Thursday, March 30, 2017

AIrbnb's Web Page Needs Some Help

I reserved the wrong property.  The host immediately saw my mistake and told me to change my reservation, but when I tried to do that, airbnb's change reservation page gave me a list of other properties, most with identical names and no way to specify the item nbr provided by my host.  Their phone number tells you change through the webpage and there is no email or phone number for other queries.

Transparency in Science

The House has voted to require EPA to release the data on which policies are made. 3/29/17 Associated Press:
A bill approved Wednesday by the GOP-controlled House would require that data used to support new regulations to protect human health and the environment be released to the public.
Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, said "the days of 'trust me' science are over," adding that the House bill would restore confidence in the EPA's decision-making process.
Connecticut Rep. Elizabeth Esty and other Democrats said the bill would cripple EPA's ability to conduct scientific research based on confidential medical information and risks privacy violations by exposing sensitive patient data.

How Dare rthe VP Put His Marriage First?

PJmedia reports:
Late Tuesday, The Washington Post's Ashley Parker published a story about Vice President Mike Pence's relationship with his wife. By Thursday morning, thousands of liberals had attacked Pence as a sexist bigot for simple steps he reportedly takes to honor his wife and avoid any appearance of infidelity in their marriage.
"This is a medieval vision of every man as an incorrigible adulterer or rapist, lest he be restrained by his wife's presence by his side," tweeted Arnand Giridharidas, an author who used to write for The New York Times.
What is Mr. Medieval doing?  
In 2002, Mike Pence told the Hill that he never eats alone with a woman other than his wife and that he won’t attend events featuring alcohol without her by his side, either.
He won't be alone with any woman other than his wife, and no events ivolving alcohol without his wife.  The left of course is calling this "Muslim Brotherhood" and "shari'a law."   What would have happened if President Clinton had followed those rules?

Perhaps Just An Attempt to Put One Over On the Rubes...

But unlike Obama and Clinton, he at least knows what the rubes want to see:
Obama didn't even have enough contact with Americans to know what we wanted to see.

Removed Snow Tires Too Early

It is spring and we are having a snowstorm that got me slipping a bit on ID 55.  I believe a penguin just flew by my window, with a grizzly bear wearing a jetpack in hot pursuit.

Russian Ties to the White House

No, not the current White House, the last one.3/26/17 The Daily Caller:
John Podesta, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s 2016 national campaign chairman, may have violated federal law by failing to disclose the receipt of 75,000 shares of stock from a Kremlin-financed company when he joined the Obama White House in 2014, according to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Investigative Group.
Joule Unlimited Technologies — financed in part by a Russian firm —  originally awarded Podesta 100,000 shares of stock options when in 2010 he joined that board along with its Dutch-based entities: Joule Global Holdings, BV and the Stichting Joule Global Foundation.
When Podesta announced his departure from the Joule board in January 2014 to become President Barack Obama’s special counselor, the company officially issued him 75,000 common shares of stock.

Read more:
John Podesta has filed a cease-and-desist order against The Daily Caller for slanderous and libelous statements,  Not only sent to the wrong address, but Daily Caller's claim is based in part on a third party report.  Any claim of libel against Daily Caller would require proof that they knew this third party report was false, or failed to properly investigate their claims.  This is a very high standard to meet.  Podesta is out of luck.

Projection again?  Or are the extraterrestrials that worry Podesta the source of his concerns?
"There are a lot of planets out there," Podesta answered, when asked if he believed there were other living beings out in the universe. "The American people can handle the truth."
The handling the truth line should be familiar to anybody who watched The X-Files, a show about a pair of FBI agents who investigated things like UFO sightings.
Podesta also repeated the line in his forward to the 2011 book by Leslie Kean entitled "UFOs: Generals, Pilots, and Government Officials Go on the Record."
"It's time to find out what the truth really is that's out there. The American people—and people around the world—want to know, and they can handle the truth," he wrote.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017


I guess that we are headed to Fairbanks for Northern Lights at end of April!  Today is our 37th anniversary so a great gift.  Have any of you used Airbnb as an alternative to traditional lodging?  What was your experience?  Some of the choices are $20-$30 a night cheaper, with a kitchenette, allowing us to spend another night or two to improve our odds.

North Korea

I get a bit of survivalist email focused on EMP and nuclear war, which I generally ignore because it seems unlikely.  So imagine my surprise to read this 3/29/17 The Hill article by R. James Woolsey and a lesser known public official asserting that North Korea probably has the capability to deliver fission and possibly fusion bombs on the U.S.--perhaps even a crippling EMP attack from their two satellites.  I keep hoping that the Air Force's robotic space plane  has satellite killer capacity.

This isn't just paranoia promoted by our military-industrial complex.  Japan is doing mass evacuation drills in preparation for North Korean attack,  Japan is discussing revising their Constitution to allow a pre-emptive strike.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Who is Responsible for Drug Addiction?

3/28/17 Washington Post:
Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri demanded information Tuesday from five top opioid manufacturers, saying she would investigate their alleged role in the drug epidemic responsible for more than 200,000 overdose deaths since 2000.
“This epidemic is the direct result of a calculated sales and marketing strategy major opioid manufacturers have allegedly pursued over the past 20 years to expand their market share and increase dependency on powerful — and often deadly — painkillers,”
McCaskill, who is the ranking Democrat of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, wrote to company executives. “To achieve this goal, manufacturers have reportedly sought, among other techniques, to downplay the risk of addiction to their products and encourage physicians to prescribe opioids for all cases of pain and in high doses.”
McCaskill sent letters to Purdue Pharma, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Insys Therapeutics, Mylan, and Depomed, which she said make the top-five-selling prescription painkillers. She is seeking sales and marketing materials, any studies the companies might have conducted about the addictive properties of their drugs, information on compliance with legal settlements and figures on donations to advocacy groups.
The problem is real, nut notice it isn't individual addicts, or prescribing doctors.  Sort of like blaming gun makers for "overmarketing" of guns.

Too Many Whites Attend Your School; We're Cutting Funding

NORTH HOLLYWOOD, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Outrage has grown at Walter Reed Middle School in North Hollywood, as the school faces layoffs and increased class sizes due to a law limiting funds for schools with a higher white student body.
The Los Angeles Unified School District provides more funding for schools where the white population is below 30 percent.
In a letter to parents, the district noted the highly regarded middle school had been above the percentage for the past couple years.
The racial formula was a condition imposed by court decisions dealing with desegregation in the 1970s.
In the South until 1948, black schools were underfunded because, "Those people aren't going to college; how good an education do field hands need?"  But that wasn't the case in California.  One of the reasons for the Serrano decision that changed school district funding in the 1970s was that wealthier districts had more property taxes available to fund schools.  Poor districts had cheaper real estate and thus, lower property taxes.  But that's completely separate from race.  Ladera Heights was a heavily black, expensive neighborhood.

Even if there was some argument in the 1970s for increased funding for non-white schools to compensate for past wrongs, that's decades ago.  Whatever flaws there were should have been overcome by now; two generations of kids later..


Muscle ache, sinus congestion, awful coughing clearing the lungs, sore throat, mild fever.  Delsym for the cough; acetaminophen for the muscles; antihistamine for the sinuses.  I am beginning to think that having contact with people, except electronically is a mistake.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Bad Idea: Having Someone Photograph You Committing a Felony

From one of the Antifa groups.  Note the Antifa wearing brass knuckles; which can be charged either misdemeanor or felony. Now the link is in.

Leftists Demonstrating With Guns in Phoenix

At least, that was my first impression upon seeing about 40 or so assorted anarchists, Brown Berets, and members of a group calling itself the Phoenix John Brown Gun Club across the street from the state Capitol, openly armed to the proverbial teeth.
I was late to the pro-Trump "Make America Great Again" march, which began at Cesar Chavez Plaza — after some confusion about the demonstration's starting at the now past-tense "Patriots Square Park" — and ended at the lawn of the Arizona Capitol.
So I headed straight to the Capitol, but the pro-Trump event was petering out. One of the cops present told me that the MAGA march consisted of a group of about 100.
However, across the street, on the Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza-side of 17th Avenue were the left-wingers, some of them masking their faces, some not. Many of them were armed with long guns. You know, just like the "patriot" groups.
Some comments on the article indicate that careful examination of the video reveals that some are Airsoft toys.  Hat tip to Shall Not Be Questioned.


My daughter and her family had it.  Then my wife had it for two weeks.  Now I have it.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

To Paraphrase the Eulogy at the Start of Chariots of Fire

Let us now praise great tools.  The Tapmatic RX50 is the second most expensive tool that I have ever purchased, and worth it several times over.  I just put a 1/4"-20 combo drill and tap in it, and in just a few minutes used my cheap Chinese drill press to drill and tap 16 holes in 1/8" thick aluminum.  It takes a bit of work to get the stop installed on the drill press vise, but once that is done and you master getting the wrenches properly tight with the rubber bushing going the right way, it is so cool!

Wiretapping Trump?

In 15 October, the US secret intelligence court issued a warrant to investigate two Russian banks. This news was given to me by several sources and corroborated by someone I will identify only as a senior member of the US intelligence community. He would never volunteer anything - giving up classified information would be illegal - but he would confirm or deny what I had heard from other sources.
Lawyers from the National Security Division in the Department of Justice then drew up an application. They took it to the secret US court that deals with intelligence, the Fisa court, named after the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. They wanted permission to intercept the electronic records from two Russian banks....
Neither Mr Trump nor his associates are named in the Fisa order, which would only cover foreign citizens or foreign entities - in this case the Russian banks. But ultimately, the investigation is looking for transfers of money from Russia to the United States, each one, if proved, a felony offence.
A lawyer- outside the Department of Justice but familiar with the case - told me that three of Mr Trump's associates were the subject of the inquiry. "But it's clear this is about Trump," he said.
I spoke to all three of those identified by this source. All of them emphatically denied any wrongdoing. "Hogwash," said one. "Bullshit," said another. Of the two Russian banks, one denied any wrongdoing, while the other did not respond to a request for comment.
The Deep State will do whatever it takes, including pretending that Trump is paranoid about stuff the Deep State's media outlets admit.

Check Your Cisgender Privilege

From the University of Oregon's List of Cisgender (you have male genitals and think you are a man, or vice versa for women) Privileges:
  1. I am a size and shape for which clothes I feel comfortable wearing are commonly made.
When I was younger, I would go into Sears to shop for clothes.  I was not by any means thin.  I would even say I was close to obese.  And there were no dress shirts that fit me.  They were designed for men with gross beer bellies.  Eventually they started carrying shirts that had some relationship to a reasonably healthy man with some label thjat claimed that they were a more "European" fit.  This was nonsense, but they fit me.  I guess 18-20 I was lacking cisgender privilege.

Are there any Oregonians even slightly concerned at how their tax dollars are being spent?

A Logical Parallel to "I'm Feeling Female Today, I Get to Use the Ladies' Loicker Room"

Rachel Dolezal — who convincingly passed as an African-American civil rights activist in Spokane, Washington, until her inarguably Caucasian parents outed her as white in 2015 — is now stepping back into the spotlight in all her bottle-bronzed, afro-hair-extensioned glory.
Dolezal has penned a memoir in which she compares her travails to slavery and describes her harrowing childhood as a pale, blond girl growing up poor on the side of a Montana mountain.
As she toiled in the garden for her strict, Evangelical parents, she’d dream of freeing her inner blackness, Dolezal writes in “In Full Color: Finding My Place in a Black and White World.”
There are pictures of her as a teenager.  She is closer to the Aryan ideal than any of my kids.  At least the opening of The Jerk was a joke.  Not sure which publisher is bringing out this transracial nonsense, but it says loads about progressive self-delusion.

Fairbanks-Area Gun Rights Groups?

A reader suggested that if I am headed to Alaska for auroae, I should try to wangle an invite from one of Fairbanks area gun rights groups.  Suggestions?

Shooting on Las Vegas Bus

Assistant Sheriff Tom Roberts said the man, believed to be in his 50s, was riding on the second floor toward the back of the bus when he opened fire “indiscriminately.”
“He didn’t seem to have a motive,” Roberts said, adding the man appeared to have “mental issues” and was seeing things.
“He definitely was not really with it,” he said.
I will be curious to find out if there was any previous treatment history or warnings.

I Bought It on eBay

You may recall Weird Al's song of this title a few years back.  As much as it sometimes seems to be an online garage sale, there are some surprises.  ScopeRoller has historically used Jergens Quick-Release locking pins for the Toe Saver product.  These are a clever product; unless you press the button on the handle you need 9200 pounds of force to slide that pin through a 1/4" hole.  Of late these locking pins have climbed above $30 new.

On eBay I have found them for as little as $4.80, and comparably priced copies by Gibraltar.  These are new, and seem to be coming from companies that sell off remnants from larger firms.  There's no long-term supply at these prices, but these make the toe saver profitable again.  I don't sell more than 20 a year, so no problem.

Things You Don't Think About When Dating

Does this woman have goods spatial analysis capabilities?  Is she adept at seeing alternative mechanical design strategies?  The short answer turns out to be, "Yes."  We got high-centered on a fiber optics bundle raised mound in central Nevada in the 1980s.  I was pretty flummoxed, but she saw how to get us off.

More recently, as I looked for ways to reduce manufacturing and inventory costs for ScopeRoller several years ago, she saw a way to simplify the design so that four basic components covered 95% of the product line.

I have been working on a ScopeRoller product to provide mobility for Dobsonian telescopes like this:

There's no tripod and these are often quite heavy.  (Dobsonians are often signs of severe aperture lust; there must be a support group somewhere.).

I have been working on a design that conforms to ScopeRoller's current product line strengths: don't change the telescope's "footprint"; compact and light enough to ship in Priority Mail boxes worldwide; use of off-the-shelf raw materials (no specialized, custom parts); no new skills required (like welding).  I was fighting a losing battle around getting the holes and slots in three separate sheets of aluminum to align.  She suggested an alternative strategy which requires aligning holes in two sheets at a time: A bolts to B; B bolts to C.  In nerd terms, B is an interface between A and C. Another benefit is that instead of cutting slots in aluminum plate (which is very slow on the Sherline mill), I can solve the problem of how to get a 1/4"-20 bolt to screw into a threaded hole holding B and C together by using a 3/8" through hole.  This allows for a few hundredths of an inch misalignment while still locking down tightly with washer

Friday, March 24, 2017

North Dakota Joins the Party

North Dakota's Republican governor signed legislation Thursday night that allows people to carry concealed handguns without needing a permit.
This makes North Dakota the latest of about a dozen states to adopt what gun rights proponents often call "constitutional carry," according to the National Rifle Association.
As Dave Thompson of Prairie Public Broadcasting reports, "The measure allows people 18 and older to carry hidden firearms without having to undergo background checks or training — as long as they're law-abiding citizens." Anyone who is eligible to possess a Class 2 firearm license and has had a valid driver's license or state ID card for at least a year may carry a concealed firearm.

North Dakota Goes Constitutional Carry  State 13.

208.4 Lbs.

Keeping track of calories along with regular tradmilling is doing the trick.  Another 25 tp go.

Great Moments in Bad Spam

Our actively developing company starts a  position of a letters reviewer for everybody who speaks English fluently to aid in dealing with our foreign employees. Your professional responsibilities will be reviewing our business text files and correcting spelling and grammar lapses that we could make. Your job responsibilities will include reviewing our business correspondence and fixing spelling and grammar  inexactness that we could make
The position consumes approximately 1-2 hours  per day. You may do it on your free time. Salary for the work done: Each 1 Kilobyte (1024 symbols) of text content is paid by $5
This message to you is ca. 1 Kb of size. In sum, it will  help you to make about $2500 per month
Country of residence: this position is only for US residents
If you are eager to become a part of our team,
please contact us via email: , add your Full name and location!
Count all the punctuation errors and wrong word choices.  Proof that the only people more stupid than those taken in are those trying to do the taking.  When I hunted heads, if a resume was profoundly broken English, I dismissed it, not for poor English literacy, but literacy so bad that they didn't think they needed someone literate to help them.

Aurora Borealis & Solar Rotation

I have seen the claim that aurorae here are on Earth are often synchronized with sunspot activity on the Sun.  Because the Sun does one rotation every 28 days or so, the previous 28 day aurorae are a pretty good predictor today.  Looking through this archive of aurorae data suggests that this is true.  This matters because aurorae are on our bucket list.  There are pretty good aurorae predicted for the 28th.  If money were no object, we would catch a plane for Fairbanks in a couple of days.  But leaving March 25 for a week is $930 per person. If the 28 day rotation cycle is correct, April 24-27 should also be good, and far enough out for $437 per person.  Even then there should be plenty of hours of dark sky.

It looks like there is still some snow risk in late April, so a 4x4 rental might be a good idea.  I know there are Alaskans reading this blog; enlighten me.

Peak forecast now March 28 -29.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Teaching Pigs Not to Steal Cars

I was standing in the checkout line and there was food product that promised "Pork Raised Responsibly".  Still imagining the pork raised by hippies.

And the Benefit Is?

3/22/17 Coloradan:
Fort Collins plans to appeal a federal judge’s decision to temporarily halt enforcement of the city’s ban on women appearing topless in public.
Attorneys representing the city on Tuesday notified the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver that they will appeal a preliminary injunction granted in February by U.S. District Court Judge R. Brooke Jackson that blocks a section of the city’s public nudity law.
In granting the preliminary injunction, Brooke stated he would likely rule in favor of members of the group Free the Nipple who sued the city claiming the ordinance violated the equal protection clause of the Constitution by discriminating against women.
I can understand how a literalist interpretation of the equal protection clause leads to this conclusion; any originalist interpretation makes hash out of their argument.  But more importantly, why is this important?  Are bikinis that uncomfortable?  Or are women not getting enough looks that require them to remind men to look half a foot higher when conversing?

Refugees As Victims

CHICAGO (CBS) — Robert Dekelaita cheated the immigration system like “a well-oiled machine,” the feds say.
When he found a client seeking asylum in the United States, typically from Iraq, the suburban attorney would quickly forge that person’s name on an application and pepper the person’s life story with horrific hardships, including kidnappings, bombings and religious persecution — all false. He drew inspiration from news articles he collected.
A fifteen month sentence.

Letter to Rep. Labrador (R-ID)

From what I can find out about the Obamacare revision bill, the GOP establishment is trying to revise Obamacare so that it changes very little.  Repeal it in full if Congress can't do any better.  I see also that there are no changes concerning interstate health insurance competition, which Idaho especially needs. Please vote against this pretend Obamacare "repeal."

Gun Control Works So Well

3/23/17 BBC:
Kent-born Masood, who died in the attack, was not the subject of any current police investigations, but had a range of previous convictions.
The 52-year-old was believed to have been living in the West Midlands.
The so-called Islamic State group has said it was behind the attack, in which PC Keith Palmer, Aysha Frade and US tourist Kurt Cochran were killed.
Masood drove into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge before crashing his car into railings and then running into the grounds of Parliament, armed with a knife. He stabbed PC Palmer and then was shot dead.

So Much for Mandatory Maternity Leave as a Sign of Respect

3/20/17 Australian Daily Telegraph:
Sarrah Le Marquand: It should be illegal to be a stay-at-home mum...

Rather than wail about the supposed liberation in a woman’s right to choose to shun paid employment, we should make it a legal requirement that all parents of children of school-age or older are gainfully employed.

Amusing Art

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Fake News

My friend Dan Gifford has a nice article about how fake news is usually coming from bought and paid for MSM journalists.

Ever Wonder Why Commenting Every Piece of Code You Write is Important?

I am trying to figure how some JavaScript I wrote  several years ago for the ScopeRoller website works.  Not enough comments, and I don't remember what tools I used to debug this with.  Some browser with built-in debugger?

American Health Care Act

GOPe is pushing this bill; conservatives are unhappy.  This summary of it tells me why.  GOPe is trying to amend Obamacare on the edges.    Concerning selling insurance across state lines?  No change.  The big insurers  are terrified competition might lower their profits.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Removing Microaggressive Gym Equipment

Instapundit linked to this tragic 3/17/17 Sydney Daily Telegraph news story of a Canadian university removing scales from the gym to avoid offending SJWs:
They’ve simply removed the offending item:
Carleton University officials have removed the scale inside its campus gym so students don’t stress about their weight.

The scale was reportedly removed about two weeks ago in an effort to mesh with current health trends that prioritize well being over a focus on weight.

1.  Don't get on the scale.

2. Numbers are an objective reality; they care nothing for your wounded sense of self-worth.

3. Weight is not the only measure of health, and not necessarily the best such measure.

4. Weight reduction is best accomplished by portion control (one slice of pizza; one bite of hot fudge sundae; one plate at Madhuban's lunch buffet) not exercise.  Finally hit 209.0 lbs. this morning.

Relearning SED

I needed to use sed to alter the gCode files each time I remade them.  I had forgotten so much from when I wrote Unix shell scripts every day, but like riding a bike without a seat, once you learn it, it comes back.

I Believe the Formal Term is Projection

3/20/17 Sun:
“The Korean People’s Army will reduce the bases of aggression and provocation to ashes with its invincible Hwasong rockets tipped with nuclear warheads and reliably defend the security of the country and its people’s happiness in case the US and the South Korean puppet forces fire even a single bullet at the territory of the DPRK.”
If there is anyone capable of reducing another country to ashes, it is the U.S.  This idiot needs to look at a map.  Even destroying a few U.S. cities would only be a small part of our nation.  With North Korea, the limiting factor is preventing overflow onto South Korea and China.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Determining Bend From Pressure

There are a lot of calculators visible that calculate how much a material will bend under load.  I needed this for an upcoming ScopeRoller product.  My favorite name so far: the Sagulator, intended for determining shelf sag with data for every type of wood that I have ever heard of, and many that I have not.

I would love to have the actual formula using Young's modulus, load, and dimensions.

Not Everyone Has 100Mbps Internet Service

The loading of webpages on the laptop that controls the CNC mill is awful.  I have about 6 Mbps out here.  (You don't want to see the way I have cobbled this together.)  Many websites, such as PJMedia and many newspapers, have so much advertising and other stuff loading that the temptation to skip them is very strong.  One friend stopped visiting PJMedia because they were too slow to wait for.

My website is pretty quick because it is barebones HTML, for this very reason.  ScopeRoller has a bit of Javascript, but is still pretty quick.

North Korea Must Have the Highest Concentration of Yes-Men on Earth

‘If a single bullet is fired, we WILL nuke the US'

Don't know what Obama's response might have been, but I think that can say with some certainty that a successful North Korean attack on US bases, or even a serious attempt to hit US with a missile, regardless of actual warhead, would lead to Trump using the "football" to incinerate Pyongyang and everything for 50 miles around it.

Why Public Opinion Surveys Require Large Bags of Salt

Pew’s 2016 survey asked about bans on high capacity magazines and “assault-style weapons.”  In spite of several decades of mass murders often inaccurately reported as committed with such weapons, only 54% supported such bans.[1]  Yet Gallup in 2016 found only 34% supported such bans.[2]  Regardless of which is correct (and the enormous disparity on this question raises serious questions about the validity of the polling methods), the gun culture includes a substantial part of American society.

Other surveys seem to indicate declining gun ownership.  The National Opinion Research Center’s General Social Survey reports a decline in gun ownership from 47.0% to 31.0% from 1973 to 2014.  While the percentage refusing to answer the question rose from 1.0% to 3.2% during that period, this is not enough to explain the 39% in the 2016 Gallup survey and 31.0% in the NORC poll.[1] 

[1] NORC, “Trends in Gun Ownership in the United States, 1972-2014,”, last accessed March 7, 2017.

[1] Pew Research Center, “Opinions on Gun Policy and the 2016 Campaign,”, last accessed March 7, 2017.
[2] Art Swift, “In U.S., Support for Assault Weapons Ban at Record Low,”, last accessed March 7, 2017.

That Whole Russia/Trump Thing

3/16/17 The Intercept points out that prominent Democrats are now lowering expectations:
The latest official to throw cold water on the MSNBC-led circus is President Obama’s former acting CIA chief Michael Morell. What makes him particularly notable in this context is that Morell was one of Clinton’s most vocal CIA surrogates. In August, he not only endorsed Clinton in the pages of the New York Times but also became the first high official to explicitly accuse Trump of disloyalty, claiming, “In the intelligence business, we would say that Mr. Putin had recruited Mr. Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation.”
But on Wednesday night, Morell appeared at an intelligence community forum to “cast doubt” on “allegations that members of the Trump campaign colluded with Russia.” “On the question of the Trump campaign conspiring with the Russians here, there is smoke, but there is no fire at all,” he said, adding, “There’s no little campfire, there’s no little candle, there’s no spark. And there’s a lot of people looking for it.”...
Morell’s comments echo the categorical remarks by Obama’s top national security official, James Clapper, who told Meet the Press last week that during the time he was Obama’s DNI, he saw no evidence to support claims of a Trump/Russia conspiracy. “We had no evidence of such collusion,” Clapper stated unequivocally. Unlike Morell, who left his official CIA position in 2013 but remains very integrated into the intelligence community, Clapper was Obama’s DNI until just seven weeks ago, leaving on January 20.
Perhaps most revealing of all are the Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee — charged with investigating these matters — who recently told BuzzFeed how petrified they are of what the Democratic base will do if they do not find evidence of collusion, as they now suspect will likely be the case. “There’s a tangible frustration over what one official called ‘wildly inflated’ expectations surrounding the panel’s fledgling investigation,” BuzzFeed’s Ali Watkins wrote.

Interesting Lawsuit

SAN JOSE (KCBS) – A federal judge is giving Donald Trump supporters the green light to pursue their lawsuit against the city of San Jose. The plaintiffs accuse the city for not protecting them during a campaign rally last year.
The Trump supporters in this case claim that San Jose police officers intentionally steered them into an angry mob of protesters, following a Trump campaign rally last June.
This is not a failure to protect suit.  Police are not obligated to provide police services, and individuals have no claim against governments that either intentionally or negligently fail to protect.  The allegation here is intentional puting them in harm's way, which would not surprise in the least for the city of San "Jose's my name and I don't have a green card."

Generally Not Sympathetic to Tech Companies Overblown Notion of Customer Privacy...

But this is way over the top.  3/18/17 Minneapolis Star-Tribune:
Issued by Hennepin County District Judge Gary Larson in early February, the warrant pertains to anyone who searched variations of the resident’s name on Google from Dec. 1 through Jan. 7.
In addition to basic contact information for people targeted by the warrant, Google is being asked to provide Edina police with their Social Security numbers, account and payment information, and IP (internet protocol) and MAC (media access control) addresses.
A spokesperson for Google, which received the warrant, said Friday: “We will continue to object to this overreaching request for user data, and if needed, will fight it in court. We always push back when we receive excessively broad requests for data about our users.”
Information on the warrant first emerged through a blog post by public records researcher Tony Webster. Technology website Ars Technica called the Edina warrant “perhaps the most expansive one we’ve seen unconnected to the U.S. national security apparatus.”
This involves a woman defrauded of $28,000, so there is a legitimate reason for seeking the responsible crook, but there has to be some less expansive solution.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

An Adam Sandler Movie Neither Vulgar Nor Crude

The premise of The Cobbler is simple; a shoe repair guy inherits a sole stitcher that enables him to put on repaired shoes and become the owner.  (Walk a mile in another man's shoes.)  It isn't really a comedy; more a light drama that is often romantic and touching; one of the more touching and positive films I have seen.  And when the last time you saw a film that opens entirely in Yiddish?
My wife loved it too, and says it is very much in the style of Gimpel the Fool, part of the Jewish folklore tradition. (That's what happens when you marry someone with an MA in Literature.)

Schedule K

Some of my investments are technically partnerships which give me a very complex form: K-1.  Even using TurboTax, this adds great complexity.  Why are partnerships treated so differently from dividend-paying stocks?

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Is This an Admission of "They Can't Make it on Their Own"

NBC New York reports:
New York education officials are poised to scrap a test designed to measure the reading and writing skills of people trying to become teachers, in part because an outsized percentage of black and Hispanic candidates were failing it.

The state Board of Regents on Monday is expected to adopt a task force's recommendation of eliminating the literacy exam, known as the Academic Literacy Skills Test.

Source: Test Meant to Screen Teachers Instead Weeded Out Minorities | NBC New York Follow us: @nbcnewyork on Twitter | NBCNewYork on Facebook

Seriously: if this test had some real value (as I presume it must or it would not have been required in the first place) but college-educated blacks and Hispanics are disproportionately failing it, what does that say about the quality of the bachelor's degrees and teaching certificate programs?  This news story is perilously close to something a racist would make up to denigrate the abilities of blacks and Hispanics.

Glad I Left California

2/27/17 Guardian:
One Apple employee was recently living in a Santa Cruz garage, using a compost bucket as a toilet. Another tech worker, enrolled in a coding bootcamp, described how he lived with 12 other engineers in a two-bedroom apartment rented via Airbnb. “It was $1,100 for a fucking bunk bed and five people in the same room. One guy was living in a closet, paying $1,400 for a ‘private room’.”
“We make over $1m between us, but we can’t afford a house,” said a woman in her 50s who works in digital marketing for a major telecoms corporation, while her partner works as an engineer at a digital media company. “This is part of where the American dream is not working out here.”
The progressive future.

I Want to Laugh

But this is a university, not a kindergarten.  3/14/17 CampusReform:
A University of Arizona classroom dialogue guide encourages professors to use the “Oops/ouch method,” where students who are offended in class say “ouch” and the offender responds with “oops.”
The guide, published by the Office for Diversity and Inclusive Excellence, provides outlines for how to encourage discussion about diversity in the classroom, explaining that “diversity poses both challenges and opportunities for a college campus.”...
One way to spur positive interactions and create a “safe space” in the classroom, the handbook claims, is to set a ground rule of using “Oops/ouch” in cases where one student offends another.
“If a student feels hurt or offended by another student’s comment, the hurt student can say ‘ouch,” the guide explains. “In acknowledgement, the student who made the hurtful comment says ‘oops.’ If necessary, there can be further dialogue about this exchange.” 
Or maybe that isn't really so different now?

If I stub my toe on a desk, and say, "Ouch," will the desk be reprimanded for not saying, "Oops"?

Atmospheric Nuclear Bomb Test Videos


Not the Future I Was Expecting in 1974

A transgender dad and daughter from Detroit are revealing their incredible journeys as they transition from mom and son.
Corey Maison, 15, first told her parents she identified as a girl four years ago, but it was not until last year she learned that her mother also struggled with her gender identity. The pair are now leaning on each other as they transition together.

Data Display Debugger

DDD is a really cool GUI front end to gdb and many other command line debuggers for Linux.  I am using it because I could not get Eclipse for C to work on LinuxCNC, and emacs and DDD work very well (although not as nice as an IDE).  There are a couple unobvious aspects to DDD that I am blogging about because someone else is probably getting bit by these as well.  If so, this is so you find it when searching.

When you File->open program, you get a list of your home directory.  Clicking on the directory where your program resides won't show your program in the list until you hit the Filter button.

Like all such debuggers, you need to give the command line arguments to use.  There is theoretically some way to set this through the menus.  Never got it to work that way.  Type run in the command line window, and copy and paste your arguments afterwards.  Then hit enter.  Otherwise, when you click the Run button, those arguments will not be used.  I spent a lot of frustrating time trying to figure out why the command line arguments (other than argv[0] (the program name) were not visible when they were clearly present when I ran make in a Terminal window.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Fun With Slots

I was having a hard time getting the slots in the plate to match the slots in the caster base: why did I assume they were symmetrical?  Scratching the interior of those slots with an awl disabused me of that idea.

Another Unreasonable Request

For a very shortly to be finished editing law review article (Friday deadline), I need de Tocqueville's
Journey to America (Westport, Conn. : Greenwood, 1981), 95, 281.  That exact edition I am afraid. shows 9 libraries with a copy.  Can you scan those two pages for me?  If you find it, make sure you read the section of touring the wilderness north of Detroit where after two days of travelling through complete wilderness, he chances on a cabin where they keep a pet bear!

Thanks to Professor McCullough for getting them for me.
San Francisco, CA 94102 United States
Book Book535 miles
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Buena Vista University
Ballou Library
Storm Lake, IA 50588 United States
Book Book1000 miles
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Hillsboro, KS 67063 United States
Book Book1000 miles
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Ranger College
Golemon Library & Learning Resources Center
Ranger, TX 76470 United States
Book Book1200 miles
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Hammond, IN 46323 United States
Book Book1400 miles
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Milligan College, TN 37682 United States
Virginia Union University
L. Douglas Wilder Library & Learning Resource Center
Richmond, VA 23220 United States
Book Book2000 miles
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Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary
Ryan Memorial Library
Wynnewood, PA 19096 United States
Book Book2100 miles
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Durban, 4001 South Africa