Saturday, July 30, 2016

Entering Mordor

Wildflowers at the 1983 Quake Escarpment

Dangerous Idaho Wildlife

It's 20 foot wingspan.  If it carries you away, watch out!

More Scenic Idaho

Just downloaded pictures from my little Canon.
On the road to Lowman:

Sawtooth Range:

Microsoft HomeGroups

A constant source of struggle.  But leave homegroups on all PCs, create a homegroup then join on all the others, even under Windows 10 and everything works.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Now I Understand What Happened at Canadian Customs

I have been watching a series called Border Security: Canada's Front Line which is apparently a spinoff of a similarly named show about Australian border security.  As I mentioned several months ago, when my wife and I flew to Edmonton looking for Northern Lights, we were sent to a station in Calgary (our first landing in Canada) called Secondary Inspection, where were questioned in a rather detailed way about why we were visiting Canada.  "Northern Lights" produced no laughter but it was clear the officer did not believe us.  Then they questioned us about our criminal history (none), and if we knew anyone in Canada.

From watching this show, it appears that Secondary Inspection is where the shady or suspicious sorts are sent to get them to trip up and say something that provides a reason for more detailed searches or questions.  I had no idea we were such shady looking characters!

Watching this show gives the impression that potheads from California have been shaving off IQ points that they can't afford to lose.  Many of these people did not bother to find out what Canada's pot laws are, just assuming that because Canada has medical marijuana, they can bring it with them because they have a California medical marijuana card (in many cases for treating teenaged ennui).  Canada does not allow importation of marijuana, and many of these fools were sent home.

First rule of lawbreaking: figure out your story and stick to it!  Contradictory answers make them dig until they can prove you wrong.  First rule of decent people: tell the truth.  It's easier to remember than a contrived story.

Compression Shims

When I first started making the ScopeRoller product, I made the sleeve that goes onto the tripod leg by boring out a recess in a cylinder of acetal.  I tried to make them +-.001 of the diameter of the tripod leg.  As you might expect, the results were frustrating.  Not everyone measured their legs correctly, and manufacturing variances from lot to lot, especially for Meade and Celestron, were often substantial.

How do you bore these?  Start by making a hole slightly smaller than you want.  I did this by drilling a pilot hole with a drill, then used a series of progressively larger Forstner bits.  (Forstener bits are primarily intended for making smooth flatbottomed holes in wood, but they work great in acetal; not so much in aluminum--I tried once.) As a result, I have a Forstner bit set that goes from 1/8" to 2 1/8" diameter, and one monster that is 2 3/8" diameter.  The rest look like dwarves by comparison.

I put the Forstner bits in the drill press and found how slowly these cut acetal.  I started hanging weights on the bar that lowers the dell bit down.  This way, I could start it, and come back every few minutes, allowing manufacturing and blogging to operate in parallel.  Once at that diameter and depth, you put in the lathe and use a boring tool to get the precise diameter you need.

This was slow and frustrating for the reasons described above and my wife had a brilliant idea over dinner: Make sleeves that fit various similar sized legs.  In many cases, they are within .1" of each other in diameter.  So I started using round aluminum tubing for the sleeves in which the legs go.  I use hex head bolts to hold these onto the legs, which tends to get everything centered in the sleeve.

Customers were happy and I have since switched to square or rectangular tubing: easier to center and tap the holes for the hex head bolts.  But I really wanted to improve centering in the sleeves and protect the tripod legs from being marred by those hex head bolts.  The distance from interior of sleeve to leg is typically .1" or less.  So now, I ship these with what I call "compression shims," cut from .020", .032", .050" or .100" aluminum.  Four of them go between the hex head bolts and the tripod leg, both reducing space and spreading the bolt's load over more area.

How well do they work?  In the manufacturing process, I put the tube sections into a larger square tube in which I have bolts threaded to lock the sleeve in place.  Originally I did this for round tubes.  (It is not easy to clamp a round tube with a C-clamp.)  But when I ratchet down these bolts on to the tube, it leaves little circles that have to be sanded out for cosmetic reasons. Today, I used some of the .050" and .100" shim aluminum between bolts and tube being held, and no little circles on the aluminum.  So if ratcheting doesn't push damage through the shim then customers using a small wrench should not be a problem either.

So many lessons learned.

Lenovo USB Dock 3.0

I have a Lenovo USB 3.0 Dock (not sure if 3.0 is a version number or just indicates USB 3).  It has an Ethernet connector, and to simplify taking the notebook with me, I was using that port instead of the built-in one on the notebook.  But it has never worked real well, so I have been plugging my Ethetnet cable into the notebook.  I have seen complaints by other Lenovo users about this.  The solution?  Disable the built-in Ethernet port under Network and Sharing Center->Change Adapter Settings, and enable the USB Ethernet port.  Then reboot.  It appears that having both enabled even with only one plugged in was causing IP address conflict problems.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Blogging Will Be Light For a Day or So

The guy putting up siding accidentally stapled the cable from the roof antenna down the wall.  Not surprisingly, removing the staple did not solve the problem so I am using mobile hotspot on my cell phone to blog this.

Remember the Biggest Victims of ISIS Are Muslims

7/27/16 CNN:
A suicide bombing killed 48 people, among them women and children, Wednesday in northern Syria, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
A truck bomb exploded near buildings belonging to a Kurdish security agency and other governmental departments in the city of Qamishli near the border with Turkey, CNN's Nick Paton Walsh reported. The observatory said 140 people also were hurt.
ISIS claimed responsibility and said in a statement that one of its members drove a truck rigged with explosives to reach the Kurdish administrative complex where defense, interior and military recruiting departments operated.

    Glad to Know They Aren't Angry

    7/27/16 BBC:
    France responds to attacks with calls for peace and understanding

    Ultimate Agricultural Vehicle

    I hate the soundtrack.  Turn down your volume first.

    Tuesday, July 26, 2016

    Somewhere Out There

    is a law review article by Steve Halbrook that quotes Sen. Shields concerning the Mailing of Firearms Act.  I can't find it.

    UPDATE: Thanks to all.  Steve Halbrook saw my request on a mailing request and provided the titles.

    1920 and 1930 Memphis, TN Population By Race

    This should be easy to find, right?  As with all google-fu, the trick is the right phrase.  "Fourteenth Census" at p. 110.

    Cockroach Milk? Is That Like Chicken Lips? Or Hen's Teeth?

    7/25/16 Science Alert:
    Scientists think cockroach milk could be the superfood of the future
    I can hardly wait for cockroach sirloins.

    So Glad Japan Has Gun Control

     At 1:37 a.m. Tuesday, security cameras recorded a black car entering a parking lot, then a man getting out of the vehicle and moving toward a building.
    That was the start.
    The man, apparently using his first-hand knowledge of the buildings that form the Tsukui Yamayuri-en residential center for the disabled, took a hammer and smashed a first-floor window. He then climbed inside, tied up some, maybe all, of the eight caregivers on duty, stole a set of keys and began a bloody rampage.
    In the worst mass killing in Japan in about 80 years, the 26-year-old local man identified as Satoshi Uematsu went through the locked rooms of the care facility, where he had worked until February, and stabbed 45 people in less than an hour.
    By the time he was done, 10 men and nine women would be dead or dying, and 26 would be injured. Twenty of those would be in critical condition, some with deep stab wounds to their necks....
    A few days later, Uematsu told his colleagues that there was no point in seriously disabled people living, so they should be euthanized.
    The colleagues alerted police, triggering a chain of events in which Uematsu was involuntarily committed to a psychiatric hospital, where he tested positive for marijuana use — a highly illegal substance in Japan — and was diagnosed as having drug-induced psychosis. Twelve days later, he was cleared for release, with doctors declaring that he no longer presented a threat. 

    Paging Charles Martel

    7/26/16 UK Daily Mail:
    One of a pair of ISIS knifemen who stormed a church in Normandy before slitting the throat of an elderly priest has been named as known terror threat Adel Kermiche. The 19-year-old 'ISIS soldier' was being monitored with an electronic ankle tag after he was arrested for twice attempting to flee France to join the terror group in Syria.Despite having been released early from prison, Keriche's bail conditions allowed him to roam unsupervised between 8.30am and 12.30pm, leaving him free to murder the priest in the attack carried out between 9am and 11am.Kermiche and his accomplice - also known to French police - forced 84-year-old Father Jacques Hamel to kneel before filming themselves butchering him and performing a 'sermon in Arabic' at the altar of the church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, according to witnesses.Both were shot dead by police marksmen as they emerged from the building shouting 'Allahu Akbar' following the attack that also left a nun critically injured.French President Francois Hollande, who visited the scene today, said the country is now 'at war' with ISIS after the terror group claimed responsibility.

    Read more: Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

    If only the U.S. was at war with ISIS.

    FTP Not Working?

    Suddenly, FileZilla, an open source Windows FTP client isn't working.  It claims to upload, but it doesn't.  So I tried WinSCP and it is impossible to navigate the source directory to My Documents.  So cmd, and ftp.  That won't let me do an ls on the remote end.

    Weirder and weirder.  The file is uploading, but reloading the web page doesn't show the new version.

    Monday, July 25, 2016

    Sanders Has Such Classy Supporters

    7/25/16 U.S. News & World Report:
    Later on Monday afternoon, the “March for Our Lives” put on by the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign, will march toward the convention’s main venue in South Philadelphia, with nearly 1,000 confirming attendance on Facebook.
    The anti-poverty group on Thursday also plans to host a bean banquet before Clinton’s acceptance speech and then send people to the Wells Fargo Center to let the nominee smell what they think of her.
    Cheri Honkala, national coordinator for the campaign, said some Sanders delegates will participate in the anti-Clinton “fart in,” but has declined to identify them until the day of the mass flatulence event.

    My Mother Has Been Dead Since March, And I Am Still Getting Emails From Her

    Or some spammer who hijacked her account.

    Remember Why People Contribute Big Money to Campaigns

    Another amazing email from the DNC hack:
    Begin forwarded message:  > From: Cookie Parker > Date: May 14, 2016 at 11:59:58 AM PDT > To: "Lindsay W. Rachelefsky" > Subject: State Dinner Countdown > > Lindsay, > > What is it going to take for me to get invited to a State Dinner? > > > I have done more for the Administration than a lot of these people who have name recognition. I have been patient and not kicked up a stink because it is not my style. But as the Obama Administration winds down, I am feeling very down about this. I never received any kind of commission appointment. Other than the holiday parties that everyone gets invited to and the African leaders dinner, I have never been invited to any of the small gatherings or concerts, much less a real state dinner. I raised a lot of money for the DNC for both cycles, got someone to give a $1m to Priorities USA, and here I sit venting and feeling very much under appreciated. Plus not even feeling better for venting. But thanks for listening. > > Cookie

    Sheer Scale of Sleaziness of the DNC

    Gateway Pundit has a list of fascinating stuff in the DNC emails.  One of the more amazing is this:
    Sign our petition calling on the Clinton campaign to stop bending campaign finance rules to their breaking point, and immediately transfer all the money allowable to the state parties participating in the "Hillary Victory Fund."  
    Here's how the scheme works for the Clinton campaign:

     Rich people like Alice Walton of Walmart who have already contributed the maximum amount allowable to the Clinton campaign can contribute an additional $350,000-plus to the Victory Fund.  The first $33,400 of her contribution is supposed to go the DNC, and the rest divided up between participating state parties. But that's not what's been happening. The Victory Fund has mostly been doing one of two things with Ms. Walton's money:

    1. Taking that money and spending it on advertisements and small-dollar fundraising solicitations. Then they take all the small-dollar contributions and data reaped from Alice Walton's contribution and transfer it directly to the Clinton campaign. This tactic is basically a way for them to benefit from a contribution much larger than the legal limit from Alice Walton. 
     2. They take Alice Walton's money and transfer it to state parties, who then immediately transfer it to the DNC. Often times they do it without the state party even knowing because the Clinton campaign controls many of the bank accounts involved. 
    So at the end of the day, most of the state parties have received exactly $0 from their Victory Fund arrangement. So, now that we know the Clinton campaign is taking advantage of state parties to skirt fundraising limits on her presidential campaign, it's time for her to do the right thing and let the state parties keep their fair share of the cash:

    Sunday, July 24, 2016

    How Many Rain Forests Does Germany Have?

    Why else would you have a machete?  7/24/16 Reuters:
    A 21-year-old Syrian refugee was arrested on Sunday after killing a pregnant woman with a machete in Germany, the fourth violent assault on civilians in western Europe in 10 days, though police said it did not appear linked to terrorism.
    The incident, however, may add to public unease surrounding Chancellor Angela Merkel's open-door refugee policy that has seen over a million migrants enter Germany over the past year, many fleeing war in Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq.
    German police said they arrested the machete-wielding Syrian asylum-seeker after he killed a woman and injured two other people in the southwestern city of Reutlingen near Stuttgart.
    The Syrian had been involved in previous incidents causing injuries to others, and had apparently acted alone, a police spokesman said.
    "Given the current evidence, there is no indication that this was a terrorist attack," a police statement said.
    "The attacker was completely out of his mind. He even ran after a police car with his machete," the mass-circulation Bid newspaper quoted a witness as saying. A motorist knocked down the attacker soon afterward and he was then taken into custody by police, the witness told Bid. The police spokesman said the man was being interrogated after receiving medical treatment.
    Glad they have gun control over there, or someone might have been killed!


    7/23/16 FoxNews:
    Secretary of State John Kerry said in Vienna on Friday that air conditioners and refrigerators are as big of a threat to life as the threat of terrorism posed by groups like the Islamic State.
    The Washington Examiner reported that Kerry was in Vienna to amend the 1987 Montreal Protocol that would phase out hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs, from basic household and commercial appliances like air conditioners, refrigerators, and inhalers.
    “As we were working together on the challenge of [ISIS] and terrorism,” Kerry said. “It’s hard for some people to grasp it, but what we–you–are doing here right now is of equal importance because it has the ability to literally save life on the planet itself.”

    Another Terrorist Attack in Germany

    AT LEAST one person has been killed following a suspected suicide bomb attack at a wine bar in Germany.
    Police say up to 12 other people were injured in the blast in Ansbach, near Nuremberg, three of them critically.
    Ansbach's mayor Carda Seidel said the inferno was caused by an explosive device.
    The horrifying incident occurred at 10.30pm local time at Eugen's Weinstube in the city’s old town.
    The man has been killed is the suicide bomber and the explosive device he was carrying went off accidentally, according to police. 

    What do you?  Unitarians, Lutherans, or Baptists?

    Trump Wants to "Build the Wall"

    The DNC built a fence.  7/24/16 American Mirror:
    To the Democratic National Committee elites, keeping average Americans away from their convention is a good idea, while protecting the southern border from intruding terrorists, rapists and murderers is a bad one.

    The DNC has erected a four-mile fence around its convention site at Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center. (Isn’t it ironic they’re doing so much to protect a site named after a bank?)

    Trying to Use Both Hands to Type

    One of the most long lasting consequences of my stroke is inability to touch type.  The right hand is still not very coordinated, so I often can't figure out how to get to characters off the home keys.  (That apostrophe in the last sentence was a struggle!)  I am trying to get that coordination back by touch typing again.  Like all such rehab, it is slow and frustrating.  I am going to try and resume touch typing when I blog (or bog, as the case may be).

    My neurologist told me that I was fortunate to be left-handed because in lefties, speech is often in the right hemisphere, and my left hemisphere stroke pretty well left my language capacity alone!  Left hemisphere strokes cause right side paralysis, which is what I experienced!

    Saturday, July 23, 2016

    It's 1968 again!

    Then: McCarthy's Children's Crusade mobilizes millions of idealistic, naive young people in a Children's Crusade only slightly less damaging than the first one.  The corrupt party regulars give the nomination to Hubert Humphrey, a longtime moderate Democrat, enraging far left of the party.  Riots in the streets of Chicago at the Convention.

    Now: 7/23/16 The Hill: "Clinton VP pick could face liberal ire" and 7/17/16 Philadelphia Inquirer:
    With the Democratic National Convention and an attendant influx of protesters a week away, the city is suggesting businesses bring in loose planters, take down flags, and secure commercial dumpsters "to avoid misappropriation by demonstrators."

    Then: Republicans pick Nixon, a Republican even many Republicans consider ":Tricky Dick."

    Now: Republican leadership hates Trump so much, many will vote for Clinton.

    Then: Race riots and racial hatred made many Americans very responsive to Nixon's calls for "law and order" (rendered especially ironic by Watergate).

    Now: Obama's racial healing of America makes "law and order" one of Trump's catch-phrases.

    "I Studied the Trigonometry"

    Great line as delivered by Mr. Bean.  I was wondering why my slope cutting program was not cutting at the right angle.  It has been a long time since I took trig; Nixon was President.  But after some analysis, I discovered C's trig functions expect the angle to be in radians, not degrees.  Problem solved!

    Some video of the mill cutting slopes in scrap acetal:

    At the bottom of the slope, I move back up the slope to clean debris and smooth the surface.

    I was still struggling with the program at this point, so it was cutting about a 30 degree slope when I asked for 45, but eventually I straightened that out.  You will notice that the mill is moving on a diagonal, not cutting a staircase.  Of course the diameter of this mill requires several passes a few fractions of an inch apart.  

    Someone had told me you have to use a ballnose end mill to get a smooth diagonal.  That's not true.  If you use a roughing mill (as I did at one point) you get a very rough diagonal.  This is a finish mill doing the cutting.  I have a variety of sizes of end mill from 1/16" diameter finish up to a 3/4" finish mill and a 1/2" roughing mill. The larger the diameter the longer they are, allowing deeper plunges into the material because the extra diameter makes them stronger and less likely to break.

    Obviously, you use a chop saw for cutting large pieces to 0-45 degrees, but my chop saw won't go beyond 45 degrees, and there is no easy way to hold a narrow workpiece at the inverse angle (cut a 60 degree angle by flipping it 90 degrees and cutting a 30 degree angle).  The mill is also useful if you need an angle cut in a piece with a very precise length, or a part not easily held in a chop saw.

    Definitely An Occasion for Jokes

    As news reports of a gun massacre in Munich crossed the Atlantic Ocean on Friday, the President of the United States was cracking jokes.
    Barack Obama delivered a brief update to reporters at the White House about the still-unfolding shooting rampage that left the German city on lockdown.
    Eight are confirmed dead, and 10 injured.
    The president was speaking to law enforcement agents at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, adjacent to the White House. 
    But as cameras rolled on the somber moment, Obama grinned and chuckled – and drew laughs from his audience – about his elder daughter Malia leaving the nest and heading for college.

    Read more: Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

    What a jackass.


    I now treadmill 40 minutes seven days a week.  Speed 2.0-2.2 mph.  Burns about 200 calories per session.  When I misbehave and have a personal pizza (390 calories) I can feel better about it by two treadmill sessions.  I originally started this to lower my blood pressure, which it does, but I have an hypothesis: there is evidence that atherosclerosis is an inflammatory response to high blood sugar (thus explaining the comorbidity of diabetes and heart disease, and why statins reduce heart disease; they are an anti-inflammatory).   Walking and running both reduce heart disease and diabetes risk.  My guess is that regular exercise burns through a lot of blood sugar.

    When I started doing this, I found it something I dreaded.  ("Dread the tread.")  Now, I don't mind it, and it gives me more energy when I am done.  Lowered blood pressure is good for all of you; but the relationship between high blood pressure and ED suggests that a cost of a treadmill will pay for itself in reduced Viagra prescriptions.

    Friday, July 22, 2016

    So What Party Was Promoting Bigotry Against Atheists?

    7/22/16 UK Independent:
    The Democratic National Committee - a supposedly neutral organisation - apparently hatched a plan to try and undermine Bernie Sanders’ campaign against Hillary Clinton by getting someone to claim he was an atheist.
    The Sanders campaign for months complained that people in the DNC were biased in favour of the establishment candidate, Ms Clinton. The campaign even sued the DNC to allow it access to its voter database.
    Now, the release of a more than 20,000 internal DNC emails byWikileaks, suggests that senior DNC officials plotted against Mr Sanders. 
    An email from May 2016 and sent from DNC CFO Brad Marshall suggested that they should “get someone to ask” Mr Sanders his views on religion,
    “It might may no difference, but for KY and WVA can we get someone to ask his belief. Does he believe in a God. He had skated on saying he has a Jewish heritage. I think I read he is an atheist,” wrote Mr Marshall. 
    “This could make several points difference with my peeps. My Southern Baptist peeps would draw a big difference between a Jew and an atheist.”
    The email was sent to DNC Communications Director Luis Miranda and Deputy Communications Director Mark Paustenbach. The email did not mention Mr Sanders by name but he was the only Jewish candidate in the Democratic race - apparently something that was considered a weakness by Mr Marshall, and which party thought it could exploit in favour of Ms Clinton.
    If the RNC did this, we would see it on every news shw as evidence of bigotry and anti-Semitism.  But the DNC does it and crickets chirping.

    Silver Polishing

    I recently inherited half of my mother's 12 setting sterling silver service.  One of my sisters wanted the other half.  I really don't see silver as better than stainless, which keeps a bright shiny finish, while silver requires scullery maids to keep it polished and that's both economically and philosophically impossible for me.

    I used some silver polish and an electric toothbrush.  Should I take it a professional silver polisher or is that what you should expect from sterling?

    This is by Gorham, apparently a pretty fancy product, used at the White House by many administrations.

    The Mailing of Arms Act (1927)

    This is the federal law that prohibits mailing handguns through the post office.  The Congress before it was passed debated the bill and Senator Shields (D-TN) did a Bloomberg explanation:
    Fifty-three negroes killed by negroes.  Only seven negroes killed [by\ whites.  Only two whites killed by negroes--one a white burglar and the other assassinated by negro bandits....
    Here we have laid bare the principal cause for the high murder rate in Memphis--the carrying by colored people of a concealed deadly weapon, most often a pistol.  Can we not cope with this situation?

    All of this is on p. 3946, but I have included the whole discussion for context.  A reader points out that the word by was left out of the original.

    Is Islam Compatible With Western Civilization?

    7/21/16 Telegraph:
    A Moroccan-born man who stabbed a French mother and her three young daughters at an Alpine holiday village said he had been offended after the father "scratched his inner thigh" in the presence of his wife, according to the prosecutor.
     He also reportedly shouted "Allahu Akbar" (God is great) three times when questioned after Tuesday's attack.
    The 37-year old was arrested at the Alpine resort of Garde-Colombe, near Laragne, in southern France.The youngest girl, aged 8, was rushed to hospital in Grenoble with a punctured lung. Her mother, 46, and sisters aged 12 and 14, were being treated at the hospital in Gap, closer to the scene of the attack. Their injuries were serious but not life-threatening.

    Why Can't We Have European-Style Gun Control?

    Munich police are hunting for a possible three gunmen who they believe have carried out an attack at a shopping centre and McDonalds restaurant.
    On Twitter, the local forces said shootings had taken place at Hanauer street, which is the location of both the Olympia shopping center and the adjoining McDonalds.
    Reports of the gunman's behaviour were confused and contradictory.
    A Muslim woman told CNN that she heard the gunman yell: "Allahu Akbar," yet video footage showed a gunman ranting against foreigners and Turks, suggesting a Neo Nazi attack.

    Yup, Presbyterians again.

    7/22/16 CNN:
    Police searched for attackers, found a man who had killed himself and concluded he was the only gunman, the police chief said.The unidentified gunman was an 18-year-old German-Iranian who had lived in Munich for more than two years, Chief Hubertus Andrae told reporters

      If True,. They Are Incompetent

      Given its massive size and the alleged public safety interest in regulating handguns in public, one might think that the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (“LASD”) would keep a list or database of people it has issued a license to carry (“CCW”).
      But if you believe that the LA Sheriff’s Department–an agency that had a budget of over $2.5 Billion (!) in 2010–would be able to tell you who can legally carry a gun in into Starbucks under their “unfettered” discretion, and where “only a select few are granted the special privilege,” you would be mistaken. (CBS, Inc. v. Block (1986) 42 Cal.3d 646, 652 [230 Cal. Rptr. 362, 725 P.2d 470].)
      In response to a request for public records submitted by The Calguns Foundation on June 14, 2016, LASD said that they have no such list or record that shows the current number of people licensed by them to carry handguns.

      More likely, those on the list probably match up well to campaign contributors the last sheriff's election campaign: one of those forms of corruption the Left likes.

      Thursday, July 21, 2016

      Why Gun Control and Mandatory Background Checks Are Needed

      before every law enforcement officer hires a prostitute.  7/21/16 Radar:
      After a four-year fight, Radar can reveal some of the shocking content of 6,441 never-before-seen government documents exposing astounding corruption in the agency charged with protecting our leaders.
      “A male Secret Service Agent assigned to Puerto Rico had his issued firearm stolen by a male prostitute who he solicited online,” reads one sensational report dated May 2, 2014.
      Require background checks of prostitutes before servicing law enforcement.

      To be fair this is one agent in an agency that has long had by far the most squeaky clean reputation.  People ready to take bullet for the "President are probably remarkably idealistic.  Still, thefts of guns from law enforcement (especially federal law enforcement) are very common, and no gun control law will fix that.

      Wednesday, July 20, 2016


      If you are one of those people who thinks House of Cards was just too cheerful, positive, and an optimistic view of how the federal government works, you might like Hostages.  As the description on Netflix reveals, a surgeon's family is taken hostage so that she will make sure the President does not survive an upcoming lung cancer operation.  It has more plot twists than a big city sewage system, and similar contents, with bad guys, really bad guys, a few good guys (usually dead part-way through) and some flawed good guys who achieve moral clarity and redemption from the horrible choices they have to make.

      You will be continually surprised by each episode.  The bloodiest part is the lung cancer surgery in the last episode.  One of the bad guys goes to confession, and the priest  emphasizes that absolution requires confession, leading to his part in ending the tragedy on a fairly positive note.

      The beginning of the series I would call dark and cynical, but the First Church of Satan would sue me for defaming darkness, and the Cynics Liberation Front would sue for defamation of a relatively modest abstraction.

      Anyone Besides Me Remember What Happened Today in 1969?

      "That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for Mankind."

      I can remember watching it on television on our back patio in Santa Monica.  Talk about pride in being an American!

      College Professor Suggets Mass Murder as Solution to Gun Violence

      On Facebook.
      Look, there's only one solution. A bunch of us anti-gun types are going to have to arm ourselves, storm the NRA headquarters in Fairfax, VA, and make sure there are no survivors.

      This action might also require coordinated hits at remote sites, like Washington lobbyists.
      Then and only then will we see some legislative action on assault weapons.
      Have a nice day.

      Liberalism in action.

      Need Some Help

      The Mailing of Firearms Act (1927) prohibited sending handguns through the post office.  I have seen a quote from a proponent that the goal was to make it harder for blacks to get handguns since they murdered people frequently with concealed handguns.  I think it might have been Sen. Shields of Tennessee.  Can you find this quote?

      Found the citation from my blog last year.  65 CONG. REC. 3945 (1924)

      Monday, July 18, 2016

      Great NRA Ad

      Symbolism Means Little

      Except to the White House Exterior Lighting Symbolism Committee.  It was pink for breast cancer, rainbow colored for gay marriage--but not blue for cops murdered by Black Lives Matter (Except When Blacks Kill Them).


      We have Western Siding residing our house.  The original siding was rotting because of snowbanks against it.  It's expensive but not because of materials but labor.  One guy is doing it, Richard, who seems very meticulous.  It's plastic, but metal might last 50 years instead of 30.  I won't be here
      (or anywhere physical) in 50 years.

      Here is the old color, sort of sage green.

      This is the insulation layer that goes under the siding, improving heat and cold loss.

      Here is the partially complete east wall, showing the sunny Colonial yellow:

      North wall is mostly complete.  These are the LED light fixtures that are replacing the originals, now badly battered by our hurricane force winds.

      The roof is next month.  The manufacturer is supplying replacement shingles under warranty plus a check for labor.  That plus homeowner's insurance should pay for a new roof.