Wednesday, September 30, 2015

And You Didn't Know There Was Such Comic Potential in ICD-10 Codes

My son-in-law is a social worker, and has to keep up on ICD codes, used for billing insurance companies and also for categorizing causes of death (which is why I care about them).  This article is very funny:

There are 68,000 billing codes under the new ICD-10 system, as opposed to a paltry 13,000 under the current ICD-9. The expansive diagnostic codes, intended to smooth billing processes and assist in population health and cost reduction across the healthcare delivery system, have providers across the board worried about integration: A recent survey by the American Health Information Management Association and the eHealth Initiatives found that 38% of providers think revenue will decrease in year following the switch from ICD-9, while only 6% think revenue will increase....

Despite the controversy surrounding ICD-10, there is one universally agreed-upon upside to the hyper-specific coding system: Weird and obscure codes that stand for bizarre medical injuries. There's even an illustrated book, Struck by an Orca: ICD-10 Illustrated. (Healthcare Dive is super into it.)

Therefore, behold! The 16 most absurd codes in the entire ICD-10 set, with a little advice from Healthcare Dive on how to handle these cases should they come into your ER:

16. V97.33XD: Sucked into jet engine, subsequent encounter. 

Sucked into a jet engine, survived, then sucked in again? First of all, that really, really sucks. Second of all, this patient is obviously Wolverine, and should be detained for imaging and posterity.
(Technically, this means "subsequent encounter with a physician" not "subsequent encounter with a jet engine," but that's less dramatic.)...

13. Y93.D: Activities involved arts and handcrafts. 

Camp is a dangerous thing. Hot glue guns and knitting needles definitely wouldn't be allowed on a plane, yet we habitually allow 7-year-olds to play with them. This is a public health crisis that needs to be addressed.

11. Y92.146: Swimming-pool of prison as the place of occurrence of the external cause.

There is also a code for "day spa of prison as the place of occurrence."

8. W61.62XD: Struck by duck, subsequent encounter.

Maladies that rhyme should be given immediately priority in the ER. Ducks, like most water fowl, are mean-spirited animals and this case should be treated with the utmost urgency as it is likely to be a serious injury.

7. Z63.1: Problems in relationship with in-laws. 

Who doesn't?

6. W220.2XD: Walked into lamppost, subsequent encounter. 

No. No. People. You only get to do this once. ONCE. If a patient is going around whacking into lampposts regularly, there is a deeper problem here, and he should be referred to psych immediately.

5. Y93.D: V91.07XD: Burn due to water-skis on fire, subsequent encounter​.

How does this happen? Are water skis even flammable?

4. W55.29XA: Other contact with cow, subsequent encounter.

"Other contact with cow." OTHER CONTACT WITH COW? There are codes for "bitten by cow" and "kicked by cow." What else is there?! What, precisely, is the contact with the cow that has necessitated a hospital visit?!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Not Everyone Uses CNC

I am building a part that replaces the bottom of the tripod on two Vixen telescope tripods: the HAL-110 and HAL-130.  They are the same shape internally, but the screw holes are slightly differently spaced.

I have historically drilled and tapped the holes in my part by using the legs as patterns.  For the CNC project, best to get the locations exactly and use the mill to drill pilot holes.  But it the spacing is different, and there is no symmetry at least at  the .001" scale.  My guess is that some badly paid Chinese worker has a pattern for the holes for each leg.  I just hope that he doesn't damage it, because then I will have to revise my program.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Perhaps Even Too Garish For Me

I have been considering having my Browning Hi-Power refinished in hard chrome or more likely NP3+ partly because the bright shiny apperance appeas to me.  But here's a company that coats guns in titanium nitride.

A Reminder of Whose Side Obama Is On

There were 19 hijackers responsible for 9/11.  The man trained to be the 20th hijacker has been at Gitmo since 2001.  So he is being released.  The New York Times has disturbing documents about this giuy,  Instapundit calls this an impeachable offense.  Maybe.  But it does suggest that Obama might  really be a Muslim, and one of the radical kind.

Instapundit Calls This A Sign of "Civilizational Decline."

Here.  From the Sept. 24, 2015 Daily Mail comes a report of a bully beating up a blind kid at Hungtington Beach High School, and a football player coming to the blind kid's defense.  The bully was arrested and charged by the police. So who did the school punish?  Yup, the football player.  There's video of the incident so the school did not err because they did not know what happened. Civilizational decline?  No, what happens when liberals are in charge.

Many years ago, a friend was a security guard at a drug store in Rohnert Park.  The photo developing departmenty asked him to look at some pictures they had developed.  They were almost entirely pictures taken on an elementary school playground focused on the butts of little girls.  Nothing unlawful, but certainly Bay Area normal in its perversion.  He waited around to see who picked up the pictures, because the playground was the elementary school where his daughter and mine attended.  A few days later, he is at the school picking up his daughter and he sees butt photographer on the playground taking pictures.  So he grabs him and takes him to the principal's office and explains his concerns.  Butt photographer claims he was hired by the architectural firm preparing to remodel the school.  The [principal asks for the name of the firm that hired him.  Butt photographer doesn't know.  The principals' reaction was not to call the police or order this guy off school property but, "John, did you force this guy to come to the office?"

Friday, September 25, 2015

Just Finished Reading

The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert: Rosaria Champagne was a lesbian English professor who started studying the Religious Right, and as she asked questions of a Christian pastor, became a Christian.  Then straight!  See her list of publications from her lesbian days.  She left the academy where ideas like hers were outside the realm of respectable thought, went to teach at a seminary, married a pastor, and wrote this astonishingly thoughtful book!  Getting past the first chapter was too hard for my wife, mostly because it reminded her of many of  her English professors from college.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

What Phrase is Missing From This Everglades Sign?

"And incredibly stupid!"


I have been having pain in my right shoulder, hand, and wrist for some months, and I assumed it was strokr related.  My physical therapist says the shoulder pain is a stiff deltoid muscle, and she is working on loosening it, and gave me some exercises to do.  But the pain in the fingers and wrist she thought was arthritis, and my doctor confirmed this, pointing to Heberden's nodes in my right hand.

I suspect this pain plays some part in difficulty regaining my touch typing skills.

UPDATE: A reader mentioned that there is research showing a connection between vitamin K deficiency and osteoarthritis.  This study:
The PRs for OA, osteophytes, and JSN and adjusted mean number of joints with all 3 features in the hand decreased significantly with increasing plasma phylloquinone levels (P ≤ 0.03 for all). For example, as plasma phylloquinone levels rose, the PR for hand OA decreased from 1.0 to 0.7 (P = 0.005). For the knee, only the PR for osteophytes and the adjusted mean number of knee joints with osteophytes decreased significantly with increasing plasma phylloquinone levels (PR decreased from 1.0 to 0.6, P = 0.01).
Results: This ancillary study had 378 participants (193 in vitamin K arm, 185 in placebo arm). There were no effects of randomisation to vitamin K for radiographic osteoarthritis outcomes. Those with insufficient vitamin K at baseline who attained sufficient concentrations at follow-up had trends towards 47% less joint space narrowing (p = 0.02).
 and many others.  One problem is that vitamin K increases blood clotting, and I am on warfarin to reduce clotting as a stroke preventative.  I need to talk to the anti-coagulation clinic before I increase consumption of green leafy vegetables (which I hate, so the arthritis is no surprise).

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

More Signs of What's Next

Salon, the essence of online progressive thought explains that pedophilia is a sexual orientation:
The Discovery of an Alternate Sexuality:

Many gays begin to recognize their sexual preferences sometime around puberty, if not before.  For me it was the same.  I was about 12 when the first inklings of a sexual preference bubbled up in me, though at the time I thought little of it.  As I turned 13 it occurred to me that what I initially took as a phase had begun to solidify into something more troubling.  Even so, at this point I could still convince myself that I was within the realm of normalcy.  Then something happened that all but removed my ability to continue this self-denial: my Eureka Moment.  

One day, as I was sketching in my grandparents’ living room, a neighbor of theirs came to visit with his seven-year-old daughter in tow.  At first I hadn’t noticed her because she was quiet.  I only heard my grandpa and his neighbor chatting in the kitchen while I sketched.  Soon the little girl walked into the dining room and stood at the archway entrance to the living room, watching me draw.  I can still see her today in my mind’s eye: dressed in blue jeans and a nearly matching denim jacket, with pristine blue eyes and a halo of wispy blond curls framing her face.  She seemed somehow larger than life and almost ancient in the way she stood so perfectly still.  Then, just like that, she was gone; she and her father left.  That singular moment, though it could scarcely have lasted more than a few minutes, has become seared into my memory.

Generalizing The Solution

I have received a number of useful suggestions on machining from readers gfor which I am very grateful.  Centering the wotkpiece in the vise using parallels to lift it up into position means a bit firmer grasp on the workpiece.

I also decided to come up with a more general solution to excavating chunks of aluminum.  I had originally written C programs to produce gCode for each machining operation, and they were very specific to the face being machined.  This was bad because the definition of width varied depending on work[piece orientation.  I just wrote a more general solution.  Instead of parameters for length to cut, width, height,etc., it now takes six parameters: xs, xe, ys, ye, zs, ze for the X, Y, and Z starting and ending points.  Then it positions the cutting tool appropriately and does the excavation using the feed rate and cutting depth specified on the rest of the command line.  Several different programs have now been replaced with one using different parameters for different faces.

Bend Over America

The Daily Beast reports on the nearly insane devotion that wealthy gay white men are showing for Hilary Clinton, in spite of her astonishingly poor history. 
To me, there’s one T-shirt that says all you need to know about Clinton’s gay male base: I’d Bottom for Hillary.

Lying prostrate, face down in the pillow: Is there a better analogy (pun intended) for the gay Hillary Clinton supporter these days?

It's an apt description.  America, bend over, Hilary is wearing her strap-on!

I Fear This Day Is Coming Soon

From Gateway Pundit:
Muslim parents taunted school officials in Jersey City, New Jersey after schools would not close for Eid al-Adha.
“We’re going to be the majority soon!”
 Doubtless true between increased immigration, and Christianity becoming a pale imitation as it tries to reconcile the new gay power structure with the Bible.

I Hope the Political Class Is Paying Attention

But I suspect not.  Gallup reports on a recent poll:
PRINCETON, N.J. -- Almost half of Americans, 49%, say the federal government poses "an immediate threat to the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens," similar to what was found in previous surveys conducted over the last five years. When this question was first asked in 2003, less than a third of Americans held this attitude.
I think the political class are too busy enjoying fine meals while buggering children to notice or care.  Trump should be another warning sign of the rage that is developing.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Starting A Production Run

I have commented before about how the Sherline CNC mill is not powerful enough to do large scale production work, but it still amazes me that I can afford a tool like this! 

I did have an odd failure last night.  The Y axis was suddenly not going where it should.  The coupler that locks the stepper motor to leadscrew had disengaged.  This was easily fixed, but one more thing to check before starting the mill.

Learning Not To Impose Our Values On Other Cultures

Sep. 20, 2015 New York Times article:
KABUL, Afghanistan — In his last phone call home, Lance Cpl. Gregory Buckley Jr. told his father what was troubling him: From his bunk in southern Afghanistan, he could hear Afghan police officers sexually abusing boys they had brought to the base.

“At night we can hear them screaming, but we’re not allowed to do anything about it,” the Marine’s father, Gregory Buckley Sr., recalled his son telling him before he was shot to death at the base in 2012. He urged his son to tell his superiors. “My son said that his officers told him to look the other way because it’s their culture.”
Rampant sexual abuse of children has long been a problem in Afghanistan, particularly among armed commanders who dominate much of the rural landscape and can bully the population. The practice is called bacha bazi, literally “boy play,” and American soldiers and Marines have been instructed not to intervene — in some cases, not even when their Afghan allies have abused boys on military bases, according to interviews and court records.

It is a very troubling article.  Islam regards this as immoral, but it is widespread in Islamic societies.  A friend who served in Iraq with JAG, told me that a common expression among his Iraqi counterparts was: "Women are for babies, boys are for pleasure, goats are for emergencies."

Saturday, September 19, 2015

This Should Upset Liberals Everywhere

Wal-Mart has a policy that employees who are attempting to stop a shoplifter must withdraw if the suspect has a weapon, or be fired.  The Utah Supreme Court has ruled that even at-will employees may not be fired for engaging in self-defense which is a right protected by the Utah Constitution and that of a number of other states, including, remarkably, California.  They actually point also to the Utah Constitution RKBA clause, suggesting that firing employees for being armed at work might not be allowed.

Milling The Slot

I am very close to being able to make production parts.  A little close for sharp focus.

Trump on Gun Rights

I wish Trump could learn to control his New York City mouth.  His gun policy statement is awesome, right down to recognizing that the need for mental health treatment is the big issue behind many of the headline events.

The Second Amendment to our Constitution is clear. The right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed upon. Period.

The Second Amendment guarantees a fundamental right that belongs to all law-abiding Americans. The Constitution doesn’t create that right – it ensures that the government can’t take it away. Our Founding Fathers knew, and our Supreme Court has upheld, that the Second Amendment’s purpose is to guarantee our right to defend ourselves and our families. This is about self-defense, plain and simple.

It’s been said that the Second Amendment is America’s first freedom. That’s because the Right to Keep and Bear Arms protects all our other rights. We are the only country in the world that has a Second Amendment. Protecting that freedom is imperative. Here’s how we will do that:


Here’s another important way to fight crime – empower law-abiding gun owners to defend themselves. Law enforcement is great, they do a tremendous job, but they can’t be everywhere all of the time. Our personal protection is ultimately up to us. That’s why I’m a gun owner, that’s why I have a concealed carry permit, and that’s why tens of millions of Americans have concealed carry permits as well. It’s just common sense. To make America great again, we’re going to go after criminals and put the law back on the side of the law-abiding.

Fix Our Broken Mental Health System

Let’s be clear about this. Our mental health system is broken. It needs to be fixed. Too many politicians have ignored this problem for too long.

All of the tragic mass murders that occurred in the past several years have something in common – there were red flags that were ignored. We can’t allow that to continue. We need to expand treatment programs, because most people with mental health problems aren’t violent, they just need help. But for those who are violent, a danger to themselves or others, we need to get them off the street before they can terrorize our communities. This is just common sense.

And why does this matter to law-abiding gun owners? Once again, because they get blamed by anti-gun politicians, gun control groups and the media for the acts of deranged madmen. When one of these tragedies occurs, we can count on two things: one, that opponents of gun rights will immediately exploit it to push their political agenda; and two, that none of their so-called “solutions” would have prevented the tragedy in the first place. They’ve even admitted it.

We need real solutions to address real problems. Not grandstanding or political agendas.

New Paper

The gun control crowd for a long time has asserted that the Statute of Northampton (1328) prohibited anyone but the king's servants from being armed in public, and are using this to argue that the Second Amendment does not require issuance of carry permits.  You can read my paper demolishing this claim here.  Typos etc. I would love to know about.


The production part requires excavating a section off the bottom and top of a rectangular solid of aluminum, and two side sections, and a slot down the middle.  The bottom excavation works, now I have the side section cuts under way.

Ordinarily I use BreakFree CLP to cool and lubricate the cutting surface, but the spray bottle puts out so much oil that I went looking for a smaller bottle.  What I found had KY Jelly in it, which works pretty well.  (At least the workpiece and end mill seem satisfied.)

Friday, September 18, 2015

Key Largo

WE stayed in a hotel in Key Largo, which has a very romantic sound to it, because of the Bogart film.

We thought of driving to Key West, but this weather on the road persuaded us otherwise:

Other Countries Loosening Gun Laws

From Sep. 16, 2015 Orange County Register:
Criminals, by definition, don’t obey laws. And those intent on committing a crime with a gun will not be deterred by gun control laws. But, with few exceptions, even criminals believe in self-preservation, and are less likely to attack someone capable of fighting back. Hence, the importance of the right to arm and defend oneself and others.

These pro-Second Amendment arguments are familiar to us here in the United States, but the “more guns, less crime” experience of the U.S. is being trumpeted in a somewhat unlikely place: Panama. The Central American nation has been struggling with rising crime, gang activity and forged gun permits. In order to address these problems, and promote personal safety, the government is preparing to lift its ban on firearms imports, in place since 2012, so that citizens may better defend themselves.
According to the PanAm Post, “Public Safety Minister Rodolfo Aguilera said the country will follow in the footsteps of the United States and Switzerland, where the right to bear arms is believed to lead to fewer homicides.”

“Everything seems to indicate that there is no direct correlation in the aphorism that says more guns mean more crime,” said Mr. Aguilera, who cited the 20-year decline in the homicide rate in the U.S. as gun laws have simultaneously been relaxed.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Something I Learned From My Father

1. Always use the right tool for the job.

2.  If you don't have the right tool, enough ingenuity with the wrong tool may work.

I decided that the end mill solution for slicing the rings on a diameter would not work because there would be nothing holding the pieces in place when the last section was cut.  So I needed a way to holsd the ring while passing it through a bandsaw.  Always keep your fingers away from cutting tools.  (Why are bandsaws used by butchers?)  So I built something of wood to hold the ring in place.

Why such an odd shape?  No jigsaw, so I used the bandsaw to make two parallel cuts, then used a Forstner bit to make the cut across.

Balmoral Island

Because the Bahamas has quite strict gun control (or perhaps in spite of it), its murder rate is about 6x that of he U.S.  One result is that Carnival has a private island for its passengers to enjoy, separated from the crime of the Bahamas.  Balmoral Island is where part of Help! was filmed.

The boat trip out to it included passing the Atlantis Resort which dominates the skyline.

This odd abandoned structure was near the entrance to the harbor.

Did the aliens land? 

The island has manta rays and dolphins in netted areas:


Not The Logo I Expected At The Disney Store

Mickey Mouse Possessed?

Florida Wildlife

We found these in an industrial park in Fort Pierce:


I really wanted to see one in the wild, having had a pet alligator many years ago.
UPDATE: My pet alligator.  Many years ago, my sister Susan went on vacation to Florida to visit her first husband's family.  While there, she went to an alligator farm, and bought two baby alligators.  On the way back, she was sleeping in the car, and felt something brush against her foot, followed by a chomp from one of the adorable creatures.  Anyway, she gave me one of them.  It was about 14 inches long.  Alligators apparently only eat live prey.  Mine ate one gold fish, but only played with the others, and eventually starved, so I buried him in the back yard at 1541 Berkeley St. in Santa Monica, where some future paleontologist is going to get very confused.

The Florida Turnpike

Toll roads are not generally something I like but the rental agency had an electronic payment pass, and the Turnpike was well maintained, little traffic, and high speed.

Called Carnival Cruise Lines For A Reason

During dinner, the servers formed a Conga line:

My wife could not resist:

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

President Choom Said He Wanted to Fundamentally Transform America

I guess he was successful:
  • CHEVY CHASE, MD, September 10, 2015 – Findings from the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), released today, reveal the percentage of Americans aged 12 or older who used an illicit drug in 2014 was higher than in every year between 2002 and 2013, driven primarily by increases in marijuana use, sustained rates of nonmedical pain reliever use, and increases in heroin use.
  • “With now one in ten Americans reporting illicit drug use, it’s clear that we have much more to do to prevent drug use and treat the disease of addiction,” said Jeffrey Goldsmith, MD, President of the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM). “As more and more states legalize marijuana and the opioid epidemic rages on, we must prioritize evidence-based prevention for our youth and access to high-quality treatment for all who struggle with a substance use disorder.”
  • Despite the overall increase in illicit drug use, illicit use among adolescents aged 12 to 17 and young adults aged 18 to 25 appeared to stabilize, with increases mainly seen among adults older than 25. The rise in overall marijuana use may reflect the increase in use by adults aged 26 and older and, to a lesser extent, increases in use among young adults aged 18 to 25; the percentage of adolescents aged 12 to 17 who were current marijuana users was similar to the percentages in most years between 2003 and 2013. Similarly, the rise in heroin use may reflect increases in use primarily among adults older than 25.
Now I know some of you see this as a good thing because marijuana is a wonder drug that cures everything.  But the increasres in heroin and oxycodone I am guessing you wil agree are a problem

Why Trump Is Doing So Well In Spite of Trmp

A recent survey shows a majority of Americans think illegal immigration is a “very serious” problem and would support measures to deport illegal immigrants currently living within the country - such as creating a hotline to report “activity connected to illegal immigration.”
The survey also found that:
  • Half of Americans would report an employer they suspected of hiring illegal immigrants to the government,
  • Nearly half of Americans would support the government “actively searching for illegal immigrants who have not committed any other crimes to deport them from the United States,” and
  • 39% of respondents would report their neighbors for being illegal immigrants.
YouGov asked 1,000 American adults between Sept. 1-2 for their opinions on various issues related to illegal immigration.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Monday, September 14, 2015

Reality Optional

From Sep. 14, 2015 Washington Post:
Marines involved in a controversial experiment evaluating a gender-integrated infantry unit say they feel betrayed by Navy Secretary Ray Mabus after he criticized the results of a nine-month study that found women are injured more frequently and shoot less accurately in simulated combat conditions.

“Our secretary of the Navy completely rolled the Marine Corps and the entire staff that was involved in putting this [experiment] in place under the bus,” said Sgt. Danielle Beck, a female anti-armor gunner with the task force.
Short version: the study found that women in combat had higher rates of injury than men.  Fabus basically decided that the study was wrong, that the injury rates are opinions not facts.   Harsh reality: there are real differences between men and women, and physical strength is one of them--hence the injury rates.  But the PCness of the Obama and his appointees matters more than military effectiveness or reality.

Cranes of Some Sort

Fort Pierce, Florida

Signs You Are in a Disney Shopping Center

The volcano erupts:

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Things I Was Not Expecting On The Cruise

The number of passengers with prison tats and the gold grilles on their teeth.

hunting for a metaphor

I spent a bit of time trying to find an appropriate metaphor for a woman on the cruise wearing a see-through black lace dress with black lace underwear.  I settled on "as subtle as a flamethrower."

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Dead Mouse Smell

Two nights ago, our bedroom smelled of rotting mouse coming out of one of the heating vents.  (Dead mouse is very distinctive.)  The first night, we turned off the fan, and left the windows open.  Last night, my wife had the bright idea of putting the shop vac hose down trhe vent.  The hose is about 6 feet long.  We heard two distinct thuds, one of which turned out to be a bloated mouse.  This morning, no smell!

Monday, September 7, 2015

A Bad Day For Mechanical Systems

The water stopped flowing.  The well pump breaker popped, but we did not notice, so the 1000 gallon water tank stopped filling.   Then the pump that presuurizes for the house stopped running.  Our repair guy came up and used pressurized refrigerant to blow out a clog between pressurization pump and tank, probably caused by dirt in the tank getting sucked into the line as water level reached the bottom.  Next summer, we will empty the tank and clean it out.

Also, the Z-axis stepper motor on the mill failed.

Refusing to Issue SSM Licenses or Perform SSM

When I first saw that a Kentucky county clerk was refusing to issue SSM licenses on religious grounds, my reaction was what does she think she is one of those lawless Democrats?  (Yes, she is a Democrat.)  An "Oregion judge has stopped doing marriages so he doesn't have to do SSM.  Professor Volokh makes a strong case that both are allowed to do so:
Can your religion legally excuse you from doing part of your job? This is one of the questions in the Kentucky County Clerk marriage certificate case. But it also arises in lots of other cases — for instance, the Muslim flight attendant who doesn’t want to serve alcohol and who filed a complaint on Tuesday with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission over the airline’s denial of an exemption.
The question has also arisen before with regard to:
  1. Nurses who had religious objections to being involved in abortions (even just to washing instruments that would be used in abortions);
  2. Pacifist postal workers who had religious objections to processing draft registration forms;
  3. A Jehovah’s Witness employee who had religious objections to raising a flag, which was a task assigned to him;
  4. An IRS employee who had religious objections to working on tax exemption applications for organizations that promote “abortion, … homosexuality, worship of the devil, euthanasia, atheism, legalization of marijuana, immoral sexual experiments, sterilization or vasectomies, artificial contraception, and witchcraft”;
  5. a philosophically vegetarian bus driver who refused to hand out hamburger coupons as part of an agency’s promotion aimed at boosting ridership;
  6. and more.

The answer is that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, passed by Democrats some years to protect mescaline-using pagans also protects Christians!

Saturday, September 5, 2015

If Only Japan Had A Border With Mexico...

There are consequences to deciding that reproduction is unneeded.  This country, by deciding that children did not matter in 1973, wiped out a whole generation of kids that would have ended up doing the jobs that increasingly done by illegal immigrants, and made blacks a shrinking minority.
Yokosuka, Japan – Ever since her elderly neighbor moved a decade ago, Yoriko Haneda has done what she could to keep the empty house she left behind from becoming an eyesore. Haneda regularly trims its shrubs and clips its narrow strip of grass, maintaining its perfect view of the sea.
The volunteer yard work has not extended to the house two doors down, however. That one is vacant too, and overgrown with bamboo. In fact, dozens of houses in this hillside neighborhood about an hour’s drive from Tokyo are abandoned.

“There are empty houses everywhere, places where nobody’s lived for 20 years, and more are cropping up all the time,” said Haneda, 77, complaining that thieves had broken into her neighbor’s house twice and that a typhoon had damaged the roof of the one next to it.

Despite a deeply rooted national aversion to waste, discarded homes are spreading across Japan like a blight in a garden. Long-term vacancy rates have climbed significantly higher than in the United States or Europe, and some eight million dwellings are now unoccupied, according to a government count. Nearly half of them have been forsaken completely – neither for sale nor for rent, they simply sit there, in varying states of disrepair.

These ghost homes are the most visible sign of human retreat in a country where the population peaked a half-decade ago and is forecast to fall by a third over the next 50 years. The demographic pressure has weighed on the Japanese economy, as a smaller workforce struggles to support a growing proportion of the old, and has prompted intense debate over long-term proposals to boost immigration or encourage women to have more children.

Everyone Needs a CNC Mill

I am currently trying to solve a problem of failure to clamp tightly on a tripod leg, and my solution is to make a donut of acetal just small enough to slip inside the sleeve that goes over the tripod leg, with a hole through the center of the donut slightly smaler than the tripod leg.  Then slice it in half, so that when drooped into sleeve, the bolts that currently fail to lock onto the tripod leg with enough force will press the two half donuts on to the leg with considerable force.  Perhaps attach some sandpaper to inside of donut to increase friction.  But how to slice donut in half?  The chop saw has no easy way to hold donut firmly while slicing a diameter.  Solution: put donut in mill vise, flat, then run a 1/16" end mill along a diameter parallel to vise jaws.  Do it slowly (perhaps 1 in/min).  But this requires a 1.25" cutting length end mill.  Maybe a slightly larger diameter.  That diameter has short cutting lengths.  Competition matters: I found a 1/4" diameter end mill with a 4" cutting length--for $228.  But in 9/32" diameter, 1 3/8" cutting length, $22.84.

Don't Like Guns? Stop Encouraging Sales

From Sep. 5, 2015 USA Today:
WASHINGTON — Renewed calls for more restrictive gun laws, following a succession of fatal shootings in the United States, immediately appear to be generating a boost for the gun industry.

Newly released August records show that the FBI posted 1.7 million background checks required of gun purchasers at federally licensed dealers, the highest number recorded in any August since gun checks began in 1998. The numbers follow new monthly highs for June (1.5 million) and July (1.6 million), a period which spans a series of deadly gun attacks — from Charleston to Roanoke — and proposals for additional firearm legislation....

Dan Gross, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, said there is risk during periods of increased sales when all purchases are not covered by background checks.

"When gun sales rise, more and more weapons find a set of dangerous hands to call home,'' Gross said. "There are people in this country, people like felons, fugitives, and domestic abusers who we all agree simply should not have guns.''

So stop encouraging sales by pushing for bans.

Striking Down State Laws in Defense of A Constitutional Right

Another article I could not sell:

The Supreme Court makes a controversial decision: they rule that state laws are denying a Constitutional right.  The decision satisfies a small but rich and powerful constituency concentrated in a small number of states allied with the Democratic Party, infuriating a faction of the Republican Party that a federal judge characterized as “semi-religious.. almost invariably characterized by intolerance and bigotry.”

Are you thinking of the recent gay marriage decision?  No, it’s U.S. Supreme Court decision Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857).  Huh?  

In the period before the Civil War, many Northern states expressed their disapproval of slavery and the federal Fugitive Slave Acts of 1793 and 1850 by passing state “personal liberty laws,” for the purpose of guaranteeing that persons accused of being runaway slaves would enjoy protection of due process. Dred Scott federally overturned these state laws, guaranteeing citizens the right to own slaves across the nation, regardless of regional preference.  This effectively destroyed the right of citizens to make their own laws. 

Why the fugitive slave laws, when most states did not allow slavery?  Because the Constitution explicitly provided for such laws to which the slaveowners could point without any judicial creativity  The other reason is that a small minority of wealthy people – slaveowners – demanded these fugitive slave laws to maintain control over their slaves.  They were called by abolitionists the “slaveocracy.”  In 1856, the Democratic National Committee ridiculed the notion that the slaveocracy existed or was a problem., but clearly, they were a powerful part of the Democratic Party.

The slaveowners asserted that blacks were naturally not suited to freedom; freedom was a “curse” to them.  Their status was something they were born to, and they could not change.  This is quite similar to the current belief that homosexuality is inborn and immutable, even though the evidence strongly suggests that homosexuality and its associated dysfunctions (suicide, depression, substance abuse and obesity), at least for some, is a symptom of childhood sexual abuse.  

Of course, it was not just scientists back then promoting these views.  Christianity largely split along regional lines before the Civil War as many religious leaders decided that slavery was pragmatically good and Biblically based.  Others, largely in the North, decided otherwise.  As John Patrick Daly’s When Slavery Was Called Freedom observes, these splits over slavery were at their core splits over theology.  Slavery was only a proxy for a split built around the emerging Northern evangelical emphasis on morality and the Southern churches’ desire to embrace to the culture of slavery, power, and money.  This is much like the way many Christian churches today are selectively reading the Bible to satisfy a popular media driven need to see homosexuality as Biblical, and to be seen as tolerant by the larger society.

So where will the recent decision lead us?  Dred Scott led to increasing polarization, as Americans who abhorred slavery saw their states lose the authority to pass laws on the subject.  The election of Lincoln in 1860 led to the Civil War as the slaveocrats feared Lincoln might block expansion of slavery in the Western territories.  This time, it is more likely that the election of a pro-gay President (likely Democrat but perhaps Republican) dedicated to crushing out the right of conscience could lead to the split.  The Texas Attorney-GeneraL has already encourage county clerks to ignore the Court’s “lawless ruling.”  If this ignoring Supreme Court decisions seems dangerous, the Obama Administration has already decided to ignore a Supreme Court ruling they don’t like.  Clearly, they can’t have a moral objection to ignoring the Court.

Lines are being drawn.

Trump Pulling Out Ahead

I know many Republicas are not haoppy abouty Trump, because they believe the illegal immigrant/gay marriage/ legal pot constituency is very important to winning elections, but this survey suggests that if you want to beat the Democrats, you need Trump:
Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump leads Democrat Hillary Clinton head-to-head, according to a new poll released Friday.
The poll by SurveyUSA finds that matched up directly, Trump garners 45 percent to Clinton’s 40 percent.
In other head-to-head matchups, Trump beats out Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) by 44 percent to 40 percent; Vice President Joe Biden by 44 percent to 42 percent; and former Vice President Al Gore by 44 percent to 41 percent.

I know, you won't bwe one of the cool kids if you back Trump, but if you want to defeat the Democrats, you might have to lose your cool kid card.

Production Underway

I am finally running the mill to produce the parts I need for customers.  Here you can see it advancing across at 5 in/min, cutting .003" of aluminum on each pass:

Here you can see when it finishes a cutting pass comes back at 100 in/min, drops down another .003", and starts over.  You can also see how bright the material is after milling:

The stripes on the surface are not rough.  The surface is smooth as glass.