"...it's not the training to be mean but the training to be kind that is used to keep us leashed best." ~ Black Dog Red

"In case you haven't recognized the trend: it proceeds action, dissent, speech." ~ davidly, on how wars get done

"...What sort of meager, unerotic existence must a man live to find himself moved to such ecstatic heights by the mundane sniping of a congressional budget fight. The fate of human existence does not hang in the balance. The gods are not arrayed on either side. Poseiden, earth-shaker, has regrettably set his sights on the poor fishermen of northern Japan and not on Washington, D.C. where his ire might do some good--I can think of no better spot for a little wetland reclamation project, if you know what I mean. The fight is neither revolution nor apocalypse; it is hardly even a fight. A lot of apparatchiks are moving a lot of phony numbers with more zeros than a century of soccer scores around, weaving a brittle chrysalis around a gross worm that, some time hence, will emerge, untransformed, still a worm." ~ IOZ

Nov 16, 2011


Come highly recommended. They won't stop an urban assault vehicle. But, with an eye towards effective placement, they can make it more difficult for armed municipal staffers to effectively use the riot control cohort which allows them to muscle in, Roman Legion style, and pacify a crowd.

Also, and you probably already know this, bonfires. Bonfires rock.

One of the side effects of the militarization of community policing is a growing dependence upon gadgetry. Such as, night vision goggles and infrared cameras. Bonfires create pockets of light which can effectively blind the night vision dependent.

Night vision amplification comes in two types - "image intensification" and "thermal imaging":

Night-vision equipment does not turn night into day.
1) Image intensification systems
Image intensification systems perform poorly in total darkness and more amplification causes visual distortions. By highlighting particular areas it can lead troops to concentrating on the light focus areas and not what is happening in unlit darker areas. Furthermore, they only work effectively over short distances and with slow moving objects. Image intensification rapidly diminishes at distances over 120 metres and the faster and more erratically an object moves, the less it can track it.
Because an image enhancing system works to increase lightness, a bright light shone on it in the near darkness will dazzle or blind its user. Even if the user is moving towards a bright light, and this includes a bright moon low on the horizon, he has great difficulty making out clear images and the equipment also casts long shadows which leads to accidents on uneven terrain. Therefore it can be made to malfunction by shining torches and, especially, by oncoming car headlights.
2) Thermal, infra-red imaging
Thermal imaging cannot be used to identify precise details on remote objects that are not distinguishable by different heat profiles. Depending on the quality of the night goggles, the maximum viewing range is from 30 to 120 metres in perfect conditions, and in adverse weather conditions much less. Weather conditions are the biggest threat to the efficiency of these systems. Dust, sand, smoke, fog, clouds and rain severely reduce their operational effectiveness.
Thermal night-vision equipment is also highly sensitive to red light. Even car instrument screens can disorientate the user and this is even more the case with red-lens flash lights.
A US army study also showed their limits used for night driving. It revealed that two thirds of vehicle accidents were due to night goggles. They proved very prone to terrain and roadway hazards like drop-offs and ditches greater than 1 metre and even with High Mobility Multi-purpose Wheeled Vehicles. This was particularly the case when they faced dusty or sandy conditions and when confronted with smoke or as a result of being dazzled by an external light source.
Finally, the experience of Kosovo and Iraq showed that it is very difficult to wear the special helmets for a long time. They are extremely uncomfortable and the strain on the eyes of viewing things through these goggles means troops can only wear them for short periods and not in longer conflicts. Therefore troops will not be able to wear them throughout the night in surveillance or battle.
You can also pick up an assortment of LED flashlights, with blue and red beams, from as cheap as $2.

This public service announcement brought to you be the letter A.


Jonathan Versen said...

Thanks,letter A!

Mark S said...

Sorry. Given my righteous commitment to the creed of nonviolence, I find I am uncomfortable with any practical use of information that has a provenance in mutual combat or warfare.

Randal Graves said...

Don't forget the botulism in the unroasted hot dogs.

Jack Crow said...

Letter X is jealous. It has promised to endorse a PSA on the off-use employment of newspapers.