Monday, January 29, 2018

Are There Any Collectors of Early American Republic Coins Out There?

I need the diameter of the 1790s U.S. half dollar coin.  There is an English visitor who describes a local firing at a half dollar at 50 yards and hitting it.

Thanks.  Many found authoritative sources showing 32.5mm.  This is an absurd MOA, so perhaps partly luck, but likely also an excellent shot.

Doubtless a Coincidence

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Dennis Peron, an activist who was among the first people to argue for the benefits of marijuana for AIDS patients and helped legalize medical pot in California, died Saturday at 72....
San Francisco's Board of Supervisors recognized Peron, suffering with late-stage lung cancer, with a certificate of honor last year.
It's natural; how bad can it be?

This Might Be Useful For Organizing Your Pictures

I mentioned recently that I need to organize my astrophotos, which are generally organized by date taken, scattered amidst thousands of other pictures.  I really wanted a single folder of astrophotos without breaking their date context.  Windows 7 and likely later has the equivalent of Unix symbolic links!  Right click on a picture and Create Shortcut.  This creates a shortcut to the picture in current folder, which you can then drag to another folder so all your astrophotos (or your quilting pictures or your silly cat pictures) appear in one place.  Of course these are links to the original, not copies, so they take up very little space and if you click on a link and edit it, it changes the original photo, which can be good or bad, depending on your goal.

If you select multiple pictures, you can Create Shortcut on all at once.  They will be scattered in filename order, which makes it harder to drag just the shorts, but sort by size and you can drag just the links (typically 11K in size),

Note: symbolic links to directories are not advised.  I symbolically linked a directory, then deleted the link in my astrophotos directory and it deleted both link and original directory.

Found a few lost gems:

Thanks for Clearing That Up!

1/26/18 KTSP:

On Thursday, 20-year-old Mahad Abdiaziz Adbiraham pleaded guilty to stabbing two men at the Mall of America.
The incident occurred on Nov. 12, where authorities say he stabbed two brothers in a dressing room at the mall's Macy's.

At the plea hearing Thursday, Abdiraham's attorney read a statement — which is public record — to the courtroom, which explained why he attacked the two men.
n the statement, Abdiraham said he went to the Mall of America to answer the "call for jihad by the Chief of Believer, Abu-bakr Al-baghdadi, may Allah protect him, and by the Mujahiden of the Islamic State."
The statement added, "I understand that the two men I stabbed know and have explained the reason for my attack, and I am here reaffirming that it was indeed an act of Jihad in the way of Allah."
Abdiraham also said in the statement that Americans will not be safe as long as "your country is at war with Islam."
So glad that Trump's paranoia has no factual basis.  And closing the article:
If authorities determine the stabbing was an act of terrorism, there could be more legal consequences for Abdirahahm.

Sunday, January 28, 2018


I thought weaning Tater off of Prozac might alleviate the inappropriate urination problem.  He is certainly in much better spirits now that he is mostly free of it.   He is sitting on my lap right now,  purring  up a storm.   But there was an unfortunate discovery today.  Perhaps we need to finish getting him off the Prozac.  I am skeptical of psychiatric medications because so often the side effects make people wonder if they are better off ill.  (Asks maybe cats!  And no,  Tater does not have access to the assault rifles!  Our the dog would be in trouble!)

Does Walther PPK Hold Open on Last Shot?

I have had an American Arms PX for many years.   It is a licensed copy of the PPK in. 22LR, although not anywhere near as nicely made or finished.  I think it cost me a bit more than $100, so I am not upset.   I was watching a YouTube video,by a guy trying to figure out why his PK-22 (apparently a close relative: looks identical) would not reliably extract and feed the next round.   A little polishing of the chamber solved the problem.   I noticed his pistol locked open on an empty magazine.   Mine does not.  Do real PPKS do so?  Is there perhaps a problem with whatever part is pushed up by the magazine follower?   All 3 magazines exhibit this behavior so I doubt it is a magazine problem.

Anything Good Was the Previous Administration; Anything Bad is a Republicans' Fault

1/27/18 New York Times:
LONDON — A decade after the world descended into a devastating economic crisis, a key marker of revival has finally been achieved. Every major economy on earth is expanding at once, a synchronous wave of growth that is creating jobs, lifting fortunes and tempering fears of popular discontent.
No tidy, all-encompassing narrative explains how the world has finally escaped the global downturn. The United States has been propelled by government spending unleashed during the previous administration, plus a recent $1.5 trillion shot of tax cuts. Europe has finally felt the effects of cheap money pumped out by its central bank.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Really Need to Organize My Astrophotographs

Why Having a Retired Green Beret As Your Handyman Is Interesting

Our HVAC and general handyman is ex-Green Beret.  When he came up to do some repair work for us.  He brought along a Ruger RPC in .308 Winchester.  It is a set trigger currently set at a bit over 3 pounds with a 25x scope.  VERY nice and he reports getting .25 MOA groups at 900 yards.  His gun safe is underground,  and is something to cause apoplectic fits, perhaps fatal to Sen. Feinstein.  Remember the scene in the Matrix where Neo says we are going to need guns.   Lots and l lots of guns?

How Many Jobs Were Lost At Sam's Clubs?

Apparently the left is screeching on social media that the Wal-Mart bonuses mean nothing because they la aid of thousands of employees at Sam's Club.  I cannot find any totals, and this started last quarter

Forgotten Weapons

Youtube has a series of videos called Forgotten Weapons.   History of various odd little weapons.  One is a semiauto conversion of the SMLE bolt action rifle.

Another odd one is about a Norinco M14 clone that is available for sale in Canada and is not a restricted license weapon.   They also sell an 7.62x39mm variant.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Blue States Claiming Federal Government Cannot Reduce State and Local Tax Deductions

If you missed it, three blue states are going to sue the national government for effectively interfering in their high tax system of government.  Megan McCardle examines the several reasons this will not work.
It’s an unhappy time to be a high-income professional in a blue state -- or their governor. The new tax law, which caps the deduction for state and local taxes at $10,000, amounts to a roughly one-third increase in their effective state-and-local tax rate. That will be an ugly hit to the pocketbook.
They will fiercely resist any attempt to raise taxes further, bad news for mayors and governors who are often facing big pension holes that are eventually going to need to be filled with taxpayer money. Worse still, they will probably put pressure on said politicians to lower taxes. And some of them may start shopping for residences in lower-tax locales, taking their valuable, taxable incomes with them if they go.
Small wonder that officials in high-tax states are desperate to find some way to undo what congressional Republicans have wrought. A number of proposals have been floated in the last month, all of them interesting, none of them likely to work very well.
Call the Wah-bulance.  All the rich leftists now will own the consequences of their support for high taxes, by paying them without any federal assistance. As long as they do not move to flyover country and start destroying us.

A comment over there started with stats cannot go bankrupt, which led to the 14th Amendment's declaring all Confederate debt void, then, "So, crazy thought - if a state wants to declare bankruptcy, could they just devote some amount of money to a token insurrection of some sort?"

And: "You know, since November 2016, I have this strange affliction: I break out into smiles randomly and broadly. Uncontrollably so."

Swapped out the Old Compaq NC6000

I was using for the mill.  Thew one is now a perfect replacement with all keys working.  I have put the old one up on eBay as a working parts collection.  Sometimes the boot display appears briefly in red before vanishing.  Loose connector on the builtin screen?

Is This Commentary on Lincoln's Lack of Diversity Focus?

1/26/18 Idaho Statesman:
A 100-year-old statue of President Abraham Lincoln that has graced the grounds of the Idaho Capitol Mall since 2009 was defaced on Wednesday night — but there was no permanent damage to the statue in the prank, a state official said Friday.
Photos circulating on Twitter on Thursday showed the statue dressed in a pepperoni pizza costume. The face of the statue appeared to have rainbow colors on it.
Rainbow colors?  The Lincoln was gay claim reappears?

Why Women Should Occupy More Important Jobs

Because they can say #MeToo.  1/26/18 New York Times:
WASHINGTON — A senior adviser to Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign who was accused of repeatedly sexually harassing a young subordinate was kept on the campaign at Mrs. Clinton’s request, according to four people familiar with what took place.
Mrs. Clinton’s campaign manager at the time recommended that she fire the adviser, Burns Strider. But Mrs. Clinton did not. Instead, Mr. Strider was docked several weeks of pay and ordered to undergo counseling, and the young woman was moved to a new job.
Mr. Strider, who was Mrs. Clinton’s faith adviser, a co-founder of the American Values Network, and sent the candidate scripture readings every morning for months during the campaign, was hired five years later to lead an independent group that supported Mrs. Clinton’s 2016 candidacy, Correct the Record, which was created by a close Clinton ally, David Brock.
Her faith adviser?  Like Bill Clinton was her respect for women adviser?

More Trump Evil

FEDEX is raising wages and enhancing pensions because of that evil tax bill.

Color Calibration of Printers

My wife wants a better match of colors on screen and on the color printer, and she is not being unreasonable.  I read about calibrating the monitor and do not want to spend money on a colorimeter.  There is a builtin color calibration tool in Windows 7, but the ViewSonic VP201b monitor on her computer will not allow me into the brightness/contrast menu.  (The 2 button is supposed to take you in, but does not.)  So under my color printer Printing Preferences, Color tab, More Color Options, I get this.

So I print out a color calibration image 
On photo paper, the gray bar on the left is too dark (more medium gray than light gray), yellow is my favorite car color (too yellow),   the cysn is too cyan, the green and magenta are too dark, the red is not quite red enough, and the purple is too dark.  Hey, white and black are fine!

I have done a small amount of fiddling with those six controls, but I must not be turning them up enough to make an obvious improvement.

I cannot see that adjusting the Color Options changes anything at all.

Disneyland, Contrary to How It Appears, Is Not Congress

1/22/18 Los Angeles Times:
Beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and their allies temporarily blocked a vehicle entrance to Disneyland on Monday, just as the Senate reached an agreement to end the government shutdown brought on in part by a stalemate over the young immigrants’ future.
The DACA recipients, commonly called Dreamers, stood in a crosswalk at South Harbor Boulevard around 10 a.m. and blocked buses from entering the Anaheim theme park. The 15 protesters were quickly removed by law enforcement officers and were relocated to a sidewalk, where they held signs and chanted, “No dream! No deal!”

As I mentioned in class tonight, "Open borders worked so well for the Indians."

Presented Without Any Snarky Comments

1/23/18 New York Post:
AL-RUMAHIYA, Saudi Arabia – The dromedaries paraded down a dusty racetrack as judges rated the size of their lips, cheeks, heads and knees. Crowds of men watched from the bleachers, hooting when the beasts representing their own tribe loped down the track.
A dozen beasts have been disqualified from this year’s Saudi “camel beauty contest” because their handlers used Botox to make them more handsome.
Now if there was a goat beauty contest....

This Must Be Fake News

But it does come from the California legislature's website:
AB 1884, as introduced, Calderon. Food facilities: single-use plastic straws.
Existing law, the California Retail Food Code, establishes uniform health and sanitation standards for, and provides for regulation by the State Department of Public Health of, retail food facilities, as defined, and requires local health agencies to enforce these provisions. Existing law requires, except as otherwise provided, a person who violates any provision of the code to be guilty of a misdemeanor with each offense punishable by a fine of not less than $25 or more than $1,000, or by imprisonment in the county jail for a term not exceeding 6 months, or by both.
This bill would prohibit a food facility, as specified, where food may be consumed on the premises from providing single-use plastic straws to consumers unless requested by the consumer. By creating a new crime and imposing additional enforcement duties on local health agencies, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
You brought me a straw without a request.  $1000 fine.  At what point is this a punishment disproportionate the crime?  Coker v. Georgia (1977) ruled that capital punishment for rape was disproportionate to the crime: a position that only a bunch of liberal white men could seriously claim.

More Trump Evil on the Deplorables

1/25/18 CNBC:
Home Depot is awarding its hourly employees in the U.S. a one-time cash bonus of as much as $1,000 following the passage of new tax legislation.
The bonus amounts will be determined based on a person's length of service, similar to Walmart's strategy. All of Home Depot's U.S. hourly workers will get at least a $200 bonus, a spokeswoman told CNBC, and the maximum payout is $1,000 for workers who've served at least 20 years.
The sliding scale looks like this, a Home Depot employee said after attending a company meeting regarding the news: 
Less than 2 years: $200 bonus
2 to 4 years: $250 bonus
5 to 9 years: $300 bonus
10 to 14 years: $400 bonus
15 to 19 years: $750 bonus
20+ years: $1,000 bonus
Home Depot declined to comment on these amounts.
I am very pleased.  It really does not seem like a particularly good job, so any little improvements are something that I as a customer can heartily approve.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Another African Leaders Expresses His Opinion of the Alleged Trump Remark

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni is praising President Trump for his frankness.
"America has got one of the best presidents ever," Museveni said during the opening of the East African Legislative Assembly in the Ugandan capital of Kampala, the BBC reported.
"I love Trump because he tells Africans frankly. The Africans need to solve their problems, the Africans are weak."

How Do I Overwrite an Ubuntu Linux With a Debian Linux

I installed the Ubuntu distro that came with the mill.  It looked odd, then I remembered that I had changed to a Debian distro instead.  How do I overwrite the singleboot Ubuntu with the Debian distro?

Two DVDs that both said Debian CNC.  One installs at boot, one does not.

Blast From the Past: Windows XP Pro

The Compaq NC6000 that I picked up cheap on eBay arrived,  and I am installing the CNC version of Linux,  and of course that means or starts up first in Windows XP, which feels very foreign now.  No need to dual boot.

This unit is so nice compared to the unit that almost works out there now.   No keys flying loose!

When The Monster Comes After Its Creator

1/24/18 American Mirror reports on DREAMERs picketing Schumer's house for not shutting the government down:
Illegal immigrants are biting the only hand willing to feed them.
Months after crashing a Nancy Pelosi press conference and causing her to lash out, DACA defenders converged on Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s New York City home and protested what they believe is his lack of intestinal fortitude for their cause.
That's one strategy to make yourself loved.

More Evidence of Weak Critical Thinking Skills

Glacial archaeologists are racing melting ice in Norway to rescue thousands of ancient artifacts exposed by climate change—revealing something surprising about a mysterious and little-known ice age.
A team of scientists from Norway and the United Kingdom working in the mountains of Oppland, Norway, have discovered more than 2,000 artifacts, including Iron Age and Bronze Age weapons, remains of pack horses and even prehistoric skis. Many are made from organic materials (like wood or animal hide) that archaeologists rarely have a chance to study; in pretty much every other environment, they would have decomposed. A paper describing the research was published in the journal Royal Society Open Science.
So the melt is exposing ancient human habitation.  This means we have been at this level of melt before.  Doubtless caused by the Bronze Age use of automobiles.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

More Trumpian Injuries to Middle Class Americans

Disney announced Tuesday it will pay over 125,000 employees a one-time cash bonus of $1,000, as well as make a new $50 million investment into education program for employees.
"We are directing approximately $125 million to our cast members and employees across the country and making higher education more accessible with the launch of this new program," CEO Bob Iger said in a statement.
Disney says both initiatives are due to recent tax reform. Some of the biggest companies in the United States have been giving out bonuses to employees, often citing the recently-passed tax bill as the motive. Boeing, AT&T, Wells Fargo, Comcast, Bank of America and Walmart are just a few of those distributing new tax benefits to workers.

For Those Who Thought Trump Would be Reluctant to Protect the Rights of Christians

1/18/18 NPR:
Health care workers who want to refuse to treat patients because of religious or moral beliefs will have a new defender in the Trump administration.
The top civil rights official at the Department of Health and Human Services is creating the Division of Conscience and Religious Freedom to protect doctors, nurses and other health care workers who refuse to take part in procedures like abortion or treat certain people because of moral or religious objections.
"Never forget that religious freedom is a primary freedom, that it is a civil right that deserves enforcement and respect," said Roger Severino, the director of HHS's Office for Civil Rights, at a ceremony to announce the new division.
The establishment of the division reverses an Obama-era policy that barred health care workers from refusing to treat transgender individuals or people who have had or are seeking abortions.
I love it!  A "primary freedom": one in the Bill of Rights.  My copy doesn't have any transgender right to be told, "There's nothing wrong with your delusions."  The ACLU is of course upset, and this appears on National Pervert Radio just ads whipped cream.

Od Piece of History

JFK bought an M1 Garand through the DCM program in 1959.

Be Glad That STEM is Hard

A 19-year-old former student at St. Catherine University allegedly set several fires across campus Wednesday in retaliation for U.S. military intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to charges filed Friday.
Tnuza J. Hassan, of Minneapolis, allegedly told police that “she wanted the school to burn to the ground and that her intent was to hurt people,” according to the complaint charging her with one count of felony first-degree arson filed in Ramsey County District Court.
According to the charge, Hassan said similar attacks happened on “Muslim land” and no one cared if Muslims were hurt. She told police and fire investigators, “You guys are lucky that I don’t know how to build a bomb because I would have done that.
Clearly, someone unaware of the rich resources of the Internet.  And people wonder why many Americans regard unlimited immigration from Muslim terror infested countries ias a bad thing.

In the shower I suddenly imagined the conversation at the counter of Billy Joe Bob's Reloading Supplies.

"Can I help you?"

In a strong accent, "I would like 5 kilograms of black powder."

A minute later, "Here it is."

"Now, where are the pressure cookers and ball bearings?"

"Just a second Ma'am.  They are in the backroom."

A few seconds later, "FBI?  I have someone down here you want to talk to."

It's My Emotional Support Javelina!

1/22/18 Washington Post article about how abuses of ADA leads to various animals in the passenger compartment:
Delta’s new requirements, which take effect March 1, retain those distinctions. Passengers with trained service animals will need to submit a veterinary health form at least 48 hours before travel to the airline’s new “Service Animal Support Desk.” Customers with emotional-support animals or psychiatric service animals must do the same but also must provide a letter from a doctor or mental-health professional and a signed document saying the animal is trained to behave in public. (Delta also recently expanded its list of prohibited critters, including “farm poultry,” hedgehogs and anything with tusks.)
The emotional support duck with what appears to be red shoes in the aisle i a riot.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Reorganizing The Shop

My wife cannot stand chaos,  so every few months she forces me to reorganize my shop,  and the result is almost always much better.   The chop saw is on a new stainless steel food prep table.  The mill now facts the rear garage door which we be nice when the weather improves.  The bandsaw is now on the rolling tool cart where the lathe used to be,  and the lathe is now on the workbench that used to be Chaos Central

Why Do Feminists Think Women Are Stupid?

Oxford University has extended time for maths and computer science exams in a bid to help women get better grades.
Undergraduates were given 105 minutes to complete their papers, rather 90.
There was no change in difficulty or the length of questions and female students were said to do better as a result.

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

The Formation of the Confederation of Northwest North America

From our vantage point of 2100, the formation of the Confederation of Northwest North America was not at all inevitable or unavoidable.  A series of overreaching moves within the political and media elites of the United States of America and the Dominion of Canada, and increasingly severe cultural divisions between Western and Midwestern states and provinces combined with fortuitous individual decisions of the officials and the polities which they represented created this major realignment of political structures in North America during the 20th century.

The proximate cause was the breathless discovery by the USA's scandal-seeking news media that many of the DC political players were frequenting "dating clubs" that advertised themselves as "relive your high school dates."   These clubs provided escorts that were claimed to all be adults pretending to look like the "girls you dated in high school or junior high" but were in many cases clearly not adults.  Legal challenges soon led to New York v. High School Dates, Inc. (2050) in which Justice Williams wrote that: "The right to a fulfilling relationship regardless of popular disgust and irrational prejudice precludes state enforcement of laws that deny the right of minors to make their own choices of sexuality and employment."  The associated decision, Minneapolis Mosque Association v. Minnesota (2050)  (also known as the "What Did Mohammed Do?" case) struck down state laws setting minimum marriage ages; it was decided on First Amendment free exercise of religion grounds.  Popular outrage in much of the USA was derided on CNN and MSNBC as evidence of narrow-minded puritanism of the sort that criticized same-sex marriage and transgender bathrooms a generation before.

As the extent to which coastal populations took this as just another expansion of freedom from the closemindness of "flyover country" (a term now largely out of date, derived from a  1976 New Yorker cover titled the View of the World From 9th Avenue, but used before the Wars of Secession to refer to the perceived contempt of non-coastal America by coastal elites), some state legislatures compared it to the Dred Scott (1856) decision, which imposed, to quote the North Dakota Secession Resolution of 2051 "a single national definition of a despicable practice as a constitutionally guaranteed right on every state in the Union."

Popular sentiment fueled by increasingly vigorous and vituperative discussions on social media soon put pressure on many state legislatures to demand either a constitutional amendment overturning High School Dates and similar decisions limiting state legislative sovereignty dating back into the 1970s, or secession.  News media continued to describe these efforts as "deplorables showing their racism, Islamophobia, and misogyny."  This simply raised the level of upset, comparable to Hilary Clinton (D)'s characterization of 1/4 of Americans as "deplorables" that led to the Administrations of Donald Trump (2016-2024) and then Ivanka Trump (2024-2032).

When Texas Gov. James "Jimbo" Jorgensen signed the secession statute in late 2051, he was only slightly leading the curve.  Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, the Dakotas and many other Midwestern states did so shortly thereafter.  All promised reunification if the USA would add to the U.S. Constitution what became known as the "Federalism, and We're Serious About It This Time" provision.

Unsurprisingly, the national government (no longer called the federal government by the seceding states because it was no longer federal at all, but a unified national government) demanded immediate rescission of these statutes and an end to state and local harassment of national law enforcement agents, many of whom had been arrested for being agents of a foreign government attempting to violate rights of citizens of the various states.  Failure to comply soon led to to the sending of Army units into the state capitals to arrest governors and legislators for treason.  Governors called up state National Guard units that ignored federalization orders and remained loyal to their state as well as unorganized militias to defend the state governments.  Facing 15,000 riflemen, tanks from the Texas National Guard, and dozens of small aircraft dropping Molotov cocktails on I-35 near Round Rock, Col. Ray Stefanovich decided that while victory could be his, the loss of life would likely be a PR disaster and withdrew.

Similar issues occurred when federalized California National Guard units attempted to seize the Nevada state government in Carson City.  The bridges leading east from Truckee were blocked with gasoline trucks filled with hardening cement and cemented to the road surface.  Nevada militias and Nevada National Guard units kept up a sufficient firestorm to prevent California National Guard units from using alternate routes.  Admittedly these units were largely manned by persons sympathetic to the secession movement, and they may not have tried very hard to complete their mission.

Coastal states joined in the orgy of denunciation of the rebels.  California pledged its undying loyalty to the cause of Progressive Union until April 15, 2052 when most of the low-population counties of the north and eastern edges of the state as well as many of the San Joaquin Valley counties declared themselves to be Northeastern California.  Gov. Francis "Fabulous" Hernandez ordered the California National Guard to arrest the ringleaders in these counties, but for some odd reason, most National Guard units were located in Northeastern California and the phones rang, but no one answered.

The USA had decommissioned most of the nuclear warhead ICBMs as part of the Iran Bilateral Denuclearization Pact of Pres. Chelsea Clinton's ill-fated 2032-2036 Administration in which Israel was destroyed by dozens of smuggled 400 kiloton bombs, followed by the surprising incineration of Qom and Tehran.  Military bases in the seceding states generally sided with the surrounding state, sometimes because of identification by servicemembers and sometimes because of starvation, as these bases were blockaded.  In a few cases, such as Nellis Air Force Base during Las Vegas, commanders loyal to the USA were informed by their subordinates that their services were no longer required at this work location.

The secession of Northeast California could have been resolved easily with paratroops and bombing raids, but most of these counties had low density populations and terrain well-suited toi guerilla warfare.  Many of the ringleaders were former Special Forces with bumper stickers like, "Dysfunctional vet--don't bother me."  The costs in money and PR made such efforts impractical. 

The remaining counties of California, the ones with the stunning views of the Pacific, were soon given a new name.  In Tweets, press releases and videos on the newly created website, "FreeTube," officials of Northeast California claimed that they owned the rights to California and that the counties of millionaires, $400,000 a year software engineers who could not afford houses, and their desperately poor domestic help, should be called the State of Granola: Fruits, Flakes, Nuts and Pretense.

Those stunning views of the Pacific?  You can't drink salt water.  Northeast California gave San Francisco and Los Angeles 30 days notice: "We hope you have big stockpiles of Evian.  We are closing the taps from Hetch Hetchy Reservoir and the Owens Valley."  While the California Aqueduct itself was unaffected, notice was served that Northeast California was now the primary use of the water behind Shasta Dam and Oroville Dam.  Silicon Valley pronounced itself up to the task of providing desalinization plants for the coast, but without the electricity from Hoover Dam and other hydroelectric plants now in Northeast California it was going to take a lot of photovoltaic panels.  A few weeks of empty pools, brown lawns, and Mexican gardeners dying of heat stroke suddenly reminded Granola why they needed to negotiate a friendly relationship with their neighbor upslope.    (The absence of warehouses of Evian soon drove 10% of Granola's remaining rational people into other states.)  Attempts were made to bring the rebel counties back into the Golden State, but after decades of being treated with contempt, the "deplorables" were disinclined to believe promises from Sacramento.

California also shared a problem with Oregon and Washington (both of which soon had calved into Eastern Oregon and Portlandia, and Eastern Washington and Western Washington).  Both had substantial international trade, but were also highly dependent on markets in the Eastern USA.  Steel and computers could be transported by ship, but produce going to the other loyal coast needed rail or truck transport.  The seceded states refused commercial air transport rights and taxed all goods travelling by truck and rail.  This provided the revenues needed on a short-term basis to operate these governments formerly dependent on federal funds.  Hydroelectricity from Bonneville Dam was suddenly much more expensive.  As Eastern Washington's Gov. Jerry Allen explained, "Hydro power is bad for the fishes.  We get that.  Okay, find your green replacement.  We can find other customers."

The Dominion of Canada's breakup had slightly less sordid aspects.  The prairie provinces had long resented Ontario's arrogant virtue signalling about energy and to a much lesser degree, the national firearms laws.  But the decision of the national government to implement a separate shari'a legal systems for Muslims seems to have been the camel's backbreaking straw.  The simultaneous  dissolution of the USA gave ideas to Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba.  Again, the oil and wheat fields gave them leverage with the eastern provinces, and being the only trade path from British Columbia gave them power similar to Eastern California's grip on Granola.

Alaska had long sustained an unrealistic independence movement, limited by the reality that you can see an aggressive Russian bear from Alaska.  Negotiations soon opened with the newly freed states and provinces.  (Texas decided it was too isolated by Colorado and New Mexico to join, and was big enough by itself.)  Yukon Territory, nearly as cantankerously independent in attitude as Alaska, joined in, bringing its uranium deposits and the Northwest Territories.

The Confederation Convention met January 1-20, 2053.  The final Confederation Treaty (intentionally not called a Constitution because the USA's Constitution had turned out to be a straitjacket for Godzilla very strongly declared that "All matters of internal civil and criminal law are the prerogatives of the people and their elected legislatures.... Interstate commerce refers only to the movement of goods that cross state borders." While creating a government explicitly and ad infinitum referred to as a federal government, the powers were severely limited to foreign trade and policy and disputes between the states.  Reflecting the issues that drove the dissolution of the USA, no lifetime federal judiciary werre dreated.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Automatic Voter Registration for Illegals

Los Angeles Times reports California will now automatically register to vote those who renew their driver's licenses.  California already gives licenses to illegals.  Glad to hear that Trump's concerns about voter fraud are paranoia.

Fact-Based Polling

Why was there wide support for health care reform before Obamacare?  I believe it was because 85% of Americans had coverage and generally good to excellent health care. They felt guilty about this and assumed that many Americans were not so blessed.  I wonder if these polls would have been different had they started out with statistics on% currently covered and satisfaction% of those not covered.  Ditto for gun control surveys. Provide some information,  such as declining murder rates before asking questions.  Close to push-polling, I agree, but informed opinions are often very different.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Proof That You Can Have Too Much Money

1/20/18 CNBC:
Nicholas Cage once blew $150 million on a private island and a dinosaur skull—here's everything he bought
Worth reading in full just to make sure you don't make the same mistakes when your ship comes in.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Clear Night

So I try to roll the big reflector out, and it is pouring up a fight.   Why?  I bring out my big flashlight and see that the steel plate on which the reflector and equatorial plate are mounted is bending at the edges where the caster's are located.  This, of course, l impairs the geometry,  making the caster's reluctant to roll on what is already only a so-so smooth surface.   These were never a problem before the platform,  and it had not added enough weight to cause this.   The way the polka attorney is mounted to the plate,  however, concentrates the weight closer to the center,  increasing deflection load at the edges.   Solution: buy a much stiffer steel plate, remove and replace,  this should,be a far less stressful experience than getting the platform on the plate the first time.  I have all the dimensions,  for one thing.  I shudder to think what a 1/4" thick 30" x 30" steel plate will cost.  Perhaps try Pacific Steel for a big piece of scrap?   How thick are trench plates?

My wife, who is very mechanically, gifted, suggested putting a 1/2" piece,of plywood under it.   I have a piece that is just slightly larger than the steel plate.   Weight testing with 130 pounds on it shows no flees at all.   I can remove the existing casters from the steel plate, drill corresponding holes in the plywoof, and reinstall the caster' through both sheets.

How Does It Show?

At the neurologist yesterday someone asked my wife and I how long we have been married because it was obvious that we were very much in love.   38 years in March.

I Think the Wall is Coming

1/19/18 Idaho Statesman:

Recent assaults by tactical teams on prototypes of President Donald Trump's proposed wall with Mexico found their imposing heights should stop border crossers, The Associated Press has learned, a finding that's likely to please security hawks but raise concerns about costs and environmental damage.
Military special forces based in Florida and U.S. Customs and Border Protection special units spent three weeks trying to breach and scale the eight models in San Diego, using jackhammers, saws, torches and other tools and climbing devices, a U.S. official with direct knowledge of the rigorous testing told the AP on condition of anonymity because the information was not authorized for public release.
Each model was to be 18 to 30 feet (5 to 9 meters) high, and contractors built at or near the maximum, which is roughly twice as high as many existing barriers. Ronald Vitiello, the agency's acting deputy commissioner, said after visiting the prototypes in October that he was struck most by their height.
"environmental damage"?  Environmentalist are claiming they are too tall for birds or insects.

Curious: This Suggests Schizophrenia

His girlfriend, Marilou Danley, who was in the Philippines at the time of the attack, told investigators that Paddock's behavior started to change in the year leading up to the shooting.
"Paddock had become 'distant' and their relationship was no longer intimate," the report stated. "Paddock was described as 'germaphobic' and had strong reactions to smells."
Danley said the pair stayed at Mandalay Bay in September 2017, and he was "behaving strangely."
Paranoia.  Schizophrenics have sensory data errors that cause hallucinations, including the belief that they smell bad, leading to multiple showers per day.  Paddock was way past the typical age for onset, but those numbers are only averages.

Worse Than the 1828 South Carolina Nullification Crisis

The state’s top cop issued a warning to California employers Thursday that businesses face legal repercussions, including fines up to $10,000, if they assist federal immigration authorities with a potential widespread immigration crackdown.
“It’s important, given these rumors that are out there, to let people know – more specifically today, employers – that if they voluntarily start giving up information about their employees or access to their employees in ways that contradict our new California laws, they subject themselves to actions by my office,” state Attorney General Xavier Becerra said at a news conference. “We will prosecute those who violate the law.”
Becerra’s warning comes as fears spread of mass workplace raids following reports that immigration agents plan to target Northern California communities for deportations due in part to the state’s “sanctuary” law, which seeks to restrict local law enforcement agencies’ ability to cooperate with immigration authorities.
South Carolina refused to allow enforcement of the new higher tariff.  Becerra is threatening huge fines if you obey federal law, which makes it a crime to harbor illegal aliens.

 8 USC 1324(a)(1)(A)(iii):
Any person who—knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that an alien has come to, entered, or remains in the United States in violation of law, conceals, harbors, or shields from detection, or attempts to conceal, harbor, or shield from detection, such alien in any place, including any building or any means of transportation;
A felony.

How Do You Know If Your Knife Is Legal?

To meet the first statutory requirement of the Gravity Knife Law, it is clear that a knife need not open by both gravity and the application of centrifugal force; if a knife opens by centrifugal force alone and the blade locks in place once released, the knife is an illegal gravity knife. ...

For instance, during questioning regarding Native Leather his deposition, plaintiffs asked D.A. Rather: "And did you ever have the circumstance arise where a knife passed the functional test with one person, but failed it with another?" (Rather Dep. 43:15-17.) D.A. Rather responded: "In a fashion. Gravity knives by law don't have to open each and every time. . . ." 

Thursday, January 18, 2018

When Even Warmists Are Pulling Back...

1/17/18 AFP quotes scientists who believe it is anthropogenic as warning:
That "known unknown" is called equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS), and for the last 25 years the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) -- the ultimate authority on climate science -- has settled on a range of 1.5 C to 4.5 C (2.7 to 8.1 degrees Fahrenheit).
Cox and colleagues, using a new methodology, have come up with a far narrower range: 2.2 C to 3.4 C, with a best estimate of 2.8 C (5 F).
If accurate, it precludes the most destructive doomsday scenarios.
"These scientists have produced a more accurate estimate of how the planet will respond to increasing CO2 levels," said Piers Forster, director of the Priestley International Centre for Climate at the University of Leeds.
Gabi Hegerl, a climate scientist at the University of Edinburgh who, like Forster, did not take part in the research, added: "Having lower probability for very high sensitivity is reassuring.
"Very high sensitivity would have made it extremely hard to limit climate change according to the Paris targets."

More of Trump's Maloevalence

1/18/18 Bloomberg:
U.S. filings for unemployment benefits plummeted to the lowest level in almost 45 years in a sign the job market will tighten further in 2018, Labor Department figures showed Thursday.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Why I Agree With Instapundit Thay An Internet of Things Is a Bad Idea

1/17/18 Weekly Standard presents a terrifying and likely possible risk of pilotless cars:
It's a calm Saturday morning in August of next year. Suddenly, across the nation, 12,000 Tesla Model S sedans start up at the same time. They engage Tesla's vaunted autopilot feature and head out onto the road. Some of them make their way to local gas stations. Some to electrical substations. And then, as they approach, they accelerate to top speed. The explosions are fantastic as the Model S batteries rupture and spark fires, which ignite anything flammable in the area. The power grid in the Los Angeles area is brought down almost immediately. Hundreds of fires rage. America is under attack. This might sound like science fiction. It's not.

CNN is So Bubblicious, They Do Not Realize How Silly They :Look

Despite President Trump’s positive health exam results, CNN simply won’t accept the White House doctor’s assessment.
Pundits who have not examined Trump parsed the results and drew conclusions likely intended to scare viewers.
Host Alisyn Camerota and medical analyst Sanji Gupta declared Trump to be “borderline obese,” predicted he would have a heart attack in “3-5 years” and Gupta concluded the president has heart disease.
Camerota held back laughs over Trump’s height, which the exam found to be 6’3″. He had reportedly been 6’2″ in the past.
“Somehow he has grown while being in the White House,” she snarked.
Because of Trump’s weight of 239 lbs., she said his Body Mass Index is “two-nine point nine.”
Gupta conceded the BMI ratio is “not a perfect ratio by any means,” but nevertheless, went on to declare Trump “borderline obese.”
“So he’s point-one away from being in the obese category,” Camerota emphasized.
After Vice President Joe Biden’s doctor panned CNN’s hysteria, Camerota went back to Gupta.
Because of Trump’s calcium score, CNN predicted the president will have a “heart attack or heart disease” in “3-5 years.”
But Gupta was more aggressive.
“So the president has heart disease,” he declared.
He passed a cognition test with a perfect score, at his request.

And the Bad News Keeps Rolling

1/17/18 Bloomberg:
U.S. factory production rose for a fourth straight month in December, capping the strongest quarter since 2010 and underscoring a resurgence in manufacturing that’s primed for further advances, Federal Reserve data showed Wednesday.

I Cannot Think of a Company That Will Be More Ungrateful to Trump

Apple will invest $350 billion in the US conomy over the next 5 years  Apple on Wednesday made a slew of announcements about its investment in and contribution to the U.S. economy in part because of the new tax law.
The headline from Apple is that it will make a $350 billion "contribution" to the U.S. economy over the next five years, although it's unclear exactly how the company came to that number.
The company also promised to create 20,000 new jobs and open a new campus.
It said it expects to pay about $38 billion in taxes for the horde of cash it plans to bring back to the United States. This implies it will repatriate virtually all of its $250 billion in overseas cash.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

First Night of the Spring Semester

Everything went well.  I did find to my surprise that a BBC video about human settlement of the New World did not hold their attention as well as my lecture.  Probably using shorter video segments would be a better strategy.  These are almost entirely students who work during the daytime although most are traditional age students, so I guess the welfare state student strategy of Obama has not worked as expected.  Only one student seemed in danger of falling asleep.  Perhaps  a long day.  I remember a 6:00 to 10:00 High Middle Ages class like that.

Never Has a Black Man With a Gun Been More Needed in a 7-11

Funny, But Perhaps More An Indicator of Blue State Madness Than a Real Economic Indicator

Like any savvy investor, I am always on the lookout for signs that the economy may be overheating, that things may be getting a bit frothy. Of particular concern are exotic businesses that pop up at the very end of economic booms, selling products or services that will be the first items struck off the shopping list once things go south. You know what I’m talking about. Fantasy Capo di Tutti Capi camps. Cribbage with the Stars. Falconry Schools for the Blind.
Recently, several enterprises matching this general description caught my eye. The Sirens of the Deep Mermaid Camp in Weeki Wachee Springs State Park down in Florida is a perfect example. Here, for $450, women can slip into a tight, taut body-sculpting spandex tail with matching fins and learn how to convincingly impersonate the mythical denizens of the deep. The two-day camp teaches aspiring mermaids how to perform a variety of sophisticated thalassa-balletic maneuvers, including the archetypal “mermaid crawl.
And he gives some other examples of too much money, not being properly invested:
Kidnap Solutions is another highly unusual business that seems to presage the end of an ebullient market cycle. The firm springs from the mind of one Raymond T. Moody, who describes himself as “a serial entrepreneur” based in Glendale, California. His “radical immersive” brand of theater offers just-plain-folks the opportunity to find out what it feels like to be abducted and held for ransom. 

Will the Last Native-Born Software Developer Turn Off the Lights?

This isn't copypasta, this actually happened over the past year at my company. Several other companies in the area are experiencing similar issues with their visas.
I'm an IT guy, a developer to be exact. I've been around the H1B issue for about 20 years and things have always gotten worse, never better. Despite Trump's fantastic rhetoric during the campaign, I didn't believe he'd make any real changes or fix anything. However, what I've seen over the past year demonstrates this is definitely not true.
My development team is probably 90 percent indian. The manager of our department is indian and the hiring managers are all indian and they have all stated pretty openly that they prefer hiring indians. Whenever there are layoffs, non-indians get cut. Whenever there is hiring, more indians get brought on board. They get paid about 40k a year less than I do, they work hard and they don't complain. I think they produce garbage quality work for the most part, but I don't think the managers care. It's slowly rotting away the quality of the software but again, they don't care.
Anyway, the typical scenario is that every year, a stack of visas goes in for renewal and about a week later they come back stamped [APPROVED]. Very easy. At the start of this year, instead of coming back approved, each application came back with a huge list of questions and requests for documentation about why the applicants were being paid so little. The lawyers were confused and assembled a huge pile of documentation for each applicant and sent it back. Every single application then came back with either more questions or a denial. EVERY SINGLE ONE is either in limbo or denied (you must go back!). I've heard this from multiple sources, including several who had their visas held up.
As a result of this, our company's HR department has quietly decided (I heard this through the grapevine talking to several department heads) to no longer hire employees that need sponsorship. I've talked with recruiters and with people I know in several other companies in the area and I've heard similar stories everywhere. Pretty much unless you're making 120k a year on a visa, you're going to get yanked. The guys like WIPRO and INFOSYS must be shitting their pants over this.
And salaries for developers are already rising as a result. Salaries have been stagnant for several years but in Q4 2017, they started going up noticeably in this area. Trump is truly making IT great again.

How Can You Tell Progressives Run Your State?

From 2013 to 2015, California had America’s 17th-highest poverty rate, 15 percent, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Official Poverty Measure. That measure uses income levels to determine poverty, but does not consider differences in cost-of-living among states. It lists the official poverty threshold for a two-adult, two-child family at $24,036 in 2015.
During the same period, California had the highest poverty rate, 20.6 percent, according to the census’ Supplemental Poverty Measure. That study does account for cost-of-living, including taxes, housing and medical costs, and is considered by researchers a more accurate reflection of poverty. For a two-adult, two-child family in California, the poverty threshold was an average of $30,000, depending on the region in the state, according to a 2014 analysis by Public Policy Institute of California.
Looking at state poverty rates, the second highest is Florida’s 19 percent, followed by New York’s and Louisiana’s shared 17.9 percent rate. The national average is 15.1 percent using the supplemental measure.

You Know I Do Not Think Highly of Poverty Pimp Jesse Jackson

Monday, January 15, 2018

Trump's Use of This Phrase to Describe the Third World is Still Unproven

But here's a leftist using it to describe fly over country and it gets worse.  Secede No, expel California.

Like Most Such Suits, the Aggrieved Party Went Looking For A Basis to Sue

The case pits a university policy barring discrimination based on sexual orientation against the religious beliefs of a 10-member group called Business Leaders in Christ. The group sued after the state's flagship university in Iowa City revoked its campus registration in November.
The group says its membership is open to everyone, but that its leaders must affirm a statement of faith that rejects homosexuality. The university says it respects the right of students, faculty and staff to practice the religion of their choice but does not tolerate discrimination of any kind.
The group, founded in the spring of 2015 by students at the university's Tippie College of Business, met weekly for Bible study, to conduct service projects and to mentor students on "how to continually keep Christ first in the fast-paced business world." The group's loss of registration as an on-campus student organization means it can no longer reserve campus meeting space, participate in student recruitment fairs, access funds from student activity fees or use university-wide communication services.
A student member of Business Leaders in Christ, Marcus Miller, filed a complaint with the university last February after the group denied his request to serve as its vice president. Miller's request was rejected after he disclosed he was gay.
And why would disclose that except to be rejected?  Unlike the traditional equal housing or employment methods where the discrimination was never directly admitted, this was stated loudly and clearly, along with Miller's orientation.  The goal is clear: a Christ-free university.  Imagine a suit about antii-conservative bias in faculty hiring.

Glad I Have OpenOffice

A couple of my PowerPoints for tomorrow night would not print notes pages.  But I can print them (very slowly) when I open them with OpenOffice Impress.  Suddenly working.  I wonder if opening in Impress changed the format to something that PowerPoint now recognizes?

Sorry I Did Not Get a Picture Before the Unplug

My wife wanted to move the furniture in the family room, which meant disconnecting the ultimate cable mess.  Kenwood stereo receiver, speakers, cables to the wireless headphones  (think of it as 1970s SurroundSound) and TV, Sony Playststion, Sony Netflix box, with cables for HDMI connection to a laptop as needed.  We decided that the VHS VCR did not need to be reconnected.   Oh, and the Ethernet connector through the outlet.

Idaho is the Big Destination

One of the reminders is this Maserati SUV with temporary Florida tags.

Great License Plate

Not a great picture but MOTHASHP on a minivan.

Coming to Illinois in April

Southern Illinois University Law School has invited me to a 10 year anniversary of DC v. Heller symposium to be held, appropriately enough on April 19.  SIU is in Carbondale.

Cool Android App

Duolingo is an Android app that practices you in many languages. I doubt you could learn a language from scratch,  but my wife is refreshing her French and I am refreshing my German.   (I may do the same for my Russian when this app claims that I am fluent.)  The only odd aspect is that it seems to insists that present tense translates to a more natural English construction of "am" verb.   So "er isst" becomes "he is eating." 

Another Fake Hate Crime

Islamophobia at that.

CalTrans Has Its Work Cut Out For It

US 101 is closed indefinitely

Clear Night

Very clear and dark: no Moon.  The platform is definitely tracking, but I am not exactly aligned on north.  I think I will paint an arrow in glow in the dark paint in front of the garage.  M42 was awesome, but when I tried to use Sky Commander, I realized that I did not remember how to search for Messier objects in the sky.  I could not remember any that were actually above horizon and the UI is not as clear as it needs to be.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

CNC Laptop Went Splat

I suspect the generally harsh conditions of the shop or aluminum dust flying around killed it.  It starts just enough to show the boot screen then goes blank.  Likely bad mother board or display.  I was able to buy a used one for $90 on eBay.  Unfortunately, I have to have a real parallel port to control the CNC mill.  The new one has a 40GB hard drive, but I suspect that I can move the current drive over easily enough.

It was only the display that went bad, which I suspected from watching the flash of the boot screen.  An external monitor, thanks to my reader Jim Horn, who has kept this antique Viewsonic running, and I am back in business.  The Compaq NC6000, I ordered: a good backup for when this one goes belly up.  The keyboard is slowly going bad anyway.  and I doubt that I can get the built-in display repaired for $90.

So what was I trying to do, when I discovered this?  Leveling the mill.  I had a piece of wood under the mill as part of a now obsolete chaff confinement structure, which was distinctly leaning to right of level.  Removing it helped but even though the table on which the mill sits is just about level, the mill table was leaning right and forward.  Not much.  Copy paper is .003" thick.  A couple sheets folded eight times near the front of the base, and the mil table is now level.  The mill column may or may not be square to the table.  It seemed okay when it arrived; there are some adjustments you can make at some effort because you have to lay the mil on its back, which requires disconnecting cables and unscrewing bolts that hold the column to the base.

There are two mil vises that |I use.  One is a very small, precise Sherline mill.  The other is a large drill press vise that I milled to be as flat and square as I could.  There is still room for improvement; I can measure that the left side of the jaws is .027" higher from the bottom than the right side.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Awesome Video

Not sure I believe the Milky Way panic story at the start, but many Angelenos live not only in a political bubble, but a reality bubble also.

I Think Someone is Being Squeezed

An indictment against a former co-president of a Maryland-based transportation company that provides services for the transportation of nuclear materials to customers in the United States and abroad, was unsealed today for his alleged role in a scheme that involved the bribery of an official at a subsidiary of Russia’s State Atomic Energy Corporation. 
 Acting Assistant Attorney General John P. Cronan of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Acting U.S. Attorney Stephen M. Schenning of the District of Maryland, Principal Deputy Inspector General April G. Stephenson of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Inspector General (DOE-OIG) and Assistant Director in Charge Andew W. Vale of the FBI’s Washington, D.C. Field Office made the announcement. Mark Lambert, 54, of Mount Airy, Maryland, was charged in an 11-count indictment with one count of conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and to commit wire fraud, seven counts of violating the FCPA, two counts of wire fraud and one count of international promotion money laundering.  The charges stem from an alleged scheme to bribe Vadim Mikerin, a Russian official at JSC Techsnabexport (TENEX), a subsidiary of Russia’s State Atomic Energy Corporation and the sole supplier and exporter of Russian Federation uranium and uranium enrichment services to nuclear power companies worldwide, in order to secure contracts with TENEX. 
And what can you give us about U.S. government corruption on this?