- After a black supremacist drove an SUV through a crowd of white parade goers, killing 6, Greg Ellifritz posted the following article, "10 Tips for Surviving a Terrorist Vehicle Attack." He explains each of the tips in detail, so read the whole thing, but the bare-bone tips for avoiding or surviving such an attack are as follows:
- Face traffic when walking along the street.
- If you have a choice, walk along streets that have vehicle blockades or cars parked at the curb.
- Watch for danger signs.
- Don't rush to help the injured.
- Move indoors immediately, but don't stay there.
- Stay away from the attack vehicle and be alert for secondary attacks.
- Don't draw your firearms while you are attempting to figure out what's happening.
- Don't loiter on unprotected sidewalks.
- Be able to deal with charging attackers that have exited the attack vehicle.
- Know how to treat knife wounds, vehicle impacts, and blast injuries.
See also Greg's article, "Field Medicine for Terrorist Attacks."
- "Understanding Holster Retention"--The Armory Life. Companies advertise that a holster may be a retention holster and even assign a number to indicate the level of retention. This article goes into the subject of holster retention and what the numbers mean. The author explains:
Put simply, a retention holster [aka, security holster] is a scabbard for your pistol designed to prevent it from being taken by an assailant.A well-fitted leather holster or a Kydex rig that the gun “snaps” into may offer enough retention to prevent an accident. However, they are not truly retention holsters unless they offer resistance to a “gun grab” from a bad guy.
Security holsters can use the same retention methods that other carry rigs use: friction and a hammer or thumb strap. However, those are just the starting points.Many retention holsters use internal locks that latch onto the triggerguard of the pistol. If the appropriate deactivation technique is not used, then the internal latch anchors the gun solidly in the holster.Deactivation techniques might include moving a hood, unsnapping a button, rotating the gun in a particular direction or sliding levers to disengage locks. Each manufacturer develops its own rigs and there are no standard ways of unlocking a pistol from the holster. But all security holsters use some combination of techniques to ensure only the owner can pull the gun free.
The author notes that Safariland has a reliable holster rating system, but warns that you should take ratings from other manufacturers with a healthy dose of salt. The author acknowledges that a good quality holster with a good friction fit is generally all that you need for concealed carry. But open carry is a different story as a friction fit or simply retention strap will not be enough to stop someone taking your firearm.
- You disrespecting me!?! "Narcissists are more likely to be AGGRESSIVE: People with an overblown sense of self-importance have 'thin skins' and tend to lash out more often, study finds"--Daily Mail.
- "4 Simple Steps to Effective Boundary Setting"--Jarrett & Jennie Customized Self-Defense. A lot of what a criminal does in his or her approach is to get past your protective social boundaries: asking the time not only allows them to approach closer than you might otherwise allow, but it distracts you and, ironically, by doing something for them, makes it more likely you will do something else. Same for someone asking directions. This article discusses boundaries, with the author starting by explaining:
Boundaries are guidelines, limits or rules that we create to identify safe ways of interacting with others. They are informed by our culture, environment, beliefs, attitudes and past experiences. We are constantly establishing, negotiating and defining boundaries with every human we come in contact with, from our families and friends to our boss and colleagues to the stranger on the bus.
The ability to maintain healthy boundaries is not only crucial for healthy relationships, but it is also a key component in personal safety. For some, ourselves included, this can be a real challenge and something we feel that women, in particular, can benefit from drilling and practicing.
Though boundaries span emotional, physical and psychological realms, we most often focus on physical boundaries when training in self-defense.
In a nutshell: you are the boss of your body. You get to decide who touches you -- when, where and how. And if someone disobeys your rules, you have the right to enforce them.
However, the authors recognize that there are low-risk situations where someone is getting to close or touchy but not deserving of a judo flip (i.e., you want to continue the relationship), and high-risk scenarios that could lead to fighting, although as a last resort. "If we can avoid a fight, create distance and increase our personal safety by using our voice and body language only, that is a huge success," the author writes. "And if we can’t, we can also employ our physical skills." The author continues:
In both of these scenarios, there are four key steps to enforcing our boundaries most effectively:*
1) Name it.
2) Direct it.
3) Repeat it.
4) Enforce it.
Read the whole thing.
- "How Body Language Impacts Personal Defense" by Sheriff Jim Wilson, Shooting Illustrated. Although he doesn't use this term, Wilson is discussing things that a criminal takes into consideration when conducting his "interview" of a potential victim. An excerpt:
The point is, whether or not we realize it, our demeanor and appearance gives messages to others, including criminals. If we are afraid and hesitant, our body language may tell a crook that we are a likely victim. If we wander around in public preoccupied and not paying attention, the crook may feel that he can get close to us and take control before we are aware that there is a threat.When talking about awareness, we tell our students that it is important to walk erect, with our head on a swivel, constantly checking our surroundings. But this also gives a message to the criminal element that we cannot be easily snuck-up on. And, we might just be someone who is not afraid and might be difficult to control.In addition, there is a good deal of confidence to be gained by getting good defensive training and practicing regularly with our defensive handgun. That self confidence translates to a body language that the crooks can recognize and will often avoid. Those crooks may not be able to describe the various aspects of body language like a college professor could, but they sure know it when they see it.
- "Why You Should Add Movement to Your Defensive Plan" by Jim Wilson, Shooting Illustrated. Wilson states that after a defensive shooter has learned the basics of shooting a handgun, the next step is to add movement to the defensive response: movement to cover, and movement to create distance (although don't back straight up). Once movement is mastered, the shooter can then go on to learn and practice shooting while moving. And this:
Footwork is also a critical part of defensive movement. The defensive shooter has got to stay balanced and be able to act and react during any movement. After all, he or she may need to be shooting while moving, or they made need to quickly change directions. To do this effectively, you must be able to control your feet.Whenever a person’s feet are together, they are not in an athletic stance and can be more quickly and easily knocked off balance. Watch how a boxer or martial-arts expert moves across the floor. They keep their feet apart and don’t pick them up any higher than they have to. We call that Big Step/Little Step. The lead foot steps off and the following foot only moves half that distance. In this manner, with the knees slightly bent, the defensive shooter is more apt to stay balanced and able to respond to whatever occurs. Further, it creates a more secure foundation should it be necessary to shoot while moving.Regardless of the fact that we have been walking for most of our lives, this type of defensive movement requires practice. In a dry-practice setting, the armed citizen can practice movement in their own home. Try working around corners and clearing doorways without letting your feet come together. Better yet, get a friend or family member to shoot a video of this practice for later review. This is best performed with an inert gun like a Bluegun or a laser-training pistol to ensure all safety rules are always followed.
- Wet work: "Using The Garrote – The USMC Way" by Travis Pike, GAT Daily. Instructions, including photographs, on using both the flexible garrote (e.g., a cord or wire) and a rigid garrote (e.g., a baton).
- "How To Build A Shooting Barricade For Under $50"--The Armory Life. Plans for building a portable barricade that you can easily load up in the back of a car or SUV.
- ".40 S&W: Nearly Obsolete, Can it Make a Comeback?" by Jeremy Stafford, Guns & Ammo. Stafford notes that the .40 S&W was the darling of the law enforcement community in the 1990's and popular as a defensive pistol round. But, he continues:
Then something happened. A clamor for more police transparency led departments to track details about officer-involved shootings. With the boom in data collection, a fact jumped out that was void of hyperbole: The difference in effectiveness between the major service and duty cartridges was minuscule. When analyzing similar mid-thoracic hits, the 9mm, .357 SIG, .40 S&W, 10mm and .45 ACP all produced about the same real-life results. The myth of the “One-Shot-Stop” caliber was dispelled. Short of a cranio-ocular cavity hit, most bad guys had to be struck at least two times before their aggressive, dangerous actions were stopped. If two hits of 9mm is going to yield the same results as two hits with either a .40 or .45, why bother issuing handguns chambered for the bigger calibers?As a result of this understanding, many departments transitioned back to the 9mm. The supposed nail in the coffin for the .40 came in 2015 when the FBI concluded a study showing that modern 9mm defensive loads were effective for defensive use. They transitioned agents to the Glock 17M/19M in 9mm loaded with Hornady’s Critical Duty 9mm +P 135-grain FlexLock (hornady.com), after more than 20 years of issuing the .40. ...
I've always been of the opinion that the .40 S&W was popular because of the particular circumstances of the time when it arose, particularly (i) the implementation of the 10-round magazine limit under the Assault Weapons Bill passed by Congress and (ii) promulgation of the FBI standards for handgun performance. The .40 S&W could meet the FBI standards even with the bullet designs of the time, and, if one was going to be limited to 10-rounds, you might as well make those rounds count. The down-side to the .40 was its sharp, hard recoil. From my perspective, it had the kick of the .45 ACP but crammed into the sharp impulse of the 9 mm.
Nevertheless, I don't see it disappearing soon. It's not a matter of the number of guns out there--the .38 S&W used to be the premier self-defense cartridge with millions of firearms manufactured, but faded away as soon as small revolvers shooting .38 Special were introduced. Rather, it is because it offers better performance than the 9 mm, but a higher capacity than the .45 ACP. This doesn't mean that I believe it will regain its former popularity--it won't--but that I think there will be a strong residual demand for it among shooters who want more power and don't mind the kick.
- "The Versatile .270 Winchester: Handloading Tips & Recipes"--American Rifleman. 130 grain bullets are the norm for the .270, but the weights go as low as 90 grains, and up to 160 grains, allowing the cartridge to be used for hunting everything from varmints up to elk sized game. There are now available high BC bullets that can provide long-range ballistics very similar to the 6.5 Creedmoor as Ron Spomer relates in a video on the .270 cartridge.
- ".30-06 Rifle: Going Long In .30-Caliber Semi-Autos (2021)"--Gun Digest. A look at six (6) semi-auto rifles capable of using the .30-06, including a couple used/surplus models, a couple modern hunting arms, a .30-06 AR style rifle, and a reproduction of the venerable 1918 BAR (the military BAR).
VIDEO: "Radio Direction Finding: AKA How 'They' Can Find You"--S2 Underground (35 min.)
- "Civil War 2.0 Weather Report: Signals And Panic"--Wilder, Wealthy & Wise. Still at between 9 (common violence sanctioned by government) and 10 (war). Some data points mentioned:
- Senator Ted Cruz from Texas brought up the idea that Texas should secede from the Union in November, if the Democrats “fundamentally destroy the country.”
- Three counties in Maryland are looking into leaving Maryland and going to West Virginia.
- Oroville, California declared itself a “Constitutional Republic” where federal and state ‘Rona mandates don’t apply.
Those are all stories from November. This isn’t an all-exhaustive list, since it doesn’t include all of the cries for a national breakup should abortion be thrown back to a state-by-state decision. More than anything, though, they’re a sign that people are talking about national divorce everywhere.
By itself, these would be nothing more than ramblings. But in virtually every public issue except for spending as much money as is humanly possible (where the Democrats and Republicans are in harmony), the polarization is advancing and accelerating.
- "Using Fiber Optics For Cheap Lighting: Lessons From Venezuela"--Backdoor Survival. Some interesting ideas for using fiber optics to different lighting purposes such as getting light to plants to general indoor lighting. The primary advantage you get is admitting light without the heat as you would have with a skylight or window.
- "Best Rechargeable Battery and Best Battery Charger"--Commonsense Home. The author explains: "We identify the best value and absolute best AA, AAA and 18650 rechargeable battery in this post. We also review a 21 watt solar panel that provides 5 volt USB power and emergency radios with built in solar and hand crank chargers to charge USB devices." The article goes into detail but the short take is:
Best Rechargeable Battery (AA, AAA and 18650)
- Best AA Rechargeable Battery Tenergy High Capacity 2600 mAh AA 24 pack (check links for current prices)
- Best AAA Rechargeable Battery Tenergy High Capacity 1000 mAh AAA 24 pack
- Best 18650 Rechargeable Battery Orbtronic 3500 mAh Protected mode
Best Battery Charger
- Best overall inexpensive charger is the XTAR VC4L Battery Charger charges AA, AAA, 18650 and other batteries using USB for power (does not charge protected 21700 batteries)
- Best AA, AAA and 9v Battery Charger Dlyfull A4 charges and refreshes both the AA and AAA rechargeable batteries
- Nekteck 21watt Solar Panel charge any USB device with the sun
- Anker PowerCore 26800 portable battery pack portable external USB battery pack for cellphones
- Kaito KA500L Voyager a Crank, Solar, Battery powered AM/FM, NOAA and 2 band Shortwave Radio (receiver only) can charge a cellphone
- "Traumatic Tension Pneumothorax And Your IFAK"--Reconteur Report. This is a response to an article at The Firearms Blog suggesting that people ditch carrying chest decompression needles. Aesop disagrees and makes the case that you should have one and know how to use it. Basic point, however: "Tension pneumothorax is both life-threatening left untreated, and reversible with minimal equipment and training. And there's nothing else than can substitute for that chest decompression needle if you need it RFN."
- "How To Make A Black Drawing Salve For When SHTF"--Ask A Prepper. The author points out that staying alive post-SHTF is more than a matter of food, and brings up the danger of an infected cut or other wound.
... One of the best creams, or salves, as they are sometimes called, to fight infections in wounds, is the “Black Drawing Salve.”
It’s called black because of the charcoal used in it and the word “drawing” refers to its job, i.e. to “draw out” the infection from wounds it is applied to.The Black Drawing Salve can be used to neutralize toxins and ease out splinters and other foreign objects that find their way under your skin. This salve can also help you survive by reducing inflammation from cactus spines, embedded glass shards, bee stings, tick bites, spider bites, thorns, and even ingrown hairs.
The article then goes on to discuss the ingredients and the recipe for the salve.
- "Nighttime Orienteering: It's Not for Everyone!" by Col. Kenneth Haynes (Ret.), NRA Family. The author notes that even trained soldiers, in the daytime, have a difficult time with orienteering; at night, it is worse because you can't see landmarks and it is physically more dangerous. He relates his own experience with a nighttime orienteering exercise:
The courses met these standards: 2,700 to 11,000 meters in length, three to four hours start to finish, and seven to nine numbered poles within about 25 yards of each other, one of which I had to land on. The terrain was generally level, and there was always an ambulance and medic crew standing by.
I had done the map recon in daylight, and knew the map location of both my starting point and objective. I had measured the walking distance on the map, and determined how much was uphill and downhill. I then converted the walking distance to my pace length, which I had measured by walking over a measured 100 yards on level, uphill and downhill terrain, and totaled the paces to my objective. I did the declination math and entered the magnetic azimuth on a lensatic compass with a clicking bezel and tritium markings. Adjusting for magnetic declination is necessary because one degree is worth 30 yards off-course in only 1 mile. When it was dark enough to make me functionally blind, someone said, "go."
With my head down at my compass, keeping the needle on N, I entered the woods, counting my paces. This is called "walking the azimuth." If I encountered an obstacle, I'd make three 90-degree turns to get around it and back on the azimuth. Half the time I'd go around to the right, half to the left, only counting the forward paces. (By the way, a lanyard attached my compass to me. Losing it meant to sit down and wait to be rescued.)
Because my head was down, I had to use one arm to paw the air in front of me like a blind person’s cane, so as not to brain or blind myself on a branch. I felt the ground with a foot before each step to avoid tripping or falling. However, I still fell and smashed into a lot of things. Although I was supposed to be exercising "noise discipline," I was the loudest thing in the forest. Although the test simulated a stealthy infiltration, my performance simulated slapstick comedy. I also stepped into holes and streams, and over small drop-offs, tripped on logs, slipped on moss, ensnared myself in thorns and once, in the Pacific Northwest, walked through a 3-foot-tall anthill. In all cases, nobody heard my curses.
My objective was always on a paved road running diagonally across my path. Along the road were the spaced numbered markers. If I had counted wrong or walked with the wrong pace, I'd get there too soon or too late. In a real situation it would mean I had missed the objective with no idea if it was in front of me or behind me. Only once did I come out within a few feet of a marker. Normally, I'd be between them, and have to figure out in which direction I had erred. Then I'd pick a marker, write its number down and hand it to a grader sitting in a nearby vehicle. If I missed, I'd get to try again, and I'd never be alone.
The real experts would have to navigate from one point to another. If they missed the first point, the second would be nearly impossible, but giving up was not an option.
Even if you have a good flashlight, night land navigation still presents serious problems. You only see what the light is pointed at, and as you move, those objects pass into darkness, so you are constantly panning the light from near to far to be able to walk safely. The light can’t show you landmarks that would keep you oriented, like very tall trees or hilltops, or even a mountain range to walk toward. (Even if those things might have been visible with your night vision, the flashlight would have blinded you to them. In fact, the flashlight makes everything outside of its beam invisible on dark nights.) If your flashlight fails, you have to sit still for at least half an hour to get your night vision back.
- "No Encryption, No Problem: Analog Radio Operations For Guerrilla Units" by NC Scout, American Partisan. An excerpt:
It’s important to point out the difference between tactical communications and clandestine communications. Tactical communications require immediate action and either give short orders or brief reports and are local in nature. For preppers, these are for retreat security and short duration patrols; snoop n’ poop around the woodline to make sure nobody is waiting on us to go to sleep. The RTO Basic course focuses almost entirely on tactical communications. Clandestine communications are long term, far more in depth messages that usually use multiple layers of encoding- this is where the One Time Pads come in– and are sent to cells working over a region. These are referred to as cables in the intelligence field. Numbers stations come to mind, and that’s a whole other conversation entirely.
Not everyone in the column needs a radio. This is the one that tees people off. “But I bought this, so I get to use it!” Nah, not on my team, bud. Two types of people have radios. Those who are trained and the decoys. Competent Leaders have experience and lead through demonstrated success. That begins with training. Your electronic signature should be kept very small- the only time you should ever key up is when its on purpose and you actually have something to say. During training I emphasize writing the script down and then reading from it, that way nothing is missed or lost when the operator is under stress. It used to be said that tactical communications had two sub types, inter-team and intra-team. I think you only One team should have two radios- one for the assaulting group and one for the support by fire. This eliminates needless traffic and keeps you doing what you’re supposed to be doing on a patrol- paying attention to your surroundings and actually watching your people, instead of simply telling them over a radio. In an urban environment or a close protection detail the needs are a little different, but again, that’s a whole other topic. But one thing I’ve noticed in the patrolling classes I’ve taught is that everyone in the group seems to believe they need communications with one another- and they don’t. Hand and arms signals folks; cheap, silent, effective.
- "The Battle Of Marawi: Small Team Lessons Learned For The Close Fight"--The Cove (h/t The Patrol Base). You may remember this battle from news accounts: In October 2017, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFoP) deployed to Marawi in the Mindanao region of the Southern Philippines after it had been captured by Muslim insurgents. The house-to-house fighting was intense. One of the lessons learned:
While the AFoP had access to enabling technologies and supporting arms such as indirect fire, close air support and armoured fighting vehicles, the battle was ultimately won by room-to-room, house-to-house fighting. No amount of firepower can substitute this intimate, discriminate, and precise application of force.Combat shooting, battlefield fitness, small team TTPs and battle craft are more important than any other skill, and must be prioritised. Above all else, the Australian Army must have the ability to deliver small combined arms teams to the fight who are capable of shooting faster and more accurately than their enemy out to 200 metres by day and by night; who can dominate and control complex spaces more rapidly and with fewer casualties; and who can operate seamlessly with other small teams or supporting elements in joint and coalition environments.The Marawi experience suggests that such small teams, operating seamlessly alongside engineers, artillery and armour—as well as combat medics and military police—fighting as combined-arms sections, platoons, combat teams and battlegroups, are essential.
News and Current Events:
- I consider the growing "mobocracy" to be our greatest domestic security threat and the incidents most likely to lead to a civil war. It is important to realize that the protests, looting, and increased criminality are all tied together under the loose banner of racial justice, with the gangs, community organizers, and politicians acting in tandem. "How looting turned the most upscale part of San Francisco into a ghost town"--New York Post. From the article:
Usually at this time of year, San Francisco’s luxury stores are decked with holiday garlands. Instead, they’re boarded up after widespread “flash mob” looting turned Union Square — the city’s most fashionable shopping district — into an area resembling a blighted neighborhood in Detroit.“It’s a ghost town,” said Michelle Tandler, a San Francisco native and high-tech entrepreneur, whose photos of the stores barricaded in plywood went viral on social media this week. “Every store has a security guard. People are going to lose their jobs. And these things have a ripple effect.”Two weeks ago, San Francisco was the first of several progressive cities hit by smash-and-grab mobs of thieves, sometimes as many as 80 in a group. Video from the San Francisco looting of Louis Vuitton shows criminals walking casually out of the store, goods in hand. Other cities hit include Los Angeles, Chicago and Minneapolis.
Two of factor credited for the organized looting are fewer police (defund the police), "[p]rogressive prosecutors are also letting more criminals free, sending the message that theft is an understandable response to poverty," and more criminals being released before trial (bail reform).
- More: "Epidemic of smash-and-grab crime is definitely man-made"--The Hill. The first part of the article describes how politicians, including the Biden Administration, publicly state that the looting and increased violent crimes are the result of desperation caused by the pandemic. The second part of the article explains the various "progressive" causes have contributed to the explosion in crime. The third part of the article explains why the Left is the cause:
The fact is that most criminals are rational actors who make a calculus of risk in the commission of offenses. The mobs hitting stores like Bloomingdales are organized gangs. Even shoplifters stealing from stores like Costco and Target are known to quickly sell the goods on the internet through fences.In 1968, University of Chicago economist Gary Becker wrote his famous article, "Crime and Punishment,” in which he argued that criminals make calculations based on both the certainty and the severity of punishment. If you increase the certainty or likelihood of punishment, you can achieve deterrence with lower levels of punishment. Conversely, if there is a low detection rate for crime, you can deter some crimes with higher levels of punishment.What is happening in cities like San Francisco is that both the certainty and the severity of punishment has fallen below deterrence levels.Consider the recent brazen smash-and-grabs at malls in the city, in which almost $350,000 worth of goods were stolen. After rising complaints from citizens, the city finally moved aggressively and arrested 14 people. Yet all were immediately released upon processing under “no bail” laws. If prosecuted, they expect relatively light sentences. For other felons, this is an easy calculation: Hundreds of thousands of dollars in goods can be stolen with a low likelihood of capture and a relatively low severity of punishment.While the Biden White House may not see the cause-and-effect realities, these felons certainly see the cost-benefit realities.
- More: Will no one rid us of this turbulent banker? "George Soros has blood on his hands for the rise in killings nationwide" by Robby Starbuck, New York Post. The author writes:
The crime wave sweeping across the country is the direct result of a years-long campaign by George Soros to bankroll the election of far-left district attorneys committed to undermining law and order.Over the past six years or so, Soros has poured tens of millions of dollars into the campaigns of DA candidates from coast to coast, achieving a remarkable degree of success by simply overwhelming all the other candidates. Whereas normal DA candidates typically run on five-figure budgets, Soros-backed DA candidates routinely enjoy seven-figure war chests.Soros is able to do this because federal campaign-finance limitations do not apply to local races. Many states have adopted their own laws capping the amounts that individuals and/or political action committees can contribute to candidates, but those laws are often riddled with loopholes. In some cases, the limits only apply to statewide races. In other cases, Soros can circumvent individual contribution limits by funneling money through the PACs he has set up for this purpose, which generally go by the ironic name of “Safety and Justice.”The reason Soros has spent so much money on races that used to be relatively obscure, local affairs is straightforward. Just as President Barack Obama seized upon the notion of “prosecutorial discretion” to grant de facto amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants after failing to get amnesty passed by Congress, Soros recognizes that local prosecutors can exercise the same discretion to selectively enforce laws. Rather than spending tens of millions of dollars per state on numerous higher-profile races for state lawmakers, he can spend comparatively smaller amounts on DA races knowing that the outcome will determine how — and even whether — laws are enforced.It’s part of the Hungarian-born investor’s push of progressive policies around the world through his Open Society Foundations.
- Related: "'Never Seen Anything Like It': Los Angeles Residents Stunned As Violent Crimes Creep Into Wealthier Communities"--Zero Hedge. They never thought that what they had unleashed would creep into their own neighborhoods.
- Related: The New York Post reports on a home invasion robbery in Los Angeles where "[a] pair of gun-toting robbers stormed into a holiday house party in Los Angeles, where they stole jewelry, phones and a watch from frightened guests." Police did not respond to calls about the crime.
- Related: "14 California Looters Arrested by Police Have Been Released Due to the State's Zero Bail Policy"--PJ Media.
- Related: Andy Ngo posted a video recorded in Minneapolis showing a man calmly carrying a rifle and breaking into cars. A witness said that the man "fired off the rifle into the air and his group drove off with the two stolen cars," but police never responded during the crime.
- Related: "‘Violent Robbery Caravans’ Confronting Police On Oakland Streets"--KPIX.
The city has also been plagued by smash-and-grab retail theft mobs, armed robberies at pot dispensaries, shootings and illegal sideshows that have been frequently marked by gunfire.Over the weekend, Armstrong deployed heavily armed tactical teams to four quadrants of the city to counter the firepower of the robbery caravans.“Last weekend, we staffed extra teams to be out in the community and address these violent robbery caravans,” he said. “A tactical response is what I deployed. What I did was divide up our tactical team to put our specially trained officers throughout the city in four quadrants to make sure we had a quick response to those who would seek to come to Oakland and use caravans of vehicles, armed suspects, to rob businesses.”“We were prepared and we will be prepared moving forward,” he added.Of particular concern, Armstrong said, was the weaponry these caravans were bringing with them.“What I was concerned about was the amount of firepower that we continue to be confronted with every time these caravans come into Oakland and our patrol officers having to drive into those situations and actually putting officers lives at risk,” he said. “We had two shootings at police officers over the last weekend and I have some serious concerns that when officers are responding to these caravans they are being met with gunfire.”Armstrong called the Davis fatal shooting just the latest tragedy in the city.“This homicide occurred as Mr. Davis was following a group involved in car burglaries,” the chief said. “This is a tragic situation.”The suspect vehicle in the Davis homicide was described as Toyota Rav4, four door, black with a rear passenger window shot out.Armstrong many of the crimes were being committed by suspects from outside the area.“What we have seen over and over is a group of individuals that sometimes are not even from Oakland come and commit multiple burglaries,” the chief said. “As high as 39 burglaries in one hour. Going from car to car, breaking into cars.”When asked about the coordination of the retail theft crimes, Armstrong said social media was being used.“Well, we know that the use of social media is how they’re coordinated,” he said. “We know that some of our groups and gangs that we’ve identified in the city of Oakland are participating in these armed caravans of robbers. And we know that they are coming from outside of Oakland as well. We’ve seen individuals and then arrested from Vallejo and Fairfield and up to Stockton.”
- The canary in the coal mine: "In Case With Global Implications, Finland Puts Christians On Trial For Their Faith" by Joy Pullman, The Federalist. The two men being charged with crimes are a pastor and member of the Finnish Parliament, respectively:
Rasanen and Pohjola are being charged with “hate speech” for respectively writing and publishing a 24-page 2004 booklet that explains basic Christian theology about sex and marriage, which reserves sex exclusively for within marriage, which can only consist of one man and one woman, for life. The Finnish prosecutor claims centuries-old Christian teachings about sex “incite hatred” and violate legal preferences for government-privileged identity groups.
In advance of the trial, Rasanen and Pohjola have been interrogated by police for hours about their theology. Pohjola told me in the interrogation police treated Christian beliefs as thought crimes. In a statement, Rasanen noted that the police publicly admitted their interpretation of Finland’s law would make publishing the Bible a hate crime.
- "China's Mysterious Hypersonic Weapon Can Stay In Orbit According To Space Force General"--The Drive.
Hypersonic speed is typically defined as anything above Mach 5. Suborbital refers to objects that may technically reach space, such as more traditional intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM), but that do not enter any sort of orbit around the planet.“This is a categorically different system, because a fractional orbit is different than suborbital," Saltzman continued. "A fractional orbit means it can stay on orbit as long as the user determines and then it de-orbits it as a part of the flight path."Historically, a fractional orbit has been defined as one in which the vehicle in question reaches orbit, but is brought back to Earth before fully circling the planet. However, the common working definition of so-called Fractional Orbital Bombardment Systems (FOBS), of which China's system would seem to be a particularly novel example, has often been expanded to include concepts that do complete one or more revolutions. Saltzman is clearly suggesting here that the Chinese system is designed to spend a more protracted period in space.
- "Biden's Supply Chain Crisis Is Going To Be Here For Awhile" by B.D. Hobbs, KTRH. Quoting economist Milton Ezrati:
"The supply chain issues will be around for quite awhile, I'm talking about the 2nd half of next year at the earliest."So what is the problem? The two biggest issues are, too much government spending, and the Biden administration shutting down oil and gas."That's not a supply chain issue, that's policy" Ezrati told KTRH, "They know that there is a problem, they tried to dismiss it and hope that it would go away, it hasn't. The inflation is severe."
On the other hand, Breitbart reports that Amazon has figured out a way to avoid the traffic jam at crowded ports such as at Los Angeles by offloading cargo containers in Seattle and then shipping the containers by truck down to California. Not to just stop with maritime shipping, Biden is now trying to disrupt shipping by truck by requiring truck drivers crossing from Canada or Mexico into the United States to be fully vaccinated. Still no vaccine requirement for "refugees" from Central America, though.
- Biden did this: "COVID has driven Americans to bank $1.6 TRILLION in ‘excess savings’ they stashed over fear of economic chaos: Experts warn value of rainy day money is being slashed by surging inflation"--Daily Mail. This is one of the reasons that home prices are skyrocketing--not because of inflation, but because real estate is one of the great stores of wealth.
- "US Military Explosives Vanish, Emerge In Civilian World"--AP. The article reports:
... Hundreds — and possibly thousands — of armor-piercing grenades, hundreds of pounds of plastic explosives, as well as land mines and rockets have been stolen from or lost by the U.S. armed forces over the past decade, according to an ongoing Associated Press investigation into the military’s failure to secure all its weapons of war. Still more explosives were reported missing and later recovered.
Explosives have been found in homes and storage units, inside military barracks and alongside roads, even at a US-Mexico border checkpoint. These were not rusty war trophies cast out of grandpa’s attic. They came from military shipments or bases. Many were taken by military insiders.
If the DoD's statistics are accurate, they really do have an extremely low loss rate and should be commended. However, there are suggestions within the article that the statistics may not be all that accurate or complete.
- Save the crocodile tears: "Tearful Alec Baldwin says he would have killed himself if he felt guilty about shooting dead cinematographer but he doesn't - and is convinced he WON'T face charges"--Daily Mail. There is also this quote from the article: "'I let go of the hammer, bang. The gun goes off. Everyone is horrified. They're shocked. It's loud,' he said."
- From the mouths of idiots: "'How dare men talk about what a fetus wants': Whoopi Goldberg slams Justice Alito for saying a fetus has an 'interest in having a life' as SCOTUS Roe V Wade arguments begin"--Daily Mail.
'The fetus has an interest in having a life,' Alito said Wednesday during oral arguments in the case of Dobbs v Jackson Women's Health - where Mississippi is attempting to strike down a lower court's blocking of its 15-week abortion ban.
* * *
Goldberg, speaking on The View, reamed Alito, arguing that as a male he has no idea what a fetus wants.
'Do any of you men have any eggs or the possibility of carrying a fetus? How dare you talk about what a fetus wants? You have no idea,' she said.
But Goldberg knows? Her reaction has nothing to do with whether a fetus has an inherent interest in living, but Goldberg assuaging her guilt over the 6 or 7 (apparently she doesn't remember the exact number) abortions she had by the time she was 25 years old. Dinesh D’Souza posted an op-ed at The Epoch Times a couple days ago that seems to sum up the personality that would kill her own children:
... The horror of abortion isn’t merely that a woman kills a child, but that a woman kills her own child.
From the dawn of history, this has been viewed, in many if not most cultures, as an abomination. Shakespeare puts these words into the mouth of Lady Macbeth, “I have suckled a baby, and I know how sweet it is to love the baby at my breast. But even as the baby was smiling up at me, I would have plucked my nipple out of its mouth, and smashed it brains out against a wall ….” For Shakespeare, this is intended to expose Lady Macbeth’s psychology as pure evil. A woman who would murder her own offspring is a scourge on the human race.
- Leftism = fascism: "Sweden’s Lund University researcher faces prosecution for study that showed most rapes are committed by immigrants"--OpIndia. Per the article, "the researchers found that out of 3,039 offenders included in the study, 59.2 per cent were immigrants." And the study only looked at crime statistics up through 2015, not including the large influx of refugees and immigrants that occurred afterword.
Opinion and Analysis:
- "It’s not just ‘stuff’ — the goods people work hard for matter, despite left lunacy" by Karol Markowicz, New York Post. The common refrain to excuse the destruction of property by black looters is that "it is just stuff" and not worthy of concern. The author disagrees:
Those who can protect their things or just buy new stuff don’t get how perilous it feels to have what you’ve worked for stripped away from you.Stuff matters. It’s the car that takes you to work and keeps your family safe from worry. It’s the business you built and want to protect.It’s the joy on your daughter’s face when the toy she wanted arrives in time for Christmas. It’s especially poignant if you’ve been poor, had to go without, and you’ve worked a long time to make sure your kids have it differently than you did.Our things are important. They are a layer of protection around us. They represent comfort but also freedom. When things are scarce, we lose far more than just the material goods. Abundance is good; security of that abundance even better.
- "Archbishop Vigano Appeals for a Worldwide Anti-Globalist Alliance" on Rumble. This video is a warning of what the hostile elite are planning.
- "Decline of the Western Male" (Part 1) (Part 2) by Martin Spengler, Counter-Currents. The primary thesis:
Martin Heidegger, Oswald Spengler – “Martin Spengler” – these two 20th-century thinkers provide the main source of inspiration behind this project. Both sought to understand the times we live in, and to bring into view the deeper historical and philosophical significance underlying many of the political, economic, social, and cultural issues before us today. Both offer profound insight, and our goal here will be to lean on them in order to tease out what is at stake in many of the day to day problems, challenges, and controversies that grip our attention across the Western world.
Spengler’s masterpiece is his Decline of the West, which first appeared in Germany in the years immediately following World War One. His contribution is to set contemporary events within a civilizational context, as milestones in the development of a culture whose evolution has been dictated by its own internal laws and dynamics, apparent at its very birth 1,000 years ago. Spengler allows us to see how the impulse that drove Medieval European craftsmen to construct magnificent Gothic cathedrals that soared towards the heavens, while betraying ever more intricate detail in their stonework, is the same motivating force behind the transgenderism agenda today, Hollywood’s obsession with the superhero genre, and in the attractive power of the dream of space travel.
For Heidegger the key event has been the rise of Modern science and technology, and it is the implications of this development he seeks to reveal. It is Heidegger who helps us to understand how the Modern project is in its essence nihilistic; if followed through to its logical conclusion it means no less than the annihilation of both the world and humanity. This is a cataclysmic perspective, but Heidegger’s reasons for sounding the alarm apply with a monumentally increased force since he first raised this prospect during the 1930s. It was Heidegger who understood that the “subjectivism” which reduces the world to a “standing reserve,” a resource to be used at our convenience, is at its core empty, that the desire for comfort and ease is in fact a death wish. Nietzsche understood this too. The danger does not lie so much in an ecological disaster, the consequence of reckless actions such as the use of GMO crops, but from the success of technology rather than its failure. We can see this with “climate change,” first global warming will be successfully held at bay, then extreme weather events prevented, and then . . . the outside world will be made to look and feel no different from the carefully controlled environment we have inside every shopping mall. After all, if you could push a button from your beachside mansion to stop an oncoming hurricane in its tracks, and instead select for a pleasant view offshore, why wouldn’t you?
No one openly articulates such an agenda, and it does not matter whether it is realistic or complete fantasy, the logic is there nonetheless. It has been present for a thousand years, and it is immensely powerful. Our entire civilization is testimony to its power. This is the value both Heidegger and Spengler bring to a discussion of such issues, they allow us to approach topical subjects such as climate change or transgenderism from a very different angle, to understand why these are the battlegrounds today, and what is at stake.
A third dimension, however, is also needed. It is one neither “Martin” nor “Spengler” were aware of in their lifetime, nor is it a question that has ever concerned Western philosophy to any significant extent in its 2,500-year history. It is a product of our time, and as such is the key to understanding everything. In this respect, “the West” is unique, and at its heart lies a contradiction.
Civilisation by its nature is a masculine project, but Western civilization is in its essence – feminine.
The driving purpose behind the science and technology of the West is to make life easy, comfortable, safe, and amusing. These are feminine desires not masculine ones. Western men have striven for centuries to deliver such a lifestyle to their women, and over the last 70 years or so this effort has borne fruit in the unsurpassed standard of living enjoyed by large sections of the population in Western countries. But the more it has done so, the more the essentially feminine character of the West has come into play. Masculine values, masculinity, men, these were all necessary to bring us to this point, the achievements of science and technology are products of the masculine impulse to make an impact on the world, to understand it, shape it, to create with it, to build with it, for their enjoyment in part but most of all for their women and children, and for the sake of the larger civilizational project to whose success they are committed. But to the extent this project is realized, and life does become easy, comfortable, safe, and amusing, masculinity becomes increasingly redundant, and fades into the background. In its place the feminine becomes primary, a process that has accelerated to an enormous extent over the past half-century with the arrival of the “sexual revolution” in the 1960s.
In the world that is emerging, there are no limits, nothing that women cannot do, nor anything that requires the masculine impetus to turn outwards towards the wider world, to discover its secrets, confront its dangers, for there is no longer is an outside world. Once we reach the point where everything that exists is either an oversized shopping mall, an air-conditioned office building, a campus safe space, a theme park, or a McMansion, masculinity has served its purpose and has no further place, other than to supply routine maintenance services in the background. ...
- This 2017 article from the American Interest asks, "Liberals Won the Culture Wars. What Comes Next?" The authors relate:
The liberal coalition has probably won what Pat Buchanan famously called “the war for the soul of America” that was inaugurated by the 1960s and 1970s social movements. But another war is coming. And we don’t yet quite know what it will look like, much less which side will win.
However, they threw out a few couple ideas including continued political correctness and, although using a different term, the #metoo movement. I doubt they expected political correctness moving from shutting down "offensive speech" to the "anti-racism" message today which expects white people to grovel for forgiveness for something done a long time ago by people they don't even know.
- The answer to the 2017 article about what comes next is The Great Replacement, as explained by Douglas Mercer at Counter-Currents. Mercer notes that the term “Great Replacement” was coined by Renaud Camus, a French writer. From the article:
Camus starts out by noting that the idea of replacement is central to modern industrial societies, and that replacements, imitations, and fakes abound. Consumer society relies on planned obsolescence and deems things and people inherently worthless, disposable, and interchangeable:
For better or worse, everything is being replaced by something else: something simpler, more convenient, more practical, easier to produce, more at hand and, of course, cheaper. Las Vegas displays a fake Venice in Nevada, Spain establishes a mock Las Vegas in Castilla, China has its own Paris near Peking — a much safer place than the real one for the traveler and for the local dweller alike.
But of course it is the replacement of the peoples of European descent in their homelands which is his main focus:
I have coined the phrase Great Replacement (in French Grand Remplacement) to denote the brutal change of population which has been taking place in France (and in Europe) since the beginning of the last quarter of the last century; and which has been gaining momentum ever since.
His definition of the Great Replacement is as simple as it is terrifying: It is when “one people is replaced by another.” He fully believes that this change is genocidal and is perpetrated with malevolent intent:
Population swamping or “demographic invasion” is a different matter entirely. It undermines the very identity of the nation or the people targeted by the swamping. The major threat associated with it is that it might very well be irreversible.
The population submitted to mass migration and ethnic submersion is not being killed or expelled, save for some unfortunate exceptions, which are becoming more and more numerous. The fact remains that entire streets, districts, towns, regions, not to mention schools, which had for centuries been the home of a given population, suddenly have an entirely different one. The face of the country has been transformed to an unimaginable extent.
As for the idea that this is a “conspiracy theory” he only has unadorned contempt. He knows that this gaslighting is just one of the parlor tricks used by the floating class which meets at Davos and controls the means of communications. They are playing three-card monte with our lives: Now you see it, now you don’t.
I have said time and again that the Great Replacement was neither a theory nor a concept. I wish to God it had been that, and nothing else, instead of being a horrible tragedy, a monstrous crime against humanity, an ecological and biodiversitarian disaster. The Great Replacement is not a theory, it is a ghastly fact, and my name for it, adequate to a degree, is like the Great Plague, the Great Fire, the Great War or the Great Depression.
Mercer goes on to observe that:
If the idea that there are no races is the signature of the Great Replacement, the notion of equality is a close second. Camus believes that the ruling class wants to produce “UHM,” or Undifferentiated Human Matter: to reduce humanity into an indistinct homogeneous mass and spread it like Nutella across the face of the Earth.
Read the whole thing.
- "The epidemiological relevance of the COVID-19-vaccinated population is increasing" by Günter Kampf, The Lancet. Short take is that while many decision makers ignore the vaccinated population as a source of infection, the vaccinated population is, in fact, a significant source of transmission of the virus; and, therefore, "[i]t appears to be grossly negligent to ignore the vaccinated population as a possible and relevant source of transmission when deciding about public health control measures."
- Related: The Expose reports on statistics from a new report from Public Health Scotland showing that the fully vaccinated account for 9 in every 10 Covid-19 deaths since August.
- Related: "First U.S. omicron patient was fully vaccinated and has mild Covid symptoms, officials say"--CNBC.
- Related: "REVEALED: America's second case of Omicron variant is detected in fully vaccinated Minnesota man who recently returned from 50,000-strong anime convention in NYC and fell ill on November 22"--Daily Mail.
- "Official Data shows huge increase in cases of Ovarian Cancer, and Deaths of New-Born Babies have hit Critical Levels; are the Covid-19 Vaccines to blame?"--The Expose.
Data available from Public Health Scotland shows that cases of ovarian cancer in 2021 are much higher than the 2017-2019 average, and deaths of new-born babies have reached the upper warning threshold indicating factors beyond random variation may have contributed to the deaths.
With nearly 40,000 menstrual disorders being reported as adverse reactions to the Covid-19 vaccines, scientists warning of potential issues with the formulation of the Covid-19 injections leading to infertility, real-world data showing the rate of miscarriage following Covid-19 vaccination is as high as 82%, and a confidential study showing the Covid-19 vaccine accumulates in the ovaries over time, could the rise in ovarian cancer and deaths of new-born babies have anything to do with the mass roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccines?
- "CNBC Pundit Calls Unvaxxed People 'Psychotic', Demands U.S. Military Hunt Them Down, Force Vaccine or Force Quarantine"--The Last Resort. The talking head was financial commentator Jim Cramer.
- Related: "EU Lobbies For Forced Vaccinations"--Vox Popoli. President of the European Union, Ursula von der Leyen, "said it is time to discuss making Covid vaccines mandatory across the entire EU as the continent is battered by a new wave of Covid infections."
- Related: "Unvaccinated Queenslanders to be DENIED access to LIFE-SAVING surgery."
- Related: "Widespread Manhunt Underway For Three Men, Possibly Aborigines, Who Escaped Australian Involuntary Quarantine Camp – Video"--The Last Resort. Remember that Australia is the canary in the coal mine.
- "Shots fired: Top NYC private schools issue COVID vaccine mandates which order ALL students aged five and up to receive jab or face expulsion"--Daily Mail. There is no science behind this. For instance, a German study has shown that not one healthy child in Germany from ages 5 to 18 died of COVID-19 during the first 15 months of the pandemic. Rather, it is a type of loyalty test or measure of conformity.
- Related: "NYC Mayor de Blasio orders kids over five to show proof of double vaccination for indoor activities and 'blindsides' businesses by mandating shots for ALL private sector workers by December 27 - with NO testing opt-out"--Daily Mail.
- Wait! I thought this was a conspiracy theory: "AstraZeneca uncovers what's triggering blood clots after its jab: Vaccine acts like a magnet and attracts platelets which body mistakes for a threat and attacks"--Daily Mail.
They found that the shell of the vector vaccine — the weakened cold virus used to teach cells how to neutralise Covid — sometimes acts like a magnet and attracts platelets, a protein found in the blood.For reasons the scientists are still probing, the body then mistakes these platelets as a threat and produces antibodies to fight them. The combination of the platelets and the antibodies clumping together leads to the formation of dangerous blood clots.
- "Spike protein in COVID virus and shots weakens immune system, may be linked with cancer: Swedish study"--LifeSite News. The researchers wrote: "Mechanistically, we found that the spike protein localizes in the nucleus and inhibits DNA damage repair. Our findings reveal a potential molecular mechanism by which the spike protein might impede adaptive immunity and underscore the potential side effects of full-length spike-based vaccines."
And Now For Something Completely Different:
- These two stories may be the most significant of the year:
- "Finally, a Fusion Reaction Has Generated More Energy Than Absorbed by The Fuel"--Science Alert. From the article:
A major milestone has been breached in the quest for fusion energy.For the first time, a fusion reaction has achieved a record 1.3 megajoule energy output – and for the first time, exceeding energy absorbed by the fuel used to trigger it.Although there's still some way to go, the result represents a significant improvement on previous yields: eight times greater than experiments conducted just a few months prior, and 25 times greater than experiments conducted in 2018. It's a huge achievement.Physicists at the National Ignition Facility at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory will be submitting a paper for peer review."This result is a historic step forward for inertial confinement fusion research, opening a fundamentally new regime for exploration and the advancement of our critical national security missions. It is also a testament to the innovation, ingenuity, commitment and grit of this team and the many researchers in this field over the decades who have steadfastly pursued this goal," said Kim Budil, director of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
- "DARPA Funded Researchers Accidentally Create The World’s First Warp Bubble"--The Debrief. An excerpt:
It is often said that timing is everything. Therefore, it is not surprising that back when Dr. White began his latest DARPA-funded research into custom Casimir cavities (a unique, micro-scale structure with all types of promising applications), he definitely did not expect to stumble upon this potentially historic discovery, particularly one supporting a theoretical concept that has often defined his public persona.“Some work we’ve been doing for DARPA Defense Science Office is the study of some custom Casimir cavity geometries,” explained White at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Propulsion Energy Forum in August of 2021, an event attended by The Debrief. “In the process of doing that work, we kind of made an accidental discovery.”Without going into the complicated physics behind Casimir cavities and the tantalizing quantum-scale forces often observed in these unusual structures, it suffices to say that they are in no way related to warp drive theory or mechanics. At least, they never had been before. But, says White, it is work that he and his LSI team are passionate about, and something DARPA believes has a number of possible applications.So, whether by pure coincidence or some sort of personal destiny, it appears that one of the handful of engineers on the planet who would immediately know what it was he was looking at when conducting his Casimir cavity research was in the exact right place at the exact right time to notice a striking similarity to his warp drive passion project and his current research, an observation that may have otherwise gone unseen.“I think this is a great example of sometimes you are doing work for one reason, and you find something else you really didn’t expect to find,” said White at the AIAA conference.
- No, it was a solar micronova: "Did a Comet Hit Earth 12,000 Years Ago?"--Scientific American. From the article:
Roughly 12,900 years ago, massive global cooling kicked in abruptly, along with the end of the line for some 35 different mammal species, including the mammoth, as well as the so-called Clovis culture of prehistoric North Americans. Various theories have been proposed for the die-off, ranging from abrupt climate change to overhunting once humans were let loose on the wilds of North America. But now nanodiamonds found in the sediments from this time period point to an alternative: a massive explosion or explosions by a fragmentary comet, similar to but even larger than the Tunguska event of 1908 in Siberia.
Sediments from six sites across North America—Murray Springs, Ariz.; Bull Creek, Okla.; Gainey, Mich.; Topper, S.C.; Lake Hind, Manitoba; and Chobot, Alberta—yielded such teensy diamonds, which only occur in sediment exposed to extreme temperatures and pressures, such as those from an explosion or impact, according to new research published today in Science.
The discovery lends support to a theory first advanced last year in that some type of cosmic impact or impacts—a fragmented comet bursting in the atmosphere or raining down on the oceans—set off the more than 1,300-year cooling period in the Northern Hemisphere known as the Younger Dryas for the abundance of an alpine flower's pollen found during the interval.
The cooling period interrupted an extended warming out of an ice age predicted by slight changes in Earth's orbit (known as Milankovitch cycles) that continues today. And it remains an unexplained anomaly in the climate record.
But a series of cometary fragments exploding over North America might explain a layer of soil immediately prior to the cooling containing unusually high levels of iridium—an element more common in cosmic wanderers like meteoroids than in Earth's crust. Paired with the fact that this layer occurs directly before the extinction of at least 35 genera of large mammals, including mammoths, it is strong circumstantial evidence for a cosmic event.
- "Carbon-14 Spiked Worldwide Over 1200 Years Ago, And The Sun Is To Blame"--Forbes. The majority of the article discusses how Carbine 14 is formed, how it decays, and how that decay can be used to for dating wood and other biological material. But Carbine 14 production is not uniform and can spike--sometimes dramatically, as in this case.
As far as we can tell, the levels of carbon-14 remained roughly constant throughout the world throughout the past few millennia. The only known fluctuation in this pattern, at least as of the early 2010s, was from the detonation of nuclear weapons in the open air. And yet, in 2012, we got a scientific shock: in approximately the year 774/775, two independent cedar trees in Japan were analyzed for carbon-14 in their rings, and saw a tremendous spike that was some 20 times larger than natural variations could explain.
The only natural explanation that makes any sense is if, right around that time, Earth experienced an excessive bombardment of these cosmic rays, creating a spike in the amount of carbon-14 that gets created. Even though it's a small excess in absolute terms — just 1.2% more carbon-14 than normal — it's far above any natural variation that we've ever seen.
Moreover, it's a spike that's subsequently been confirmed to exist in tree rings around the world, from Germany to Russia to New Zealand to the United States. The results agree across countries, and could be explained by anything from increased solar activity to a cosmic flare to a direct hit from a distant gamma-ray burst. But the carbon-14 evidence has subsequently been joined by a few other historical and scientific peculiarities, and with the latter enabling us to solve the mystery.
Historically, a "red crucifix in the heavens" was recorded in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle of 774, which could correspond to either a supernova (no remnant has ever been found) or to an auroral event. In China, an anomalous "thunderstorm" was recorded in 775, so notable that it was the only such event recorded.
But scientifically, the tree-ring data has been joined by ice core data from Antarctica. While the tree-rings show a spike in carbon-14 in 774/775, the ice core data shows a corresponding spike in radioactive beryllium-10 and chlorine-36, which suggest an association with a strong, energetic event of solar particles. An event such as this would have perhaps been on par with the now-famous Carrington event of 1859, which is the largest recorded solar storm in recent history, with the historical data remaining consistent with this explanation as well.
- I'm still waiting for the flying cars promised in the 1970s: "Futurists predict how we’ll one day eat, vacation and work" by Michael Kaplan, New York Post. Some the predictions are a cashless society where you can make purchases based on biometrics; robotic kitchens; lab-grown meat becoming mainstream; "hyper-loop" evacuated subways capable of speeds as great as aircraft (this one has been promised for close to 100 years now); designer babies; etc.
- "Sigiriya: Sri Lanka's ancient water gardens"--BBC Travel. An excerpt:
Sigiriya, an ancient rock fortress and former royal palace, is one of Sri Lanka's most visited and best-known sights, attracting just more than one million visitors in 2019. ...Dating back to 477 AD, Sigiriya is considered one of South Asia's best-preserved examples of urban planning and one of its most important archaeological sites. The elaborate palace and its towering construction on top of the rock, as well as its risqué artwork, resulted in its 1982 listing as a Unesco World Heritage Site. However, its ingenious garden and water systems at the foot of the rock are what make it a national treasure.The gardens at Sigiriya are not only the best-preserved water gardens in South Asia but some of the oldest landscaped gardens in the world. Important guests in the 5th Century would have walked a path with the impressively designed water gardens on either side, serving as a grand entrance to the more than 1,200 steps leading up to the palace.In his essay Sigiriya: City, Palace and Royal Gardens, Senake Bandaranayake, founding director of archaeology at Sigiriya, explained that the site is a brilliant combination of deliberate symmetry and asymmetry playing on both natural and geometric forms. "The gardens at Sigiriya consist of three distinct but interlinked sections: the symmetrical or geometrically planned water gardens; the asymmetrical or organic cave and boulder garden; the stepped or terraced garden circling the rock, the (miniature) water garden and the palace gardens on the summit of the rock," he wrote.
Be sure to check out the photographs at the link.