Saturday, December 31, 2016

If Only Rich People Wanted to Get Richer

Dr. Lott points out that the gun control thriller Miss Sloane was an enormous flop.  Also very misleading:
Poorly funded gun-control advocates are shown doing battle with the big, bad National Rifle Association. Of course, Michael Bloomberg is never mentioned. He would spoil the story, since he gives $50 million a year to his regulation-pushing Everytown for Gun Safety. This is 2.5 times more than the NRA spends on political activities. From 2013 to 2016, Bloomberg donated a total of $48 million to candidates running for federal office. The NRA contributed just $2.1 million. And that’s not even mentioning the hundreds of millions that Bloomberg, George Soros, and others funnel into producing gun-control research.
Read more at:
The left is prepared to lose bundles of money promoting their fantasies.  Our side instead of throwing away money on politics, could be investing money in popular culture, influencing young people, and probably making some money at it.  But the small number of conservative multimillionaires aren't much interested.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Finally: Pigs Are Not Service Animals (Except As Bacon)

Some years ago, someone talked one of the airlines into allowing a 250 pound pig aboard as a "service animal."  Results were ugly, especially after it found the galley.  This is getting worse. 12/27/17 Detroit Free Press discusses it.  A friend wants to bring his grizzly bear service animal.  Maybe a bison?

When You've Lost Rolling Stone

Something About This Russia Story Stinks
Nearly a decade and a half after the Iraq-WMD faceplant, the American press is again asked to co-sign a dubious intelligence assessment

Legalizing Child Prostitution

12/29/16 Washington Examiner:
SB 1322 bars law enforcement from arresting sex workers who are under the age of 18 for soliciting or engaging in prostitution, or loitering with the intent to do so. So teenage girls (and boys) in California will soon be free to have sex in exchange for money without fear of arrest or prosecution.
The theory is that minor prostitutes are victims; pimps are the target.  But how will they find the pimps without arresting the minor prostitutes?  Some years ago, when I lived in the State of Reality Denial, I read a really disturbing article in the San Francisco Chronicle; police had arrested a bunch of underage prostitutes in an Asian massage parlor.  One of the johns they arrested was the city controller.  The 15-year-old prostitute said he liked her to call him "Daddy" when they were having sex.

I expect that minor prostitutes will soon wear T-shirts that say Minor, both to warn off the police, and attract customers that like them young.

Those of you behind the Tofu Curtain, was there any discussion of this law before it passed?  Or was everyone too busy getting their chakras tuned to care?

The Insanity Doesn't Stop at the Bathrooms

8/30/16 Burlington Free Press:
Before the class of 2020 invaded Champlain College's campus this year, staff members put their heads together to figure out new ways to accommodate students in the LGBT community.
One idea: Create buttons displaying the pronouns with which the students identify, said Danelle Berube, the college's director of residential life. As first-year orientation began, and upper-class student leaders also returned to campus, hundreds of pins were handed out. Faculty and staff also grabbed pins that fit their preferences.
Berube said Monday the school already needs to make more.
"We have a number of students who identify as transgender or on the non-binary spectrum, and about a week before orientation while we were pulling together materials, the idea just kind of came out of the air," Berube said. "It just seemed like a no-brainer — a very easy way to make the first day of college for a number of our students maybe a little bit easier."
12/27/16 Lawrence Journal-World:
Buttons featuring preferred gender pronouns are part of the University of Kansas Libraries “You Belong Here” marketing campaign, targeted at attracting undergraduates and making sure they feel welcome, including those who are transgendered. The buttons are worn by library employees who wish to.

A number of University of Kansas Libraries employees now wear buttons showing their preferred gender pronouns. Extra buttons are offered for students who want one, too.
“Because gender is, itself, fluid and up to the individual,” a posted sign at the libraries explains. “Each person has the right to identify their own pronouns, and we encourage you to ask before assuming someone’s gender. Pronouns matter! Misgendering someone can have lasting consequences, and using the incorrect pronoun can be hurtful, disrespectful, and invalidate someone’s identity.”

I Love Watching our Enemies Shoot Themselves in the Foot

Shall Not Be Questioned reports:
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy New Years all rolled into one: Bloomberg spent 20 million dollars in Nevada to secure a razor thin win, and he still gets nothing. The Attorney General in Nevada checked with the FBI and the law as it was written is simply not implementable. The FBI stated that states can’t commander federal policy on the matter, and that they refuse to conduct the checks in accordance with the way Bloomberg’s new law requires. How is this so? Hilariously, it’s a pretty simple mistake.
The issue is that Nevada is designated as a Point-of-Contact (POC) state, meaning that, like Pennsylvania, they have a state background check system that is designated by the FBI to conduct background checks under the Brady Act. Bloomberg’s new law states that the checks have to be conducted by the FBI’s National Instant Check System. Given that Nevada is a POC state, the FBI will not conduct checks on behalf of Nevada. The law cannot be complied with, and is therefore completely unworkable and unenforceable.
The Nevada Attorney-General's opinion is here.  Considering the gun control movement is largely lawyers, this error is hysterical.  As good at law as they are at criminology, reality, etc.  From 12/30/16 Reno Gazette-Journal:
The next steps for proponents of expanded gun background checks in Nevada are unclear after a legal opinion that for all intents blocks a voter-approved initiative set to go into effect Sunday.
What is clear is that the Background Check Act to require a federal database check of private party gun transfers will not be enforced. That’s according to Nevada sheriffs.
“Based on the Nevada Attorney General’s opinion, the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office cannot enforce this law at this time,” said spokesperson Bob Harmon.
The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office put out a statement that it and the Lyon County’s District Attorney’s Office “support” the opinion that the new law is unenforceable, adding “we will not enforce any provisions of this ballot initiative until the issues have been resolved.”
The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office reported receiving numerous inquiries about the ballot question. It put out a statement that it is “advising its citizens that they may proceed with private party firearm sells and transfers as they did prior to the passing of ballot question #1.”

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Robotic Rifles in the Nineteenth Century

At one point, Haag makes the bizarre claim that Winchester rifles developed a will of their own; or perhaps this Yale Ph.D. does not know what “volition” is.  “Speed (not power) and accuracy from a distance were the mechanical soul of all Winchesters.  With each design advance, the volition of the rifle became more volitional.”  “Volition” refers to “making a choice”[1]; was Winchester making the earliest intelligent robotic gun?  No.  Haag clearly believes that the finger doesn’t pull the trigger; the trigger pulls the finger.
“Small, mortal operations of armed conflict occurred through the technological ingenuity of the mechanical hand, and the confrontation became less intimate or physically immediate.  The gun ‘did’ more of the motions and actions of the killing.”[2]  “Instead, people and animals were shot faster, at greater distances, with a more mechanically volitional weapon.”[3]
Again, human agency has been replaced by gun agency.  While this may make Haag feel better, blaming the gun and thus the gun maker, not the shooter; it is pretty clearly delusional thinking.

[1] “Volition” definition;, last accessed December 29. 2016.
[2] Haag, The Gunning of Americaat 181.
[3] Id., at 203.

Anthony Bourdain Sticks It To His Class

The utter contempt with which privileged Eastern liberals such as myself discuss red-state, gun-country, working-class America as ridiculous and morons and rubes is largely responsible for the upswell of rage and contempt and desire to pull down the temple that we're seeing now.
I've spent a lot of time in gun-country, God-fearing America. There are a hell of a lot of nice people out there, who are doing what everyone else in this world is trying to do: the best they can to get by, and take care of themselves and the people they love. When we deny them their basic humanity and legitimacy of their views, however different they may be than ours, when we mock them at every turn, and treat them with contempt, we do no one any good. Nothing nauseates me more than preaching to the converted. The self-congratulatory tone of the privileged left—just repeating and repeating and repeating the outrages of the opposition—this does not win hearts and minds. It doesn't change anyone's opinions. It only solidifies them, and makes things worse for all of us. We should be breaking bread with each other, and finding common ground whenever possible. I fear that is not at all what we've done.

Fake News: British Versions

Scientists believe a massive object that could change our understanding of history is hidden beneath the Antarctic ice.
The huge and mysterious “anomaly” is thought to be lurking beneath the frozen wastes of an area called Wilkes Land. The area is 151 miles across and has a minimum depth of about 2,700 feet.
Some researchers believe it is the remains of a truly massive asteroid more than twice the size of the Chicxulub space rock that wiped out the dinosaurs.
If this explanation is true, it could mean this killer asteroid caused the Permian-Triassic extinction event, which killed 96 percent of Earth’s sea creatures and up to 70 percent of the vertebrate organisms living on land.
Entirely plausible.  But 12/28/16 Daily Mail:
Is there a Nazi UFO site buried in the Antarctic? Bizarre theory claims base is hidden in mysterious 150-mile anomaly
Read more:

Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook
12/29/16 UK Express:
SHOCK CLAIM: John Kerry ‘visited Antarctica to examine secret Nazi UFO base’
US SECRETARY of State John Kerry visited Antarctica to examine the remains of a secret Nazi UFO base, it has extraordinarily been claimed.

Indian Agents

The federal government had Indian agents responsible for contact with the various tribes.  Does anyone know if they had any financial involvement in sales of goods to the Indians?  Or were they just salaried employees?

Amazing Graph

See here.

That nasty Industrial Revolution at fault.  Hence progressive billionaire obsession with global warming.

Absolutely Comical

AMAZON has long talked about using drones to deliver parcels, but a patent recently uncovered shows its big-picture plan: airborne warehouses flying over cities armed with fleets of drones for delivery products on demand.
The patent describes “airborne fulfilment centres” that hover over cities at 45,000 feet and use drones to deliver goods to homes below.
Well, people laughed at Internet sales of books.

Some Days, Life Gets Easy

I collect civilian gun self-defense incidents here.  (Yes there are still gun control advocates claiming such uses are very rare.)  I hit paydirt with this Miami Herald article.  Uber driver shoots armed robbers who cut him off and wre threatening him, and links to a bunch of other home invasuion and burglary incidents.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

First World Problem

12/27/16 National Review:
If there is a definition of well-off white-people problems, it’s worrying about what’s for sale at Whole Foods. You think the poor and dispossessed and oppressed of this world care about whether that $25-a-pound roasted salmon is farm-raised or wild-caught? I think not. If you are close enough to a Whole Foods to get pissed about what’s in the deli case there, you are a 1-percenter, globally speaking. You have won the game of civilization, and if you aren’t happy with the state of your life, then you probably aren’t trying hard enough.
Read more at:
And that's really the issue--progressives are profoundly upset people, desparate for something that makes them feel superior, instead of introspection.

Religion of Peace and Fire

12/27/16 Daily Mail:
Seven migrants have been arrested after a homeless man was set on fire on Christmas Eve at a Berlin subway station. 
The men, aged 15 to 21, are suspected of torching the victim as he slept on a platform bench at Schönleinstraße station. 
Six of the suspects are Syrian and one is Lybian and an attempted murder investigation has been launched.

Read more:
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | 
DailyMail on Facebook.
Hat tip to Small Dead Animals.

California's Governor Needs a Copy of the U.S. Constitution:

12/27/16 Daily Caller:
California Gov. Jerry Brown said Monday his state will bypass Washington, D.C., and work instead with foreign governments on ways to reduce climate change.
Brown, a Democrat, said that he and other Golden State lawmakers would work directly with other countries to strengthen some of the most stringent environmental policies in the world.
“California can make a significant contribution to advancing the cause of dealing with climate change, irrespective of what goes on in Washington,” Brown told reporters.
Not sure how: Art. I, sec.10, cl.1:
1: No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation;
Hat tip to Small Dead Animals. 

This Isn't the Weimar Republic

12/28/16 Huffington Post:
Top Montana Democratic and Republican lawmakers on Tuesday warned neo-Nazis they would find “no safe haven” for a rally that could include guns planned for next month in a mountain town where white nationalists have threatened Jewish residents.

The lawmakers include both Democrats and U.S. Representative Ryan Zinke, recently picked by Republican President-elect Donald Trump to be interior secretary.

“We say to those few who seek to publicize anti-Semitic views that they shall find no safe haven here,” Zinke wrote in an open letter also signed by Democratic Montana Governor Steve Bullock, U.S. senators Republican Steve Daines and Democrat Jon Tester, and Republican Attorney General Tim Fox....
In its article, the “Daily Stormer” called for an “old fashioned Troll Storm” against community members and published their names and phone numbers along with yellow Jewish stars superimposed over their photographs. It also said that because of gun laws in Montana, “we can easily march through the center of the town carrying high-powered rifles.”
And I hope Whitefish's Jews buy appropriate defensive weapons in case the "rally" turns violent,  Of course, Montana isn't the Weimar Republic; Jews can buy guns there.

Consumer Confidence

A measure of consumers' attitudes rose to its highest level since January 2004.
The Index of Consumer Sentiment hit 98.2 in December, the University of Michigan reported on Friday. The figure is up from 93.8 in November's final reading.
Economists expected the consumer sentiment index to hit 98 in December's final reading, according to a Thomson Reuters consensus estimate.
The surge in confidence following President-elect Donald Trump's surprise election aided in the numbers, the report said.
Remember all the gloom and doom from the left, I mean MSM (same thing) about Trump's election destroying the economy?

Consumer confidence itself doesn't mean much, except that confident consumers buy things, which helps the economy.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Have Progressives Changed Their Mind About Cake Bakers?

Honolulu’s Café 8 ½ gets rave reviews on Yelp for its “Radiatore Verde” and “Italian stir fry,” among other popular dishes at the eclectic mom-and-pop restaurant – but the response to its new 'policy' barring pro-Trump patrons has been decidedly more mixed.
A bright yellow, handmade sign posted on the restaurant's front glass door declares: “If you voted for Trump you cannot eat here! No Nazis.”
I see; discrimination based on sexual orientation is WRONG, but based on political orientation is just fine.

National Carry Reciprocity

Abstract: Congress is considering passage of national concealed carry legislation requiring all states to recognize concealed weapon licenses issued by any state, rather like the way that every state recognizes driver’s licenses issued by another state. Are there any constitutional problems with such legislation? What practical problems might result? This paper seeks to answer those questions.

Does Anyone Make One of These?

The TrailBlazer's 4WD has failed with a very useful icon: a wrench next to a simplified drivetrain.  In the meantime I am looking for a better solution to my aspirational glacier.  We get a fair amount of sun when it isn't actually snowing, and even enough when lightly snowing to produce photovoltaic output.  My thought is a small solar panel and a small storage battery feeding a resistance heating unit abutting the edge of the asphalt.  It doesn't have to heat up all the asphalt; once one section is clear, the asphalt absorbs infrared and soon, the rest of the asphalt engages in sympathetic magic, and melts the snow.  Of course, a thermostat shuts off the coil above freezing.  Put a few of those along a silly long driveway like mine, and in mild snow conditions, you have a clear road.  In severe conditions, with a day or so of full sunlight, it clears.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Massachusetts Gun Laws

I have read (somewhere) that possession of a handgun without an Firearms ID card of a class A or B gun license is a felony.  But I can't for the life of me find it.

I keep digging through Mass. law trying to find where they require an FID or class A or B .license to possess a firearm.  

Mass. G.L. 140 sec. 131C limits how class A and B licensees may carry a firearm in a vehicle.  
sec 131 defines conditions for class A and B.  
131A is permits to purchase or rent.  
131B is pawnbrokers.  
131d is repealed.  
131E is resident purchase requirements.  
131F is nonresident temporary Class A or B licenses. 
131G specifies conditions under whch nonresidents may possess without a license, but no penalty for violations.
131H is alien possession
131I is falsifying a license
131K is high capacity magazines
131L Weapons stored or kept by owner; inoperable by any person other than owner or lawfully authorized user; punishment
131M is assault weapons ban
131N is covert weapons sale

Is it possible that they forgot to criminalize unlicensed possession?  Not likely.  How can anyone know what the law is in Mass. when they make it so hard to find?  Or is it simply assumed that everything not specifically is a capital offense (this being the second-most anti-gun state in America)?

Thanks all:

Section 129C. No person, other than a licensed dealer or one who has been issued a license to carry a pistol or revolver or an exempt person as hereinafter described, shall own or possess any firearm, rifle, shotgun or ammunition unless he has been issued a firearm identification card by the licensing authority pursuant to the provisions of section one hundred and twenty-nine B.
But where's the punishment for this?

Chapter 269, sec. 10(h)(1):
(h)(1) Whoever owns, possesses or transfers a firearm, rifle, shotgun or ammunition without complying with the provisions of section 129C of chapter 140 shall be punished by imprisonment in a jail or house of correction for not more than 2 years or by a fine of not more than $500. Whoever commits a second or subsequent violation of this paragraph shall be punished by imprisonment in a house of correction for not more than 2 years or by a fine of not more than $1,000, or both. Any officer authorized to make arrests may arrest without a warrant any person whom the officer has probable cause to believe has violated this paragraph.

Yes, a felony. 

Christmas Gift

My son knew I needed a bathrobe, so he bought one both comfortable and tactical:
My wife sas if the zombie apocalypse starts in the morning, we're set.

The Minimalists: A Documentary

Just watched this on Netflix.  Imagine the Christian rejection of materialism with no Christian origins; just a bunch of econonsense about reducing CO2 and waste.  I am pretty obviously not a minimalist, but there is great merit to getting people to think carefully about how much they really need, as opposed to want.  Do those wants start to enslave you?

When I lived in California, I had co-workers trying to persuade me to buy a Ferrari.  I could gave done so; but those sort of purchases enslave you financially.  A friend had a co-worker who bought a Lamborghini Diablo: $250,000 with $15,000 a year car insurance.  How much car do you really need?  Do you really get that much joy from it relative to something more pedestrian, like a Corvette (try not to laugh at Corvette as pedestrian)?

Anyway, the documentary follows people around promoting their new book on the subject, staying in some not at all minimalist hotels.  Another guy showed how everything he owns fits in two suitcases.  Of course, mini-houses and tiny New York City apartments appear throughout.  One mini-house was in the shadow of some Western state stratovolcano.  Mt. Hood or Mt. Shasta?  Otherwise it was very rural.  Live simply enough and you don't need a six figure salary.  Instead you can live somewhere beautiful.

Think long and hard about this needs vs. wants matter.  At times I wish we had built a McMansion with 3000 sq. ft.  But along with heftier house payments, you get increased heating bills and a pile more work vacuuming.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Bizarre End to a Bad Day

We got home from a trip to a Christmas Eve service at our daughter's church while the tow company brought in a second tow truck to pull the first tow truck out so they could get my wife's TrailBlazer out.  On the way back, we planned to get the snow plow blade out of the snow.  (My wife removed it when first trying to extricate herself.)  This was a major hike through the snow, now icy where the tow trucks had crushed down the snow.  Then we noticed the TrailBlazer was refusing orders to go from AWD to 4H.  After a bit of thinking, I cycled the traction control button, and everything resumed working.

We start carrying stuff in from the garage, and our deranged cat wanted for no apparent reason to go into the freezing garage.  In the garage my wife points to where the booster pump sits: "What's that?"  It took a few seconds to sort the weird collection of discordant images and figure out that I was looking at an orange tabby with its head stuck in a chili can.  He must grabbed it from our recycling bin.  Removing it required olive oil spray around his neck, followed by bat out of hell exit.

Bad Day in the Snow

My wife went out plowing our neighbors' driveways, just to be helpful. And slid off the side.  $250 to get a tow truck.  AAA no longer tows on private roads.  The first tow truck needed a second tow truck to get it out of its ditch before they could get to the TrailBlazer.  Tow services were largely closed or incredibly busy today.  Where's my global warming?

Soft Targets

From a 12/24/16 Boston Herald article about ISIS threats to attack churches over Christmas:
Alerts like the one released by the FBI have become commonplace around major events and holidays, said Arnold Bogis, a former Harvard fellow and homeland security consultant. But he said they can help spur local authorities to dispatch extra patrols or be “a little extra-vigilant” around larger gatherings or religious congregations.
 “You don’t need an ISIS or a group like that to inspire people to target a church,” he said, pointing to the 2015 massacre of nine people at a South Carolina church at the hands of a white supremacist.
“They’re the ultimate soft targets.”
They don't have to be.  Arm for church.

And This is Really Important

12/23/16 Time:
His driver's license cuts an inch from his previously acknowledged height

Donald Trump and Donald Trump’s doctor say he’s 6’3″, but his drivers license apparently says otherwise.
A copy of the president-elect’s driver’s license, newly obtained by Politico, suggests that Trump is only 6’2″ — and not 6’3″, as he likes to say. He has previously spoken of his annoyance that so many media outlets misreport his stature.
I was not thrilled by Trump as candidate, but that he is causing Trump Derangement Syndrome among the enemies of decency everywhere, and on such absurd issues, makes me see him as a big win.

Trump May Deliver on Bringing the Military-Industrial Complex into Cost Control

12/23/16 Geekwire:

After meeting with President-elect Donald Trump at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg says he’s making a “personal commitment” to keep the cost of the next two Air Force One jets below $4 billion.
“We’re going to get it done for less than that, and we’re committed to working together to make sure that happens,” Muilenburg told reporters on Wednesday.
In addition to the Air Force One debate, Boeing has gotten involved in a tangle over Lockheed Martin’s controversial F-35 fighter jets.
The back-and-forth with Trump began with a tweet on Dec. 6, in which the president-elect threatened to have Boeing’s Air Force One deal canceled because “costs are out of control, more than $4 billion.” Since then, Muilenburg and other executives have smoothed over the dispute. Wednesday’s meeting in Palm Beach appeared to cement the rapprochement.
Muilenburg told reporters that he had a “terrific conversation” with Trump. “Got a lot of respect for him. He’s a good man, and he’s doing the right thing,” Muilenburg said.

Concerning the very expensive F-35:
Yet another twist was added to the dance on Thursday, when Trump tweeted that he asked Boeing to provide a price for a comparable F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter jet:

FollowDonald J. Trump

Based on the tremendous cost and cost overruns of the Lockheed Martin F-35, I have asked Boeing to price-out a comparable F-18 Super Hornet!
3:26 PM - 22 Dec 2016
14,06714,067 Retweets 56,00656,006 likes

An hour after Trump’s comment, Boeing tweeted that it was open to discussing the options:

FollowThe Boeing Company

Ready to work with @realDonaldTrump's administration to affordably meet U.S. military requirements.
4:32 PM - 22 Dec 2016
184184 Retweets 312312 likes

Today, Lockheed Martin tweeted that Hewson and Trump had a follow-up conversation about the F-35s, during which the CEO gave her “personal commitment to drive the cost down aggressively.” (Where have we heard that before?)
The Art of the Deal.  Why couldn't progressives work this hard to lower costs for systems that they claim to hate?

Evan McMullin

It seemed that this Utah resident third party candidate was an attempt to siphon off Mormon voters from Trump.  This map shows where third party candidates won by county and in Idaho, the Mormon counties went for him, although curiously, none in Utah.

Amazing Visualization of Where The Votes Came From

From here.  A lot of other interesting maps there.

Another Fake Hate Crime

12/21/16 WREG:

GREENVILLE, Miss. — Mississippi authorities have made an arrest in the burning of an African-American church spray-painted with the words, “Vote Trump.”
Mississippi Department of Public Safety spokesman Warren Strain says Andrew McClinton of Leland, Mississippi, who is African-American, is charged with first-degree arson of a place of worship.

Leftist Insanity

12/22/16 TMZ:
Ivanka Trump just had a bumpy start to her Xmas holiday ... an out-of-control passenger on her flight began verbally berating her and "jeering" at her 3 kids.
Ivanka was on a JetBlue flight leaving JFK Thursday morning with her family when a passenger started screaming, "Your father is ruining the country." The guy went on, "Why is she on our flight? She should be flying private." The guy had his kid in his arms as he went on the tirade.
Can you imagine Chelsea Clinton flying coach with the peasants?

Unsurprisingly, Matthew Lasner tweeted about he and his husband were "chasing them down to harass them."

I rather doubt that this worked out well for Lasner's husband.

Nazi Christmas

12/20/16 Smithsonian has an article about the Nazi redefinition of Christmas:
According to undercover police observers, 4,000 supporters cheered when Hitler condemned “the cowardly Jews for breaking the world-liberator on the cross” and swore “not to rest until the Jews…lay shattered on the ground.” Later, the crowd sang holiday carols and nationalist hymns around a Christmas tree. Working-class attendees received charitable gifts.
For Germans in the 1920s and 1930s, this combination of familiar holiday observance, nationalist propaganda and anti-Semitism was hardly unusual. As the Nazi party grew in size and scope–and eventually took power in 1933–committed propagandists worked to further “Nazify” Christmas. Redefining familiar traditions and designing new symbols and rituals, they hoped to channel the main tenets of National Socialism through the popular holiday.
Given state control of public life, it’s not surprising that Nazi officials were successful in promoting and propagating their version of Christmas through repeated radio broadcasts and news articles.

Read more: the gift of Smithsonian magazine for only $12! us: @SmithsonianMag on Twitter

I Guess Guns Aren't So Bad After All

12/20/16 BBC News:
Gun ownership has traditionally been associated with the right wing in America but the election of Donald Trump has prompted some left-wingers to join gun clubs - and even start preparing for the collapse of society.
"I really didn't expect to be thinking about purchasing a gun. It was something that my father did and I rolled my eyes at him."

Clara, a 28-year-old nursing student, grew up in the Mid-West, where "the folks that had guns were seen as hicks" or were just "culturally different", she says.

But since the election of Donald Trump in November she has started going to a gun range for the first time and is shopping around for a semi-automatic pistol.

"It's been seeing the way that Trump's election has mobilised a lot of the far right and given them hope," she says, citing a rise in reports of hate crimes and neo-Nazi activity.

As a transgender woman, she does not fear for her personal safety in the Californian city where she now lives but she says she knows people in rural areas "who woke up and found a bunch of swastikas and words like 'faggot' and 'trannie' scrawled all over their building".
I wonder if they will suddenly be surprised that they can't buy machine guns at the gun show.

Of course, some are "prepping" with food and water, convinced an economic collapse is coming.  For those who make their money looting the public trough, that may well be true.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Good News

Pain almost gone.  In previous days acetaminophen reduced pain to about 2.  Now to 0 after physical therapy.  Still mild buttocks pain, but tolerable. Scrotum pain nearly gone.

Murder and Burglary As Proxy for Substance Abuse

The Murder/Burglary Rate Correlation as a Proxy for Drug Abuse

Murder and burglary rates are very strongly correlated: much more so than any other crimes recorded by the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports program. This paper asks if both of these crimes are so strongly correlated because both are proxies for drug abuse, and suggests that this relationship may justify more examination of a causal connection by researchers with more statistical skills.

Physical Therapy

I went to physical therapy today.  The therapist said my right pelvic bone was rotated by the ice collision, and the muscles attached are now screaming because of it.  He did some sort of adjustment that felt good or at least did not hurt, massaged the creaming muscles, and gave me some exercises to do.  It's better.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

How Long Will This Back Pain Take to Heal?

I am not sure that I have suffered an injury this severe without broken bones.  How long should it take to stop hurting so much?

Crowd Sourcing a Law Review Article

A staffer for a member of Congress requested an analysis of Congressional authority to pass a national concealed carry reciprocity law.  I'm working on it, but my readers are very smart people, so I thought I would ask for your suggestions on case law.

McDonald v. Chicago (2010) held that the Due Process clause of the 14th Amendment extended the Second Amendment to the states and their subsidiary governments (cities and counties).  Section 5 authorizes Congress "to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article."  The Enforcement Act of 1870 (or first Ku Klux Klan Act) is an example of such.

Any other examples of Congressional legislation of enforcement you can think of?

Interstate commerce: The Supreme Court has repeatedly struck down local laws that it argues discourage interstate travel, even when it is quite indirect such as Shapiro v. Thompson (1969)(state law requiring minimum residence period to collect welfare), and even when involving only local laws, such as Boynton v. Virginia (1960)("whites only" law in bus terminal restaurant).  The Court has also recognized Congressional to enforce anti-discrimination laws against private businesses such as Heart of Atlanta Motel Inc. v. United States (1964) based on effects on interstate commerce.  Yes, I am trying to use progressive case law to hoist them by their own petard.

Tenth Amendment/states' right challenges: The Tenth Amendment prohibits the national government from mandating state and local officials from performing its functions in Printz v. U.S. (1997).  This does not prohibit the national government from pre-empting state laws, such as Roe v. Wade (1973)(abortion), Lawrence v. Texas (2003).(sodomy laws) and Obergefell v. Hodges (2015)(same-sexmarriage prohibitions).  And again, I am trying to use progressive case law to hoist them by their own petard.  The Firearms Owners Protection Act of 1986 includes a safe transit provision that pre-empts state gun possession laws when crossing fascist states.  I can find no state challenges to its constitutionality, and certainly no successful challenges.  The parallel to concealed carry reciprocity is very strong.

One area that I need some help on is state recognition of driver's licenses.  I suspect that this is based not on the Constitution but voluntary agreement between the states.  Can you find why the states agree to this?

Clinton's People Are Whining About the Ongoing Criminal Investigation

12/21/16 New York Times:
WASHINGTON — After a federal judge unsealed a search warrant this week that the F.B.I. had used to examine emails related to the previously closed inquiry into Hillary Clinton’s private server, some of her backers said it proved their contention that the warrant should never had been sought because it would not have changed the outcome of that investigation.
The decision by the bureau’s director, James B. Comey, to make the new email examination public in the presidential election’s closing days was a “stain” on his legacy and amounted to an “extraordinary impropriety,” Mrs. Clinton’s supporters said. Mrs. Clinton herself has said that Mr. Comey’s move cost her the election.
But while the F.B.I. ultimately did not find anything to alter its decision in July not to pursue criminal charges against Mrs. Clinton or her aides, agents believed they needed to examine the emails to be certain there was nothing new in them. This is common procedure for the bureau, whether the case involves a former secretary of state like Mrs. Clinton or anyone else.
Please don't look at possible felony charges for our empress!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Car Porn: Hardcore

The Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport takes on the Jaguar F-Type SVR

If I lived somewhere without snow, the Jaguar XF would have been a Corvette.

More Fake Hate Crimes

11/12/16 Michigan Daily:
Update: On Dec. 21, the Ann Arbor Police Department issued an updated report that the crime alleged below did not occur. The report cited a number of discrepancies between eyewitness testimonies and surveillence tapes of the scene. The University of Michigan Department of Public Safety and Security released a cancellation of the original press release detailing the alleged hate crime.
A female student was approached by a man between 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Friday and told if she did not remove her hijab, he would set her on fire with a lighter, according to a University of Michigan Division of Public Safety and Security crime alert released Saturday morning.
Set her on fire with a lighter?  What if he threatened to blow really hard until she crashed into a wall?

Pain Diminishing

All the parts that hurt are getting better.

Murder and Burglary Rate Correlation

The Murder/Burglary Rate Correlation as a Proxy for Drug Abuse

Abstract: Murder and burglary rates are very strongly correlated: much more so than any other crimes recorded by the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports program. This paper asks if both of these crimes are so strongly correlated because both are proxies for drug abuse, and suggests that this relationship may justify more examination of a causal connection by researchers with more statistical skills.

Dull Scrotal Pain

Not the name of a punk band.  I am hoping it is just a temporary consequence of the ice fall.  Some medications do it; none on my current list.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Hard Left Pointing Out How Deluded the Lamestream Media

Not at all surprising.  12/16/16 Slate:
But Trump didn’t lose. Despite spending a year of the world’s time preening and pouting, blubbering when things didn’t go his way or filling screens with his bulbous shit-eating smirk whenever they did, Trump won. And for liberals, who had assumed along with Hillary Clinton that the world was theirs to inherit, this needed an explanation—one that had nothing to do with their own failures, one that could be safely localized somewhere distant, malevolent, and unknowable. Russia, perhaps. Enter Eric Garland.
On Dec. 11, fueled by prescription amphetamines and craft beer, Eric Garland disgorged a sprawling 127-tweet thread explaining to America and the world exactly what was going on, how Russia put Trump in power, and what they could do about it. And the thing was a sensation. Every so often, a text comes along that perfectly captures the mood of a certain section of society at a certain time, something that screams their pain for them in ways they can’t quite manage to do themselves. Garland’s tweet thread is that common roar of establishment liberalism in the age of Trump. It’s been retweeted thousands of times, gaining fawning praise from much of the liberal intelligentsia.
Clearly something horrifying has happened to America’s great liberal intellects. One moment they were yapping along in the train of a historic political movement; now, ragged and destitute, they wander with lolling tongues in search of anything that might explain their new world to them. This is, after all, how cults get started. Cultists will venerate any messianic mediocrity and any set of half-baked spiritual dogmas; it’s not the overt content that matters but the security of knowing. If Trump’s devoted hype squad of pustulent, oleaginous neo-Nazis can now be euphemized as the “alt-right,” the Eichenwalds and Jefferys of the world might have turned themselves into something similar: an alt-center, pushing its own failed political doctrine with all the same vehemence, idiocy, and spleen. So it’s strange, but not surprising, that so many people would sing the praises of Garland’s masterpiece, because it is absolutely the worst piece of political writing ever inflicted on any public in human history.

It’s possible that the Democratic National Committee leaks were caused by Russian hackers—but given that the hack took place thanks to John Podesta clicking on a link in a phishing email, displaying all the technological savvy of someone’s aunt extremely excited by the new iPhone she thinks she’s won, it could have been anyone. The “leaked” CIA concerns over Russian meddling were quite clearly leaked deliberately by the CIA itself, an organization not exactly famed for its commitment to the truth; they’re the conclusions of an investigation that hasn’t even happened yet and on which there’s no consensus even among the gang of petty Caligulas that calls itself the intelligence community. Still, it’s possible. Countries sometimes try to exert influence in each other’s internal affairs; it’s part of great-power politics, and it’s been happening for a very long time. When Americans meddled in Russia’s elections, it was by securing victory for Boris Yeltsin, Russia’s very own Donald Trump, a man who had sent in tanks to shell his own parliament. Leaked cables suggest that Hillary Clinton’s own State Department interfered with the political process in Haiti by suppressing a rise in the minimum wage. And American involvement in the politics of Chile, Guatemala, Indonesia, and Iran was mostly through military coups, sponsored by none other than the CIA. There was no question of these countries repeating their elections; anyone the generals didn’t like was tortured to death. Next to the mountain of corpses produced by America’s history of fixing foreign elections, a few hacked emails are entirely insignificant.
This guy wants the fascist wing of the Democratic Party to face reality as to why they lost.  I would prefer that they keep living in their little bubble, wasting Soros' money.

Another Trophy on the Wall

A customer in London, thrilled with portability.

Pain (Part 3?)

I needed baclofen yesterday to keep the pain in my back and right thigh under control.  Today, acetaminophen seems to be sufficient.  I am supposed to start working the muscles, so I will be treadmilling a little this afternoon.

The Eugenics of Progressive Thought

It is very popular to think of eugenics as a reactionary, Nazi idea.  I saw a Swedish documentary on Netflix a while back, that while it mentioned the Nazi Germany and U.S. eugenics efforts usually performed at the state level of oppression.  Example: Skinner v. Oklahoma, 316 U.S. 535 (1942), which ruled that exempting white collar criminals from Oklahoma's "three strikes and you are snipped" sterilization law violated the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment.  Mandatory srterilization was not a problem.  Buck v. Bell (1927) upholding Virginia's mandatory sterilization of the feeble minded is memorable for liberal Justice Holmes' observation: "Three generations of imbeciles are enough."

The bulk of the documentary was about Swedish eugenics laws.  8/28/1997 The Economist describes it:
THE Nazis were not alone in viewing Nordic peoples as the ideal biological “type”. A lot of Nordics, it now seems, immodestly felt the same way. All four main Nordic countries—Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden—brought in eugenics laws in the 1930s. More remarkably, some of those laws stayed on the statute books until the mid-1970s, though apparently they were not latterly used very often. It is a subject which most of today's Nordic folk would rather keep in decent obscurity, but a series of articles in an influential Stockholm newspaper, Dagens Nyheter, has been shocking the Swedes to the core and making other Nordics look back nervously at the not-so-recent past.
Between 1935 and 1976, the newspaper says, no fewer than 60,000 young Swedish women deemed mentally defective or otherwise handicapped to a degree “which makes them incapable of looking after their children” were sterilised. More embarrassingly, this happened under laws passed in 1934 by a vigorous new Social Democratic government—a hitherto esteemed forebear of Sweden's present rulers. The laws lapsed only in 1976.

To its many supporters in the 1930s, the policy served three purposes: to prevent the “degeneration of the race”, especially as feeble-minded and insane people were supposed to breed more freely than thrifty and energetic people of “superior” stock; to be kind—yes, that is how it was rationalised—to people who needed “protection” against propagating their own weak genes; and lastly, as the Stockholm newspaper explained, to save the state the heavy cost of welfare for the very dim.
The National Socialists were a heresy of progressivism, but in some especially ugly areas, not so far removed.  This eugenics movement was a logical byproduct of Social Darwinism.

More Evidence That Madness Has Not Completely Taken Over Canadian courts

In a ruling that references butter knives, euthanasia and cats named Slimey and Oinky, a Saskatoon judge made an impassioned defence of the notion that, when it comes to the law, dogs should not be treated as though they were children.
The Court of Queen's Bench judge made his case in a written decision about a dispute between a divorcing Saskatoon couple who disagreed about where their dogs Kenya and Willow (sometimes "Willy") should live.
"Dogs are wonderful creatures," wrote Justice Richard Danyliuk in the first sentence of his 15-page decision in August.
"Many dogs are treated as members of the family with whom they live. But after all is said and done, a dog is a dog. At law it is property, a domesticated animal that is owned. At law it enjoys no familial rights."
The wife wanted the case treated as a child custody dispute. She argued she should keep Kenya and Willow and offer visitation rights to her estranged husband. 

Always Fun To Watch How Little White Progressives Know About Black Lives

Obama's Support For Gun Control Only Applies to the Law-Abiding

Obama (and the rest of the progressive movement) have repeatedly claimed that their support for gun control is to keep guns "out of the wrong hands."  We keep getting told that this means criminals and crazy people, but their support for assault weapon bans (which prohibit the law-abiding from purchase or possession) shows they are lying.  Worse, Obama now shows that gun control doesn't apply to criminals.  12/19/16 Washington Times:
President Obama pardoned 78 people and shortened the sentences of 153 others convicted of federal crimes Monday, the most individual clemencies ever granted by a president in a single day.
Forty-nine of the individuals had been convicted of firearms offenses.
For those who aren't aware of this: pardon and commutation authority for governors and presidents is because especially in previous centuries the legal systems were often not very good at properly handling appeals.  Theoretically these are supposed to handle gross injustices, or people whose long-ago convictions have been followed by exemplary subsequent lives--not as pay for play by the President or a state governor.  At least some of these pardons are of people where I can't disagree about the pardon:
PITTSBURGH (AP) — President Barack Obama pardoned a former Pittsburgh city councilman’s 46-year-old federal gun charge.
Seventy-three-year-old Sala Udin says he filed a formal request for clemency four years ago and had given up hope when he was surprised on Monday.
The civil rights advocate served seven months of a five-year sentence on charges of illegally transporting firearms and untaxed alcohol.
Udin was driving to Pittsburgh from Mississippi, a state he first visited as a Freedom Rider, when he was pulled over in Kentucky in 1970. The officer found an unloaded rifle and a jug of moonshine in Udin’s vehicle. 
I didn't even know this was a crime.

Some are very old crimes that might have involved people who have since lived reformed lives:
• Donald Lee Gilbert — Phoenix
Offense: Interstate transportation of a stolen motor vehicle (District of Maine)
Sentence: Two years’ probation (October 19, 1964)
Some are mostly crimes against big corporations that are no longer in favor:
• Kenneth Shannon Meadows, a.k.a. Kenny Shannon Meadows — Celina, Tenn.
Offense: Manufacture, assemble, modify, sell and distribute electronic devices for the unauthorized decryption of direct-to-home satellite television services (Western District of Kentucky)

Sentence: Three years’ probation, conditioned upon six months’ home confinement; $36,424 restitution (August 25, 2003)
Others seem to be serious gun control violations.  12/19/16 Washington Post:
Theresa Marie Bishop, a.k.a. Teresa Clark — Pittsburgh
Offense: Knowingly disposing of a firearm to a person convicted of a crime punishable by a term of imprisonment exceeding one year (three counts); falsification of firearms purchase forms (two counts) (Western District of Pennsylvania)
Sentence: Three years’ probation, conditioned upon one year of home detention (December 8, 2006)
• Bryan Scot Sandquist — Gig Harbor, Wash.
Offense: Felon in possession of a firearm (District of Oregon)
Sentence: 40 months’ imprisonment; three years’ supervised release (November 4, 2002) 

Yak Trax

I bought these Yak Trax recently for ice walking.  All of my criticisms are adequately warned of in the manual; this is so you know before ordering. Much like studded tires and tire cable chains (to which they have strong similarities) this product has strengths and weaknesses. I bought these after a severe slip and fall last week on my driveway, which has aspirations to be a glacier. Yes, it is noticeably better at traction than the usual shoe sole. You still need to walk carefully to avoid slipping. These break through the ice and make it harder to slip, but they aren't perfect. The performance strap intended to make them suitable for running was impossible for me to figure out how to install. Anyone stupid enough to run in these will likely be visiting an emergency room.  (Only run in the E/R parking lot.)

Worse, they are a bit of a hazard on smooth, uniced surfaces such as inside your house and some fancy building lobbies.. I walked through my house, which has tile floors, and fortunately felt myself slipping in time to grab a door frame. Like studded tires, I suspect that walking on hardwood floors would damage the surface. (Tile is pretty resistant.) They are not very easy or quick to remove or install; I suspect that it would more sense to have these on one pair of shoes only used for glacier walking; you should leave them at the front door

Hard Left Companies Being Sued

12/20/16 USA Today:
SAN FRANCISCO — Facebook, Google and Twitter are being sued by the families of three victims slain in the mass shooting at an Orlando nightclub for allegedly providing "material support" to the Islamic State.
The lawsuit, first reported by Fox News, was filed Monday in federal court in the eastern district of Michigan on behalf of the families of Tevin Crosby, Javier Jorge-Reyes and Juan Ramon Guerrero.
The lawsuit is the latest to target popular Internet services for making it too easy for the Islamic State to spread its message. In June, the family of a California college student killed in last year's terrorist attacks in Paris sued Facebook, Google and Twitter. Keith Altman, the attorney representing the three families in the Orlando nightclub lawsuit, also represents the family of that student, Nohemi Gonzalez, in the Paris terrorist attacks lawsuit.
Not saying that there is merit to the suit, but because the left is so fiercely pro-Islam, this is entertaining.

More Global Warming

12/20/16 Daily Express:
Snow in the SAHARA: Desert sees snow for the FIRST time in 37 years

Pakistani Arrested After Truck Terrorist Attack

Berlin (AFP) - A sudden bang -- and then everything went dark.
Survivors of the carnage caused when a lorry ploughed into a Berlin Christmas market recount the fear and horror they felt when festive revelry turned to death and destruction in a matter of seconds.
Many also told of lucky escapes and chance decisions that meant they were not standing in the path of the truck that mowed down the crowd on Monday, killing at least 12 people.
This isn't the first such Islamist truck massacre.  Think back to the Bastille Day attack.  What next?  Vehicle licensing?  Too late.

The Pakistani has been released.  12/19/16 Daily Mail:
Tonight German police faced difficult questions about their investigation after they released the only suspect they had in custody, saying there was not enough evidence to tie him to the rampage.  
Naved B, a 23-year-old Pakistani asylum seeker, had been detained in the immediate aftermath of last night's carnage following a tip-off from witnesses. But Naved B, who had no blood on his clothes and no injuries, denied having anything to do with bloodbath. It means the killer lorry driver remains on the loose and armed with a gun.

Read more: Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook
12/21/16 CBS News reports:
A new suspect in the deadly terror attack on a Christmas market in Berlin has been identified.
Law enforcement sources told CBS News that police are searching for Anis Amri, a native of Tunisia. The sources said Amri left personal documents in the truck that rammed into the market on Monday, killing 12 people and injuring nearly 50 others. German media outlets have identified the Tunisian man as an asylum seeker who was registered in the North Rhine-Westphalia in Western Germany.