Dana Milbank is a deliberately deceptive liar.

When reading “Rules for Radicals” by Alinsky it is important to notice the power of ridicule.

“Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.” There is no defense. It’s irrational. It’s infuriating. It also works as a key pressure point to force the enemy into concessions. Saul D. Alinsky

Of course I think that Saul is wrong, I believe that explaining why someone’s uninformed and poor attempt at ridicule is uninformed and out of touch can in fact be a defense from ridicule.

Dana starts off strong with an exaggeration:

The days are growing colder, and millions of American hunters will soon pursue a time-honored tradition. They will load their automatic weapons with armor-piercing bullets, strap on silencers, head off to the picnic grounds on nearby public lakes — and start shooting.

If you can’t tell the difference between “automatic weapons” and “semi-automatic firearms” you probably don’t deserve the editorial space wasted on such blathering. And many ecologically minded hunters are in fact using “armor piercing bullets” to hunt with, because the Federal definition of “armor piercing” includes all copper bullets, which are required in some areas to protect carrion feeder birds such as the California Condor. Of course if Dana knew any of this, he doesn’t care because he has an agenda to push!

But maybe, just maybe Dana actually tried to do some homework, and huzzah, came up with this list!

 Among these recreational enhancements:

* Allowing people to bring assault guns and other weapons through jurisdictions where they are banned.

* Rolling back decades-old regulations on the use of silencers.

* Protecting the use of armor-piercing bullets.

* Easing importation of foreign-made assault rifles.
* Protecting the practice of baiting birds with grain as they migrate and then mowing them down.

Oh…swing and a miss Dana.

First, “assault gun” isn’t a legal term, nor does it describe any sort of actual firearm.

Secondly, the Firearm Owners Protection Act already provides protections for citizens bringing firearms through jurisdictions, this legislation is needed because places like New York City think Federal law just doesn’t apply to them.

Third, the “decades-old regulations on the use of silencers” is in fact nothing of the sort, as suppressors have been perfectly legal to use for decades only requiring an onerous tax stamp.

Fourth “easing importation of foreign-made assault rifles” is also a lie, because an “assault rifle” is legally defined as a select fire weapon, none of which are allowed to be imported due to the 1986 FOPA which restricted the importation of machine guns (if it ain’t a machine gun, it ain’t an assault rifle).

And finally “protecting the practice of baiting birds with grain as they migrate and then mowing them down” is a deliberate lie to allow hunters to set up blinds in harvested fields without being fined for leftover grain being on the ground.

So yeah, Dana strikes out on EVERY SINGLE POINT that he brings up. It must be because he has never hunted, never used a firearm in competition, and has no clue that armor piercing bullets for rifles have always been legal, and the biggest supplier to American shooters has historically been…the US Federal Government. 30-06 AP rounds were preferred by many match shooters because they did better at long range than M2 ball, and were easier to get than M72 match ball… Even surplussed M855 bullets are still commonly found on the market, as they are perfectly adequate for 200 yard reduced distance High Power matches.

So yes, there are lots of legitimate reasons to have a semi-automatic rifle that fires armor piercing bullets. Dana’s idiotic implication that only “hunting” is the proper use for a firearm shows exactly how ignorant, uninformed, and unwilling to be educated he is.

But what else would you expect from a “radical”?

If you want to read Dana’s drivel in its entirety, http://journalstar.com/opinion/columnists/dana-milbank-nra-dead-wrong-on-recreation/article_07388cba-b2b2-5b36-ad4d-0f1e976bdad9.html  However it will only serve to show you exactly how deceptive, low, and unscrupulous he is to deliberately push lies and falsehoods in order to advance his preferred political cause. His argument is a fallacy, and he is in fact a morally bankrupt person for advancing it.

Now, maybe Dana or some other person will take umbrage at my honesty in describing Dana as he is, a deliberate liar. If Dana is a journalist, then he is either incompetent beyond employment, or he in fact deliberately chose to ignore relevant facts to advance an agenda. I’m sure a third option exists, but I can’t think of one where Dana is an innocent dupe without falling into the first two options. There are two ways to lie, one is to tell a blatant falsehood, and the second is to withhold truth, and by his own words under his own byline Dana Milbank has done both.

“Oh it’s just satire!” May be an acceptable defense in the court of law, but if his words are deliberate satire they are then deliberate insults to millions of Americans. Imagine how low of a moral character you must be to defend your honesty with the explanation that you only did it to be deliberately insulting.

Then again, maybe Dana truly is as incompetent as his words make him out to be, and maybe he has an employer with a certain political bent who isn’t interested in researched fact, only satirical hyperbole. Maybe Dana is just preaching to the choir, or attempting to, “Oh look at all the dumb hicks in flyover country killing animals with firearms!”

Newsflash to Dana, you want Trump? Cause that’s how you got Trump.

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Where does your “skill stack” drop off?

If you look at any human activity you will find a “skill stack” involved from start to finish. For example, turning iron ore into a tool involves mining, smelting, forging, and each of those steps involves a set of skills largely unrelated to the others in the chain.

If you look at your survival skills, look at the activity of “eating” and that traces back to “cooking” and that to “gathering ingredients”, “using heat energy” and “using cookware” which all have their own skills. “Gathering ingredients” can be split into “buying”, “growing”, and “hunting” and hunting can be broken down into “harvesting” and “processing” the animal.

In short, most of us never go true “field to fork” for everything we eat. Most of us aren’t mining salt or gathering it from ocean water in order to season our meals, and most of us aren’t growing wheat to turn into flour to bake our own hot dog buns. In short, if we were to be required to master all the skills necessary to maintain our current level of civilization and comfort, we’d fail miserably.

This might be a good way for someone to do a self assessment of where they might want to invest some time and energy actually training on a new skill. Simply owning a book, and even reading a book, isn’t enough to translate “knowledge” into “useful skill.” Although having a book, and reading it, is a great first step towards learning a skill.

The saying that “you can’t do it all” is true from a practical perspective. Hence the reason why civilization is built around trade and exchange of goods and labor. If you have a “tribe” looking at the gaps in your tribe skill set might be a good way to identify a different person or tribe that you’ll want to exchange goods or labor with at some point in the future if necessary. It’s something to think about anyways.

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What did you prep that you no longer need, or want?

In my stash of random junk is a “Rhodesian Rig” in coyote tan. Or maybe it’s 499 Tan, or some variation of “flat dark earth” because I’m never actually sure of these things as all sorts of tacticool colors exist for various reasons (mainly marketing). I’m never really going to use that chest rig, but I got it on an internet special for like five bucks. It’s nylon, it holds stuff, but seriously what the heck am I going to actually use it for?

Obviously the doomsday scenario of “The End Of The World As We Know It” that gets a lot of new preppers started in the mindset still hasn’t happened. The “No Free Wacos!” crowd still hasn’t found a line in the sand that they aren’t willing to back away from, and the Occupy/BLM/AntiFA Crtl-Left idjits aren’t protesting in my neck of the woods. In fact, the Ctrl-Left is focusing only on dense urban areas where they think they’ll have the tacit support of the majority of the populace.

So face colander fantasies aside, that chest rig is functionally useless. Unless I get a chance to go play OPFOR Rambo (highly unlikely) wearing “non-attributable” gear.

Hell, all my “fighting rifles” now aren’t even fighting rifles, they are all service rifles for shooting High Power. The Tactical Timmy crowd would laugh at me if I showed up for a carbine class with a 20″ heavy barrel. But I’ve got very little use for an M4 style carbine, not that I don’t know how to use one. Trust me me or not, I could give classes on how to run an M4 from CQB to SDM like so many other former military folks who spent time kicking in doors and pulling triggers (having all the right schools can give an impressive pedigree). But somewhere along the way that sort of activity got reclassified in my mind from “cool fun” to “actual work.”

Because it sucks to do it right part time if you aren’t doing it all the time. Your muscles get tired, the body armor you are wearing starts dragging you down, and even though you go through the training better than the younger guys because you focus on getting the basics right, they get to go out and drink all night putting dollars in stripper thongs while you go home to pop some more Ranger candy and be a husband and father. Hard to act like you are invincible when you have a family on the line, because you know exactly who you would lay down your life to save if it came to something.

Some of the best gunfighters I’ve ever known are laid to rest in cemeteries across the United States. Some by their own hand. Some from traffic accidents.

If you are going to commit to the warrior lifestyle, and train like your life depends on it, by all means do so. But eventually the time will come when you realize that you are getting older, that being a one man killing machine isn’t making you any happier, and that the soft skills of knowing people, sharing knowledge and skills, and spending time on things that are much more likely to matter in higher probability disasters than a full on colander face scenario becomes a much higher priority in your life.

I still shoot, and encourage others to train as they can, however that ends up looking. But how many upper class young Jewish men, trained in the dueling clubs of Europe, ended up as ash? Simply being a warrior of your time doesn’t give you any special advantage in recognizing a true political threat. The ones who had the clarity of vision and understanding to leave… well they were lucky if they found a nation that would accept them. As the “straight, white, male” becomes ever the more popular scapegoat I think back to history, and how the Jews were the ever more popular scapegoat. Don’t get me wrong, it won’t come to pogroms because straight white men still vote, and still have serious economic impact. Marginalizing straight white men is good for scoring political points with the Ctrl-Left, but not so good at securing political victory at the polls (which is one of the things conspicuously absent from a recently published book titled “What Happened”).

But, there is room to improve. No matter how good you are. There is also time to read bed time stories, and watch your sons giggle as you describe how the elephant got its trunk from having its nose pulled in a tug of war with crocodile on the banks of the great grey-green greasy Limpopo river, surrounded by fever trees…

Who knows, maybe in a few years one of my boys will take that old Rhodesian Rig and decide that Airsoft is a great hobby. I’m sure not going to need it any time soon.

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Status of the Smartphones

The most popular operating system in the world today, is Android. There were at last count over 2 billion Android devices running loose across the face of the planet. That beats out Microsoft and Apple, combined. The reason for this is that Android ships on really cheap devices into the developing world, where Apple and Microsoft focus on keeping some market advantage in the developed world. Apple iOS is still the most popular mobile device OS in the US and Canada, and Microsoft the most popular OS in many parts of Europe, and Russia.

But…Microsoft got squeezed out of the smartphone market. If you bought a Windows phone, and like the windows phone, what are you going to do to replace your Windows phone when the one you have dies? Especially if you aren’t a fan of Android or Apple? Not much, there aren’t a lot of alternatives to Android or Apple.

Blackberry is done.
Nokia threw in the towel on Symbian OS.
There is nothing else on the market with enough share to matter.

What I recommend…is buy a Microsoft Lumia now while they are still on the market to kick the can down the road for another few years, maybe hope that Microsoft will release the “Surface Phone” in 2019 http://www.windowslatest.com/2017/08/13/surface-phone-release-date-postponed/ . But if Microsoft leaves the smartphone market entirely, your choices are going to be some flavor of Android..or Apple.

If you are ok with a little tech work I recommend you buy a used smartphone that can install a custom Android ROM. There are a lot of forks off of the old Cyanogenmod OS, such as Lineage OS which is pretty nice. Shop around for a used device on the supported device list and follow the directions, boom, now you have a smartphone with all the benefits of Android, but not a whole lot of the corporate branding from the likes of LG or Samsung.

If you buy into the whole corporate culture that is Apple, well, you’ll spend a lot of money to do so but you also get the best customer service and support in the industry. Seriously, the Apple care plan is a pretty sweet deal if you have the disposable income to purchase it.

But still, I’m a cheap guy who buys refurbished laptops and surplus server parts to build workstations, so obviously I’m not rocking an iPhone. Even though it seems like Google is more “Gulag” than “don’t be evil” it’s the world we live in, and Lineage OS is pretty sweet.

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Is another round of war inevitable?

I’ve had an ongoing conversation with a friend that has lasted for several years. It starts with the following premise and two questions:

1: Assume that there exists a political group within the United States similar to the Communist revolutions in Russia and China.
2: Based on that assumption, what steps would that political group take to advance their agenda?
3: What would be the logical sequence of steps needed for that political group to be most effective?

Several years back we agreed that this would require an increasing polarization of American politics in order to “radicalize the center” (by making being a centrist a radical position to take) and create “political tribes” that have no access to “political uniters” which are centrists. We also thought that there would need to be some sort of symbolic victory at some point to catalyze the movement, similar to a Reichstag Fire, that would allow some sort of crackdown on a political scapegoat. We also decided that if a convenient political scapegoat wasn’t handy, it would be necessary to create one.

Now all of this was just to guys talking “what ifs” over beers and cigars, but what we didn’t realize at the time is that this exact scenario was already in place in the Ukraine conflict.

1. There existed within the Ukraine a large enough political group to desire re-unification with Russia.
2. The group colluded with Russian government agencies to set conditions into place.
3. The Russians created a Ukrainian Boogeyman in the form of neo-Nazis who, if just given an inch, would march on Moscow.

Now, in 2017 all of this is clear in hindsight, and it looks like the same playbook is happening in the US.

1.There exists within the US a large group of radicals on the Left who desire a socialist/communist style of government.
2. The anti-Capitalist groups changed identity from “Occupy Wall Street” to “AntiFa” as the political target changed from “capitalism” to “Donald Trump.”
3. The rise of the increasing use of the charge “Nazi” and “Nazi-Sympathizer” required that an increase in coverage of the pitifully small Neo-Nazi movement be radically increased in order to seem a real threat. This is the same as murders in the US half halved since the peak in 1992, but increased reporting makes it seem much more prevalent.

Maybe our predictions were so vague that they can be morphed like a Fortune Teller’s prediction to fit any circumstance, but then again maybe not. I recently read a piece in Foreign Affairs which touched on this very subject of how we seem to be on a political slide into conflict.

The sobering conclusion is that liberals who think they can safely abandon humanist culture for the high ground of citizen politics will be overrun by the left’s identitarians and their intersectional allies. Politics will not save us from identity politics because politics can never save us, however inescapable and indispensable it may be. To pursue a truly shared vision of justice, humans require a deeper common ground. Yet even for hostile critics of liberalism—especially Christian or secular humanists on the right—now is not the time to give in to schadenfreude. Today’s deep crisis may have been inevitable. It may augur some healthy or inspiring changes. But if liberalism does collapse or shrivel up, history strongly suggests that the restoration of Western social order on a different foundation will require another great cycle of war.

https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/united-states/2017-08-29/americas-liberal-logjam

The question that the author of that piece doesn’t ask, is whether or not war is the desired outcome. The cry of “REVOLUTION!” is still strong on the radical left, and maybe, just maybe, we should believe them when they say they are working to make it happen.

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Thoughts on Hurricane Harvey

I’ve seen some nice meme’s about someone having three guns, seventeen magazines, a bottle of water and a granola bar with the words, “Gun person, totally ready for Harvey.” And it’s funny because you can’t eat a gun, can’t drink ammo, and it’s a chuckle all around. However, I think the idea of what is considered “prepared” needs to have a closer look.

One of the lessons from natural disasters in America is that “most people are good and helpful people” is a historically true statement. If something bad happens, to everyone in some area, through no fault of their own, generally outside aid comes in rapidly and neighbors help neighbors.

Compare and contrast this to a “man made disaster” like the Watts Riots, or Rodney King Riots, and you’ll see that the “most people are good and helpful people” goes right out the window.

Why?

Simply put, anger and fear. Once a hurricane has blown its load, what is there left to fear? Who is there to be angry with? Nothing to fear, no one to be angry with (although some idjit protesters were angry enough with Trump to block highways and slow the relief effort, which is both petty and petulant).

If you have a “prepper cache” and there is a natural disaster, the odds of a “golden horde” problem are virtually nil, and you gain all sorts of credibility with your “local tribe” by helping out. Yes there will be looters, but that will be a very small minority, and they will be more interested in high value, easily transported items than large containers of dry food.

Contrast that with a race riot, where there isn’t a lack of food, water, medicine, or energy, there is no benefit at all for you to open up your stocks to help people out. They simply don’t need it in that situation. They may burn your house, destroy your preps, and kill your family. In which case having three guns and a bunch of ammo is probably not a bad thing to have if you live in an area where race riots might happen. The politically incorrect but historically accurate thing to say here is that we haven’t had a whole lot of White, Asian, or Hispanic riots in America in recent memory, so if you find yourself in a black majority urban area, your risk level is probably higher than folks who live in the suburbs, or out in the rural areas of the nation. Now I’d also like to point out that race riots (or any riots) are in fact a very rare thing, despite the massive reporting on them that gives the impression that there is a danger of an “imminent race war” in America. The facts don’t support an imminent race war, but the facts also say that race riots happen in America. Facts don’t have to be politically correct to be factual, and anything involving race and facts will likely piss off a Leftist to the point where you get called a racist.

But, this is the world we live in. Hurricanes cause massively more damage than race riots, and are much more predictable in that they happen every year. If you have more than one gun for every adult member of your household, and several hundred rounds for each at any given time, it might be prudent to focus on the other aspects of being prepared.

Comments are open.

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Service Rifle Optic: Vortex Crossfire 1-4×24

I picked up a Vortex Crossfire II 1-4×24 optic to put on top of an AR14A4 style rifle to shoot NRA/CMP Service Rifle across the course (XTC) matches. I put it in a Vortex Cantilever mount and slapped it on the rifle. Pulled out a spare 1907 style sling and took it to a match. I shot poorly, but what the heck, it was my first match in three years. Then again, I shot better than the junior who is just getting into the sport, so there is something nice about not being last.

The optic is nice. The clicks are light but audible, and there doesn’t seem to be any difference in click count between standard half minute sights and the crossfire. After the match it was easy to adjust the knobs to zero them, and the construction makes the option of larger aftermarket knobs a reality (although I have no idea if anyone will make aftermarket knobs, or if replacement knobs for a Viper PST will work).

The bad, having less than a week to get comfortable with the shooting positions made getting a good position difficult. I’d recommend setting it up so you can shoot “nose to charging handle” just so you can always get a consistent head placement by feel, as I found myself struggling to stay in the “eye box” when I transitioned into sitting and prone since my head fell differently on the stock.

All in all, it’s probably not what the pros are shooting. However it isn’t going to let you down either. Every shot that didn’t go perfectly was on me, not my equipment (Criterion Barrel, 75gr BTHP hand load, Giessele trigger, A2 buttstock, RR freefloat tube, Anderson lower reciever, can’t remember who made the upper receiver).

One added benefit from the optic that I didn’t anticipate is that it very clearly magnifies your mistakes. Any wobble, shoulder push, milking of the pistol grip, or trigger jerk is immediately apparent. That feedback alone should help me become a better service rifle shooter. I’ve been spoiled by an air rifle trigger for too long.

I didn’t use the illuminated dot in the center of the reticle, I thought it might be nice to distinguish from the black of the aiming bull, but with the light in August the red dot center was unnecessary.

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