The emails and social media messages to Hornady’s customer service team haven’t let up in months;
“Where’s all the ammo?”
”Are you still making hunting cartridges?”
“Have you shut down due to COVID?”
“Why are you making T-shirts and not ammunition?”
“Are you hoarding ammunition?
“Are you selling all the ammunition to the government?”
A quick survey of Hornady’s Facebook page reveals of few of these missives.
So I even muttered under my breath, ‘only the Feds have the resources to buy up all the ammo, real people can’t be buying it all.’ Even if I know that’s bat shit crazy.
It was easy to sense the frustration and fatigue in Jason Hornady’s voice when he sat down with GunsAmerica last week. As the vice president of one of the nation’s largest ammunition manufacturers, Hornady has captained the company through the greatest surge in demand in the industry’s history, …
….they increased production by 30 percent last year, when they usually only grow five or ten percent each year. They ran through their entire inventory 18 times in 2020, when a normal year only sees six inventory turnarounds…. “Anything we make yesterday is shipping today,”
“Normally, a guy would buy one or two boxes. Instead, they’re buying cases,” Hornady said.
“Anyone who thinks that ammo companies aren’t trying to make and sell as much as they can, doesn’t understand capitalism,” he said. “We all like money. Nobody wants to ever make less.”
“It’s shipping all the time. We’re all shipping more all the time,” Hornady said. “The biggest thing is, be patient.”
Bottom line? Hornady and other manufacturers are working as hard as they can to meet today’s unprecedented demand.
So there you have it.
There are some supply restrictions on the input side, primer I hear is a big issue. It’s dangerous stuff and a lot is imported because it’s hard to build plant in the US. But even stuff like cardboard boxes are getting hard to get…So…. be patient, soldier on. Don’t burn through your practice stock too fast.
Climate Change Horror Porn is another tool of the apparat to frighten us. In realty there is an objective truth out there…none of us know it. Two sides largely aligned Left and Right though not precisely have taken sides and because the liberal left is ascendant and deeply intwined in academia and the media they are trying to ‘scare us straight.’ It might be well intentioned in many cases, but ideologues, abusers, users and grifters have gathered around a powerful ideological tool that can be used to manipulate the population.
The science such as it is….which is a lot…but not what you are told it is by the media and the ideologues who want to use it.
What climate was/is/will be:
Is based on models of how the whole atmosphere, hydrosphere and lithosphere work.
Early simple models were very illuminating.
Complex models are horribly sensitive to incorrect knowledge and unknowns.
A lot of it is based on prior history comparing things like plant and sea life growth vs temperature, CO2 etc.
But most of this knowledge is based on proxies up until a decade or at most two ago.
Plus sparse and non technical accounts up until the modern era
Has a sparse and erratic technical record from about a century and a half.
Decent deep record for a couple of decades.
Can see what it is today in fair but not omniscient detail.
We model the future based on models that we ‘test’ against the past. Like the stock market sometimes these models can do an ok job. But that is only because of parameter fiddling to ‘match the curves.’ The models are by necessity highly simplified and often just plain wrong. For example:
recent discovery that cloud impact on surface temperature can increase not decrease surface temperature. And that it may depend on where you are in the world.
Recent discovery that CO2 concentration’s affect on green house is not linear and tapers quickly at higher concentrations.
That the planetary heat balance is highly affected by cooling at the poles, and that the magnetosphere/sun link into the climate also is highly linked at the poles.
While the first climate models that brilliant men and women came up with less than a century ago have been proven to be largely correct, the details are practically, hardly better modeled today than they were in the 1950’s.
Today there are literally hundreds of complex computer models and that are run many times with many different start parameters. They generate families of predictions, effectively at random. Those predictions are never even close to right at a rate greater than chance.
Properties of matter
As noted above the actual response of a complex system of gasses and aerosols at any particular pressure, temperature, insolation etc is highly variable and not easily modeled in any way.
The oceans are a huge thermal reservoir and also a/the major thermal transport system. The heat can be pulled into the ocean moved from the tropics to the poles. This can take decades and it varies year to year, decade to decade. While the basics are well known the variables and even the magnitudes are not fully understood.
Temperature and CO2 could cause acidification, maybe this kills coral, maybe the majority types of coral polyps just shifts, maybe the tiny shelled algae have thinned shells maybe not. Maybe more plankton, maybe different distribution. Maybe more fish maybe less…most likely more.
Volcanos emit CO2, CH4, H2O, various other gases and dust all of which affect the weather/climate in ways that are far more complex than modeled and while these events tend to be limited and episodic their magnitude in the moment is immense.
Subduction pulls out sequestered limestone etc as well as water and this is not dealt with by the models.
The weathering of uplifted rocks and the soils etc have impacts that are not fully understood. We don’t even quite understand the affects of the Tibetan uplift which looks like it had the reverse effect to what was originally theorized.
Surface ecology/economy models
The effect of higher temperatures and more CO2 can be good, great, bad. The affects could cause desertification, or greening. More trees are good, oh hot trees may be worse, hot climate plants not as good, oh maybe not…
Insolation and Solar heating:
Do not even fully understand the details of the link of solar radiation into the atmosphere, oceans, land. Do not understand cloud formation, CO2 effect, CH4 effect, H20 (beyond clouds) effect. Knowledge today is orders of magnitude greater than a decade ago but we also know that we understand the interactions far less well than we thought we did and these interactions are complicated.
The suns energy output does vary and it is not all about radiation. Sunspots are indicative of a very active solar surface and atmosphere, where our heating comes from. The visible atmosphere is vastly hotter than the surface of the sun due to magnetic energy effects. This is seen in the sun spot activity. More sun spots, more magnetic activity, hotter atmosphere…more radiation….but also vastly more particle based energy pouring off the sun. So radiation varies by some amount but also the earth’s poles are bathed in extra heat from the sun as well and when the sun spot activity is low for extended periods this has an effect at least on the northern hemisphere. Affects in the order of a degree or less are immensely important when talking about billions of tons of atmosphere.
History can be a science and getting at physical data can have a lot of technology but then you have the human element. History is very clear that in the early industrial era there was a period when the Thames in London froze multiple years in a row. Their world was much colder. But the data for the rest of world is much more sparse and so this is discounted as local.
The Roman Empire appears to have flourished in a period when the earth was 2C warmer in general. It perished as the temperatures began to fall towards the medieval minimum. Was it local….not very it affected the whole Mediterranean basin and all of Europe.
The Mayan civilization collapsed because of changing weather.
The birth place of north wester civilization, Mesopotamia, what we call Iraq, the dust bowl we wasted so much blood and angst over, was a tropical tidal marsh only 4000years ago. Why did that change, was it worldwide…
So what does science know? Nothing Science is about facts and theories and discovery, it lays out data (facts) and theories about why but each fact is in isolation and a Story has to be created around those nuggets, a logical consistent Story, but a story not Science per se.
What we know from a historical perspective with limited understanding of the climate system is :
The climate has been INCREDIBLY stable for MILLIONS of years, we could have lived on this Earth any time in the last 500,0000,000 years and probably for the last Billion Years.
That includes collisions with small country sized asteroids, the eruption of volcanic rock in the trillions of tons. Changes in CO2, water CH4 and others much greater than today.
The system of the world is vast and we are now a player but we are arrogant narcissists if we think we are on the same scale as prior events in planetary history.
The problem this brings into focus is that the Climate Elite, many of whom should know better, wrap any new findings in Public Relations flakery and Narrative that is in general pointed in a certain direction.
Why is that? Because we are humans and we like horror stories and bad news because it gives us an adrenaline charge we are addicted to.
There is a level of truth to the mantra that climate change is bad, but the reality is that we are quite a few centuries away from Dangerous at the current rate. It is also clear that natural variation in the climate is bigger than what we see today, and it is not clear that we are having any significant affect, yet, but its reasonable to worry.
We should also be be aware that the effects that the most reasonable of the ClimateHorror peddlers put out could happen due to natural variation though human inputs are likely to have some effect.
But on the other, other hand, that effect might be mitigation not acceleration…if Earth were starting into an ice age right now(not unreasonable given their cyclical nature and the timing) our excesses might be stopping or slowing a huge die off…because cold kills many more and much more surely than heat…
The main issue with the ClimateHorror is that it is peddled by ‘the elites’ as a Horror story when in fact it is just the world going on about its business. The big problem with this is that ClimateHorror appears to many to be a way to sell Government and Elite intervention in the economy and the world on a huge and on going basis.
The above, the ClimateHorror propaganda and its ‘evil’ element may well not be intentional. It certainly (I think) did not start out that way. The reality is that the various types of folks involved have a broad range of motives for propounding or accepting what is put out there. What I see is that a significant ideological class has taken hold of the Climate as a possible road or part of the path, to power.
These are the ‘types’ of people I see. These are all ways of looking at people, but only in a very narrow view. Few if any people are explained by one issue. But when talking about Climate and ClimateHorror, and What to Do, these are the types I see:
The credentialed: Generally PhD level…I have known a lot of PhDs they are generally technically smart sometimes generally brilliant but their training is focused on focus and can discount counter facts with the flip of a neuron: (The following can also be used as sub classes for other classes)
True believers: Have convinced themselves that for some reason man’s epoch has some special quality that is leading to doom.
Ideologues: Those who want to believe because it fits their model of the world. The actual ‘data’ and ‘models’ are outside of their expertise but they are all in anyway.
Fools and Tools: Generally not very smart outside their narrow field but are easily convinced by those they look up to for one reason or another.
Grifters: Probably one of the largest groups, there is big, big money in Climate Catastrophe, the reality is way to mundane to make money so lets go all in on the hype.
Abusers: They hate mankind while loving ‘people’ and wanting to help. Anyone outside of their circle is evil, anyone on the in, are perfect. This is essentially a cult like group the heads of which are rock hard ideologues willing to kill billions.
Users: Grifters who can see that this is a way to power and money. Put the word out in the right way and you can get in with the woke and grind down the deplorable.
Useful idiots: A big group, Want to get along but generally believe what the in group believes.
Get alongs: A big group ,who just do not want to make waves. May or may not feel ‘it’ much but certainly want to be with the woke.
The led: WAY TOO MANY: Who believe what they hear in the moment and get all het up then forget about it till the next time, except as some kind of base, ‘we need to do something!’
The immune: A LOT (I hope) Despise those ‘pushing’ stuff and wouldn’t believe them if they said water is wet. Can be quite annoying but a buffer against the ClimateCrud.
The OCD: Me i think…hear the story, think it may be right, go and look for themselves, discover that there is another side and that while the basis is real the Crud Storm is an ideology.
These craft and others such as craft like the voyagers continue to return immensely valuable data long after their primary mission is complete. One of the things NASA and other space science organizations struggle with is supporting these ships long after the original funding timeline is past. This is a great problem to have and by and large the money is found since these are very cheap deep space projects in the big picture.
So my title, the economy of ‘outer space’ is all about data, science, prospecting right now. These are valuable assets that we need to support to provide returns orders of magnitude greater than the cost in the sense of other ways of getting that data, data that is both live affirming in its fascination and valuable as part of the bedrock of our understanding of the universe.
I have as always been reading a lot on a broad range of topics. Here are three very worthwhile reads that have some things in common and might give you some interesting insight into society history, cities, transportation.
Saw this at Barnes and Nobles but bought the kindle edition. The physical book is nice but was not sure it was a real keeper. This is a good book, probably written before 2020 and Covid-19 raised questions about ‘the urban’ but I think either well thought out and thus an argument against the Anti-Urban angst right now, or edited well to address it without being too pointed.
This is an interesting read going back to pre history and even pre town/village to show that mankind was building monuments long before cities and that the typical early city surrounding religious/social centers was not an after thought but the genesis of the city. Also pointed out that when Mesopotamia was originally ‘urbanized’ it was more like Tenochtitlan, a wetland/jungle, not a desert as it is today. This actually points to a minor theme about natural climate change in this book and how it enabled then destroyed many early societies and their cities.
Dr. White works up from Uruk (probably oldest major city) through the more well known Mesopotamian city states to the coastal city states of the Mediterranean and Asia and how these cities lived and died by trade as much as by being centers of power. That usually the power came after economic power. Each city is put in its own context but that context extended to today. A city on the monsoon trade routs of the Middle Ages compared to modern Singapore. The trashing of Medieval Paris by Napoleon the II’s city planer (in the 1850’s) to build todays ‘city of lights’ is compared to the trashing of many other city centers in the name of modernity and the car.
But throughout the dynamism of the city, its inventiveness and its beating heart at the center of economic power is stressed. And above all that cities are human creations and habitats that are rebuilt and rehabilitated by the human spirits that enliven them. And despite wandering into and even making a strong case for the maleness and misogynistic tendencies of cities and the anti other tendencies Dr. White pulls back and strongly supports the case that cities are centers of diversity and new ways of living and new ways of empowering the downtrodden. While at the same time pointing out again and again that the elite urge to ‘clean up’ slums and old sections invariably destroys as much or more that is strong and beautiful as ‘helps.’ That the humans that give the city heart and power are the lower and middle classes not the elites and that elite re-planning is generally destructive of the human in the city. Again and again slums and ghettos are shown as a horror to the elites that is utterly at odds with the dynamic creativity that they hide in back alleys. Even in Mumbai and Lagos today the power of the slum is at odds with its image as presented by the largely ignorant elite.
The chapter on Warsaw in WWII is hard to read, but again and again points to the humanity of the urban core and its draw on the human soul for those it has become home to.
This book is an eye opening read and an excellent piece of work with a different view of the urban and the city. Not the least because it even deals with the suburbs and the suburban city (LA) and shows that it is in many ways just part of the continuum of development over something like ten thousand years.
I grew up in what I would call metro-suburbs of England and the Suburbs of the US and find that this book provides a much more solid base for thinking about the city than any article or techno dissection of the city vs suburbs vs rural…. Read the book, don’t miss some fascinating images and the use the author puts them to to explain times and places in some depth.
The effect of Covid-19 and the internet (one cannot be dealt with without the other) the coming impact of electric and autonomous cars and then personal air transport should be thought of AFTER you have read this book. It gives one pause and a new way to address what a city is and its draw to and repulse from the human spirit.
Ravenna on the Adriatic (the sea between Italy and the start of Eastern Europe is not a city one has heard of. Rome, Venice, Pisa, these cities of the Middle Ages and Renaissance are famous but a city that was for some hundreds of years the Capital of the Western Empire is simply not mentioned in most history books. Largely because its history started when Rome fell for the first time to the invaders and the Roman capital moved to what we call Constantinople. This was the start of the dark ages as first the barbarians and then Islam destroyed the Roman Empire. But that empire took a great deal of killing and our simple view of Rome the City = Rome the Empire, reinforced by Gibbons and others is simply false.
The city was important in Roman times, a city on an estuary that was much like we might imagine Venice a few hundred years later. The romans built/dredged a large harbor next to the city and it became the main sea link from Rome to the East, Anatolia, Greece, etc.
As Rome as Rome fell Ravenna became a center of gov’t and it also became a center of Christian faith, usually linked to the Abbot of Rome but also linking to the Eastern Faith, it was often at odds with the Abbot of Rome and or the Abbot (Patriarch) of Constantinople, where the later emperors tried to control the universal (Catholic) faith and failed.
Because of its link to the Eastern Church and Greece its Churches were richly decorated with mosaics, some of the most startling survivals of a period of history little remembered in the west.
Over the period of the barabarian invasions and later Empire the Emperors in Constantinople used Ravenna as their Western center of Government from where famous generals led army after army out to defend or recapture Roman lands. But in the end the powerful warrior tribes out of Germany, etc beat down the empire and took it as their own and Italy splintered into the city states that enliven the story of the Renaissance.
This history is rich and interesting, politics, religion, sociology, art, woven together. Dr Herrin uses a lot of first sources and actual peoples words to weave the story. Photographs of the wonderful mosaics makes one want to visit this historic city. The details of this ‘missing’ period are deeply interesting and helps explain the rise of Catholicism and the split with Orthodoxy. Another great read if you are interested in the history of Rome, Europe, the Middle Ages.
Earl Swift’s The Big Roads starts at the beginning, in the nineteenth century with dirt tracks and cobbled lanes of the towns, cities and rural expanses and leads through their evolution over time. It is interesting that so much of the early work was more about associations building assets for commerce and the socialization of the automobile, prior to its becoming a power in its own right. And that the bicycle had a part to play before the automobile was big.
The story of the US routes, Route 66, Route 31, Route 71 etc etc and then the genesis of the interstate system are fascinating tales of time, place and actors.
A very human story interwoven with fascinating people and lacing in stories of places and times that you had heard elsewhere but never linked into the creation of the highways and now byways across the US.
As with the books above, particularly Metropolis this book talks about the hubris of the elites and of the blinders that technical leaders can have and the damage they can do while believing they are in the right and having the best interest of the people they are displacing at heart.
A fun book with fun side stories that especially resonate with me as I grew up as the Interstate system really came into its own and the knock on effects it had became visible, mostly for good but too often at a cost to various neighborhoods and towns.
War in the western civilian mind has been debased and fetishized. And these ways of ‘seeing’ war limit our perspective on the reality.
Huh? You may say, what the heck does that mean? So let me expand:
War has been debased in the common vernacular by declaring war on the depression, then poverty, drugs now on inequality, racism, etc (mainly by progressives riffing on their First World War success .) Here the mental model of war is the turning of the states blunt tools of expropriation and exploitation to the ‘good’ of raising some group or suppressing some evil. The thing they overlook is that the tools are authoritarian and often counter productive, destroying on one end while delivering ‘something’ at the other. In the original meaning of war, (at least the good war of self protection, not war of aggression) the destruction on your end is acceptable since your expectation is that the ‘other’ will cause far greater damage if they win. But when used in this self targeted context you are essentially damaging/destroying something you do not value (for whatever reason) to provide some ‘good’ to another (for some other reason.)
And war has been fetishized in the minds of most by the recent American experience of essentially total battlefield domination and near bloodless success (those who bleed are mostly ‘the bad guys.’) This has been metastasized by military video games that while they make clear the messiness of the battlefield also make it glamorous and episodic. Exotic weapons and robotic precision make things look all very neat. But also there is our memory of WWI and WWII and Desert Storm and even the first months in Afghanistan and Iraq. Domination and victory, spoiled by purported lies and then stupidity of trying to change cultures we do not understand.
So war is debased to massive government intervention on one hand and on the other the fetishized ability to break the other’s toys and make them do what we want. But these views of war, government directed war, war with parades and victories and tragedies and stories we can tell each other’s, providing historians and anthropologists grist for their mills may be relics of the past in our globalized age.
What if war is no long any of that? Properly envisioned it was/is never something you turn on yourself. Seen clearly it is never something that you can predictably win. No war in the modern era been what governments tell their populace it is, nor are they what the memories of the participants remember them being.
Clausewitz is famous for ‘War is diplomacy carried on by other means,’ Sun Tzu pointed out that misdirection is the heart of war. What if real war today outside of the fratricidal, is non kinetic and never ending?
What are the modes of war today. Strategic, Cyber, Economic, Kinetic, Propaganda, Tactical, Commercial, Geographic, Genocide, Civil, Bio, Nuclear, Chemical, Political…
Huh? Some of these things are not like the other you say? And maybe you are right but I say that war has broken the bounds of the geographic/naval/aerial field of battle and has bled out into the world in general.
I will close with a thought…. What if an enemy realized that they could make use something as unexciting as a novel disease and modern media’s defining need for ‘bad news’ to terrify populations into ‘a crouch’ that would make political control easier. And by use of basic propaganda and twisted truths could make the politicians of their unsuspecting opponent break their own economy and even break down the social trust that is required in a modern open cultural polity.
The above does not require any particularly lethal bug, or any large scale distribution of battle plans. All the enemy needs is a leadership willing to make use of the ‘main chance’ and a cadre of workers willing to take direction. Nothing needs to be said, ever.
You do not win a war this way but you win a battle this way. Maybe you win several battles. Damage an enemies economy, damage their self confidence, maybe bring down their most effective leadership with some directed propaganda and a few tools.
Now maybe a more compliant government comes into power. You have been pushing on some geographic restrictions but have been held back by your adversaries strong leadership. With that leadership gone now you can push more heavily and gain some more ground.
Maybe your aggression causes more reaction and eventually the ridiculously erratic opponent once more selects a more trenchant government and puts the brakes on. But one more nibble has been taken, an enemy has been weakened a little bit. All that is required is time and constant purpose to win, and a nation with a multi thousand year history can take the long view.
A recent article about the impact of electric grid power expansion in India and Africa peaked my interest and so reviewed some of the papers on the topic spanning decades. While I obviously can’t declare definite conclusions they seem to point to problems with base assumptions made by advocates of broad electrification.
The blog post was a quick review of a couple of recent studies discussing the expansion of electric power to villagers in rural India and Kenya. The studies are very different looking for different things. But they both show that the expected economic boost from the build out of the electrical power grid has not arrived, at least not yet, and some of the data indicates a net negative impact.
In general it appears that the cost of the service is too high to pay off for these poor farmers/villagers is modest at best and in some ways is a net negative.
This is contrary the experience in places and times, most specifically the US where rural electrification was a vast boost to the economy.
The situation needs study but the thing that comes to my mind is that the served populace needs a certain amount of wealth to make use of electricity. On its own electricity does nothing, its what it enables that is the important thing. Many of the areas that have already electrified were both relatively wealthy and had existing in service infrastructure that could be made more productive powered by electricity rather than the prior human, animal, steam or wind power.
Today the urge is to spread the grid out into the poorest rural areas, these are subsistence farmers not commercial farmers and these people have little or no infrastructure to make more productive. Not to say that they cannot move up the chain with time but the move from subsistence to commercial farming is non trivial. Transportation infrastructure and marketing/sales infrastructure are critical while cell phones are a huge enabler the rest of the picture is still fuzzy at best.
Also one has to wonder if this uplift isn’t facing a very stiff counter wind from the global economy. It is very cheap to move products in bulk across the major transport networks it could be that farmers, selling a local staple product will find it very hard to compete even if the distance to market is relatively short.
Though this is only one data point, it seems to point out that implementation of small scale solar/battery systems for light and telecom are the most important stepping stone for these subsistence farming communities. That the improvement of transportation infrastructure might be of value before a major build out of electrical grids.
Syria (like Egypt) as presently constituted simply is not viable as a country. Iraq might be viable, because it has enough oil to subsidize a largely uneducated, pre-modern population. As an economist and risk analyst (I ran Credit Strategy for Credit Suisse and all fixed income research for Bank of America), I do not believe that there is any way to stabilize either country
Was reading some Mises and ran across this very neat aphorismReference
Sane sicut lux se ipsam et tenebras manifestat, sic veritas norma sui et falsi est, (Latin). A dictum of Spinoza (1632-1677). Translation: “Indeed, just as light defines itself and darkness, so truth sets the standard for itself and falsity.”
Spinoza is one of the most important philosophers—and certainly the most radical—of the early modern period. His thought combines a commitment to a number of Cartesian metaphysical and epistemological principles with elements from ancient Stoicism and medieval Jewish rationalism into a nonetheless highly original system. His extremely naturalistic views on God, the world, the human being and knowledge serve to ground a moral philosophy centered on the control of the passions leading to virtue and happiness. They also lay the foundations for a strongly democratic political thought and a deep critique of the pretensions of Scripture and sectarian religion. Of all the philosophers of the seventeenth-century, perhaps none have more relevance today than Spinoza.
The Ludwig von Mises Institute was founded in 1982 as the research and educational center of classical liberalism, libertarian political theory, and the Austrian School of economics. It serves as the world’s leading provider of educational materials, conferences, media, and literature in support of the tradition of thought represented by Ludwig von Mises and the school of thought he enlivened and carried forward during the 20th century, which has now blossomed into a massive international movement of students, professors, professionals, and people in all walks of life. It seeks a radical shift in the intellectual climate as the foundation for a renewal of the free and prosperous commonwealth.