Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Attention Nigerian Princes

Not everyone is a Wells Fargo customer.   Texts telling me to call them will not work.

Oh and the synthesized American voices calling from the Federal Reserve?  I am not a bank.  Why would they call me?

"Escape Velocity"

I am reading The 14th Science Fiction Megapack on Kindle.  (If I think too much, it wears me out and I become less pleasant to live with.)  This is one of only two sci-fi stories that I have read in which a 1911A1 appears, and as it turns out, is central to the plot. 

It is apparently firing 185 gr. JHP. How do I know that if not explicitly stated?  Read the story and find out how.

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Surprise, Surprise

From PjMedia's coverage of the first transgender winner of the Miss Nevada contest:

“I didn’t have the easiest journey in life. It was a struggle for a moment,” he told KVVU. “I struggled with physical and sexual abuse. I struggled with mental health.

Sexual abuse and no idea why she has gender confusion?

Big Mistake in Constitution

The President runs the executive branch but what if the President is a crook?  Special prosecutors have always been problematic.   Electing the Attorney-General would have been a better solution. 

Monday, June 28, 2021

PLACA Victory

 6/26/21 ABC News:

AUSTIN, Texas -- The Texas Supreme Court says survivors and relatives of those killed in a 2017 mass killing at a church can't sue a sporting goods chain for selling the gunman the rifle used in the attack.

The court on Friday threw out four lawsuits against Academy Sports and Outdoors that alleged a San Antonio-area store negligently sold the gun to Devin Kelley in 2016.

Kelley killed more than two dozen people when he opened fire at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs. The 26-year-old then killed himself during a chase after the shooting.

The lawsuits said that Kelley provided store clerks with a Colorado ID, and the U.S. Gun Control Act required Academy to comply with Colorado gun laws before approving the purchase. Colorado, however, prohibits the sale of magazines holding more than 14 rounds, while Academy sold Kelley a rifle that came packaged with a 30-round magazine.

But the court said the sale was legal because the federal law applies only to the sale of firearms, not components. 

The likely loser?

 Shooting survivors and relatives have also sued the U.S. Air Force, which failed to report a domestic violence conviction that would have prohibited Kelley from purchasing a firearm.

Kelley had been found guilty of assaulting his wife and stepson and was dishonorably discharged from the service in 2012, but Air Force officials failed to report the conviction to the FBI background check system despite a requirement to do so.

The much ballyhooed background check system failed because of government incompetence. 

Headline Made My Day

 6/26/21 New York Times:

Progressives’ Urgent Question: How to Win Over Voters of Color

A yearslong challenge for the left was starkly illustrated this week as its hopes faded in the New York mayor’s race.

They are discovering that progressive ideas appeal mostly to privileged whites to assuage their guilt.

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Mass Murder That Will Get No American Media Coverage

6/26/21 BBC:

The 24-year-old suspect, a Somali immigrant, grabbed a knife from the kitchen section of a department store, attacking several inside. He then lashed out at people outside.

Five women and a child were also injured in the attack.

Police say the suspect was possibly psychologically unstable and may have held extremist Islamist beliefs...

A witness reported that the suspect shouted "Allah Akbar" during the attack, said Mr Herrmann.

But a police spokesman said that, while the attacker had a criminal record, none of his previous offences were related to terrorism.

I Am Feeling the Dancing Muscles This Morning

A great time was enjoyed by all at the wedding reception last night.  Seeing my son in a suit was in itself a big shock.

Saturday, June 26, 2021

Destination: Moon

You may know of this 1950 movie.  I just started watching it on YouTube.   Even within the first few minutes I am amazed.   Based on a Robert Heinlein novel who was also one of the screenwriters.  Chesley Bonestell as the space art consultant.   A story of American industry not the government (doubtless Heinlein).

So much right about space.  That we (and I mean the United States at the height of courage) actually did it in a way that was actually far more complex and without anything as advanced as nuclear propulsion less than 20 years later is amazing. 

Their Side Claims

Civilians are not adequately trained to handle fluid and confusing situations of mass murder like police officers. 

ARVADA, Colo. (AP) — A man who intervened in a shooting that killed a police officer near Denver was shot and killed by a responding officer while holding the suspect's AR-15, police said Friday.

Johnny Hurley, who has been described by police as a hero who prevented further bloodshed, shot suspect Ronald Troyke on Monday after Troyke gunned down Arvada Officer Gordon Beesley with a 12-gauge semi-automatic shotgun. "

The officer had a split second decision to make in a confusing and fluid situation and he shot the guy who prevented a mass murder of police officers (his writings indicated that all police were the enemy; I wonder from where that idea came).

Training: if you shoot a bad guy, kick or push the gun away from the bad guy. Do not pick it up. 

A Busy Day: My Son is Getting Married This Afternoon

To a very sweet elementary school teacher named Katie.

Thursday, June 24, 2021

I Have a New Cell Phone

For no apparent reason, Cricket was unable to get my Galaxy A20 to reliably ring.  It usually works.  For no apparent reason it sometimes turns off all notifications.   I just did a System Update and did a factory reset to clear all my personal data.

This was originally purchased from Verizon but we switched to Cricket and Verizon unlocked it.   When I advertise it on eBay is it unlocked?  Or is it now locked by Cricket?

I am becoming one of those crotchety old men ignorant of current technology. 

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Critical Race Theory at CWI

The General Counsel inforna us that:

Note:  Neither CWI nor its individual instructors direct or compel students to personally adopt critical race theory.  CWI is already bound to state and federal nondiscrimination laws.  Based on the foregoing, there is little risk of violating HB 377. Instructors whose subject matters touch upon race and gender issues may wish to communicate that concepts expressed in the classroom are for educational purposes and that a student’s adherence to any particular belief system will not be used as evaluative criteria.

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Slavery and the Second Amendment


Servile Insurrection and the Right to Keep and Bear Arms

Clayton E. Cramer[1]

Abstract: It has become very popular by those arguing for the Second Amendment is simply an obsolete antiquity to claim that the Second Amendment’s original purpose was the preservation of slavery.  This article examines the evidence used to justify this claim and finds the evidence wanting.  Debates and other texts of the time show a consistent explanation by both Federalists and Antifederalists for a right to keep and bear arms, and one not designed to prevent insurrection, but to make it possible.

The Bogus Hypothesis

Carl T. Bogus “Hidden History of the Second Amendment” tells us, “The Second Amendment’s history has been hidden because neither James Madison, who was the principle author of the Second Amendment, nor those he was attempting to outmaneuver politically, laid their motives on the table.” [2]  Near the end of his article, Professor Bogus admits, “[T]he evidence is almost entirely circumstantial.  Madison never expressly stated that he wrote the Second Amendment for that purpose….  Another reason is that the available records are woefully incomplete.”[3]

We also have the word of one of Bogus’ villains that servile insurrection was not a concern:

[T]he United States exhibit to the world the first instance, as far as we can learn, of a nation, unattacked by external force, unconvulsed by domestic insurrections, assembling voluntarily, deliberating fully, and deciding calmly, concerning that system of government under which they would wish that they and their posterity should live. [emphasis added][4]


The Stated Purpose

Generally, one would hope for a claim to be a little stronger than, “It was a secret.  They kept that secret so well that there is no actual evidence.”  This might be a plausible supposition if there was no clear evidence of some other intent. 

As it happens, both Federalists and Antifederalists openly stated arguments for a right to keep and bear arms.  None of these arguments make any reference to slavery or the danger of servile insurrection.  Instead, they argued for the right as a necessary tool for insurrection.  At the Virginia ratification convention, Patrick Henry argued against ratification because he saw the powers of the proposed national government as being too capable of tyrannical abuse:

If your American chief be a man of ambition and abilities, how easy is it for him to render himself absolute!  The army is in his hands, and if be a man of address, it will be attached to him, and it will be the subject of long meditation with him to seize the first auspicious moment to accomplish his design; and, sir, will the American spirit solely relieve you when this happens?…  [T]he President, in the field, at the head of his army, can prescribe the terms on which he shall reign master, so far that it will puzzle any American ever to get his neck from under the galling yoke.  I cannot with patience think of this idea.  If ever he violates the laws, one of two things will happen: he will come at the head of his army, to carry every thing before him; or he will give bail, or do what Mr. Chief Justice will order him.  If he be guilty, will not the recollection of his crimes teach him to make one bold push for the American throne?  Will not the immense dif­ference between being master of every thing, and being ignominiously tried and punished, powerfully excite him to make this bold push?  But, sir, where is the existing force to punish him?  Can he not, at the head of his army, beat down every opposition?  Away with your President! we shall have a king: the army will salute him monarch: your militia will leave you, and assist in making him king, and fight against you: and what have you to oppose this force?  What will then become of you and your rights?  Will not absolute despotism ensue?[5]


Patrick Henry expressed not fear of slave rebellion, but of an oppressive national government, which could only be resisted by an armed populace. 

Other Antifederalists also made clear that their concerns about this new national government might require an armed populace to rescue Americans from tyranny.  Luther Martin of Maryland, who was one of the members of the Philadelphia Convention who would not sign it, argued against ratification in a pamphlet:

But I appeal to the history of mankind for this truth, that when once power and authority are delegated to a government, it knows how to keep it, and is sufficiently and successfully fertile in expedients for that purpose.  Nay more, the whole history of mankind proves that so far from parting with the powers actually delegated to it, government is constantly encroaching on the small pittance of rights reserved by the people to themselves and gradually wresting them out of their hands until it either terminates in their slavery or forces them to arms, and brings about a revolution.[6]


While Martin references slavery, it was not concern about African-Americans in bondage, but the prospect of a tyrannical government reducing its citizens to that condition, requiring the people to take up arms in resistance.

James Madison arguing for ratification in Federalist 46 also clarified the purpose of a broadly armed citizenry in resisting the tyranny of a national government.  “The only refuge left for those who prophecy the downfall of the State Governments, is the visionary supposition that the Federal Government may previously accumulate a military force for the projects of ambition...”  Madison asserted the political unlikeliness of such an event, but:

Extravagant as the supposition is, let it however be made.  Let a regular army, fully equal to the resources of the country be formed; and let it be entirely at the devotion of the [Federal] Government; still it would not be going too far to say, that the State Governments with the people on their side would be able to repel the danger.  The highest number to which, according to the best computation, a standing army can be carried in any country, does not exceed one hundredth part of the whole number of souls; or one twenty-fifth part of the number able to bear arms.  This proportion would not yield in the United States an army of more than twenty-five or thirty thousand men.  To these would be opposed a militia amounting to near half a million of citizens with arms in their hands, officered by men chosen from among themselves, fighting for their com­mon liberties, and united and conducted by governments possessing their affections and con­fidence.  It may well be doubted whether a militia thus circumstanced could ever be conquered by such a proportion of regular troops.[7] [emphasis added]


It is certainly arguable that the relative capabilities of the United States military today might result in a different result from Madison’s confident conclusion of the overthrow of national tyranny.  Nonetheless, it is clear that Madison regarded a universally armed population as a fundamental tool for insurrectionary action, much as the widespread ownership of arms made possible the American Revolution.

Alexander Hamilton in Federalist 29 argued that a “select corps” (professional military) could be trained to a higher level of efficiency than a general militia, might under some conditions, be necessary:

[B]ut if circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude, that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people, while there is a large body of citizens little if at all inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms, who stand ready to defend their own rights and those of their fellow citizens—This appears to me the only substitute that can be devised for a standing army; the best possible security against it, if it should exist.[8]


This is not an explicit assertion of an individual right to arms possession, but a population “little if at all inferior to them in… the use of arms” seems pointless for resisting such an army unless possessed of arms appropriate to such conflict.

 Other Federalists were also explicit as to the role of an armed polity in restraining tyranny.  Federalist Noah Webster:

Another source of power in government is a military force.  But this, to be efficient, must be superior to any force that exists among the people, or which they can command; for otherwise this force would be annihilated, on the first exercise of acts of oppression.  Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe.  The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretence, raised in the United States.  A military force, at the command of Congress, can execute no laws, but such as the people perceive to be just and constitutional; for they will possess the power, and jealousy will instantly inspire the inclination, to resist the execution of a law which appears to them unjust and oppressive.[9]  [emphasis in original]


Who Requested the Right to Keep and Bear Arms?

If concern about slave insurrection was a factor, one might expect to see more requests for this right to keep and bear arms from the states where slavery was a dominant part of the economy and thus especially fearful of slave rebellion.  Only four state ratifying conventions requested a Bill of Rights that were entered in the official journal of the First Congress: South Carolina, New Hampshire, Virginia, and New York.[10]  Some states neglected to make any requests for a Bill of Rights; others, such as North Carolina and Rhode Island, did not ratify the Constitution until after Madison’s proposal for a Bill of Rights had already been debated.

One unofficial request for a right to keep and bear arms came from the losing side of the Pennsylvania ratifying convention:

That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and their own state, or the United States, or for the purpose of killing game; and no law shall be passed for disarming the people or any of them, unless for crimes committed, or real danger of public injury from individuals; and as standing armies in the time of peace are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be kept up; and that the military shall be kept under strict subordination to and be governed by the civil powers.[11]  [emphasis added]


While unofficial, most scholars consider this request on par with the official requests.  Pennsylvania’s slave population was only 0.9% in 1790[12] reflective of strong Quaker disapproval of slavery.  Pennsylvania started the gradual emancipation of slaves in 1780.[13]

New Hampshire’s requests for a Bill of Rights included: “Congress shall never disarm any Citizen unless such as are or have been in Actual Rebellion.”[14]  New Hampshire’s population was 0.1% of the population.[15]  New Hampshire’s courts interpreted their 1783 state constitution as prohibiting slavery.[16]

Virginia’s request for a right to keep and bear arms might lend support to the Bogus claim.  South Carolina, the big player in the slavery game submitted a list of desired amendments to the Constitution, on May 23, 1788.  It is remarkably short, and contained no request for a right to keep and bear arms.  South Carolina did request an amendment prohibiting a standing army in peacetime, except with the “consent of three fourths of the Members of each branch of Congress.”  The only amendment of the Bill of Rights clearly recognizable in South Carolina’s request is the Tenth Amendment, reserving powers to the states.[17] 

New York’s request for a right to keep and bear arms came with its ratification of the Constitution on July 26, 1788.  It included a preamble defining the nature of human rights, then launched into a lengthy description of the rights to be protected by a Bill of Rights.  Among these rights:

That the People have a right to keep and bear Arms; that a well regulated Militia, including the body of the People capable of bearing Arms, is the proper, natural and safe defence of a free State. [emphasis in original] [18]


New York’s slave population was 6.2% of its population[19] and might well be considered evidence for the Bogus hypothesis.  New York, however, was already headed towards abolition.  The New York legislature first passed a bill for gradual abolition of slavery in 1785.  Because the bill denied black suffrage, the Council of Revision vetoed the bill.  A variety of measures were subsequently passed that prohibited importation of slaves, freed all slave imported illegally, and allowed masters to free slaves under fifty who were capable of supporting themselves.  In 1799, New York started the gradual abolition of slavery.[20]  This hardly sounds like a state in terror of slave rebellion.

Massachusetts ratified without requesting a Bill of Rights.  While debating such a request, Samuel Adams proposed the following addition to the ratification:

And that the said Constitution be never construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press, or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms.[21]  [emphasis added]


While the proposal lost, 187-168, it shows a serious concern for such a right, in a state whose judiciary had abolished slavery as contrary to the 1783 state constitution.[22]  Again, a strong argument against a slavery motivation for the Second Amendment.

Slavery Did Not Motivate the Second Amendment

Unlike the Bogus claim which acknowledges that the evidence is circumstantial, the evidence that we can actually find, shows that both Federalist and Antifederalist believed that the right to possess arms was to effectuate insurrection against a potentially tyrannical national government, not fear of slave rebellion.  The distribution of requests for a right to keep and bear arms is contrary to a fear by slave states of rebellion.

[1] Adjunct History Faculty, College of Western Idaho. Mr. Cramer is the author of CONCEALED WEAPON LAWS OF THE EARLY REPUBLIC: DUELING, SOUTHERN VIOLENCE, AND MORAL REFORM (1999) (cited by Justice Breyer in McDonald v. City of Chicago, 130 S. Ct. 3020, 3132 (2010) (Breyer, J., dissenting)), and ARMED AMERICA: THE REMARKABLE STORY OF HOW AND WHY GUNS BECAME AS AMERICAN AS APPLE PIE (2006), and co-author of, among other articles, Clayton E. Cramer & Joseph Edward Olson, What Did “Bear Arms” Mean in the Second Amendment?, 6 GEO. J.L. & PUB. POL’Y 511 (2008) (cited by Justice Scalia in District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570, 588 (2008)), and Clayton E. Cramer, Nicholas J. Johnson & George A. Mocsary, “This Right is Not Allowed by Governments that Are Afraid of the People”: The Public Meaning of the Second Amendment When the Fourteenth Amendment Was Ratified, 17 GEO.MASON L. REV. 823 (2010) (cited by Justice Alito in McDonald, 130 S. Ct. at 3039 n.21, 3041 n.25, 3043). Mr. Cramer’s website is CLAYTON CRAMER’S WEB PAGE, (last visited Aug. 20, 2013).

[2] Carl T. Bogus, The Hidden History of the Second Amendment, 31 U.C. Davis Law Review 315,

[3] Id., at 372.

[4] 2 Elliott’s Debates 423.

[5] Elliot, 3:59-60.

[6] Luther Martin, Letters of Luther Martin, 5, in The Maryland Journal, March 28, 1788, in Paul Ford, ed., Essays on the Constitution of the United States, (New York: Burt Franklin, 1892), 376.

[7] James Madison, Federalist 46.

[8] Alexander Hamilton, Federalist 29.

[9] Webster, 43, in Paul Ford,  ed., Pamphlets On The Constitution of the United States, (1888), 56.


[10] Veit, Helen, Bowling, Kenneth R., & Bickford, Charlene Bangs, ed., Creating The Bill of Rights: The Documentary Record from the First Federal Congress , 4:4, 4:12-26. (1991)

[11] “The Address and Reasons of Dissent of the Minority of the Convention of the State of Pennsylvania to their Constitutents”, in John Bach McMaster, ‎Frederick Dawson Stone, Pennsylvania and the Federal Constitution 422 (1888).

[12] Clayton E. Cramer, Black Demographic Data: A Sourcebook (1997), 70.

[13] Zilversmit, The First Emancipation: The Abolition of Slavery in the North 127-31 (1967).

[14] Bickford & Veit, 4:14-15.

[15] Cramer, 67.

[16] Arthur Zilversmit, 117.

[17] Bickford & Veit, 4:13-15.

[18] Bickford & Veit, 4:20.

[19] Cramer, 106.

[20] Zilversmit, 148-50, 182, 212-3.

[21] Debates of the Massachusetts Convention of 1788 (Boston: 1856), 86-87, quoted in Robert Allen Rutland, The Birth of the Bill of Rights 1776-1791, (1955), 147.

[22] Zilversmit, 117.

Andy Weir's Project Hail Mary

What Sci-Fi used to be.  A clear knowledge of a variety of sciences, and an engaging and mysterious plot. I am about four chapters in and I am utterly hooked.

A Father's Day gift from my daughter. 

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Concerned Californians Will Turn Idaho Blue?

 6/14/21 S.F. Chronicle:

On a base level, the allure of Idaho’s capital is apparent. It’s a college town with a rich and robust cultural scene and an adjacency to nature. It’s not very crowded relative to San Francisco or the Silicon Valley, with a population of just over 226,000, and its size means that most of the city’s hot spots are only a hop-skip away from each other.

It also doesn’t come with the steep price tag of a big city, though that’s changing fast.

“I loved living in Los Gatos, California. I can't think of a more beautiful place, but you know the affordability … and having a real job and not being worth millions, I was never going to really enjoy Los Gatos to the extent that I can enjoy Boise,” Krause said....

It also helps that Boise is much safer than the Bay Area, he says, to the point where people leave their doors unlocked. The worst kind of crime, he says, is petty theft “if you leave your car doors unlocked.”

“It’s that kind of Pleasantville-y type of safety that we feel here.”

This quote from a native tells you all you need ton know about the natives.

And other reactions have been more incensed, such as one resident who spoke to SFGATE via email on condition on anonymity. He declined to respond to a longer list of questions, saying he was "too depressed about this shit" to critically lay out his contempt for the types of people moving in and his sadness at rising housing costs.

“Just know that every other local I know is also massively depressed about what is going on,” he told me in an email. “Rich hypercapitalist tech right-wing scumf—ks will continue moving their companies/families out here in droves as the lower classes are priced out. The tide moves in, there is no stopping it.” 

Needless to say, this is not a Republican voter.  The natives here are generally well left of the refugees./  The refugees know what a single-party Democratic state is like; the natives only know that the Pacific states have legal pot, and high taxes.

Distributions From an IRA

Great! You have a few million in an IRA or 401k.  What can you do with all that money?  When you take a distribution after retirement age, you owe both federal and state income tax on it.  You could take out a couple million and pay 35% in taxes.  With that you can buy an estate in Wyoming, a nice house in Boise or Maui or a shabby townhouse in San Francisco.  But the tax consequences are substantial.   It is not like having several million in a savings account. You should have no problem borrowing money with that lump on your assets sheet but it is not quite as convenient as a huge savings account.  You can move assets from one mutual fund to another without it being considered a distribution. 

Suggestion: along with making the maximum contributions to a 401k, put taxed money (unlike your 401k contributions and employer matching funds which are not taxed) into a completely separate account.  Buy aggressive mutual funds in that account.  When you need a lump of cash at retirement age, sell some of those mutual funds.  You will owe capital gains taxes, but not income taxes when you take that money out, and long term capital gains taxes are much lower than income taxes).  

And again, thanks to whichever of you steered me towards the Black Rock fund last November.  It has already grown 10% in about half a year.

Saturday, June 19, 2021

Lying on the Grass, Waiting for the Stars to Come Out

It is a lovely evening.  The atmosphere is clear and calm.  I started with the 85mm eyepiece (23x and about a degree field of view which I will use when hunting for galaxies and went up to 4mm (500x) which is just a bit too much for the conditions.   The image starts to fuzz.  At 5mm (400x) the image is still crisp.   I am glad that I spent the extra money for a dual speed focuser with both a coarse and a fine focus knob.  

The place where most low priced telescopes disappoint are the standard eyepieces.   They are often low quality with narrow fields of view.  Even the cheap department store telescopes can be markedly improved with $200 worth of decent eyepieces. 

Big Bertha came with 2" diameter University Optics 18mm orthoscopic.  I had never owned anything but a 1.25" diameter eyepiece before and it was startling how much it widened the field of view.   Since then I have acquired 50mm and 85mm 2" diameter eyepieces and I am very glad that I did.  When I get my 8" f/7 reflector mounted on my new whizbang Losmandy mount I will use the 2" to 1.25" adapter and see how this works with these 2" eyepieces. 

The stars finally came out, so I decided to use Sky Commander.  This is a digital setting circles gadget with which I have had intermittent success over the years.  You pick two stars on which you are going to align, aim the telescope at each star, and then press enter.  The more precisely you center those stars in the eyepiece, the more skillfully it helps you find items in its roughly 8000 object catalog.  The higher power the eyepiece you use for centering the guide stars the more likely that you will have them precisely centered. I used 160x to align on Arcturus and Vega and when I asked for the globular cluster M13 in Hercules (barely visible to the naked eye on a Moonless night). It then tells you how many degrees in altitude and azimuth to move the scope.  Using a low power and therefore wise field eyepiece put M13 where I was would see it.  The Moon still washed out its "diamonds on black velvet" appearance.  I also need to write a light shroud around Big Bertha.  This open framework half-Serriuer truss is adequate for bright objects with little ambient light, but the solar powered night lights that Rhonda put out so that I would not trip in the darkness (she knows me well) are just enough ro be a problem. 


 I took several pictures of Vega at longer and longer exposures.  1/160th second.  ISO 100.

1/160th second.  ISO 100

1/3 second ISO 100

Family Bible

 I am not sure how many of you have a family Bible that records births and deaths.  Somehow I ended up with it.  It was published in 1876 and for several generations it was kept up to date.  I am filling in my family tree on 23&Me.

Took Some Moon Pictures Last Night

 I am a little disappointed at how hard it was to get a sharp image with my bigger reflector:
1/400th second ISO 100 with a little GIMP image enhancement.

1/1000th second ISO 100

Moon Exiting Lunar Eclipse Last Month


From the Backyard


Friday, June 18, 2021

Darn Impressive Report on the 1898 Wilmington Race Riot

 LeRae Umfleet, 1898 Wilmington Race Riot Report, May 31, 2006.  As the reports observes this was primarily a Democratic Party coup d'etat that removed Republican Part control of Wilmington city government.  Along with the 22 certain deaths (likely many others were not recorded) there is a detailed analysis of the economic consequences for African-Americans in Wilmington.

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Why Can't We Be More Like Europe?

6/12/21 Economist:
Debates about transgender rights have raged most angrily in the Anglophone world, but they are now intensifying across Europe. Last month the Spanish parliament voted against a bill that would allow people to determine their own gender. A day later Germany’s voted down two such bills. Few newspapers took any notice.

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Suddenly, My PC No Longer Talks to the Internet

Network troubleshooter fails because Diagnostic Policy Services is not running and Windows cannot seem to restart it.  This page says System Restore fixes this sometimes and after I finish a full backup I will try that next. I notice my most recent restore point is this morning, shortly before everything went south.

System Restore fixed it.

Race War or Mental Illness?

6/15/21 Columbus Ledger-Enquirer:

A 39-year-old man accused of shooting and wounding five people in Alabama and Georgia told police his assaults were racially motivated, and he was targeting white men, a detective testified Monday.

The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer reported that a police detective testified in a preliminary hearing that Justin Tyran Roberts, who is Black, told police that white men had picked on him and wronged him for all his life.

“Basically, he explained throughout his life, specifically white males had taken from him, and also what he described as military-looking white males had taken from him,” Detective Brandon Lockhart testified, according to the newspaper.

Police have accused Roberts of shooting five people in three separate assaults in Columbus, Georgia and Phenix City, Alabama. All victims are expected to recover, Columbus Police Chief Freddie Blackmon said Sunday. The chief added that police found no evidence that Roberts knew any of his victims.

Roberts appeared in court Monday in Columbus for a preliminary hearing in one of those incidents where a man was shot in the back as he was getting into his vehicle.Lockhart testified that Roberts said, “I had to have him,” about one of the shooting victims.

Roberts also claimed that such men were “shooting at him in a wooded area with a slingshot,” and the wounds had infected his skin, Lockhart testified. But he said police saw no injuries to substantiate that.

Public defender Robin King requested a mental health evaluation for Roberts, saying the man was suffering from delusions. 

This sounds more like mental illness than CRT-inspired race war, but what's the difference?  The description of being shot with a slingshot and having infections that the officer could not see sounds like formication, the sensation that bugs are crawling under your skin.  This is an occasional symptom of schizophrenia.