Friday, February 14, 2020

Pro-Gun Control Writer

The Daily Signal:
These policies come down partly from pressure from the Obama administration Department of Education, partly from outside social justice activist groups, sometimes, and partly from state bureaucrats.

It’s framed as a social justice thing, right? Like lower suspensions because we’re trying to reduce bias and everything will get better. And if you’re a school board member or a superintendent, it’s very easy to want to believe these things, to believe these things.

But if there are parents who are coming to you consistently and saying, “Hey, this might have sounded nice, but my kid says that he was assaulted and that your principal did nothing,” or, “My daughter says that she was harassed and told the assistant principal and they didn’t do anything.” If the people who run schools at a local level hear that from parents, they’re in a position to actually address it.

I think part of the tragedy of Parkland is that, as I said, it was the most avoidable mass murder in American history.

Everything that could’ve gone wrong went wrong, all for a reason, all at the local level, and it immediately became subsumed into a big, national political fight that distracted from what really went wrong.

Really Falling in Love With the New House

The guy that had the house built was a Boeing engineer.

The counters are made of Silestone, an artificial form of granite.  They melt quartz and add various colored rock fillers, and melt and cast it.  Our old house has it for the kitchen and bathroom counters.  It is gorgeous, and unlike Corian, you cannot damage it with a hot pan.  (Well, your crucible for melting steel might.)  This is a subtle color, unlike the green and black stuff we used, so at first we thought it was Corian.

Just about every room has an Ethernet connector.  So what, is not everything wireless now?  100 Mbps Ethernet is inferior in speed to the modern wireless standards.  But looking in the datacomm closet, the connector panel is CAT5e.  This works with gigabit Ethernet.  I have a gigabit router and I think some of my networked devices have gigabit Ethernet.  This means much faster backups.

Like my old house, all the doorknobs are levers, so you can open doors with the edge of your hand, when both hands are occupied.  Of course, our canine delinquents have figured this out.

Why Trump Will Splatter Any Democrat in November

From a progressive Democrat:
You might not think of the knitting world as a particularly political community, but you’d be wrong. Many knitters are active in social justice communities and love to discuss the revolutionary role knitters have played in our culture. I started noticing this about a year ago, particularly on Instagram. I knit as a way to relax and escape the drama of real life, not to further engage with it. But it was impossible to ignore after roving gangs of online social justice warriors started going after anyone in the knitting community who was not lockstep in their ideology. Knitting stars on Instagram were bullied and mobbed by hundreds of people for seemingly innocuous offenses. One man got mobbed so badly that he had a nervous breakdown and was admitted to the hospital on suicide watch. Many things were not right about the hatred, and witnessing the vitriol coming from those I had aligned myself with politically was a massive wake-up call....

But when I witnessed the amount of hate coming from the left in this small, niche knitting community, I started to question everything. I started making a proactive effort to break my echo chamber by listening to voices I thought I would disagree with. I wanted to understand their perspective, believing it would confirm that they were filled with hate for anyone who wasn’t like them.

That turned out not to be the case. The more voices outside the left that I listened to, the more I realized that these were not bad people. They were not racists, nazis, or white supremacists. We had differences of opinions on social and economic issues, but a difference of opinion does not make your opponent inherently evil. And they could justify their opinions using arguments, rather than the shouting and ranting I saw coming from my side of the aisle.
And s9ome of the comments proved her point.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Venus' Girdle

The pink section is where the Sun is illuminating the atmosphere still but below it the Earth's shadow predominates.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

The New House

I had two concerns:

Dark sky?
Enough room for the scopes?

We made ther first load of stuff this evening, and we are giving up very little over our current sky.  The Boise skyglow is farther away in Middleton.  It isn't quite the dizzying darkness of our current house, but I always had a little concern looking straight up on a ladder.

One little niche of the garage is big enough for the gun safe and all the scopes (too many scopes).

Should I Be Horrified or Pleased?

For more than half a century, governments all over the world trusted a single company to keep the communications of their spies, soldiers and diplomats secret. That company was secretly run by the CIA, which had the ability to read all those communications for decades.
Someone who worked for CIA long ago, deserves a big raise.

If You Thought Rep. Swalwell's Threat of Nuclear Weapons to Enforce Gun Control Was An Outlier

2/10/20 TownHall quoting Joe Biden:
"Those who say 'the tree of liberty is watered with the blood of patriots'–  a great line. Well, guess what? The fact is if you’re going to take on the government you need an F-15 with Hellfire missiles. There is no way an AK-47 is going to take care of you if you're worried about the government knocking down your door," Biden told a group of supporters in New Hampshire on Sunday. "And so, it's bizarre. We never said you could own any weapon at all from the beginning. You can't own a machine gun. You can't own a bazooka. You can't own an M1 tank, no matter how much money you have. You can limit the kind of weapons that can be owned."
Someone who learned nothing from Afghanistan.

The Antikythera Device

Monday, February 10, 2020

This Could Make You Paranoid

2/8/20 Associated Press:
LUSAKA, Zambia (AP) — At a Chinese-run hospital in Zambia, some employees watched as people who recently returned from China showed up with coughs but were not placed in isolation. A doctor tending to those patients has stopped coming to work, and health workers have been ordered not to speak publicly about the new virus that has killed hundreds around the world.

You Know About Astro-Turfing

But StrategyPage has a new version:
When reporters went to interview some of the demonstrators it was discovered that the demonstrators didn’t know they were demonstrators. The sign carrying group had been hired as background performers for a music video and were paid a hundred dollars each for two hours work. The “background performers” were not happy to find out they had actually been hired for astroturfing. This form of Information Warfare has been increasingly used because it’s a relatively cheap way to get some favorable publicity, especially if the astroturfing stunt goes viral on the Internet and becomes a news event. This only works, of course, if the audiences doesn’t know it’s astroturfing, especially before the event is even concluded.
You wonder how many demonstrations are real, don't you?

Sunday, February 9, 2020

This Could Not Be True

From a University of Massachusetts Democratic primary preference survey:
 Which of the following outcomes would you prefer occur on November 3, 2020? 
38% Donald Trump wins re-election
62[%] A giant meteor strikes the earth, extinguishing all human life
They really are crazy. My wife thinks they are flippant.  Several elections back, I recall a poll asking for preferred presidential candidate and about 2% answered "Satan."  Perhaps Democrats just aren't serious.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Constantly Changing Closing Cost

From about $4300 now down to $221.  I cannot quite understand, but it looks like my lender keeps giving me discounts.

We should have keys Tuesday, and start moving stuff Wednesday while our fence builders are creating an eclosure that keeps the flying puppy inside.  (She can clear three feet with her belly just a couple inches above the fence.  I am sure five feet is going to stop her.)

The moving of the heavy stuff (couches, beds, drill press, dining room table, telescopes) is scheduled for Saturday the 15th.  A fan is bringing his 16' trailer to help.  If you can help with unloading only in Middleton, it will speed up the process.

The telescopes do not yet have a permanent home.  Once this house sells, assuming we get enough out to pay off the new mortgage (which seems likely), I may have an extension built behind the garage with enough room to hold them.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

State of the Union Speech

Easily the finest such SOTU I have seen in years.  Patriotic, uplifting, encouraging, American exceptionalism.  Bravo.

Monday, February 3, 2020

No, Not the Onion or Babylon Bee

New York State recently passed a law requiring citizens to obtain a permit if they wish to gaze at the stars in public parks. No, really. You read that right. In New York, you must pay for a license to look at the freaking stars.

The state is charging residents $35 to become a fully-licensed stargazer allowed to view the stars between January and December of the year. If you are not lucky enough to be a New York resident and you are just visiting, you will have to fork over $60 for the privilege of admiring your favorite constellation in the night sky.
No. officer, I'm here to sell drugs.

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Upcoming Event

Please join us.  I want a few friendly faces and questions.