Saturday, February 29, 2020

That Internet Speed Problem

I put a TP-LINK repeater on the other side of the wall from my office and even with the 150 NMbps USB wifi dongle (the new one has not arrived), I am getting 19-23 Mbps download speed.  (This is about half what other devices in the house are getting, but for the moment it is adequate.I am expecting arrival of a dual band ac1200 Mbps dongle this week so that I can return the 150 Mbps unit to the CNC Linux box.

Biden is not Senile; Just Ignorant

He talks about appointing the first African-American woman to the Senate.  The President does not have that power.

Friday, February 28, 2020

The Consequences of a Global Economy

In my American History class, I explain the Market Revolution of the early 19th century:

A transformation from subsistence or local economy to money exchange of products over long distances

Subsistence: when nearly everything you consume you also produce and vice versa
A farmer makes much or most of materials he needs
•Grows his own food
•Makes his own leather (from wild animals or livestock)
•Makes his own clothes
–Little or no cash purchases or sales

Local economy
–Most everything you buy or sell is made within a few miles of you
–Some money trading hands, but lots of barter
–Common for societies with:
•Poor transportation
•Legal barriers to trade such as high tariffs
•Part of what held Europe back while the U.S. surged ahead

Market revolution
–Farmers and manufacturers:
•Selling products on a national or international scale
•Specializing in particular goods
–Consumers buying nationally or internationally
–Barter is impractical at long distances: money takes over
–What is the advantage of such a global market?

•Market revolution
–Efficiencies: some places or people are better at making some stuff
•Pineapples hard to grow in New England
•Apples not the best choice for Louisiana
•Manufacturing where rivers provide abundant power
•Smelting iron near coal seams
•Repetitive tasks where labor is cheap
•Market revolution
And this is where the coronavirus disaster comes in:

•Suddenly, what happens in Alabama matters in England
•Economic problems in one state can cause serious unemployment in another state
•But I don't think we want to go back to subsistence, or even a purely local economy
–“Visualize Industrial Collapse” bumper stickers: someone isn't clear on the concept

The stock market has probably wiped out $100,000 of my IRA in the last week, driven by coronavirus panic and interconnectedness.  (I am reluctant to check, because it will just depress me, and after this crisis is properly handled, my mutual funds will likely come back even stronger from having bought at the lower prices.)

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Upgrading a 15A Breaker Safely

Does this require replacing the existing wires?  Or can an electrician look at the existing wires and decide if 20A is safe?  All my pitiful three outlets in the garage are on a 15A breaker.  The chop saw draws 15A; the mill and PC draw something greater than 0, unfortunately.

Doin' the Boogaloo!

In case you are not aware of this, the mainstream media are beginning to screech about the word boogaloo used by some neo-Nazis and overly exuberant conservatives to refer to a forcible overthrow of the government.  It is so... jocular. 

Real civil war is not jocular.  Under the best imaginable circumstances, it will mean hundreds of thousands dead, and whoever wins, a generation or more of angry next-of-kin.  The postbellum political landscape of America produced widespread lynching and ferocious hatred.  The Spanish Civil War, the Mexican Revolution, and the Russian Revolution created a storm of atrocities that previously rational people would have not done.

The actual fight would mean vast numbers of otherwise decent federal LEOs and military would follow orders that based on what they will be told, sounded perfectly lawful and reasonable, and end up dead.

There are a number of factions in America who will use such a war to vent their racial hatred.  You do not want to find out too late that the guys who joined your fire team are KKK or Aryan Nations.  (I have never met members of either, but they do exist, and might well compromise your moral strength and the public perception of an otherwise righteous cause.)  Of course, Antifa will play the race card as well as a bunch of spoiled, overprivileged whites can.  Creating a perception of this as a race war, or a sexual orientation war, or a religious war, will destroy any attempts at unifying Americans who might agree with you, but are the "wrong" race, religion, or orientation.  Do not play the left's identitarian game! 

Making war on the U.S. government is treason, a capital crime.  The Bernie Bros and other progressives will forget their opposition to the death penalty if the prospect of working losers to death in American gulags becomes possible.  They have discussed liquidation of millions of capitalists who cannot be re-educated before.

Attempts to enforce their fantasy gun control measures will lead to thousands to hundreds of thousands of defensive battles.  They will look very bad for drawing first blood.  Don't play the communist game by their rules.

Above all, emphasize not overthrowing the federal government, but defense of individual rights from thugs who ignore the Constitution.  They are the real boogalooers.

Monday, February 24, 2020

Beyond State Control: Improvised and Craft-produced Small Arms and Light Weapons

Improvised and craft-produced small arms account for a sizable proportion of weapons seized in domestic law enforcement operations in several countries. In the  UK, some 80 per cent of all guns used in crime in 2011 and 2012 were improvised,craft-produced, or converted;1 in São Paulo, Brazil, 48 per cent of the sub-machineguns recovered during the same period were homemade; and in Indonesia, 98 percent of the guns confiscated from robbery suspects in 2013 were homemade.

One of Those Crimes We Are Told Would be Common After Shall-Issue

Frankfort, Ky. (1900)
1/16/1900: A longstanding dispute between a former member of Congress and an army officer who had served together resulted in a gunfight in an unprovoked gunfight in a hotel lobby.  Three people died, four were wounded (one in danger of death at press time).  Several of those killed or wounded were prominent public figures; several were bystanders.
Category: public
Suicide: no
Cause: quarrel
Weapon: pistols[1]

Of course, Kentucky was not even may-issue at the time. 

Tragedy, but compared to the family mass murders of this period, positively sunny.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Interesting Virus?

My wife's PC and my phone run and report 50 Mbps download.  My PC reports typically about 3.7.  It appears that some virus is stealing my bandwidth for who knows what nefarious purpose.  (Nt the only person to have run into this.)  AVG and MalwareBytes find nothing.  GeekSquad online could not find it because it was impairing their remote ability.  I have an appointment with GeekSquad in Nampa Saturday.  Not having to work through my crippled Internet connection may help.

In TaskManager, I  looked at Ethernet usage tab, and folund no anomalies.  A well-hidden virus, of course, will not show up.  GeekSquad attempted to download and run the eset antivirus program, but it failed to download.  I was able to download it, and I am waiting for it to finish downloading its updates (which is happening VERY slowly).  Any of you have this same experience?

Apparently not what it appears.  At BestBuy, no loss of bandwidth.  My office seems less than optimal; my cell phone reports 19.4 Mbps compared to 2.6 on my PC.  At the router, my PC get a very respectable 50.  My wife has a newer Lenovo farther from the router, and gets 50.  Is it just that my older PC does not have a sensitive enough wifi receiver?  I tried using a wifi repeater, and the results were even worse.  I hate to buy a new PC, with the unavoidable reinstalling of software, only to find out it has some other cause.

Found it: my wife's PC's wifi is ac, mine is a/b/g/n.  I am guessing that there are ac wifi USB devices. Found one in the garage: 10.83.  Still not wonderful, but it explains the problem. Connected to the repeater: 12.85.  Now 16.7.  I ordered an ac1200 Mbps USB.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Pro-Gun Control Writer

The Daily Signal:
These policies come down partly from pressure from the Obama administration Department of Education, partly from outside social justice activist groups, sometimes, and partly from state bureaucrats.

It’s framed as a social justice thing, right? Like lower suspensions because we’re trying to reduce bias and everything will get better. And if you’re a school board member or a superintendent, it’s very easy to want to believe these things, to believe these things.

But if there are parents who are coming to you consistently and saying, “Hey, this might have sounded nice, but my kid says that he was assaulted and that your principal did nothing,” or, “My daughter says that she was harassed and told the assistant principal and they didn’t do anything.” If the people who run schools at a local level hear that from parents, they’re in a position to actually address it.

I think part of the tragedy of Parkland is that, as I said, it was the most avoidable mass murder in American history.

Everything that could’ve gone wrong went wrong, all for a reason, all at the local level, and it immediately became subsumed into a big, national political fight that distracted from what really went wrong.

Really Falling in Love With the New House

The guy that had the house built was a Boeing engineer.

The counters are made of Silestone, an artificial form of granite.  They melt quartz and add various colored rock fillers, and melt and cast it.  Our old house has it for the kitchen and bathroom counters.  It is gorgeous, and unlike Corian, you cannot damage it with a hot pan.  (Well, your crucible for melting steel might.)  This is a subtle color, unlike the green and black stuff we used, so at first we thought it was Corian.

Just about every room has an Ethernet connector.  So what, is not everything wireless now?  100 Mbps Ethernet is inferior in speed to the modern wireless standards.  But looking in the datacomm closet, the connector panel is CAT5e.  This works with gigabit Ethernet.  I have a gigabit router and I think some of my networked devices have gigabit Ethernet.  This means much faster backups.

Like my old house, all the doorknobs are levers, so you can open doors with the edge of your hand, when both hands are occupied.  Of course, our canine delinquents have figured this out.

Why Trump Will Splatter Any Democrat in November

From a progressive Democrat:
You might not think of the knitting world as a particularly political community, but you’d be wrong. Many knitters are active in social justice communities and love to discuss the revolutionary role knitters have played in our culture. I started noticing this about a year ago, particularly on Instagram. I knit as a way to relax and escape the drama of real life, not to further engage with it. But it was impossible to ignore after roving gangs of online social justice warriors started going after anyone in the knitting community who was not lockstep in their ideology. Knitting stars on Instagram were bullied and mobbed by hundreds of people for seemingly innocuous offenses. One man got mobbed so badly that he had a nervous breakdown and was admitted to the hospital on suicide watch. Many things were not right about the hatred, and witnessing the vitriol coming from those I had aligned myself with politically was a massive wake-up call....

But when I witnessed the amount of hate coming from the left in this small, niche knitting community, I started to question everything. I started making a proactive effort to break my echo chamber by listening to voices I thought I would disagree with. I wanted to understand their perspective, believing it would confirm that they were filled with hate for anyone who wasn’t like them.

That turned out not to be the case. The more voices outside the left that I listened to, the more I realized that these were not bad people. They were not racists, nazis, or white supremacists. We had differences of opinions on social and economic issues, but a difference of opinion does not make your opponent inherently evil. And they could justify their opinions using arguments, rather than the shouting and ranting I saw coming from my side of the aisle.
And s9ome of the comments proved her point.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Venus' Girdle

The pink section is where the Sun is illuminating the atmosphere still but below it the Earth's shadow predominates.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

The New House

I had two concerns:

Dark sky?
Enough room for the scopes?

We made ther first load of stuff this evening, and we are giving up very little over our current sky.  The Boise skyglow is farther away in Middleton.  It isn't quite the dizzying darkness of our current house, but I always had a little concern looking straight up on a ladder.

One little niche of the garage is big enough for the gun safe and all the scopes (too many scopes).

Should I Be Horrified or Pleased?

For more than half a century, governments all over the world trusted a single company to keep the communications of their spies, soldiers and diplomats secret. That company was secretly run by the CIA, which had the ability to read all those communications for decades.
Someone who worked for CIA long ago, deserves a big raise.

If You Thought Rep. Swalwell's Threat of Nuclear Weapons to Enforce Gun Control Was An Outlier

2/10/20 TownHall quoting Joe Biden:
"Those who say 'the tree of liberty is watered with the blood of patriots'–  a great line. Well, guess what? The fact is if you’re going to take on the government you need an F-15 with Hellfire missiles. There is no way an AK-47 is going to take care of you if you're worried about the government knocking down your door," Biden told a group of supporters in New Hampshire on Sunday. "And so, it's bizarre. We never said you could own any weapon at all from the beginning. You can't own a machine gun. You can't own a bazooka. You can't own an M1 tank, no matter how much money you have. You can limit the kind of weapons that can be owned."
Someone who learned nothing from Afghanistan.

The Antikythera Device

Monday, February 10, 2020

This Could Make You Paranoid

2/8/20 Associated Press:
LUSAKA, Zambia (AP) — At a Chinese-run hospital in Zambia, some employees watched as people who recently returned from China showed up with coughs but were not placed in isolation. A doctor tending to those patients has stopped coming to work, and health workers have been ordered not to speak publicly about the new virus that has killed hundreds around the world.

You Know About Astro-Turfing

But StrategyPage has a new version:
When reporters went to interview some of the demonstrators it was discovered that the demonstrators didn’t know they were demonstrators. The sign carrying group had been hired as background performers for a music video and were paid a hundred dollars each for two hours work. The “background performers” were not happy to find out they had actually been hired for astroturfing. This form of Information Warfare has been increasingly used because it’s a relatively cheap way to get some favorable publicity, especially if the astroturfing stunt goes viral on the Internet and becomes a news event. This only works, of course, if the audiences doesn’t know it’s astroturfing, especially before the event is even concluded.
You wonder how many demonstrations are real, don't you?

Sunday, February 9, 2020

This Could Not Be True

From a University of Massachusetts Democratic primary preference survey:
 Which of the following outcomes would you prefer occur on November 3, 2020? 
38% Donald Trump wins re-election
62[%] A giant meteor strikes the earth, extinguishing all human life
They really are crazy. My wife thinks they are flippant.  Several elections back, I recall a poll asking for preferred presidential candidate and about 2% answered "Satan."  Perhaps Democrats just aren't serious.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Constantly Changing Closing Cost

From about $4300 now down to $221.  I cannot quite understand, but it looks like my lender keeps giving me discounts.

We should have keys Tuesday, and start moving stuff Wednesday while our fence builders are creating an eclosure that keeps the flying puppy inside.  (She can clear three feet with her belly just a couple inches above the fence.  I am sure five feet is going to stop her.)

The moving of the heavy stuff (couches, beds, drill press, dining room table, telescopes) is scheduled for Saturday the 15th.  A fan is bringing his 16' trailer to help.  If you can help with unloading only in Middleton, it will speed up the process.

The telescopes do not yet have a permanent home.  Once this house sells, assuming we get enough out to pay off the new mortgage (which seems likely), I may have an extension built behind the garage with enough room to hold them.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

State of the Union Speech

Easily the finest such SOTU I have seen in years.  Patriotic, uplifting, encouraging, American exceptionalism.  Bravo.

Monday, February 3, 2020

No, Not the Onion or Babylon Bee

New York State recently passed a law requiring citizens to obtain a permit if they wish to gaze at the stars in public parks. No, really. You read that right. In New York, you must pay for a license to look at the freaking stars.

The state is charging residents $35 to become a fully-licensed stargazer allowed to view the stars between January and December of the year. If you are not lucky enough to be a New York resident and you are just visiting, you will have to fork over $60 for the privilege of admiring your favorite constellation in the night sky.
No. officer, I'm here to sell drugs.

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Upcoming Event

Please join us.  I want a few friendly faces and questions.