A new favorite deep concealment pistol – Glock’s 43X

Over the years I’ve tested most of the smaller, more concealable pistols to reach the market, with particular emphasis on ease of handling and concealment by partly disabled shooters.  Almost all of them were comparable in terms of magazine capacity, available calibers and cartridges, accuracy, and so on.  My ultimate criteria was always ergonomics;  how well did the pistol fit the hands, grip and physical capabilities of the shooter?  Since there are so many variations in shooters, I couldn’t say that any one model was better than another across the board.  My personal choice for several years was Springfield’s XDS model, which fit

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A big plane for a highway to carry

Many countries practice operating military aircraft from civilian highways, often strengthening or adapting the latter during construction so that they can be used as emergency air bases in the event of hostilities.  However, most of the aircraft involved (that I’ve heard about, at least) have been standard fighter or strike aircraft;  not the largest or heaviest in a modern air force. Russia recently sent some of its Sukhoi Su-34 strike aircraft to practice operations from an improvised airstrip on a highway in Tatarstan.  The Su-34 is very large and heavy (comparable to the older US F-111), rather bigger than one would expect to operate

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Some 20-year-old pain medications still work

I’ve long been aware of studies suggesting that some prescription medications can retain their potency for several years past the expiration date shown on their labels (which is typically one year after they were issued to a customer).  I must admit, though, I’ve recently been pleasantly surprised by one prescription issued to me twenty years ago. I recently had a bout with severe, immobilizing back pain, which is slowly easing off (the inevitable result of a partially disabling injury back in 2004, which resulted in a spinal fusion and permanent nerve damage).  The doctor (not my usual one) initially prescribed

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Ebola is now a global health emergency – for the second time

The Ebola epidemic in West Africa in 2013-16 was declared a “Public Health Emergency of International Concern” by the World Health Organization, one of only five such events in history that have been officially given that title.  I don’t know that the declaration did much in practical terms, apart from give warm fuzzies to the bureaucrats who issued it;  but it did underline the seriousness of the outbreak, and the potential threat it posed.  The world avoided a major international health crisis by the skin of its collective teeth in that outbreak, by shutting down as much travel as possible from the

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Analyzing America’s future, and our place in it

Let me begin by saying that in my sixty-something years on the planet, I’ve seen and done a lot – far more than most people, relatively speaking.  (I’ve written about some of my experiences on this blog from time to time.)  That wasn’t of my choice;  it was forced on me by an accident of birth (location and time) and a series of circumstances far beyond my control.  I wish I hadn’t experienced many of those things/places/people, but nobody asked me for my input!  I learned a great deal the hard way, and learned also that the same issues very often result in the same

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Ebola, rampaging superstition, and a complete ignorance of fact

I’ve pointed out in the past that the reason the Ebola epidemic continues to spreadin Congo is largely due to the primitive, superstitious tribal culture in that part of the world.  Unfortunately, many First World readers have no conception of just how primitive and superstitious that culture really is.  It’s so far removed from our reality that it’s inconceivable to many of us. Now comes a report on child soldiers in the Congo that may help some readers understand the problem better. The potion was powerful stuff: the grown-up rebels who had given it to the boys, smearing it on their beanpole bodies every day

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Ebola: still no good news, but plenty of bad news

Those who’ve been following my previous articles about the Ebola virus outbreak in the Congo will understand how very dangerous this is for the rest of the world.  If you were in any doubt over how easily it could spread, consider this report just yesterday.  What if one of those people were a carrier? Aesop has written a long and very informative summary of the present situation.  I can’t improve on it (or on his usual acerbic, informative and authoritative style), so click over there and read the whole thing.  It’s so important a topic that I urge you to do so.  Here’s an

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Weather safety prayers would be appreciated, please

It looks like this part of the country, as well as points north, are in for a torrid time of it this evening.  As the weather map below shows, the “dry line” blew up a couple of hours ago, and a line of severe storms is marching eastwards towards us.  We expect them to arrive by middle to late evening. Hurricane-force wind gusts, hail up to softball size, and flash flooding are in our forecast;  and we’re under a tornado watch as well.   It’s likely to be an “interesting” night, in the sense of the fabled Chinese curse!  Please

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Urban conflict: a recent object lesson

A few days ago, I published a post about urban self-defense and security.  In it, I noted that the author of a linked series of articles had gained experience in that field in Iraq, while mine had been in Africa, but that both of us – and most veterans of urban warfare – would agree that there’s a great deal in common about it, anywhere in the world. Another urban conflict, not even two years ago, was the Battle of Marawi in the Philippines, in 2017.  Wikipedia describes it: The Battle of Marawi … was a five-month-long armed conflict in Marawi, Lanao del Sur, that

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An interesting look at urban defense

I’m not one to fantasize about civil war, or armed rebellion, or whatever.  I’ve seen them in real life, in more than one African nation, and they’re the very last thing I want to see in these United States!  I think most people who’ve experienced them will say the same.  Nevertheless, some worry that we may see some sort of major civil unrest in our cities.  With Antifa, Black Lives Matter, urban gangs, and other elements in the news, that’s certainly not impossible.  If it looks likely, my preferred response will be to get the hell out of the way before things

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