Thursday, May 31, 2018

Today's Research Request

This is a list of libraries with either paper or microfilm copies of the Petersburg Intelligencer.  I need copies of an article titled, Trial of Abel Clements, Petersburg Intelligencer, July 15, 1806.  Axe mass murder.

A Parkland Parent Blaming Someone Besides NRA

5/31/18 South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports a parent is apparently preparing to sue one of the mental health providers that saw Cruz.  Proving negligence will be probably impossible, but they at least had more to do with this than NRA.

When Are Web Going to Regulate "Assault Media"?

5/30/18 South Florida Sun-Sentinel:
On video, Nikolas Cruz brags about how the forthcoming massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas is going to make him notorious.
It’s a bravado that vanished from the moment of his arrest.
In the videos released Wednesday by prosecutors, Cruz, 19, seems almost gleeful at the prospect of what was to come — the 17 murders and the terror of the survivors.
“Can’t wait,” he said in one recording after chuckling that his former classmates at the Parkland high school were going to know the power of his AR-15 style rifle.
After the Feb. 14 massacre, prosecutors are seeking to put him to death and the families of the victims have glared at him with contempt, anger and a thirst for justice.
“It’s gonna be a big event,” Cruz says in the first video. “When you see me on the news you’ll all know who I am,” he says with a creepy laugh.
Without CNN, etc.'s 24/7 coverage, how many of these crimes would take place?

Good News for You Non-Violent Felons

While the gun disability for felony convictions makes a lot of sense, there are many non-violent felonies for which a gun disability makes far less sense.  And the federal courts are beginning to admit that.  Hatfield v. Sessions (S.D. Ill., Apr. 26, 2018).

Plaintiff Larry Edward Hatfield wants to keep a gun in his home for self-defense. But the Government bans him from doing so, because 28 years ago, Hatfield lied on some forms that he sent to the Railroad Retirement Board: a felony in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1001(a). Hatfield later pled guilty to one count of violating the statute, an offense for which he received no prison time and a meager amount in restitution fees pursuant to a formal plea agreement with the Government. Now, Hatfield brings this as-applied challenge to 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1)—the statute that bans him from owning a gun—on the grounds that it violates his Second Amendment rights. Hatfield embeds his argument in United States v. Williams, 616 F.3d 685, 692 (7th Cir. 2010), which instructed that "[the Supreme Court's decision in D.C. v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008)] referred to felon disarmament bans only as `presumptively lawful,' which, by implication, means that there must exist the possibility that the ban could be unconstitutional in the face of an as-applied challenge." If there is any case that rebuts that presumption, it is this one. So for the following reasons, the Court GRANTS summary judgment in favor of Plaintiff Larry E. Hatfield.
Watch the gun control crowd misrepresent this one.

Remember: Europe is An Enlightened Multicultural Society

Especially compared to Trump's Racist, Islamophobic America.  Associated Press:
COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Denmark joined some other European countries in deciding Thursday to ban garments that cover the face, including Islamic veils such as the niqab or burqa.
In a 75-30 vote with 74 absentees, Danish lawmakers approved the law presented by the center-right governing coalition. The government says that it is not aimed at any religions and does not ban headscarves, turbans or the traditional Jewish skull cap.
However, the law is popularly known as the “Burqa Ban” and is mostly seen as being directed at the dress worn by some conservative Muslim women. Few Muslim women in Denmark wear full-face veils.
Laws that interfere with a person's religious beliefs bother me.  But living in a society where the most radical forms of Islam become dominant or important political forces are beyond "bother": they are a real danger to the West's tolerance of difference.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Second Try Selling This Colt 4x20 Scope

These slide into the carry handle and a thread assembly locks it down.  They are excellent at retaining zero when removed and replaced.  I sold it on eBay for $306.  The buyer insisted that the range dial did not work.  He tested it at 25m and 350m (roughly the point blank ranges for .223); no wonder the elevation did not change.  I just put it on an AR-15, aimed at a 15 meter fencepost, and watched the crosshairs move as I rotated the distance knob.

These are sort of 1980s collectors' item, hence the silly price.

I have not put it back on eBay.  A friend was going to sell it at a local gun show Saturday, unless one of you wants it.

Don't Complain About Your Miserable $100,000 Student Loan Debt

TaxProfBlog talks about:
Due to escalating tuition and easy credit, the U.S. has 101 people who owe at least $1 million in federal student loans, according to the Education Department. Five years ago, 14 people owed that much.

People Too Stupid To Roast Marshmallows Safely

When I was in college, a fellow student referred to someone as "too stupid to buy bread at the market without assistance."  Now I see that US Geological Survey has to give guidance:
The USGS responded to one twitter user who asked, “Is it safe to roast marshmallows over volcanic vents? Assuming you had a long enough stick, that is? Or would the resulting marshmallows be poisonous?”
“Erm,” the USGS replied. “We’re going to have to say no, that’s not safe. (Please don’t try!)”
Of course, it is Twitter.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Do You Recognize This Tree?

It is somehow growing out of the basalt spine on the back 4 acres (not even an inch of real soil that I can see). 

Marvelous "Quote" From Duke of Wellington

Does anyone know of a proper source for it?
Whilst marching from Portugal to a position which commands the approach to Madrid and the French forces, my officers have been diligently complying with your requests which have been sent by H.M. ship from London to Lisbon and thence by dispatch to our headquarters.
We have enumerated our saddles, bridles, tents and tent poles, and all manner of sundry items for which His Majesty’s Government holds me accountable. I have dispatched reports on the character, wit, and spleen of every officer. Each item and every farthing has been accounted for, with two regrettable exceptions for which I beg your indulgence.
Unfortunately the sum of one shilling and ninepence remains unaccounted for in one infantry battalion’s petty cash and there has been a hideous confusion as the the number of jars of raspberry jam issued to one cavalry regiment during a sandstorm in western Spain. This reprehensible carelessness may be related to the pressure of circumstance, since we are war with France, a fact which may come as a bit of a surprise to you gentlemen in Whitehall.
This brings me to my present purpose, which is to request elucidation of my instructions from His Majesty’s Government so that I may better understand why I am dragging an army over these barren plains. I construe that perforce it must be one of two alternative duties, as given below. I shall pursue either one with the best of my ability, but I cannot do both:
1. To train an army of uniformed British clerks in Spain for the benefit of the accountants and copy-boys in London or perchance.
2. To see to it that the forces of Napoleon are driven out of Spain.
Your most obedient servant,
It is just too much fun to be real.

The Sten Gun

I really enjoy the "Forgotten Weapons" videos on YouTube.  A nice mix of history, technical details, and advertising for a high end gun auction company.  This one about the history of British submachine development emphasized the extreme cost reduction engineering that went into the Sten gun.  As he was field stripping it, I suddenly realized why these have been popular for illegal manufacture.  The receiver is like an ultra-simplified M3 grease gun.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Remember When Britain Was Proud of Its Tradition of a Free Press?

It's gone.  ZeroHedge reports on the arrest of  an annoying fellow who was reporting on a child trafficking case in Britain.  Because those on trial are members of a specially protected religion, he was arrested and sent to prison in one day, and the judge ordered news media to not report this.  And they complied.

This seems to be the trial, reported in the 5/21/18 UK Star5/22/18 BBC is of course reporting:
A woman who says she was sexually abused as a child "made up" up her story to further the English Defence League's anti-Islamic campaign and to claim compensation, a court has heard.
The woman, now in her 20s, alleges she was sexually assaulted twice by takeaway driver Khurram Javed in 2008.
Giving evidence at Sheffield Crown Court she said claims she had lied about the abuse were "totally untrue".

If BBC is right the Crown Prosecution Service is prosecuting innocent victims of a political scheme.

I can't find a date on this article from the UK Week:
Two local councillors, one of whom is still serving, and a police officer have been accused of having sex with victims involved in the Rotherham child abuse scandal....

The South Yorkshire Police constable at the centre of the allegations is also alleged to have passed on information to gangs grooming young girls in the town. A second police officer has been accused of neglecting his duties after failing to report his colleague. Both claims are being investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.
The complaints against the two Rotherham councillors "are understood to have been sent to the National Crime Agency, which is investigating child-sex crimes in the town," according to The Times, which helped expose the abuse in Rotherham and published confidential documents that pointed towards police and council knowledge of the abuse in 2012.

Of course the local government is Shari'a  Labour and so very protective of Muslims over teen and pre-teen girls.  (Much like Democrats here!)  Now I do not take seriously the Pizzagate stuff, but I do not doubt that pedophilia is widely used for blackmail in political circles.  How else to explain the widespread Republicans trying to be Democrats behavior?  We know that a former Republican Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert, was a molester of teen boys.  He was finally exposed by accident when paying off blackmail.  You wonder how many others knew of Hastert's behavior and took advantage of it.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Mental Illness? Drugs? Too Many Times Attending Macbeth?

Westlake businessman killed by deputy told cops he was being chased by three witches...
Dispatch logs obtained by from a call he made to Westlake police in the minutes before his death illustrate a far more troubled man who claimed that he was a drug dealer and that he was being chased by three witches who were trying to kill him.
Would a sane person call 911 and say, "I'm a drug dealer"?

Whatever the cause, it sounds tragic.

I Thought the Storm Friday Night Was Impressive

This was actually slightly scary.  Huge winds, lots of rain and hail, and much brighter lightning flashes than normal.  Not sure if the video I took will do it justice.
The illuminated square is the closet reflected in the glass.  The big lights low in the video are the LED outdoor lighting (makes the house look like a UFO as you drive up; some people say that fits Rhonda and me perfectly).  The lights farther back are traffic on ID-55.

Could be worse: this was February.

So Ignorant: I Knew She Had to Be in the Education Business

Las Vegas high school teacher has allegedly threatened to ‘poke a lot of holes in a lot of people’ because she wanted to start her own #MeToo movement in which ‘women felt empowered to become serial killers.’
Leslie McGourty had allegedly made a threat to shoot herself and others during a concert in Las Vegas.
She has been charged with a felony threat to commit an act of terrorism.
McGourty, a physics teacher at Bonanza High School, was arrested by Las Vegas police on campus grounds on May 16.

Read more: Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook
Hey, stupid: serial killers kill lots of victims, one at a time.  Mass murderers do it wholesale.

Today's Machining Lesson

I have long run into the problem that cutting small pieces of material is dangerous and scary on the chop saw and my vertical band saw has trouble with straight lines in aluminum.  I have built several jigs over the years to hold round, rectangular, and square material safely for the chop saw.  These are usually square or rectangular tube with 3/8"-16 bolts locking the material down, with a C-clamp holding the tube to the fence.  But once you get down to 3" long or less, or flats that are too wide to fit into my existing collection of such cutting jigs, you are entering the odd and somewhat scary use of C-clamps to hold everything down for cutting.

One of the pieces that I needed to cut for today's project was 1.654" x 1.336", too small for any jig, clamp, or other "keep the fingers attached" approach.  Some months back, I observed that at a low enough feed rate. I am sure this Sherline could slice through a battleship.  So why not use it as the world's most complicated chop saw?

The chop saw gets the material to a size that fits into the mill vise (or rather the hackery that I am using to hold pieces more than 2" wide).  If I feed fairly slowly, the 1/4" endmill produces a very ugly slice which I then clean up with another pass using the 3/4" endmill which makes a very nice finish.  (I think the finish difference is that they have different numbers of cutting edges; one better suited to aluminum.)

I still have not received the replacement fuse so Y axis is still handpowered, but the adjustment to match the needed feed rate is intuitive.

Banks Trying to Stop the Gun Business

5/25/18 New York Times has a remarkably fair account of how the big banks are trying to shut down the gun industry:
Major banks have taken a series of steps this year to prevent guns from falling into the wrong hands. They are restricting their credit card and banking services to gun retailers and halting lending to gun makers that do not comply with age limits and background check rules determined by the banks. 
"Background check rules"?   Any retailer not doing background checks has bigger problems than financing.  Imagine if banks stopped accepting credit card charges from Planned Parenthood.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Coyote Holster

Uncle Mike's Sidekick Hip Holster.  Clip to allow over the fanny pack belt.   She cannot have too much weight in front.   It has a retention strap which took a while to figure out,  amazingly enough,  and it is generic in size,  but lists the Colt Government Model .380.  Only $30 at Sportsmen's Warehouse.   Problem solved.   Coyotes that want a puppy for dinner,  watch out!

While in Sportsmen's Warehouse, I was pleased to see that ammo is no longer hard to find.  Prices are not so bad, either.  I looked on the Cabela's website and see 500 rounds of 9mm Winchester for $100.  $0.20 per round isn't bad at all.

Three Mag-Pack 8 Round Conversions for 1911 Magazines

Do not work in my Colt.  Perhaps you will have better luck.  I can ship them to you in a small Priority Mail box for $7.05.  Want them to try?  Happy to send them.  Rather this, than throw them away.

American Reserve Munitions Having a Memorial Day Sale

They are Horseshoe Bend's ammunition maker.  (We have a mandatory gun ownership ordinance, why not an ammo maker?)  10% off their normal retail price.  I bought a box of .45 ACP FMJ to test.

Reassembling 1911 Magazine

I do not disassemble Colt M1911 magazines for deep cleaning very often.  I found disassembly instructions online and they work fine.  (I was making one more attempt to use the MagPack 8 round conversion kit to try alongside the Wilson 8 round magazines next Saturday.  No, the conversion kit does not work; it prevents the magazine from seating.)  Anyway reassembly is not the reverse of disassembly.  I put a small Allen wrench through a witness hole to hold the spring down and slipped the follower on top.  The follower comes out on the last round and so does the spring.  My guess is that there is some way to slip the back of the follower behind the spring to retain it.  But how?

Figure it out (in case you are searching the web for instructions).  Use a pen (a Bic BrightLighter) to push the spring way down, insert fine rod through witness hol, then slide the follower through the front of the lips and let it fall in place.  Now it is behind the spring and retained at last round.

Went Looking for. 45 ACP

How did I end up worth this?

FBI Report on Civilians Stopping Mass Murders

Thanks to for the link.  FBI report on active shooter incidents in 2016-17 shows that 11 shooters killed by police and 8 stopped by citizens.

This is So Portlandia

5/26/18 New York Times:
In Portland, Ore., organizers of the “Reparations Happy Hour” invited black, brown and indigenous people to a bar and handed them $10 bills as they arrived, a small but symbolic gift mostly funded by white people who were asked not to attend.
Brown Hope, a local activist organization, wanted the event, which was held on Monday, to be a space for people of color in a mostly white city to meet one another, discuss policy issues and plan potential action.
A mostly white city in an overwhelmingly white state where there were never any slaves.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Awesome Thunder/Hailstorm

Hail big enough to be scary in the car.

If Only the Mass Media wanted to Stop Mass Murder

Shooter complained about demonic attack including noises in his house and demonic waterfowl.  But addressing this problem does nothing to disarm the rubes in Flyover Country.  This is why anytime I hear someone talk about reasonable gun control,  I can ignore them; they are not interested in public safety at all.

Things That Drive Me Crazy

I am quite sure that I wrote about some colonial mass murders that I uncovered by accident involving hatchets where the killer murdered his family and self because of impending bankruptcy, but I cannot find it anywhere in my files.  One involved a guy who was staked at the crossroads, not buried, because of his suicide.

I must have just read about in Laurel Ulrich Thatcher's A Midwife's Tale.

Today's Bizarre History

In the United States corpses have been more frequently arrested for debts due from the deceased than in England or elsewhere. ["The Ownership of a Corpse Before Burial: II," Central Law Journal 10:326 (1880)]

Very Impressive Use of Primary Sources

Stephen Halbrook's Gun Control in Nazi Occupied-France: Tyranny and Resistance.  I am just a few chapters in, but wow!  The National Socialists used the 1936 mandatory gun registration law to order all guns turned in with the threat of execution for failure.  Even then, only a fraction of the guns were turned in.  He uses German occupation documents, French police documents, and responses to a questionnaire he sent to surviving members of the French Resistance.  Also entertaining is how much comes from New York Times articles about seizure of guns.

The parallels to National Socialist use of Weimar Republic gun control laws are striking.  France's 1936 law was to deal with threats from both left and right, much as the Weimar Republic laws were to disarm Communists and National Socialists, and then the National Socialists were in charge. 

It is a sobering reminder of how poorly mandatory registration laws are obeyed, as well as confiscation orders, even with a death penalty.  It also points out how brainless it is to mandate registration if you have any reason to fear a totalitarian society.  You know: Bush=Hitler, Trump=Hitler, and whoever the next Republican President is, who inevitably turns out to be Hitler.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Needed: Open Carry Holster for Medium Frame Semiauto

Either clip attachment or very large slots.   Flap would be nice, or security strap.  Went to the Boise Gun Co. Liquidation sale today.  There were hundreds of holsters at least, organized by the complete entropy scheme.  This to carry my wife's Colt .380 for protecting the spiff from these pesky coyotes.

Darn! Another Mass Murder Attempt Stopped By Armed Citizen

5/24/18 Washington Times:
A potential mass shooting in Oklahoma City was prevented by an armed citizen killing the gunman, the city’s police department reported Thursday evening.
Oklahoma City Police
⚠️ ALERT: The only confirmed fatality is the suspect. He was apparently shot-to-death by an armed citizen. Three citizens were injured, two of whom were shot. A large number of witnesses are detained. There is no indication of terrorismat this point.
 · The Village, OK

For some odd reason, national news media seem to have missed this story.  5/24/18 Winnipeg Sun covered it, though.

No Hackery

The idea of using a 1.5" square with shims turned out very ugly, especially having to glue the shims to the square.  But I had some slightly oversize 1.75" squares from when I bought the ill-fated Harbor Freight horizontal bandsaw (two of them, one stillborn, the other suffered infant mortality).  So I ran these pieces through the mill to fit in the tubing.

Because the Y axis controller is currently inoperable, I was running Y by hand.  This was far quicker than I expected; faster than I dared run the mill in CNC mode.  Furthermore, I finally had occasion to understand why climb milling is better than conventional milling.  Not only was the finish beautiful  and shiny with climb milling, the 3/4" end mill seemed less interested in grabbing the metal, even at feed rates as fast as my hand could turn the handwheel.  I was able to trim these to a size that fits into the 1.75" inside (actually more like 1.73" inside) square tubing.

Tapping aluminum this thick with the Tapmatic was a bit more adventure than I expected but I was finally successful.  I think I learned the needed lessons.  Also, when screwing the 8-32 screws that hold the block in the tube requires no tapping in acetal.  Aluminum requires tapping.  Not sure if the Tapmatic can be trusted for this small a tap, but putting it in my cordless screwdriver with max torque set near 0 seems to do the job quickly and square enough for this purpose.  As you can see, this block was a little small, although adequate for my purposes; in the future I will mill them closer to the needed size.  No more acetal after the current batch is exhausted; aluminum looks better and is about half the price.

I Think I See Where Part of the Deficit Comes From

Sen. Grassley is complaining that the redacted emails his committee asked for, hid that Andrew McCabe bought a $70,000 conference table.  Even solid mahogany would not be that expensive.  The real issue is that what is being redacted seems a bit wider than national security and current investigations.

Notification Nuisance

I complained about this a while back.  The asterisk in the upper left of the box allowed me to disable them on a website by website basis; these are apparently turned on by the popup on various websites  that ask if you want to allow notifications.  The Thunderbird mail notification is controlled by Tools->Options-> General  "When new messages arrive:"

Fuse Problem

The controller box for the CNC mill has stopped controlling the Y axis.  Sherline suggested that the first step was replacing the fuse for the Y controller.  (This is a plausible explanation; if I connect the Y cable to the Z motor, Z won't move either.)  Here you can see both the Y controller fuse socket and the X socket (with fuse plugged in).

The replacement fuse, a bit bent in the leads:

The fuse that came out of the socket:

The problem is that plugging the spare fuse into that socket is very difficult.  The leads bend so easily that getting them deep enough to connect requires a very strong 1" tall person to hold the ends and press down on both sides, and I cannot find any 1" tall assistants.  I really do not want to send the box to Sherline to replace a fuse.  Suggestions?

Oh, Yes, Blue Wave is Inevitable

5/23/18 The Hill:
Democratic Iowa gubernatorial candidate Nate Boulton has been accused of sexual misconduct by three women, the Des Moines Register reported Wednesday.
Three women told the newspaper that Boulton, one of multiple Democrats running in June's primary for his party's nomination, touched them in a sexual manner without their consent.
One woman said Boulton repeatedly grabbed her from behind at a bar in 2015, while two others say the candidate inappropriately touched them more than a decade ago when they and Boulton were students together in law school.
Boulton said in a statement to the Register that he remembered the situations differently, but would not deny the accusations and apologized for misreading social situations.
"Misreading"?  When I was young, the only social situation that might have justified that behavior included everyone being naked at an orgy.  (Not that I was ever in such a situation.)

Vandalism Conviction

5/21/18 Daily Caller:
An Alexandria General District Court judge on Monday found a Nebraska professor guilty of vandalizing the home of NRA Chief Lobbyist Chris Cox in Alexandria, Va.
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln professor Patricia Wonch Hill, who pleaded not guilty to the charge of misdemeanor destruction of property, must pay a thousand-dollar fine and was ordered to stay 500 feet away from the Cox’s residence.
The act of vandalism occurred in January 2018. According to witnesses, Professor Hill sprayed fake blood on Cox’s home. During the criminal trial, Cox’s legal team also presented surveillance video from the home that allegedly shows Hill committing the crime.
Great video of someone from Nebraskans Against Gun Violence justifying the vandalism because Cox works for NRA and that is the real crime.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Another Reason A Lot of Federal Judges Must Be Replaced

No, not an Onion article.  5/23/18 The Verge:
It is unconstitutional for public officials, including the president, to block Twitter followers who criticize them, a court ruled today in a legal dispute over President Trump’s account.
The lawsuit, brought by Columbia University’s Knight First Amendment Institute, argued that Twitter users blocked by @realdonaldtrump had their First Amendment rights violated. In a decision released today, a federal judge hearing the case ruled that Twitter’s “interactive space,” where users can interact with Trump’s tweets, qualifies as a public forum, and that blocking users unconstitutionally restricts their speech. The decision rejected arguments from the president’s team that President Trump’s own First Amendment rights would be violated if he could not block users.
Does that mean Twitter is a public forum and can't block speech it does not like?  Random Acts of Gibberish points out that:
First, the judge appears to turn a right to speak into a right that everyone listen. Not just on Twitter. Got troll commenting on your blog or forum? You may not be able to moderate them under this legal theory.
Second, it’s a lot worse than that. Remember CDA Section 230? That’s the one that gave web site owners some protection from liability for posts or comments made by other people.
Meet FOSTA, the Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act”Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act.” It strips away many of those 230 protections, making web site owners responsible for things posted by users. Big outfits like Facebook like it because they can afford to comply, but it weeds out smaller competitors who can’t afford a 24/7 team of moderators and automatic filters.
So now I could be held responsible for libelous comments on my blog…
…and I may not be allowed to block offenders. I may not be able to block spammers and trolls.
Imagine getting busted for trafficking because a spammer posted an ad for cheap Chinese Fentanyl on your blog.

"I Do Not Remember"

Many of the indictments and guilty pleas that Mueller has obtained are called "process crimes": screwing up in the investigation of a crime, usually by making a false statement to the FBI, which is not something sworn under oath.  Why is this a crime?  Other than perjury, lies are not usually crimes except in fraud cases.  In politics, they are SOP.

Worse, you may not remember who or when you met or talked to someone in 2016, during a hectic campaign.  If you intentionally lie or simply misremember you are likely going to prison.  But "I do not remember" is a perfect statement.  How can a prosecutor prove you are lying, except use of a mind probe?  Unless something illegal happened at the meeting and there is documentary evidence of that (which would make you an idiot), you are safe.  There might be documentary evidence of a meeting with someone, but "I do not remember" prevents a process crime.

Life is Short

Or so says the Ashley Madison ad that just appeared on my blog.  Probably as effective as the gay dating site ads that used to appear here when I posted something uncomplimentary about homosexuality.  Also, someone hacked their website a year or two ago, getting a powerful blackmail tool.

Right to Possess Arms Does Not Include a Right to Buy or Sell

5/15/18 Reason article giving an overview of the Court's refusal to hear a challenge to a ban on gun stores in Alameda County.  As one of the commenters observed:
If the Founders wanted to protect the right to bear arms they should have enumerated it in the Bill of Rights like abortion.
You can read the NY Times; you just can't sell it. 
Once we lose the next progressive justice, I expect things to turn around.  Hence the continual screeching about impeaching Trump.

This Article seeks to answer what may seem a silly question: How widespread were private party transfers (both sales and lending) and commercial sales of firearms in the Bill of Rights and Fourteenth Amendment periods of American history. In U.S. v. Hosford (D.Md. 2015), the decision held: “Neither party has attempted to provide comprehensive evidence of the state of the law at the time of ratification concerning the commercial sale of firearms.” This paper provides such evidence. There was a thriving trade in arms of all types, especially firearms, no restrictions on the general (commercial and private) transfer of arms, and few on the transfer of particular items (e.g., bowie knives) or to particular persons (e.g., negros).

Gun Control's Sugar Daddy Tells It Like It Is (or At Least How He Wants It To Be)

Imagine if a Republican said this.  It would be 24/7 on CNN.

Why I Think Civil War is Inevitable

5/23/18 Yahoo News:
President Donald Trump swiftly defended Tomi Lauren as an “outstanding and respected young woman” after the Fox News contributor said fellow diners at a restaurant pelted her with water and obscenities.
“Everybody is with Tomi Lahren, a truly outstanding and respected young woman!” Trump tweeted Wednesday morning, shortly after Lahren talked about her weekend experience at a Minneapolis restaurant on “Fox and Friends.
This all reminds me of the rage and nastiness that the National Socialists directed towards their political rivals in the late Weimar Republic.  (Shooting members of Congress is another example.)  We are dealing with a profoundly broken class.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

More Progressive Autophagy

5/22/18 Guardian:
Silicon Valley pastor has resigned from his church after calling the city of Palo Alto an “elitist shit den of hate” and criticizing the hypocrisy of “social justice” activism in the region.
Gregory Stevens confirmed on Monday that he had stepped down from the First Baptist church of Palo Alto, an LGBT-inclusive congregation, after his personal tweets calling out the contradictions of wealthy liberals in northern California surfaced at a recent council hearing.
In emails to the Guardian, the 28-year-old minister detailed his “exasperation” with Palo Alto, a city in the heart of the technology industry, surrounded by severe income inequality and poverty....
Stevens, who is queer and has lived in Palo Alto for nearly three years, noted that his church was located in one of the richest neighborhoods in the city, with houses worth anywhere from $5m to $15m.
“Jesus was a homeless Jew who said it was harder for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven than for a camel to get through the eye of a needle,” he wrote, adding: “It is very difficult to do Christian ministry, a ministry that calls us to fight with and for the poor and marginalized among us, in the midst of an enclave of wealth and power.”


They arrived a couple generations ago.  I do not know what year, but before I was born, I am sure.

Their heads do not actually glow.  Their skin is so pale and their hair is so white that on a dark city night, even a slight illumination makes them stand out from a crowd of humans.  (Finns are positively swarthy by comparison.)  Of course, the Glowheads also stand out because they are at least seven feet high.  A few approach eight feet.  We have never seen female Glowheads, but the guess is that they are also taller than human females. 

Glowheads are tall, but not skinny or slight.  They are proportionately large and muscular.  The few times that a glowhead has had a fight with a human, the results have been ugly.  They can pick up most humans and throw them 10 feet away.

But aside from color and size, they are not so different.  If you see a Glowhead on the street next to humans, you can see that their heads are slightly different in shape, but so subtly that unless you stand one next to a human, you cannot tell the difference, except for size and coloring.

When they first arrived, scientists marvelled that aliens could look so much like us.  It was called the Star Trek Paradox: what are the chances that an alien species would have not just have four limbs, orifices in the same places and with the same functions?  After a few months of questions, and surreptitiously obtained genetic samples, the answer was that they were humans after all.  They explained that their ancestors left Earth 50,000 years ago to a planet far, far away.   The differences were the result of genetic isolation. They were just coming home.

The Glowheads had somehow developed faster-than-light travel; why not visit their home world?  But how had they developed it 50,000 years ago and left no traces here?  They claimed to have no idea, but they did have neat stuff to trade: medicines that cured cancer; metal alloys of remarkable strength; and materials that we had, such as carbon fiber composites, but at prices that made Earth production uneconomic.  They never told us how to make these medicines or materials, insisting that they were protected "intellectual property."  They had learned a lot about us in a very short time.

Within a couple of years, the proof of their humanity was readily visible; their willingness to give away vaccines that prevented all STDs was shown to have a purpose with a certain level of self-interest.  Half-glowhead children were being born in red-light districts across Earth; the mothers confirmed that the Glowheads were very human.

As you might expect, cancer cures were rapidly traded for gold and silver.  Most surprising of all was plastic.  They had never discovered petroleum on their new planet and thus never developed plastics.  Eventually even these commodities became insufficient to buy Glowhead wonders, for which demand was now very high.  How many decades and how many billions of dollars had we spent seeking a cure for cancer?  Now we had a multishot cure for lung cancer, another one for breast cancer, and another for skin cancer.  What could we exchange for these wonderful drugs?

Labor, it seems.  The Glowheads offered to clear out Earth's Death Rows; they would be given work to do on a planet far away, from which these criminals could never return to Earth.   They would live out their natural lives with sufficient food, shelter, and medical care.  The Death Row Treaty explained that the costs of transport were so high that we should make absolutely sure of their guilt; once gone they were never coming back.  Those who supported capital punishment had already decided that these criminals should die; opponents of the death penalty welcomed the opportunity to reopen death penalty cases for very thorough reexamination.

Unsurprisingly, only a few cases produced different verdicts.  Death penalty supporters were unsurprised; the criminal justice system worked very accurately.  Cynics suggested that judges and juries had their eyes on the cancer cures and new materials that would be traded for these criminals.  And who could blame them?  What was the life of one criminal compared to saving the lives of ten cancer victims?

When the first transports of capital prisoners happened, there were only dry eyes.  Even most of their families saw this as a good thing: life in an exotic location instead of death.  No prisoners argued against transport: the work off planet would not be in a cell, waiting for death.

Within two years, there were no capital prisoners on Earth.  The rate of death sentences certainly increased after the Death Row Treaty, largely for the same reason that review of the old cases seldom overturned a verdict.  Prisoners were on transports within a week or so of final appeal.

Glowhead demand for laborers was, if anything, growing stronger.  The Glowhead ambassador explained,"Your criminals are doing great work for us, clearing forests and draining swamps.  Much more productive than sitting in cells here on Earth."

Over the next few years, government after government amended their laws to make many life sentence crimes capital.  Soon Earth's prisons were emptied.  The reflection of Glowhead transport vessels waiting in Earth orbit became something that parents pointed out to their kids at night.  "See, that's what cured Uncle William of cancer."

That's where I come in to the story.  I won't claim that I did nothing wrong.  I started a company selling timeshare condos in the Seychelles.  Okay so they were only one week shares, not one month shares.  I figured, "How many people will actually go there at the same time as other owners?"  But fraud was now a capital offense.  I took my sentence about as well as can be expected.  Everyone on Earth knew that death was really transport off planet.  I did not want to go, but I figured it could not be worse than my previous terms for mail fraud.

Monday, May 21, 2018

The Most Recent School Shooting

While mental illness is the cause of most of these mass murders, it is not the only one.  This one in Santa Fe, Texas does not fit that pattern.  My wife blames the society's increasing normalization of chaotic family structure and divorce.  Is bullying a cause?

I was subject to lots of bullying.  I was different.  I was a year younger than my classmates and pretty smart.  And this was in a district where many kids came from UCLA faculty or engineer homes.  I remember being 4th grade at Roosevelt Elementary School in Santa Monica getting an ice cream bar and a 5th grader whose name I did not know pushed me against a wall and punched me in the stomach while a crowd of my fellow 4th graders stood around and cheered. 

In junior high, the thugs were Casey Vis, Mark Friend, and Hugo Gonzalez.  I keep waiting to see one of their names with "(D-CA)" after it.  They attacked me on the Wilshire Blvd. bus one day.  At the end, I had a cracked wristbone.  They were, of course, never punished. 

High school was less severe, but threats and implications of violence were common.  I took to using the computer lab as my sanctuary.  Throughout this entire period, I never thought of using lethal force.  I had no access to guns or explosives, but even if I had, I would never have even considered it.  It just was not something you thought about.  Glenn Reynolds' 5/21/18 USA Today column points out that part of the problem is memetic:
We’ve got a problem, and it has to do with memes.
No, not those photos of cats, or the American Chopper guys, with amusing text superimposed. Real memes.
Geneticist Richard Dawkins coined the term meme to describe self-replicating information that passes from one person’s mind to another. Genes are self-replicating information — a human is your DNA’s way of making more DNA — and so are memes. Memes are just ideas that “infect” someone who then spreads the idea to others. Genes use your body to make more genes — and, for that matter, viruses are self-replicating information that uses your body to make more viruses. (There’s even a book about memes entitled, aptly enough, Virus Of The Mind.)
Of course, we could regulate "assault media": the kind that have millions of viewers.  But that only moves the problem; it does not solve it.

Coincidence, I Am Sure

5/21/18 U.K. Sun:
In a private dialogue, the Pontiff is understood to have told Juan Carlos Cruz, a victim of sexual abuse at the hands of Catholic priests, that God loves gay people and it is fine to be homosexual.
The comments are the most striking public acceptance about homosexuality ever made by a head of the Roman Catholic Church.
The remarks were made during a private meeting at the Vatican between the pair, in which the Pope offered a heartfelt apology.
Cruz was a victim of Chile’s most notorious paedophile priest Fernando Karadima.
Father Karadima, now aged 87, was found guilty of sexual abuse by the Vatican in 2011.
God does love gay people, and alcoholics, and the greedy, and hatemongers.  It is okay to arrive broken, just not okay to stay that way.

So What Would a Clinton Advisor Say?

From 5/20/18 The Hill:
Mark Penn served as pollster and adviser to President Clinton from 1995 to 2000, including during his impeachment. 

The final stopper may be the president himself, offering two hours of testimony, perhaps even televised live from the White House. The last time America became obsessed with Russian influence in America was the McCarthy hearings in the 1950s. Those ended only when Sen. Joseph McCarthy (R-Wis.) attacked an associate of the U.S. Army counsel, Joseph Welch, and Welch famously responded: “Sir, have you no decency?” In this case, virtually every associate and family member of the president has been subject to smears conveniently leaked to the press.
Stopping Mueller isn’t about one president or one party. It’s about all presidents and all parties. It’s about cleaning out and reforming the deep state so that our intelligence operations are never used against opposing campaigns without the firmest of evidence. It’s about letting people work for campaigns and administrations without needing legal defense funds. It’s about relying on our elections to decide our differences. 
Either this guy is remarkably honest, or he knows that the Democrats are about to be hoist by their own petard, and wants them to stop before the whole Democrat establishment gets indicted.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

.380 ACP and Coyotes

A coyote was stalking wife and the puppy last night.  The neighboring game warden thinks from the behavior that she was seeking food for her pups.  My guess is that .380 ACP would probably be sufficient for coyote at 15 yards.  (If it farther away, it isn't a threat to either.  I am aware of pack hunting, but I suspect the first gunshot will tell the rest of the pack to call Domino's.)

FMJs should easily penetrate such a light and thin creature.  Should we load with JHPs?

Friday, May 18, 2018

Today's Tragedy

Revolver and shotgun.  Wanted publicity.  Obvious need to regulate assault media.

Adventures in Paleocomputing

When I last inflicted my memoirs on you, I was a high school computer geek.  Graduation was coming and I had picked USC.  I had very limited horizons and hopes.  I graduated 23rd in a class of 1000+. While my SAT scores were okay (top half of the top percentile on verbal but only 97% on math), these were unlikely to get me into CalTech.  I applied to Harvey Mudd, USC, and UCLA (where I had been taking Russian and computer science classes while in 12th grade).  Harvey Mudd had me on the waitlist; USC accepted me and offered enough scholarships to make it cheaper than UCLA.  Tuition at UCLA was about $600 a year; USC about $2900.  So I decided on USC.

In the last few weeks of 12th grade, the company that sold the school district the new Interdata Model 7/32 minicomputer was American Business Computers.  They were a small band of sleazy operators.  (You will find out more later.)  One of their contracts was that they had offered to write the software for operating a company that made European car parts.  The guy in charge was named Neil.  The Interdata computers were 16-bit word size.  Pretty obviously, 16 bits will not handle typical commercial transactions.  $655.36?  Floating point was seven bits of mantissa so that won't work either.  NO, BUT YOU COULD ONLY GET SEVEN DIGITS DECIMAL PRECISION   WITH THE FLOATING POINT FORMAT.

Even worse, this guy could not write a binary to decimal unpack in assembler language.  If you do not recognize "unpack," how do you turn the binary number 01001010 into the ASCII equivalent 74?  And how do you pack 74 back to the binary equivalent?  Now while many of our contemporaries were drag racing or seeing how many different drugs you could use in a weekend without dying, we were engaged in ferocious competition to see who could write the most efficient pack and unpack subroutines in assembler language.  While Neil had persuaded the customer to use hexadecimal part numbers (4EF2, 1C0B), they were somewhat resistant to using hexadecimal for billing customers.  "I owe you $EC54?"

Worse: I was later told that this company was Mafia-owned.  So were many of their competitors.  When they found out that each of them was getting the same "custom" software, the salesman moved to Australia to avoid a contract hit.

Anyway, Neil explained the urgency of being able to do 32-bit arithmetic on a 16-bit machine.  Add, subtract, multiply, divide.  Add and subtract were easy.  Add the lower 16 bits and add the carry bit to the upper 16 bit operation.  Subtract was similar.  Multiply and divide were not so easy, but with a little help from my friends, problem solved.

He paid me ($80: big money for a poor kid just graduating high school) and offered me a summer job: $80 a week.  So I had to drive from Santa Monica to Irvine every day.  Gas was about $0.39 a gallon.  (About an hour of transit time then;  now, retirement age at the end of the first day.)

First he assigned me to a customer named Trinetics in Long Beach.  I have no idea what they did; the owner had a thick Southern accent and was a nice enough guy.  The only part of the experience I remember was having to run the source code (assembler language) through the assembler (which converted mnemonics like AHM to the machine code 4A).  It also resolved variable addresses and symbolic constants, much like #define in C.  Then all the individual object modules with references to variables in other modules would be run through the link editor, which would resolve the undefined addresses.  The source code was on punched paper tape:
To assemble and link required reading through the source three times (resolving forward references with no temporary storage): about nine hours of waiting for feed errors which sometimes tore the tape.

For reasons that I no longer remember, but probably did not reflect well on the interpersonal skills of a 17 year old introvert with his first job, Neil moved me to the parts manufacturer project.  There I tried to clean up the mess that Neil's unique programming techniques had produced.  We had promised 4 separate data entry terminals.  Neil could not figure out how to read keystrokes, writing them was easy.  I remember one part of the puzzle was the Programmable Asynchronous Line Adapter (PASLA).  The intent was an interrupt-driven interface.  When a keystroke happened it would produce an interrupt, at which point you would input the keystroke.  But I did not really understand interrupt service routines yet, so I hacked together a sense-status loop approach: keep reading the status bits until they showed a character available and read it.  Terribly inefficient but better than nothing.

It was not a bad month or so.  The company served soup for lunch to all its employees and I learned a lot.  But the high point of technical learning was in the last month.  At the time the idea of Plug Compatible Modules was a dangerous idea: you bought RAM and I/O parts only from the maker of your minicomputer.  Then a troublemaker named Keronix started offering PCM RAM at much cheaper prices.  Eventually, after upsetting Data General, Keronix mysteriously burned to the ground.  (Coincidence, I am sure.)  

Anyway, we had bought a 64K Keronix memory card (these were a foot or two square) for one of the Interdata minicomputers.  The operating system would not boot.  So I was assigned to figure out why.  I had a slightly out of date listing of the assembler language of the operating system.  But there was no way to use the O/S debugger; it never got that far.  

What I did: minicomputers had front panels through which you could read and write memory locations.  As breakpoints, I would insert the one word BS * (branch short to your current address).  I worked my way through the O/S from where control was given by the boot process until I found the guilty party, removing that BS * and putting the original instruction back in, until I found the instruction that caused the failure.

To read from the hard disk, the O/S would set up the DMA so that when the OC (Output Command) executed, it would read the requested sectors from the disk into the requested RAM.  At which point, bit 13 in every word in the first 16K of RAM turned off!  The instruction after the OC was now an illegal instruction.  Obediently the illegal instruction trap fired.  The first instruction of every interrupt service routine including this one was DI (Disable Interrupts).  But with bit 13 off, that first instruction was now illegal, and off it went, chasing its own tail.

The Keronix RAM was okay; the Interdata disk controller was out of spec; the DMA request was turning off bit 13.