Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Absolutely Awesome Book

I read Helter Skelter many years ago, about the Tate-LaBianca murders of 1969.  I had forgotten what a tour de force of great writing it is.  Gripping, clear in explain police and legal procedure, doubtless benefitting from Bugliosi having to explain all to his co-author Curt Gentry.  Fortunately, I did not have to wallow through the whole bloody mess; I just wanted a primary source for the body count and weapons used.

What Project Veritas Does Best

Letting criminals expose their activities on hidden camera.

Monday, September 17, 2018

I Am Waiting for North Dakota to Declare Independence

They have now passed Venezuela in oil production.  Admittedly, they only otherwise produce wheat and snow.

Remember Bohemian Rhapsody?

On 28 trombones https://theawesomer.com/bohemian-rhapsody-on-28-trombones/493190/

Dead People Not Only Vote, But Drive

9/6/18 WDHD:
BOSTON (WHDH) - State Auditor Suzanne bump is blasting the oversight process at the Registry of Motor Vehicles after an audit found that the agency issued 1,905 driver’s licenses to state residents after they had died — 97 percent of which were still active — stressing that addressing the issue must be its “top priority.”
“The failure to prevent individuals from obtaining identification under the names of deceased people creates a significant public safety risk to the Commonwealth,” Bump said in a statement. “Fixing this problem must be a top priority for the RMV. Recent upgrades to the computer systems at the RMV provide it with more tools; now the agency must use them in conjunction with the data sources at its disposal to address this problem.”
According to the audit, which was announced by Bump’s office Thursday morning, 97 percent of the incorrectly issued licenses were still listed as active as of January 2018. Bump said the audit blames the RMV’s failure to properly use databases, such as the Social Security Administration’s Death Master File, to identify and deactivate licenses of dead people and to ensure new licenses are not issued in the name of a dead person.

Trump Hatred Never Stops!

A Baldwin woman who claimed earlier this month a group of teens shouted “Trump 2016!” at her was arrested and charged with making a false statement, Nassau County police said.
Adwoa Lewis, 19, also admitted writing a note reading “Go Home” that she said she found next to her slashed tire, police said Saturday. Nassau police had investigated the incident as a possible hate crime, Det. Lt. Richard LeBrun said at the time.
Lewis told officers on Sept. 2 that four teens confronted her about 11:15 p.m. the previous day as she drove home on Jackson Street and told her “she didn’t belong here,” police said Saturday. Lewis also said the teens shouted “Trump will make America great again,” LeBrun said at the time.
She now admits she made it up.

The Kavanaugh Accusations Are Bearing Weird Fruit

The woman behind the letter accusing Judge Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault, Christine Blasey Ford, has naturally been herself the subject of much news since her name was made public on Sunday. Among reports coming out, Fox News Channel’s Laura Ingraham tweeted a story a short time ago that says Ford’s parents were defendants in a case that was presided over by Brett Kavanaugh’s mother, of whom he has spoken at length during confirmation hearings.
Odd.  I recall one of Roy Moore's accusers had been before him in a divorce case.  So many coincidences!  9/16/18 Washington Post:
Ford said she told no one of the incident in any detail until 2012, when she was in couples therapy with her husband. The therapist’s notes, portions of which were provided by Ford and reviewed by The Washington Post, do not mention Kavanaugh’s name but say she reported that she was attacked by students “from an elitist boys’ school” who went on to become “highly respected and high-ranking members of society in Washington.”
Some have suggested that was a repressed memory, and might not be trustworthy.  Repressed memories are real, but usually involve children who have been raped: severe traumas.  If her allegation is true, it sounds scary, not traumatic.  And repressed memories are not always trustworthy.  Perhaps she remembered a real attack, and attached a name she had recently seen in the news to it.

This may not even work.  9/17/18 The Hill quotes Se. Collins (R-ME), one of the squishy Republicans the Democrats need:
“What is puzzling to me is the Democrats, by not bringing this out earlier, after having had this information for more than six weeks, have managed to cast a cloud of doubt on both the professor and the judge,” Collins told The New York Times.

Collins asked if Democrats believed Ford, "why didn't they surface this information earlier," and if they didn't believe Ford, "why did they decide at the 11th hour to release it?"

"It is really not fair to either of them the way it is was handled," Collins said.

Health Insurance Coverage

I saw claims about what percentage of Americans have health insurance, but I have learned that when you see claims made with which you agree, it is always best to check the original source.  The Census Bureau gathers data on poverty, family income, and insurance coverage. You may recall Re. Nancy Pelosi (D-LaLaLand) claiming that record low unemployment levels being not meaningful because so many Americans were injured by alterations to Obamacare.  Those changes happened in 2017.  The Census Bureau reports:
At the same time, the number of people without health insurance coverage and the uninsured rate were not statistically different from 2016....
The percentage of people without health insurance coverage for the entire 2017 calendar year was 8.8 percent, or 28.5 million, not statistically different from 2016 (8.8 percent or 28.1 million people). Between 2016 and 2017, the number of people with health insurance coverage increased by 2.3 million, up to 294.6 million.
If Obamacare was supposed to fix the problem of being uninsured, it obviously did not succeed, and the piddly changes made by Congress in 2017 made nothing worse.

Democrats will also be disturbed to learn:
Median household income in the United States in 2017 was $61,372, an increase in real terms of 1.8 percent from the 2016 median income of $60,309. This is the third consecutive annual increase in median household income.
The nation’s official poverty rate in 2017 was 12.3 percent, with 39.7 million people in poverty. The number of people in poverty in 2017 was not statistically different from the number in poverty in 2016. The 0.4 percentage-point decrease in the poverty rate from 2016 (12.7 percent) to 2017 represents the third consecutive annual decline in poverty.  

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Mr. Potatohead Should Be Very Afraid

A Scottish paper, the 05/01/18 Dun Fernline Press:
Scott Walker, 39, of the James Bank Hostel, James Street, appeared from custody at Dunfermline Sheriff Court.
He admitted that on Saturday in Appin Crescent, a public place, he was in possession of an object that which had a blade or was sharply pointed, namely a potato peeler.

Why Trust in the News Media is Gone

9/14/18 Watts Up With That shows a picture of Anderson Cooper talking about how severe the flooding is from Trump's hurricane.  The problem is Cooper is in three feet of water because he is in a ditch.  His cameramen are on the road--not in three feet of water.

When Even Their Most Famous Trump-Hater Admits This

9/14/18 Real Clear Politics:
In an interview with Hugh Hewitt on Friday, Bob Woodward said that in his two years of investigating for his new book, 'Fear,' he found no evidence of collusion or espionage between Trump and Russia. Woodward said he looked for it "hard" and yet turned up nothing.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

I Want to Be This Effective of a Speaker

An analysis of where anti-Antisemitism comes from.  I was pleased and surprised to hear him label National Socialism as a progressive movement, and showing how their "exterminate the Jews" program was in part derived from the rise of evolution.  Much was not new to me; if you took my Western Civ class you would already know some of it.

And this video about Jewish ideas changed the world also largely appears in my Western Civ class.

I was slightly concerned that he seemed like he was ignoring that the impact of these values on the West and Western-influenced cultures was because Christianity absorbed them, and retransmitted the, but he did get to that at the end.

There is a Tendency to Portray a Callous Disregard for the Indians as General to White Americans

I have long noticed in reading 19th century newspapers descriptions of crimes against the Indians that are clearly sympathetic to them and hostile to these crimes.  Example: 4/28/1849 Placer [Cal.] Times:
It is not long since an Indian ranchoria near Bear Creek was pounced upon by a small party of whites, and twenty-five of the unsuspecting inmates, of both sexes taken and cruelly murdered.
As the article explained it, this was revenge for thefts committed by other Indians in the area.  A few murders by Indians had led to indiscriminate slaughter of Indians by whites.  The editorial counselled against this refusal to limit retribution on actual guilty individuals, both because it would generate a series of progressively less careful retaliatory strikes on both sides, and because:
What we most desire to impress upon the minds of our countrymen, however, is a more humane and christianized course of action. It does not become us, enlightened Americans of the nineteenth century, to sally forth against a weak and ignorant people, burn their villages, butcher women and children and return at night with our saddle horns loaded with scalps!

Unfortunate Name: Let Us Hope It Was a Happy Marriage

6/24/1960 Geyserville Press:
Judy McGraw was married to Lonnie Murders early Saturday, June II in Reno, Nev. The bride was graduated Friday night from Cloverdale High School. She is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Lee McGraw of Cloverdale. The couple spent a short weekend honeymoon in Reno. They expect to live in Grass Valley. Mr. Murders is the son of Mr. and Mrs. L. Murders of Elk. He has been working for an area lumber company.

Some Things Never Change

6/3/1925 San Pedro News-Pilot:
Chicago is Setting New Record for Murders This Year
CHICAGO, June 3. Already known as the “crime capital of the nation,” Chicago is setting a new record for murders this year. Figures made public today by the Chicago crime commission showed there were 170 murders committed In the first five months of this year—an average far above one each day for the 151 days. The month of May, with 37 murders, exceeds any other similar period with the exception of the 1919 race riots, since the crime commission was organized, January 1, 1918.

Want to Make Life For Historians (Like Me) Easier?

And learn way more about early California than you need to know?  Visit the California Digital News Archive.  Create an account, search for some phrase or word that interests you and when you that the OCR has garbled the text use the Correct This Text button to fix it.  I have done a lot of this when researching gun related California history; it speeds up finding stuff for future historians and you are likely to find visiting California's 19th and 20th centuries interesting, or at least educational.

And I Thought Hatchet Mass Murderers Were the Bottom of the Mercy Scale

08/27/1931 Calexico Chronicle:
Actors in Torch MurdersPaul and Lawrence Keene (upper right), Ypsilanti, Mich., laborers, were questioned by authorities in connection with brutal torch murders of two Ypsilanti high school boys and their girl companions along a lonely “lovers’ lane.” The brothers protested that they were unconscious from whisky at the time the murders took place. Thomas Wheatley (lower right) was one of the four young people slain and burned. Harry Lore (left) also was a victim of the fiend slayer or slavers,

And You Thought Attorneys Remained Dispassionate About the Cases They Take

12/22/1899 San Francisco Call:

209.8 Pounds

The Samsung Health App has a very nice feature called Weight Management.  You tell it your target weight and date (not yesterday).  You enter your diet in the food section, and throughout the day, it tells you how many calories you are over or under where you need to be.  If you are 400 calories under, maybe that cheeseburger is okay; if you are 400 calories over, start walking.  It guesses (I think) how many calories you burn at rest and when walking around.  Of course, you need the phone on you as you move around.  So far, ii is helping.

Okay, Weathermen Aren't Covering Politics

But if this level of deception is justified by a weather story, why would politics be any better?

Watch the guys in the background walk past unaffected by the wind.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Kavanaugh Confirmation Hearings

The good news is that she is prepared to call the left on the wrongness of this.  The sad news is how feeble she clearly is.  Perhaps her mind is still working well, but I am pretty confident I see another seat on the Court for Trump to fill.

Just Like Clarence Thomas

Except at least Thomas' accuser (Anita Hill) didn't hide behind anonymity.9/14/18 BBC:
The alleged incident took place when Mr Kavanaugh was a minor and student at Georgetown Preparatory School in Bethesda, Maryland.
The woman - who asked not to be identified - was also a minor and a student at a nearby high school. Her letter alleges the now judge held her down and covered her mouth with his hand.
They were in a room with a classmate of Mr Kavanaugh's, and both boys had been drinking, before turning up the music to muffle her sound of protests, she alleges. The woman was able to free herself, the New Yorker said.
Although the alleged incident was decades ago, the woman said the memory had caused ongoing distress and she had sought psychological treatment.
Like Thomas, Kavanaugh has been through the process of confirmation as a judge before--and this is only appearing now.  It is also decades later.  Why do we have statutes of limitations on most crimes?  Because it is very hard to find witnesses and evidences many years later.  "Where were you the night of June 24, 1982?"  Heck, I don't remember.

Might Kavanaugh done something like this at a party when he was 17?  Possibly.  Teens do lots of stupid things at parties.  I might have, but I was nerd to the fourth power, so there were no party invitations.  Raising this claim now by an anonymous woman just shows how desperate the Democrats are. 

Friday, September 14, 2018


9/14/18 Chicago Sun-Times:
A man with a concealed-carry license was commended for coming to the aid of Cicero police who were engaged in a shootout with a man who shot and wounded an officer near the Stevenson Expressway Thursday, authorities said.
Cicero Police Officer Luis Duarte, 31, was shot four times during the encounter near the 4200 block of South Cicero Avenue during the evening rush hour, but it might have been worse if the armed citizen hadn’t stepped in, officials said.
“We were lucky enough to have a citizen on the street there who’s a concealed-carry holder, and he also engaged in gunfire,” Cicero Police Supt. Jerry Chlada Jr. said outside Mount Sinai Hospital, where Duarte was undergoing surgery Thursday night.

Is This the Mechanic Version of "An Unnatural Act"?

I went looking for socket head inserts for a screwdriver, and the young guy at Home Depot had no idea what a socket head screw was.  When I drew one, he said, "I just use a Tor-X to remove those."

Hazards of Affirmative Action

9/6/18 Fox News:
The former Minneapolis police officer charged in the shooting death of Justine Ruszczyk Damond once put a gun to a driver’s head during a traffic stop and sometimes ignored calls, according to court filings indicating that psychiatrists and training officers voiced concerns about his fitness for duty.
The revelations surfaced after defense attorneys filed a motion Wednesday seeking to dismiss murder and manslaughter charges against Mohamed Noor, who is accused of shooting Damond in July 2017 after she dialed 911 to report a possible assault.
In a response filed Wednesday, Hennepin County prosecutors said Noor was flagged by two psychiatrists during a pre-hiring evaluation in early 2015. The psychiatrists said he seemed unable to handle the stress of regular police work and exhibited an unwillingness to deal with people.
The psychiatric evaluation said Noor was more likely than other candidates to become impatient with others over minor infractions, have trouble getting along with others, to be more demanding and to have a limited social support network. The psychiatrists said he "reported disliking people and being around them."
Hey, but we hired a Muslim policeman!  It's all good!

Why Do You Have Your Kids in Public Schools?

9/13/18 New Jersey Herald:
VERNON -- On a day of mourning for the 3,000 people killed on Sept, 11, 2001, by Islamic terrorists inspired by Osama bin Laden, a middle school social studies teacher allegedly decided to skip that part of the discussion Tuesday and instead teach a fictionalized account of a Muslim boy being picked on because his name is Osama.
School officials thus far have been mostly mum on the matter beyond acknowledging that it was brought to their attention and dealt with internally, but one couple told the New Jersey Herald Wednesday that they are outraged and have since had their daughter pulled out of that teacher's class.
Ed O'Rourke, a former Marine, said he and his wife, Jodi, found out about it almost by accident while having dinner with their daughter, who is in sixth grade, Tuesday evening.
"I thought it was a joke at first," Ed O'Rourke said. "I couldn't believe it."
The story that the teacher had her students read, titled "My Name is Osama," tells a made-up account of an Iraqi immigrant boy named Osama who faces taunts of "terrorist" in school by several students who tell him his mother, who wears a hijab, has "a bag on her head." After pushing back against his tormenters, the boy is suspended from school for fighting.
The story included no mention of the ideology behind those who carried out the 9/11 attacks, which O'Rourke said should have been a part of the class discussion as well.
"It would be like, on a day about the Holocaust, doing a made-up lesson about a boy named Adolf being bullied by Jewish kids and saying we shouldn't blame all Germans -- or don't pick on the poor kid named Adolf on the Jewish holidays," O'Rourke said. "It's grotesque."
Does the left wonder why so many people home school?  I am not entirely thrilled with what I sometimes see of home schooling, but the worst ideological and theological excesses I see are pretty mild compared to this.

A Lovely Night

It was actually cold enough for me to need a light wrap last night.  I had both the 5" refractor and the 17.5" reflector out.  I had forgotten how nice the refractor's Losmandy mount is, being able to make very slight movements using the hand controller.  A neighbor came over and had the "Wow!" reaction to Saturn's rings and the Moon.  I had planned to go after some deep sky objects, but it was getting too cold.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

That Thumbscrew

Was M3 x 0.5.  Finding a thumbscrew that thread of enough length, and more importantly with anything but a flat end is pretty well impractical, but I have a more elegant solution to my problem.  The diagonal is a standard 2" diameter.  I can use a 2" diameter eyepiece extension tube that lets me put the diagonal in it, which uses a compression fit to hold everything down very solidly, and drill a hole in the extension tube that the standard thumbscrew goes through.  The extension tube will not fall out, and the compression fitting will hold the diagonal.  The extension tubes are cheap .

The Question is: Should I Still Use Facebook to Spread Information?

Or drop membership because "jihad" is now a prohibited word there?

A Few Fans Wanted to Hear Me in San Antonio

Texas Bar CLE
Norris Conference Center
618 NW Loop 410
San Antonio, TX 78216
Friday, Sep. 21, 9:00 AM is when I will speak
Registration is at 8:00 AM Thursday

Still finding out if you non-lawyers are welcome.  Yes.  Give me a heads-up if you are coming to make sure that they have enough chairs.  If all my thousands of readers show up, it might be a problem.

Printed Atlases Still Have Their Uses

The New York herald., December 26, 1863, Page 8 describes a massacre of miners on the Missouri River as "350 miles north of Salt Lake City and 350 northeast of Walla Walla."  Those two directions lead somewhere too north to be on the Missouri, but I am trusting river plus direction from Salt Lake City to be in Montana Territory.  Try to do that online!

Remember: The Polar Bears Are Dying Off Because the Arctic Ice is Melting

IceAgeNow pointed me to this 9/5/18 Eye on the Arctic article:
The cancellation of two luxury cruise ships that were supposed to land in Ulukhaktok, Northwest Territories (N.W.T.), this week is disappointing community members that were prepared for an influx of tourists.
Minerva Ward, the territorial government’s tourism and development officer for the Beaufort Delta, said in an email that the ships had to be cancelled due to difficult ice conditions in Bellot Strait and Queen Maud Gulf.

When Politifact Calls a Democratic Claim False...

9/10/18 Politifact:
Did Brett Kavanaugh call birth control abortion-inducing drugs? No

Another Mass Murder, But Not Random

And in gun control heaven.  9/13/18 AP:
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (AP) — A gunman killed five people, including his wife, before turning the gun on himself as a Kern County sheriff's deputy closed in Wednesday, authorities said....
"Obviously, these are not random shootings," Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood told KERO-TV. Six people died in a short amount of time, he added.
The man first showed up at a trucking business with his wife shortly before 5:30 p.m. where he confronted another man.
"The suspect, the husband, shot the person at the trucking company and then turned and shot his wife," then chased and shot another man who showed up, Youngblood said....
He then carjacked a woman who was driving her child. The woman and child escaped and the man drove to a highway where a sheriff's deputy saw him, Youngblood said.
Any guesses what the relationship between his wife and her fellow employee was?

Blaming Trump for Hurricanes

I keep thinking of Pat Robertson blaming hurricanes on sexual immorality.  But NOAA points out:

Figure 1: Atlantic tropical storms lasting more than 2 days have not increased in number. Storms lasting less than two days have increased sharply, but this is likely due to better observations. Figure adapted from Landsea, Vecchi, Bengtsson and Knutson (2009, J. Climate)
There has been a very pronounced increase in the number of tropical storms and hurricanes in the Atlantic since the late-1980s. However, to gain insight on the influence of climate change on Atlantic tropical storm and hurricane frequency, we must focus on longer (> 100 yr) records of Atlantic hurricane activity since very strong year-to-year and decade-to-decade variability appears in records of Atlantic tropical cyclones. If greenhouse warming causes a substantial increase in hurricane activity, then the century scale increase in global and tropical Atlantic SSTs since the late 1800s should have been accompanied by a long-term rising trend in measures of Atlantic hurricanes activity.
Existing records of past Atlantic tropical storm numbers (1878 to present) in fact do show a pronounced upward trend, correlated with rising SSTs (see Figs. 1 and 9 of Vecchi and Knutson 2008). However, the density of reporting ship traffic over the Atlantic wasrelatively sparse during the early decades of this record, such that if storms from the modern era (post 1965) had hypothetically occurred during those earlier decades, a substantial number would likely not have been directly observed by the ship-based “observing network of opportunity.” We find that, after adjusting for such an estimated number of missing storms, there is a small nominally positive upward trend in tropical storm occurrence from 1878-2006. But statistical tests reveal that this trend is so small, relative to the variability in the series, that it is not significantly distinguishable from zero (Figure 2). Thus the historical tropical storm count record does not provide compelling evidence for a greenhouse warming induced long-term increase.

Twitter is Now Blocking Use of the Phrase "Illegal Alien"

The American Mirror reports:
The federal government, U.S. Supreme Court, and lawyers across the country use the word “illegal alien” to describe immigrants who illegally enter the country, because that’s the definition in the law.
But Twitter makes its own laws, and the social media giant is now blocking folks from promoting any messages with the phrase, which its moderators apparently consider “hate speech.”
Antitrust law needs to be applied to the social media monsters.  Antitrust was apparently worth using against Microsoft some years back, and they were not trying to suppress political speech.

Lunatic Fringe; #Resistance: What's the Difference

9/11/18 New York Times article about special interest group efforts to stop Kavanaugh:
The frustration has boiled over at points. Annie Clark, a spokeswoman for Ms. Collins, provided The New York Times with copies of a letter and multiple voice mail messages addressed to the senator using vulgar language and outright threats. One caller told a 25-year-old female staff member at one of Ms. Collins’s Maine offices that he hoped she would be raped and impregnated.
Imagine if conservatives had pulled a stunt like that.  Would you have found it buried deep in a New York Times article?  Would the headline have been, "Conservatives threaten rape if senators confirm Ruth Bader Ginsburg"?

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Wow! A Suit I Have Not Been Able to Wear for Several Years Has Enlarged!

I stopped wearing this suit several years ago because it had shrunk too much to fit.  My dieting seems to have enlarged it a bit.  The waist clasp is a bit more effort than it should be, but I have several weeks before I speak in San Antonio for it grow a bit more.

This is my good suit; the last two events were in a suit that my wife found for $15 at Assistance League Thrift Store.  My wife, the consummate bargain hunter.

Another Tragic Phishing Attempt

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You cannot afford a fluent English speaker?

More Trump Horror

9/12/18 Washington Post:
Middle-class income rose to the highest recorded levels in 2017 and the national poverty rate declined as the benefits of the strong economy lifted the fortunes of more Americans, the U.S. Census reported Wednesday.
The median U.S. household earned $61,372 last year, meaning half of the families in the country brought in more income than this and half earned less.
Crossing the $61,000 mark signals the American middle-class may have finally earned more than it did in 1999, although the Census Bureau cautions that median income last year was not statistically different from 1999 or 2007. A change in methodology in 2013 makes precise comparisons difficult. All the income figures have been adjusted for inflation and are reported in 2017 dollars.
Let's ask Nancy Pelosi if this matters or not.

Weird Thread Size

My refractor has a thumbscrew to hold eyepieces in the focuser.  I doubt it was ever adequate to hold an eyepiece securely, but just to make it hard, I have put a diagonal in place of an eyepiece, and the diagonal is carrying a bit more weight than usual because it is carrying a Chromacorr apochromatic image corrector described here.  The thumbscrew is barely enough to hold everything in place so there is now a lanyard preventing the diagonal and its precious corrector from flying out. 

So I thought: why not find a thumbscrew with a cone point to really dig into the metal of the diagonal barrel?  But when I removed the thumbscrew, I was mystified by it.  I have an Imperial thread sizing tool that I made by tapping a piece of aluminum with every tap I own, from 4-40 to 1/4"-20.  It is too small for 6-32 and it will not screw into 4-40.  If it is metric, I am not finding it on the metric tap charts.  Major diameter is .109".  Measuring threads per inch is an especially hard task when the thread to thread distance is tiny, but it appears to be .075" over three threads, or .025"; it is certainly finer than 4-40.  I could I suppose go to Industrial Hardware in Garden City and use their thread sizing tool, but I am hoping one of you might lend me a clue.

Ordinarily I Do Not Link to the Las Vegas Review-Journal

But this is too good.  9/11/18 Las Vegas Review-Journal reports a professor at the College of Southern Nevada shot himself in the arm:
While waiting for authorities to arrive, Bird said he had shot himself in protest of President Donald Trump, police noted in their report. The report did not elaborate.
Be glad he wasn't really angry at Trump!

Funny Comment

Sen. Durbin is blaming Chicago's murder problem on Republicans.  This response:
Most of the little dearswere going to become Mormons and pass their evenings at choir practice,but the NRA made guns available, and they decided, instead ,to become gangsters and pass their eveningskilling each other.

Not Sure Where This Picture Was Taken, But Having Lived in the Bay Area, I Find It Completely Plausible

A Victory in California

Tracy Rifle & Pistol LLC v. Kamala Harris.  This was a suit challenging California's law prohibiting gun stores from having images of pistols visible from the outside.  In this case, our side requested summary judgment (which means, the case is so clearly on one side that there is no need to go to trial).  The judge granted it.  California's claim was that images of handguns will cause impulsive sorts to buy a gun for suicide or crime.

The underlying free speech issue is whether the speech is misleading and lawful.  The judge ruled that purchasing a handgun is constitutionally protected and a sign showing a handgun is not misleading. (I suppose if it showed a Star Trek phaser...)  The only issue is whether a legitimate and substantial governmental interest is advanced by such a ban.

The government's own expert admitted that the mean time between handgun purchase and suicide is 11 years.  This does not sound impulsive to me and it did not to the judge.

With respect to gun crimes: the judge said the state had failed to provide any evidence that stopping impulsive handgun purchases was anymore effective than the ten day waiting period, which would seem to block impulse purchases.

Of course, the state will next appeal to the 9th Circus where the results are obvious.  This is why, as much as many people dislike Trump, he is the best chance of restoring the rule of law.  Federal judges do not live forever and their replacements could not be any worse than most of the current occupants of the 9th Circus.

Want to help fund suits like this?  Make a contribution to CalGuns foundation (a 501(c)(3))

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

That is Going to Work Out Well

Instapundit links to this Wall Street Journal articlehttps://www.wsj.com/articles/the-government-may-want-to-buy-your-dying-mall-1536663601 about how local governments are buying up dying malls.  Let's see: the private sector cannot make these things work, so those highly efficient and market— savvy governments are going to go head to head with Amazon and win.

What Is Wrong With You People?

There were 2.6 million firearms background checks in August https://www.fbi.gov/file-repository/nics_firearm_checks_-_month_year.pdf  of which about 1/3 are concealed carry issuances and monthly verifications.  Still, you are not all doing your job.  (My Ruger and S&W stock are doing spectacularly.  Thanks to you who are doing your job.)

Why Anyone Who Votes Progressive Needs His Head Examined

MSLSD "journalist" says Trump is more damaging than 9/11.  Ask the 3000 dead and the tens of thousands of next of kin.

9/11: 17 Years Later

I still remember that day with great intensity.  I am sure those of you over 30 do as well.  Amazing how fast this has become ancient history and concerns about Muslim terrorists have become concern about Islamiphobia.

And these pictures that the media stopped showing for fear that Americans might get angry.

It Is All Trump's Fault

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-job-openings-climb-to-record-69-million-2018-09-11 reports record 6.9 million jobs.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Mass Murders in Vaster Numbers Than I Expected

There was a mass murder in Midland Co., Michigan in 1982.  I was looking looking for details.  (After he died of natural causes--Michigan has never had a death penalty--his DNA was matched to a rape-murder in the same county some years before.)  While trying to find details, I found another horrendous mass murder in Michigan, the Robison family, beaten to death, shot, or both in a cabin in Harts End, Mich.  The murder was discovered only a month later, when a neighbor went over to find out what the smell was that was disrupting her social events.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

On What Planet is This a Good Idea?

06/11/2016 New York Daily News:
Mass murderer who killed 7 at Cal State Fullerton begs to be freed from psychiatric hospital
In 1999, Edward Charles Allaway, 60, had been tucked away in a mental hospital for two decades when his caretakers decided to offer their violent psychiatric patients some entertainment — a screening of "Night of the Living Dead."
Why aren't they showing us Snakes on a Plane as the in-flight movie?

I Predict All the Glaciers Will Be Gone By 1925!

The fact that the glaciers at the head of Yakutat bay have retreated several miles within the past one hundred years, as well as the still greater recession of the glaciers of Glacier bay during the same period, indicates the present general recession of the glaciers of the Pacific coast has probably been in progress for more than a century. During this time there must have been many minor oscillations which our imperfect observations do not detect but the fact that the general movement has been backward is well sustained. The shrinking of the glaciers of the west coast of North America, together with the conclusions reached by Prof. Dufour to the effect that the glaciers of both Europe and Asia are receding, indicate that the Greenland ice sheet is the only one in the Northern Hemisphere which is not now diminishing.[The Pan-American Geologist, Volume 9:333]

Still Trying to Understand This One, Too

Fox St. https://fox2now.com/2018/09/07/off-duty-dallas-officer-shoots-kills-man-after-going-into-wrong-apartment/ reports on a police officer shooting a black man in her apartment. Not terribly surprising, except it was not her apartment. We all make mistakes, but that seems a bit severe of a mistake.

Still trying to Understand This Mistake

9/7/18 Fox https://fox61.com/2018/09/07/bridgeport-woman-blows-up-hand-mistaking-dynamite-for-a-candle/  reports a woman lit a candle left by previous owners of the home, and it turned out to be a stick of dynamite.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Beginning to Get to Mass Murders That I Remember

The 1966 murder of Chicago nurses; the Tate-Labianca murders.  I still have a research assistant working through the 1860s and the Roaring Twenties (St. Valentine's Day Massacre), but I am fast reaching modern times.  I may ask my readers in the near future to tell me if my list is missing any names.

Removing Gasoline From Rubber Sole Shoes

A gas pump failed to shut off last night, spilling a gallon or two on the ground.  By the time I reached it, there was a big puddle.  My pants had the smell, but cleaned out well,  The rubber soled shoes still smell of gasoline, even after several turns through the washer and the baking soda and dish soap recommended by some websites.  Any suggestions?  They are Nikes, but I am reluctant to Kaepernick them.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Mastery of English

From some Russian gal seeking either husband or fraud victim:
mister original:-) I hope everything is doubtful!

Thursday, September 6, 2018


Not the movie--drill press vise jaws.  I need a drill press vise with taller jaws.  The ones on mine are about 1 1/2" high.  I would like to use a drill/tap combo to do the entire operation in one pass.  The problem is that the length of the drill/tap combo is enough that it will go through the workpiece and into the vise below.  So put the workpiece higher up above the bed of the vise.  But then the workpiece isn't clamped solidly by the jaws (if clamped at all).

I built a jig that holds the workpiece above the bed of the vise.  It is slightly narrow than the workpiece so the jaws actually compress on the workpiece, but the workpiece pulls out of the jaws when the threads of drill/combo engage.  I believe this is because the jaws are not holding tightly enough.  Of course, because the jaws are no longer quite as squarely on the workpiece, the holding force is reduced, and just a little upward force pulls it out of the jaws.

1. Are there tall jaw drill press vises that still exert strong force on workpieces high in those jaws?

2. Is there some jig you can imagine that allows a very solid grip on the workpiece and yet it is a couple inches above the bed and jaws?

Found a workaround.  Between the bed of the vise and the threaded rod that clamps the jaw are gaps of .504" and .723".  Careful positioning of the workpiece allows the drill/tap combo to pass through these gaps, hitting nothing.  The downside is that I have not found the right torque setting for the Tapmatic to thread all the way through.  (This is an experimental aspect to the Tapmatic that frustrates me.)  I am tapping a somewhat gooey plastic that produces long curly strings instead of chips; in metal, where the chips are discrete, this would not be a problem.

The good news is that once I have threads started, I can put the workpiece in a vise, and use a tap in a power screwdriver to finish the 1" deep tapping.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

No Deep State? New York Times Admits It

9/5/18 Associated Press:
WASHINGTON (AP) — In a striking anonymous broadside, a senior Trump administration official wrote an opinion piece in The New York Times on Wednesday claiming to be part of a group of people “working diligently from within” to impede President Donald Trump’s “worst inclinations” and ill-conceived parts of his agenda.
Trump said it was a “gutless editorial” and “really a disgrace,” and his press secretary called on the official to resign.
Trump later tweeted, “TREASON?” and in an extraordinary move demanded that if “the GUTLESS anonymous person does indeed exist, the Times must, for National Security purposes, turn him/her over to government at once!”
The writer, claiming to be part of the “resistance” to Trump but not from the left, said, “Many Trump appointees have vowed to do what we can to preserve our democratic institutions while thwarting Mr. Trump’s more misguided impulses until he is out of office.” The newspaper described the author of the column only as a senior official in the Trump administration.

"The capability of your network adapter does not match the requirement of this network."

This is what I get when I click on the Pentax network in my list of available networks.  The author of   WiFi Commander for Pentax is trying to help, but it appears his native tongue is Italian. It appears that a corrupt network profile for my WiFi is the problem, but I cannot find an explanation of how to remove the profile and restart it.

Awesome: Catholic Church Has Learned

MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) — Two Chicago-area priests were charged Monday with Lewd and Lascivious behavior and Indecent Exposure after being caught performing a sexual act inside a car parked on a Miami Beach street....
“Yesterday, we received a call indicating that two men were performing a sex act inside of a car. This is in broad daylight, 13th Street and Ocean Drive. There are no tints on the window,” explained Miami Beach Police spokesman Ernesto Rodriguez.
When police arrived, it was still going on.
Police said Berrio and GiraldoCortez were so engaged, they didn’t even notice that police were there.
“We observed the two males performing the sex act, the officer had to tap on the window to get their attention,” said Rodriguez....
“Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, archbishop of Chicago, has removed Fr. Berrio from ministry and withdrawn his faculties to minister in the Archdiocese of Chicago, effective immediately. The archdiocese will appoint an administrator for the Misión San Juan Diego as soon as possible.
“Archdiocese representatives have been in contact with Fr. Cortes’ home diocese of Soacha, Colombia and informed them that Fr. Cortes will not be granted additional faculties to minister in the Archdiocese of Chicago.

Some Readers Have Dismissed the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report

because statute of limitations has expired.  On this?  8/14/18 Fortune:
Among the horrific revelations of a 1,356-page Pennsylvania grand jury reportthat found more than 1,000 identifiable child victims were abused by over 300 Catholic priests, one stands out starkly: Priests allegedly used church property to produce child pornography.
With one priest, George Zirwas, the grand jury says his diocese knew of complaints starting in 1987 that he purportedly sexually abused children. Zirwas was shuffled among positions until he was placed on “personal leave” in 1995, which lasted until he was murdered in Havana, Cuba, in May 2001. The report claims Zirwas and three other priests created child pornography in parishes and rectories using whips, violence, and sadism while raping their victims.

Remember: If This Happened at CNN Studios, It Would be Trump's Fault

9/5/18 Fox News:
A man intentionally crashed his truck into the side of the studios for FOX 4 in Dallas early Wednesday before jumping out of the vehicle and started "ranting," the station said.
In a Twitter post, FOX 4 said that after crashing the vehicle in the building, the man got out and "started ranting."
"He’s in custody now but the bomb squad is on its way," FOX 4 said. "He left behind a suspicious bag."
It has to be political right?  It can't be that there are crazy and intoxicated people out there.

Riotiously Funny Parody on YouTube

The Wreck of the Hillary Clinton.  Sings as bad as I do, but you will never hear The Wreck of the Edmund  Fitzgerald the same way again.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

I Feel So Much Better

9/1/18 Japan Times:
Japan is for the most part a safe country. Gun-control laws are so strict in this East Asian nation of more than 120 million that fatalities remained in single digits last year.
And yet we still feel a palpable sense of relief when we make it through any given year without a mass murderer surfacing to inflict pain and suffering on their victims’ families. Take the following cases, for example:

On Aug. 18, a former Yokohama nurse suspected of being a serial killer was served a third arrest warrant over several fatal poisonings at a hospital where she once worked. Ayumi Kuboki earlier told prosecutors she injected disinfectant into intravenous drip bags being administered to about 20 patients.
and followed by a number of other non-gun mass murders.  So much better when they use poisons, cars, and knives.

Old Men With Neck Tattoos

What next?

Protesters Demand "Cancel Brett Kavanaugh"


Sounds like a demand for liquidation to me.  The Dems' inner Stalin is coming out.

Remember the movie the 12 Chairs where the clerk misses his dying mother good bye and he still has the rubber Cancelled stamp on his hand, applying it to her face?

Trying to Remember How I Did Astrophotography

There are at least different combinations of eyepiece mount extension tubes that I have for Big Bertha.  Trying to remember which to use in darkness was a struggle, so I did some photography with the world's most ungainly lens: 2000mm f/4.5.

This was taken at prime focus of a mountain some miles away.  Naked eye this is a patch of green and brown:
All pictures suffered from too long an exposure.  For some reason, I forgot that I have control over the exposure length.  The picture above was hopelessly washed out; post-processing did not get back the detail lost by too long an exposure.  This picture was done with a 25mm eyepiece in the path (what is called eyepiece projection), and much more magnification:

Same exposure problem.  But I was able to determine that prime focus and eyepiece projection require no extension tube in the focuser.  One extension is all the eyepieces below 500mm focal length.  Two extensions let me use the 85mm eyepiece, made by Russell Machining.  

Monday, September 3, 2018

Another Gun Control Success Story

9/3/18 KABC:
Eight people, including a 17-year-old, were shot and wounded Sunday evening in an exchange of gunfire at an apartment complex in San Bernardino, authorities said.

Angry at a Dutchman? Stab Two Americans

Is this Muslim logic?  9/3/18 Reuters:
AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - A man who stabbed two American tourists at Amsterdam’s central station last week named Dutch, anti-Islam lawmaker Geert Wilders during police questioning and said he was motivated by perceived insults to Islam in the Netherlands, prosecutors said on Monday.

Ryobi String Trimmer on eBay

The battery failed and a new battery cost as much a corded weed whacker.  My wife is very happy with her new Black & Decker, so this needs to go.  And the charger, sold separately because it won't fit in the box that I had available.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Making Alternate Points of View Disappear

A reader tells me that Firefox had a special "Focus" browser for iOS (note, by fiat all app store iOS browsers are skins over the rendering engine Safari uses), which included a nifty feature of also providing its block list to Safari if you want.  But while doing my due diligence, I checked the most recent reviews of Focus, and lo and behold, the SJWs who are notoriously running Mozilla now are suppressing access to conservative sites per this screen shotted review, which I've cropped including removing the author.  It's quite new, probably within the last few days, no more than 2 weeks old:

I had not switched to his new browser when it was first in beta.  Downloading it now.

Using it now.  Seems to be snappier than Chrome.

I Suspect That There is a Good Novel In This

Dorothy Keenan, who I mentioned previously: artist's model, mistress, senior partner in a brokerage firm (how many hours are there in one of her days?)  She had some incriminating letters by the man who kept her.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

There Seem to be A Lot of Subtly Identified Gay Themes in 1923 papers

A Navy yeomen checks into a hotel with a rabbi; rabbi found dead:
A Navy man attempts to blackmail a wealthy man's son found murdered.  No one will say what the blackmail involves.  I confess, it sounds like setup for a joke.  "A sailor and a rabbi check into a hotel together..."

Some Things Go Through Cycles

Women Had Limited Work Opportunities Before the 1960s, Right?

The murder victim had a different side to her:

I am hoping these curious fragments of history interest or intrigue you.

1923 Delusional Thinking

My Wife Needs Review of Her Books on Amazon

Here she offers to send you a copy.

The Myth of European Socialism

There are a lot people out there who seem confused about the European model.  It is NOT socialism.  Few "socialist" parties in Europe espouse socialism (government ownership of the means of production and government control of prices).  Most abandoned socialism after World War II as the contrast between true socialism (Soviet Union) and capitalism/welfare state (USA) models became evident.  (The U.K. Labour Party was still espousing true socialism in the 1990s, leading to all sorts of economic disasters, usually reversed by the Conservative Party after the economy collapsed.)  The capitalist welfare state gives most people a slice of the pie because there is someone still baking pies to be taxed.

The question of what is the correct level of welfare spending and to whom, remains the primary question in capitalist welfare states.  The big problem is that the welfare state throws crumbs to some to cover over the enormous redistribution of wealth to the wealthy that are usually at the core of these welfare states.  As Milton Friedman observed, "If you ask college-educated middle class people how to help the poor, they design a system that employs college-educated middle class people.")  My sister worked for L.A. County Welfare in 1968 just out of college.  The way in which the system was abused primarily for the benefit of the workers led her to quit.

You Wonder Where Weird Conspiracy Theories Come From

TruePundit reports that Stephen Paddock's globetrotting girlfriend listed the FBI as an employer on a loan application.  He links to a YouTube video that he says shows the credit report.  Which comes up with something that I have never seen before on YouTube.
What does that mean?  Not a copyright infringement complaint.  What is that?

Maybe The FBI Hasn't Dropped the Ball in Taos

You may have seen that some of the defendants in the "train children to be jihadi mass murderers" plot were released by a state court judge.  8/31/18 Fox News:
The FBI announced Friday that it had arrested all five New Mexico compound suspects, days after multiple charges were dropped. The suspects were now being charged with violating federal firearms and conspiracy laws.
"The criminal complaint charges Jany Leveille with being an alien unlawfully in possession of firearms and ammunition in the District of New Mexico from Nov. 2017 through Aug. 2018," the bureau said. "The criminal complaint charges the other four defendants with aiding and abetting Leveille in committing the offense, and with conspiring with Leveille to commit the offense."
The announcement comes after local prosecutors dropped charges in the death of a 3-year-old boy at the compound site. Taos County District Attorney Donald Gallegos said Friday his office would now seek grand jury indictments involving the death. Gallegos said seeking indictments would allow more time to gather evidence.
"The defendants, Jany Leveille, 35, a Haitian national illegally present in the United States, Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, 40, Hujrah Wahhaj, 37, Subhanah Wahhaj, 35, and Lucas Morton, 40, are charged in a criminal complaint that was filed earlier today in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico," the bureau said in a statement.
I would dearly love to believe that not everyone in the FBI is Comey or Strzok.  Perhaps some are doing their jobs.

Feeling Better

Yesterday morning, my wife and I rebuilt the gates on our fence to more securely prevent Tater from becoming coyote food.  Three years ago, he would have easily leaped the fence; I don't think he would try that now.  Anyway, rebuilding those gates was a lot of work in direct Sun.  I did better than I expected.  This morning: 210.4 pounds.  Exercise and eating less are helping.

Awesomely Clear Night

I could see a yellow cloud band on Saturn.  The air was still a bit turbulent in the early evening, so fine detail like Cassini's Division was only visible for fractions of a second before burbling away.  It was probably better later in the evening, but Saturn set behind the telescope garage.  I need to extend my True North phosphorescent paint line farther away from the garage.  Right now, Jupiter is also behind the garage too early.  I might also draw a parallel True North line farther east of the current line, again to reduce garage occultation.

Mars is not just a very red near-disc to the naked eye, but a substantial disc through the telescope.  There is just the faintest hint of detail on that disc.  Partly the big reflector doesn't produce the detail of the smaller and more precise telescopes; partly Mars is very bright and detail gets washed out in the excess light.  I may use a filter tonight to tone that down.

No astrophotos yet.  In complete darkness, getting the right collection of adapters together was a bit of a pain.  Best try this in daylight on the antennas atop Bogus Basin.