Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Antiracist Math

 From p. 26 of A Pathway to EquitableMath Instruction which seems to be a California state education funded project:

Also, many teachers prefer to teach procedural fluency so students engage with more complex problem solving because they believe that they have to do the basic, or computation, skills before they can apply the mathematics. But that idea also reinforces objectivity by requiring linear processing, which is oftentimes not necessary. This is related to sequential thinking, without interrogating the need for that particular sequence of learning. In addition, many teachers are more comfortable teaching skills-based work, and if they do that more often, they are reinforcing their own right to comfort.
They seem to be saying that BIPOCs can't learn basic math skills and that math is not objective. Can anyone think of anything less racist and culturally related than "x+20 = 40; solve for x"? They are preparing BIPOCs for a future that assumes that they cannot learn skills that non-whites can learn just fine, or Asian kids would not so readily outscore Americans on math tests. 12/4/21 Voice of America:

Students in China, Singapore, Macao, Estonia, Japan, Finland, Korea, Canada and Hong Kong are among those who eclipse U.S. students in reading, math and science, according to an international study of education worldwide.

In a snapshot of the abilities of 15-year-old students in the subjects of reading, math and science, pupils in four provinces in China — Beijing, Shanghai, Jiangsu and Zhejiang — outperformed their peers in mathematics and science “by a wide margin,” according to the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA).

Students in the four provinces also topped reading scores, with only those in Singapore coming close.

Asian nations took the top seven slots in math. Following the combined four provinces in China were Singapore, Macao, Hong Kong, Taipei, Japan and Korea. Estonia, the Netherlands and Poland rounded out the top 10. The U.S. ranked 37th, behind such countries as Canada, Sweden, the U.K., Germany, France, Australia, Russia, Italy and Hungary.

Even in America, Asian-Americans outscore whites in math:

Asian American children exhibit stronger math and reading skills than white children at school entry, a pattern that has motivated scholars to examine early childhood to determine when and why these gaps form. Yet, to date, it has been unclear what parenting practices might explain this “Asian Advantage.” Analyzing more than 4,100 children from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study–Birth Cohort, we find that the role of parenting is complex. Asian American parents have high educational expectations compared with whites but are less engaged in traditional measures of parenting (e.g., reading to the child, maternal warmth, parent-child relationship), and these differences matter for understanding the Asian American/white math advantage in early childhood. Thus, even by age four, Asian American parents (across ethnic subgroups) play an important but complex role in the development of a child’s cognitive skills in the first few years of life.

That white privilege thing again!  This constant yelling that BIPOCs (at least non-Asian BIPOCs) do badly at math because of racism is an attempt to explain poor performance by explanations that are clearly wrong, and show a severe contempt for BIPOC abilities.  Is the inferior public education in inner city schools an explanation?  That would question the effects of public education and public educators (on average).

Remember that this is an averages situation.  A friend is Asian.  In high school math classes, whites wanted to sit within copying distance because everyone knew Asians were superior at math; he tells me that they were disappointed.

This whole white privilege and antiracism movement is an attempt to move responsibility from crummy public schools and a destructive inner city subculture onto people who have nothing to do with it.

On p. 7:

• The focus is on getting the “right” answer. 
• Independent practice is valued over teamwork or collaboration. 
• “Real-world math” is valued over math in the real world

So getting x=1/3 on the above example is just fine?  Please don't build any bridges or calculate any dosages for odd weight patients!

The real-world math sentence seems to be an anti-tautology, which I suppose is appropriate for a work that considers treat BIPOCs as different from whites and Asians to be antiracism.  And also on p.7:
• Students are required to “show their work.”

This helps to figure where a student went wrong in solving the problem, but there are no wrong answers so it does not matter. 

• Grading practices are focused on lack of knowledge.

I could have sworn the goal was to improve knowledge.  Testing verifies learning; someone clearly thinks knowledge and accomplishment are white/Asian values.  So a BIPOC does not learn enough algebra to handle STEM classes?  Why is that a problem?

This whole thing feels like the KKK teaches math to kids "who are only going to work in the cotton fields, anyway." They are preparing BIPOCs to be gang members or welfare recipients, but even drug dealers need to calculate profit and loss.

Is Marijuana Effective for Pain Relief?

 One of the arguments Soros' groups advanced for supposed medical marijuana laws was pain relief.  I have always been skeptical of the medical marijuana claims because it seemed like an excuse for people whose "pain" was often sobriety.  There is enough evidence now that marijuana increases the risk of schizophrenia to be concerned about giving it the stamp of approval that such laws provide.  3/26/21 Medical Xpress:

Researchers from the University of Bath's Centre for Pain Research have contributed to a major international review into the safety and efficacy of cannabinoids when used to treat pain, including chronic pain in children and adults.

Conducted for the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) and recently published across 13 linked  in the journal Pain, leading experts from around the world including Dr. Fisher and Professor Eccleston from Bath reviewed existing data into cannabinoids, including for so-called '' and 'medicinal cannabis extracts."

Their findings suggest that although there is preclinical data supporting the hypothesis of cannabinoid analgesia, uncertainties especially in , imply the  for efficacy and safety does not reach the threshold required for the IASP to endorse their general use for pain control. The studies and the statement from the IASP are limited to the use of cannabinoids to treat pain, and not for other conditions for which cannabinoids are used.

Dr. Emma Fisher who led the review of the clinical evidence said: "Cannabis, cannabinoids, and cannabis-based medicines are becoming an increasingly popular alternative to manage pain. However, our review shows that there is limited evidence to support or refute their use for the management of any pain condition. The studies we found were  (high risk of bias) and the evidence was of very low-certainty, meaning that we are very uncertain of the findings and more research is needed."

Solar for the Telescope Garage

 Our concrete contractor is supposed to pour a 16' x9' slab on April 1.  Then we will have a Suncast shed installed on it, probably held down by ammunition; yes I have enough to act as anchor for even hurricanes to not move it.  The three telescopes currently taking up space in the garage will roll in and out onto the slab.  It is also really dark out there (Milky Way in summer) and I will not have far to roll them.  Right now I have to roll them from garage to the front porch to get a reasonably flat spot; this should speed up the process.

The Suncast was sufficiently close esthetically to our rather modern (and to my eyes) weird pseudo-Southwestern house to meet with Rhonda's approval.

So about that title: It is impractical to run power to it.  I need enough power to recharge a couple of battery packs that I use for two of the equatorial mounts.  This 100W kit looks to be appropriate.  I probably do not need a battery; if it does all the charging during the day that is fine.  It looks like the charge controller is intended to recharge a battery.  Do I have that right?

I Think the Second Windstorm Undid Most of the Damage of the First One

 The first storm knocked us from 50 Mbs+ to about 1 Mbps, probably by moving our dish.  The second windstorm seems to have us back to 30 Mbps.  I am still looking forward to the arrival of Rise Broadband's tech to get us back to full speed.


 I am still hoping to hear back from Soda PDF; their customer service is apparently pretty backlogged at the moment.  In the meantime, I am evaluating FoxIt and Nitro Pro.  They are similarly priced ($125 vs. $128), but FoxIt is China and Nitro Pro is Australian; putting money into an ally, not an enemy or puppetmaster is preferable.

Both are chugging along OCRing the 1841 Maine session laws, in parallel.  I was not expecting a clear performance advantage of one over the other, although FoxIt seems to be moving a bit faster.  The real tests will be how accurately they do this.  How they handle the accursed margin notes on session laws will be of interest.

So far, Nitro Pro looks simpler to use.  Still waiting for FoxIt's Word output to open.  This was the entire session laws of Maine 1841.  The Word file FoxIt produced was unreadable by Word.

Nitro Pro also failed to produce a readable Word file.

NAPS2 (free) only produces a PDF containing text.  But you can copy the text from the PDF viewer:

Chapter 169. RESOLVE in relation to the Military road. - Resolved, That the sum of twenty-five hundred dollars be and the same is hereby appropriated, for the repair of the military road and the bridges upon the same, from the Penobscot river to Houlton ; and the Governor and Council are hereby authorized to appoint an Agent to superintend the expending of the same, at a compensation not exceeding two dollars per day, upon such bridges and such portions of said road, as he shall think best for the interest of the State.

I had to do a little editing of the marginalia that are always on session laws.  Curiously, it will not do it twice, unless I am doing something wrong.   Third time, it worked.  Mystery.

Monday, March 29, 2021

Gun Control: The Hunter Version

 3/25/21 Politico:

On Oct. 23, 2018, President Joe Biden’s son Hunter and daughter in law Hallie were involved in a bizarre incident in which Hallie took Hunter’s gun and threw it in a trash can behind a grocery store, only to return later to find it gone.

Delaware police began investigating, concerned that the trash can was across from a high school and that the missing gun could be used in a crime, according to law enforcement officials and a copy of the police report obtained by POLITICO.

But a curious thing happened at the time: Secret Service agents approached the owner of the store where Hunter bought the gun and asked to take the paperwork involving the sale, according to two people, one of whom has firsthand knowledge of the episode and the other was briefed by a Secret Service agent after the fact.

The gun store owner refused to supply the paperwork, suspecting that the Secret Service officers wanted to hide Hunter’s ownership of the missing gun in case it were to be involved in a crime, the two people said. The owner, Ron Palmieri, later turned over the papers to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, which oversees federal gun laws.

The Secret Service says it has no record of its agents investigating the incident, and Joe Biden, who was not under protection at the time, said through a spokesperson he has no knowledge of any Secret Service involvement.

Insert Donald Trump, Jr.'s name and imagine how widely this story would be distributed. 

Any Airsoft Fans Out There?

There was for a while an Airsoft copy of the Colt 1903 sold under the name Smart K-28.  Except for the grips, apparently a pretty faithful all metal reproduction (except for the grips).  They seem to be out of production.  Any ideas where I might find one for sale used?  Buying a real Colt 1903 is a bit of money for a gun that I am unlikely to shoot more than  a few times.  This is an esthetic pursuit, mostly.

Sunday, March 28, 2021

The Capitol "Rioters" Cases Are Unravelling

 3/28/21 American Thinker points to a D.C. Court of Appeals decision ordering the no bail jailing of some defendants reheard, and in a way that reflects badly on some of these cases:

The unblinkered Circuit Court panel seems to have seen clearly through this maneuver. Two of the judges, Wilkins and Rogers, ordered the case returned to Lamberth to apply what it said was the appropriate standard for denying bail. In the majority opinion, Judge Wilkins distinguished between what constituted dangerous behavior and what did not:

In our view, those who actually assaulted police officers and broke through windows, doors, and barricades, and those who aided, conspired with, planned or coordinated such actions, are in a different category of dangerousness than those who cheered on the violence or entered the Capitol after others cleared the way.”

The Defendants’ Conduct on January 6

Munchel and Eisenhart did not organize the election protest or the ensuing march to the Capitol, hatched no advance plan to enter the Capitol, and acted in concert with no other protestors. Nor did they assault any police officers or remove any barricades in order to breach Capitol security. They decided to enter the Capitol only after others had already done so forcibly. By the time they made their way to the building, police were making no attempt to stop or even discourage protestors from entering. To go inside, Munchel and Eisenhart walked through an open door. While there, they attempted neither violence nor vandalism. They searched for no Members of Congress, and they harassed no police officers. They found plastic handcuffs by chance, but never threatened to use them. Munchel’s threat to “break” anyone who vandalized the Capitol was intended to prevent destruction and was addressed to no one in particular. [snip] Munchel and Eisenhart voluntarily left the building -- while many other protestors remained and before the police began to restore order. Their misconduct was serious, but it hardly threatened to topple the Republic. Nor, for that matter, did it reveal an unmitigable propensity for future violence.  

From 18 USC 3161(b(-(c):

(b) Any information or indictment charging an individual with the commission of an offense shall be filed within thirty days from the date on which such individual was arrested or served with a summons in connection with such charges. If an individual has been charged with a felony in a district in which no grand jury has been in session during such thirty-day period, the period of time for filing of the indictment shall be extended an additional thirty days.
(c)(1) In any case in which a plea of not guilty is entered, the trial of a defendant charged in an information or indictment with the commission of an offense shall commence within seventy days from the filing date (and making public) of the information or indictment, or from the date the defendant has appeared before a judicial officer of the court in which such charge is pending, whichever date last occurs. If a defendant consents in writing to be tried before a magistrate judge on a complaint, the trial shall commence within seventy days from the date of such consent

It looks to me that these cases are going to expire real soon because they are clearly not going to get most of these people to trial in 70 days from charging.  And then the Left will start whining that the speedy trial provision of the Bill of Rights needs amending, at least for white people.

Measuring Weight of Ammunition

 One measure of how accurate your ammunition may be is weighing it.  I had about 30 rounds of 115 gr. FMJ 9mm Parabellum, mostly PMC.  The closer they are in weight, the more likely they are to have the same ballistics.  Sure, some may have more powder and a lighter bullet, and therefore a little hotter, but as a first approximation (especially if you do not handload), it is a start.  Of about 23 rounds, all but one were within 0.1 grams of each other.  Many were exactly 18.08 g, or 18.20 g.  (These may be of different boxes; this is a scattering of 9mm rounds in the bottom of my range bag.)  That Assuming all the 18.06-18.14 g rounds were from the same lot is impressive.  (The outlier was 1.53 g.)  I may try this again with a single box.

Disturbing News? Story

 A reader pointed me to a very disturbing, if true, news story in an independent conservative page.  3/15/21 Montana Daily Gazette:

In the early Tuesday morning hours, motion sensors alerted the occupant, hereafter referred to as John Doe (names have been changed to protect the innocent) that there was movement along the driveway to his home.  Given the time of day, the location of the home, and some recent history that will be discussed later, Doe knew he needed to react, but in a non-threatening manner.  His decision was to put on a pair of pants, remain barefoot and shirtless, and move to the front porch with his hands raised in the air.  What appeared in the driveway was the lead vehicle of three BearCat armored personnel carriers – commonly referred to as personnel tanks (pictured left) – in a convoy of over thirty total vehicles.  

The BearCats are armed with a rotating turret for housing customer-specific weapon systems. Five gun ports are located on each side of the vehicle, and an additional two on the rear. The vehicle are often equipped with .50 BMG or 7.62mm rifles. It is a military-grade vehicle often used by U.S. Special Forces and the Australian military.

But on this day, they were cruising the Flathead Valley with thirty other police vehicles in tow.

Also surrounding the house were one-hundred-plus federal agents with a helicopter in support.  Federal agents immediately took Doe into custody and placed him in loose-fitting flex cuffs into the back of one of the BearCat vehicles. Inside the vehicle, John was placed on the outer wall, and at his feet were loaded weapons.  Doe later concluded that this had to be a setup, for if he were to try to free himself, he would likely be killed.  Seemingly unbeknownst to the Feds, Doe’s 88-year-old mother (who suffers from dementia) was asleep in the house. The actual homeowner, Jane Doe, was also in the home. This is why Doe wanted to avoid confrontation and the stress of such an event by presenting himself peacefully. What looked to be a quick and peaceful resolution then took a strange turn to the worse. ...

Why did agents breach the house when Doe was already in custody? Counter to standard practice, the team chose to enter a window next to Doe’s basement door.  That window is over three feet off the ground and thus difficult to breach and enter by a team that needs to move fast.  There are many windows in the house that would have made a breach entry a lot easier.  This window was different, not only in its height above ground and the resulting impact on the tactics used, but it is also right next to Doe’s bed.  If Doe had not exited the house and moved to the front porch to peacefully present himself, the concussion grenade employed by the breaching team would have landed on him while he was sleeping.  There’s no telling what would have happened in that instance, but John’s death is a possibility. 

The story presents a plausible reason for a search and arrest, although disproportionate to the claimed level of force.  3/25/21 AmmoLand attempted to verify this horrifying story:

The Sheriff’s Office was the first place to start, and hoping for a written public reply, I asked them to make a statement via Twitter:

“Since your department is named in this report, and since the assessment of its accuracy is of significant public interest, will you please issue a statement of your involvement and the facts as you understand them?”

That was met with several days of silence, so I followed it up with a phone call to the department. I was informed that an email had been circulated internally instructing personnel to refer all inquiries to “the U.S. County Attorney.” The person I spoke with also let slip that the story had “inaccuracies.”

That at least meant they were aware of the story and that something happened.

Since there is a County Attorney and a U.S. Attorney, I contacted the feds next, starting with the Missoula Field Office since it is geographically the closest one. I was informed the public information officer works out of the Billings office, so I called there and had to leave a voicemail message. Shortly thereafter, I received a callback and asked the officer if they had prepared a public statement. She informed me that, per Department of Justice policy, she could neither confirm nor deny anything responsive to my questions about ongoing investigations.

That at least suggests there is an investigation and that it’s ongoing, but confirms nothing.

I also left a voicemail with the County Attorney. As of this writing, I have not heard back but will update this post if I do.

Did the Montana Daily Gazette accurately report what happened?  I hope not.  But if you had read an account of Ruby Ridge or Waco in 1990, you would have called it an absurd fabrication.  If you can find any evidence about this supposed insane raid, please let me know.

3D Printed Browning Hi-Power Frames

Search and you will find.

Slavery Reparations

A few hundred years ago, some West Africans sold their countrymen into slavery.  They were brought across the ocean in inhumane conditions where they were sold to mostly white, Southern Democrats.  

As compensation, the descendants people who ancestors fought and died in a war that eventually ended slavery, will be taxed to make amends strictly because we are the same color as those white Southern Democrats for the benefit of people who are the same color as the recipients.  

Asians and whites descended from ancestors who were not even in America when slavery ended will also be taxed for the sins of a small number of white Southern Democrats.

Once our taxes go up to implement this racist scheme, expect neo-Nazi groups to grow substantially, especially among poor whites who are going to have trouble seeing their "white privilege."

Remember: Racial Discrimination is Now Legal

 3/24/21 CBS News:

The mayor of Oakland, California, on Tuesday announced a privately funded program that will give low-income families of color in the city $500 per month with no rules on how they can spend it.

The program is the latest experiment with a "guaranteed income," the idea that giving low-income individuals a regular, monthly stipend helps ease the stresses of poverty and results in better health and upward economic mobility.   

That the funds are privately raised does not matters.  If a government administers a program that discriminates racially, it is violating the 14th Amendment's equal protection clause.  Now if this program was for all poor people, you could argue that it is likely to be counterproductive, even if most of the beneficiaries turned out to be black.  But this is the sort of racism that the 14th Amendment prohibits.  Oakland believes poor whites do not deserve relief from poverty, poor health, and lack of upward mobility.  I can see strong recruiting opportunities for neo-Nazi groups in Oakland.

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Even NPR Adm its Men Are Different From Women

 3/27/21 NPR:

As with almost every mass shooter in recorded U.S. history, both of the suspects in the recent attacks are men.

A staggering 98% of these crimes have been committed by men, according to The Violence Project, a nonpartisan research group that tracks U.S. mass shooting data dating back to 1966.

"Men just are generally more violent," said the group's president, Jillian Peterson, a forensic psychologist and professor of criminology and criminal justice at Hamline University. "There are many theories as to why that is."

As NPR has reported, researchers say that men, more than women, tend to externalize their problems and look for others to blame, which can translate into anger and violence. And when women do choose violence, guns are not typically their weapon of choice.

Wow.  Conservatives have been saying this for years.  Not necessarily better, but on average definitely men are different from women.

Another Motive?

Perhaps not just mental illness.  The killer was apparently a supporter of ISIS, an enemy of Trump, a Muslim, and he attacked a kosher supermarket according to their website

But the news media will not consider this as a motive.

Other Range Day Stuff

I went out to verify that the repairs to my Firestar were successful.   I no longer have the failure to eject which jammed it good.  I had one failure to extract out of three magazines but it did not jam the gun.  I was able to remove the magazine and clear the gun.

I went out also to try the 6  round magazines for the Mustang.  I still have not found where I put them this morning before I left for the range.  UPDATE: Too much stuff in the range bag.  They were there on the side where they were not obvious.   Another range day required!

Those Self-Healing Reactive Targets?

Yes.  The bouncer shows no holes but signs of impact where 9mm FMJs moved it very nicely.  The 4" spinner was a bit small for the distance and a 2.75" barrel, but you can see where a .380 ACP JHP spun it.

Who Am I?

The magazines on the top with the white followers.  I assumed that they were for the Marlin Camp Carbine when I went to the range this morning.  Nope.  

They fit the Marlin's well, but don't lock in place.  I suspect that milling a magazine catch slot might make them fit.

They are double stack, single feed 9mm 18 rounds.  I have no idea for what gun I would have bought them.  No markings at all.  From the CIA's black firearms shop?  Please guess!

The 17 rounders for that are Ramline (the ones on the bottom).  My mistake: they are 20 rounds.  I found several with the tags still attached.   My wife and I sorted the contents of the gun safe today.  I am not sure that I ever realistically evaluated my true LCM needs.  Either that or they started breeding in there. 

The mystery magazines were 18 rounders for the Browning Hi-Power.  Now that I have found my 20 round magazines for the Marlin adding a magazine notch seems less useful.  If the idiots in charge look close to passing an LCM ban on new manufacture and transfer, I expect prices to skyrocket.   I may sell off some of my absurd overstock of these.  I doubt that I will out enough to matter in my lifetime; if I lose them in combat operations against the National Socialist Democratic Party, I am either on the losing side and extras will not matter, or the winning side and we will make more.

Of course the availability of STL files for 3D printed magazines makes this whole LCM law utterly pointless.   Maybe time to buy a 3D printer.

Very Little is Free

 The Soda PDF program which I used for OCR would not install after the recent hard disk unpleasantness, so I went looking for other solutions.  (I am still hoping Soda PDF support gets back to me with a solution.)  ReadIris came with my HP printer, but perhaps because of Windows 10 it cannot see the scanner and therefore will not work.  Several free OCR solutions would only OCR jpgs and similar images--not PDFs.  One tried to download a Trojan, so that is off the list.  I was prepared to pay for Adobe Acrobat DC (the non-free version) that does OCR.  The PDFs had some embedded text, so Adobe said to export the PDF as a TIFF, import as a PDF, then OCR.  But it did not consider the TIFF it exported as valid.  I am not buying a product that buggy.

Friday, March 26, 2021

Another Reminder That Transgender Has a Bullying Aspect to It

 Meriwhether v.Hartop et al. (6th Cir. 2021):

At the start of the school year, Shawnee State emailed the faculty informing them that they had to refer to students by their “preferred pronoun[s].” Id. at 1471–72. Meriwether asked university officials for more details about the new pronoun policy, and the officials confirmed that professors would be disciplined if they “refused to use a pronoun that reflects a student’s self-asserted gender identity.” Id. at 1472. What if a professor had moral or religious objections? That didn’t matter: The policy applied “regardless of the professor’s convictions or views on the subject.” Id.

When Meriwether asked to see the revised policy, university officials pointed him to the school’s existing policy prohibiting discrimination “because of . . . gender identity.” R. 34-1, Pg. ID 1509. That policy applies to all of the university’s “employees, students, visitors, agents and volunteers”; it applies at both academic and non-academic events; it applies on all university property (including classrooms, dorms, and athletic fields); and it sometimes applies off campus. R. 34-2, Pg. ID 1511–12.

Meriwether approached the chair of his department, Jennifer Pauley, to discuss his concerns about the newly announced rules. Pauley was derisive and scornful. Knowing that Meriwether had successfully taught courses on Christian thought for decades, she said that Christians are “primarily motivated out of fear” and should be “banned from teaching courses regarding that religion.” R. 34, Pg. ID 1473. In her view, even the “presence of religion in higher education is counterproductive.” Id. Meriwether continued to teach students without incident until January 2018. On the first day of class,

Meriwether was using the Socratic method to lead discussion in his course on Political Philosophy. When using that method, he addresses students as “Mr.” or “Ms.” He believes “this formal manner of addressing students helps them view the academic enterprise as a serious, weighty endeavor” and “foster[s] an atmosphere of seriousness and mutual respect.” Id. at 1475. He “has found that addressing students in this fashion is an important pedagogical tool in all of his classes, but especially in Political Philosophy where he and [the] students discuss many of the most controversial issues of public concern.” Id. In that first class, one of the students Meriwether called on was Doe. According to Meriwether, “no one . . . would have assumed that [Doe] was female” based on Doe’s outward appearances. Id. at 1474. Thus, Meriwether responded to a question from Doe by saying, “Yes, sir.” Id. This was Meriwether’s first time meeting Doe, and the university had not provided Meriwether with any information about Doe’s sex or gender identity.

After class, Doe approached Meriwether and “demanded” that Meriwether “refer to [Doe] as a woman” and use “feminine titles and pronouns.” Id. at1475. This was the first time that Meriwether learned that Doe identified as a woman. So Meriwether paused before responding because his sincerely held religious beliefs prevented him from communicating messages about gender identity that he believes are false. He explained that he wasn’t sure if he could comply with Doe’s demands. Doe became hostile—circling around Meriwether at first, and then approaching him in a threatening manner: “I guess this means I can call you a cu--.” Id. Doe promised that Meriwether would be fired if he did not give in to Doe’s demands.

The good news is that cowards at this public college have had their noses beat by the Court of Appeals for giving into this crybully by reprimanding him. 

Intentions Good; It May Not Work As Intended

 3/23/21 Columbia [S.C.] Post and Courier:

COLUMBIA — A Statehouse proposal aimed at ensuring South Carolinians can keep their weapons no matter what gun-control measures the White House or Congress might take won early backing in the state Senate. 

The idea is to direct the unorganized militia to be armed.  This may not be the solution they want.  Why?  Art. I, sec. 8 provides that the powers of Congress include:

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

Art. I, sec. 2:

The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States;

Congress could direct the unorganized militia under "disciplining" to place all arms or specifically "weapons of war" in National Guard arsenals until the President called the unorganized militia into national duty. President Biden could call unorganized militia into national duty (like during the Whiskey Rebellion), order them into formation with orders to hand over weapons.

The best hope is to constitute all citizens as members of the state defense forces which are not part of the National Guard or the unorganized militia.  They are under direction of the governors alone.

Subversive Film

 Baby Boom (2001) was free on YouTube.  I have enjoyed watching Diane Keaton's performances from the very first movie of hers.  

This was a profoundly subversive film.  She plays a hard as nails career woman, childless and planning to stay that way,enjoying all the perqs of modern liberated woman, with some hard to understand position at some Wall Street firm.  She is aiming to make partner.  

Then her cousin in Britain dies and a British social worker delivers the cousin's orphaned daughter to her.  A day or two watching adorable baby has the expected effect.  I won't spoil the rest of it.

Shocking Performance

 I kept reading comments about how badly Biden's first press conference went.  I watched it.  I wonder if what we saw during the campaign was stress (which can aggravated Alzheimer's) and how much was waiting for a good day for him.

To my utter surprise, after claiming that the large number of unaccompanied minors was not because of him, a female Hispanic reporter described calling the mother of this kid who had walked from Honduras to illegally enter the U.S.; the mother told the reporter that she sent him on his way because of Biden.  Biden handled being contradicted much better than I expected.  It was not all flawless speaking, of course, but who is, in that situation.  He also emphasized that most illegals are still being deported.

Of course, he blamed Trump for shutting down facilities for unaccompanied minors, claiming Trump left them in Mexico to starve.  Why did I not see coverage of that when Trump was President?  Were the news media too buddy-buddy with Trump?  Could it be that he closed those facilities because he successfully stopped the large scale illegal entry?

There was a mention by a reporter of North Korean resuming missile testing. Why has this received little coverage?

He did his best to dance around the filibuster question.  Apparently some Democrats want the rule changed for really important bills: gun bans.

Spammers Who Need English Lessons

Dear Customer

This Would Like To Inform You Regarding The Product Which You Purchase From Amazon.com And You Have Been Charged Directly From Plastic Cards Which You Have Made Purchased Last Year Or Some Months Ago and Your Amazon Standard Identification Number (ASIN) B00JX1ZS5O

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Thursday, March 25, 2021

Internet Crawl

Last night's windstorm apparently reaimed our ISP antenna.  I am now getting about 1 Mbps.  For some reason, not even that at my phone, so I am blogging through the phone network at the moment. Very frustrating. 

Bump Stock Decision

 Gun Owners of America v. Garland et al. (6th Cir. 2021) struck down ATF's definition of a bump stock as a machine gun.  Much of the decision is about Chevron deference.  Chevron is a decision that held that the courts should defer to regulatory agency expertise, but not in criminal law.  More importantly, they looked at the federal law definition of a machine gun:

Under this interpretation, the bump-stock-attached semiautomatic firearm clearly is not a machine gun as it is not capable of firing more than one shot for each depressed-released-reset cycle the trigger completes. (p. 30)

Congress could change the law to include bump stocks as machine guns, but ATF cannot just make a rule that says this. This was not a Second Amendment decision.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

The Wonderful Diversity of Mass Murderers

It has become an act of faith for the left that mass murder is a white male thing.  It is, like individual murders, mostly a man thing, although the Chicago mass murder in the 1980s and the Santa Barbara Post Office mass murder in the 2000s are both modern reminders of something that I have found common throughout American history: women do it too.

In of all places 3/27/21 Slate is a reminder that blacks and Asians are overrepresented among mass murderers.  They is nothing uniquely or even disproportionately white about mass murder.  Indeed, whites are underrepresented. 

If only the left would stop seeing everything in racial terms, and confront that the failure to provide mental health services to those in need (sometimes with no awareness of that need).  But that require admitting that all those good-hearted efforts in the 1960s and 1970s did not work out as planned, indeed as is true for everything delusion they have.

Natural or Lab Accident

 3/18/21 MIT Technology Review reports on the now largely stifled debate about whether the Wuhan Flu might have been a lab accident, interviewing prominent virologists:

Petrovksy is a professor at Flinders University, near Adelaide, and he is also founder and chairman of a company called Vaxine that develops immunizations for infectious diseases, among other projects. Since 2005, he’s received tens of millions of dollars in funding from the US National Institutes of Health to support the development of vaccines and compounds called adjuvants that boost their effects. After Chinese scientists posted a draft genome of the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, the disease culprit in Wuhan, Petrovksy—who by this time had put skiing on the back burner to work from his Colorado home office—directed his colleagues down under to run computer modeling studies of the viral sequence, a first step toward designing a vaccine.

This generated a startling result: the spike proteins studding SARS-CoV-2 bound more tightly to their human cell receptor, a protein called ACE2, than target receptors on any other species evaluated. In other words, SARS-CoV-2 was surprisingly well adapted to its human prey, which is unusual for a newly emerging pathogen. “Holy shit, that’s really weird,’” Petrovsky recalls thinking....

As Petrovsky considered whether SARS-CoV-2 might have emerged in lab cultures with human cells, or cells engineered to express the human ACE2 protein, a letter penned by 27 scientists appeared suddenly on February 19 in the prestigious medical journal The Lancet. The authors insisted that SARS-CoV-2 had a natural origin, and they condemned any alternate hypotheses as conspiracy theories that create only “fear, rumors, and prejudice.”

Petrovksy says he found the letter infuriating. Conspiracy theorists is “the last thing we were,” he says, “and it looked to be pointing at people like us.”

Last month, a team of international scientists completed a month-long visit to Wuhan to investigate SARS-CoV-2’s origins. Convened by the WHO, and closely monitored by Chinese authorities, the team concluded initially that a lab leak was so unlikely that further investigations of it were unnecessary. The WHO’s director general later walked that statement back, claiming that “all hypotheses remain open and require further analysis and studies.” A group of 26 scientists, social scientists, and science communicators—Petrovksy among them—have now signed their own letter arguing that WHO investigators lacked “the mandate, the independence, or the necessary accesses” to determine whether or not SARS-CoV-2 could have been the result of a laboratory incident.

The WHO investigation follows a year during which debates over SARS-CoV-2’s origins turned increasingly acrimonious. Chinese officials were, and still are, unwilling to provide information that might settle lingering questions about where the virus came from, and in the absence of critical data, expert views coalesced around two competing scenarios: one that a lab leak was plausible and needed more scrutiny, and another that SARS-CoV-2 had almost certainly spilled over from nature and that the odds of a lab leak were so remote that the possibility could essentially be taken off the table. Those insisting on a natural origin say the virus lacks genetic features that would show it to have been deliberately engineered. But it’s also possible that SARS-CoV-2 evolved naturally in the wild before it was brought into a lab to be studied, only to subsequently escape. The Wuhan Institute of Virology, which many see as the likeliest site of a breakout, houses one of the largest collections of coronaviruses in the world.

Let me emphasize: they are not saying that this was an intentional release.  The bioweapon claim spread by a number of people has always seemed implausible to me:

1. If it was a bioweapon, it would have been released in Europe or America to avoid its first point of exposure suggesting Chinese origins.

2. It killed a lot of Chinese and interfered with their foreign trade quite seriously.

Remember: mistakes happen a lot because people make a lot of stupid mistakes.  An accidental release would explain its devastating origins and consequences for China.  The "gain of function" experiments would explain its human-specificity, because that is what "gain of function" testing is trying to understand.

Obviously, China will not admit a mistake (or accident) by their people caused this worldwide disaster.  No government would do so, and especially China, which has always been concerned with how the rest of the world sees them, and is about the only government with more transparency than North Korea.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Treasure Valley Housing Gridlock?

An acquaintance is seeking to do Escape From California (you remember the movie with Kurt Russell, right?). He was finally ready and there is literally no houses to buy or rent in Meridian.   Like traffic gridlock, until some more houses get built, nothing will move until buyers start offering 50% above listing price.

Where White Privilege Takes You

 A black Beachwood, Ohio woman went after the school board.

Through her required face mask, the woman identified herself as Ms. Taylor, a Beachwood resident for over 20 years, and said that she raised her children in the community. Her children are successful professionals.

She said that many school districts in Ohio "are now hiding their curriculum from its residents because they're teaching students to become bigots toward their peers, adults, and law enforcement. Many school districts within this congressional district [Ohio-11] are on board for allocating funding and teaching young students the how-to about changing your gender, child pornography, and pedophilia, and where to find those websites, what sex toys to purchase, and how to use that which is purchased."

The meeting was held on March 8, and followed the announcement by the Beachwood school district that March 11 would see students subjected to "mandatory" critical race training. Parents were urged to attend the preceding school board meeting, and they did.

"Parents are not being told that their child is being taught that at the school and the teachers and librarians are being exempted from criminal prosecution," she said.

"Regarding the educational equity piece, it appears that the superintendent and you and school board members grew up so white that you don't even know the damage that your decisions have caused previous, current, and future generations of Beachwood students whose parents just wanted them to qualify to attend great universities.

"Instead, you convince yourselves that blacks are oppressed and that it is your job to stop that oppression. How have you not looked at the results to realize that what you did was immoral and had the opposite effect?

"Within Beachwood Schools, black kids are turning against white people of all ages. And white kids are hating their parents and their success and their heritage and calling them racist only because you don't understand the black race.

"You attempted to fix something that for all intents and purposes, years ago was in reality not even broken. You just convinced yourself that it was broken. It was never your job, you got out of your lane. Your job was to provide students with the environment to be well-rounded and educationally successful.

"Now, the residents with kids who did find out about your deviant curriculum, they pulled their kids out as fast as they could. More are withdrawing their kids because the school has lost control of the classroom environment," she said.

She took a moment to collect her thoughts, and then went on to say that "in the document for critical race theory, the stated goal is to make children activists in their own home. What does that mean?" She asked.

"And one other thing, let me tell you something," she said, going off her prepared remarks, "I'm a professional as well, I grew up in corporate America. I met people like y'all every day. Y'all don't know nothing about black people but still you think you can make rules for black people. Black kids at Beachwood Schools, when they were growing up, all these decades, until you all came along: They didn't look at race or gender. Very successful black people. Very successful.

"But what did you do? You decided that instead of looking at Beachwood data, you decided to put us up in with George Floyd and everybody else who got killed that had nothing to do with Beachwood. Nothing! So what do you do? You put in stuff like critical race theory, and all this other garbage that first of all is none of your business—"

Where they cut her off.  Is there still racism in America?  Yes.  Crazy people who want a one race nation, but that will not be criticized because it is a "black-only" nation being requested.  (When neo=Nazis talked about an "Aryan homeland" in the Northwest some years back, it was crazy.  It still is.  We are individuals not races.)  White privilege is virtual-signaling for privileged whites, and a scam for a few connected black activists.


Truly Awful Sci-Fi

 The Yesterday Machine (1963).  Let's see:

1. Confederate soldiers.

2. 1960s college students with a too long opening of a cheerleader performing while her boyfriend tries to repair the fuel pump.

3. Serving girl from ancient Egyptian court.

4., Guy in a tricorner hat who screams "Witchcraft" when the reporter uses a cigarette lighter with the same mechanism as a wheellock firearm.

5. Nazi scientist trying to use his time machine to fix the unfortunate results of 1945.

6. Not well acted.

7. Too much Nazi scientist with bad accent justifying why his friend Hitler was a great man.  The sentiments are plausible for an intellectual of his era, but he speaks far too long.

It makes Plan 9 From Outer Space not so bad by comparison.

The Ethnostate is the Part That I Find Troubling

 MSNBC video:

All well and good seeking self-defense, but the ethnostate rhetoric they spout sounds suspiciously like "white homeland" crap from neo-Nazis.

The Wikipedia page for NFAC is a little amazing:
Furthermore, in the same interview, Johnson expressed Black Nationalist views, putting forth the view that the United States should either hand the state of Texas over to African-Americans so that they may form an independent country, or allow African-Americans to depart the United States to another country that would provide land upon which to form an independent nation.[11][12]

So are all non-black Texans required to move?  And what is preventing African-Americans from departing?  I suspect most will choose to stay, seeing themselves as Americans first.

The Boulder Mass Murder

They wanted an AR-15 mass murder. They got it. 3/23/21 Daily Beast:

Authorities on Tuesday identified the suspect in the shooting deaths of 10 people at a King Soopers grocery store in Boulder, Colorado, as 21-year-old Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, whose brother said he was deeply disturbed.

Alissa, who is from Arvada, has been charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder for the massacre. He was taken into custody after being shot during apprehension.

Ali Aliwi Alissa, the suspect’s 34-year-old brother, told The Daily Beast that authorities searched his house all night after the shooting.

Alissa described his brother as “very anti-social” and paranoid, adding that, in high school, he would describe “being chased, someone is behind him, someone is looking for him.”

“When he was having lunch with my sister in a restaurant, he said, ‘People are in the parking lot, they are looking for me.’ She went out, and there was no one. We didn’t know what was going on in his head,” Alissa said, admitting that he believes his brother is mentally ill.

Boulder's AW and LCM ban were blocked ten days ago by the courts.  3/23/21 New York Post:

Ten days before a gunman killed 10 people at a Boulder, Colorado, supermarket, a judge blocked the city from enforcing a ban on assault weapons and large-capacity magazines — likely setting up a renewed gun control debate in the state.

Unless he bought in the last ten days, that action is irrelevant. 

Yes, he is a Muslim, and reputed to be an ISIS sympathizer, but mental illness is the most plausible explanation for this crime; sympathy for torturers like ISIS is more likely a symptom than cause.


Monday, March 22, 2021

Can States Preserve Voter ID?

HR1 supposedly ends voter ID, through Congressional authority under Art. I, sec. 4 to regulate elections to the House and Senate.  They can prohibit States from requiring voter ID for federal races.  But there are few federal elections that are not also State or local elections as well.  Require voter ID for those elections and assess a hefty fine for using a fake ID.  The 24th Amendment prohibited the use of poll taxes to prevent voting in federal elections; because these were so heavily tied to local elections in the South, it pretty well ended poll tax disqualification for State and local elections.   It can work that way here.  I do not see a way for Congress to require States to hold federal elections on different days from State elections. 

Interesting Article About COVID-19 Misunderstanding

The Brookings Institute had an interesting article about how sensational news coverage (is there any other kind?) have severely distorted knowledge od the problem, with Republicans tending to underestimate the problem, and Democrats more likely to overestimate the problem.  Example:

When asked to estimate the share of deaths by age group, the average American dramatically overestimates the share of COVID-19 deaths from people aged 24 and younger, putting it around 8%, when in fact it was 0.1% through August and has remained close to that level since. Meanwhile the elderly,  those 65 and older, had accounted for 81% of deaths at the time of the survey (and 79% through November). Democrats were further off than Republicans and more likely to overstate the risks to young people, even after accounting for age, race, gender, geographic, and educational differences. The fact that COVID-19 poses a much higher mortality risk to the old than the young was the most clear feature of the virus from very early on; it is remarkable that many Americans remain misinformed about this basic factor...

News is in the business of selling advertising.  The more sensational the story, the better. 

Is There a CPA in the House?

I have a minor change to make to my IRA withdrawal tax withholding to avoid surprises like this year.  If so, please contact me.  I suspect it will take you 2 minutes to do.  My algebra is too rusty. 

One of you wonderful readers directed me to a CPA who recently went through firearms training.  She told me enough to see what I should have seen on my own.

Saturday, March 20, 2021

When Law Enforcement Agencies Get Out of Control

My research assistant blogs and some of his reading of ancient newspapers shows up on his blog.

Do Any Of You Know a Way to Relax That Reduces Brain Use?

I am having a problem:  I am wearing myself out from too much intellectual activity.  Do you have any suggestions for things to do that use little or no brain function, and that are not boring?

Do You Know the Way to San Jose?

Through Nampa on Friday at rush hour.  It is just San Jose when I lived there in the 1980s.  This area is becoming unlivable.  Not because the newcomers are leftists (they are not) but because a big chunk of Californians have figured out that they are not welcome there anymore. Wyoming?  Montana?

A New Conspiracy Theory

I was watching a YouTube video demolishing a new conspiracy theory: the Dark Ages were made up.

Because... Science

From where the six foot rule come?  I do not doubt that distance will reduce aerosol dispersion of the virus.  But why six feet?  Why not two meters.  I am sure that if six feet is good, 50 feet would be better, and 50 meters would reduce the risk to a lot of zeroes before the significant digit.  So how, exactly, was six feet picked?  Was there a study on this, or was someone at CDC spitballing?  

I ask because 3/19/21 AP reports that CDC says:

Students can safely sit just 3 feet apart in the classroom as long as they wear masks but should be kept the usual 6 feet away from one another at sporting events, assemblies, lunch or chorus practice, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday in relaxing its COVID-19 guidelines.

How many schools shut down because six feet made classrooms impractical?

I am not disputing that caution was appropriate when no one knew.  But can the six foot bubble be safely reduced for adults in public as well?  If not, what is the science that says this?

Friday, March 19, 2021

It Has Been a Day Since the Shot

 I feel slightly strange.

Should I be worried?

War of the Worlds Series

 This is a 2019 three-part series butcherization and corruption of H.G. Wells' masterpiece of science fiction.  There have been several versions made over the years: a 2019 version set in contemporary France; a 2005 movie "loosely based" on the novel; and the 1953 George Pal production, which, sadly, is the best that I have seen, set in 1950s Cold War Panic America.

I had high hopes at first for this.  Instead of being set in very late Victorian England, it is set in 1904 as the Russian Baltic Fleet began its insane trip to the Russo-Japanese War.  Still, the costuming, and culture is about right.  As the introduction to the novel makes clear, this is really about how the indigenous peoples see the technological superior Western imperialist powers invading their lands, killing all who stand in their way.  There are some odd changes visible in that first episode.  Instead of his fiancé Carrie, Eileen Tomlinson plays the journalist's free-thinking (and out-of-wedlock pregnant girlfriend).  The journalist is quite obviously very Wells-like: a socialist and a free-thinker.

It degrades rapidly.  The opening of the first craft is far less intriguing than the novel.  There are a series of flashbacks from at least six years later, when the Martians have been defeated, but the damage that they have done to our biosphere seem well-nigh irreversible.  The hopeful but with a hint of future menace ending of the novel is gone.

There are two powerful sequences in the novel: Carrie escapes by ship from England just ahead of the Martians (and the journalist), while the ironclad Thunderchild sacrifices itself to protect the departing steamship.  Utterly FUBARed.

The other is great writing where the journalist describes the fleeing people of London:  

And this was no disciplined march; it was a stampede--a stampede gigantic and terrible--without order and without a goal, six million people, unarmed and unprovisioned, driving headlong.  It was the beginning of the rout of civilization, of the massacre of mankind.

It is still tragically the case that the finest, most true to the novel adaptation is Jeff Wayne's musical War of the WorldsOnce you start listening, you will be utterly entranced.

Thursday, March 18, 2021

History That Seems Forgotten

My unbelievably effective research assistant found this 317 killed by arson incident from 1930.  Perhaps it was because they were mostly prisoners that we forgot about.  A number of heroes among both guards and inmates are identified who put their lives at risk or died, trying to save others.

Bunny Market

Schwab's market analysis is saying this is neither a bull market like we had under Trump or a bear market, but bunny market, going hop, hop, hop.  So far, the hops are ending on higher ground for me month to month (up 2.82% through end of February, which isn't bad but not the 47% gain for the year ending February 27).

I Had No Idea That Wilderness Was White Supremacy

Yahoo Sports article about how the outdoors are not diverse.

Is there anything these racemongers cannot politicize?

My First Selfie

For those requesting it, I went back to Thursday and stepped through a wormhole to get the picture the right direction. 

Not as bad as my last flu vaccination. 

9 hours later. Just like my last flu vaccination.   Hurts but not terrible. 

Something called Phys.org

The American Institute of Physics (AIP) promotes science, the profession of physics, publishes physics journals, and produces publications for scientific and engineering societies.  This recent article about other sciences caught my eye:

Gun violence in popular prime-time broadcast television dramas has increased steadily over almost two decades, a trend that parallels the rise in U.S. homicide deaths attributable to firearms, according to research by the Annenberg Public Policy Center (APPC) of the University of Pennsylvania.

Overall gun violence on popular prime-time dramas doubled from 2000 through 2018, according to the study, which was published in PLOS ONE. More important, gun violence as a proportion of the violence depicted in the shows rose significantly as well.

The problem.  U.S. murder rate in 2000: 5.5/100,000. In 2018: 5.0/100,000.  Okay, they did say "by firearms."  The 2018 firearms murders were 72.6% of all murders, or 3.63/100,000.   In 2000 firearms were 65.6% of all murders; that gives 3.608 firearms murders/100,000.  Maybe I am bad at math, but how does that seem like it "steadily increased."

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Tomorrow is First Shot

11:00 AM.  From all that friends,  families,  and readers have told me,  this should be arm soreness for a couple days.  The second shot is apparently the one that causes sort of mini-COVID.  So do not be  worried for me if things get quiet for a day or two.

The Stupid is Growing Stronger

 I just received an invitation to this event:

Part 2 of Indigenous Ways of Knowing in Math and Science, a free webinar series presented by The Robertson Program and Kikinoo'amaadawin.

About this Event

Indigenous land-based teachings, when carried out in collaboration with community Elders or Knowledge Keepers, can provide rich learning experiences for Indigenous and non-Indigenous students. Educators in this session will be provided with ideas and connections in mathematics and science using Indigenous land-based experiences. Learn how to connect these activities to the current curriculum!

How gratifying that the Elders or Knowledge Keepers have to be involved.  For some reason, "Knowledge Keeper" makes me think of someone in 1984. The other dangerous implication is that the methods of learning math and science that work for every other population (regardless of race) are too difficult for the indigenous peoples of the world.  Europeans are indigenous to Europe, East Indians to India, Japanese to Japan, etc.

I keep hoping to see racism go away, but I guess not.

And this video really captures the truly multicultural aspects of math, showing its universality.  You could almost wonder if the dingbats above really think Native Americans are too stupid to learn math, or would prefer not to consider whether some of the learning problems might be related to the culture of alcoholism and its consequences that destroys Native American families in large numbers. 

Hopeless Nerd Video

Copper, magnets, and levitation 

Focuser Knobs

They slip on the rod that controls focus just perfectly; not a press fit, but almost tight enough to skip the setscrew. I also decided that there was no need for milling cuts into the edge.   There is no shortage of traction.   

My attempts to reduce weight with lightening holes was disappointing.   From the back they look pretty good. 
from the front,  not so good:

Even worse,  I only saved 11 grams per hole, to do all six holes would have been a lot of work for 66 grams per knob.  Also, those saucers are melted Delrin on the end mill.  You cannot really sand it off without damaging the sharpness of the mill, so I used what worked last time: a 5.5" convex lens.  It burns the Delrin away without enough heat to damage the hardness of the steel.  (It took about fifteen minutes, and where the bright spot was, is temporarily blank.  It will come back.)

The setscrews that are original with the focuser are m1.5 x ?.  Since I am not changing the original knobs, I do not need to use the same,  with all the struggle of finding a metric tap.   Somewhere,  I had some nylon tipped setscrews.  After an exhausting search,  I found them on the bench where the mill sits.  They are 8-32x3/16 so I drilled and tapped a hole in the stem on the really ugly knob.  Somehow I managed to get that hole enough to one side that the setscrew was not exactly square.  

I put it on the focuser so that one side is 1.25" diameter and one is 2.5" diameter.   The difference in how finely it can now focus is immediately obvious.  

I will now cut another piece of Delrin and not put it lightening holes this time.