Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Biden's Transgender Mlitary Policy Changes Nothing

Outspoken reports:

Biden sides with Trump, signs order on trans military service that changes almost nothing

Now, Joe Biden has revealed he mostly agrees with his predecessor. Critics say the highly-anticipated executive order is an empty screed reaffirming the military’s commitment to enlist all “qualified” and willing Americans, but stops short at changing almost anything in President Trump’s directive. Biden’s order does not eliminate the ban on service members undergoing medical treatment for gender dysphoria. It also, glaring, does not order the military to pay for gender reassignment surgery or other transition-related medical costs, a demand championed by leftwing activists.  

Monday, January 25, 2021

SQL Question

I have a SQL query that counts mass murders caused by mental illness by year.

SELECT year, Count(year) FROM Table2
WHERE ((Table2.cause_ID=15) OR
(Table2.cause_ID=16))
GROUP BY Table2.year;

But there are years with no mental illness mass murders, and this query does not show rows for those years.  How do I tell the query to insert rows with the intervening years and a 0 count?

It appears that I should create a table of years and counts initialized with years starting at my first row in Table2 up to the last row in Table2, then setting each count with the results of the above query.  But Access does not like:

create table allyears (year int, count int );

It shows a syntax error on the next statement after the semicolon.

Someone in the Oregon Legislature Needs to Take My 14th Amendment Class

 Oregon SB 619:

Be It Enacted by the People of the State of Oregon: 

SECTION 1.(1) The Department of Revenue shall establish a program to pay reparations to Black Oregonians who can demonstrate heritage in slavery and who submit an application to the department no later than December 31, 2022.

 (2) A person is eligible for reparations under this section if the person demonstrates that the person: 

(a) Is descended from an American slave;

 (b) Has identified as African-American on legal documents for at least 10 years before the date of the application;

 (c) Is at least 18 years of age, an emancipated minor or a ward, as defined in ORS 419A.004, whose parents are deceased or for whom parental rights have been terminated and have not been reinstated; and 

(d) Has resided in Oregon for at least two years before the date of the application. 

(3) The department shall pay to each eligible applicant the amount of $123,000 in the form of an annuity payable annually for the life of the applicant.

 (4) Reparations paid under this section and the right of a person to an annuity under this section are exempt from garnishment and all state, county and municipal taxation, except as provided under ORS chapter 118, are not subject to execution, garnishment, attachment or any other process or to the operation of any bankruptcy or insolvency law and are unassignable.

Do you suppose this might violate the "equal protection clause"?  Remember Oregon was never a slave state but did contribute two regiments to fight the Confederacy.

If you wanted to stir racist sentiment against black people what more could you do?  I think it would be fairer to track down every descendant of a slave owner (black or white) and confiscate their wealth.

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Biden Protecting Big Pharma? Or Something More Nefarious?

1/23/21 Daily Wire:

President Joe Biden’s United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on Thursday stopped executive orders from his predecessor designed to significantly lower prescription drug prices for Americans, including insulin and epinephrine.

The new administration will apparently re-evaluate the executive action from President Donald Trump toward the end of March. It remains unclear if it will be reinstated.

So just Fascist support of big corporations at the cost of ordinary Americans?  It turns out Epipens, the suddenly skyrocketing essential drug a couple years ago, was one of the items these executive orders reduced.  

Sen. Manchin is the Democrat who has rejected court-packing.  And who is the CEO of Mylan, the maker of EpiPen? Sen. Manchin's daughter? So, if the 60 day suspension is made permanent, who gets rich?

 


Lithium Mining

One of the Trump Administration's last acts was approval of a lithium mine in Nevada.  You doubtless know that lithium is essential for all those electric vehicles at the heart of every environmental wet dream.  Of course, most of it comes from China, so environmentalists are trying hard to stop American lithium mining.  5/17/19 Seattle Times discusses the conflicted feelings of the Greenies.  Do we really want the environmental costs of lithium mining to be entirely in the Third World?  Do we want our Teslas cheap enough that everyone buys one, not just the well-heeled sorts that buy them now?

ICYMI

America's First Freedom this month published articles by me and many of the most important Second Amendment litigators and activists: Steve Halbrook, Dave Kopel, Nick Johnson, Dave Burnett.

Do Not Treat This As Unserious

A friend whose writing many of you know is a nurse back East and had seen more COVID19 deaths of his patients since this started than the previous several years deaths combined. 

The good news is that I know a fair number of people now that have come through this.   A close relative lost his sense of smell and taste, and tested positive.   But other than a few days of malaise,  he has fully recovered.  Worst of all, he was scheduled to get vaccinated the day he lost his sense of taste.

My physical therapist and his family got it and recovered.   Even months later, however,  he is still easily fatigued.  He was a runner so this suggests that the long term effects are serious.

A student last semester and his whole family got it.  They were over it in a week.  "Like a bad flu."

Another acquaintance got it and said it was not as bad as flu.

Another acquaintance will be on oxygen for the rest of his life.  The lung damage was substantial. 

For many people this is a few days of misery.  For some it is a life changing (and not for the better) experience.   For a few percent this is a slow and unpleasant death by asphyxiation. 

Stay masked in public.  The published work shows it reduces risk of infection. The sooner we get past this, the sooner the Fascists will lose their excuses to oppress us.

Statehood for Puerto Rico and DC?

 The goal is four more Democratic senators.  But can we find two Republican States willing to split up?  They might be Republican States where natural boundaries make such divisions attractive to residents.  Suggestions?  Pennsylvania might make sense, but eastern Pennsylvania would likely turn Democrat, especially with Philly's creative electoral math.

Friday, January 22, 2021

Harris #5 Bipod Adapter

This puts a QD swivel in the AR-15 handguard for attaching Harris bipods or any other QD swivel mount bipod.  It was certainly easier than when I needed to do the same for an M1A some years ago.  For that I had to machine a part, because what came with the Harris adapter would not fit.  I transferred the Harris bipod, and it helped to relearn what was required to remove and install.  

I bought the adapter from Midway, not Amazon.  I am trying to taper off Amazon.  Going cold turkey from Facebook was easy; I was never addicted (just chipping, to use the slang of a relative who used to be a heroin addict: growing up with "white privilege" was not easy).

Washington Post Doing Orwell's Job

1/22/21 Reason points to the Washington Post secretly removing a really nasty joke by Kamala Harris, and replacing it with a different opening, at the same URL.  If a Republican had made that comparison -- that being on the campaign trail is like a prisoner begging for bread and water, it would never be forgotten.

Montana Leading the Way

 Introduced in the Montana Legislature:

Section 4.Prohibition of enforcement.(1) A peace officer, state employee, or employee of a political subdivision is prohibited from enforcing, assisting in the enforcement of, or otherwise cooperating in the enforcement of a federal ban on firearms, magazines, or ammunition and is also prohibited from participating in any federal enforcement action implementing a federal ban on firearms,magazines, or ammunition. 

(2)An employee of the state or a political subdivision may not expend public funds or allocate public resources for the enforcement of a federal ban on firearms, magazines, or ammunition.

Thursday, January 21, 2021

I Had Actually Hoped This Would Happen

 As Xiden's motorcade goes past, many National Guardsmen turned their backs to him.


Were they looking out towards potential threats?  There is no one that direction, and some are not even close to the curb.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

I Despair For My Country

The comments on this article over at Volokh Conspiracy demonstrate that we are past any realistic civility.   There are two separate universes going on in America.   That educated people still imagine Fascism and National Socialism as just more extreme forms of conservatism shows how ignorant even the elites ate about 20th century history and their political opponents in America.   There will be a divorce soon, and I doubt it will be amicable.

From Wokeyleaks

A disillusioned SJW exposing their dishonesty:
It’s all PR with no action. When you walk into the lobby of Netflix’s headquarters in LA, you are greeted by a huge megaphone prop with the words ‘Stay Woke’ spray painted across it — this from a company that edits its content at the request of the Saudi Arabian regime

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Telescope Focuser

I have mentioned my work on rebuilding Baby, a 3" f/4.5 Newtonian reflector I started making in the late 1980s, before I realized that I had a more important hobby: preventing fascism in America.  

I have slowly been rebuilding all mechanical aspects of it for several years (probably about one hour a week on average).  I am very proud of most of it. Once I had the mirror cell and diagonal spider properly rebuilt,  i discovered that the mirror that I ground,  polished, and figured to a paraboloid wad actually a pretty decent mirror!  

Of late I have replacing a cheap and crummy Edmunds rack and pinion eyepiece focuser.  I really did not need an enormous focal range, and the work of making a Crayford focuser seemed unreasonable.  So I machined a base of acetal,  then an aluminum focuser tube held in position by a set screw.   This is intrinsically not a precision way of getting a sharp image, so I have put a helical focuser in it.   The drawtube gives a coarse focus and the helical  focuser allows very precise focus.

I used it on the Moon this evening with very satisfactory results.  25mm and 18mm eyepieces produced sharp images.  Unfortunately,  there is not enough in focus travel for my shorter eyepieces or the 35mm SuperPlossl.  Solution: take another 1/4" off that acetal base so the drawtube goes a little deeper.

What Did Trump Ask Pence To Do?

 I have heard even some Trump supporters ask, "Why did Pence not do what Trump asked him to do in the dispute over the electors?"  American Mind explains what was requested and why Pence did not do it.  Not as a slight to Trump as some of the news media implied but because the law is than clear about what Pence's role could be:

In his letter of the morning of January 6, Vice President Mike Pence asserted that “[s]ome believe that as Vice President, [he] should be able to accept or reject votes unilaterally.” He repeated the claim later in the letter: “vesting the vice president with unilateral authority to decide presidential election contests would be entirely antithetical to [the] design” of separation of powers and checks and balances given to us by our founders. And then a third time, he wrote: “I do not believe that the Founders of our country intended to invest the vice president with unilateral authority to decide which electoral votes should be counted during the Joint Session of Congress.” And a fourth: “It is my considered judgment that my oath to support and defend the Constitution constrains me from claiming unilateral authority to determine which electoral votes should be counted and which should not.” ...

A good number of legal scholars agree that [the Electoral Count Act of 1887] Section 15’s provision of tie-breaking weight to the “executive” (as opposed to the legislatively-sanctioned slate) is a violation of Article II’s assignment to the Legislature of the power to choose the manner for choosing electors. But legal scholars, as well as historical political figures, have also contended that that Congress’s claim of authority to make that determination at all is itself a usurpation of power that the 12th Amendment assigns solely and exclusively to “the president of the Senate.”

This Made My Day

FromPJMedia:

Joe Biden has made no secret of his intention to get us back into the Paris climate accords. It’s high up there on his laundry list of things to do upon taking office—even though the United States leads the world in reducing carbon emissions, despite not being a part of it anymore.

But the truth is, the United States was never actually legally a part of the Paris climate accords. The United Nations describes it as “a legally binding international treaty on climate change,” and it also meets the definition of a treaty under the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, which states that a treaty is “an international agreement concluded between [two or more] States in written form and governed by international law.”

And what does the United States Constitution say about treaties?

It says that the president “shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two-thirds of the Senators present concur.” It’s right there in Article II, Section 2, Clause 2.

Biden is supposedly a lawyer, but his advice on armed self-defense will send you to prison.

 

 

You Learn Something New Every Day


And concertina barbed wire can be ordered from Amazon.

You may recall the miniseries Amerika from the 1980s about a Soviet-occupied U.S.  They disable a Soviet tank by slamming a large water truck into it.  Implausible? An M1A2 weighs about 60 tons.  A fully loaded concrete truck weighs about 33 tons.  With 50 mph of kinetic energy I am pretty sure such a collision would shake the tank crew enough to cause injuries and if hitting from the side, damage the surprisingly fragile sprocket, tread, and transmission. 
 
M1A2 Abrams are apparently pretty secure against Molotov cocktails.  The crew is well shielded.  The intakes for the turbine are now under the turret.  However... the exhaust apparently is not.  Liquid nitrogen will make steel brittle and so will liquid oxygen.  Liquid oxygen combined with turbine exhaust might do quite a number on the turbine.  A drone carrying Mason jars of liquid oxygen would likely be missed if flying in low to the ground.  You might have to crash the drone to break the bottle.  You may recall this guy getting a grill ready in record time.




Monday, January 18, 2021

Recommendations for AR-15 QD Swivel Adapter

This is the round handguards A2.  I want a way to attach a QD swivel bipod that works with another traditional hunting rifle.

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Recovery From COVID May Not Be As Certain As It Sounds

 From the 1/17/21 Telegraph:

Almost a third of recovered Covid patients will end up back in hospital within five months and one in eight will die, alarming new figures have shown.

Research by Leicester University and the Office for National Statistics (ONS) found there is a devastating long-term toll on survivors of severe coronavirus, with many people developing heart problems, diabetes and chronic liver and kidney conditions.

Out of 47,780 people who were discharged from hospital in the first wave, 29.4 per cent were readmitted to hospital within 140 days, and 12.3 per cent of the total died.

Lots of diseases can produce long-term consequences.  The vaccine has some risks.  Getting COVID-19 has some serious risks as well. 

A reader points to something I missed: these large percentages were of those sick enough to be hospitalized so tiny fractions of those infected.

The Uniqueness of Bullet Rifling Marks

 All good crime shows a firearms examiner matching a bullet to the gun, because every set of markings is unique.  Maybe not.  I cannot find the full paper but the beginning points out the unique nature of the rifling marks reflects the variations in the rifling tool.  They tested bullets fired from ten consecutive Ruger P-85 barrels.  I am not sure what the results were from having multiple firearms examiners do the checks, but the discussion makes me wonder if this uniqueness might not be as unique as generally assumed.  A barrel rifled last year would be quite different from one rifled today.  What about barrel 15001 vs. 15002 or 15010?

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Blow Yourself Up Good

 What is it about New York City leftists and the art of bombmaking?



Progressive Thought: 1914 (President Wilson)

 

 

Do You Live in McConnell's State?

 Since it appears that he intends to go along with unpersoning Ted Cruz, to make the Democratic Fascist Party happy, remind him about the Judenraten.  In the ghettos, the National Socialists set up Judenraten (Jewish governments) to manage the Untermenschen.  They made up lists of who was to be transported to "labor camps."  As you know, few survived the war.  The members of these Judenraten did so on the promise that they and their families would be safe.  Who was transported last?  You can doubtless figure it out.

In case you have not figured it out, do not go to rallies at state capitals.  These will be false flag controlled.

Faux Equivalence

 Instapundit quotes Roger L. Simon at Epoch Times.   I am copying from Instapundit because Epoch Times really wants subscribers.  I understand and agree, but we are reaching the point where financial concerns are no longer of much importance:

Literally within minutes of the 2016 election of Donald J. Trump, his opponents took to the streets declaring themselves “The Resistance.”

Some of us, myself included, considered that an act of what the “woke” like to call “cultural appropriation,” indeed an extreme—I would even say obscene—one.

CA is a term, many will recall, applied to those insensitive souls who allegedly steal from another group for their own gain or amusement, as in fraternity boys donning sombreros and drinking margaritas for Cinco de Mayo.

What was appropriated back in 2016 was something quite serious—“La Résistance”—the clandestine and highly-dangerous underground movement to subvert Nazi Germany’s control of France during the Second World War.

Although an astonishing number of younger Americans have little or no knowledge of the Holocaust, I would imagine most readers of this outlet realize that Germany’s takeover with the Vichy government’s compliance resulted in such events as the notorious July 1942 night time roundup in suburban Paris of 7000 Jews, including 4000 children, before they were shipped off for extermination.

Comparing that to the election of Donald Trump really is obscene, and also wildly anti-Semitic, unless, of course, you think saying nasty things about your opponents on Twitter is the equivalent of Auschwitz.

Many of our supposedly “progressive” friends evidently did, overwhelmed by a delusional case of moral narcissism all out of proportion to reality, allowing them to “act out” in the most self-aggrandizing manner, identifying with the true heroes of “La Résistance” when there was no discernible threat to them whatsoever.

Indeed, what actually happened to the daily lives of our liberal friends during the Trump administration was next to nothing.

Until COVID came along, they got to enjoy the lowest unemployment virtually ever, including minorities, with actual wages going up for the lower classes for the first time in years, a booming stock market, lower gas prices through energy independence, peace in the Middle East and peace in general.

They weren’t censored in any way and maintained control of most of the media, entertainment, and the schools throughout.

Yet still they raged.

But to continue with the French analogy, what’s going on today is “toute autre chose,” entirely different.

The now victorious left is attempting to erase the right, to drive it out of existence forever.

We see signs of this everywhere, from the clearly fascistic actions of Big Tech in destroying upstart Parler on grounds of hosting some violent posts (something they themselves have been doing for years) to ridiculous virtue signaling like Macaulay Culkin signing on for having Donald Trump’s cameo removed from “Home Alone 2.”

Communist Chinese-style “social credit” controls are being instituted across our economy with the likes of Master Card, PayPal and Stripe canceling conservative groups that protested the election and automated business email systems doing the same.

In many ways this is more effective and dangerous than the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution because we are so reliant on technology now and because it is so sub rosa. No need for prancing around in dunce caps. An individuals’ access to his or her daily needs can be turned off with the click of an invisible mouse.

American versions of “Good Germans” are coming out of the woodwork as many are beginning to live in fear of what this could do to their lives. Others have been asked to recant or soon will be.

The traditional Republican Party politicians have been of little help, disconnected, as many, maybe most, are from their rank-and-file.

So is this time for a new, and more justified, “Resistance”?

And Caroline Glick

What purpose did it serve for President-elect Joe Biden to liken Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Josh Hawley (R-MO) to Adolf Hitler’s top propagandist Joseph Goebbels?

In response to a question about the two Republican lawmakers following remarks on January 8, Biden said, “I was being reminded by a friend of mine…when we’re told [about] Goebbels and the great lie, you keep repeating the lie, repeating the lie.”

Although Biden’s comparison was imperfectly stated, it was clear enough to follow. He was saying that the lawmakers’ efforts to challenge the Electoral College votes from disputed states was a Nazi-like effort.

By speaking this way, Biden did many things at once. First, he whitewashed Goebbels’ barbaric crimes. Goebbels was the chief architect of totalitarianism in Nazi Germany and one of the lead architects of the Holocaust.

In his literary warning about the fragility of freedom and the allure of totalitarianism, 1984, George Orwell demonstrated that total control over a society is achieved through total control over the information its members can see.

Goebbels implemented this in Nazi Germany. As Hitler’s propagandist, Goebbels exerted total control over information. He ensured that Germans would view Hitler as their infallible savior. He conditioned them to view Jews as subhuman vermin, to be exterminated like cockroaches. And he made them believe that all Germans who didn’t accept what they were told were enemies of the people.

Goebbels achieved all of these things by blocking public access to accurate information while inundating the Germans with images and words that repeated and amplified his monstrous lies. Goebbels’ success in controlling information was the necessary precondition for all he and his comrades unleashed on Jews, and on humanity as a whole.

The second thing Biden did by comparing Hawley and Cruz to Goebbels was to whitewash the unspeakable crimes of Nazi Germany. After all, if merely questioning certain election returns is the moral equivalent of Goebbels’ “Big Lie,” then the Big Lie was actually no big deal.

The third thing Biden did by comparing Hawley and Cruz to Goebbels was set them up for what Orwell referred to as “un-personing”—or in today’s culture, “canceling.”

Obviously, if Cruz and Hawley are Goebbels, then all right-thinking people must work to silence them and remove them from positions of influence in the Senate and larger society.

As if on cue, shortly after Biden said what he did, Senate Democrats began debating whether to censure the lawmakers. Senate Republicans, for their part, began discussing the possibility of denying the two members cherished committee assignments. According to Senate officials, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is leaning toward denying the two their subcommittee chairmanships—thereby removing them from the line of seniority.

Outside the Senate chamber, major corporate donors also announced they will cease all political contributions to the two men, and to all 149 federal lawmakers who supported the efforts to challenge election returns from various states. Simon & Schuster canceled its contract to publish Hawley’s forthcoming book about the tyranny of Big Tech.

Reichstag fire?  Check.  Suppression of opposing points of view?  Check.  Try to disarm the "dangerous sorts": you and me, who engage in crimethink.  The rest will come soon enough.

As the Parler fiasco demonstrates, to maintain an effective resistance means having our own servers on the network.  At some point, DNS will stop resolving Judenservers, and we will have to remember the IP addresses when we want to communicate with others.  Install Signal on your phone and PC.  Secure communications are going to be essential.  At some point, they will simply disconnect our servers and we will have to fight, if not sooner.

By the way, a server farm is not actually necessary.  You can buy servers amazingly cheaply.  They are so similar to traditional PCs, except for their ability to handle multiple connection requests, that I spent almost a year using one without realizing that it was anything but a very fast PC.  I never set it up as a server, but I doubt that it is very hard.  Doing so on Linux might be a better choice.

Friday, January 15, 2021

This is Devastating Coverage From CNN of All Places

 1/14/21 CNN:

(CNN)Evidence uncovered so far, including weapons and tactics seen on surveillance video, suggests a level of planning that has led investigators to believe the attack on the US Capitol was not just a protest that spiraled out of control, a federal law enforcement official says.

Among the evidence the FBI is examining are indications that some participants at the Trump rally at the Ellipse, outside the White House, left the event early, perhaps to retrieve items to be used in the assault on the Capitol.
 
A team of investigators and prosecutors are also focused on the command and control aspect of the attack, looking at travel and communications records to determine if they can build a case that is similar to a counterterrorism investigation, the official said.
 
The belief, early in the probe, will demand significant investigation....
 
Among the thousands of tips the FBI received are some that appear to show members of Congress with people who later showed up at the Capitol riot, two law enforcement officials said. This doesn't mean members of Congress and staff are under investigation, but the FBI is checking the veracity of the claims, the officials said. 

 

Preparing Us for Censorship

1/13/21 New York Post:

WASHINGTON — Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez revealed that Congress is looking into creating an investigative commission to “rein in” the media in the wake of the US Capitol siege.

During a lengthy Instagram Live on Tuesday evening where she revealed that she feared for her life during the siege, the “Squad” member accused the mainstream media of “spewing disinformation” ahead of the deadly riot in which five people died.

“There’s absolutely a commission that’s being discussed but it seems to be more investigating in style rather than truth and reconciliation,” she said.

“I do think that several members of Congress in some of my discussions have brought up media literacy because that is part of what happened here,” Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) went on.

“We’re going to have to figure out how we rein in our media environment so you can’t just spew disinformation and misinformation,” she said.

“It’s one thing to have differentiating opinions, but it’s another thing entirely to just say things that are false, so that’s something that we’re looking into.”

Eyewitness Report From the Capitol Riot

 Someone at the Capitol with the Center for Security Policy, a Washington policy group:

The deadly riot at the US Capitol bore the markings of an organized operation planned well in advance of the January 6 joint session of Congress.

A small number of cadre used the cover of a huge rally to stage its attack. Before it began, I saw from my vantage point on the West Front of the Capitol, what appeared to be four separate cells or units:

  1. Plainclothes militants. Militant, aggressive men in Trump and MAGA gear at a front police line at the base of the temporary presidential inaugural platform;
  2. Agents-provocateurs. Scattered groups of men exhorting the marchers to gather closely and tightly toward the center of the outside of the Capitol building and prevent them from leaving;
  3. Fake Trump protesters. A few young men wearing Trump or MAGA hats backwards and who did not fit in with the rest of the crowd in terms of their actions and demeanor, whom I presumed to be Antifa or other leftist agitators; and
  4. Disciplined, uniformed column of attackers. A column of organized, disciplined men, wearing similar but not identical camouflage uniforms and black gear, some with helmets and GoPro cameras or wearing subdued Punisher skull patches.

All of these cells or groups stood out from the very large crowd by their behavior and overall demeanor. However, they did not all appear at the same time. Not until the very end did it become apparent there was a prearranged plan to storm the Capitol building, and to manipulalte the unsuspecting crowd as cover and as a follow-on force....

Among the hundreds and hundreds of flags – perhaps thousands – displayed over the next few hours, I saw only two Confederate battle flags and one white supremacist sign, the latter of which some suspected aloud was a leftist plant. The two flags and one sign, I thought, would feature prominently in news media reports to present a false image of the nature of the crowd.

A large group of African-American men sported shirts that said “Blacks for Trump.” Figuring that journalists would emphasize the solitary racist sign and Confederate flags, deliberately ignoring the rest, I took note of the fact that many demonstrators were black, Asian, and Latino, with a strong presence of Vietnamese- and Chinese-Americans.

 

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Redfield Accu-Range

 When I bought my Redfield 4x-12x40mm scope, they did not have a mildot reticle.  What I bought had the Accu-Range reticle which has holdover markers for various ranges out to 500 yards.


YouTube is awash in reviews of this scope, all about what you would expect for a reduced cost Leupold.

For some odd reason, Leupold does not list 5.56mm or 7.62mm NATO, only common hunting rounds, but I am assured that they are both Group 1 cartridges for the typical bullet weights.  This seems plausible to me, at least within the accuracy of most shooters (which is certainly the most that I can say for me).  

As nice as having holdover points for 300, 400, and 500 yards (you center at 200 yards), I wish that I could find MOA for the various parts (target circle, target radius, distances to 300, 400, and 500, and even the overall field for estimating longer than 500 yards).  Having an MOA for the target circle and radius would make it an effective range finder.  It appears from ballistics charts that there is a 3 MOA drop from center to the bottom of the target circle (the 300 yard holdover point), so the circle is 3 MOA, and the radius is 1.5 MOA.  I guess that I will need to go in the back yard and measure MOA for the whole field of view with a ruler.  

The 100 yard holdover (holdunder?) is 2/3 of the way from crosshairs to top of circle.  From 300 yards (bottom of circle to 400 point dot would be another 3 MOA.  From 400 yards (dot on bar below circle) to 500 yards (top of thick bar) would be another 3 MOA.

Winchester's ballistics app for 147 grain FMJ shows a 10 inch drop at 300 yards.

UPDATE: The Redfield 4-12x40mm field of view at 4x is 180 MOA.  Diameter/distance*57.296*60. Right?  No.  I keep measuring against objects of known diameter and distance and the results are absurd.   Yet 1 inch at 100 yards gives .955 MOA; the Moon is 2160 miles in diameter and 238,000 miles away Ann's that formula says 0.52 degrees of arc which is exactly right.   I am tired of trying to calculate from observed data and getting absurd results: a 17" wide object 25' away exactly fills the Redfield at 4x field of view which is 195 MOA.  Yet the math above puts the 500 yard holdover at 7.5 MOA from crosshairs and or is about 1/4th or 1/5th of the way from crosshairs to bottom of field which means about 75 MOA field of view.  I will settle with the numbers that fit with the dimensions for ballistics.

The 3-9x40mm Bushnell fine crosshairs seem to be 12.8 MOA from side to side.  That seems like a good fit for a deer,  belly to top at 200 yards, likely the primary use of this scope.  I think it is a first focal plane reticle; the width of objects across the reticle does not change 3x to 9x.  The Redfield is definitely first focal plane.

The 3x9-32mm Bushnell Sportview seems to be first focal plane reticle as well, and with identical MOA on the fine crosshairs,  again sensible for a deer rifle scope. 




Bad News, Good News

 From MSN:

As President Trump packs up to retire to Florida amid a drive to impeach him a second time, partisan division in the nation has reached a modern day high, with nearly eight-in-10 fearing the outbreak of civil war.

In the latest Battleground Civility Poll, registered voters put the chance of war at 76 out of 100, the highest ever recorded and up from 73 in October after a summer of violent city Black Lives Matter protests.  

In the latest Battleground Civility Poll, registered voters put the chance of war at 76 out of 100, the highest ever recorded and up from 73 in October after a summer of violent city Black Lives Matter protests.

graphical user interface, text, application, email: Screen Shot 2021-01-13 at 4.19.01 PM.png “People for the last two years have seen us on the verge of civil war and I still find that really, really dramatic data, I’m still shocked at that level,” said Democratic pollster Celinda Lake who, with Republican pollster Ed Goeas, conduct the Battleground Polls for Georgetown University’s Institute of Politics and Public Service....

But while the findings of the wide-ranging survey were gloomy about where the country sits today, the pollsters found signs of hope from Americans cautiously optimistic about cooling the tension.

For example, asked for predictions of civil war a year from now, the average dropped to 65.

 

Fascinating Article About Contact Tracing by NSA

 5/24/20 Wired:

The first accounts revealed only bare bones. If you placed a call, whether local or international, the NSA stored the number you dialed, as well as the date, time and duration of the call. It was domestic surveillance, plain and simple. When the story broke, the NSA discounted the intrusion on privacy. The agency collected “only metadata,” it said, not the content of telephone calls. Only on rare occasions, it said, did it search the records for links among terrorists.

I decided to delve more deeply. The public debate was missing important information. It occurred to me that I did not even know what the records looked like. At first I imagined them in the form of a simple, if gargantuan, list. I assumed that the NSA cleaned up the list—date goes here, call duration there—and converted it to the agency’s preferred “atomic sigint data format.” Otherwise I thought of the records as inert. During a conversation at the Aspen Security Forum that July, six weeks after Snowden’s first disclosure and three months after the Boston Marathon bombing, Admiral Dennis Blair, the former director of national intelligence, assured me that the records were “stored,” untouched, until the next Boston bomber came along.

Even by that account, the scale of collection brought to mind an evocative phrase from legal scholar Paul Ohm. Any information in sufficient volume, he wrote, amounted to a “database of ruin.” It held personal secrets that “if revealed, would cause more than embarrassment or shame; it would lead to serious, concrete, devastating harm.” Nearly anyone in the developed world, he wrote, “can be linked to at least one fact in a computer database that an adversary could use for blackmail, discrimination, harassment, or financial or identity theft.” Revelations of “past conduct, health, or family shame,” for example, could cost a person their marriage, career, legal residence, or physical safety.

My wife has asked me why the courts have ignored allegations of voter fraud and why VP Pence decided he lacked authority to prefer elector slates picked by the state legislatures over governor selections, when Art. II, sec. 1 gives the state legislatures plenary authority in this matter.  The courts are easy; they have historically been reluctant to interfere in what they consider primarily political questions.  But what if NSA (or employees improperly using access) were blackmailing officials like how  J. Edgar Hoover used FBI surveillance?  There may be no electoral solution.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Rutherford B. Hayes

Yes, he was elected after a very disputed election where Democrats let Republicans have the Presidency in exchange for a promise the Democrats would treat blacks "fairly."

"Experience has shown that the protection and conduct of national elections cannot safely be left to the states."

Incitement to Riot

This has been floating around:

So, is it true?  The Wayback Machine shows a New York Times article showing a timeline:

As the morning arrives, hundreds assemble on the Capitol lawn, more than a mile away from where Trump will soon speak near the White House. Among them are the Proud Boys, a far-right group, identifiable here by their orange hats.

11:50 a.m. East side of Capitol 

Here's a still working direct link.  So before Trump started speaking!   That article includes video showing rioters arriving at the Capitol at 12:49.  That's a half hour walk, and Trump spoke until 1:11.

UPDATE: I am told Proud Boys denies that was them in the picture.  Whoever it was, the rioters were ready before Trump spoke.


 



Has Your COVID-19 Stimulus Check Arrived?

For most of us, this check is such a small part of our income that we really do not need it.  Suggestions:

1. We sent it all to local and world relief organizations.  A lot of people that the Democrats do not care about are hurting!

2. Spend it at businesses struggling to stay afloat: restaurants for example.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Conservative Server Farms

 It appears that the left is now deplatforming sites that violate the ick factor, su8ch as AR15.com.  Is there a need for more server farms?  How much capital is required and what are typical ROIs?  Have any of you done this before?

I Look Forward to Biden Trying to Ban Semiautos

 1/11/21 Ammoland:

U.S.A.-(AmmoLand.com)- 2020 is over. The year set records for every month and for total National Instant background Check System (NICS) background checks done in a year.

2020 almost certainly set a record for the number of new firearms owners.  New firearms owners are estimated at over 8 million, based on the NSSF figures of about 40% of firearms purchasers in 2020 have been new firearms owners. Precise records of new owners are not available, only estimates.

Just guessing, but I doubt most of those purchases were revolvers, lever action, or volt action.


Proposed Law

 

I am going to ask my very progun state representative to introduce a bill:

1. The U.S. Supreme Court in Printz v. U.S (1997) ruled that the federal government may not compel States to enforce federal laws.  Because several proposed laws violate the right to keep and bear arms guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution as recognized in D.C. v. Heller (2008) and Art. I, sec. 11 of the Idaho Constitution, no agency or officer of the State of Idaho will assist federal law enforcement in arrests, searches, or prosecution of Idaho citizens for possession, transfer, failure to register, license,  firearms unless that alleged crime also violates Idaho law.  This provision does not include violations associated with interstate transfers of firearms or transfers to persons prohibited from possession under Federal law as of January 1, 2011.

2. In the event any federal law enforcement agency violates the civil right of Idaho citizens to possess arms by seizing arms from an Idaho citizen or indicts an Idaho citizen for possession, transfer, failure to register, or license firearms unless that alleged crime violates Idaho law, the Attorney-General of Idaho will defend that citizen's rights in federal trial and appellate proceedings.

3. State and local agencies have an obligation to examine all circumstances where seizures of arms or arrests of Idaho citizens have taken place to look for evidence of violations of that citizen's rights with an eye to gathering evidence that might be helpful in the citizen's suit under 18 U.S.C. 1983.

4. Idaho shall prosecute any federal law enforcement officers who exceed their lawful authority in use of deadly force or other violations of the rights of citizens of Idaho.

5. All provisions of this bill are severable, and remain in effect if one or more provisions are found invalid.

I excluded manufacturing because that has already been decided in the federal courts, and any area that might qualify as interstate commerce.

Monday, January 11, 2021

The New Gilded Age

 It pains me to say this, but the wealth of the billionaires needs to be castrated to have a republic.  Properly invested (which they can easily do), a billion dollars produces $100,000,000 a year in income.  That's $279,370 per day.  That is more than enough to live on, I think.  Even rather comfortably.  I think pushing for a tax on net wealth might well impress upon the billionaires the need to stop messing with our elections and public debate.  Besides, it would be fun to watch the Democrats defend the New Gilded Age and why billionaires need defense.

I Went to Physical Therapy Today Concerning Orthotics

My right leg is 1.5 cm shorter than my left leg and this had been a source of pain for a long time. Orthotics in my shoes solved the problem,  but if you walk, they eventually break down,  so it is time.  The therapist and his family have already had COVID-19.

I mentioned the video of the Capitol Police letting thew rioters in.   He was surprised but wanted to see it.  Surprised but he immediately saw why they did do.  He also thinks civil war is within a year.

Criticizing Censorship is Violence

FEE reports that Facebook deleted Rand Paul for criticizing Facebook censorship. 

I remember during the Sandinista rule of Nicaragua,  that they shut down a newspaper for complaining about censorship.   The Sandinista minister explained that the claim about censorship was a lie so they had no choice burr to shut them down.  Prepare for war. It is coming.   The billionaire Communists have gotten to big for their britches. 

Hold Back

Sara Hoyt at Instapundit reminding everyone that premature insurrection plays into their hands.  Give the Fascists a little more time to turn Democrats against them.   Mandatory mask laws outside will likely be one of their executive orders.   Attempts to criminalize gun ownership and free speech will come next.  Make insurrection a sympathetic idea. 

Saturday, January 9, 2021

You Aren't One of Those Science Deniers, Are You?

 


These Are Dark Times Ahead

 We are already at the point where people addicted to Facebook and Twitter will not even realize that conservative voices are being removed; they will just assume that all conservatives died or turned progressive.  We are going to need to clear GOPe out of the Republican Party.  Building a new third party is too hard, and it would just give the Democrats a clear advantage in a 3 way race.  How do we get the average American to realize that much of the GOP establishment wants jobs exported to China and cheap illegal labor imported?  Is this just hopeless?

Teaching a Class is Very Educational

The next case was U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark (1898).  He was born in San Francisco to Chinese parents.  Some years later he traveled to China.  On his return in 1895, he was refused entry because the U.S. had passed the Chinese Exclusion Act (1882) which prohibited immigration of Chinese men.  Chinese women, who were often forced into short and miserable lives of prostitution here, were excluded in 1875.  The Court wrote an extraordinarily long decision that concluded Wong Kim Ark was a U.S. citizen; he could not be prohibited entry to the U.S.


Curiously, Congress debated this very question:



Reichstag Fire

Video from leftist group asking why Capitol Police pulled down barricades to let rioters in.  It is age restricted; I have downloaded a copy, expecting it will be taken down.




Friday, January 8, 2021

Seems Plausible; Needs a More Mainstream Source

 From Andy Ngo's account:

One of the men who was part of the siege of the Capitol building is John Earle Sullivan, an extreme BLM activist from Utah. He was arrested & charged in July 2020 over a BLM-antifa riot where drivers in Provo were threatened & one was shot. deseret.com/utah/2020/7/10

1/8/21 KSL:

SANDY — A Utah activist who faces criminal charges in connection with a Provo protest he organized in June claims he attended a pro-Trump rally that turned into a violent attack on the U.S. Capitol in order to see “the truth” about the protests for himself and the organization he represents.

“For me, it’s important from the group and the people around me to see that side of things, to see the truth,” John Sullivan said Wednesday night. “I don’t care, like what side you’re on, you should just see it raw.”

Sullivan, who is the founder of Insurgence USA, a social justice group that calls itself anti-fascist and protests police brutality, was detained by Washington police for about an hour and a half Thursday night, a day after he talked to local and national media about what he witnessed Wednesday.

He was handcuffed the entire time, and said police questioned him about being inside the Capitol and witnessing the shooting death of one of the protesters. He was not arrested.

Sullivan said he also intended to “support the Black community” with his attendance, but also feels it was “important to understand” those who were protesting in support of President Donald Trump.

But some of the 40-minute video he posted to his social media sites contradicts his assertion that he and another woman were “only filming” the actions and not participating as he can be heard in the video encouraging people to join them as they push their way through police barricades.

Just after people broke into the building, Sullivan — wearing a gas mask and wielding an iPhone on a stabilizing stick — and a woman who said Wednesday that she was making a documentary on Sullivan, are on the first porch area outside the entrance looking back over the throngs of people around the Capitol. They can be heard encouraging people to climb the wall, saying, “Come on. Let’s go!”

 

Troubling That This Even Needs Considering

 What happens if Democrats decide rioting is fine when done by non-Deplorables and citizens have to deal with riots:

When word is received that a flash mob is forming at one of their pre-reconnoitered intersections or highway interchanges, the SAV team will assemble. Sometimes cooperating police will pass tactical intel to their civilian friends on the outside. Some clever individuals will have exploited their technical know-how and military experience to build real-time intel collection tools, such as private UAVs. Police will have access to urban security camera footage showing MUYs moving barricade materials into position—a normal prerequisite to a flash mob riot intended to stop traffic. Tip-offs to the vigilantes will be common, and where the networks are still functioning, citizens may still be able to access some video feeds. Sometimes, police will even join the SAV teams, incognito and off-duty, blurring the teams into so-called “death squads.”

The operation I will describe (and it’s only one of dozens that will be tried) uses two ordinary pickup trucks and eight fighters. Two riflemen are lying prone in the back of each truck, facing rearward, with removable canvas covers concealing their presence. Their semi-automatic, scoped rifles are supported at their front ends on bipods for very accurate shooting. A row of protective sandbags a foot high is between them and the raised tailgate.

In the cab are a driver and a spotter in the passenger seat who also serves as the vehicle’s 360-degree security. The two trucks don’t ever appear on the same stretch of road, but coordinate their movements using one-word brevity codes over small FRS walkie-talkie radios. Each truck has a series of predetermined elevated locations where the intersection in question will lie between 200 and 500 yards away. Each truck is totally nondescript and forgettable, the only detail perhaps being the non-MUY ethnicity of the suburbanite driver and spotter driving relatively near to a riot in progress.

By the time the two SAV pickup trucks arrive at their firing positions on different streets and oriented ninety degrees to one another, the flash mob riot is in full swing. A hundred or more of the rampaging youths are posturing and throwing debris into traffic in order to intimidate some cars into stopping. The riflemen in the backs of the pickups are waiting for this moment and know what to expect, trusting their spotters and drivers to give them a good firing lane. The spotters in each truck issue a code word on their radios when they are in final position. The tailgates are swung down, and the leader among the riflemen initiates the firing. All-around security is provided by the driver and spotter.

I saw this and was at first infuriated that someone was taking the rioter's side.  Then I read a bit farther and I was amused at how he was telling future such event participants that they are not serious about this:

5) "They'll see a lot of us, and see our anger, and then they'll suddenly start doing what we want them to do."

Um,...no.

That has happened exactly never. You either kill people and break things, and dictate terms with swords to throats, or you march into machineguns and die gloriously, stupidly, and pointlessly, but for a good cause. As if anyone ever respects suicidal fanaticism, beyond resolving to gun it down on sight. Achievement unlocked: Went full retard.

6) You're not the Leftards. Stop using their game plan.

The Media doesn't care about what you want. Hollywood doesn't care about what you want. The other side's politicians don't care about what you want. And your own (nominally) politicians don't care about what you want. Those last are fleeing you and your ilk at warp speed, and they can smell blood in the water 10,000 times better than any shark. Protest reindeer games only work when there's someone out there who sympathizes with you, or is at least uncommitted, but open to hearing you out. It's not 1967 any more. The country has stratified. Anything you say to yourselves is preaching to the choir. Anything you say to the other side is falling on deaf ears. Period. Full stop.

7) Stop pissing into the wind. You look stupid, you smell worse, and you're just annoying everyone.

This Should Worry All of Us


1/7/21 Newsweek:

The survey released by YouGov on Thursday morning found that 45 percent of Republican voters backed the attack on the Capitol building, while 43 percent said they "strongly or somewhat" opposed the protesters' behavior.

I am in the 43%, but this large a fraction should worry our masters.  The serfs are getting uppity.

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Remember: Rioting is BAD at the Capitol but not in Portland

Stinking hypocrites. 

Pence 2024 or Cruz 2024?

I doubt the Democrats will allow either to be elected, but it would be nice to get the people who objected to Trump's policies but claimed it was his abrasive style to admit that they want America's poor to be poorer.

From Now On, "If Voting Mattered, It Would Not Be Allowed"

 When I lived in California, I asked a neighbor if he had voted.  His response, "I have voted for two Presidents in a row who promised to reduce the power and scope of the federal government and nothing changed."  Politics is a group trap.  What can we do besides hide and wait for starvation to change things?

The Social Media Dilemma

 My wife and I watched this very disturbing documentary on Netflix last night.  They interviewed at least a dozen people who had been officers of, developers, or early venture capitalists of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. about how these systems work.  One guy explained that the goal of the algorithms is to change behavior or beliefs.  Not much, maybe 1%, but cumulatively on a two billion person user base that is a lot.  

As you all know, "If the product is free, you are the product."  The pursuit of clicks, and therefore impressions makes money for these firms from advertisers.  And even when you are as rich as Zuckerberg, you need more.  While this may not go over well with libertarians, greed is not always good.

Worse, the algorithms look at what interests you, and then tailors ads and suggestions to similar ideas.  I suspect this is why certain sets of ideas start to appear together: anti-vaxxer; COVID is a hoax; and dozens of other conspiracy theories.  If you are an anti-vaxxer, social media will promote particular ideas to you that other users have found compatible.

One guy said the 2018 elections demonstrated the ability of social media to influence voting.  There were allusions to the Russian attempts to influence the 2016 elections; I would be surprised if tracing back 2020 advertising revenue paid to social media companies has origins (after half a dozen cutouts and shell companies) in China.

Take a look at what happens when you enter a search string in Google.  As you enter characters, it makes suggestions tailored to your history and likely interests.  When a page comes up, the ads are again tailored to your interests.  Two people entering the same search string will get different results.

They interviewed addiction specialists who pointed out how social media influence us, using techniques that work with small groups of people, now expanded to billions and careful manipulation by AI of great complexity.  (According to one of the interviewees, even the people that run these companies have no idea of how they work.)

One social psychologist explained that self-cutting and suicides among young people (including pre-teens) rose dramatically (sometimes 10x) after social media apps appeared on phones.  This was after years of stable rates.  Children start to develop body dysphoria because they do not look as good as others on social media, or as good as the various self-photograph filters make them appear.  (They did not mention gender dysphoria, but it does not take a genius to figure out that connection.)

Dramatic segments illustrate these problems.  One teenager is manipulated by click suggestions into a movement called Extreme Center.  He shows up to demonstrate; it turns into a riot, and his arrest.  You can easily see how this applies to Antifa, BLM, and various racist groups.

Political polarization has increased as social media have taken over.  Crazy ideas such as "flat Earth" and "Holohoax" have benefitted from social media attempts to maximize clicks, even if there is no advertiser paying for those clicks.

Two questions for you:

1. Why do you still have a social media account?

2. If your church relies on Facebook, why are you using the Devil's Software to do so?

Google AdSense just disabled ads on this post for "Dangerous or derogatory content."  Oh well, I better not say anything negative about social media.

I appealed and they backed down.

The Danger of Mobs

 Thoughtful piece about the danger of mobs.

On ancient battlefields elephants could wreak major havoc. The tricky part of that idea is the question, “To which side?” See, war elephants could just a easily go berserk and start crushing your own side as the enemy. That’s why the Carthaginian ‘drivers’ were equipped to kill the elephant if it flipped out and started killing the wrong team. With one as-hard-as-possible downward strike in the right spot and Dumbo was done. However, if the driver was killed, fell off or dropped his prod all hell broke loose for everyone.

A very strong analogy can be made comparing mobs to war elephants. While there are many comparisons, where the analogy really works is a berserk elephant and the driver (Indian term, mahouts) having lost the prod. The mob, like an enraged elephant, doesn’t care who it crushes.

It is common for conspiracy types to talk about shadow forces manipulating and whipping up the mob. There is an equally strong tendency among the middle-class, self-certified intellectuals to poo-poo the idea that such dark organization exists. Into this mix we also have the media and politicians, who are doing everything in their power to downplay that it is, in fact, a mob. (Read, “Yes there was a disturbance downtown. But it wasn’t a berserk elephant rampaging the streets.”) Both the conspiracy types and the pseudo intellectuals use this media-downplay as proof of their position. Which initially doesn’t seem to make sense, but if you turn your head and squint, you can see how that works.

Yesterday's Reichstag Fire

 Photographs of people who invaded the Capitol.  Guys with fur helmets with horns; a hammer and sickle tattoo.  Do these seem like Trump supporters.  It does not matter; they scared Congress into certifying Slow Joe as President.  The Republic is over.

And more photographic evidence.

Perhaps these were enraged, not terribly stable pro-Trumpers.  The pictures sure fit better my model of Antifa than Trump supporters.  Of course, I do not know every Trump supporter, so...

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Who Did This?

1/6/21 Politico says Trump supporters,  but their coverage says the rioters used chemical sprays at the police and they confiscated a Molotov cocktail from one of the cars.  Bombs at RNC and DNC. This sounds like Antifa trying to prevent the electoral vote debates.

Remember: just call it mostly peaceful protesting. 

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Sunshades

I gave up trying to find sunshades that screwed into objective threads for my two Bushnell scopes, so I bored out a 1.5" ID Delrin tube to make a very tight fit onto the scope on a .308 Winchester bolt action, and a 1.75" ID Delrin tube for a very tight fit on a 40mm scope. I had thought I would need nylon tipped set screws to hold them in place, but unless the recoil is far greater than I have experienced with with either rifle, I do not think that I will need them.  I actually needed to tap the sunshades in place with a little gunsmithing hammer.

Why So-Called President Biden is Not Going to End the Antifa Violence

12/23/20 Willamette Week article by a person who lives in the Red House Eviction Defense Zone.  For some reason I cannot copy text from the article, but essentially this person was having to negotiate leaving his house on foot while Antifa set up fire barricades and prevented him from living his home by car.  If you live in a Blue City, ask yourself why?


 

Saturday, January 2, 2021

Are Preparations Under Way?

I dropped by Independence Shooting Range today, which has a 100 yard indoor rifle range upto 50 BMG.  Nope on the door indicated that there were delays on that range because of high demand.  I do not think hunting season is about to start.  I think some people are preparing for Lexington.  If Biden survives the 1/6 congressional meeting, there may be some serious consequences if they decide to pull a Beto.  Be ready.  I hope it does not come to that; a civil war will strengthen America's enemies enormously,  which I am sure Biden does not mind.

What Happened?

From my wife:

Back when my kids were little, about 30 years go, the city I lived in, in northern California, passed an ordinance that prohibited the singing of any carols that mentioned "Jesus" in them.  When one kindergartener asked to sing "Silent Night," the music teacher retorted that it was "illegal."  I am not making this up--I was sitting in my daughter's class that day and watched this woman silence a little girl's request. 

I was born in 1960.  AD, not BC.  I went to school in California, where, at Christmas time, we played with dreidels, sang "Hanukkah, O Hanukkah," had a Christmas tree in the class room, ate Christmas cookies and learned how to sing "Silent Night, Holy Night" in German. 

God was an unseen presence in our country, where going to church was important, not swearing was equally as important and being kind was expected of everyone.  Did everyone follow Christian morality and its values?  Of course not.  But God was still there, looking out for us.  Maybe a kind of divine Policeman, who expected us to be good whenever and wherever we could.

My dad was a virulent racist and one angry hombre.  My mom was an alcoholic.  My brother was a sneaky violent young man, who got involved in drugs at a very young age, so no, we were not the Cleaver family, and Father didn't always know best.  We stopped going to church when we were very young.  But God was still there, in the culture, in the larger picture, even if my parents didn't reflect knowing Him in their daily lives.

When I was little, we celebrated the birth of Jesus and sang Christmas carols about Bethlehem, three kings and a little baby in our home and in our culture.  

Yet over the decades, God has been marginalized a little more every year.  Usually diversity, not favoring any religion or not wanting to offend others has been the reason, and so nativities, monuments and overt references to God have gone the way of the buffalo.  

If Christianity is mentioned now, it's usually in disparaging terms--anti-this or that, or responsible for all societal ills.

So, look at America now, with God having been removed from the culture: Angry protestors take to streets to burn, kill and destroy.  Lawlessness in the new law, and the police are told to stand down.  Respect?  Nah--that's just an old Aretha Franklin song.  Name-calling, false accusations, half-truths and constant bashing of certain groups is an everyday occurrence now.  Now even our election process, our democracy, is in jeopardy.  Wow.

I have watched God be removed from public over the last 50 years, and our society has not improved.  In fact, it's far worse.

Jesus came to bring a light to a dark empire, where blood sports, infanticide, child marriage and homosexuality, infidelity, and slavery were part of the everyday way of doing life.  

Without Jesus and what He brought--a value of loving God, ourselves and our neighbor, darkness would still be our everyday, every decade, every millennium.  

I am watching America return to a pre-Christian place, a kind of new Roman empire. We need Jesus to come and bring His light into our lives even more than ever, into our culture, into our leaders, whether in church or in the public sphere.


 

Making Sunshades for Ancient Riflescopes

 I have a 3x-9x32mm Bushnell SportView that needs a sunshade.  Being lost in the mists of time, there is no sunshade available that screws into the threads at the objective.  So I bought a piece of 1 3/4" OD, 1 1/2" ID Delrin, and bored it 1" deep until it slides tightly on the outside of the scope tube.  I have some nylon tipped 8-32 setscrews on the way to make it a tight enough fit to handle .308 recoil.  The next step is turning down the exterior of the other end to fit the existing scope cover on the sunshade.  The amount of cutting to fit that scope cover on the tube would produce too thin a wall to survive cutting.  I will likely buy the Butler Creek Flip=Open 30250 which is for a 1.800" tube.  I will have to turn the 1.796" tube down slightly to take this cover.  

The time required inclines me to buy a new Redfield scope for the other scope.  Leupold sunshades fit Redfield scopes perfectly (same company).  Unfortunately the Redfield 3-9x40mm Revolution/TAC Riflescope with Tac-MOA Reticle Matte - 118348 seems to be out of stock everywhere.

More careful counting and measuring of threads on the Bushnell BDC 3-9x40mm indicates that it is threaded for M40x0.75.

Friday, January 1, 2021

Time to Make a Comprehensive List

Some years back,  the Skeptical Inquirer would gather famous psychics' predictions for the following year at the end of that year.  Will you be surprised that the psychic predictions were almost never even close to right?

Instapundit has links to several AGW "the sky is falling,  we have only four years left" predictions, all of them major disasters at futurology.  It would be a very useful resource for students being brainwashed about this subject in all grades to have a really large collection of these predictions as well as the "coming Ice Age" stories that were all the rage in the 1970s.  Let's work together to create a list of such stories and I will create a web page littered with keywords to attract both skeptical students and  those who have been led astray. 
 

Shut Up! the Hospitals Are Full!

12/30/20 Gloucester Live:
A woman filmed the inside of one of those British hospitals which are supposedly out of space because of COVID-19.   Then she posted it.  Police arrested her.  (Hint: hospital was largely empty of patients.)  

I know the problem is real but it is easy to see went there are skeptics out there. 

Here is a project: find data on ICU bed use during the last few winters.  I know that regional ICU crises in winter because of flu are common.  It would be nice to have some unimpeachable data on that.