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  • Staff Picks

    • In a tweet sent early this morning, President Donald Trump urged Americans to tune in to the official opening of the new US embassy in Jerusalem on Monday - which coincides with the 70th anniversary of the founding of the State of Israel.
      Outraged Palestinians protested along the border fence separating Israel from the Gaza Strip, where more than two dozen demonstrators were slaughtered by Israeli Defense Forces. Among the dead were a 12-year-old and a 14-year-old. More than 900 Palestinians were wounded in the standoff. The opening ceremony is set to begin at 9 am ET. Watch it live below:
      Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is in Jerusalem for the occasion. As Israel prepared to celebrate the opening - something that every US president since Bill Clinton has promised to do, but only Trump has followed through with - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told revelers attending the event that Trump's declaration late last year recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital was "the right thing to do," as Fox reported.
      Netanyahu said: "Thank you, President Trump, for your bold decision. Thank you for making the alliance between Israel and the United States stronger than ever...it's been the capital of our state for the past 70 years. It will remain our capital for all time," he said.
      President Trump's daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner (who is nominally in charge of the Trump administration's efforts to promote peace in the Middle East) were sitting int he front row for the ceremony not far from Netanyahu.
      Netanyahu said their presence at the event is a "national and international statement" that "touches our hearts."
      Meanwhile, dozens of countries - including the UK and France - were skipping the ceremony in protest, and also avoided Independence Day celebrations, which began last night - though Monday is the official anniversary of the country's founding in 1948.
      https://www.mymilitia.com/topic/50656-watch-live-us-opens-jerusalem-embassy-on-israels-70th-independence-day/
      • 21 replies
    • This report was originally published by Tyler Durden at Zero Hedge
      North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in agreed Friday to finally end a seven-decade war this year, and signed a declaration to pursue the “complete denuclearization” of the Korean Peninsula, although they did not announce any concrete steps to dismantle the North’s nuclear programs.
      The two leaders embraced after signing the deal during a historic meeting on their shared border, the first time a North Korean leader has set foot on the southern side. They announced plans to formally declare a resolution to the war and replace 1953 armistice that ended open hostilities into a peace treaty by year’s end.
      “We solemnly declare to our 80m Koreans and the world that there will no more war on the Korean peninsula and a new era of peace has begun,” North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean president Moon Jae-in said in a joint statement. “It is our urgent historic assignment to put an end to this current abnormal state of ceasefire and establish a peace regime.”
      “We have agreed to share a firm determination to open a new era in which all Korean people enjoy prosperity and happiness on a peaceful land without wars,” Kim said, in his first remarks in front of the global press since taking power in 2011.
      The two sides “confirmed the common goal of realizing, through complete denuclearization, a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula.”
      The two agreed to work towards advancing the reunification of the divided nations and further improving inter-Korean relations. In order to reduce tension, the two sides agreed to hold military talks in May and set up a joint liaison office in Kaesong, the border town in the North.
      https://www.mymilitia.com/topic/49473-north-and-south-korea-declare-end-to-war-proclaim-%E2%80%9Cnew-era-of-peace%E2%80%9D/
        • Like
      • 28 replies
    • A federal EMP commission report warns that even the smallest EMP attack on our grid system would down it for about a year, if not longer.  A year-long blackout would certainly be coupled with a massive death toll that would devastate entire populations.
      The so-called EMP Commission report said that this threat is very real, jeopardizes “modern civilization,” and would set back living conditions to those last seen in the 1800s. As a result of the chaos, millions would likely die, according to the report titled “Assessing the Threat from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP),” from the recently re-established Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack.
      Three reports on the issue of an EMP attack have been declassified by the Pentagon and seven more are awaiting clearance. Among those declassified documents, was a report from Peter Vincent Pry, who served on a prior EMP Commission and is executive director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security, spelling out the human toll of an EMP attack on the electric grid. He also advises the current commission.
      In “Life Without Electricity,” he said the results would be horrific for most, as the vast majority of Americans have virtually no survival skills. He believes the whole year would look something like this:
      https://www.mymilitia.com/topic/50472-emp-commission-warns-of-year-long-blackout-and-a-massive-death-toll/
      • 29 replies
    • Gun Review: Meridian Defense MDC-47 Volk AK Rifle
      In the world of guns, the AK-47 has always been the equivalent of “sensible shoes.” While not bedazzled with the latest accoutrements that its AR neighbor enjoys, it has proven itself to be a dependable firearm in pretty much every corner of the world. Its reputation as a reliable weapon is legendary. For all intents and purposes, the gun has gone along with very few real upgrades outside of what a few hardcore users have done. Essentially, the belief in this particular corner of the gun world is “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
      While this is a sound principle in most cases, the venerable AK can indeed stand for some improvements. This thought has been shared by many AK aficionados, but one company in particular has put this classic gun under the knife to produce a truly fantastic rifle. Say hello to Meridian Defense Corp. (MDC) and its MDC-47 Volk.
      • 4 replies
    • US Tanks In Europe Get Invisible Futuristic Missile Shield To Counter Russian Threat
      Back in March, we detailed how the United States Army M1 Abrams tank, an American third-generation main battle tank, was in the process of being upgraded with an invisible missile shield that will destroy all chemical energy anti-tank threats and other threats before reaching the vehicle. We even said, “that Washington is preparing their main battle tank for the next evolution of hybrid wars.”

      Known as Trophy, this is the world’s first and only fully operational Active Protection System and Hostile Fire Detection System for armored vehicles. This cutting-edge technology will provide M1 Abrams tanks with 360-degree security from all threats, as advanced algorithms are continually detecting, locating, and neutralizing anti-tank threats on the battlefield.
      We even noted that the Trophy system was tested thoroughly on select M1A2 tanks in Europe and the Middle East. With much of the testing classified, there were still several unanswered questions surrounding what region(s) of the world the upgrades would go.
      However, in a new report on Thursday, the United States Army has decided to deploy the missile shields for M1 Abrams tanks to Europe “as part of a sweeping effort to better arm its Armored Brigade Combat Teams and counter Russian threats in the region,” said Warrior Maven, as quoted by Fox News. 
      The Trophy system employs advanced algorithms that use radar to provide continuous 360-degree protection. The bolt on kit includes four antennas and two rotating launchers mounted on the turret of each tank (see below).

      Once the threat is discovered, the algorithm classifies the threat, and if a direct hit is calculated, the countermeasure systems are automatically activated, and a tight pattern of explosively shaped penetrators launches at the warhead to neutralize the threat (as shown below).

      Rafael Advanced Defense Systems says the Trophy system has been thoroughly suggests — a major conflict could soon be on the horizon.  
      View the full article
      • 20 replies
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    • Authored by Will Racke via The Daily Caller, A majority of likely voters think illegal immigrant parents are more to blame for the latest immigration crisis than the Trump administration, according to a Rasmussen poll released Thursday. When migrant families are caught illegally crossing the southwest border and subsequently separated for criminal prosecution, 54 percent of American voters say the adults are to blame for breaking the law. Only 35 percent believe the government is at fault for enforcing the law, while 11 percent are unsure of who is more to blame. Rasmussen Reports’ latest national telephone and online survey of 1,000 likely voters was conducted June 19-20. It has a margin of error of 3 percentage points and a 95 percent level of confidence. The poll comes as President Donald Trump continues to deal with the political fallout from his decision to implement a “zero-tolerance” policy against illegal border crossing. Under the policy, the Justice Department is prosecuting as many cases of illegal entry as possible, even against defendants who were traveling with children at the time they were arrested. The aggressive prosecution strategy has caused a spike in the number of migrant families being separated at the border, since federal law prohibits holding children with their parents in criminal detention facilities. More than 2,300 migrant children were separated from family units that were caught crossing the border illegally between May 5 and June 9, according to Customs and Border Protection statistics released Tuesday. Immigration activists and Trump’s Democratic opponents have called the policy cruel and inhumane, with many likening it to the U.S. government’s internment of Japanese-Americans or even Nazi concentration camps during WWII. Under intense political pressure, Trump issued an executive order Wednesday requiring the government to keep families in immigration detention together while the adults are prosecuted. Predictably, the question of who is to blame for the family separation crisis depends on the respondent’s political orientation, according to the Rasmussen poll. Of voters affiliated with the Republican Party, 82 percent think parents are more to blame for breaking the law. But 60 percent of Democratic voters say the government is primarily to blame. Independents tend to align with the Republican point of view on the family separation issue: 56 percent of voters not affiliated with either major political party say parents are more to blame for breaking the law. [ZH: But interestingly look at the date on the following satirical cartoon...] The poll results also indicate that Trump’s tough approach to border enforcement is broadly popular with his Republican base and, critically, independent swing voters. A majority — 54 percent — of likely voters agree with Trump’s remarks from Monday that “The United States will not be a migrant camp. And it will not be a refugee-holding facility — it won’t be.” Just 30 percent disagree with that statement, while 16 percent are undecided. View the full article
    • Every year, thousands of people flock to various gun schools throughout the nation. Still others mass at their local ranges to attend classes with traveling instructors. The firearm training industry is thriving, with millions of dollars flowing to various instructors each and every year, all in the belief that the classes will help students stay alive in a violent confrontation. However, most of those students don’t realize they’re getting only part of the picture. Firearm instructors often talk about self-defense, for obvious reasons. After all, the students are there to learn how to defend themselves with a firearm. It’s an important skill and knowledge is one of those things you never have enough of. The problem is that so many instructors focus on the shooting that they completely ignore the rest of the equation. There are subjects that probably need to be addressed by trainers, but are often completely ignored. Here are a few that I believe get ignored far too often. 1. Physical Fitness First, roughly 66 percent of the American public is overweight or obese. Based on who I see at gun-related events, the firearm community is at least “boasting” a similar percentage. I’m not casting blame here. I’m in that larger camp too, larger in more ways than one. That’s a bad thing in general. However, when it comes to saving your own life, it’s possibly even worse. While many have this vision in their head of drawing a gun and firing a couple of shots, ending the altercation, let’s be honest. We have little control over what the confrontation will be. People tend to carry a firearm because they want to be prepared for whatever may happen, but then they completely neglect the possibility of the fight becoming an endurance event in some manner. The moment a fight crosses the line from “a few shots and over” and into literally anything else, one’s physical fitness can quickly come into play. Yet, like most of America, the gun community seems to lack any. Trainers, however, tend to overlook this in their courses and videos. I mean, I get it. People aren’t paying hundreds of dollars to be told they’re fat slobs who need to get off the couch and do some stuff in addition to going to the range every so often. What they are paying for is to learn how to shoot under cars and around barriers and other “cool guy” stuff, so why give the people anything other than what they pay for? Further, many trainers may not be overly fit themselves.  Still others may be fit, but not be overly knowledgeable about physical fitness in general. As a result, they may not feel confident in talking about a subject they’re not really experts in. They’re trying to “stay in their lane,” which is laudable for a trainer…but sometimes it’s not a bad idea to broaden your lane. Now, to be fair, some do. I’ve read Greg Ellifritz mention the subject before, and his weekly knowledge dumbs will occasionally contain some information about fitness. He’s not alone, but he is far too rare in my opinion. 2. Other Kinds Of Violent Confrontations There’s a saying I’ve heard for years around gun boards and pops up from time to time when folks are talking about personal defense, “When the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem begins to look like a nail.” However, how few firearms instructors even talk about the need to have some kind of ability to defend yourself without your firearm? Imagine, if you will, a big old burly dude deciding he doesn’t like you very much. He particularly doesn’t seem to appreciate the current arrangement of your face. Being a “do-it-yourself” kind of guy, he’s taken it upon himself to rearrange said face. You’re scared. But are you justified in killing a man just because he wants to punch you? Some might say yes. Some might say no. However, let’s be honest here. If you have the skills to resist the attacker without drawing your firearm, the question becomes irrelevant. You don’t need to draw a weapon to defend yourself. You still have it, of course, which is fine if he escalates the confrontation by pulling a knife or something, but at that point, it’s now a no-brainer that you’re justified in shooting. Let’s also face facts. In the life of the average man, most of the violence he’s likely to experience will be non-lethal violence. Mostly fist fights. While those decline as you get older, the possibility always exists. But what about if you’re not able to carry a firearm? Violent confrontations take many forms, but they also happen in many places. In some of those, as things currently stand, you may not be able to carry a firearm. It’s all well and good to say you’ll never set foot in New York City because of their gun laws, but if you have a wife as fascinated by Broadway as my wife is, you may find you don’t have a choice. While hand-to-hand against a gun-wielding attacker isn’t exactly smart, there are also likely to be attackers who aren’t carrying guns. At a time like this, skills are needed. Yet there are few trainers who mention these skills. As above, there are exceptions. Perhaps the best example I can think of is Special Forces soldier and former UFC fighter Tim Kennedy. His Sheepdog Response classes give students a crash course in combatives and using a handgun, creating what looks like a one-stop shop. I haven’t taken any of his classes yet, so I can only comment on what I’ve seen through promotional videos, but Kennedy’s background is uniquely suited for such training. Which, again, might be why so few touch on it. As with fitness, many may feel unqualified to discuss the topic. Perhaps they know little about hand-to-hand and figure they’d best steer clear of the topic. Again, it may be from a desire to “stay in their lane.” Then again, it may also be fear of letting students know there’s a form of violence they’re not an expert in because that might make them question other expertise. Who knows? In fairness, it may also be any number of other things that come from an honest place. However, it doesn’t change the reality that most trainers are preparing their students for a gunfight and little else. 3. De-Escalation Techniques The best way to survive a violent confrontation is to avoid a violent confrontation. Sometimes, that’s not possible, which is what most firearm instructors focus on. Naturally. However, some violent confrontations start off as simple disagreements. From there, they escalate and the next then you know, someone has gotten shot. That’s never a good place to end up if you can avoid it, especially since being armed isn’t a magic talisman. The person who ends up getting shot can still be you. Yet little time is spent on how to talk down a confrontation to try and keep it from becoming violent. Here, though, I’m going to give a pass to most trainers for a few reasons. One, most do tend to advise students to avoid confrontations if at all possible. It’s kind of understood throughout the community anyway, so even if they don’t explicitly mention it, it’s known. Kind of like how martial arts instructors tell you the best piece of equipment is a good pair of running shoes, firearm instructors will tell you that the best way to win a gunfight is to not be in one. That doesn’t change the fact that it’s not really discussed in general. Oh, we talk about avoiding bad neighborhoods and doing other things that might increase your risk of being in a violent confrontation, but little time is spent on talking your way out of one short of complete capitulation. Now, I’m not stupid here. You’re not going to convince the armed robber not to rob you. You’re not going to talk the rapist into changing his ways. Some people will still need to be met with violence, swiftly and decisively. However, what about the drunk you accidentally bumped into? What about the guy you got into the fender-bender with? These can easily turn violent, and as I’ve said, that’s probably not good for anyone. Unfortunately, though, few people spend time actually researching de-escalation techniques. It doesn’t help that they’re all the rage among the same crowd that wants to disarm police as well as law-abiding citizens. However, just because they’re loved by stupid people doesn’t mean the idea itself has no merit. The thing is, they’re just another tool for the toolbox. Like Patrick Swayze said in Roadhouse, “Be nice until it’s time to not be nice.” Solutions? To be fair, I’m beating up firearms instructors for not teaching stuff that has nothing to do with firearms. I get that, and I’m sure a lot of firearms instructors may well tell their students to also look into some of this stuff as well. That’s pretty awesome. The real problem, however, is that they’re firearm instructors, not personal defense instructors. They teach people how to shoot and nothing else. Personal defense, self-defense, or whatever you want to call it, however, shouldn’t be treated like an a la carte kind of thing. It should be treated as a holistic system. Now, I know the word “holistic” tends to evoke images of someone sitting in the lotus position, with incense burning and essential oils all around them, but it shouldn’t. The word simply means to look at things as a whole, rather than examine parts in isolation. In this case, we should look at personal protection and self-defense in totality, rather than as a smorgasbord of classes to take simply because it looks cool or the instructor was a Delta-Seal-Ranger-Raider-Secret Squirrel. The fault doesn’t really lie with instructors. It lies with us, the firearm community. Many tend to talk about training and the need for it, but then they forget the myriad of other things where people also need to be trained. Frankly, the entire idea of self-defense training needs an overhaul. On one hand, we need to kill the ridiculous classes given to college co-eds that make them think they can defeat a 250 lbs potential rapist with a firm voice and a kick or two (they might, but it’s not guaranteed). On the other, we need to identify many of the firearm classes being taught as nothing more than gun guy fantasy camps. Let’s start being both realistic about our needs and pragmatic about the kinds of training we actually need to navigate the real world. Here’s a hint, though. You’re never going to be truly prepared for the curveballs the world might throw at you if your training isn’t broadened beyond how to most effectively shoot the bad guy. That’s important, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not the only thing. Let’s all stop acting like it is. What about you, though? What do you do besides range trips and gun classes? The post Where Most Training, And Trainers, Fail You The Student appeared first on Bearing Arms. View the full article
    • It may be less than 900-square-feet, but a charming bungalow just a short walk to all of downtown in Palo Alto, California has listed for a whopping $2.6 million - a prime example of the housing affordability crisis ravaging many neighborhoods in California and beyond. At 897 square feet, that translates to more than $2,800 per square foot - an astonishing number expected of a luxury penthouse in New York City and or Miami. According to the Zillow, the bungalow was recently remodeled with “spacious” two bedrooms and a “large” living room with a modern ktchen. There is even a converted garage (200sf+/-) with skylights & french doors where Facebook or Tesla employee(s) would be more than willing to rent the space for a few thousand dollars per month, which would cover about 20 percent of the $10,000 estimated mortgage per month for the bungalow. Median home price in the U.S. grew 8.7 percent in April, for a y/y increase to $215,600, Zillow reported last month. To gain perspective of the bubbly real estate market in Palo Alto, consider the median home price is $2,900,000 — that is roughly 13.5 times higher than the average median home somewhere in middle America. Talk about an uneven economy… The living room of this $2.6 million, 900-square-foot home in Palo Alto, California. (Source: Zillow) As home prices continue to rise, the kitchen of this $2.6 million bungalow in Palo Alto, California is tiny with an original stove from the 1920s. (Source: Zillow) The master bedroom of the $2.6 million bungalow in Palo Alto, California. (Source: Zillow)  What a $2.6 million backyard looks like in Palo Alto, California. (Source: Zillow)  Several large cracks in the cement driveway. (Source: Zillow)  McCarthy said the region had a very robust spring — and in her view: “isn’t showing signs of slowing.” So in McCarthy’s professional view: residential real estate in Palo Alto is a “bubble.” The party in Palo Alto is likely in the later innings, particularly after the Federal Reserve raised its key interest rate by 0.25 percent last week. Citing robust growth and a “generational low in unemployment”, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell emphasized the case for continuing to raise interest rate hikes is “strong.” Powell pointed out that the last two Fed-induced bubbles were created by “financial imbalances” rather than inflation — the 2008 financial crisis and Dot Com bust in the early 2000s. While Powell promises everyone that today is not a bubble, he does refer to “some asset prices are high by historical standards.” It is likely; he was indirectly referring to real estate, as storm clouds are starting to gather over the industry due to several years of rate hikes. Notice over the course of three decades, the Fed has managed to pop every real estate bubble. View the full article
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