revelation that the U.S. has an effective ballistic missile shield.
- Black female judge punishes black man for going off the reservation: "Black MAGA fan who DIDN'T go to Jan. 6 Capitol siege gets longest riot sentence yet of 14 months after posting online threats to target RINO 'traitors': Blames color of his skin for 'unfair' punishment"--Daily Mail. He didn't make any threats of harm against any specific person, but was calling for a general uprising against Dems and RINOs.
- The wealthy like to talk about giving their money to charities rather than leaving it to their children, but is that really true? "REVEALED: How super-rich, like $60bn Nike founder Phil Knight, avoid billions in taxes by 'cycling' their wealth through trusts and gift loved-ones huge chunks of their companies for free"--Daily Mail. An excerpt discussing how Nike founder Philip Knight did it:
An analysis by Bloomberg on Knight's fortune - estimated at $60 billion - discovered that he was able to take advantage of a financial tool called a grantor-retained annuity trust (GRAT). Knight set up nine GRATS, which enabled him to transfer $6.1 billion of Nike shares to loved-ones between 2009 and 2016 - without incurring any tax on them.Gifts are taxable, but GRATS offer a loophole that allows the person who sets it up to designate others - such as heirs - as beneficiaries.Assets are then placed into GRATS, which repay their owner an annuity. If the value of a GRAT goes up, those gains can stay in the GRAT, with whatever is left then transferred to its beneficiaries - such as Knight's heirs - tax-free.Knight has long-touted his commitment to eventually giving away all of his immense wealth to charity, but what lies beneath that promise is over a decade's worth of exploiting tax loopholes to inflate his fortune and pass it on to his heirs.
Another method that Knight has used includes charitable and split-interest charitable trusts, which can work similarly as GRATs in that they also give heirs the chance to profit on the trust's investments and are most effective when interest rates are low.
A major difference is that they must donate funds to a family foundation or another charity. According to IRS data, Knight already has one charitable trust, which contained assets worth $889 million in 2019.
While your trust must donate to charity, the funds don't need to get there immediately and can flow in amounts you control. Knight has so far focused his philanthropy on a few places, including Stanford University, where he went to business school, and the University of Oregon, where he earned his undergraduate degree and ran track.
The lesson here is that when you hear or read about a wealthy celebrity claiming that they won't be leaving an inheritance to their children, you should probably take such statements with a grain of salt.
- Just in time for Halloween: "Japanese ghost ships that were sunk by the US during WWII at Battle of Iwo Jima are RAISED from the seabed by tremors from one of island's most active volcanoes"--Daily Mail.
- Finally! "NASA unpacks its successor to Hubble: $10 BILLION James Webb Space Telescope will launch 930,000 miles into space this December where it will peer deeper into the cosmos than ever before"--Daily Mail. The launch will occur from French Guiana. The telescope arrived there on October 12, 2021, was removed from its shipping container, and raised upright. From the article:
Unlike Hubble, which is just 340 miles above the Earth, JWST will orbit 930,000 miles from the Earth, in an orbit further from the sun than our planet.
It will sit in a point in space known as Lagrange point 2 (L2) where the gravitational force of the sun and Earth are balanced.
After its launch, it will take about three days to reach lunar orbit, and another 27 days after that to get to its final orbit.
When in position, it will peer deeper into the cosmos than possible with Hubble thanks to its larger mirror, which is 21ft in diameter compared to the 7.8ft mirror on Hubble.
However, JWST will focus more on the infrared wavelength, rather than visual light.
As well as giving astronomers the ability to see cosmic dawn (the birth of the very first stars 13.5 billion years ago), it will also reveal atmospheres of distant worlds.
It will also likely spell the end of the Dark Matter charade, and maybe cause scientists to have to rethink much of what they thing they know about cosmology.