Resist!

The fashion police.

First they came for mens cargo shorts! https://www.buzzfeed.com/pablovaldivia/we-need-to-talk-about-cargo-shorts?utm_term=.fdBXBPXMK#.usDgRdgGD and http://www.businessinsider.de/why-no-man-should-wear-cargo-shorts-2016-3?r=US&IR=T and http://www.complex.com/style/2015/05/things-adults-should-stop-wearing/cargo-shorts

Then they came for flip flops! http://www.esquire.com/style/mens-fashion/a55920/flip-flops-worst-shoes-for-men/ and http://www.slate.com/articles/life/a_fine_whine/2013/07/against_flip_flops_put_a_shoe_on_you_slob.html and http://www.gq.com/story/where-you-can-and-cant-wear-flip-flops

Now…does anyone find it ironic that the “fashion police” are compaining about highly functional clothing? First up, the very same buzzfeed that hated on men wearing cargo shorts! https://www.buzzfeed.com/sophiegadd/we-need-to-talk-about-fake-pockets-on-womens-clothes?utm_term=.noKdPNd9p#.pin8b58gd but not to be left out is the ever opinionated The Atlantic https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2014/09/the-gender-politics-of-pockets/380935/ and

And we can’t forget that the plight of female foot comfort in the face of fashion has been commented on ad nauseum (short version, fashion conscious women hurt themselves to look good). http://www.npr.org/2015/11/03/453209136/if-the-shoe-fits-the-rise-of-the-stylish-comfort-shoe or https://roomfordebate.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/10/08/why-we-love-the-shoes-that-hurt-us/

But you know how to solve those problems with women’s fashion? You know not being able to store things and being forced to carry an external purse while wearing uncomfortable footwear? Some cargo shorts and some flip flops. Sure you’ll look like you don’t care about fashion, but if you really want to be a self actualized individual then you really have no business caring about fashion anyway.

But…no matter the article of clothing eventually it will become “fashionized” and “trendy” at some point. Remember grunge? http://www.cracked.com/blog/5-things-only-poor-people-understand-about-poverty/http://www.cracked.com/blog/5-things-only-poor-people-understand-about-poverty/ and seriously why did “hipsters” make thrift store shopping so trendy? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thrift_store_chic

So I’m not too worried, as long as I’ve got pockets to put stuff in and comfortable feet (life is way too short for uncomfortable shoes) I’ll be a happy individual. Although I do need a new suit so I can start interviewing for jobs in a few years….

 

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Tech Tip, Win10 drivers

If you update some old hardware to Windows 10, and you can’t find Win 10 drivers for your old hardware, Win7 drivers from the official vendor will work, at least for HP download and isntall via the .exe files used for HP driver installation.

Don’t download skeezy drivers from less than reputable sites to get your devices running if you can help it at all.

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New Long Range Sniper Confirmed Kill, open source assessment.

So now three of the top five long distance confirmed kill shots by snipers are three Canadians, one Brit and one US. 4 of the 5 have been named. Two of the five are from Princess Patricia’s Light Infantry, which is quite honestly some of the finest LRRS personnel I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. There are only three rifles on the top five, the McMillan TAC-50 which holds positions 1, 3, and 4. The 338 Lapua Magnum which takes the #2 spot, and rounding out the #5 spot is the Barrett M82. So that’s 4 fifty cals, and one 338 Lapua, so not too shabby for old John Moses Browning.

For the record, the current once in a career shot by the as yet unnamed Canadian is 3,540 meters. For clarity, that is 2.199 miles distance. https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/canadian-elite-special-forces-sniper-sets-record-breaking-kill-shot-in-iraq/article35415651/

The rifle, a McMillan TAC-50. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McMillan_Tac-50

The optic, a Schmidt & Bender PMII 5-25×56 with mil/mil adjustments. This gives 26 milliradians of elevation adjustment. http://www.schmidtundbender.de/en/products/police-and-military-forces/5-25×56-pm-iilp.html

The ammo. Well, this is where I get to make an educated guess…. My guess is that it was a 756 gr Armor Piercing Incendiary manufactured by General Dynamic Canada as part of their 12.7mm “Sniper Elite” lineup. http://www.gd-otscanada.com/product/12-7mm-sniper-elite/  although it is possible that a 750gr Hornady Amax bullet could have been used as well.

Calculating the shot for the 750gr Amax at 2815 fps from the muzzle, it looks like 62 mils of drop to get to 3,450 meters. It also looks like even the 750 Amax with a VLD profile went subsonic at 2,400 meters. For the record, I used 31 degrees C, 1005 mb air pressure, and 804 feet above sea level to input the environmental factors to JBM Ballistic to get the solution.

1 mil is 1 meter at 1,000 meters, so 1 mil is 3.5 meters at 3,540 meters. Even using the 26 mils on the scope (assuming an offset base to use all of them) that leaves only 13 more mils from the PMII P4L reticle for a total of 39 mils of drop. So where did the extra 23 mils of drop come from? Well, if we assume that “high rise” that the sniper took the shot from was obviously an elevated position, and to correct for an angled shot you multiply the straight line to target distance by the cosine of the angle to the ground. But for a shot that long, the angle would be very small, therefore the cosine factor would be very small, so that doesn’t get us to the drop necessary with the equipment at hand.

What that means, gentle reader, is that this is quite literally an impossible shot for someone to make on their own. It is clear that our anonymous Canadian sniper wasn’t the real hero of the day, it was his spotter, who talked him on to target. The Sniper wasn’t even looking at the target when he pulled the trigger. He was looking at the top of a building, or some other landmark to aim that rifle high enough to lob that big bullet onto the bad guys.

The spotter had to tell the sniper to max out the elevation on that Tac-50, then know where that would get the bullet to, then pick a feature that he could talk the sniper onto so that his hold over would get the bullet to where it needed to be, and he had to do it in by being prepared with a very detailed range card so that he could do that sort of math on the fly.

So, here’s to you anonymous Canadian Special Forces Spotter, you did a helluva job. The world will not remember you because you didn’t pull the trigger, but damn, you made the worlds longest confirmed kill happen. Good on ya.

Edit, there is some confustion about whether this was a 3,450 meter shot or a 3,540 meter shot, a difference of 90 meters. I think that it is possible both numbers are correct. CosX times straight line distance equals calculated distance for the shot. If we assume that 3540 is the straight line distance, and 3450 is the corrected distance, then 3450/3540 = 0.9745762711864407 which puts the angle of the shot at 12.9 degrees, and the shooter at 793 meters (2600 feet) above the target. Given that the shot was taken from a “high rise” this combined with a downhill slope, is in the realm of possibility.

Alternately, the transposition of two numbers could just be a typo.

SniperShot1

And this one:

SniperShot2

Most likely a typo though.

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A possible air war with Russia in Syria

Anyone remember that line from “The Hunt for Red October” where the US Skipper says, “This will get out of control.”? I do, and it is fitting now that the downing of a Syrian Su-22 by an F/A-18E Super Hornet last week Russia has publicly stated that they will treat US and British aircraft west of the Euphrates river as “hostile.”

Statement by the ministry of defense of Russia on the fact that the Syrian air force SU-22 has been sbitiya in a non-Syrian air force.

” June 18, 2017 American Fighter F-18 a from the international coalition air-to-Air Air Force was shot down by the Syrian air force SU-22, a military mission to support the government forces leading the attack against ISIS terrorists in the area of sir (40 kilometers southwest) Raqqah).

As a result of the impact, the Syrian plane was destroyed. The Syrian air force pilot ejected over the area that controlled ISIS terrorists, his fate is unknown.

The destruction of the Syrian air force by American aircraft in Syrian airspace is a cynical violation of the sovereignty of the Syrian Arab Republic

The repeated fighting of the United States of America under the cover of “Counter-terrorism” against the legitimate armed forces of a member state is a flagrant violation of international law and in fact military aggression against the Syrian Arab Republic.

Moreover, in Syrian airspace, the tasks of Russian code were carried out at this time. However, the coalition forces did not use the existing channel of communication between the air air force base (Qatar) and the Airbase Airbase to prevent incidents in Syrian airspace.

We view the actions of the American command as a deliberate failure to comply with its obligations under the memorandum on the prevention of incidents and aviation security during Syrian operations of 20 October 2015

The Ministry of defence of the Russian Federation, since 19 June, has ceased to interact with the American side within the framework of the memorandum on the prevention of incidents and aviation security during operations in Syria and calls for a thorough investigation by the American command with information on its results and

In the areas of Russian aviation in the sky, all air facilities, including aircraft and unmanned vehicles of the international coalition, found west of r. The Euphrates will be escorted by Russian air and air defence aircraft as air assets “.

And this was release by the Russian Ministry of Defence…via facebook. https://www.facebook.com/1492252324350852/photos/a.1492313031011448.1073741828.1492252324350852/1943173689258711/?type=3&theater

Compare and contrast that with statements by Vladimir Putin: https://www.rferl.org/a/putin-set-for-annual-question-answer-marathon-/28553707.html

At the same time, Putin said Moscow was ready to cooperate with the United States on issues such as preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, combating international terrorism, and resolving the conflicts in eastern Ukraine and Syria.

This is the classic Russian double speak of having different state level actors release contradictory statements so that Russia can “own both sides of the argument” depending on which statement is more advantageous in the future.

The weird thing about Russia is that until they decide which statement is “truthier” they will treat both statements as true and act accordingly. This can confuse the hell out of Americans who are used to plain talk and clear communication. Russians just don’t work that way, it is said that their national sport is chess which is a game of misdirection in order to gain positional advantage to achieve checkmate, and ours is baseball which is a much more overt contest of skill and athletic prowess. So think of these two statements as the two pieces of the board that a pawn could attack, and until Putin decides which diagonal to attack on, the pawn will simply maintain position waiting for a chance to attack or move forward to place two more positions in peril.

The US, not used to playing chess with international geo-politics, is now lead by Trump. This is a very transparent and unambiguous “style of chess” that the Russians are very used to dealing with (Bush Jr. was “distracted” so the Russians were ok to do what they did in Georgia, and Obama was “weak” so they were ok to do what they did in Ukraine). One of the best tactics in chess is to give your opponent so many options that they can’t come up with a coherent strategy, but I don’t think this will necessarily work with Trump.

Why? Because SecDef Mattis is, for lack of any more delicate description, very good at cutting through the bullshit. Trump may not be the chess player that Putin is, but he’s got the support of the DOD to ensure that any Russian aggression against US and British aircraft doing counter ISIS missions aren’t easy targets. What Trump doesn’t have is support from the State Department, and while normally this isn’t a huge issue it could prove to be a disadvantage here. Pulling the “D” out of “DIME” (elements of national power; Diplomatic, Information, Military, Economic) is choosing to fight with only 75% strength so to speak.

However, the State Department didn’t prove particularly useful to countering Russian IO or Diplomatic maneuvering during the Obama administration, so keeping the weaker player on the bench might not be a bad move for the Trump administration.

Comments are open.

 

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The worst possible self defense habits…are statistically successful?

I like data, but this time a five year old article caught my eye because evidently someone else likes data: http://gunssavelives.net/self-defense/analysis-of-five-years-of-armed-encounters-with-data-tables/

If you’ve been on the “gunternet” you’ve probably heard all the conventional wisdom about self defense with a firearm. You should always carry with a round in the chamber. You should never rely on a weapon stored “off body.” And you should practice, practice, practice to draw and shoot in one fluid motion so you don’t get shanked by a guy doing the 21 foot bum rush. Failure to observe ANY of these critical tactics will most assuredly get you killed on the streets.

How does that conventional wisdom stack up to actual data? Not well actually.

 the majority of incidents (52%) took place in the home. Next most common locale (32%) was in a business. Incidents took place in public places in 9% of reports and 7% occurred in or around vehicles.

That makes sense, people are generally at work or at home. The random concealed carrier stopping a mall shooting can and will happen, but the odds say that if you need to use your firearm, it’s because someone is looking to do bad things in your home or workplace. The odds of getting killed “on the streets” are actually pretty low.

Overall, shots were fired by the defender in 72% of incidents. The average and median number of shots fired was 2. When more than 2 shots were fired, it generally appeared that the defender’s initial response was to fire until empty. It appears that revolver shooters are more likely to empty their guns than autoloader shooters. At least one assailant was killed in 34% of all incidents. At least one assailant was wounded in an additional 29% of all incidents. Of the incidents where shots are fired by a defender, at least one assailant is killed in 53% of those incidents.

The conventional wisdom seems to be that if you don’t carry a high cap 9mm you’ll get killed in the streets. Remember about how “the streets” wasn’t the most likely place to need a gun to defend yourself or others?

The firearm was carried on the body of the defender in only 20% of incidents. In 80% of cases, the firearm was obtained from a place of storage, frequently in another room.

Wait, you mean that people with good security hygiene can actually hear someone trying to break into their home? Or notice when something is off in their workplace? And then have actual time to retrieve a stored firearm? I was informed that not carrying on my body 24/7 would result in immediate death “on the streets.”

Reloading was required in only 3 incidents. One of those involved killing an escaped lion with a .32 caliber revolver, which was eventually successful after 13 shots.

Lets not assume that a .32 caliber revolver is now a certified big game option, but it does serve to point out that all bullets are (eventually) deadly, and in over 99% of the cases studied here, a “combat reload” wasn’t necessary.

Multiple conspirators were involved in 36% of the incidents. However, there were no apparent cases of getaway drivers or lookouts acting as reinforcements for the criminal actor(s) once shooting starts. At the sound of gunfire, immediate flight was the most common response for drivers and lookouts.

When multiple conspirators were involved, the first tier was a two man action team. If another member was available, he was usually the driver of the getaway car and remained in the car. If a fourth conspirator was involved, he was stationed immediately outside the target location as a lookout for the police or other possible intervening parties. The outside conspirators do not generally appear to be armed. It does appear that the trend over the period has increased from one weapon in the action team to two weapons.

The largest group of violent criminal actors was 7, a group that committed serial home invasions in Rochester NY. An alert and prepared homeowner, who saw them invade an adjacent home, accessed his shotgun, and dispatched them (2 killed and 1 seriously wounded) when they broke in his door.

So encountering a group is unlikely, but if so even that old 1911 with a 7 shot magazine will literally give you a fighting chance as bad guys are generally not interested in being shot. Even that old 5 shot Chief’s Special, or Charter Arms 5 shot 38 are more than likely going to be enough for the actual defensive situations you may find yourself in (doesn’t hurt to have more, but the data doesn’t support “if you don’t have 15 in the stack you’ll get killed on the streatz!”

Incidents rarely occurred in reaction time (i.e., ¼ second increments). Most commonly, criminals acted in a shark-like fashion, slowly circling and alerting their intended victims. The defender(s) then had time to access even weapons that were stored in other rooms and bring them to bear.

But..but…TUELLER DRILL!!! Seriously I’ve been told that if you don’t carry in condition one and maintain a constant “condition yellow” you’ll get killed on the streetz! I’ve seen all sorts of gunternet personalities wax long and eloquent about how you need to be able to draw and fire a shot to beat the “Tueller Drill” time. Statistically, that’s as much BS as “duck and cover” was for actually doing anything in the event of an actual nuclear attack.

This methodology might be described as:
1. be aware,
2. be willing to fight,
3. have a weapon accessible,
4. be familiar enough with the weapon to employ it without fumbling,
5. when ready, communicate, both verbally and non-verbally, to the attacker that resistance will be given, and
6. if the attacker does not withdraw, counterattack without hesitation.

Wow, seems like pretty common sense stuff, right? And while these things ARE common sense they are also things you can avoid training on.

You NEED to be proficient at using your firearms. Period. End of story. What that means is being able to load, safely handle, shoot, unload and clear said firearms. Everything above that baseline is great, and I encourage people to attend every gun school they can afford, and even compete if they can. The Tueller Drill? Do it if it makes you feel better, but don’t insist that not doing so will get anyone “Ki11ed on dah streatz!”

You NEED to practice your awareness. This can be as simple as paying more attention to your surroundings, but it is also as simple as listening to your gut. I’ve cleared my personal home numerous times because my wife had a bad feeling, and never once have I found a bad guy lurking therein. But, ALWAYS listen to your gut. Just because she couldn’t verbalize why she felt uneasy doesn’t mean there wasn’t a change in the environment that triggered that unease.

You NEED to be able to shoot another human being or living creature (possibly escaped lion). If you have never killed anything before, it will be a significant emotional event unless you are a sociopath. I pray that you’ll never have to kill a human being, but if you have to, I hope that you can mentally prepare yourself before hand. If you hunt, or have slaughtered animals for food, you are better prepared than most because you’ve seen a living, breathing, being turn into a lifeless carcass.

Now if someone is a disciple of Cooper and can spout off all the “number” conditions for carry and all the “color” conditions for awareness, that’s great for them. Knowing a color code doesn’t make you any better at actually being more aware if you never actually practice being more aware. If you are not a disciple of Cooper (or Keith, or Ayoob, or Leatham, or Golob, etc) then there is no need to go out and find someone to mentor under.

Train for proficiency with the firearms you have. Statistically they are good enough to keep you alive. If this means you spend the money to have an actual expert give you training to get better, by all means spend the money.

Train for better awareness than you currently have. No need to go all zen and achive “zanshin” and “mushin” just put down the electronic distractions in public and keep your ears open at home. Just don’t hire Kato to randomly attack you like Inspector Clouseau did…

Now, what if the statistical odds don’t apply to you? Such as if you are a police officer or a person who is at risk for random attacks (like Republican lawmakers playing baseball)? Then DON’T listen to what I say, because that particular situation isn’t the statistical norm, now is it? Use a little common sense to make sure that your security is adequate to your personal risk level.

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A quick assessment of the James T. Hodgkinson attack

James T. Hodgkinson failed in his self assigned mission to assassinate Republican lawmakers. And while he is currently deceased, some forensic reconstruction of his mission planning can be gleaned from the open source reporting.

He possessed a valid Illinois state Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) permit, but due to all charges being dropped for domestic violence in 2006. The Lautenberg amendment would have removed his ability to possess or purchase firearms, but it is pretty clear that such an impediment wouldn’t stop him. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jun/14/virginia-shooting-suspect-james-t-hodgkinson-leftwing-activist 

It is clear that he did research to look up the annual Congressional Baseball Game, and knew that the Republicans would hold a practice session prior to that game. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2017/06/14/what-congressional-baseball-game/102842214/

He used an Alexandria, Virginia YMCA in order to maintain observation of his intended target area.  http://www.latimes.com/politics/washington/la-na-essential-washington-updates-for-weeks-alexandria-shooter-hung-out-1497476334-htmlstory.html

He spent six to eight weeks casing the target area from that YMCA: http://wtop.com/virginia/2017/06/was-gunman-ready-to-head-home-before-congressmans-shooting/

He had traditional recon products, including names of targets and photographs of the “engagement area.” http://www.bnd.com/news/local/article156645524.html

Now, for what we don’t know. We don’t know how he was financing himself. Credit cards, debit cards, cash? My guess is cash right now as we haven’t seen much in the way of forensic reconstruction of his travel from Belleville to Alexandria.

We don’t know if the shooting incident with a hunting rifle in March outside Belleville was practice, or his attempt at blowing off steam. https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/public-safety/law-enforcement-officials-identify-shooter-at-congressional-ballgame-as-illinois-man/2017/06/14/ba6439f4-510f-11e7-91eb-9611861a988f_story.html

We don’t know why he chose to not use the “hunting rifle” and instead chose an SKS variant. The hunting rifle would probably have been a better choice unless the “hunting rifle” in question was the SKS (although reports of police attempting to trace the SKS make it sound like a recent purchase).

My assessment…

Hodgkinson had an idea of what he wanted to do, but didn’t have a very clear picture of how to go about doing it but possessed enough intelligence to figure out a time and place where the people he hated were going to assemble. Then he spent months watching, and waiting, for his chance to kill them. He intentionally did not practice marksmanship as his run in with police in March back in Illinois made him cognizant of the fact that such activity would arouse police intervention. He probably also didn’t practice because he spent his days watching the baseball field for his chance.

Despite being handy enough with tools to make a living in the construction industry for decades he didn’t build a suppressor for the SKS he acquired, which might have given him several more seconds before he encountered resistance.

Despite having some familiarity with firearms, he chose to use the worst aiming systems ever devised, stock communist iron sights not attached to a Mosin Nagant.

Lastly, the area he chose for his attack was very “open” from a rifle point of view, some structures and some trees, but not a lot of real cover for his intended victims.

streetview

Google Street View of Eugene Simpson Stadium Park from YMCA parking lot

Had Hodgkinson worked a better angle for a final firing point he might have avoided being killed so rapidly by armed response.

YMCA_Baseball_Field.PNG

Google Maps Satellite view of YMCA and Baseball Park

So there you have it, my assessment of what a poorly planned and poorly executed lone wolf assassination attempt looks like from using only open source information.

Remember that first reports are almost always wrong (he was initially reported as using an AK) and as details come available it is important to revise the assessment to fit the facts, rather than twist the facts to support an assessment.

However there is one personal assessment that won’t change for me, James T. Hodgkinson was a deranged vile sack of puss who made the world a better place by dying. And those leftist “revolutionaries” who are tweeting that the Republicans brought this on themselves by not bowing to the uncompromising radical Ctrl-Left are idiotic morons incapable of being taught the historical dangers of political violence.

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Technology interlude

I’m a tech geek. Everybody knows someone like me, just think of the first person you call when your computer starts acting up, them’s my peeps. So when I ran into a really weird problem with windows on my main laptop, I tried to fix it. And dang, if nothing worked.

Three days worth of running various powershell commands, turning services on and off, changing settings and flags. Nothing. Update wouldn’t update, anti-virus wouldn’t start, even Edge, Cortana, and Search wouldn’t receive keyboard input. The file explorer couldn’t find the DVD drive (the only way to get to the DVD drive was to get to the disk management utility and use that to open the DVD drive).

So finally I just gave up, and did for myself what I normally do when someone brings me a Windows machine with a crappy, unstable user experience. I backed up the data that needed saving and did a clean install. All is well in the world now.

The good news? Well Windows 10 does re-install easily, and rather quickly on a gen 1 core i5 based system compared to older versions of windows. The weird or possibly creepy news? Microsoft keeps records of your motherboard serial number so that if you do re-install Win 10 you don’t have to reactivate it.

But, I’m back up and running, no real worse for the wear, but right now I’m glad I finally gave up on fixing the problem and resorted to starting from scratch.

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