Thursday, April 9, 2020

What's Wrong With This Picture?


Preventing a Lynching

It is very easy to assume that public officials made no effort to prevent lynchings.  But here is a case that showed great courage against a very organized effort:
Ten days ago the dead bodies of Farmer Hicks, his wife and daughter were found in their house and Sheriff Spradley immediately began to search for the perpetrator of the crime. A week later Jim Buchanan was arrested and finally confessed to the triple murder.

The news of the negro's confession spread rapidly and a mob of several hundred people marched upon the sheriff and his deputies with the avowed purpose of securing possession of the negro and burning him at the stake.

Sheriff Spradley and his deputies refused to give over his prisoner and later he was joined by Sheriff Bowers of San Augustine county.  The two officers through a ruse finally succeeded in spiriting the negro away to the parish jail at Shreveport.

Buchanan was afterwards taken to the jail at Henderson and a company of militia was ordered out to protect the negro from violence. A mob. formed and it was feared an encounter with the troops would result in serious bloodshed. Two more companies of militia were dispatched to Henderson and today Buchanan was brought to Nacogdoches under the protection of five companies of militia.

Upon his arrival here the negro was immediately turned over to Sheriff Spradly, who told the people he would be given a speedy trial. The town began to fill up rapidly and the excitement was intense.

The telegraph wires were cut, the railroad tracks were torn up for a short distance and it was announced that an attempt would be made to get possession of Buchanan. ["The Murderer Waived Thirty Days of Life," Lancaster [S.C.] Ledger, Oct. 22, 1902, 1.]

More Evidence Trump's Decision to Stop Travel From China Was a Good Idea

4/8/20 New York Times:
New research indicates that the coronavirus began to circulate in the New York area by mid-February, weeks before the first confirmed case, and that travelers brought in the virus mainly from Europe, not Asia.

“The majority is clearly European,” said Harm van Bakel, a geneticist at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, who co-wrote a study awaiting peer review....

On Jan. 31, President Trump barred foreign nationals from entering the country if they had been in China during the prior two weeks.

It would not be until late February that Italy would begin locking down towns and cities, and March 11 when Mr. Trump said he would block travelers from most European countries. But New Yorkers had already been traveling home with the virus.
So, if Trump erred, it was failing to block travel from Europe on Jan. 31.  But the Europeans could have followed Trump's lead and saved a lot of lives.  Of course, having the Democrats call him a racist cannot have helped.

Good News for Idaho

Latest projections for Idaho.
7 days until projected peak deaths.  They are predicting 0 deaths from May 1 onward.  And actually a lot of places.  The best part of this the projected ICU beds needed, and total beds, and ventilators, are well below the available resources in many states.  Unsurprisingly, low density, Western red states are doing very well.  Wyoming, for example is projected to peak at 3 deaths per day April 30.  So far, no deaths at all.  Utah has done nothing but close schools, and they are still doing pretty well.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Markets Recovering

Several days of substantial upward motion of the market.  Still a ways to go to get where I was in January,  but the clear evidence that we are going to be past the worst of this soon is cresting optimism.   I wish that I had a few hundred thousand in cash to invest right now to invest in my mutual funds.   They're is no intrinsic reason that the economy cannot resume its meteoric rise again, much to the chagrin of the Democrats. 

I would still like to get my old house sold.

Today's Almost English Scam



ANTI-TERRORIST MONETARY,CYBER RESPONSE AND CRIMES DIVISION FBI
HEADQUARTERS WASHINGTON DC FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATIONS J.EDGAR HOOVER
BUILDING935 PENNSYLVANIA AVENUE, NW WASHINGTON, D.C. 20535-0001


Our Ref: CBN /0N8/CONTRACT NO.856.
To. Beneficiary:
 

This is Agent Charlene B.Thornton and we are here in Nigeria as an
FBI/UNITED NATION delegate that have been delegated to investigate these
fraudsters who are in the business of swindling Foreigners that came for
transaction in Nigeria .
 

Please be informed that during our investigation,we found out that there
is a total sum amount of money $12.5million that has been assigned in your
name as the beneficiary and these fraudsters are busy swindling
you without any hope of receiving your fund.

 
These are the works of the fraud stars who needed to extort money from
you in the name of this transfer.We have to inform you that we have made some
arrested in respect of this delayed over due fund. I have a very
limited time to stay in Nigeria here so I advise you urgently respond to this
message .

 
These criminals will be caught unaware and we don't want them to know this
new development to avoid jeopardizing our investigation,you need
to conceal anything that has to do with this exercise to enable us get all
the necessary information we required.

 
I shall be expecting your swift response as soon as you receive this email.
 

Best Regard,
Agent Charlene B.Thornton
FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION VISIT IN NIGERIA

Sunday, April 5, 2020

When Normalizing a Field Does Not Quite Work

I had Access normalize the cause of incident and category fields.  The cause table had two UNKNOWN entries and category had two PUB entries.  I am guessing that when it read these columns from Excel, there were entries with trailing blanks and Access was not smart enough to see the difference.  So I had to write some SELECT statements that showed which records had the cause_ ID and category_ID that I wanted, then UPDATE those with the correct table entry.  Then I was able to delete the "duplicate" rows in the cause and category tables.  Oh, and I created a form for entering the data.  The datasheet method of entry had lots of horizontal scrolling, just like a spreadsheet.  I am beginning to find Access a bit of a friend.

Interesting Video Tracing Possible Origins of the Virus




This 4/5/20 Daily Mail article advances the same theory.  Accidental release, not weapon.

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Good COVID-19 News!

4/4/20 AFP:
Rome (AFP) - Pandemic-hit Italy cheered Saturday after seeing its number of intensive care cases for the coronavirus that stretched its healthcare system to breaking point drop for the first time.

Even some of the most cautious health officials seized on the figures as evidence that the tide might be turning in the deadliest disaster the country has faced since World War II.
Civil protection service chief Angelo Borrelli called the drop from 4,068 on Friday to 3,994 on Saturday a big moment in Italy's battle against COVID-19.
 4/4/20 New York Post:
There are 15,905 people currently hospitalized. Cuomo said two-thirds of hospitalized patients have been discharged, and the total number of hospitalizations dipped yesterday.
Also a report that the projected 12,000 ICU beds needed turned out to be 4100 today.  Florida appears past its peak as well:
2000 FEWER patients and 200 FEWER ICU patients than yesterday

Almost Like Living This Close Together is A Bad Idea

Map of % positive by zip code for COVID-19 in NYC.  Much of Occasional-Cortex's district may not be voting in the fall.

I Feel for NYC

But this MSN article shows why they are dropping like flies.  We may be uncivilized country bumpkins, but we do not regularly gather in crowds of thousands to get to work.

Friday, April 3, 2020

The De Blasio "Shutter Churches" Clip?

Some people are insisting that the video clip is out of context.  The Daily Wire has a transcript:
We’ve had extraordinary support from the leaders of major Christian denominations. We’ve had extraordinary across the board, rabbinical support from all the different elements of the Jewish community, and the same is true other faiths as well. A small number – a small number of religious communities, specific churches, specific synagogues are unfortunately not paying attention to this guidance even though it’s been so widespread.

So, I want to say to all those who are preparing the potential of religious services this weekend – if you go to your synagogue, if you go to your church and attempt to hold services after having been told so often not to, our enforcement agents will have no choice but to shut down those services. I don’t say that with any joy. It’s the last thing I would like to do because I understand how important people’s faiths are to them, and we need our faiths in this time of crisis, but we do not need gatherings that will endanger people.
No – no faith tradition endorses anything that endangers the members of that faith. So, the NYPD, Fire Department, Buildings Department, and everyone has been instructed that if they see worship services going on, they will go to the officials of that congregation, they’ll inform them they need to stop the services and disperse.

If that does not happen, they will take additional action up to the point of fines and potentially closing the building permanently. Again, that will begin this weekend. Again, I’m sorry I have to tell you this, but anyone who’s hearing this take it seriously. You’ve been warned, you need to stop services, help people practice their faith in different ways, but not in groups, not in gatherings that could endanger people.

Out of context.  No.  This is just Democrats trying to hide their fascist leaders.

Browning Hi-Power Holster

Another holster to review.  Again, from Craft Holsters, which is based I have no idea where, but the holsters seem to be Italian made and ship from Slovakia.  This is the only big win of globalization (which was really only a bad idea because of China).  This is for my Browning Hi-Power, a gun that I have not carried since I lived in California and had to traverse the Tenderloin on the way to the Hastings School of Law Library.*  As usual, it is beautiful leather:



It is a tight fit; I am not sure what deranged kung fu fighting would dislodge my Browning from this holster.  (Of course if you such an athletic fighter, you might never need to draw; at least outside the movie universe.)  Yet it is not so tight that it would be a slow draw.  They included a break-in kit, which is an oil intended to soften the leather to produce a fit that more exactly fits the gun.  No need for it with my gun and holster, but a nice touch; there are variations from gun to gun, and holster to holster, and even variations from owner to owner of how tight the fit should be.

The muzzle end of the holster has a drain hole, or so I assume this is its purpose:
because you never know whether your night on the town or day at the office might require a sudden swim.

How well does it conceal?  For a service-sized pistol, I would say adequately.  Wearing my professorial sport coat:



Yes, there is a very slight bulge, but you need to know to look for it.  Unless you already suspected that I might be armed, you would almost certainly not realize it.  Of course, concealed carry in much of a America is a social nicety, like not blowing your nose into your hand and wiping it on the wall.  (Wait, this has recently changed.)  Bad guys who are not completely out to lunch (both of them!) should assume that almost any adult might be armed.

The break snap strap at first seemed like it might be wrongly positioned for its purpose, but with a little use, everything worked into shape and position.  Most snap break straps for semiautos are intended both to provide retention and fit between hammer and firing pin.  Back before firing pin safeties became the industry norm, this was a good but perhaps paranoid good idea, although the circumstances under which you will hit the ground hard enough for the sear to let go without a trigger pull seem implausible, except if you are rappelling down a line and lose it the last 20 feet.  (Fortunately, few of us live in Hollywood movies, where this might be an issue.)

This is a right hand holster, I should have requested left hand, but in practice most OWB right hand holsters can be reversed and used as a left hand cross draw holster, and this is no exception.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Of Course, the Inevitable Memes


L.A. Sheriff Allows Gun Stores to Re-Open

ABC 7 Los Angeles:
LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva reversed course again on Monday, saying he will allow gun stores to remain open amid the coronavirus pandemic.

In a news release, Villanueva said based on further input from federal authorities, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department will not order or recommend the closure of businesses that sell or repair firearms.
"Panic buying" may resume.

Must Be Bernie Bros

4/1/20 Washington Post:
About 70 students from the University of Texas at Austin, all in their 20s, chartered a plane to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, in late March. They took the trip despite public health advice to avoid crowding as well as nonessential air travel.

On Tuesday, Austin public health officials announced 28 students, more than a third of the young people who took the trip, had returned and tested positive for the coronavirus. Many of the remaining students are under public health monitoring, according to officials.[emphasis added]
"Chartered a plane"?  My college days weren't that wealthy.  Yes, forgive student loan debt.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Those California Refugees Are Becoming a Problem

They are bringing their earthquakes with them!  The whole house shook, light fixtures wayed.  It was the strongest that I have felt since the Loma Prieta earthquake and the first I have experienced in Idaho.  And an aftershock a few minutes later.  Richter 6.5.

Arsenal of Democracy Part 2

3/30/20 GQ:
As health-care workers continue to face a dire shortage of personal protective equipment and fashion designers and manufacturers struggle to address the dearth, Brooks Brothers announced on Monday that it will begin producing medical-grade masks and gowns, converting its New York, North Carolina, and Massachusetts factories from manufacturing ties, shirts, and suits to producing masks and gowns for health-care workers and others fighting the spread of coronavirus. The company—which, at over 200 years old, is America’s oldest retailer—says it will be able to produce up to 150,000 masks per day.
Fox 32 Chicago:
The My Pillow company is refocusing 75-percent of its production to make face masks for health care workers. CEO Mike Lindell talks about his company's efforts to help battle the COVID-19 pandemic.
50,000 masks per week.

Fox News:
Several members of the media were quick to dismiss the presence of "My Pillow" founder Mike Lindell at the White House coronavirus press briefing despite his company's ongoing contribution to combating the outbreak.

Lindell, who was among several business leaders who spoke at Monday's presser, announced that his company is aiming to increase its production of cotton face masks from 10,000 to 50,000 per day.

He also said a prayer and encouraged the country to dedicate time to their families and religion.

"God gave us grace on November 8, 2016, to change the course we were on," the pro-Trump businessman said. "God had been taken out of our schools and lives, a nation had turned its back on God. I encourage you to use this time at home to get back in the word. Read our Bible and spend time with our families."
However, critics from various news outlets mocked Lindell's appearance at the Rose Garden.

And what the SJWs and lamestream media contributing?  Tears for saline?

4/1/20 Israel National News:
 Medtronic, the world’s largest manufacturer of medical equipment, is currently receiving large amounts of attention for its ventilator. This week, the CEO of the company's Israel division, Yaron Yitzhari, made the decision to release all of Medtronic’s patents for the production of ventilators, in order to enable any company wishing to manufacture them to use Medtronic’s blueprints, for free.

Arutz Sheva spoke with CEO Yitzhari, asking him about his decision and the possible repercussions for the company.

“We didn’t just release the patents,” he clarifies. “We’ve made available all the details of the manufacturing process, for anyone who’s interested in manufacturing ventilators himself.”

Monday, March 30, 2020

It Doesn't Take Much to Bring Out the Totalitarian

Mayor de Blasio threatens to permanently close houses of worship if they do not obey his quarantine rules.



Yet the subways are still open.  3/24/20 New York Times:
As the coronavirus engulfs New York, the city’s public transportation network is slashing service at least 25 percent as ridership plummets and an increasing number of sick workers hobbles the ability to run the system normally.

The decision on Tuesday to cut service on the nation’s largest transportation network came after subway ridership plunged a staggering 87 percent, or nearly 4.8 million riders, compared with the same day last year. Personnel shortages forced the the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which oversees subway, buses and two commuter rails, to temporarily eliminate service on three subway lines: the B, W and Z.
Of course, everyone is staying six feet apart on the subways.

Imagine if President Clinton were in charge.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Today's SQL Question

You have multiple columns.  You want to sum those columns, into sums for each column.  Many of the columns are empty, so I know that I need NVL.  All the examples that I can find involve summming all the columns.

Something like
SELECT DISTINCTROW Sum([incidents].[UNKNOWN]) AS [Sum Of UNKNOWN], Sum([incidents].[AX]) AS [Sum Of AX], Sum([incidents].[HATCHET]) AS [Sum Of HATCHET], Sum([incidents].[KNIFE]) AS [Sum Of KNIFE], Sum([incidents].[OTHERSHARP]) AS [Sum Of OTHERSHARP], Sum([incidents].[BLUNT]) AS [Sum Of BLUNT], Sum([incidents].[EXPLOSIVE]) AS [Sum Of EXPLOSIVE], Sum([incidents].[POISON]) AS [Sum Of POISON], Sum([incidents].[STRANGLE]) AS [Sum Of STRANGLE], Sum([incidents].[DROWN]) AS [Sum Of DROWN], Sum([incidents].[ARSON]) AS [Sum Of ARSON], Sum([incidents].[HANG]) AS [Sum Of HANG], Sum([incidents].[OTHER]) AS [Sum Of OTHER], Sum([incidents].[personal]) AS [Sum Of personal], Sum([incidents].[FIREARM_UNKNOWN]) AS [Sum Of FIREARM_UNKNOWN], Sum([incidents].[SHOTGUN]) AS [Sum Of SHOTGUN], Sum([incidents].[RIFLE]) AS [Sum Of RIFLE], Sum([incidents].[PISTOL]) AS [Sum Of PISTOL], Sum([incidents].[MACHINE_GUN]) AS [Sum Of MACHINE_GUN], Sum([incidents].[AIRCRAFT]) AS [Sum Of AIRCRAFT]
FROM incidents;

but sum(dead) WHERE hatchet=1 and so on for all the weapons.


Saturday, March 28, 2020

You Will Never Listen to Either Glen Campbell or Wiliam Tell the Same Way Again

Cool: Access, Excel. Word All Cooperating

Excel updates the queries in Access when you open the worksheet.  Word updates its linked fields from Excel when you open it.

Bringing Back the Bamboo Curtain

When I was young, Red China was said to be behind the Bamboo Curtain by analogy to the Iron Curtain.  It is beginning to look like the decision to open up to China was a mistake.  The hope was that free trade and capitalism would break down the totalitarian government.  It did not; it crated a fascist society; a mix of capitalism and authoritarianism.  It is time to end Most Favored Nation status for China.  I feel for the many Chinese capitalists and entrepreneurs who have done their best to make something of an opportunity for themselves, but the costs are too high.  A society that hides a major health problem too long is too dangerous to trade with.

Ventilators Insufficient Even Before COVID-19?

9/23/09 ProPublica:
With scant public input, state and federal officials are pushing ahead with plans that -- during a severe flu outbreak -- would deny use of scarce ventilators by some patients to assure they would be available for patients judged to benefit the most from them.
The plans have been drawn up to give doctors specific guidelines for extreme circumstances, and they include procedures under which patients who weren’t improving would be removed from life support with or without permission of their families.
The plans are designed to go into effect if the U.S. were struck by a severe flu pandemic comparable to the 1918 outbreak that killed an estimated 50 million people worldwide. State and federal health officials have concluded that such a pandemic would sicken far more people needing ventilators than could be treated by the available supplies.
3/12/06 New York Times:
Right now, there are 105,000 ventilators, and even during a regular flu season, about 100,000 are in use. In a worst-case human pandemic, according to the national preparedness plan issued by President Bush in November, the country would need as many as 742,500.
To some experts, the ventilator shortage is the most glaring example of the country's lack of readiness for a pandemic.
"This is a life-or-death issue, and it reflects everything else that's wrong about our pandemic planning," said Dr. Irwin Redlener, director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University. "The government puts out a 400-page plan, but we don't have any ventilators and there isn't much chance we're going to get them."

Coyotes in San Francisco

3/27/20 SFGate:
While families' cats and dogs are enjoying the upside of spending days with their owners working from home during the coronavirus shutdown, wild coyotes in San Francisco are reportedly also taking advantage of the benefits of a suddenly empty city.
Any of you remember a series Life After People?

Projections for Deaths

Forecasting COVID-19 impact on hospital bed-days, ICU-days, ventilator days and deaths by US state in the next 4 months

Compared to licensed capacity and average annual occupancy rates, excess demand from COVID-19 at the peak of the pandemic in the second week of April is predicted to be 64,175 (95% UI 7,977 to 251,059) total beds and 17,309 (95% UI 2,432 to 57,584) ICU beds. At the peak of the pandemic, ventilator use is predicted to be 19,481 (95% UI 9,767 to 39,674). The date of peak excess demand by state varies from the second week of April through May. We estimate that there will be a total of 81,114 deaths (95% UI 38,242 to 162,106) from COVID-19 over the next 4 months in the US. Deaths from COVID-19 are estimated to drop below 10 deaths per day between May 31 and June 6. 

I see from CDC that there were 400K-730K flu hospitalizations during our current flu season.  That was spread over a much longer period of time, but it suggests that our system needs more capacity.

One of my online students joined the pandemic with his family.  They are recovering.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Switching to Access Probably a Bad Idea

Word cannot link to Access like it does to Excel.  Excel can get data from Access, but in a not very useful way.  My thought was to import into Excel, and link to Word.

The Access query produces:

category dead
'dead' 'Category'
671 FAM
357 FAMNONRES
15 PRIV
5970 PUB
169 RES
124 SCHOOL
18 UNKNOWN
165 WORK
12 WORSHIP

but imported into Excel all the Category names turn into numbers:

SumOfdead cause
6 4
3 5
2 8
3 10
11 18
3 20
3 24



even though I imported them as text.  I think Access normalized all the category names.  It is almost like Access, Word, and Excel were written by separate corporations.

And no, I cannot write a book in SQL queries.

Figured it out.  I imported from the old database, not the new one.

It is clumsy.  Link from Excel to Access query results.  Create graph from data in Excel.  Link from Word to Excel objects.

SQL GROUP BY field and SUM

I have a query that sums categories.  But I would like a sum of all those numbers as the last row.
SELECT sum(dead) AS ['dead'], incidents.category AS ['Category']
FROM incidents
GROUP BY incidents.category
;
There has to be a way to get a total of all those sums that does not require a separate query.

SQL Question

SELECT count(*) as 'ax mass murders'
WHERE (incidents.ax=1);

Access rejects this as "The SELECT statement includes a reserved word or an argument name that is misspelled or missing, or the punctuation is incorrect."

Missing "FROM incidents"

The count seems too low.

Trying to sum dead by decade was hard but I solved it:

select int(year/10)*10, sum(incidents.dead) as dead from  incidents group by (int (year/10)*10);

How We Do Things in Idaho

Governor orders statewide shelter-in-place.  Gun stores are essential businesses not required to close.

Governor signs HO 516, allowing concealed carry by any U.S. citizen not otherwise prohibited from firearms possession.   Bill text.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

How Lethal is This?

The Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine at Oxford has mortality data.Two nations have >10% mortality rates: Bangladesh (no surprise) and San Marino (completely surrounded by Italy). The USA is 1.43%.  That's still scary, but this is not Black Death 2.

Mortality rates by age also conform to existing data: less than 1% of those under 50.

I suspect shelter-in-place will turn out to be the most effective strategy.  During the Black Death, homes were quarantine, but this was often ignored as those not yet sick escaped, infecting others.  Of course the Black Death was very deadly, so escape from the house did little good.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Redirecting Stdout in Eclipse

There must be some way to redirect stdout from the console to a file in Eclipse.  No instructions that I can find look like Eclipse Oxygen.  I used to know how to execute java classes from the command line. (All my early Java programming was using a command shell, the javac compiler, and emacs.  I mentioned in a job interview once and the interviewer was clearly blown away.  IDEs are nice, but hardly necessary.) 

Not as elegant as redirecting stdout:

import java.io.FileOutputStream;
import java.io.PrintStream;
 
 
System.setOut(new PrintStream(new FileOutputStream("output.txt")));
System.out.println("This is test output");

Ada and Canyon Counties Are Now Shelter-in-Place

My old house is in Boise County.  Just relisted for $519,900.

Tragicomic Naval Warfare

Writing Java

Not much activity here because I have been writing a Java program to convert the spreadsheet of horror into SQL commands to create the needed database.  The program is done, but running it finds inconsistencies in my data: misspelling an abbreviation; inconsistent cause codes (ALTERCATION where my standard is QUAR for quarrel; swappin cause and category (LYNCH is a cause; always in the category public).  It is slow work.

Arsenal of Democracy Part 2

During World War II, American manufacturing might turned from consumer goods to weapons of war, making America the great "arsenal of democracy."  U.S. companies made Sherman tanks faster than the Germans could destroy them.  Winning wars is about logistics. 

It is happening again.  Along With Wal-Mart and Amazon stepping up to the plate to hire 200,000+ workers, 3/24/20 Car & Driver:
The General Motors plant in Kokomo, Indiana, is gearing up to begin producing badly needed ventilators for hospitals, in a joint project with medical equipment maker Ventec. The plant currently builds small electrical components for cars. The goal is to start producing the ventilators in early April. 

Reuters reports, citing an email by GM's vice president of global purchasing, that the automaker has already sourced 95 percent of the parts needed for production and is currently looking to secure sources for the last 37 components it's still missing.
Spokesperson Dan Flores said that with GM’s support Ventec is planning on "exponentially higher ventilator production as fast as possible.”
When I worked for GenRad in the early 1980s, our CEO described visiting the GM plant at Kokomo, and his surprise at watching ICs being transported by conveyor belts.  GM does nothing small. 

Los Angeles County Gun Store Closing Confusion

3/24/20 KMPH:
The Los Angeles County sheriff said Tuesday gun shops are not essential businesses and ordered deputies to make sure they were closed during the coronavirus crisis — a move that was contradicted hours later when the county's top lawyer said the shops could be open....

The stay-at-home order is not a license “for everyone to be panic gun-buying or rushing to stores, which is now what we're seeing," Villanueva said.

A few days ago, 3/16/20 Los Angeles captured the hypocrisy well:
All across Los Angeles, from Culver City to Burbank, gun sales are booming. Long before compulsory social distancing became a reality in California, gun stores were already selling out of ammo and staying open late to accommodate a panic-driven run on their wares. According to gun shop personnel, most of the rise in demand is being driven by first-time buyers, including many who have never fired a gun....
 As images of the crowd outside Martin B. Retting gun store in Culver City circulated on social media, motorists would slow to a drift on Magnolia Boulevard and gape at the bizarre scene outside Gun World in Burbank. Some took out cell phones and filmed in disbelief. One pedestrian edging through the crowded sidewalk called out, “It’s not the zombie apocalypse!”
The array of face masks in the crowd were not entirely to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Ranging from paper surgical masks to headgear reminiscent of Bane’s in The Dark Knight Rises, they were also useful to protect one’s identity. This is L.A., after all, and some people were rather sheepish about exercising their right to keep and bear arms....

“You’re not going to describe what I look like, are you?” asked a young screenwriter from Burbank who was wearing a corduroy cap and Warby Parker frames along with his N-95 respirator mask. “I told my wife not to even mention to my friends that I’m doing this.”

In the news vortex that has formed around the coronavirus, the longstanding social taboo against gun ownership in L.A. is losing ground to doomsday imaginings. The screenwriter was seated on a bench beside another “creative,” a music producer from Hollywood, who kept making references to the 1992 L.A. Riots and the AMC hit TV show The Walking Dead. The music producer declined to give his name and admitted the surgical mask was intended to conceal his identity. Owning a gun, he said, “is not really my brand.”...

The father, an Encino attorney in his 50s named Sal, described himself as a Joe Biden supporter and “gun-toting liberal.” He blamed President Trump for the anxiety on display at the store. “When Trump is on TV downplaying the virus, and the medical experts are shaking their heads and then correcting him later, that causes anxiety,” he said. “There’s going to be a lot of people doing stupid things.”

Monday, March 23, 2020

Using Map in Java

I need to translate some strings (state abbreviations for example) into corresponding integers.  There is a way to use Map to simplify this, but the examples that I am fjnding are less than clear.  There are three different tables that I need to do lookups in, and each table is static.  I am guessing that the method is something like:

public class Lookup {
    public int LookupTable(HashMap(String, Integer) table, String toLookup)
        return (table.get(toLookup));
    }
}

But how do I statically define the HashMap that I will pass to this method?
This ought to do it, I think.

    Map states = new HashMap();
    states.put("AL", new Integer(1));


But I still get errors  about syntax error on the semicolon on the states.put line.  Every example that I can find looks like this:

    HashMap states = new HashMap();
    states.put(1, "AL");


So why does my put call fail syntactically?  Not in a method.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Writing Java Again

And finding the sort of puzzles that kept me gainfully employed for so many years. Trying to tokenize a TAB-delimited line exported from Excel, StringTokenize almost does what I want.  But empty cells produce two tabs in a row, and it seems StringTokenize ignores two tabs in a row, treating them as one tab.  Mysteries.

Definitely works in mysterious ways.  \
 
t\tThird\tFourth

keeps producing tokens with a single tab character out to infinity (or at least, index out of range).

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Curious Email From CDC

Or is it?  The advice all seems reasonable including correct with one this surprising, but very reasonable claim:
Masks work. There is widespread evidence from the field of occupational health, the SARS epidemic, and other outbreaks that wearing masks protects us from germs and interrupts the transmission of disease from sick to healthy people.
 Masks are the best way to enforce the “do not touch your face” mantra we are hearing about for COVID-19. The coronavirus, like all respiratory viruses, needs to enter mucous membranes in the nose, throat, and eyes to cause infection. If you can successfully block access to these critical entry points, you will avoid infection by the coronavirus, flu, and any of several hundred other respiratory viruses. Unfortunately, we humans are relatively unique among mammals in that we continuously touch our eyes, noses, and mouths for seemingly no reason every 2.5 minutes. This behavior is hard-wired and starts in utero. Let’s get real — we’re not going to be able to instantly stop doing something we’ve been doing our whole lives.
And then a link to Amazon.  10 KN95 masks for less than $40.  This seems suspicious to me.  The price is very low and what is KN95?  Or is this a clever spam that puts money in someone's Amazon seller account by pretending to be from CDC?  As several have noticed, there are several indications this is not from CDC.


Can't Have Panic Buying of Guns

3/17/20 San Jose Mercury News:
SAN JOSE — As Bay Area business owners navigated the labyrinthine rules of the sweeping shelter-in-place order implemented Monday, many gun dealers across the region opted to stay open this week, amid a spike in sales apparently driven by fears over the coronavirus pandemic.
But after customers lined up around gun stores in several counties Tuesday — including outside the Bullseye Bishop in San Jose — San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo declared that “gun stores are non-essential.”
“We are having panic buying right now for food,” Liccardo said Wednesday. “The one thing we cannot have is panic buying of guns.”
Law enforcement officials confirmed Wednesday that they shut down the Bullseye Bishop with little fanfare, in one of the first enforcement actions taken in San Jose on the initial day of the shelter-in-place order.

Worth Reading And Calming Down

Apparently taken down by Medium, now here.

Good News, Bad News

3/20/20 WJAR:
Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo has signed an executive order that extends background checks for firearm purchases from seven days to 30.
The move was made because of a recent run on gun purchases that are overwhelming police forces....
According to a letter from the Executive Director of the Rhode Island Police Chiefs’ Association Sidney Wordell, the number of applications is having a strain on local police department as the backgrounds need to be made within the seven days or the purchaser would be able to get the weapon without a background check.
As an example, Wordell said Warwick PD got an average of 28 applications a day before the run, and now they got 404 in just three days.
As the number of gun owners increase, the political viability iof gun bans falls.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Eclipse for C

Unfortunately, the ddd debugger for Linux has stopped working, at least with new code that I compile.  No symbols.  And yes I am compiling with 0g flag.

So Eclipse for C for Windows 10.  Go simple, build the default hello.c.
Building file: ../src/hello.c
Invoking: Cross GCC Compiler
gccgcc -O0 -g3 -Wall -c -fmessage-length=0 -MMD -MP -MF"src/hello.d" -MT"src/hello.o" -o "src/hello.o" "../src/hello.c"
/bin/sh: gccgcc: command not found
make: *** [src/subdir.mk:20: src/hello.o] Error 127
"make all" terminated with exit code 2. Build might be incomplete.

19:27:22 Build Failed. 2 errors, 0 warnings. (took 2s.473ms)
Any suggestions? And it cannot resolve stdio.h either.


The core problem seems to be that gcc eun from the cygwin shell cannot resolve stdarg.h, nor does it seem to be under /usr/include.

I was hoping to do this project in C, but at least I can write and run Hello World in Java, so I guess  Java instead.Except that import.iava.io.* does not resolve File class.  Maybe I just need to stop trying to program.  Not sure why, but starting over fixed it.  Maybe import after the package statement.  It was six years and several billion brain cells ago.

Too Good to Not Share

Spain is on lockdown, so police arrest... T. rex.  Scroll down.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Black Lynch Mobs

Most people imagine a Southern lynch mob as whites lynching blacks.  (Extra points if you know about the mob that lynched a Jew for the National Pencil factory murder.)  In the West, whites lynching whites fits our prejudices.  But this surprised me:


Wickliffe, Ky. (1901)
9/11/1901: A black mob took three black men accused of murder from the jail and hung them.
Category: public
Suicide: no
Cause: lynch
Weapon: hung[1]


[1] “Sight is Grewsome [sic]," Ottumwa Semi-Weekly Courier, Sept. 12, 1901, 1.