Sunday, March 26, 2017

Wiretapping Trump?

In 15 October, the US secret intelligence court issued a warrant to investigate two Russian banks. This news was given to me by several sources and corroborated by someone I will identify only as a senior member of the US intelligence community. He would never volunteer anything - giving up classified information would be illegal - but he would confirm or deny what I had heard from other sources.
Lawyers from the National Security Division in the Department of Justice then drew up an application. They took it to the secret US court that deals with intelligence, the Fisa court, named after the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. They wanted permission to intercept the electronic records from two Russian banks....
Neither Mr Trump nor his associates are named in the Fisa order, which would only cover foreign citizens or foreign entities - in this case the Russian banks. But ultimately, the investigation is looking for transfers of money from Russia to the United States, each one, if proved, a felony offence.
A lawyer- outside the Department of Justice but familiar with the case - told me that three of Mr Trump's associates were the subject of the inquiry. "But it's clear this is about Trump," he said.
I spoke to all three of those identified by this source. All of them emphatically denied any wrongdoing. "Hogwash," said one. "Bullshit," said another. Of the two Russian banks, one denied any wrongdoing, while the other did not respond to a request for comment.
The Deep State will do whatever it takes, including pretending that Trump is paranoid about stuff the Deep State's media outlets admit.

Check Your Cisgender Privilege

From the University of Oregon's List of Cisgender (you have male genitals and think you are a man, or vice versa for women) Privileges:
  1. I am a size and shape for which clothes I feel comfortable wearing are commonly made.
When I was younger, I would go into Sears to shop for clothes.  I was not by any means thin.  I would even say I was close to obese.  And there were no dress shirts that fit me.  They were designed for men with gross beer bellies.  Eventually they started carrying shirts that had some relationship to a reasonably healthy man with some label thjat claimed that they were a more "European" fit.  This was nonsense, but they fit me.  I guess 18-20 I was lacking cisgender privilege.

Are there any Oregonians even slightly concerned at how their tax dollars are being spent?

A Logical Parallel to "I'm Feeling Female Today, I Get to Use the Ladies' Loicker Room"

Rachel Dolezal — who convincingly passed as an African-American civil rights activist in Spokane, Washington, until her inarguably Caucasian parents outed her as white in 2015 — is now stepping back into the spotlight in all her bottle-bronzed, afro-hair-extensioned glory.
Dolezal has penned a memoir in which she compares her travails to slavery and describes her harrowing childhood as a pale, blond girl growing up poor on the side of a Montana mountain.
As she toiled in the garden for her strict, Evangelical parents, she’d dream of freeing her inner blackness, Dolezal writes in “In Full Color: Finding My Place in a Black and White World.”
There are pictures of her as a teenager.  She is closer to the Aryan ideal than any of my kids.  At least the opening of The Jerk was a joke.  Not sure which publisher is bringing out this transracial nonsense, but it says loads about progressive self-delusion.

Fairbanks-Area Gun Rights Groups?

A reader suggested that if I am headed to Alaska for auroae, I should try to wangle an invite from one of Fairbanks area gun rights groups.  Suggestions?

Shooting on Las Vegas Bus

Assistant Sheriff Tom Roberts said the man, believed to be in his 50s, was riding on the second floor toward the back of the bus when he opened fire “indiscriminately.”
“He didn’t seem to have a motive,” Roberts said, adding the man appeared to have “mental issues” and was seeing things.
“He definitely was not really with it,” he said.
I will be curious to find out if there was any previous treatment history or warnings.

I Bought It on eBay

You may recall Weird Al's song of this title a few years back.  As much as it sometimes seems to be an online garage sale, there are some surprises.  ScopeRoller has historically used Jergens Quick-Release locking pins for the Toe Saver product.  These are a clever product; unless you press the button on the handle you need 9200 pounds of force to slide that pin through a 1/4" hole.  Of late these locking pins have climbed above $30 new.

On eBay I have found them for as little as $4.80, and comparably priced copies by Gibraltar.  These are new, and seem to be coming from companies that sell off remnants from larger firms.  There's no long-term supply at these prices, but these make the toe saver profitable again.  I don't sell more than 20 a year, so no problem.

Things You Don't Think About When Dating

Does this woman have goods spatial analysis capabilities?  Is she adept at seeing alternative mechanical design strategies?  The short answer turns out to be, "Yes."  We got high-centered on a fiber optics bundle raised mound in central Nevada in the 1980s.  I was pretty flummoxed, but she saw how to get us off.

More recently, as I looked for ways to reduce manufacturing and inventory costs for ScopeRoller several years ago, she saw a way to simplify the design so that four basic components covered 95% of the product line.

I have been working on a ScopeRoller product to provide mobility for Dobsonian telescopes like this:

There's no tripod and these are often quite heavy.  (Dobsonians are often signs of severe aperture lust; there must be a support group somewhere.).

I have been working on a design that conforms to ScopeRoller's current product line strengths: don't change the telescope's "footprint"; compact and light enough to ship in Priority Mail boxes worldwide; use of off-the-shelf raw materials (no specialized, custom parts); no new skills required (like welding).  I was fighting a losing battle around getting the holes and slots in three separate sheets of aluminum to align.  She suggested an alternative strategy which requires aligning holes in two sheets at a time: A bolts to B; B bolts to C.  In nerd terms, B is an interface between A and C. Another benefit is that instead of cutting slots in aluminum plate (which is very slow on the Sherline mill), I can solve the problem of how to get a 1/4"-20 bolt to screw into a threaded hole holding B and C together by using a 3/8" through hole.  This allows for a few hundredths of an inch misalignment while still locking down tightly with washer