The Ka-Bar Tac Tool: way overpriced for what it offers

In a great many markets for self-defense, security, do-it-yourself, “tacticool” and similar products, there’s a high volume of hype and exaggeration in advertising.  Most of it is completely without foundation.  It’s meant to appeal to the “boys and their toys” market, where (sadly) many men can be seduced into buying something because it’s the latest and greatest and “coolest” thing out there.  Whether or not it’s worth its asking price is seldom asked.  We looked at earlier manifestations of this in 2014, in terms of wilderness and survival tools and knives, and also last August, when we examined two wrecking tools from the same

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Time to upgrade my Glocks

Glock pistols have been on the market since 1982, and have come to dominate the civilian and law enforcement handgun market in the USA.  They’ve been through several models as improvements were made, and in response to new technologies and techniques. I standardized on third-generation Glocks in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s.  The image below (and the subsequent two pictures) show the mid-size Glock 19 model.  All images courtesy of Glock USA. They worked very well for me, and their simplicity (with far fewer parts than competing pistols – simple is good!) appealed to me.  When the fourth-generation Glock (Gen4) pistols (shown below)

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The cashless society is meeting opposition again – this time from banks

We’ve discussed the so-called “cashless society” in these pages on prior occasions.  I’m fundamentally opposed to it for several reasons, not least of which is the added control it provides to Big Brother to monitor and control our every financial transaction.  However, its practical disadvantages now appear to be taking center stage with central and commercial banks. “The digitalized system, it is easy for someone in Russia, China, whatever to just shut it off,” Björn Eriksson, the head of a pro-cash lobby group Cash Uprising and former head of crime-fighting agency Interpol. “[Cash] you can hide in your car, or your

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Dealing with a riot or political unrest

We’ve seen how demonstrations on both the left and right of US politics have led to increasing violence on our streets.  For those of us living in cities where this sort of thing is common, it’s an unpleasant reminder that we aren’t necessarily safe from extremists, even in our own homes.  There’s also the criminal element that takes advantage of such unrest for its own purposes.  Those of us living further away from such incidents may nevertheless find ourselves at risk if we have to travel to other centers. Greg Ellifritz, whom we’ve met in these pages before, recently compiled a

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Bite-size snapshots of life in Chicago

Chicago Magazine has just published what appears to be the third in a series of vignettes of life in that city, as seen through the eyes of some of those who live and work there.  This one’s from the perspective of emergency room physicians.  Here are a few excerpts. “Your body is plumbing, electricity, and structure. Bones are the structure, electricity is the nerves in your brain, and plumbing is the blood vessels that supply oxygen to your tissues. Broken plumbing is going to kill you first, unless you get shot in the brain. I’m a glorified plumber at the end

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Ebola: a clear and present danger, if it gets here

The latest outbreak of Ebola in central Africa is looking more and more dangerous.  It’s proving very hard to contain, because it’s in the middle of a “hot” conflict zone, and medical teams can’t move around safely. Aesop has some trenchant thoughts on the subject.  Here’s an excerpt. Hospitals here … are utterly, completely, and massively unprepared to deal with this, as the Dallas example proved in about 21 days, and neither they nor the CDC wants to talk honestly about this. Neither you, I, nor 2M other RNs nor 1M doctors has the slightest effing CLUE about dealing with

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Pets in an emergency situation

With Hurricane Florence now having arrived in North Carolina, I was reminded of how many pets had suffered in previous hurricanes of my experience, and how many will suffer now. What to do with pets in a storm is a perennial question, challenging owners, activists and officials every hurricane season. Last week, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, on Twitter, encouraged residents to consider their pets in their disaster preparations. “Make a plan and practice it with them,” the agency encouraged. Organizations such as the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Humane Society of the United States have become

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You never know when it may happen to you

We’ve spoken often in these pages of the need to prepare for emergencies.  Nevertheless, sometimes the emergency arrives so quickly and unexpectedly, and is so devastating, that all the preparations in the world won’t help. Consider yesterday’s earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Indonesia.  Just look at these video clips.  Both show a second tsunami arriving:  you can see damage left by the first tsunami before the next one strikes. Anyone whose emergency preparations were stored in one of the buildings hit by the tsunami, or who was relying for their getaway on a motor vehicle caught up in the flood . . .

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