Thursday, October 18, 2007




Iran to fire '11,000 rockets in minute' if attacked
Oct 20 07:28 AM US/Eastern

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Iran warned on Saturday it would fire off 11,000 rockets at enemy bases within the space of a minute if the United States launched military action against the Islamic republic.

"In the first minute of an invasion by the enemy, 11,000 rockets and cannons would be fired at enemy bases," said a brigadier general in the elite Revolutionary Guards, Mahmoud Chaharbaghi.

"This volume and speed of firing would continue," added Chaharbaghi, who is commander of artillery and missiles of the Guards' ground forces, according to the semi-official Fars news agency.

The United States has never ruled out attacking Iran to end its defiance over the controversial Iranian nuclear programme, which the US alleges is aimed at making nuclear weapons but Iran insists is entirely peaceful.

Iran has for its part vowed never to initiate an attack but has also warned of a crushing response to any act of aggression against its soil.

"If a war breaks out in the future, it will not last long because we will rub their noses in the dirt," said Chaharbaghi.

"Now the enemy should ask themselves how many of their people they are ready to have sacrificed for their stupidity in attacking Iran," he said.

Iranian officials have repeatedly warned the military would target the bases of US forces operating in neighbouring Iraq and Afghanistan in the event of any attack and already has these sites under close surveillance.

Chaharbaghi said that the Guards would soon receive "rockets with a range of 250 kilometres (155 miles)" whereas the current range of its rockets is 150 kilometres (91 miles).

"We have identified our targets and with a close surveillance of targets, we can respond to the enemy's stupidity immediately," Chaharbaghi added.

He said that the Guards' weapons were spread out throughout the country and so would not be affected by any isolated US strikes against military facilities.

The Guards are Iran's elite ideological army and responsible for its most significant weapons such as the longer range Shahab-3 missile which has Israel and US bases in the Middle East within its range.


Why the 9mm Hi Power Remains a Favorite of Mine

By Stephen Camp

It is a safe bet that the choices in 9mm pistols has never been greater than today. They can be had from diminutive little things about the size of the traditional .380 ACP (and smaller) to the 1911 platform in standard 5" guns to 6" long slides.

And the choice is there in action types, too! We can still find purely single-action autos from a number of makers including FN, CZ, and a number of 1911 makers who chamber it in 9mm. Traditional DA/SA automatics can be found from S&W, HK, SIG-Sauer, CZ, and more. Want a "plastic pistol"? You can sure find in from Glock, SA with their XD9, S&W, and others. Some such as CZ and HK offer selective single-action, meaning that their DA/SA pistols can be carried cocked-and-locked.

Despite more modern designs offering higher capacity and lighter weight, the Hi Power remains my personal favorite general-purpose sidearm. It handles most perceived handgunning needs pretty well in my experience.

For me, the Hi Power continues to remain my favorite overall.

Part of this is admittedly subjective but some good arguments for the "mature" Hi Power design can be made. So let's take a gander at why this classic design continues to be popular with folks interested in something to take to the range to those most assured that they will go in harm's way.

Simplicity & Reliability: The Hi Power consists of very few internal parts compared to many of today's handguns, but it is not alone. Others include the aging Makarov, the 1911, and the considerably younger Glock. All of these pistols share a common trait and one that is frequently espoused by their devotees: reliability. Each of these guns has proven itself capable of functioning under adverse conditions. The ultra-fine sand of Iraq may affect one more than another, but that pistol may do better in arctic climates. The Hi Power has been doing this decade after bloodletting decade. I am not saying that more internally complex handguns are doomed to be unreliable; I am saying that the potential is there.

With older classic Hi Powers pre-dating the Mk II which arrived in the '80's, the Hi Power's legendary reliability was primarily with FMJ or ball ammunition. It is very true that many of these guns simply would not run reliably with other than jacketed round nose ammunition. Their humped feed ramps worked great with military-style ammunition but could be very selective about which JHP ammo they would feed. With some work on the feed ramp this could be changed and I've done that very thing with a couple of my older Hi Powers. They handle any JHP I've put in them since. With the Mk II and it progeny, the Mk III, there is no such problem. FN finally went with a feed ramp capable of slickly feeding about any JHP.

Today it seems that reliability complaints with the Mk II or Mk III pistols is not feeding, but extraction. With enough ammunition fired, it is possible for crud to build up under the extractor to the point that the claw does not move inward enough to get a complete "bite" on the cartridge rim. A failure to extract can be the result. Simply removing the extractor and cleaning out the mess usually solves the problem and it is not chronic; it occurs after many rounds have been fired, assuming that parts are in spec…and they usually are.

The other "problem" with the Hi Power is that the extractor spring must be a strong one. Pushing inward at the rear of the extractor should require pretty good effort to move the extractor. If it doesn't, the spring needs to be replaced. (I've had really good luck with Wolff extra strength extractor springs.)

That's about it. Clean under the extractor every case or two of ammunition and you should be good to go and check the extractor spring. If you unexpectedly begin experiencing failures to extract and the extractor claw is in good shape; I'll bet the problems either crud under the extractor or a weak spring.

The Mk III 9mm shown has been very lightly modified and many people have guns set up about the same way: Novak fixed sights, C&S hammer & sear, and aftermarket stocks. The pistol lends itself to custom touches. This one needed no "work" to enhance either accuracy or reliability.

Reliability is desirable at the range. It is essential for self-defense whether fending off felonious assault as a private citizen, shooting it out with a criminal as a peace officer, or dishing out defeat to the nation's enemies in war.

The Hi Power will reliably pop any primer I've tried. This includes the very hard-primed Greek ammunition sold in droves here a year or two ago. Glock 9mm's simply did not get 100% detonation. Neither did S&W 9mm pistols. The reason is that the Hi Power has a hell for stout mainspring. I am not aware of another handgun mainspring rated at 32-lbs. The striker on the Glock and the S&W with it's lighter mainspring simply couldn't overcome each and every single one of the hard Greek primers. A few months after its debut, ads for the Greek surplus stated, "Not For Use in Glock Pistols". At this point I should mention that this stuff was probably excessively hard primed, possibly for use in open bolt submachine guns. (Glocks and most other quality 9mm automatics have reliably fired most every other military round I've tried or seen shot. I know they've been reliable with any and all US-manufactured ammo I've tried.) Still, this speaks well of the Hi Power. The change to the heavier mainspring took place in the '70's with the "C-series" Hi Powers. I was told at the time that this was not necessarily to increase reliable primer detonation but to help the pistols withstand some hot-loaded SMG ammunition being used in the unending unpleasantness in the Middle East. The heavier mainspring works similar to a heavier recoil spring in delaying the slide's rearward movement and slows slide velocity to avoid rounding locking lugs on the barrel. Still, it is a good thing to know that the pistol is capable of reliably firing most any 9mm cartridge made in the world. (The only primers I've seen fail to fire in the Hi Power 9mm and .45 1911 have been in factory Sellier & Bellot ammunition. In these cases I believe that the primers were defective. Both pistols had full-strength mainsprings and the same rounds failed in other pistols as well. I have not seen this repeated in several years but still have a hard time trusting S&B for anything other than the range.)

Accuracy: This is a relative term. To a formal match pistol shooter, the Hi Power is an inaccurate handgun. To the less than stellar shot, that the gun will keep its shots on a piece of typing paper at 10 yards might mean that it is very accurate in his estimation. To me the Hi Power is a very accurate handgun considering that its original intent was not to wallow out a single hole at 25 meters. Having shot lots of Hi Powers over the decades, I submit that most will put 10 shots inside about 2 to 2 1/2" with ammunition that groups in that gun. I've seen it consistently group better than what some gun scribes euphemistically call "acceptable combat accuracy." A Hi Power capable of but 3" @ 25 yards would be dropping any shot no farther than 1 1/2" from the POA, assuming zero error on the shooter's part…which is rare.

For those wanting greater intrinsic accuracy in their Hi Power, a fitted BarSto barrel will usually reduce group size by 15 to 20% with most jacketed rounds and more with cast bullet loads. The 1:10" twist of the factory barrel works with some cast loads, but the 1:16" does better in my experience and with a wider variety of cast/plated bullets. The majority of my Hi Powers use their standard factory barrel, as they're plenty accurate enough for my purposes. For a general-purpose sidearm, if I can hit a target the size of an orange at about 25 yards that's all I require. This does not mean that the Hi Power platform is incapable of better accuracy. The target version of the gun, the FN Competition, is capable of very small groups, but the gun is no longer produced; no demand. It appears that fans of the Hi Power find it accurate enough in standard trim for their intended needs.

As can be seen in the targets above, the Hi Power is capable of relatively tight groups in slow-fire and handles well in the rapid-fire controlled pair target on the left as well as on the right target.

The thing that really contributes to the Hi Power's accuracy for me is its practical accuracy. In other words, I find it extremely easy to shoot well in both slow and rapid-fire. This is akin to how "good" a gun feels and is subjective but it would appear that from the gun's long service history and relative popularity among 9mm shooters, a great many folks feel the same way.

It has been reported that some 9mm pistols suffer reliability problems when using 147-gr. JHP ammunition. While I admit not being a user of this weight bullet in 9mm, I have had no problems with the limited amounts that I've tried in a couple of Mk III pistols. Ammunition used was Speer Gold Dot, Remington Golden Sabers, Winchester Silvertip, and Winchester Ranger. These loads ran smoothly and w/o malfunction using either the standard factory 17-lb. recoil spring or the Wolff 18.5-lb. All of this ammunition grouped well with ejection being positive. People considering the Hi Power but preferring the "heavy bullet" approach should have no reliability problems based on what I've seen. (This does not mean that the ammo to be used shouldn't be tested in the individual pistol.)

Winchester Ranger 147-gr. 9mm JHP fed reliably and grouped well at 15 yards from this Mk III pistol using the factory barrel. So has 9mm ammo in this bullet weight from other ammunition manufacturers. The only ammunition that sometimes fails to eject in my Hi Powers is some of the ultra-light bullet loads such as the RBCD and Aguila. This was due to the 18.5-lb. recoil spring. Dropping down to the factory standard would have solved that "problem". I opted not to, as I do not use the really light 50 and 60-odd grain ammunition. The Hi Powers I've shot have worked reliably as sin with any bullet from 88 to 158 grains.

Spare & Aftermarket Parts: Parts remain plentiful for the Hi Power from the manufacturer as well as from Cylinder & Slide and a few other places. There will probably never be as many aftermarket parts and choices as exist for the Hi Power and Glock pistols, but spare parts are available and should be for years to come even if FN does eventually cease production of the Hi Power.

9mm Cartridge: I like it and consider it the "perfect" cartridge for the sleek Hi Power. There are other articles on this site focusing on various standard velocity and +P rated 9mm loads for the Hi Power so I won't dwell deeply on it here other than to say that the choice is wide for people interested in high-performance loads in this caliber. With the advent of some of today's bullet designs I think the "gap" between standard velocity performance and that from some +P has considerably narrowed. I do not consider the 9mm wanting in terms of performance when loaded with such ammunition as Winchester's 127-gr. +P+, Corbon DPX 115-gr. +P, Remington's 124-gr. Golden Sabers in either standard velocity or +P or Speer's 124-gr. Gold Dots in either pressure range. The old Federal 115-gr. JHP isn't bad, either! While I do believe that in its better loadings .45 ACP edges higher performance-wise than 9mm, I am not convinced that the difference is significant. I am sure that it is not if the larger caliber cannot be shot as accurately as the 9mm. In short, I'm quite happy if armed with a 9mm Hi Power and what I consider good defensive ammunition.

The classic cocked-and-locked Hi Power has lost some ground and market sales to newer designs such as the Glock. Shown here is a Mk III Hi Power and Glock's compact 9mm, the 26. For most of us the Hi Power has more pleasing lines. Notice also that while considered a service size handgun, the Hi Power is not really all that much bigger than the Glock 26. Either pistol is a capable performer with the DPX 115-gr. ammunition shown, but I find the Hi Power easier to shoot well in either slow or rapid-fire.

Conclusion: The FN Hi Power, GP, P-35, or by whatever name it is known has served people going into dangerous situations very well for many decades. Though its popularity is declining in current times, the pistol remains a favorite of many handgun enthusiasts and will for decades to come. I think I might have written many of the reasons why. Born in a different era, some consider it a relic. Others simply see it as continuing to do what a pistol should: function reliably and allow the shooter to put the holes where he wants them. I see it as something a little different. To me it is a reliable design but one that is also a work of art, combining function with graceful lines and deadly beauty.

For those desiring to do so the Hi Power lends itself to custom touches and a number of famous gunsmiths specialize in Hi Power customization.

I have no quarrels with those opting for a different 9mm. Each of us must "work out our own salvation" so to speak, but for myself, no other 9mm satisfies so completely as the Hi Power.


« Wheat stockpiles are shrinking even though U.S. yields are soaring.
(Getty Images)

U.S. Wheat Reserves Dropping Fast

October 19, 2007 | From

Due to weak harvests worldwide, foreign markets are devouring American crops, which could leave wheat reserves at a 59-year low.

Wheat levels for 2007-2008 may drop to their lowest point in 59 years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (usda)national supply to be 307 million bushels, down from its September estimate of 362 million bushels. has reported. The department expects the

If the usda estimate proves correct, by the end of this year the nation will have its smallest wheat stockpile since 1949.

There were 149 million Americans in 1949. Now there are more than 300 million.

The shrinking wheat supply is attributed to high international demand for U.S. grain. Adverse weather conditions have claimed acres of crops worldwide, driving wheat prices to record highs. On Thursday, they jumped 30 cents to $8.83 a bushel.

According to, the news is an “agricultural bombshell.” Analyst Sean Brodrick writes that global stockpiles are already at 26-year lows, sufficient for less than two months, and that rising prices for groceries are only beginning. The greatest cause for concern, Brodrick says, is that wheat stockpiles are shrinking even though U.S. yields are soaring.

As wheat harvests in Australia, Russia, the Ukraine, Egypt and China have taken hits, demand continues to climb. The same is true with corn and other grains. China, a former corn exporter, is beginning to import the grain, and India and other emerging markets are demanding more and more wheat, corn and other grain for direct consumption and other uses, including biofuel.

As national and world populations continue to boom, and weather and other disasters continue to damage production, expect these rumblings to lead to an explosion in demand and prices for agricultural commodities. In view of mounting economic instability, Herbert W. Armstrong stated for years, “I warn you, prepare greatly to reduce your standard of living!” (Plain Truth, January 1980). The conditions he forecasted now surround the American household. That solid advice is more applicable now than ever.

This is The Torah04

Chapter 12
1-2) A prophecy: the Word of God concerning Israel. Thus declares God, Who extends the heavens and lays the foundations of the earth, and Who creates the spirit of man within him: Behold, I will make Jerusalem into a cup of poison for all the surrounding nations. And Judah will also attack Jerusalem.

3-4) On that day, I will make Jerusalem into a burdensome stone for all the nations. All those who lift it will be severely injured. Yet all the nations on earth will gather against her. On that day ─ declares God ─ I will afflict every horse with confusion and its rider with madness. But I will watch over the House of Judah, while I smite all the nations' horses with blindness.

5) The chiefs of Judah will say to themselves, “The inhabitants of Jerusalem have strengthened me through the God of Hosts their Lord.”

6) On that day, I will make the chiefs of Judah like a bonfire among trees, like a flaming torch among sheaves. They will consume all the surrounding nations, to the right and left; and Jerusalem will remain on its site - in Jerusalem...

Chapter 13
8-9) Throughout the world ─ declares God ─ two-thirds will be cut off and die, but the third will remain. I will bring that third into fire and refine them as one refines metal, examine them as one examines gold.
He will call in My Name, and I will answer him. I will say, “You are My people.” And he will say, “God is my Lord”...

Chapter 14
2-3) I will gather all the peoples to Jerusalem for war. The city will be captured, the houses pillaged, the women raped, and half the city will go into exile. But the rest of the population will not be uprooted from the city. God will then come forth and fight against those peoples as when He fought on the day of battle {when He split the Red Sea after the Exodus from Egypt} ...
And God will be King of all the earth. On that day, God will be one and His Name one...

12) This will be the plague with which God will smite all the nations that warred against Jerusalem: Their flesh will rot away even as they stand on their feet. Their eyes will rot in their sockets and their tongues will rot in their mouths. (this is nuclear)

13) On that day, there will be a great confusion from God in their midst. They will grab hold of each other's hand, with each one's hand raised against the other’s.

14) Judah, too, will battle against Jerusalem...

16-17) Whoever survives of all those peoples that come against Jerusalem will make a yearly pilgrimage to bow down to the King, the God of Hosts, and to celebrate the Festival of Sukkot. And when any of the nations of the world fail to make the pilgrimage to Jerusalem to bow down to the King, the God of Hosts, rain will not fall for them.


ATT: Gov. Spitzer


Tuesday, October 16, 2007


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« A dead Gar fish lies on what was once the bottom of Lake Okeechobee in Florida.
(Getty Images)

Drought Parches Southeast Prompting Drastic Measures

October 17, 2007 | From
Lakes and reservoirs in southeastern U.S. are shriveling, and communities there are growing worried.

Lakes and reservoirs in the southeastern United States are shriveling, and local governments are calling for sweeping restrictions to conserve what little water they have left. More than 25 percent of the region is suffering from “exceptional” drought, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s most severe classification.

Kentucky, Virginia, Tennessee and Alabama are baking under exceptional or extreme droughts. Mississippi, Georgia and Florida are also suffering from severe drought, moderate drought or abnormally dry conditions.

The conditions are the worst in more than 100 years in many areas, and some cities, including Atlanta, Georgia, could run out of water in as little as 90 days. Siler City, North Carolina, has ordered water use cut in half.

State and local leaders are conserving water and considering sharing water between full water systems and those that are drying up. They are also imposing restrictions on outdoor and even indoor water use. Households, restaurants, businesses and industries are being ordered to sharply curtail water use.

If voluntary measures don’t work, some leaders have indicated that declaring a state of emergency and imposing mandatory rationing will be their only choice.

Worst-case scenarios forecast severe water shortages that will affect more than 4 million people.

The dry conditions are breeding wildfires, with North Carolina suffering from 5,964 of them so far this year, 2,000 more than usual. Over 33,000 acres have burned, twice the average.

“We’ve run after fires hot and hard all during the summer, and it’s not going to go away for the rest of the year,” state forester Dan Brandon said. “It’s an extraordinary situation. I’ve never seen it like this before.”

For more on national and global weather trends and what is causing them, read “Flash Floods, Scorched Earth.”


Turkish MPs back attacks in Iraq
Turkish troops near the Iraqi border
Turkey wants the ability to pursue PKK rebels across the border
Turkey's parliament has given permission for the government to launch military operations into Iraq in pursuit of Kurdish rebels.

The vote was taken in defiance of pressure from the US and Iraq, which have called on Turkey for restraint.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said the motion does not mean a military operation is imminent.

But he said Turkey needed to be able to respond to a recent rise in bomb attacks blamed on PKK rebels from Iraq.

Turkish MPs backed him overwhelmingly, by 507 votes to 19.

As the vote was being counted, President George W Bush strongly urged America's Turkish ally not to carry out the threatened action.

He said Washington was "making it clear to Turkey it is not in their interest to send more troops in... there is a better way to deal with the issue".

Click to view a detailed map of the border region

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki had earlier phoned the Turkish prime minister, saying he was "absolutely determined" to remove the PKK from Iraq and pleading for more time, according to Turkey's Anatolia news agency.

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, an ethnic Kurd, urged Turkey not to make an incursion, but also called on the PKK "to end the so-called military activity".

The autonomous Kurdish regional government in northern Iraq warned Turkish MPs that any intervention would be "illegal". It has denied providing the PKK with any help.

The rebels themselves said they would meet force with force.

The chief of the PKK's executive council, Murat Karayilan, told the Kurdish Hawlati newspaper: "Thousands of PKK guerrillas are on standby to fight Turkish army forces."

However Syrian President Bashar Assad, visiting Turkey, said he supported the country's right to take the action "against terrorism and terrorist activities".

President Bush, speaking during a press conference, criticised Congress for jeopardising US relations with Turkey with a planned vote to recognise the mass killing of Armenians in Ottoman times as genocide.

"One thing Congress should not be doing is sorting out the historical record of the Ottoman Empire," he said.

Although a Congressional committee has supported the motion, its chances of passing a full vote appear to be waning.

Key Democrats in the US House of Representatives have joined Republicans to warn that US strategic interests could be damaged by the largely symbolic resolution.

Kabbalists: Great, Miraculous War Coming

( A report Saturday night quoted several important Kabbalists, as well as senior Ashkenazic Hareidi Rabbis, as saying that a major war would take place in Israel “very soon.” The reports quoted senior Hareidi Rabbi Baruch Avraham Rakovsky, who said that during a recent gathering where senior Kabbalists discussed important issues of the day, it was revealed through a variety of means – including communication with autistic children - that a major war was in the offing. However, great “open miracles, such as those that occurred when the Jews left Egypt,” would take place. The events they were referring to, they said, would clearly be understood as miracles, even to those who were not expert in Kabbalistic studies.

The Kabbalists did not reveal the specific details on the war, but said that Iran would be involved. Already, they said, Hashem was performing miracles: During the past five times that Iranian President Ahmadinejad threatened Israel, they said, major natural catastrophes, such as earthquakes, occured a short time afterwards.

Other Hareidi leaders last week told their students similar messages, including HaRav Chaim Cohen (“HaChalvan”), who said that Israel was in a position to quickly destroy its enemies, and HaRav Chaim Kanievsky, who said that “Hashem will soon perform great miracles for the Jewish people.”