tl;dr damn police, you scary!
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has launched a nationwide campaign to assess police militarization in the United States. Starting Wednesday, ACLU affiliates in 23 states are sending open records requests to hundreds of state and local police agencies requesting information about their SWAT teams, such as how often and for what reasons they’re deployed, what types of weapons they use, how often citizens are injured during SWAT raids, and how they’re funded. More affiliates may join the effort in the coming weeks.
Additionally, the affiliates will ask for information about drones, GPS tracking devices, how much military equipment the police agencies have obtained through programs run through the Pentagon and the Department of Homeland Security, and how often and for what purpose state National Guards are participating in enforcement of drug laws.
“We’ve known for a while now that American neighborhoods are increasingly being policed by cops armed with the weapons and tactics of war,” said Kara Dansky, senior counsel at the ACLU’s Center for Justice, which is coordinating the investigation. “The aim of this investigation is to find out just how pervasive this is, and to what extent federal funding is incentivizing this trend.”
A CBP agent with M14 rifle and HK P2000 pistol, both of which require ammunition to function properly (img Andrew Tuohy)
tl;dr the order’s fake but it keeps their budget intact
Talk of the Department of Homeland Security’s recent ammunition solicitations has gone from the fringes of the internet to the mainstream in websites like Forbes. I was disappointed by the Forbes article – rather than talk cold hard facts, it was rife with ill-informed speculation.
Government and military procurement is a very complex topic; so complex, in fact that it’s sometimes hard to discern best value practices from actual waste, fraud, and abuse. However, there are practically no examples of nefarious acquisitions intended to be used for the subjugation of the American populace. These ammunition contracts and solicitations are no exception.
Before we begin, it’s important to understand that an RFQ (request for quote) or solicitation is not a purchase. When Infowars says something like “the Department of Homeland Security is planning to buy a further 750 million rounds of ammo in addition to the 450 million rounds of hollow point bullets already purchased earlier this year,” or “Following controversy over its purchase of around 1.2 billion bullets in the last six months alone, the Department of Homeland Security has put out a new solicitation for over 200 million more rounds of ammunition,” the reader is led to assume, naturally, that DHS has actually purchased that amount of ammunition. That is simply not the case. A solicitation is the equivalent of a want-to-buy ad on Craigslist, writ large. It’s not an actual purchase.
img by mrJasonWeaver
Multi-tasking has been a workplace buzzword for more than a decade. For years I kept an ugly secret; I couldn’t really multi-task. I just couldn’t get my brain engaged on simultaneous tasks adequately enough to do a good job with both of them. One or both of the tasks would end up looking like the dogs breakfast. About five years ago I was vindicated when I heard this story on the radio.
“People can’t multitask very well, and when people say they can, they’re deluding themselves,” said neuroscientist Earl Miller. And, he said, “The brain is very good at deluding itself.”
Last week those earlier findings were bolstered by this study. Both studies show basically the same results; a nominally functioning brain really can’t multitask, and when we try, we end up doing a poor job at two—or more—tasks.
There was a negative correlation between multitasking ability and practice: Those who performed worse on the test were the most frequent multitaskers in real life. The subjects in the top 25 percent of performers on the multitasking test were also the least likely to multitask.
What our brains are good at is breaking big tasks into small components, and then sequencing the components of Task A with the components of Task B. This allows us to squeeze more productivity into a given period of time because we take the lulls and waiting around involved in Task A, and use that time to move Task B forward. Sequencing becomes even more proficient as we get more familiar with both Task A and B.
Take this knowledge and store it in your back pocket for the next time someone tries to imply you need to improve your multi-tasking. You’ll look smarter than them, probably because you are, and most people lose their steam when you trounce all over their argument before they really get rolling.
NukoTools has developed a new G10-based punchring. What’s G10? What’s a punchring? G10 is a composite of woven fiberglass encased in resin. It’s tough and not brittle. It’s super-light, and not metal.
A punchring is like a little teeny glove that you just wear on one finger, like, I dunno, some sort of crown or nimbus that circumscribes part of a digit. I can’t say if there’s a name for that.
Anyway, you punch people with them, via fisticuffs, and a bit of melee-based daring-do.
Why would you make a punchring out of G10? Certainly not because you could take one through a metal detector or anything. No, it’s purely a cost-cutting measure. Yeah.
That’s why they’re, like, eighteen bucks. Get you one. Comes with two holes, one for your piggy and the other for, whatever, keys. Or a makeshift lanyard-flashlight nunchuck. $18.
img by jurveston
I’ve got the tools, the interest, and the spare time. Even money my garage goes up in a massive explosion that shatters windows for miles around. My neighbors will be on the news saying how nice I was. “Always tinkering on something. Never caused any trouble. But who in their right mind builds a rocket in their garage?”