- "The Five Worst Self-Defense Weapons" by Travis Pike, The Mag Life. He considers not only their effectiveness (or lack thereof), but also legality and how quickly they can be brought into action. They are: (i) brass knuckles; (ii) wasp spray; (iii) 99% of stun guns (basically anything not made by Taser or Sabre); (iv) kubotans; and (v) derringers.
- Speaking of poor self-defense weapons: "Smart Glock-style 9mm guns that can only be fired by a verified user could be available in the US this year - but experts fear that they could be hacked"--Daily Mail. The devices are being developed by companies such as LodeStar Works, SmartGunz and Biofire. The article mentions that "[m]ost smart guns are designed with fingerprint unlocking or radio frequency identification technology that enables the gun to fire only when a chip in the gun communicates with another chip worn by the user in a ring or bracelet." One company has even added a pin pad so other authorized persons can use the gun. We know that the fingerprint technology is easily spoofed. RFI technology will just be an elaborate key, which can be lost or stolen. And a pin pad? Exactly how long do they thing the criminal will wait while you unlock your gun?
- "Vortex Win US Army Next Generation Squad Weapons – Fire Control Contract"--The Firearm Blog. This is a glorified LPVO with "a built-in laser rangefinder and atmospheric sensors which feed into an onboard ballistic calculator. It also features a compass and intra-soldier wireless connectivity (presumably alongside the IVAS kit which is in development). It also includes visible and infrared aiming lasers, and a digital display overlay." No word as to its weight.
- "Reloading Room Organization" by Serena Juchnowski, Guns Magazine. Some good tips including:
Brass prep is perhaps where organization can really save some time. Tumbling all of your brass first before moving to the next step allows you to do things in batches without losing track of what’s what. For me, it is easier to finish with one step before moving on to the next so I don’t have to try to fit my dryer, trimmer, etc. on the same small bench.
- "Handloaders Need a Chronograph, Especially When No Load Data Exists"--Shooting Times. If you are trying to work up a load without having loading data for your bullet and powder combination, most handloaders will rely on pressure signs to determine what is a safe load. But as the author relates, "[t]rying to read pressures by measuring case head expansion or judging how flat the primer looks is about as useful as someone predicting your future by reading your palm or peering into a crystal ball."
Bullets are launched from the barrel by the pressure generated when the primer and powder charge are ignited and consumed. Increasing velocity is the direct result of greater pressures. The universal adage of “you don’t get something for nothing” is definitely applicable when addressing velocity. Even if you don’t know your load’s velocities are exceeding the expected maximum levels, the actual pressures are almost certainly unsafe.For 30 years, I’ve measured velocities with a chronograph. Using common sense and conservative deductive reasoning, I compared my experimental results with velocity data in the latest reference load manuals.According to Hodgdon’s burn rate chart, IMR 4166 is typically a bit faster than IMR 4064. Let’s say Rusty backs off his favorite IMR 4064 max charge weights by 5 percent, loads and fires five test loads, measures velocities, and compares the results with Hodgdon’s IMR 4064 velocity data. If the average velocity is 200 fps slower but forms a half-inch group at 100 yards, he might decide that’s good enough.If he chose to experiment further, he’d bump up the powder charge in half-grain increments and load five rounds each of four or five additional sets of test loads. At the range, he’d fire the first batch and record velocities. Assuming he hasn’t yet attained the IMR 4064 max velocity, he’d fire the next batch and record the results. He would not try to exceed the velocity corresponding to the max IMR 4064 recipe for the same bullet weight and type.Now he has two or more sets of velocity data. His favorite IMR 4064 load’s average velocity is sort of like the target, assuming nothing untoward occurs during the incremental load tests. He can compare the delta velocities from test load one to two and two to three, etc. If they’re linear and gradually declining, my experience suggests everything is still safe.However, if the delta velocity between steps is increasing but erratically, or the standard deviation is greater than 20, the pressures are not increasing consistently, i.e., they’re not predictable. And if two consecutive test loads’ average velocities are quite close, he’s likely reached the practical max pressure limit. He might try a different primer or vary the bulletseating depth to achieve more consistent velocity data or improve accuracy.
Without any velocity data, Rusty will be almost completely in the dark. He’s back to assessing flat primers, sensing the felt recoil, gauging bolt lift stickiness, etc. He has no technically reliable measurements to assess how safe his handloads are.
- You can't stop the signal: "The AR-15 Lightning Link"--Bev Fitchett. An explanation of this fascinating device. See also Fitchett's earlier article on how to make the device as well as a 2004 article that Fitchett recommends. These are obviously not for constructing now. Just some useful information to store away for an extended SHTF/WROL situation.
- I had heard of "brown powder" development prior to the adoption of smokeless powder, which essentially was a highly refined version of black powder, and probably much better than anything we have today. But Bev Fitchett discusses another powder under development at the same time called Ammonpulver (AP).
AP was developed in the late 1880s as a replacement for black powder. It is an intimate mixture of 85 percent ammonium nitrate and 15 percent charcoal. It was used by Germany and Austria as an artillery propellant until nitroceliulose-based powders became commonly available. It was extremely powerful, being on a par with double-based powders containing 30 percent nitroglycerine, and was virtually smokeless and flashless.Unfortunately. AP had two drawbacks that made it undesirable as a propellant. First, since it was based on AN it was extremely hygroscopic, and second, when it was heated to moderate temperatures (32.1°CJ, a change in the crystalline structure occurred, causing the powder grains to crumble. This would cause a drastic increase in the chamber pressure of guns using this propellant, often causing burst tubes.Since we will be using AP as a bomb filler, however, this becomes a positive asset. It is very cheap to make— about thirty to forty cents a pound—and is quite insensitive to shock and friction. It is, however, much harder to ignite than black powdeT, so a booster consisting of a few grams of a more sensitive compound such as potassium chlorate/sugar or black powder must be used. As a filler for pipe bombs or related items it is without peer.
The rest of the article discusses preparation of the compound.
- "Savage Arms 110 Carbon Tactical Rifle: First Look"--Guns & Ammo. I included this article not so much as to the rifle, but for the more general difficulty of creating a light weight rifle even using the latest technology. This is a bolt action rifle that uses an AICS magazine and has a synthetic stock. But, as the article relates, even with a "new PROOF Research carbon fiber wrapped barrel, it weighs in at just over seven-and-a-half pounds."
- "Meet the New Alloy-Framed Smith & Wesson CSX Micro-Compact!"--Guns America Digest. S&W has (or will be soon) released a new micro-9 pistol that uses an aluminum alloy frame and is single-action hammered fired. Obviously, it is intended to be carried cocked and locked. An interesting pistol to be releasing in 2022 considering that it is generally accepted that the future is polymer striker fired pistols. I suspect, but don't know, that it may represent concerns on carrying a striker fired pistol in the AIWB position. S&W has a YouTube video on the pistol here. MSRP is $609 according to the article.
- Related: If you are interested in other products being released in 2022, Guns Magazine has an article highlighting several new firearms and other products.
- Another new product announcement: "Colt’s Bringing Back the 3-inch Python in .357 Mag!"--Guns America Digest.
- And another: "Ruger Announces New Birdshead-Style Wrangler Revolvers"--The Firearm Blog. As is proper for firearm employing the birdshead style grip, these feature a slightly shorter barrel length of 3.75 inches.
- "Federal Expands Punch Line of Defensive Ammunition To Include 44 SPL"--The Firearm Blog. I think that Charter Arms is the only current manufacturer of .44 Special revolvers, but if you are looking for defensive load (against criminals not bears) for a .44 Magnum, this would be worth the look.
- The end of one year and beginning of a new year often brings retrospectives of the prior year in one form or another. Here is an interesting one from the Mag Life blog: "1911 Syndicate — Worst Five Products of 2021." According to this article, the worst shooting product of 2021 was the Axil Ear Protection Ghost Stryke Extreme. Says the article:
In the top spot for worst product of 2021 is the Axil Ear Protection Ghost Stryke Exteme in the ear buds. Jake went so far as to say that he only did a quick review on the ear protection before boxing them up and trying to return them in less than 45 minutes after receiving them.Ideally, they go in the ear, cancel out the noise from shooting but can connect to your phone via Bluetooth. But when he put them on, they started with some feedback that make Jake yank them out of his ear. He went on to say that the sound quality of the earbuds rivals that of a 1990s Walkman headset. While these buds are heavily touted by influencers and bloggers, Jake’s pair was garbage. I’m wondering if he got a lemon set or if they are really that bad. If they are, they feel the company is negligent in selling them, especially at their steep price.
- John Farnham is credited with the rules of self-defense which state: "Don't (i) go to stupid places (ii) with stupid people (iii) at stupid times (iv) to do stupid things." Farnham has expanded these rules, including that you should be home and in your own bed by 10 p.m. The Sun has a story of two airline stewardesses that violated all of these rules and wound up being drugged and raped during a layover in Los Angeles. Key part:
A source said of the alleged incident: “The women were working abroad and let their hair down one evening. They went to a posh club in Los Angeles and from there they went back to a mansion.
"They claim that they were drugged and sexually assaulted while they were at the mansion. It’s all very serious.”
- "2021: the Year of the Black Serial Killer" by Eric Striker, Unz Review. Not including gang related killings, "[a]ccording to research conducted by National Justice on serial killer arrests and convictions in 2021, there were at least three black serial killers for every one white offender." Striker goes on to discuss 10 black serial killers either arrested or going to trial in 2021.
Prepping and Survival:
- Raising a good point about hypothermia victims: "The danger isn’t over once you are rescued from the cold"--Rebuilding Civilization. An excerpt:
In 1980, sixteen Danish fishermen were forced to jump into the North Sea after their fishing boat floundered. After about 1.5 hours in the water another boat approached and lowered a cargo net which they used to climb on board. They thanked their rescuers and they walked across the deck and went below to the galley where they were supposed to have hot drinks and warm up. Instead, all sixteen of them dropped dead.
They suffered from profound acute hypothermia. To understand how this might have been prevented, we need to understand what happens as hypothermia develops.
The author goes on to describe different types of hypothermia, how it develops, the affect on the body, and treatment. Be sure to read the whole thing.
- "Should I Stockpile Oatmeal as a Survival Food?" by Jeanie Beales, The Survivalist Blog. The author answers:
Yes, you definitely stockpile oatmeal because this gluten-free cereal, is high in essential vitamins and minerals, and has the highest protein content of common cereals. It is also quick to cook, saving energy. The main benefit to storing it is that it can keep for around 25 years under ideal storage conditions.
However, not all oatmeal is equal. The author discusses the types of oatmeal to avoid for long term storage and how to store oatmeal. The oatmeal with the shortest shelf life are the flavored instant oatmeals because they have dairy additives that can quickly go bad (similar to how MREs with cheese additives will spoil faster than other types of MREs). The best oatmeal for storage is the steel cut oats. The author also goes into great detail on how to properly store oatmeal.
- "Dirty Dishes"--Blue Collar Prepping. After a humorous anecdote about modern kids being amazed at how quick and efficient hand washing of dishes can be, the author turns to the more important part of explaining the proper procedures for cleaning and disinfecting dishes using the "3 pails" method: the soapy water, the rinse, and a dip into a bleach water bath to disinfect the dishes.
- "Easy Prepping Activities to Do at the End of the Year" by Bernie Carr, Apartment Prepper. The suggestions Carr gives fall into three main categories:
- Review. This includes activities like checking on your food stores to see what needs to be stocked up or replenished, testing gear or checking the status of gear (e.g., checking batteries), etc.
- Skills. Basically consider what you have learned.
- Create space by decluttering in order to make room for supplies.
- Safety Measures. Given the past couple of years, Carr naturally focuses on safety from crime, but it is also a good time to check for other items of safety such as smoke alarms, checking the status of your fire extinguishers, etc.
Char cloth is a cloth that has been turned into charcoal. The char cloth ignites at low temperatures, which makes lighting it with sparks easier.The scientific term for making char cloth is pyrolysis. You can read all about the science of it here. In layman’s terms, it involves heating a natural plant material in an anaerobic (without oxygen) environment.You can often get a char cloth lit with just one spark! You then use it to light other tinder. If you are trying to make a fire with a Ferro rod or flint and steel, a char cloth will make your life much easier – or possibly save your life in a survival situation.*Realistically, you probably won’t be using a char cloth for survival. I personally always bring survival lighters with me when I go backpacking in the wilderness.However, it’s a lot of fun to build a fire using a char cloth and F&S (flint and steel).
The remainder of the article is instructions on making char cloth and how to use it.
- Related: "Best Fire Piston (Explore This Little Known Firestarting Method)" by Samantha Biggers, Primal Survivor. The author begins by noting that:
After weighing the pros and cons of the fire pistons I found, I have concluded that the Campfirepiston Hickory has the most to offer for your money.
It is lightweight, affordable, and comes with char cloth, ready to use straight out of the box. As an added bonus, it is made in the USA and looks gorgeous.
The article goes on to explain what is a fire piston and how it works, as well as how to use it. Biggers has brief instructions on how to make char cloth, but the longer article above is probably a better resource.
News & Current Events:
- "Nevada Court Finds Ghost Gun Law Unconstitutionally Vague"--Ammo Land. The law bans the possession, sale, or transport of an “unfinished frame or receiver” which is defined in the bill as:
... a blank, a casting or a machined body that is intended to be turned into the frame or lower receiver of a firearm with additional machining and which has been formed or machined to the point at which most of the major machining operations have been completed to turn the blank, casting or machined body into a frame or lower receiver of a firearm even if the fire-control cavity area of the blank, casting or machined body is still completely solid and unmachined.
In striking down the law, the Judge wrote:
The definition does not tell anyone when during the manufacturing process a blank, casting, or machined body (whatever those terms mean) has gone through the “major machining operations” (whatever those are) to turn that blank, casting or machined body into a frame or lower receiver of a firearm (whatever that may be), a person of ordinary intelligence could not proscribe their conduct to comply with the law. As a result, this Court finds that the text of AB 286 does not provide fair notice of whatever it criminalizes. To this end, this Court asked on multiple occasions during oral argument on the Motion for Summary Judgement, what those terms as used in AB 286 mean. Tellingly, the Defendants could not in any manner explain their meaning(s).
- Welcome Back, Kotter: "Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell says inflation is a 'severe threat' to the economy and will raise interest rates to stop the surge in prices"--Daily Mail. Here comes a recession. On the other hand, it is now extremely unlikely that Biden will be reelected.
- 2020 Redux: "Protesters march on Fayetteville for second night after black man, Jason Walker, 37, was shot dead by off-duty cop after he 'jumped on his truck in front of his wife and kid': Officer is put on paid leave as FBI investigates"--Daily Mail. In normal times, someone jumping on your truck and smashing the windshield would uncontrovertibly be a threat of grave bodily harm to your and your passengers justifying use of lethal force in self-defense. But we live in times that are not normal where decisions to prosecute are based on "woke" criteria.
- Social justice in action: "Shocking moment gang of nine robbers armed with sledgehammers take over Bay Area shopping center and order terrified occupants to the floor before stealing $110,000 of jewelry"--Daily Mail.
- The problem was never American gun stores: "El Chapo and ex-Mexican government minister among group charged with trafficking guns"--New York Post. Mexican authorities have charged seven people as part of an investigation into the “Fast and Furious” gun-running scandal: former head of the Sinaloa drug cartel, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman; ex-Security Minister Genaro Garcia Luna; former top federal police official Luis Cardenas Palomino; and others.
- Related: "REPORT: Mexican Army Loses 30% of Weapons Purchased from U.S."--Breitbart. From the article:
Mexico’s Army (SEDENA) is losing approximately 30 percent of weapons purchased from the U.S., a report from Mexican journalist Carlos Loret De Mola revealed. The report comes as Mexico’s federal government litigates against firearm manufacturers in a U.S. court, blaming them for the raging cartel violence.
Those missing weapons are showing up in crime scenes. Mexico’s military has also allegedly misplaced weapons bought from Germany, Australia, Italy, Romania, Spain, and Belgium.
In Mexico, the Army is the only entity that can purchase weapons from other countries. Further, all weapons bought by federal, state, and local law enforcement, as well as private citizens, are sold by SEDENA. ...
As these stories indicate, it is not American gun manufacturers or gun stores that are supplying the cartels with guns, but the United States and Mexican governments.
- While we are on the topic of government corruption: "Cop Who Killed Ashli Babbitt Was Cleared of Criminal Wrongdoing Without Interview" by Paul Sperry, Real Clear Investigations. Sperry reports that "investigators cleared Byrd of wrongdoing in the shooting without actually interviewing him about the shooting or threatening him with punishment if he did not cooperate with their criminal investigation." Apparently the investigators had asked Byrd for interviews, but he refused. Also:
In defending his actions, Byrd told Holt things he evidently wouldn’t tell investigators, including his claim that he shot as “a last resort” and only after warning Babbitt to stop.However, documents uncovered by Judicial Watch reveal that eyewitnesses — including three police officers at the scene — told investigators they did not hear Byrd give Babbitt any verbal warnings prior to firing, contradicting what Byrd told NBC.
Just a reminder that there are two sets of laws in this country: one for you, and one for those in power and their lackeys.
- Related: "U.S. ends case against Jeffrey Epstein's jail guards"--Reuters. "In a Thursday filing in Manhattan federal court, prosecutors asked a judge to dismiss claims against Tova Noel and Michael Thomas, after both complied with the six-month deferred prosecution agreements they agreed to in May."
- Related: "Disgraced FBI No. 2 Calls For Feds To Treat ‘Mainstream’ Conservatives Like Domestic Terrorists" by Evita Duffy, The Federalist. From the article:
McCabe was fired as the deputy FBI director for leaking sensitive information about an investigation into the Clinton Foundation and then lying about it under oath. He also took part in spying on the Donald Trump campaign through a secret warrant granted by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court.The dossier he used to obtain the surveillance warrant was funded by Hillary Clinton’s campaign and, in an ironic twist, was itself the product of Russian disinformation. McCabe and his allies in corporate media justified all sorts of similar illegal and undemocratic tactics to discredit and attempt to unseat President Trump.Of course, neither the University of Chicago nor McCabe acknowledged the irony in him discussing the integrity of “democracy” in America on Thursday evening. In fact, what McCabe said at the University of Chicago event on Jan. 6, 2022 is even more shocking than his invitation to speak in the first place. Below are four of the most appalling assertions and policy proposals McCabe made at the public event.
McCabe, according to the article, (i) compared Trump supporters to Islamic extremists; (ii) indicated that political violence was occurring in school board meetings; (iii) wanted more domestic surveillance targeted at conservatives; and (iv) stated that "no one is above the law" (which I interpret as code for "throwing the book" at political enemies).
- "Survey says: U.S. voters consider FBI Biden’s ‘personal Gestapo’"--Law Enforcement Today.
- "REVEALED: AP source who 'fact checked' Mass Formation Psychosis theory encouraged 'behavioral nudging' people into Covid compliance, quoted Goebbels"--The Post Millennial. Key part:
In a Nature article in 2020, [New York University assistant professor of psychology and neural science Jay] Van Bavel posited that "insights from the social and behavioural sciences can be used to help align human behaviour with the recommendations of epidemiologists and public health experts." What is this if not an attempt to push people to do what they're told?
The article addresses using fear as a means to control people, in the right doses: "A meta-analysis found that targeting fears can be useful in some situations, but not others: appealing to fear leads people to change their behaviour if they feel capable of dealing with the threat, but leads to defensive reactions when they feel helpless to act. The results suggest that strong fear appeals produce the greatest behaviour change only when people feel a sense of efficacy, whereas strong fear appeals with low-efficacy messages produce the greatest levels of defensive responses."
Thus the lies about the efficacy of masks.
- "Supermarket CEO Warns of Possible Meat, Egg Shortages as Omicron Stresses Supply Chain"--Breitbart. Basically, it boils down to drivers and workers calling in sick due to omicron.
- Good question: "Fox to Psaki: How is this still a 'pandemic of the unvaccinated' if the boosted are getting sick?"--Hot Air.
- You undoubtedly heard of the untimely death of comedian Bob Saget, but this might provide more context as to his death: "BREAKING…Recent Podcast Shows Bob Saget Telling Fan: 'I went to the pharmacy the other day and I got my booster shot'"--Gateway Pundit.
- More: And the spin starts: "Cops suspect Bob Saget suffered 'a heart attack or stroke' in Orlando hotel but officials ALSO probe revelation that he recently battled COVID"--Daily Mail.
- "Military Documents About Gain of Function Contradict Fauci Testimony Under Oath"--Project Veritas. From the article:
The documents in question stem from a report at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, better known as DARPA, which were hidden in a top secret shared drive.
DARPA is an agency under the U.S. Department of Defense in charge of facilitating research in technology with potential military applications.
Project Veritas has obtained a separate report to the Inspector General of the Department of Defense written by U.S. Marine Corp Major, Joseph Murphy, a former DARPA Fellow.
The report states that EcoHealth Alliance approached DARPA in March 2018, seeking funding to conduct gain of function research of bat borne coronaviruses. The proposal, named Project Defuse, was rejected by DARPA over safety concerns and the notion that it violates the basis gain of function research moratorium.
According to the documents, NIAID, under the direction of Dr. Fauci, went ahead with the research in Wuhan, China and at several sites across the U.S.
Dr. Fauci has repeatedly maintained, under oath, that the NIH and NAIAD have not been involved in gain of function research with the EcoHealth Alliance program. But according to the documents obtained by Project Veritas which outline why EcoHealth Alliance’s proposal was rejected, DARPA certainly classified the research as gain of function.
“The proposal does not mention or assess potential risks of Gain of Function (GoF) research,” a direct quote from the DARPA rejection letter.
Major Murphy’s report goes on to detail great concern over the COVID-19 gain of function program, the concealment of documents, the suppression of potential curatives, like Ivermectin and Hydroxychloroquine, and the mRNA vaccines.
Project Veritas reached out to DARPA for comment regarding the hidden documents and spoke with the Chief of Communications, Jared Adams, who said, “It doesn’t sound normal to me,” when asked about the way the documents were shrouded in secrecy. “If something resides in a classified setting, then it should be appropriately marked,” Adams said. “I’m not at all familiar with unmarked documents that reside in a classified space, no.”
I think we need to consider whether Covid-19 and the pandemic was created by elements within the United States and Chinese governments.
- China being China: "China Seals Off Tianjin As Omicron Outbreak Intensifies With Olympics Just Weeks Away"--Nation and State. The Chinese government had already locked down the provincial capital of Xi’an (population 13 million) a few weeks ago, allegedly due to Covid. Now authorities are locking down the city of Tianjin which the article describes as only being a 30-minute drive from Beijing. According to the article, this lockdown came after just two positive cases and 30 suspected cases of the omicron variant. Seems a little over the top, which makes me wonder if it is something else, like the outbreak of hemorrhagic fever that had also broken out in Xi'an. That fever was supposedly limited to transmission by rodents because it was caused by a hantavirus, but what if it had also mutated?
- More: The Chinese city of Anyang, in Henan province, with a population of 5 million has also been shut down. The article also notes that, last week, the one million people in Yuzhou - also a city in Henan - were told to stay at home.
- It's not so fun when other people do it: "India: Hindu event calling for genocide of Muslims sparks outrage"--MSN.
- A collection of articles about the events in Kazakstan in chronological order:
- "Another post-Soviet ‘ruler for life’ faces upheaval, as enormous protests sweep Kazakhstan"--Washington Post (via MSN).
- "Dozens of protesters, police killed as unrest intensifies in Kazakhstan"--UPI.
- "Kazakh president: Forces can shoot to kill to quell unrest"--AP.
- "Russia sends troops to put down Kazakhstan uprising as fresh violence erupts"--Reuters.
- "Shooting stops in Kazahstan after Putin's Paras arrive: Russian force of 2,500 'peacekeepers' say they have right to KILL if attacked by 'armed gangs' after nation descended into violent chaos"--Daily Mail.
- "Kazakhstan president tells troops to 'shoot to kill without warning' as he vows to 'completely eliminate' protesters and gives 'special thanks' to Putin for his help"--Daily Mail.
- "The crackdown Putin doesn't want you to see: Masked Kazakh police are pictured rounding up 'protesters' and open fire at journalists amid internet blackout and 'shoot to kill' order"--Daily Mail.
- "WAVE OF SUICIDES SWEPT KAZAKH HIGH-RANKING OFFICIALS FOLLOWING PLOT DISCLOSURE"--South Front.
- "Kazakhstan Denies US-Funded ‘Military Biological Lab’ Seized By Rioters After Russia Claims Potential Pathogen Leak"--Libertarian Hub.
Vox Day believes the whole incident is another "color revolution" organized by the CIA. It certainly was convenient timing coming during the height of tensions over the Ukraine. However, it should be a warning to us about how quickly SHTF events can occur, as Magic Prepper explains in this video.
Opinion and Analysis:
- "American Oligarchy" by Josh Hammer, Newsweek. An excerpt:
The lead-up to the one-year January 6 anniversary was endlessly promoted by our insular and self-congratulatory Washington press corps as something akin to the one-year anniversary of September 11, 2001. The imbecilic and senile dolt who is our commander-in-chief dedicated his January 6, 2022, remarks to excoriating his predecessor for that predecessor's alleged incitement of an "insurrection." Defying parody, a candlelight vigil was held at the National Mall—"in remembrance of the attack on our democracy that occurred on January 6, 2021."
In fairness, it is true that modern America no longer meets a threshold definition of "democracy." But the Left is wrong as to why. America in the year 2022 is not a nation bedeviled by a great scourge of right-wing political violence, but it is a nation bedeviled by a monolithic and intellectually homogenous oligarchy that seeks to subjugate dissenting "deplorables" by any means necessary. Consider some examples.
American oligarchy is when a duly elected president of the United States is stymied from day one by cynical ruling class fabulists concocting a false story about that president's alleged collusion with a foreign power, based on the primary "evidence" of a salacious and unverified "dossier" created in conjunction with the defeated opponent's presidential campaign. American oligarchy is when the institutional media cheers on not one but two baseless and mind-numbing presidential impeachments based on nothing more than frothing partisan fealty to the oligarchs' preferred political tribe, the Democratic Party.
Read the whole thing.
- "What ‘Social Justice’ Really Means" by Robert Stacy McCain, The Other McCain. As I brought up this past week, Manhattan's new district attorney, Alvin Bragg, will be pursuing the same George Soros approved soft on crime policies that have lead to San Francisco's, L.A.'s, and Philadelphia's disastrous crime numbers, including not charging for lesser crimes and/or seeking lesser prison sentences. McCain writes (emphasis in original):
We do not need any research to know that Bragg’s policy will produce disastrous results — common sense tells us so and, given what we’ve seen in other cities where funding from George Soros has elected “progressive” district attorneys like Bragg, we know that life in New York City will become nightmarish. Prostitutes and drug dealers will ply their trades without fear of prosecution, carjackings and burglaries will skyrocket, and the daily death toll from drive-by shootings will shock the nation.
“Social justice” requires this. It is unfair for some people to live in safe neighborhoods with nice cars; to make things equal, every neighborhood in New York City must become as lawless and chaotic as the worst slums of the Bronx. While “social justice” will not improve the quality of life of allegedly “oppressed” minorities — indeed, black and brown people will be victimized at much higher rates — it will help accomplish Bragg’s real goal, i.e., to make life worse for white people in New York.
You’re not supposed to say this out loud, of course, but this is the ultimate meaning of all that “Critical Race Theory” noise. The problem with law enforcement, according to the CRT perspective, is not merely the “disparate impact” of locking up black criminals. No, the real problem is that keeping criminals in jail allows white people to live in nice neighborhoods. It is wrong for white people to be safe from crime.
Social justice goes beyond crime and law enforcement, however. It also extends to the provision of medical care as the Washington Free Beacon reports in the article, "Food and Drug Administration Guidance Drives Racial Rationing of COVID Drugs." According to the article:
In New York, racial minorities are automatically eligible for scarce COVID-19 therapeutics, regardless of age or underlying conditions. In Utah, "Latinx ethnicity" counts for more points than "congestive heart failure" in a patient’s "COVID-19 risk score"—the state’s framework for allocating monoclonal antibodies. And in Minnesota, health officials have devised their own "ethical framework" that prioritizes black 18-year-olds over white 64-year-olds—even though the latter are at much higher risk of severe disease.
These schemes have sparked widespread condemnation of the state governments implementing them. But the idea to use race to determine drug eligibility wasn’t hatched in local health departments; it came directly from the federal Food and Drug Administration.
When the FDA issued its emergency use authorizations for monoclonal antibodies and oral antivirals, it authorized them only for "high risk" patients—and issued guidance on what factors put patients at risk. One of those factors was race.
It will lead to expropriation of land and resources above even the high taxes we pay to support the welfare state, as illustrated by this College Fix article, "Student leaders: Evict white frat boys and give their houses to ‘historically marginalized’ groups," as well as loss of jobs and job opportunities as suggested by this Daily Mail article, "Wokery will be the death of Hollywood: Mass dumping of white male writers in favor of women and people of color will end in class-action lawsuit, showrunner warns, as popular shows tank."
I want to impress on you, the reader, that at some level or amongst some group of the elite, it was decided that white people would be extinguished and erased. This has happened before where a newly dominant ethnic group or religious group (and I include socialism as a religion) have determined to destroy the prior dominant group. You see this in history with native populations being subsumed into an invading group's population if not outright exterminated. Or, if it is ideological, you will see pogroms to exterminate those of a different ideology such as happened under the Muslim conquests in the first and second millenniums, and in the Soviet Union and China after the communists came to power. This is what is going on today; only, the powers that be must tread more carefully because they face an armed populace.
Bragg acknowledged in his speech to Sharpton's audience that crime – including violent crime — is skyrocketing in the city.
"Gun crime is on the rise. Domestic violence is on the rise. We've got sexual assault. That's what was going on with the status quo. So we know we need a change to address that," Bragg explained. "And the way to do that is partner with traditional public safety methods, is to invest in our communities. Racial disparity’s rife in our system. We criminalize poverty every day of the week."
Bragg expressed confusion at the pushback his lesser-sentencing plan has received from the public, saying, "This is going to make us safer. It's intuitive. It's common sense. I don't understand the pushback."
- More: "George Soros’ Many Gifts to the Republican Party" by Roger Simon:
Why am I thanking Soros? It should be obvious. The billionaire’s habit of opening his very deep pockets to elect “woke” district attorneys across the country has been remarkably successful. He, more than anyone, is personally responsible for the crime wave currently engulfing America with murder rates in our big cities the highest in decades.
That, as much as anything, is sending people out of the blue states on what is called in the country classic “Wagon Wheel,” “the Southbound Train.”
That the vast majority of those murders are black on black doesn’t seem to have deterred George (although he surely must know it because the statistics are widely available), nor does it appear to deter Alvin Bragg, the newly elected black Manhattan DA.
They—the mayor of Chicago, the DAs of Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Baltimore and many others—don’t seem to care about this. They apparently have other priorities. Like Black Lives Matter itself, they don’t seem to think black lives actually do matter. Power (theirs) is all that matters. And that they look good. (To whom, I wonder?)
- More: "Condition Red Revisited: White Male Erasure in Advertising" by Edmund Connelly, The Unz Review. I can't comment on Connelly's explanation as to who is responsible, but his observations of what is happening cannot be denied. This is a topic I've commented on for several years, but it has now reached the point that, based on my personal observations, white males do not appear in most advertising, and if they do, they most generally are part of a mixed-race couple.
- "BLM Has Killed More Blacks Than Lynching Has"--Wilder Wealthy & Wise.
According to the Tuskegee Institute (who apparently are the official counters of such things) a total of 3, 446 black people were lynched between 1882 and 1968. Based on Kriegman’s data, it’s entirely likely that Black Lives Matter’s™ focus on “defunding the police” along with the Ferguson and Minneapolis Effects, that Black Lives Matter© killed more blacks in three years than lynching ever did in 86 years.
The real goal of Black Lives Matter® is to create enough discontent and pain in the black community so that they’ll accept any solution.
Read the whole thing.
- "There are indications that the Chinese military has serious problems" by Andrea Widburg, American Thinker. Some of the matters that Widburg brings up:
- That many high ranking officers basically bought their positions through bribery and connections.
- Other types of corruption.
- Lack of combat experience.
- "Pope Francis Is Queering The Catholic Church" by Rod Dreher, American Conservative. Dreher's comments were inspired by Pope Francis praising the Catholic apostolate New Ways Ministry which was formed expressly for the purposes of advancing LGBT interests in the Catholic Church. Dreher notes that "[i]n 1999, the Vatican’s chief doctrinal office, led then by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, ruled that New Ways Ministry fundamentally opposes Catholic teaching, and confuses the faithful, and that Sr. Jeannine and a priest colleague are forbidden from ministering to LGBT Catholics." Francis has brought them in from the cold. Dreher continues:
Legalistic conservative Catholics, perhaps desperate to preserve their position, can say that with this Francis is not changing doctrine. And they are right — for now, at least. But that is an awfully thin reed on which to hang one’s hopes. All that doctrine written down on paper doesn’t mean much if the Church and its pastors don’t live by it. Francis is teaching as much by what he doesn’t say as by what he does. I just don’t see how one can get around the fact that the Roman pontiff is praising the defiance of church teaching by a progressive ministry — a ministry that just over twenty years ago was suppressed by the Vatican for that very defiance. I would not be surprised if Francis attempts to overturn Catholic teaching about homosexuality, thus provoking a schism.
But it is not only the Catholic Church. The same is happening or has already happened in other churches and sects, most often under the banner of "tolerance" and "pity."
“Vice is a monster of so frightful mien
As to be hated needs but to be seen;
Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face,
We first endure, then pity, then embrace.”
― Alexander Pope
If – perhaps it's more appropriate to say when - you catch the Omicron variant, it will likely seem like a bad cold, or perhaps a mild one. Or you may be asymptomatic. Vaccinations and acquired immunity from past infections mean that this ongoing Omicron wave is going to feel like a bad flu season.And we have never spent winters locked in our houses, terrified of interacting with people for fear of catching the flu.So what is so special about Omicron?It's hardly surprising that many people, two years into this pandemic, are still operating on the psychological equivalent of DefCon 1.The world has endured something that at the outset was frightening and traumatic. The first four variants were deadly. Initially, we had no viable treatments or vaccines.But we do now, and a COVID death rate that has fallen dramatically from where it was in 2020 and early 2021 reflects that.The trouble is that much of the mainstream media coverage of the current wave doesn't reflect that.
Well, they want us to scared all the time.
And Now For Something Completely Different:
- "Medieval warhorses were actually less than 5ft high and no bigger than modern-day ponies, study finds"--Daily Mail. The article explains:
The size of a horse is measured in an old-fashioned unit of length known as the hand — which today has been standardised such that one hand is equal to four inches.Height measurements for horses (and other members of the equine family) are taken from the ground to the top of the 'withers', the ridge between the shoulder blades.For an equine to be considered a horse, it must be at least 14.2 hands (4' 10") tall.The researchers found that horses of 15–16 hands (5'–5' 4") tall — the size of modern racehorses and showjumpers — were 'very rare indeed', even in royal stables.Instead, the chargers of English knights were often less than 14.2 hands tall — meaning that, today, they would be classified as ponies, not as horses.This is a far cry from the 17–18 hands (5' 8" – 6') tall beasts commonly used to play medieval warhorses in period dramas.
Of course, the heavy suits of plate armor that most people erroneously associate with the Medieval period were actually products of the Renaissance, and so it is not until the Renaissance that there would have been the need to breed large horses. On this point, the article relates:
According to the researchers, the tallest known horse from the Norman period (1066 –1075 AD) would have stood at only 15 hands (5 feet) tall. Its remains were excavated at Trowbridge Castle in Wiltshire.
In the following period, the 'High Middles Ages' (1200–1350 AD), domesticated horses began to reach heights of 16 hands (5 feet 4 inches) tall.
It would not be until the post-medieval period (1500–1650 AD) that the average size of English warhorses increased to match that of modern-day draft animals.
- "Sailor in Santa Monica Bay Led by Dolphins to Woman Stranded Miles From Shore, Saves Her Life"--The Epoch Times. From the article:
The Marina del Rey resident, who just completed his American Sailing Association course, rendezvoused at 9:30 a.m. with three friends at the dock—where he primed them in man-overboard rescue protocol before setting sail. At about 11:30, the voyagers on the bay spotted a pod of dolphins off their starboard.
“We got excited, took a bunch of pictures … and once the dolphins went toward the west of the boat, that’s when I saw this hand,” Koz told The Epoch Times. “I wasn’t even sure, I just thought it was a hand.
“I definitely knew something was wrong.”
Koz turned to intercept the stranded swimmer, who was barely-conscious, struggling to keep her head above water, but did not want to strike her with the boat. “I tried to pass by her, possibly within 15 feet from her,” he recalled. A female crewmember threw a lifeline as they passed her and made a figure-eight to perform a second pass.
“On the second attempt, I threw another [buoy] towards her, because she couldn’t hold onto the first one,” Koz said. “The second one has a 70-feet cord or line attached to it.” The swimmer managed to take hold of it but could barely move and appeared to be totally exhausted.
And there is this:
Koz also credits the woman’s mental fortitude for her survival: “I used to train with this former U.S. Navy SEAL, and one of the first things I learned from them was that: the body can go on almost forever; it’s the mind that gives up.”
- "Nazi archive of Freemasonry at Polish university library containing 80,000 items amassed by Heinrich Himmler could shed light on the secret society, researchers say"--Daily Mail. The items and documents date from the 17th century to the pre-World War II period when the Nazis outlawed Freemasonry and confiscated and seized the documents and things and imprisoned or killed members.
The collection was put together under the orders of top Nazi henchman and SS chief Heinrich Himmler and is composed of many smaller archives from European Masonic lodges that were seized by the Nazis.
It is seen by researchers as a precious repository of the history of the day-to-day activities of lodges across Europe, ranging from the menus for celebrations to educational texts.
Fine prints, copies of speeches and membership lists of Masonic lodges in Germany and beyond feature in the archive. Some documents still bear Nazi stamps.
'The Nazis hated the Freemasons,' Andrzej Karpowicz, who managed the collection for three decades, told AFP.
Nazi ideology, he said, was inherently 'anti-Masonic' because of its anti-intellectual, anti-elite tendencies.
The library puts some select items on show, including the first edition of the earliest Masonic constitution written in 1723, six years after the first lodge was created in England.
'It's one of our proudest possessions,' Grazynska said.
The oldest documents in the collection are prints from the 17th century relating to the Rosicrucians - an esoteric spiritual movement seen as a precursor to the Freemasons whose symbol was a crucifix with a rose at its centre.
- "Drought did NOT spark the collapse of the Maya because the ancient civilisation had more than 50 hardy plants they could eat during the 9th century, new study claims"--Daily Mail. Drought and resource depletion have long been touted as the cause of the Maya collapse. The authors of the study don't have an answer as to what caused the collapse but suggest social and economic upheaval played a role.
- "Giant dying star explodes as scientists watch in real time — a first for astronomy"--CNN. The red giant that exploded is located in the NGC 5731 galaxy about 120 million light-years away from Earth. This is the first time that scientist have viewed the supernova process from just before it occurs and through the explosion.