Saturday, June 30, 2018

A Headline That to a Sane Party Would Cause Introspection

6/28/18 Washington Post:
Republicans’ increasing monopoly on American government
The comments are a riot.  That bubble is impenetrable.

The Difficult We Do At Once; the Impossible Takes a Little Longer

California requires handguns to have microstamped numbers and for that unique number to go on every bullet leaving the barrel.  Gun makers challenged this because there is no available technology to do this.  The California Supreme Court ruled that just because it is impossible does not invalidate the law.  Please: have your state require all cars to be run by perpetual motion machines or unicorn farts.

And why are you staying there, feeding their delusions of sanity.

Remember When Democrats Claimed to be Reality-Based?

This was a dig at "faith-based" organizations.  But since then they have abandoned biology for several dozen sexes.  Now 6/29/18 Daily Caller reports:
Democratic National Committee (DNC) chairman Tom Perez introduced former President Barack Obama as America’s “real president” at a DNC fundraiser Thursday night.
“Let’s give it up for the real president of the United States,” Perez said at Thursday’s fundraiser, Politico reported.

Who Would Have Thought "Hate Crime" Laws Could Be Misused?

Reason points to this 6/28/18 local Pennsylvania paper article:
A BLACK MAN CALLED THE COPS NAZIS–AND WAS CHARGED WITH A HATE CRIME

Who Knew Trump Was President Before the Election?

6/29/18 NBC News reports:
Officials have said that at least 2,342 children were separated from their parents after being apprehended crossing the border unlawfully since May 5, when the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy towards migrants went into effect.
But numbers provided to NBC News by the Department of Homeland Security show that another 1,768 were separated from their parents between October 2016 and February 2018, bringing the total number of separated kids to more than 4,100.
October 2016?  I thought Obama was still in charge until January 2017.

Why Americans No Longer Believe the News Media

A description of the gun used to kill reporters in Maryland:
.@PeteWilliamsNBC on the weapon used in the newsroom shooting: a shotgun is like a backwards funnel, you don’t have to have direct aim to hurt a lot of people. It was purchased legally.
Backwards funnel?  As a comment observed:
Two words: Chainsaw Bayonet 

The Left's Increasing Madness

A California man is charged with threatening to kill FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's children because he was "angry" about the repeal of net neutrality regulations, the Justice Department said today.
Markara Man, 33, of Norwalk was arrested in Los Angeles and charged with threatening to murder an immediate family member of a U.S. official.
What?   I had to look up net neutrality because it is so unrelated to anything I care about.  Unless you are a data comm business, why would you care enough to even write a nasty note, much less threaten someone's kids?  The left is insane.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Home Depot

1/2-13 in. x 8 in. Stainless Steel Hex-Head Bolt (10 per Pack)


I ordered some 7" ones from eBay, but I would really like to get this done.  Impatient, I know.

But not in any store within 100 miles; I guess that I will have to wait.

I Thought That I Knew Regular Expressions

sed -e"s/\.\.//g" should remove .. from all stdin lines, right?  I am using Cygwin sed.

I do know regular expressions.  Font size in Terminal Window too small.  Those were commas it was failing to remove.

1/2"-13 fully threaded 7" long

Head type doesn't matter.  MSC has them, but only in quantity 25 (about $166).  I need three for an experiment.  The other obvious vendors (Grainger, Tacoma Screw) do not have that length fully threaded.  Can you think of a store that might carry such an oddity?

Are there bolt extenders that are 1/2"-13 thread on male end with a female end that take a 1/2"-13 bolt?  It does not need to be 1/2" diameter the whole length.  I could start with a 5/8" piece of steel, turn one end down, use a 1/2"-13 die (which I do not think I have) and tap the other end (and yes, I have that tap), but that's not a practical mass production technique.

They might be called standoffs, but that size is not out there that I can find.

One of my very knowledgeable readers pointed out that the readily available and cheap 5" fully threaded bolts can be combined with a coupling nut and stud to achieve this result.

Extracting Email Addresses From Many Excel Spreadsheets

I need to extract the email addresses from several hundred Excel spreadsheets.  This is a one-time operation.  There are programs out there that do this, but running an exe file from an unknown source seems risky.  If Excel files were text and this was Linux, I would do an egrep.

There is a Power Shell script that does what I need.  But when I run it, "execution of scripts is disabled on this system."

Making progress.  "Unable to find type [Microsoft.Office.Interop.Excel.XlFileFormat]\ make sure that the assembly containing this type is loaded"

In PowerShell:
Add-Type -AssemblyName Microsoft.Office.Interop.Excel

CSV files being created now.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Curiously, the Seagate Has Stopped Clicking Since I Ran Seagate Tests On It

Did the tests heal it?  I have a Toshiba on order and I will not trust this Seagate.  Three backup drives, one of which I really do not trust?

You Don't Need a Gun to Murder

6/28/18 New York Post:
A German man was caught on camera poisoning his co-worker’s lunch — and police are investigating whether he’s responsible for 21 deaths over the past 18 years at the metal fittings company, according to a report.
The 56-year-old suspect was arrested in May after a colleague at the ARI Armaturen company in northwest Germany noticed a suspicious white powder on his food, Deutsche Welle reported.
The quick-thinking man alerted his superiors, who reviewed security footage showing the suspect sprinkling the substance on his co-worker’s lunch.
Now, this guy is a serial murderer, not a mass murderer, but it is obvious this guy could have gone to salad bar and killed as many or more.

Mass Murder: Shotgun

Not random.  6/28/18 Chicago Tribune:
At least five people were killed and several others were “gravely injured” in a shooting Thursday afternoon at the Capital Gazette in Anne Arundel County, authorities said.
A shooter is in custody, police said.
“This was a targeted attack on the Capital Gazette,” said Anne Arundel County Deputy Police Chief William Krampf. “This person was prepared today to come in. He was prepared to shoot people.”
The suspect is [redacted], a 38-year-old Laurel man with a longstanding dispute with the Capital, according to law enforcement sources familiar with the investigation....
n 2012, [redacted] brought a defamation suit against the columnist and the paper’s former editor and publisher. In 2015, Maryland’s second-highest court upheld a ruling in favor of the Capital Gazette and a former reporter who were accused by [redacted] of defamation.
Police said a shotgun was used in the incident. They said officers did not exchange gunfire with the suspect, who was now being interrogated. They said officers had recovered “smoke grenades” used by the suspect in the building, located at 888 Bestgate Road. About 170 people were inside at the time of the shooting, police said.
So did the paper call the murderer a hothead?

Shotgun, not an "assault weapon."  Try and ban shotguns.  Watch where that goes.

Fortunately Maryland has very strict gun laws, so this obviously could not have happened.

In any case, not Trump's fault.

6/29/18 New York Times reports the guy was giving plenty of signals that this was going to turn bad.  If only Maryland had gun control laws!

Why Being Disarmed is a Bad Idea

Feel free to share this post widely.  This tragedy was in East St. Louis, Illinois.

Shouting Fire

Working my way through 20th century mass murders. The Italian Hall massacre in Calumet, Mich. in 1913 is the highest body count so far: 74 (mostly children) trampled to death when someone (likely working for the mine owners) falsely yelled "Fire!" causing a stampede for an inadequate exit. (Thanks Nadja for pointing me to it.) I find myself wondering if Schenk v. U.S. (1919)'s use of "The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a theatre and causing a panic," was based on this event.

As I categorize these tragedies, I list weapon used. In most cases, this is easy: (ax, hatchet, knife, razor, poison, drowning and on rare occasion a gun). What is the weapon here? Speech? Voice? Mouth?

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Today's Unfortunate Realization

Serial murderers are not mass murderers, but this "Church of the Sacrifice" cult was both: Serial mass murderers, repeatedly murdering whole families.

The Death Penalty Has Always Made Me Uncomfortable

But only because of uncertainty about guilt and the lack of Undo.  But this guy (with the most unfortunate last name) confessed:
Bible was convicted of the rape and murder of Inez Deaton, 20, who went to his home to use his phone and was stabbed 11 times with an ice pick. Her body was dumped near a Houston bayou.The crime went unsolved for nearly 20 years, until Bible confessed to the murder and other sexual assaults that included raping an 11-year-old girl in Montana. He had gone on a rape and murder spree that included the 1983 killing of his sister-in-law, her infant son and her roommate, court records show.
No loss to humanity.  I am sure the ACLU spent a lot of money trying to save him. 

Justice Kennedy Retiring; Good Riddance

He voted with us on Heller and McDonald, but I suspect he is why the Court has not granted cert on the assault weapon bans.

Next Hard Disk Question

I have a WD 1TB drive in an external enclosure connected by USB which has served as my wife's backup drive for a couple of years.  Suddenly, it is invisible.   I plugged it into my ThinkPad and it works fine. So I mapped it as a network drive on my wife's ThinkPad and it works fine for backup.  Any ideas on why?  I have a practical backup solution for her, but it seems strange.

Seagate or Western Digital

I bought a Seagate 4TB external drive in 2013 and it starting to make repeated clicking noises, which I have read means a sticking read/write head and I need to replace it.  I am sure it is out of warranty; five years is pretty decent for a drive that gets nightly backup activity.  Any reason for a particular drive brand?  I have a Western Digital network drive as well; I am just a bit paranoid of losing 20 years of research and writing.

I found an organization that keeps track of hard disk failures in its systems.  Most of the Seagates are below average in reliability; ditto for the Western Digital drives; the Toshiba and HGST drives are generally better than average.  Some involve large samples.

Curiously, the clicking stopped after running Seagate Tools for Windows.  I am suspecting that this the calm before the click storm.

Following Maxine Waters Thoughtful Advice

Even many Democrats recognize Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Crazyville) and her suggestion about making Trump officials feel like they are not welcome, anywhere.  But her suggestion is working.  The crazy wing of the Democratic Party is getting aggressive.  HotAir has videos.  At some point their crazy is going to lead to violence or gunshots from federal law enforcement, and the left will play victim.

The Left is So Mature

Actor Ron Perlman (who?) gets very graphic about how he dealt with Weinstein (instead of calling the police) and hopes the same happens to Trump.  I would call this junior high  behavior, but no one I knew back then did anything like that.

I Am Not the Only Person Who Sees Civil War Coming

6/27/18 Rasmussen Reports:
Thirty-one percent (31%) of Likely U.S. Voters say it’s likely that the United States will experience a second civil war sometime in the next five years, with 11% who say it’s Very Likely. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 59% consider a second civil war unlikely, but that includes only 29% who say it’s Not At All Likely. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
More ammo!  More practice!  I doubt Boise will experience much of this; the number of extreme leftists here could fit in whatever room the Democratic central committees meet.   California is another matter.  The crazy is very strong there.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Cows With Guns; Funniest YouTube Video Ever

How Important is Alex Jones?

He is so crazy, he makes conspiracy buffs look good.  I heard him one night and came away wondering who his audience could possibly be, and hoping that they do not have access to guns, knives, cars, axes, hatchets, or chemicals of any sort.  Or that they are listening because they have gone through five bowls, and suddenly he makes sense.

I see that his radio audience in 2010 was about two million listeners.  Hmm.  0.625% of the U.S. population.  I wonder what percentage of Americans think the Earth is flat.  Interestingly enough:
According to journalist Will Bunch, a senior fellow at Media Matters for America,[70][71] the show has a demographic heavier in younger viewers than other conservative pundits due to Jones's "highly conspiratorial tone and Web-oriented approach".
Yup.  The generation raised on The X-Files series believes all sorts of crazy things.  Jones is apparently anti-vaccine, believes that Sandy Hook did not happen, that the U.S. government did 9/11--and those generally left-wing ideas are his least crazy ideas.

Sure enough only 2/3 of millenials believe the Earth is round.  I think public education needs some serious examination.

The Night of Rodentia

First, a mouse was running through the house.  Rosie caught it, gummed senseless, then dropped it on the back porch, where it tried to crawl away.  A few minutes later, Rhonda heard a screeching sound.  Concerned that Rosie was after another small animal, she went outside where a very small weasel was hiding under bricks from Rosie.  Cute little creature.  The mouse was gone in the morning.  I think weasels eat mice and everything else that is small enough.

If You Are in Your Bunker and Have Missed This

WASHINGTON (AP) — A sharply divided Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld President Donald Trump’s ban on travel from several mostly Muslim countries, rejecting a challenge that it discriminated against Muslims or exceeded his authority. A dissenting justice said the outcome was a historic mistake....

The Trump policy applies to travelers from five countries with overwhelmingly Muslim populations — Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. It also affects two non-Muslim countries, blocking travelers from North Korea and some Venezuelan government officials and their families. A sixth majority Muslim country, Chad, was removed from the list in April after improving “its identity-management and information sharing practices,” Trump said in a proclamation.
The administration had pointed to the Chad decision to show that the restrictions are premised only on national security concerns.
Remember, if the ban was aimed at primarily evangelical nations with active terrorist groups (e.g., some African nations where homosexuals are at significant risk from mob violence), the left would be all for it.

Building Long Thumbscrews

I mentioned a while back my need for thumbscrews (preferably lobe handles) for a new ScopeRoller product.  I received useful help, and have now discovered that long enough thumbscrews are not readily available.  But the parts exist to build my own.  The pad that presses down on the ground is a 1/2"-13 threaded part with a 15 degree swivel.  This is the lobed head that the 1/2"-13 bolt screws through.  Fully threaded 6" long 1/2"-13 bolts are readily available.  Solution.  The only part of the project that is uncertain is whether the 1/8" aluminum plates that I was planning to use will tolerate repeated strain of steel bolts on the threads.  If not, 1/16" steel plates.

Bullet Performance

I vaguely remembered the Marshall-Sanow project, gathering data on how often various cartridges caused "one shot stops," meaning immediate incapacitation.  Dead matters less for defensive purposes than the bad guy stopping the attack immediately.  This American Rifleman article from 2012 discusses the various ways in which bullet incapacitate.  This table shows Marshall & Sanow at least preliminary data for various rounds.  The data matches what you might logically expect: .25 ACP is not very effective; .22 LR is also not so good; .38 Special and .32 ACP are better but not great; 9mm hollow points work much better, with .45 ACP HydraShok and .357 Magnum JHP at the top of the handgun calibers.  The difference between the 9mm JHPs and the top of the handgun cartridge list is not huge. 

This article points out that applying confidence intervals to Marshall & Sanow's data shows:
By using common statistical methods, I can compare the 95% confidence interval of all 9 calibers in a single table. The interesting thing about doing this is that calibers with confidence intervals that overlap must be NOT be assumed to be statistically different from one another in terms of their stopping power...Caliber 95% confidence interval.32 48.1 - 61.9%.380 62.4 - 75.6%.38 59.7 - 72.3%9mm 85.1 - 95.0%.40 89.4 - 100%.45 89.0 - 99.0%.357 96.0 - 96.0% (ie., 95.986 to 96.014)
This would indicate that 9mm and .45 are pretty darn close; I suspect that shot placement and luck will matter more than caliber.  I can see an argument for a JHP .45 over a JHP 9mm, but having twice as many rounds on target seems to be a stronger advantage.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Remember When the Moral Majority Was a Threat to America Because of Religious Fanaticism?

Here you can see Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Looneyland) advocating for aggression and threats against Cabinet officials while insisting "God is on our side!"  She is coming perilously close to incitement to riot.  At some point, some lunatic GenYer or Boomer is going to do as she clearly wants.  Perhaps she wants the equivalent of a Reichstag fire.

Another Court Case Citing My Work

King v. Sessions

Dist. Court, ED Pennsylvania, 2018

Convicted felon arguing that his nonviolent crime (carrying concealed without a license) violated the Second Amendment.  Okay, not violent in itself, but likely a real public safety hazard.  I suspect not an upstanding member of Philly society.

Rolled Out My Small Reflector Saturday Night

8" f/7.  My father and I made it in the late 1960s.  After collimation, it took a fine Moon picture at prime focus.  I need to do some adjustment of the weights to do eyepiece projection pictures.

1/125th sec. ISO 100, 1414mm f/7.

Some Awesome Recent Sunsets







Pay Careful Attention: Which Cup Has the Quarter?

From news.google.com:
Contradictory?  The 6/25/18 NBC story:
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court Monday granted the appeal of a Washington state florist who was fined after she refused to sell flowers to a gay couple for their wedding, and the court erased a lower court ruling against her.
The 6/25/18 CNN story:
Washington (CNN)Just back after ruling in favor of a cake baker who refused to make a cake for a wedding celebration of a same-sex couple, the Supreme Court on Monday wiped away an opinion that went against a florist who declined to make an arrangement for a same-sex couple's marriage.
In an unsigned order, the court sent the case back down to a lower court and asked it to revisit the florist's case in light of the ruling in Masterpiece Cakeshop.
The court's order suggests that while the justices want the lower court to take another look at the case given the court's most recent ruling, the justices themselves aren't ready to jump into the contentious debate for now. When they ruled in favor of the baker, Jack Phillips, they largely tailored their opinion to the specifics of his case.
They refused to hear the case (one of many thousands of annual appeals) because the Masterpiece Cake decision was very similar to the case of the florist.  Ordering the case to be reheard consistent with Masterpiece is a major loss for the homofascists, but CNN (the leading fake news source) just wants to spin this as a loss for the florist.

The Easily Misled Lamestream Media

Snopes, not exactly a friend to conservatives, reports:
A screenshot purporting to show a message posted by King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands directed at United States President Donald Trump was picked up by the Washington Press blog on 19 June 2018...
This is not genuine. Washington Press later deleted their article, but this rumor continued to spread on social media; other sites still had similar stories available as of 22 June 2018.
Fake news: it is all progressives have left.

The War is Coming

6/24/18 Washington Times:
However, Rep. Maxine Waters, California Democrat, took a different tack and called for more public confrontations. She told a cheering crowd that Trump administration officials should not be allowed anywhere in public.
“Let’s stay the course, let’s make sure we show up wherever we have to show up,” she said at a speech, the video of which was posted Sunday on social media. “If you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them, and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.”
This after an incident where the President's press secretary was refused service in a restaurant.  What next?  Republicans at the back of the bus?

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Proportionate Reaction is Very Important


Hillsville, Va. (1912)
Mar. 14, 1912: In a courthouse assassination “a judge, a prosecutor, a sheriff and two bystanders were killed and two others were wounded seriously.”  The underlying crime that caused this bloody jailbreak was two inmates awaiting trial for disturbing the peace, after attempting to eject a pastor, the uncle of one of the defendant, from his pulpit.
Category: public.
Suicide: no.
Cause: Overreaction to minor criminal charge.[1]


[1] “Posse Takes One Allen Bandit,” Daily Missoulian [Missoula, Mont.], Mar. 23, 1912, 1,6.

Is Avis on the Hate NRA List?

Looking for a rental car from Carlsbad airport to Albuquerque  in September  and Avis and Hertz are the only choices.  If they is no NRA friendly rental choice,  has  anyone driven for any of the auto transport companies?

Not sure how I misread Travelocity as showing a flight from San Antonio to Carlsbad,  and every other flight close to Carlsbad is 3 hours of flight, not much better than driving and far less interesting.   So I guess renting at San Antonio to Albuquerque is going to be it.   The rental boycott is no longer an issue.

Friday, June 22, 2018

If You Really Want to Avoid Becoming a Suspect in a Mass Murder


Ellsworth, Kan. (1911)
Oct. 6, 1912, William Showman, his wife, and three other family members were murdered with an ax, perhaps as revenge by Charles Marzyek, who had been convicted of stealing grain, in part based on evidence provided by William. [1]  Later accounts blamed a Bohemian who had registered in a local hotel as the imaginatively named “John Smith,” and left a blood-stained shirt behind.[2]
Category: Residential non-family.
Suicide: No.
Cause: revenge
Weapon: ax. [3]


[1] “Think One Man Did Three Jobs,” Democratic Banner [Mt. Vernon, Ohio], Oct. 20, 1911, 1; “Brutal Killings Laid at His Door,” Time-Dispatch [Richmond, Va.], Oct. 19, 19122, 1.
[2] “Posse on Trail of Butcher,” Chickasha Daily Express [Chickasha, Indian Terr.], Oct. 19, 1911, 1.
[3] “Think One Man Did Three Jobs,” Democratic Banner [Mt. Vernon, Ohio], Oct. 20, 1911, 1; “Brutal Killings Laid at His Door,” Time-Dispatch [Richmond, Va.], Oct. 19, 19122, 1.


What Not to Hit on the Freeway

The real explosions start a couple minutes in.

Took My Son-in-Law and His Brother Shooting Last Saturday

Yes, both transplants from Washington.  What I have read tells me that a properly designed 9mm JHP (like the Winchester Silvertips, I carry in my Browning Hi-Power)  gives up very little to a .45 ACP JHP in defensive use; the .45 ACP FMJ has very impressive consequences on milk jugs because of the diameter.  If you are limited to FMJ by the Hague Convention, larger is definitely better. 


I was both function testing the Wilson-Rogers 8 round magazines for the .45, and testing American Reserve Munitions .45 ACP FMJ.  Both fed, fired, and ejected perfectly.  Compared to some Winchester white box my son-in-law;s brother brought, I could see no difference in accuracy; although this was a very undemanding test: do bullets mostly hit their target? 

We were also playing with the Colt/Walther .22LR "Government Model."  It functions just like a M1911A1; looks nearly identical; and has only one annoying field stripping quirk which I mentioned a few days ago.  Of course, recoil is much less and racking the slide is far easier; this is a strictly blowback design for a wimpy little cartridge.  Loads of fun to shoot, and likely a good practice gun for the .45.




Thursday, June 21, 2018

Where's the Punch Line?

The College Fix reports on a grad student whose Ph.D. is being withheld because he allegedly defended his advisor from a rape allegation.  This gem:
One of her allegations against Vengalattore included that he left her “middle initial” off her name in an author list, which constituted “sexual harassment,” according to his email to a colleague.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Those Fuses That Pop on the CNC Controller Box

I fear that heat buildup may be shortening their life so I bought a USB powered fan which far exceeds my expectations.

To Quote the Professor on Gilligan's Island, "If You Want Something Done Right, Do It Yourself."

The spider and diagonal holder I bought was inexpensive, and for good reason.  It was supposed to be for a 4.5" OD tube.  It was closer to 5", because one of the legs was substantially longer than the other two.  The diagonal holder was made of some unrecognized black plastic, likely nylon.  Its design was essentially identical to my aluminum diagonal.  I could probably have modified to meet my needs, but much of that time and frustration can be used to finish machining my design which is quite similar, although easier to make.  Why pay for sloppy work?

If They Screw Up the Big Things This Badly, How Accurate Are They on the Little Items?

Medaite reports on ABC's breaking news that Trump associate Manafort has pled guilty to 5 counts of manslaughter.  ABC probably should plead guilty to five counts of truth murder daily.  CNN needs a life sentence.

Californians, Stop Feeding the Beast!

So, the question that I keep asking Californians is, "Why do you stay and feed your taxes to the Beast?  This is a great time to take your $500,000 equity in your 3 bedroom, 2 bath house and move somewhere like Idaho where you can buy a very big house for that money and live on the return of the rest."

You Have All Heard of the Stanford Prison Experiment

Apparently fraud.  6/7/18 Medium:
Whether you learned about Philip Zimbardo’s famous “Stanford Prison Experiment” in an introductory psych class or just absorbed it from the cultural ether, you’ve probably heard the basic story.
Zimbardo, a young Stanford psychology professor, built a mock jail in the basement of Jordan Hall and stocked it with nine “prisoners,” and nine “guards,” all male, college-age respondents to a newspaper ad who were assigned their roles at random and paid a generous daily wage to participate. The senior prison “staff” consisted of Zimbardo himself and a handful of his students....
For Korpi, the most frightening thing about the experiment was being told that, regardless of his desire to quit, he truly did not have the power to leave.
“I was entirely shocked,” he said. “I mean, it was one thing to pick me up in a cop car and put me in a smock. But they’re really escalating the game by saying that I can’t leave. They’re stepping to a new level. I was just like, ‘Oh my God.’ That was my feeling.”
Another prisoner, Richard Yacco, recalled being stunned on the experiment’s second day after asking a staff-member how to quit and learning that he couldn’t. A third prisoner, Clay Ramsay, was so dismayed on discovering that he was trapped that he started a hunger strike. “I regarded it as a real prison because [in order to get out], you had to do something that made them worry about their liability,” Ramsay told me.

The formal name for this is "kidnapping" and yet this, along with Milgram's shock experiments are at the core of progressive thought.

Get Woke, Go Broke

6/19/18 Bloomberg:
Starbucks also plans to close about 150 company-operated stores in densely penetrated U.S. markets next fiscal year, three times the number it historically shuts down annually. Shares slid as much as 5.1 percent in early trading on Wednesday.

The Future Belongs to Those Who Reproduce (The Handmaid's Tale!)

Or so I remind my students.  06/20/18 New York Times:
WASHINGTON — Deaths now outnumber births among white people in more than half the states in the country, demographers have found, signaling what could be a faster-than-expected transition to a future in which whites are no longer a majority of the American population.
The Census Bureau has projected that whites could drop below 50 percent of the population around 2045, a relatively slow-moving change that has been years in the making. But a new report this week found that whites are dying faster than they are being born now in 26 states, up from 17 just two years earlier, and demographers say that shift might come even sooner.
White progressives see this as a good thing, because the darker the skin, in the progressive mindset, the easier it is to appeal to envy. I am not so sure this really makes that much of a difference, except that progressivism is mostly a white person's ideology (perhaps from growing up economically privileged).  My wife and I stopped at two because we lived in California and two was about what could be supported properly on a software engineer's salary.

I am reading Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale at the moment.  Where that fertility crisis was pollution-induced, this one is by choice.

Dropping Disability Applications (Blame Trump!)

6/19/18 WRAL:
The number of Americans seeking Social Security disability benefits is plunging, a startling reversal of a decades-old trend that threatened the program’s solvency. It is the latest evidence of a stronger economy pulling people back into the job market or preventing workers from being sidelined in the first place.
The drop is so significant that the agency has revised its estimates of how long the program will continue to be financially secure. This month, the government announced that the program would not run out of money until 2032, four years later than its previous estimate last year. Two years ago, the government had warned that the funds might be depleted by 2023.
My impression when I applied after my stroke, was that many of the newly disabled were suffering psychological problems.  A lot of older workers, at least in my field, software engineering, were unemployable because the GenXers who run nearly all software companies consider everyone over 40 to be either senile or obsolete.  (What value can 30+ years experience have?)  This was provoking serious depression which made many of these workers unable to work.

Seeing people again able to work is very gratifying.  I wish that I could return to full-time work; I lack the mental endurance I had before the stroke.  Three hours of writing or teaching one class a term is about all I am good for now.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Mass Murder Reports Are All Depressing. Some Generate a WTF


Villisca, Ia. (1912)
Jun. 9, 1912, Joseph Moore, his wife Sarah, their four children and two visiting children were murdered “by a fiend who crushed their skulls with an ax.”  An “itinerant minister” was charged.  The Iowa Attorney-General “sought to commit” the minister “to an insane asylum, a step which would bar the prosecution of any other person suspected of the crime.”  Relatives of the victims claimed that the wrong person was being tried; in response, the Iowa legislature passed a law prohibiting public discussion of the crime, leading to an “injunction against J.N. Wilkerson, a detective, whose four years’ investigation of the murders cast suspicion on a prominent state senator.”  The public meeting by Villisca residents took place in Omaha, Neb., instead.
Category: family?
Suicide: no.
Cause: unknown
Weapon: ax.[1]


[1] “Villisca Ax Murders to Be Discussed in Mass Meeting,” Omaha Daily Bee, Jul. 6, 1917, 1.

That "Church of the Sacrifice" is Looking Bigger and Bigger


Monmouth, Ill. (1912)
“William E. Dawson and his wife and 13-year-old daughter” were murdered with an axe.
Category: Cult.?
Suicide: No.
Cause: There are similarities to the “church of the sacrifice” mass murders in previous entries and description of the accused as “all negroes” that suggests a possible common cause.  In addition police in two other nearby towns sought to interrogate the suspects that suggest common elements. [1]
Weapon: axe.


[1] “Ax Murder Cases Nearing Solution—One Confession,” The Day Book [Chicago, Ill.], Mar. 24, 1915, 23.

Bizarre Mass Murder


Chicago, Ill. (1916)
[Redacted] “colored religious fanatic," and his wife opened fire from their home with “a high-powered rifle,” killing one man and two women (one pregnant) and wounding another woman (picked apparently at random).  Police backed by 200 armed citizens were unable to pick them off; incident ended by dynamiting house.
Category: public
Suicide: Not exactly
Cause: likely cultic; murderer’s walls proclaimed him “King of the Negroes” who were all of his victims.
Weapon: rifle[1]


[1] “Maniac Kills Five—Barricades Home—Fights Police for Hours—Dynamite Finally Brings Battle to End,” The Day Book [Chicago, Ill.], Jul. 18, 1916, 3.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Most Inspiring Movie I Have Seen in Many Years

I Can Only Imagine, about the abusive childhood of MercyMe's lead vocalist, and his ability to forgive his father and how the Gospel changed a monster into a friend.


Remember: If Armed Civilians Get into a Gunfight, Innocents Will Die

6/18/18 Miami Herald:
A group of armed would-be robbers tried to take advantage of a couple Friday night in DeKalb County, Ga, police say - but it didn't go as planned.
Police say a group of individuals began following a couple through a Kroger grocery store in metro Atlanta Friday afternoon, according to Fox 5. Police say when the group followed the couple outside hoping to either rob or carjack them, the parking lot turned into a battlefield.
"It was chaos," one witness told WSB. "I saw the guy was shot. I saw him on the floor, shot."
Police say three armed individuals approached the couple outside, but realized one of the members of the couple was armed as well, and a shootout began, according to WXIA.
"It was like the Wild Wild West. I was terrified," a witness, who was sitting in her car during the fight, told Fox 5. "I'm just glad I'm safe."
Police say four different people were all firing at some point, but the only people who were hit were the alleged attackers, according to CBS 46. Three of those alleged attackers were shot, with one bloodied man entering the Kroger store.

The Greatest Wit of the Modem World is in Internet Comments

Admittedly,  diamonds in sewage most of the time.  I do not remember the article, but it was about "sex" vs. "gender" with one idiot claiming Victorians created the word "gender" so they could discuss what sex they were without using the naughty word "sex."  A few comments on, someone complained about the tired conversation about pronouns.  Someone else claimed that somewhere on the Internet there were videos of pronouns having sex.

The Lamestream Media Are Losing the Battle

6/18/18 Gallup:
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Thirty-eight percent of Americans are satisfied with the way things are going in the United States today, similar to last month's 37% satisfaction rate but marking the numerical high since a 39% reading in September 2005.
And this is how Democrats are going to surf the Blue Wave to control of Congress?

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Think of All the Crimes Our Police Can Solve If Not Watching Their Backs for Armed Criminals!

6/17/18 Daily Mail:
Less than one in 20 street robberies and burglaries are being solved in the UK, shocking new figures have revealed.
Official police data shows that just four per cent of robberies and three per cent of burglaries were solved in England and Wales in 2017. 
The figures will fuel concerns that there is a crisis in the nation's policing, with one MP describing London as 'the Wild West'.

Father's Day

I normally ignore this greeting card created holiday,  but it seems a good day to praise my father.   He was tall and muscular.   His careers included bookkeeper,  welder,  encyclopedia salesman.  He had an exceptional memory.   He was an excellent chef and a very gentle and loving father.   A letter he wrote to my grandmother in 1949 from Fairbanks complained that they were 247 bars: "I counted them," and no bookstores.  He encouraged me to be interested in all forms of learning and was very widely read.  He was a big fan of Ayn Rand.

He was married to my mother for more than 25 years until he died.  This makes him the most patient man on Earth.

The Pants the Gal Behind Me at Church Was Wearing

Imagine if a Christian Required "Jesus is Lord" as a Password

Campus Reform reports on a University of Connecticut professor who required students to praise Allah and remove shoes before entering office.  The university had since fixed the problem ands the professor had retired.  What is the state of public universities that a professor would think this an acceptable practice.   Defund public universities until they stop encouraging  these attitudes

Obviously Fake News

NBC Philadelphia 6/17/18 reports on a mass shooting at a Trenton,  NJ art festival.  Bringing culture to the oppressed  does not seem to be solving the violence problem.  In a gun control heaven, New Jersey.

Weird Weather

It is just a few days from summer and it is in the 50s and raining.  We have only needed to turn on the air conditioning one day this day.

The Dog Went to the Veterinary E/R Yesterday

Hard lump under jaw.  Vet thought it was an abscess caused by cheat grass.  But because location and feel seems like a bubo. he had to call the state epidemiologist for bubonic plague screening.  I rather doubt it.  For one thing, I am not hearing:

Procedure to remove abscess went well; she is home.  I wonder if this might be related to the snake she pulled out of a hole a few days ago, running away with both ends of the snake flopping up and down attempting escape.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Cleaning Colt/Walther .22 Government Model First Time

Instructions say to reassemble by reversing disassembly.  Hah!  The recoil spring plug that holds the recoil spring in place does not go far enough back for the slide stop to go through the frame.  There is no hole through that recoil spring plug and it would need to go at least another .25" back in the frame for the slide stop to go through.  The only instructions I can find online are videos that skip this step, or the useless manual that came with the gun.

The silvery piece the recoil spring goes up to must not be all the way back in the frame when you put the slidestop in.

Ever Wondered How Trump Won?

Campus Reform described this 6/8/18 Washington Post op-ed in a way that seemed so over the top as to be misleading.  The title tells it all:
Why can’t we hate men?
And it goes down from there.  This piece of hatemongering in America's second most important progressive newspaper is by:
Suzanna Danuta Walters, a professor of sociology and director of the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program at Northeastern University, is the editor of the gender studies journal Signs. 
Ever wonder why university education lacks the popular adulation it use to enjoy?

Was This a SNL Skit?

6/12/18 WSVN:
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (WSVN) — Police say a man who tried to carjack two people was thwarted after the victims both pulled out guns to protect themselves.
According to Fox 30, Jacksonville police officers arrested 36-year-old Christopher Raymond Hill, charging him with strong-arm robbery, carjacking with firearm or deadly weapon, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and trespassing.
Detectives said the incident began when Hill robbed a Walmart liquor store, and attempted to flee in a silver Ford SUV. However, witnesses said the vehicle would not start, so he first tried to carjack Scott Reardean at knifepoint, cutting him on his arms and legs.
“I reached in between my glove box and my console, between my seats, reached down and got my weapon and brandished it for him,” Reardean told WJXT. “He was like, ‘Don’t shoot me.’ I was like, ‘Then get out of here.’”
Hill then jumped into the passenger seat of a woman’s car in a Starbucks drive-thru. Police said the woman got out of her car and grabbed a pistol from her trunk, pointing it at Hill until he ran off.

How Many of You Knew of This Biological Warfare Attack in Oregon?

By the followers of the Bhagwan.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Eyepiece Adapters

It is often a surprise to those without any interest in astronomy that maximum magnification is often not very useful.  This is why cheap, department store telescopes often advertise "up to 500 power!"  Most of the time, atmospheric turbulence or poor clarity (usually because of humidity trying to become clouds) means that as much or more detail can be seen at 120x as at 500x, sometimes more.  A common rule of thumb is that 50x-60x diameter of the objective diameter (big lens on refractors and mirror on reflectors) is the highest power you are ever likely to find useful or pleasing.

There are exceptions.  Extraordinarily made refractors, like the Televue and Astro-Physics refractors and the Questar Maksutov reflector (for those of you with money to burn) can often benefit from much higher magnifications.  Here I describe a comparison test I did many years ago of a Televue Ranger to a couple of the cheap refractors, where I found even 97x aperture on the Ranger to still be a very pleasing result on Saturn.  I understand Questars often tolerate 100x.

Planets and the Moon are sometimes beneficiaries of stupid-high magnification. (Yes that's the technical term among amateurs for >50x per inch.)  One night in California, we had an extraordinarily hot day, and because it barely cooled at night, there was no humidity and nearly no turbulence.  I found 700x on the Moon with my 8" reflector (which has a very fine Coulter mirror) was still sharp and beautiful.  But this was a rare night, one that I have never repeated.

You get some often startling results.  When I first built that 8" reflector with my father, we lived in Santa Monica.  What I lost in transparency from smog was compensated for by low turbulence.  (I think the inversion layer that gives Los Angeles its smog problem does something good for reducing turbulence.)

If you are hunting for deep sky objects, like galaxies and nebulae, which usually occupy lots of area, a wide field of view and therefore low magnification are of high value.   Eyepieces have what is called the apparent field of view (AFOV); this is how much of the true field of view your eye will see.  So the 25mm eyepiece that I use with that 8" reflector is  1414mm/25mm = 56x.  AFOV of the eyepiece is 45 degrees.  Actual field of view is therefore 45/56=.8 degrees,  There is plenty of black field around the Moon which is .5 degrees.

When I started buying eyepieces, the 45 degree apparent field of view was considered awesome.  Then a troublemaker named Al Nagler who came off the Apollo mission as it ended, and started Televue.  He used his expertise to produce eyepieces that had 82 degree AFOVs, and now such absurdly wide eyepieces come from many makers; show it can be done and everyone applies their expertise to the problem.  Competition makes everyone better off.  These eyepieces are priced the way you expect, and are hand grenade heavy.

That older homebuilt 8" f/7 reflector was a project my father and I did in 1970. It has a 1.25" diameter focuser of course, as nearly all American telescopes did back then.  (Most Japanese scopes until recently used .965" barrels.  In spite of making splendid telescopes, the ,965" eyepieces sold with most cheap refractors are much worse than objective.)  I have acquired a few 2" diameter eyepieces over the years. Two came with a 17.5" Dobsonian that I bought at auction for $600: one is an 18mm University Optics orthoscopic, the other a 50mm brass barrelled item that might have seen service during World War 2. The third is an 85mm Super-Plossl made by a company that offered it as evidence of what they could do (about 35 degrees of AFOV).  That 85mm eyepiece gives about a 2 degree field.   I have wanted to use the 85mm and 50mm eyepieces to create a wider field for deep sky hunting. So I bought this Solomark 2" to 1.25" adapter. It naturally adds a couple of inches to where you are going to be able to focus, but my focuser is one of the absurdly long focusers that University Optics used to sell (3 3/4" of travel), and these 2" eyepieces are long focal length. I am able to use all three 2" eyepieces now.

I also bought a Solomark 1.25" to ,965" adapter as well.  I am supposed to help a friend collimate his Japanese-made reflector and my laser collimator is 1.25" diameter.  This adapter will let me do this operation.

Both of these products were cheap enough that turning adapters myself made no sense: division of labor wins.  They are beautifully finished, slide into the focusers as they should, and accept the eyepiece barrels by just sliding in,  They also use brass compression rings which clamp the eyepiece when you tighten the set screw by squeezing a ring of brass around the barrel.  This is both a tighter grab and does not mark up the barrel.  I suspect it better centers the eyepiece also.

The Great Urinator

If you haven't seen The Great Impostor, let me recommend it. 

Switching to wet food at first seemed to help Tater's bad habit as did taking down the drapes in the family room.  (We thought he was frightened by seeing the dog poorly, and mistaking him for another, much larger cat.)    But he is back to it.  At least only on the leather couch, which cleans up well.  My wife wants him outside as much as possible.  This is not a long-term survival strategy in our area.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

I Have Long Thought of the FBI as a More Subtle KGB

IG refers five FBI employees for investigation, as more anti-Trump messages revealed

MYE, or "Midyear Exam," was the code used in the FBI to refer to the investigation into Clinton’s private email server.
“Some of these text messages and instant messages mixed political commentary with discussions about the Midyear investigation, and raised concerns that political bias may have impacted investigative decisions,” the report read.
The report noted that it was specifically concerned about text messages exchanged between FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page that “potentially indicated or created the appearance that investigative decisions were impacted by bias or improper considerations.”
Strzok and Page, who were romantically involved, both served for a short period of time on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation team. Strzok was reassigned following the revelations of his anti-Trump texts. Page resigned last month.

But while many of those texts were made public in late 2017, the IG report revealed a new one in which Strzok vowed to "stop" Trump from becoming president -- and made clear that as many as five total FBI employees exchanged politically charged messages. "The text messages and instant messages sent by these employees included statements of hostility toward then candidate Trump and statements of support for candidate Clinton," the report said.

The report revealed instant messages between unnamed agents, labeled “Agent 1” and “Agent 5,” discussing their jobs in August 2016.
“I find anyone who enjoys [this job] an absolute f---ing idiot. If you don’t think so, ask them one more question. Who are you voting for? I guarantee you it will be Donald Drumpf,” Agent 1 sent.
“I forgot about drumpf…that’s so sad and pathetic if they want to vote for him,” Agent 5 responded. “Someone who can’t answer a question. Someone who can’t be professional for even a second.”
In September, Agent 1 and 5 conversed again, bashing Trump supporters as “retarded.”
“I’m trying to think of a ‘would I rather’ instead of spending time with those people,” Agent 5 sent.

Agent 1 asked, “stick your tongue in a fan??”
How stupid do you have to be to exchange messages like this, knowing they can be pulled up for later examination?  The IG's report is here and juicy.  FBI agents with no public information role talking to "journalists"; receiving gifts from those "journalists" (and not just sex).  No matter how paranoid Trump is, the FBI was clearly engaged in criminal acts to subvert the election.

And the Asst. A-G Peter Kadzik tried to get his son a job with the Clinton campaign!