Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Weirdest Phone I've Ever Seen

A phone that is a very good replica of an M1911.  See RJ11 jack in magazine picture.

Yesterday's Amazon Dropping

We are about to get a dog,  but only a puppy so we will not need this for a while.

I Can See Global Warming From My House

I blogged in November of 2015 about an earlier than expected snow on our surrounding mountains.  This is more than a month earlier.  Better order those snow tires and mammoth recipes soon.

President Threatens War With North Korea

No, not Trump, starting at 2:35 in:

Where Progressives Are Going

It appears her master's is in Africana Studies from Morgan State University.

Why Rising Temperatures Precede Carbon Dioxide Increases

I can't sleep. It has been observed that over tens of thousands of years, CO2 concentrations sometimes follow temperature increases:

Why? Solubility of gases declines as water temperature increases. Rising ocean temperatures would drive dissolved CO2 into the air.

Hollywood's Enthusiasm for the Confederacy

9/19/17 National Review article by Victor Davis Hanson about how Hollywood was unabashedly pro-Confederate as part of its anti-Vietnam War stance.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

When You Can't Tell If This Is Real Progressivism or Parody

This decor is WRONG on SO many levels. There is nothing decorative about raw cotton... A commodity which was gained at the expense of African-American slaves. 

A little sensitivity goes a long way. 

The cotton hasn't been picked yet.

Tragically Funny

At first I thought this was a parody of a Democratic Party campaign ad but it seems to be real:

Not Sure How This Comes Up

The National Science Foundation is spending over $100,000 to create "safe zone" inclusion training so more members of the LGBTQ community become engineers.
The project, which will not start until January 2018, is a joint study being conducted by the American Society For Engineering Education, Rowan University, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The focus of the study is to find ways to combat what the researchers call a "chilly" environment for lesbian, gay, and transgender individuals in engineering labs.
Two separate grants totaling $587,441 were awarded Thursday. A grant worth $473,325 was awarded to the American Society For Engineering Education, and $114,116 was given to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
"You used the wrong formula for figuring out the load this truss can handle.  I'll bet you have a rainbow sticker on your car!"

Rogue One

I watched this on Netflix.  If you saw the first Star Wars movie (as I did in 1977 in a theater on Wilshire Blvd. just east of Westwood) you will find yourself wondering why they needed to recycle the plot of that first movie and many of the risk schemes intended to heighten audience excitement.  Almost every component from the original movie appears here: breaking into a secure facility; a tower with thousands of feet of drop (never a railing, of course; the Empire lacks OSHA); vigorous dogfights; ATATs collapsing; the Jedi killed in heroic defense of his colleagues.

The weapons are even more obviously modeled on today's weapons than in the original: H&K 91 or FN FAL; belt fed machine gun; pump action shotgun (one character even pumps it to fire next projectile).

I heard criticism when it came out of being too obviously PC in the diversity of human races.  It did not seem particularly over the top to me; thank heavens none of the black actors were speaking Ebonics.  Considering the first movie opens with "In a galaxy far, far away, a long time ago," the humans are too obviously intended as a college administration's preferred faculty mix, or a Democratic Party convention.  It  seems a bit odd that one Hispanic has a Mexican accent  But as science fiction, Star Wars has always been closer to a space Western.  Never analyze the assumptions and you can enjoy it; otherwise, you just laugh too much.

The blind Zen Asian Jedi immediately brought to mind the blind teacher in the 1970s classically bad TV show Kung Fu (which yes, I enjoyed).

California Exodus?

9/18/17 Sacramento Bee:
More than half of California voters say the state’s housing affordability crisis is so bad that they’ve considered moving, and 60 percent of the electorate supports rent control, according to a new statewide poll.
The findings from UC Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies reflect broad concerns Californians have over the soaring cost of living. Amid an unprecedented housing shortage, rents have skyrocketed and tenants have faced mass evictions, especially in desirable areas.
“It’s an extremely serious problem,” said poll director Mark DiCamillo. “People are being forced to consider moving because of the rising cost of housing – that’s pretty prevalent all over the state.”
Bad problem?  Add rent control to make it worse.  I have noticed a lot more California plates in Boise of late.

Do You Use CCleaner?

A very nice and useful cleanup tool.  But 9/18/17 CBS Philadelphia:
CCleaner, the computer-optimizing tool made by software company Piriform, was successfully infected by malware, according to security firm Cisco Talos. The malware reportedly tried to connect to unregistered websites in order to remotely download even more harmful programs to users’ computers.
Security experts say the Trojan horse-style attack hackers launched affected over 2 million CCleaner customers who downloaded the product in August....
Piriform’s parent company, Avast, released a statement after the breach was announced saying the infected software had been dealt with.
“Piriform believes that these users are safe now as its investigation indicates it was able to disarm the threat before it was able to do any harm,” an Avast spokesperson said. 
If you downloaded it in August, get a fresh download.

Global Warming Not Meeting Desired Expectations

Computer modelling used a decade ago to predict how quickly global average temperatures would rise may have forecast too much warming, a study has found....
The study, published this week in the journal Nature Geoscience, does not play down the threat which climate change has to the environment, and maintains that major reductions in emissions must be attained.
But the findings indicate the danger may not be as acute as was previously thought.
Myles Allen, professor of geosystem science at the University of Oxford and one of the study’s authors told The Times: “We haven’t seen that rapid acceleration in warming after 2000 that we see in the models. We haven’t seen that in the observations.”
Caught with their pants down.  and 9/19/17 Daily Nail:
In a study just published by the respected journal Nature Geoscience, a group of British academics reveals that the immediate threat from global warming is lower than previously thought, because the computer models used by climate change experts are flawed.
According to these models, temperatures across the world should now be at least 1.3 degrees above the mid-19th century average, which is taken as a base level in such calculations. But the British report demonstrates that the rise is only between 0.9 and 1 degree.

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Is This Self-Awareness or Death Rattle?

9/18/17 Daily Mail:
American physician assistants are being enticed over to the United Kingdom amid staffing shortages - with promises of long vacations in Europe.Physician associates, medical professionals who assist doctors in making a diagnosis and analyzing test results, train for two years, roughly a quarter of the training of a doctor. 

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Comments at Instapundit point out that pay with NHS is about a third of US PA salaries; so much for student loan debt.

Monday, September 18, 2017

This Joke is Becoming Tiresome

Clinton is considering challenging the legitimacy of the election because of Russia.  Even there were some truth to the Russia fantasy,  what provision of the Constitution applies?  What clause requires foreign governments not influence our elections.  Would this apply retroactively to the Chinese involvement in the 1996 election?  Right after the election,  like Gore tried to do in 2000 would have been disappointing,  but now?  She is raising sore loserdom to new levels.

Always Fun Watching Democrats Self-Destruct

DREAMERS disrupt Pelosi press conference.   Not Cruz or Trump,  but their strongest ally.

Why Do I Imagine a Walking Base 8 Computer?

9/17/17 Daily Mail:
Non-binary Georgia Tech student, 21, is shot dead by campus police after 'refusing to stop approaching officers while carrying small knife'
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Shouting "shoot me," suggests suicide by cop.   Tragedy, but "non-binary" is a weird choice for "gender confused."

I Had a Good Laugh

Shocking: Politicians Keeps Campaign Promise

9/14/17 Dallas Morning News:
ICE agents are detaining many more unauthorized immigrants than were arrested by this time last year, and North Texas has been a leader in those efforts.
Arrests have increased about 43 percent nationwide since President Donald Trump took office after promising a tough crackdown on illegal immigration.
ICE’s acting director, Thomas Homan, has said that “there was no population off the table,” and the width and breadth of ICE detentions have proved he’s keeping his word.As recently as January, ICE efforts were primarily focused on removing immigrants who were convicted of  crimes. More recently, people who fled violence and who are awaiting the outcome of asylum cases have been detained. There have also been cases in which unauthorized immigrants who agreed to provide guardianship for newly arrived immigrant children have been detained.
Of course, enforcing our laws, is just  doing his job.

British Police Make Arrest in Terrorist Bombing

The second man arrested in connection with the Parsons Green Tube attack is a party-loving Syrian refugee who worked as a nightclub promoter.
Yahyah Farroukh, a 21-year-old refugee and former foster child, is registered as living at the address in Stanwell where police today conducted a search.
Hence, the Democrat insistence that Trump allow without question, refugees from the six countries on Obama's  high risk list.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

I Am Sure Someone Answered This in a Comment in the Last Few Years

But blogger lets me search posts, not comments.  There is a sci-fi story where a scientist demonstrates to his class that time is actually quite resilient to changes in the past.  He starts a pendulum swinging  through a time portal.  The first swing kills a bug, which causes the ancestor of an early mammal to starve, removing a useful mutation from the gene pool.  It is a short story, but it adequately demonstrates the long-term effects, with each swing slowly altering the classroom and its inhabitants.  At the end, the professor and his students are now reptilian, not primates, and he croaks, "See!  Nothing has changed!"  Author, title?  "Anyone, anyone."

Finally, the Left Repudiates the ACLU

A big chunk of UC Berkeley's faculty are explaining why the college should close:

We recognize that as a public institution, we are legally bound by the Constitution to allow all viewpoints on campus. However, there are forms of speech that are not protected under the First Amendment. These include speech that presents imminent physical danger and speech that disrupts the university’s mission to educate. Milo, Coulter and Bannon do not come to educate; they and their followers come to humiliate and incite. If the administration insists upon allowing the Alt-Right to occupy the center of our campus for four days to harass, threaten and intimidate us, as they did during Milo’s visit in February, then faculty cannot teach, staff cannot work and students cannot learn.
Yup, they come to say things that irritate your complacent self-righteousness.  And that isn't educational?  9/14/17 Los Angeles Times interviewing UC Berkeley Chancellor Christ (with a name like that how did she get hired):
Free speech has itself become controversial. We have a generation of students now who are much more willing to think about restrictions on speech. There are certainly faculty who also believe that. I grew up feeling the libertarian language of John Stuart Mill was absolutely natural. It’s what I believe. But that’s not true of a lot of students today. They grew up having lots of instructions in anti-bullying, … on what constitutes harassment. They’ve been told strongly and repeatedly that certain kinds of speech are inappropriate. And so they don’t understand the difference between how we say it’s right to act in a community, whether it’s a classroom or a dormitory, and what a public speaker is allowed to say in a public square

Rationality in Unexpected Places

There is a very obnoxious Young Earth Creationist named Kenn Hamm whose answer to every question is, "It's all in Genesis."   Regular readers will know that I find the Young Earth claim absurd and not Biblically-based.  Furthermore, the reason that some Creationists cling to the Young Earth claim, is a belief that only by denying enough time, can the evolutionary model be debunked.  As I have previously pointed out, the oldest plant fossils are less than 200 million years younger than the end of the Late Heavy Bombardment, when the Earth's surface was 600 degrees.  Running Out of Time would be a fine title for a book about the battles over the age of the Earth.  (May get to that at some point.)  9/15/17 Fox News:
A Christian numerologist claims that the world will end next Saturday when a planet will, supposedly, collide with Earth.
According to Christian numerologist David Meade, verses in Luke 21:25 to 26 are the sign that recent events, such as the recent solar eclipse and Hurricane Harvey, are signs of the apocalypse. 
Imagine my surprise to find a thorough debunking of this apparently widely heralded claim at Kenn Hamm's site:
First, there is nothing particularly unusual about the sun appearing in the constellation Virgo. As we orbit the sun each year, the sun appears to move through the 12 constellations of the zodiac, spending about a month in each one. The month that the sun appears in Virgo is around the time of the autumnal equinox, from mid-September through late October. Nor is it unusual to find the moon near the feet of Virgo. The moon takes 27 1/3 days to orbit the earth with respect to the stars. Therefore, for a day or two each month, the moon appears near the feet of Virgo. (I keep mentioning the feet of Virgo. Although I am very familiar with Virgo, I have never been able to see a woman in the sky there, so I can hardly pick out what is supposed to be her feet, and I seriously doubt anyone else can either.) Therefore, for a day or two each September or October, the sun appears in Virgo with the moon at her feet, so this is not that remarkable.
It was more than 15 years ago that I first heard the suggestion that this annual event might be a fulfillment of Revelation 12 in some particular year. Since then, interest in this idea has increased, with some people speculating or even predicting that “this is the year,” only to forget about it when nothing significant transpired before moving on to the next year’s occurrence.  

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Today's Amazon Dropping

Too narrow for my Samsung.   Maybe a newer Samsung or iPhone?

More Detail on My Stupid

Some of you want to know how I cut myself.   I ordinarily sand the ends of a workpiece in the lathe by turning up the speed and placing sandpaper on the end.  If the workpiece is sticking several inches from the ends of the jaws,  this is perfectly safe.

 In this case,  the workpiece was only about .25" longer than the end of the jaws. Even a slight misadjustment reminds you why we call them jaws: they might as well have teeth.  I am thinking of wearing gloves a bit thicker than the depth of skin sliced by that 6" chuck.   If it rips off that much glove,  I will not be in Urgent Care.

 I will also not try to sand an end that is not at least an inch or two longer than the jaws.   Next time,  the belt sander, even though it produces an inferior finish.   Looks really do not matter for this part.   I just like stuff that I make to be pretty.   Of course,  blood does not help it cosmetically, nor does a Forensic Files blood spatter exercise.

Any Guesses Why I Am Not Surprised?

9/15/17 Philadelphia Inquirer:
Jeffrey S. Sandusky, the 41-year-old son of convicted child-sex abuser Jerry Sandusky, pleaded guilty Friday in Centre County to attempting to persuade two teenage sisters into sexual acts.
The younger Sandusky, who worked as a corrections officer at Rockview State Correctional Institution in Bellefonte, was facing a trial this month when he agreed to the plea deal, which requires him to serve at least three to six years in state prison. Prosecutors said they will seek a sentence of four to eight years. His sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 8.
Sandusky, one of six children adopted by the former Pennsylvania State University assistant football coach, was charged with soliciting naked photos from a 16-year-old girl in 2016. In 2013, officials said, he asked the girl’s older sister for oral sex. That victim was 15 at the time.
Any guesses on how close his relationship was with Dad?

Comic Book: An Implausible World for Kids

9/13/17 Hollywood Reporter:
In the recent issue of Action Comics #987, "The Oz Effect," released Wednesday, Superman arrives in the nick of time to protect a group of undocumented immigrants from a white man sporting an American flag bandanna, wielding a machine gun, who is going to shoot them for taking his job. 
Excuse me, for SJWs, who are really still kids emotionally.

No, Not A Satire

According to a new survey from Credible, a personal finance website, 50 percent of all respondents (ages 18-34) said they would give up their right to vote during the next two presidential elections in order to never have to make another loan payment again.
Other extremes include a willingness to ditch ride-sharing services like Uber or Lyft (44 percent) and giving up travel outside of the country for five years (42 percent) to have student loans forgiven.
Yet, only 27 percent said they would be willing to move in with their parents for five years or give up texting at 13 percent. Of the 500 millennials surveyed, only 8.2 percent of them chose to keep paying off their debt and not give up anything.
Priorities; texting more than voting.

I am pleased that our son graduated without student loan debt (we had the money) and our  daughter only acquired student loan debt after she married.

Racism Has Its Costs

Evergreen State College has settled a tort claim against it from embattled Professor Bret Weinstein and his wife, Professor Heather Heying, for $500,000, according to an email sent to faculty Friday evening.
“They have resigned from their faculty positions at Evergreen, effective today. The college will pay them a total of $450,000 and contribute an additional $50,000 toward their attorney fees,” according to the email, sent by John Carmichael, chief of staff and secretary to the board of trustees.

The underlying claim was because the college declared a "Day of Absence," telling white students and faculty they should stay off campus, but still denies that this was racist.  As near as I can tell, Weinstein was a liberal, blindsided by progressive racism.

Democratic Party Primary Fun & Games

For those who thought the DNC's attempts to prevent Sen. Bernie "Chavez" Sanders from getting the nomination for Felonia Pantsuit was an aberration: 9/16/17 Roll Call:
Lawyers for a former Democratic primary challenger to Pennsylvania Rep. Robert Brady said his client plans to plead guilty to hiding a $90,000 payment from Brady's campaign after dropping out of the primary in 2012.
Court documents show that former Philadephia city judge Jimmie Moore met with Brady and said the arrangement was “agreed and understood” that the payment would be disguised, The Associated Press reported.
Not just Moore's claim against Brady's denial:
Moore’s former staffer Carolyn Cavaness admitted to falsifying Federal Election Commission records in July. The case was under seal after prosecutors argued Brady tried to influence a witness but was unsealed after Cavaness pled guilty. 

What Am I Doing in the Shop to Hurt Myself?

Many years ago, when I was in junior high, I was on a telescope mirror making bender.  I bought a number of Pyrex mirror blanks and the required abrasives and polishing compounds.  This is a task that requires more time and patience than I had at that age, and these rapidly turned into oddities on my shelves.

When we bought our first house in San Jose in 1986, I decided that I now had enough room and time to complete one of these projects. I had originally bought two 3" diameter, and two 1" diameter blanks.  (You buy these in pairs, because one will become the mirror, the other the grinding tool.  You can use a plate glass tool, but it was widely believed then that using two identical pieces produced a better mirror.)

My original "There's nothing that I can't do, I'm in junior high school" plan was to build a Gregorian reflector which uses a paraboloid primary mirror and an ellipsoidal secondary, which sits at the focal point of the primary mirror and reflects the image through a hole in the primary.  By adulthood, this was so obviously too hard for a first mirror that I decided to build a 3" f/8 Newtonian reflector.

If you have spent anytime looking at commercial telescopes, you have likely noticed that 3" reflectors are nearly always 3" f/10 spherical mirrors, not paraboloids, unlike larger aperture telescope mirrors.  The reason (which I should have researched) is that a 3" f/10 spherical mirror is within 1/4 wavelength of a paraboloid, and so close enough that it is hard to see a difference for telescope purposes.  But as usual I stumbled forward, making a 3" f/4.5 paraboloid (I went a little deep on grinding phase: hence f/4.5).  It turns out that the final figuring phase of a paraboloid mirror involves moving glass in 1/4 light wavelength depths from the surface.

How do you know you have achieved a paraboloid accurate to fractions of a wavelength of light?  A Foucault knife-edge tester.  This is a shockingly simple device, which allows you to verify paraboloid accuracy as long as you can measure movement of the knife-edge to and from the mirror's focal point in thousandths of an inch.  In a more primitive time, you did that with a nomograph similar to this:
The problem is that as the mirror diameter shrinks and the focal ratio gets shorter, the distances to measure get finer and finer.  This makes getting 1/4 wave accuracy (the usual minimum standard), harder and harder.  These days, with what I have learned, I would have mounted the knife-edge on a 1/4"-20 screw, put a 50 division knob on the end and no problem.  But I have learned much since those days, which nostalgia is making feel better by the day.  (It was not a good time.)

Amusing story: You do Foucault testing in darkness or near-darkness.  My wife came home, and the garage was completely dark except for a very faint light coming from the tester.  She was utterly confused by what she saw.  In later years, she would tell people of this and say being married to me was many things, but never boring!

So, I ended up with a 1/2 wave mirror when I decided to not put any more effort into it.  Not great, but about what the Hubble telescope had on its first failure.  It made a pretty effective, very light and compact telescope.  But because of its size, many of the individual components had to be cobbled together, with sometimes ugly results. 

A mirror cell holds the mirror in the tube and allows for adjustment of the face to the path of incoming light.  At the time in the 1980s, there were no web pages and finding parts was as second millennium as you might expect.  The best that I could find was a mirror cell for a 3 3/8" diameter mirror.  Using it as a source for parts, and with my limited tool experience of the time, I created this Frankenstein:

That is foam tape shrinking it to 3" diameter and the base that mounts in the tube is oak (which taps well and holds bolts better than you might expect).  I am now machining a mirror cell out of aluminum.  More details after my finger stops reminding me of my stupid.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Went To Urgent Care

No stitches, but glad I went.   Doctor very impressed with my wife's bandaging.   No machining for a day or two.

Bad Thing About Blood Thinners

There are no minor cuts.  The room from the garage looks like an episode of Forensic Files.  Luminol would lead to a conviction.  Ended up at urgent care because it would not stop bleeding.  At urgent care, I was down to a slow bleed.  They used this material that provides a similar matrix function as fibrin, and now I am just all bandaged up.  Next time, gloves!  I have some about as thick as the layer of skin that was torn by the chuck's jaws.

I Needed a Polar Fleece Today

I went to my anticoagulation clinic today, and actually needed a pillar fleece!  After months of oppressive heat,  this is glorious news!

The good news is that my INR level is now in the safe range of 2.0 to 3.0 so no need to go back to those painful Lovanox affords.

Season Change

My wife kids that seasons change so suddenly and obviously in  Idaho that she is convinced that there is a guy somewhere with a switch that he moves from the summer to fall setting.  And yes, a few days ago, it was sweltering hot; stay inside all day long.  Yesterday, it rained and was in the 70s.  It was 52 degrees this morning.  It is cloudy, with a cold wind outside.

Note New Header

Trying to prevent Idiocracy from becoming a documentary.

Clinton: Women Are Weak-Willed

9/11/17 NPR, where Clinton explains why so many white women voted for Trump:
And Sheryl ended this really sobering conversation by saying that women will have no empathy for you, because they will be under tremendous pressure — and I'm talking principally about white women — they will be under tremendous pressure from fathers and husbands and boyfriends and male employers not to vote for "the girl."
Curiously, I think that was one of the arguments against giving women the vote: they were going to vote the way their husbands told them to vote.  In any case, Hillary clearly does not think women are strong enough to vote the way they want even in the privacy of the voting booth.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Excel Question

I used Soda PDF to convert the FBI's PDF of NICS Firearm Background Checks: Month/Year to an Excel worksheet.  For some odd reason instead of each year being its own row, several years are combined in a single row.  Any idea how to break these into individual rows by year?

Try Not to Laugh

9/14/17 BBC:
Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has devised a "rabbit plan" to counter the economic war he says is being waged against his government by "imperialist forces".
The president urged crisis-hit Venezuelans to breed rabbits and eat them as a source of animal protein.
Venezuela is facing record levels of child malnutrition amid persistent food shortages.
The leader did say that the "rabbit plan" had not got off to a good start and the minister of urban agriculture, Freddy Bernal, said there had been a "cultural problem".
'People put bows on them'
President Maduro said rabbit kittens had been handed to 15 communities as part of a pilot project by Mr Bernal.
"When he came back, to his surprise he found people had put little bows on their rabbits and were keeping them as pets, it was an early setback to Plan Rabbit."
"A lot of people gave names to the rabbits, they took them to bed," Mr Bernal said.
The minister urged Venezuelans to start seeing rabbits "from the point of view of the economic war".

More Ambition Than I Expect From Criminals

9/14/17 Fox News:
heatBy Travis FedschunFox News
Two men were arrested Wednesday after an officer found a utility pole strapped to the top to a vehicle in Jacksonville.Two men were arrested Wednesday after an officer found a utility pole strapped to the top to a vehicle in Jacksonville.  (Jacksonville Sheriff's Office )
Two men were arrested Wednesday after an officer found a utility pole strapped to the top of a vehicle in Jacksonville, days after Hurricane Irma spawned severe flooding in the city, as cops across the Sunshine State work overtime to nab thieves impeding recovery efforts.
The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office tweeted a picture of the shirtless men sitting handcuffed on the sidewalk.

Piers Morgan Gives Felonia Pantsuit the Smackdown She Deserves

By the time I'd finished wading through Hillary's absurdly self-indulgent tome, I felt like I'd been lowered into a large vat of violently indignant, furiously self-justifying, boiling mad spittle.
This is the tormented, tragic work of a spurned woman who never thought she could possibly lose to Donald Trump, a man she considered her inferior opponent in every possible way imaginable from intellect and political experience to credibility and popularity....

t's not so much a book as an elongated case for the defense of abject failure, presented by a lawyer who's just lost a slam-dunk court battle that no good lawyer should ever have lost.Readers are left in absolutely no doubt who's to blame, and it's most definitely NOT Hillary Rodham Clinton.Oh no, she's absolutely the last name on the list of culprits for the most humiliating beat-down in US political history.The list of people and entities that Hillary DOES blame is so long, it's frankly laughable.

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He gives example after example of her "blame everybody but me" quotes from her book. and finally points out what even a leftist like Morgan can see:
Hillary ran a diabolically elitist and blinkered campaign that basically boiled down to this mantra: 'Trump's disgusting, his supporters are a basket of deplorable idiots, I'm a brilliant woman, my husband used to be President, and I have lots of rich, famous friends – so vote for me.'
As sales pitches go, this was right up there with Pepsi trying to convince us Kendall Jenner could end all America's racial tensions by handing out cola to cops at protest marches.
 America didn't vote for Hillary because they didn't like what she represents and rejected her vague, unimaginative vision for the country.

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Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Traditionally, Lightning Storms Start Most Forest Fires

Now we have a new culprit:
Crews currently battling a 700 acre wildfire northeast of Evanston. The Cowboy Fire started early this afternoon after a windmill caught fire and then spread into the sagebrush and cedar trees with gusty winds. More updates to follow.

Congratulations! San Diego Has Gone Medieval

I remind my students that medieval European cities were filthy places.  People emptied their chamber pots from the second story to the street, which was often littered with animal carcasses.  Fortunately, most cities limited where tanneries and slaughterhouses could operate.  9/12/17 Fox News:
San Diego has begun sanitary street washing efforts after county officials demanded the city act on a plan to address the “fecally contaminated environment” downtown. The city and county have been wrestling with a way to address an ongoing hepatitis A outbreak that has been linked to at least 15 deaths and 400 hospitalizations. 
On Monday, crews began the effort by spraying down East Village sidewalks with a bleach solution. San Diego mayoral spokeswoman Craig Gustafson said the cleanings are scheduled to occur three times a week, every other week, according to CBS8.
Contrary to the ACLU's fantasy that mentally ill people living rough on the streets are not the government's proper concern, it appears it really is.

All New Technologies Have Unexpected Problems

I remember when LED bulbs started to replace incandescent stoplights.  In places with heavy snow, the LED bulbs did not produce enough heat to melt out the snow.  Whoops! The NoTricksZone points out that if all our vehicles were electric, as greenies are beginning to force some European governments to do, Irma would have caused massive death:
Cars would lose their charge, millions stranded on highway
Imagine if the environmentalists had had their way and had managed to force the US into electric cars…something that is underway now in some countries like Norway, the UK and soon France. Germany recently has been discussing in earnest banning by 2030 the internal combustion engine.
And now imagine with Irma approaching if the millions of citizens evacuating populated south Florida had had electric cars instead to make the 400-mile journey to get out of harm’s way. After 100 miles or so these cars would have lost their power, and charging stations quickly would have become overrun with cars waiting to make the one-hour charge-up.
Traffic would have rapidly come to a halt.
These millions of stranded people then would have been sitting ducks waiting to be blown away by nature’s fury.
Fossil fuel vehicles never need a rest
With fossil fuels, the car’s range is far greater, fueling time is just minutes and extra canisters of fuel also can be easily brought along. Power outages would not interrupt petrol stations because the gas pumps can be easily powered by portable fossil fuel-powered generators.
While greenies believe global warming is increasing hurricanes, as I posted earlier today, hurricanes are not becoming more common or more powerful.   And even when Columbus arrived in the New World hurricanes were a startling discovery for pre-fossil fuel Europeans.

Hurricane Frequency

The leftist media (but I repeat myself) are calling Harvey and Irma signs of the coming AGW apocalypse. points out that measures of landfall hurricanes total hurricane energy show that they are not increasing in either frequency or power:

Top graph is count of landfall Atlantic hurricanes.  Also:
Another metric for measuring hurricane and tropical storm intensity is the ACE (Accumulated Cyclone Energy) index, which is defined as the sum of the squares of the maximum sustained surface wind speed (knots) measured every six hours for all named storms while they are at least tropical storm strength. The graphic below plots the North Atlantic ACE index since 1950. The trend line is dead flat.
Hat tip to SmallDeadAnimals.


I woke up to the sound of rain last night.  Absolutely wonderful!  Should take much of the smoke out of the air and help the firefighters.  Now if only Oregon, Washington and California would stop smoking.  At least these aren't cannabis fires.

Lost the Plot Badly

This guy has an image out of Felonia Pantsuit's book claiming the message of 1984 is to trust "our leaders, the press, experts..."   And she has no clue about why she lost?  Comment over at Instapundit:
Democrats on Nineteen Eighty-Four: It's a cookbook!

I've Heard Houston Mosquitoes Had Their Own Radar Systems

9/12/17 Reuters:
Texas calls in U.S. Air Force to counter post-storm surge in mosquitoes

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Another SSM Advocate Bites the Dust

9/12/17 Seattle Times:
A younger cousin of Seattle Mayor Ed Murray has become the fifth man to accuse the mayor of sexual abuse, saying Murray repeatedly molested him as a teenager in the 1970s.
Murray announced his resignation Tuesday in the wake of the new allegations.

Joseph Dyer, 54, a dialysis technician and Air Force veteran, says he was 13 when Murray forced him into sex for about a year while the two shared a bedroom in Dyer’s mother’s home in the Long Island town of Medford, New York....
The molestation stopped, Dyer said, only after a boy in a Catholic group home where Murray worked accused Murray of abuse. According to Dyer, his uncle negotiated to get group-home officials not to pursue charges as long as Murray left. After that, Murray left town, Dyer said, and he never saw or spoke to his cousin again....
A report written in 1983 by an Oregon social worker — obtained by The Times in July — details Murray’s early work history with children.
The report noted Murray worked with children in a Catholic-sponsored program in Ireland for a year, before returning home after his mother died in 1974.
“After the funeral, he went to work again for the Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn and was certified by New York State as a children’s counselor,” the social worker wrote, based on an interview with Murray.
Any guesses what Murray's relationship was like with his priest?

A Useful Amazon Dropping

Should fit my wife's hands.

Glad I Do Not Teach At a Prestige School Like Reed

9/11/17 Inside Higher Education:
Among activists’ sticking points, especially for a group of students called Reedies Against Racism, was Hum 110. The course, which faces a curricular and pedagogical review every 10 years but has maintained a fundamentally Western orientation, is simply too white, too male and too Eurocentric, critics charged, especially for a course required of all students. Moreover, the student activists said, Hum 110 largely ignores how these works may have been used over time to perpetuate violence against people of color.
Reed takes a dialogue-based approach to conflict resolution and engaged the students about their demands. Regarding Hum 110, Reed promised to begin reviewing the course one year earlier than planned; a faculty group got to work last year and professors' recommendations are expected later this fall. But in the interim, throughout last year, a group of 12 to 15 students has occupied the class -- surrounding the lecturing professor in silent protest -- for each session.
My son's former girlfriend told me about their readings for this class, and I was most impressed.  No wonder progressives want it destroyed.

More Attempts to Suppress Debate

Watts Up With That points the increasingly virulent calls for criminal prosecution of those who argue that anthropogenic global warming claims are false.  Free speech?  Scientific debate?  Not in progressive world.   As Dr. Curry points out:
Well, the 12 year drought of major hurricane landfalls in the U.S. is ending with a vengeance in 2017.
That drought was caused by what?  An end to AGW?  To quote from NOAA (generally an AGW fan):
  • It is premature to conclude that human activities–and particularly greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming–have already had a detectable impact on Atlantic hurricane or global tropical cyclone activity. That said, human activities may have already caused changes that are not yet detectable due to the small magnitude of the changes or observational limitations, or are not yet confidently modeled (e.g., aerosol effects on regional climate).
Note: may.

Blame Everyone But Me

Hillary Clinton says Bernie Sanders’s reluctance to concede the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination before the party’s convention was disrespectful, hurtful and stood in stark contrast to the way she handled her primary loss to Barack Obama in 2008.
“I had such a different experience in ’08,” Clinton said in an interview with the “Pod Save America” podcast that was posted on Tuesday. “Once it was over, it was over. And I quickly endorsed President Obama. I worked really hard to get him elected. I was still arguing with my supporters at the Denver convention, telling people, ‘Don’t be ridiculous. You’ve got to vote for Senator Obama, at the time.’ And I was thrilled when he got elected.”
It was that mean Donald Trump, deplorable, racist voters, now it includes Bernie Sanders.  When everyone is after you, that usually indicates paranoia.  She couldn't win with the active and obvious support of nearly all the national news media, but it could not be calling 1/4 of the voters "deplorable" and "irredeemable."  It could not be the personal corruption of her, Bubba, and the Clinton Foundation.  It couldn't be the transgender bathrooms and military, or her tragic (often deadly) record as Secretary of State, or working for the most incompetent President in my memory.  Nor the server/email incompetence (if not outright criminal behavior), or the way the DNC bent the process against Bernie Sanders, destroying progressive trust of Clinton.  No, it's all those other people.  Felonia Pantsuit needs to leave the Swamp long enough to meet Americans who are not swamp dwellers.

I would never have thought the 2016 Presidential candidates label would still be relevant this far after the election, but sore losers are keeping it relevant.

Monday, September 11, 2017

New Virus Spreading Scam

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You Know Headlines Are Not Written by the Reporter, Right?

Antifa, far-right protesters clash again in Portland, disrupting peaceful rallies
So both antifa and far-right were violent is the obvious conclusion.  The text tells a different story:
Political rallies in Portland, Ore., and a neighboring town gave way to violence Sunday afternoon when black-clad antifa activists attacked police officers and far-right demonstrators, while other protesters from rival groups scuffled in the streets.
Two officers were treated for minor injuries after protesters fired slingshots and threw rocks, bottles and other projectiles at them, according to the Portland Police Bureau. At least nine people were arrested throughout the day on charges that included interfering with a police officer and disorderly conduct....
Most people were protesting peacefully, but within minutes some antifa activists began lighting smoke bombs and hurling objects at police. One counterprotester sprayed officers with a fire extinguisher, according to Willamette Week, while others fought with some of the Patriot Prayer supporters who turned out.

What Happens in the Swamp Stays in the Swamp

9/8/17 New York Times:
BRISTOL, Va. — For seven years, agents at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives followed an unwritten policy: If you needed to buy something for one of your cases, do not bother asking Washington. Talk to agents in Bristol, Va., who controlled a multimillion-dollar account unrestricted by Congress or the bureaucracy.
Need a flashy BMW for an undercover operation? Call Bristol.
A vending machine with a hidden camera? Bristol.
Travel expenses? Take this credit card. It’s on Bristol.
When The New York Times revealed the existence of the secret account in February, publicly available documents made it seem like the work of a few agents run amok. But thousands of pages of newly unsealed records reveal a widespread scheme — a highly unorthodox merger of an undercover law enforcement operation and a legitimate business. What began as a way to catch black-market cigarette dealers quickly transformed into a nearly untraceable A.T.F. slush fund that agents from around the country could tap.