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Collimatrix last won the day on August 16

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  1. For the record, all this shit about the statues is the most disgusting type of grandstanding. Imma explain this stuff straight up, because not everyone here is from the USA. Charles Francis Adams Sr. made a speech entitled "Shall Cromwell Have a Statue?" This speech is explicitly about whether Robert E. Lee ought to have a statue. Also, within context, this speech clarifies the reason why there are statues of Confederate generals in the USA in the first place. When the rebels called it quits in 1865 it was because it was clear that the Confederates could no longer win. It was not because they could no longer fight. The Confederacy could have very plausibly continued a low-level guerrilla campaign against Union forces for years and seriously run up the body count. Look up Quantrill's Raiders to get an idea of how nasty this could have become. But the Confederates did not choose to do this. They chose to lay down arms instead, come what may. They realized that they were beaten. Thus, the prevailing sentiment in the Union immediately after the war was that there should be a reasonable attempt at reconciliation. In the immediate aftermath of the war very few Confederates were charged with treason. After that there were further overtures, especially under President William Mckinley at the turn of the century. Confederate soldier's graves were given headstones, and that's about the time that statues of Lee started growing in various places. In general, it was felt that the rebels were traitors in a technical sense, but who had acted without malice or greed. Furthermore, the legality of secession and indeed the theoretical underpinnings of the constitution were largely unanswered questions at the time. It hardly seemed magnanimous to hold the issue against the rebels after beating them and burning their homes to the ground. And that is why the USA was fine with statues of Confederate generals springing up here and there. Did nobody think it odd that there's a statue of Robert E. Lee, a Confederate general, in Maryland, which was a Union state? Of course they didn't think it odd. They didn't think. That statue was erected because, a mere generation after the war, the Confederates were seen as losers in a high stakes political controversy, but otherwise completely American and honorable. Filthy modern iconoclasts made up their own bizarre interpretations of what the statue meant, and tore it down. They got rid of a symbol of one of the greatest national efforts of re-unification, ostensibly in the name of tolerance. Fucking philistines.
  2. I Learned Something Today

    Today I learned about the Giro Boat: This is rather similar to an idea the Germans had in WWII.
  3. Woodward's book makes it clear that something even weirder than that was going on. There are numerous excerpts about how relaxed and freely mixed Southern society was all the way until the 1880s, and to some extent after that. It was actually shocking to Europeans how un-racist American society was at that time. And then something happened, FIIK what, and segregation was the law of the land throughout the South. The Compromise of 1877 definitely had something to do with it, but Woodward explicitly makes the case that Jim Crow was not inevitable or obvious. This wasn't the ghost of the white supremacist slave society re-asserting itself when it thought it was safe to re-emerge. That's a line of crap that people like Woodrow Wilson sold to a largely credulous audience a generation after the fact, and that for some bizarre reason is taught in schools. Pro tip: Woodrow Wilson was an agent of Angra Mainyu who hated all that is good, true and pure. You should probably not repeat anything he said as fact without checking it first.
  4. The interesting thing, to me, about nostalgia for the Confederacy and the "Old South" is that it's almost entirely of recent vintage. In the 1960s the pro-segregation crowd argued that integration would destroy their culture and way of life et cetera... except that segregation only dated back to the 1890s. There was almost a generation long gap between the end of the Civil War and the start of Jim Crow laws. H.L. Mencken, who actually liked the Confederacy, at least in a qualified sense, pointed out that all that was good and noble about it bled out on the battlefields. In short, Lost Causers are LARPing. They aren't the inheritors of the Confederacy in any meaningful way. The Confederacy was killed 100% dead.
  5. Bash the EM-2 Thread

    I'm still not sure what that little piece in front of the receiver is, but it is clearly a separate piece, and it is none too securely attached: Go to 14:02 when Ian's hand brushes against it. So, it would appear that the actual machined receiver of the EM-2 only goes from the stock to about the forward edge of the rear strut of the carry handle. That's still way too big. This also brings up the question of exactly what the optical sight is attached to. The cross-section is a bit ambiguous: (I think that "7mm x 45mm" is a typo, but I'm not sure. By that point in the program they were making up new 7mm cartridges like they were pokemon or something.) The EM-2's atrocious accuracy problems in the 1950 tests are often attributed to bad ammo. While the ammo definitely was shit, and the .280 needed a lot more development in order to not suck, I am not convinced that the rifle had great potential for accuracy. The barrel was also quite thin, and as you can see from the cross-section, decidedly not free-floated.
  6. Bash the EM-2 Thread

    Oh, good. So they were on the same page of arms design as the country that has fought literally nobody since 1847.
  7. Bash the EM-2 Thread

    It's a borderline forgivable delusion to be under in the early 1950s. I'm actually not sure on how they managed to remain so ignorant of subsequent developments that they still thought the same thing thirty years later.
  8. Here's a phantom IS-3 sighting from before IS-3s were even in service. It may have had issues with transmission reliability and the pike welds, but the IS-3 did a wonderful job of scaring people.
  9. Bash the EM-2 Thread

    In general, the execrable L85 series of weapons is not related to the EM-2. Both rifles were bad, but they were bad for completely unrelated reasons. There is one thing, however, that the EM-2 did pass along to early prototypes of the L85. This was a pathological and uniquely British fear of flash hiders. Flash hiders are terribly useful things to have on the muzzle of a rifle. In addition to enormously reducing the visible flash at the end of the muzzle, they can also double as mounting points for rifle grenades and blank firing adapters. They help protect the crown of the barrel, and they can even save a barrel from bursting if someone slips and jams their muzzle into the dirt, as flash hiders are a wider internal diameter than the bore and have holes in them, which allows the propellant gas to flow harmlessly around the obstruction. That's a fairly long list of advantages for basically no disadvantages, so the majority of rifle designers have taken it for granted that their weapons will sport a threaded muzzle with some sort of flash hider, brake, compensator or what have you screwed on to the tip. In addition to the advantages above, screwed-on muzzle devices can also be easily replaced if someone invents a better one, or if someone slips, falls, and mashes the muzzle of their rifle into a concrete pad. To anyone designing military rifles it was very clear that they really ought to have threaded muzzles. Except the British. If you look carefully at this picture of the XL-64 prototype, you can see that there is no seam between the barrel and the flash hider. That's right; the flash hider is machined into the barrel itself. The completely irrational British hatred for threaded-on flash hiders began with the EM-2 program. The majority of EM-2s were never equipped with flash hiders, and it was generally accepted (e.g. during the American competitive trials) that it did not need one. The enormous 25 inch long barrel gave enough volume for the propellant gas to expand and cool that the EM-2's flash signature was naturally low. Other rifles of the period, not being so blessed, required threaded on flash hiders. Again, this wasn't at all a bad thing, but for some reason the British arms designers didn't see it that way and flipped the fuck out about the idea of flash hiders. This excerpt from a salty missive from then Labour MP Woodrow Wyatt sums up the British perspective: Total. Insanity. For the record, the shipping weight of a long FAL flash hider is 4 ounces, and an A2 flash hider is 2 ounces. Flash hiders are not attached and detached willy-nilly, getting them on and off requires a vice, a wrench and some elbow grease. But for some reason, the idea that flash hiders are heavy, detached pieces of gadgetry just waiting to get lost occurs several times in period British documents on the development of the EM-2. Having identified a completely imaginary problem, the engineers proceeded to come up with an adequate solution: And that is how the British machined-in flash hider came to be, until sanity (partially) re-asserted itself and the XL-70 was given a threaded muzzle.
  10. And look how suspiciously quickly they had a fix on hand for the P320 drop safety problem.
  11. Here's one way to feel a refreshing breeze in your face:
  12. This bit from SSC bears repeating: The KKK is really small. They could all stay in the same hotel with a bunch of free rooms left over. Or put another way: the entire membership of the KKK is less than the daily readership of this blog. If you Google “trump KKK”, you get 14.8 million results. I know that Google’s list of results numbers isn’t very accurate. Yet even if they’re inflating the numbers by 1000x, and there were only about 14,000 news articles about the supposed Trump-KKK connection this election, there are still two to three articles about a Trump-KKK connection for every single Klansman in the world. I don’t see any sign that there are other official white supremacy movements that are larger than the Klan, or even enough other small ones to substantially raise the estimate of people involved. David Duke called a big pan-white-supremacist meeting in New Orleans in 2005, and despite getting groups from across North America and Europe he was only able to muster 300 attendees (by comparison, NAACP conventions routinely get 10,000). My guess is that the number of organized white supremacists in the country is in the very low five digits. The internet acts as an extremely effective amplifier for crazy people. If you were to assume the internet to be representative, you would expect that the world population is about 15% furries, 25% Turks and Kurds arguing about who is more subhuman, 20% neo-Nazis, 40% thirsty bros and 0% women. The extreme right in the US has been emboldened by Trump's victory. A lot of other previously marginalized political positions have been emboldened as well. Trade protectionists, pro-settlement Israelis, climate change doubters, old-school DEA drug warriors who want to crack down on medicinal marijuana... and lots of others. The only thing these people have in common is that they were previously marginalized. Trump wasn't supposed to win. All the analysts failed miserably at their jobs, turning what would have been a stinging reprimand into an eschatological calamity for the political establishment. Now the world seems upside down, and a lot of people on the bottom are now feeling like it's their turn to get on top.