Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Headed to Knoxville, Tenn.

Lincoln Memorial University School of Law invited me to a symposium on Friday.  I will be expecting my fans to be at the airport with a brass band and banners.

I Was Going to Blame President Trump

Paid off the mortgage yesterday; no debts of any sort!  The loan officer at the credit union admitted that this is generally unusual, although we were the third payoff of the day.

But as the top of my blog observes:
"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." -- Rom. 8:28
A lot of what makes me unique and capable of doing what I do are inherited brain defects.  I am called to the purpose of making the world a better place for people with severe mental illness.  And even tragedies work together for that purpose.  I was looking for a video like the 1950s analgesic TV ads, but this was the best that I could do.




Since the 2014 stroke, there has been no depression, just (barely) controlled mania.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Educate Me About Compass Types

 Originally, I glued a very tiny compass on the base plate.  It took a while for me to figure out that I needed the polar axis pointing to 349 degrees; true north, is 11 degrees west of magnetic north.  The compass is tiny, and hard to read unless I get on my knees.  I use the Compass app on my once and future cellphone to get the big telescope pointing to true north, but it is not as easy as I would like. 

The Compass Store has more types of compass than I knew existed; one with glowing pointer, 8-12" diameter, and a flat bottom would be perfect.  Baseplate, Sighting, Orienteering...  what am I looking for?

Sunday, January 13, 2019

I Have Been Looking For This Outer Limits Intro For Some Time

I always thought of it as inferior to Twilight Zone, but the intro was as good as it gets for the time:

When Even Mother Jones is Reporting This

1/5/10 Mother Jones reviews a new book:
Tell Your Children is nonfiction that takes a sledgehammer to the promised benefits of marijuana legalization, and cannabis enthusiasts are not going to like it one bit....

We look back and laugh at Reefer Madness, which was pretty over-the-top, after all, but Berenson found himself immersed in some pretty sobering evidence: Cannabis has been associated with legitimate reports of psychotic behavior and violence dating at least to the 19th century, when a Punjabi lawyer in India noted that 20 to 30 percent of patients in mental hospitals were committed for cannabis-related insanity. The lawyer, like Berenson’s wife, described horrific crimes—including at least one beheading—and attributed far more cases of mental illness to cannabis than to alcohol or opium. The Mexican government reached similar conclusions, banning cannabis sales in 1920—nearly 20 years before the United States did—after years of reports of cannabis-induced madness and violent crime.
Regular readers of this blog will not be surprised, but regular readers of Mother Jones are probably making little Bereson voodoo dolls now.  I suspect George Soros' funding of pot legalization is at least partly driven by his hatred of America, which does not yet look like Jamaica.

Little Lost Android

I went to Gold Fork Hot Springs with my daughter and son-in-law yesterday and had a lovely time--until I realized that my phone apparently slipped out of my pocket in the locker room.  By the time we returned a half hour later, it was nowhere to be found, so I used the lost Android app.  On my wife's phone, the resolution was so poor that it appeared to still be near the hot springs, so I locked it remotely.  Once home, I was able to nail the location down to 44°41'14.5"N 116°02'08.3"W. This is in the middle of the road leading back to ID-55. My guess is that whoever found it realized it was now locked and threw it out the window. (I would gladly have paid $100 for its return.)

I called Valley County Sheriff's Department, giving them the coordinates and suggesting that they might get the thief's prints off the phone. (Looking at the crowd there, I suspect those prints are already on file.) They sent someone out to find it! I received a call back last night but not a voicemail. I am guessing a deputy went there and failed to find it. Even 0.1 second (about 100 feet) is still a pretty big area in the dark.

 So I need to buy a new phone today.  I doubt that I bought insurance; I have never lost a cell phone (until yesterday).  One more aggravation.  Do any of you live near Cascade or Donnelly?

To my surprise, I insured the phone.  I am paying Assurion a $19 deductible, with an identical replacement phone delivered by mail tomorrow!

Saturday, January 12, 2019

We May Be About to See Justice Kavanaugh's Confirmation Take Effect

A challenge to New York's very restrictive gun control law, which has been denied cert (effectively, the Court is not hearing the appeal) has been "relisted."  What does that mean?
A relist occurs when the Justices consider a petition at private conference but decline to act on it, redistributing it for the following conference. The practice is now an accepted feature of the certiorari process.  “[A]t least one relist is generally viewed as a necessary step on the way to a grant of further review …. A relist remains an effective prerequisite to a grant of certiorari.”  
It may not result in cert, but we have at least some basis for hope.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Remember the GoFundMe Campaign to Fund the Wall?

Some of you were skeptical the government would use the money for that purpose:
This team has spent countless hours over the holidays reviewing all issues pertaining to the construction of a southern border wall. Unanimously, we have all come to the conclusion that:
-The federal government won’t be able to accept our donations anytime soon.
-We are better equipped than our own government to use the donated funds to build an actual wall on the southern border. 
-Our highly experienced team is highly confident that we can complete significant segments of the wall in less time, and for far less money, than the federal government, while meeting or exceeding all required regulatory, engineering, and environmental specifications.
-Our team strongly believes that we can complete our segments of the wall for less than half of the government’s estimated costs on a per mile basis.
To show the government how “We the People” can get this done, we have formed a Section 501(c)(4) non-profit Florida Corporation named “We Build the Wall, Inc.” to receive the GoFundMe contributions. Our website can be found at www.webuildthewall.us. 
I am sure property owners will gladly allow it.  A friend moved from California because the illegals crossing his border property stole everything they could.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Large Head Knurled Thumb Screws

I have discovered that turning thumb screws on my telescope is not so easy when wearing thick gloves in below freezing weather.  Larger knurled heads would help.  Ideally, these would be 1" diameter knurled heads for 6-32, 8-32, 10-24, and 10-32 threads 1/2" or longer.  (So many vendors of optical parts; so many choices of thread.)

I know there is a knurling attachment for my lathe, but it makes more sense to pay a few dollars each for these than to spend a hundred dollars (including the knurling tools) and likely several hours making these.  I tried MSC.   Any other likely sources?

Excuse Me While I Go Into Shock

1/10/19 Fox News:
Cher demands Pelosi end partial government shutdown, fund border wall: ‘DON’T DIE ON THIS HILL’
No, she did not go conservative; she just thinks Trump is going to win and Democrat obstructionism is causing suffering for government workers (which I am sure is true).

But not members of Congress.  At least some Democrats are continuing to receive their paychecks, while at least one Republican is turning over his paycheck to the Treasury.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

I Just Sold My Ruger Stock

Not a commentary on the company or the industry, but I needed to liquidate some stocks (not all of them dogs in need of shooting) to pay off the mortgage,  It is only 200 shares so I doubt that your share price will be affected.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Interesting Side Effect of the Larger Standard Deduction for 2018

Not only is there no longer a tax advantage from paying mortgage interest, but keeping all those charitable contribution receipts from gifts to thrift stores is no longer useful.  Not a big change, but still nice.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

I Was Wondering if This Was Going to Be a Cold but Dry Winter


Too Stupid to Buy Bread at the Market Without Assistance

Daily Wire:
Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) introduced two bills on Thursday, one to eliminate the electoral college and the other to prohibit presidents from pardoning themselves or their family members.
A press release from Cohen's office stated that the "senior member of the House Judiciary Committee, introduced two Constitutional Amendments today on the opening day of the new Congress. The first would eliminate the Electoral College and provide for the direct election of the President and Vice President of the United States. The second would limit the presidential pardon power by prohibiting presidents from pardoning themselves, members of their families, members of their administrations and their campaign staff."
Constitutional amendment requires 2/3 of both houses of Congress and 3/4 of the states; the Sore Loser Party does not have 2/3 of the House and a minority of the Senate. What are the chances that 3/4 of the states are going to abandon the only significant advantage they have: the Electoral College?  This is just grandstanding for the sore losers.

The Mass Murders Not on CNN's Headline List


Richmond, Va. (2006)
1/1/2006: Two robbers enter a house to commit robbery, tied up Bryan Harvey, his wife, and their two daughters, and then beat and stabbed them to death.
Category: residential
Suicide: no
Cause: robbery
Weapon: hammer, knife[1]



[1] Associated Press, USA Today, “Man convicted of grisly murders of Virginia couple, daughters,” Aug. 17, 2006, https://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/2006-08-17-virginia-slayings_x.htm, last accessed January 6, 2019.

Murderers weren't white; weapons weren't guns.

California A-G Complains About Need to Do for More About Gun Violence

Three people were killed and four others injured in a shooting at a bowling alley in California, late Friday evening.
The shooting stemmed from a fight that took place between a group of people at Gable House bowling alley in Torrance, according to witnesses at the scene....
Sen. Kamala Harris tweeted that her "heart breaks for the victims," and said "we must do more to address gun violence."
"Americans should be able to go to a bowling alley and be safe," she tweeted.
Because California has no gun control laws.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

The Stupid is Strong

12/27/18 Vermont Public Radio:
After Vermont passed historic gun legislation this year, lawmakers wanted to know if the state could play a role in performing background checks.
But a new report from the Department of Public Safety finds that because only licensed dealers can access the federal database system, the state will not be able to offer an alternative to running the background checks through gun shops.
Under federal and state laws anyone who buys a gun from a federally licensed dealer is required to have a background check.
But if a gun is sold just between two people, then the background check is supposed to happen before the sale, also through a dealer.
Public Safety Deputy Commissioner Christopher Herrick said lawmakers wanted to know if the state could set up a new system to give people one more option.
“In multiple phone calls with the FBI, and reviewing federal law and regulation, it became clear that we would not be authorized to have access to the full range of databases that are performed on a normal background check for a gun purchase,” Herrick said.

One of Those Tragic "We Need Gun Control" Stories From Wichita, Kansas

1/3/19 KAKE:
The number of homicides rose by 13 percent in 2018, the highest in decades, justifiable homicides more than doubling.  The chief sat down with KAKE's Pilar Pedraza to take a closer look at what's going on.
"A significant number of the homicides in 2018 have a drug connection," he said.
Police investigated a total of 44 homicides in Wichita last year.  A homicide legally is when one human kills another.  Some homicides are legal, some are crimes.
It started on January 8th with what's called a justifiable homicide, a case of self-defense.
"Our first two homicides were one incident - where a homeowner...had people at his door with guns and he shot and killed both of them," Ramsay said.  "And that's how the year started out,  was our first two homicides were  justifiable."
Justifiable homicides climbed to a high of nine confirmed last year, with Chief Ramsay expecting a shooting last week to become number ten on that list.
"You know when we look at last week's, very obviously justified you know, with a store being robbed. He had had a gun pointed in his face."

Friday, January 4, 2019

Paying Off the House is Looking More and More Sensible

I have always discouraged paying off the mortgage because you are likely getting a good enough return on your investments that the relatively small interest you pay on the mortgage is less.  Also, the interest on the mortgage is tax deductible (unless you have recently taken out a million dollar plus mortgage, but then you would be reading HuffPost or AntifaQuarterly, not this blog).  I was talking to my investment advisor at Fidelity today.  I mentioned my thought of paying off the mortgage and mentioned the deductibility.  He reminded me that because the standard deduction is now $24,000 for a married couple, it may not be useful.  Indeed, unless you have $5000 a month mortgage payments (because you bought a crummy condo in the Bay Area), or you regularly give $100,000 a year to charity, the standard deduction will make mortgage interest irrelevant.

The attraction is wiping out $1140/month in expenses.  We could probably pay all our bills from my disability check alone.

The Coming Recession

1/4./9 CNBC:
  • Nonfarm payrolls surged by 312,000 in December. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had been expecting payroll growth of just 176,000.
  • Wages jumped 3.2 percent from a year ago and 0.4 percent over the previous month. The year-over-year increase is tied with October for the best since April 2009.
  • The unemployment rate rose to 3.9 percent as more workers joined the labor force....
Job creation ended 2018 on a powerful note, with nonfarm payrolls surging by 312,000 in December though the unemployment rate rose to 3.9 percent.
The jobless rate, which was last higher in June, rose for the right reason as 419,000 new workers entered the workforce and the labor force participation rate increased to 63.1 percent. The participation level was up 0.2 percentage points from November and 0.4 percentage points compared with a year earlier.
A broader measure of unemployment that includes discouraged workers and those holding part-time jobs for economic reasons held steady at 7.6 percent.
In addition to the big job gains, wages jumped 3.2 percent from a year ago and 0.4 percent over the previous month. The year-over-year increase is tied with October for the best since April 2009. The average work week rose 0.1 hour to 34.5 hours....
The U.S. central bank raised interest rates four times in 2018 in an effort to prevent the economy from overheating, but President Donald Trump has criticized the Fed for endangering the economic recovery.
Futures traders expect the Fed to hold steady through the year, and in fact are pricing in a 45 percent of a rate cut by the end of 2019.
That evil Trump: why Democrats want him removed from office.  Unemployed people are dependent on the government,

Why Terrorism is A Poor Reason for Gun Control

Bridget Johnson at PJMedia reports:
A Spanish-language ISIS directive circulated just a week after the U.S. consulate in Barcelona warned of a possible attack urges would-be jihadists to "choose a place very busy and full of disbelief" for a vehicle attack.
"Trust in Allah, you do not need to complicate... you do not need to look for materials to make a bomb, nor look for weapons, you do not need any of that, the technique of the run-over is devastating and simple, nobody can detect you," said the message, which included the image of a passenger van with an ISIS flag on the door and a license plate reading "Islamic State."
"With weapons and explosives there are usually arrests of some brothers while looking for it, and that is because the kufar [disbelivers] control the weapons and materials of explosion, but Alhamdulillah, there is no control over the vehicles, and a vehicle is equally powerful or even more than a bomb," continued the message from ISIS supporters conducting online media ops. "The brother of France (Nice) managed to annihilate more than 80 kufar with only a truck. Akhi [brother], rent a large vehicle or truck and choose a place very busy and full of disbelief."
"When attack[ing] remember that the first moment is the most important, and this is because when you start to run over the other people understand that it is an attack and hide so you must try to hit with all the force at the first moment and with the goal of getting the most deaths possible. Think that this road has no return, you will not go back, think that when you leave your house for the attack you will return to your home but in your house in paradise, where Allah has prepared it for you, Alhamdudillah."
We obviously need background checks and waiting periods for vehicle rentals.

A Discouraging But Unsurprising Revelation

Parents of children gunned down in the Parkland school shooting in Florida last year have never understood two actions taken by Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel: his refusal to fire a campus-based deputy who failed to enter the school during the rampage that took 17 lives, and his continued defense of controversial Obama-era school policies that allowed the  accused shooter, Nikolas Cruz, to avoid arrest and a police record and thereby purchase the murder weapon.

Some now think they have found the answer in a single incident that occurred in 2014. A police report shows that’s when Israel's then-17-year-old son, Brett, was accused of participating in a sexual assault of a 14-year-old boy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas  High School.

The case was investigated by Scot Peterson -- the armed deputy who took cover while children and staff were shot last February. Using the Obama-era guidelines, Peterson’s recommendation helped his boss’s son receive just a three-day suspension.

“Everyone in this county is wondering why Peterson was allowed to retire so quickly and take his pension,” said local attorney Alex Arreaza, who represents victims of the school tragedy. “Normally deputies  would not be allowed to retire under those circumstances, but in this case, Peterson was allowed to. This report gives a plausible reason,” he said.

From a Right to Privacy to "Shout Your Abortion"

The "Shout Your Abortion" movement.  The argument underlying Roe v. Wade (1973) was a right to privacy, much like the right to homosexual sex.  Now the need for affirmation of this choice has become like homosexuality "The love that dare not speak its name" has become the love that will never shut up.

Why Do Democrats Make This a Matter of Public Policy?

1/3/19 Chicago Tribune:
Longtime Ald. Edward Burke, one of Chicago’s most powerful figures and a vestige of the city’s old Democratic machine, has often been considered too clever and sophisticated to be caught blatantly using his public office to enrich himself.
But after years of dodging investigations while watching dozens of his colleagues hauled off to prison, Burke has been accused of crossing the line himself — and doing so in a quintessential Chicago way.
federal criminal complaint unsealed Thursday charged Burke with attempted extortion for allegedly using his position as alderman to try to steer business to his private law firm from a company seeking to renovate a fast-food restaurant in his ward. The charge carries a maximum of 20 years in prison on conviction.
And there was nothing subtle about it:
A week and a half later, the FBI intercepted a phone call between Burke and one of the executives, who still seemed caught off guard over the purported shakedown and uncertain how to react. At one point, Burke said bluntly that he needed assurances that he’d get the business before “we can expedite your permits," according to the complaint.
"I'm sorry, Mr. Burke. What was that last part?" the executive was quoted as saying.
After deciding to play “hard ball” with the executives, Burke had a stop-work order placed on the project and also sent a Chicago Department of Transportation inspector to the site to issue tickets for failure to procure a permit for a driveway at the restaurant that actually had been previously obtained, according to the charges.
 Chicago goes through these corruption stings every few years because the culture of corruption is part of the Democratic Party back through Tammany Hall, and it does not seem to bother Democratic voters.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

More Criminals Too Stupid to Get a Job

Hello,

I have looked at you for several months.
In fact, you have been infected with malicious software through an adult site that you visited.
If you are not familiar with this, I will explain it.
The Trojan virus gives me complete access and control over a computer or other device.
That means I can see everything on the screen and turn on the camera and microphone, but you're not aware of this.
Thus, I also got access to all your contacts.
Why the antivirus program did not detect malicious code?
Answer: I have a Trojan driver, I update their signatures every four hours so your antivirus is silent.
I made a video showing how to satisfy yourself on the left half of the screen, and in the right half you see the video you watched.
With a click of a button, I can send this video to all your email and social networking contacts.
To prevent this, transfer the amount of 720 USD to my bitcoin address (if you do not know how, google "Buy Bitcoin").
Bitcoin Address: 1CnQxRTP5WeGmwaSriYdefDEHyjWpY7tjw
As soon as the payment is received, I will remove the video and you will never hear me again.
I give you 24 hours to pay.
Do not worry, I have a notification that reads this letter, and the timer works when you read this letter.
Submitting complaints to somewhere is not meaningful because this email can not be traced as my bitcoin address.
I make no mistakes.
If I find that you have submitted a report or shared this message with someone else, the video will be distributed immediately.
Sincerely!

Why Public Universities Are So Expensive

I found this on Small Dead Animals, which you should read every day:
The University of Michigan Has At Least 82 Full-Time Diversity Officers at a Total Annual Payroll Cost of $10.6M. That Would Support Full In-State Tuition for 708 Students.
Back in the 1960s and 1970s, one of the ransoms that universities had to pay to get their buildings back in one piece were Afro-American Studies programs, which were almost always staffed with faculty who would otherwise not be faculty. (A friend at Sonma State University had a professor who did not even have a bachelor's degree.  He seldom showed up yo teach.)

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Do These Bizarre Church Symptoms Bug You?

Are We Bored With Jesus?
Gold dust.  Angel feathers.  Smoke machines.  Jewels.  Fire tunnels.  People laying all over the floor.  "Sunday Experience" instead of "Sunday Worship."  Churches with names that don't sound like churches.  New revelation.  Progressive revelation.  Branding.  Logos.  Stage lighting.  Healing ministry.  Deliverance ministry.  Big time buildings.  Big time budgets.  Big time pastors.    
Have we in America become bored with Jesus?  
When did He manifest gold dust, or any other "heavenly" props?  When did He create "experiences" for His listeners?  When did He speak with any other label other than what the Old Testament had named the Messiah?  When He speak without the Old Testament as THE reference?  How did He succeed other than by word of mouth?  When did He have an event that singled out one area of ministry, and did only that, such as healing?