Friday, October 15, 2021

Tuckered Out

I finally used the new mount under the stars this evening.   I still to set the safety limits which are really just telling the computer not to go beyond points where the scope might contact the tripod which I am pretty sure cannot happen from this evening's work.

I still have to figure out to use the polar alignment scope.  I started out with a not even close north alignment.  Polaris was still invisible.   At first it was too dark to find my compass then I realized that the motors have such a strong magnetic field that north has no real meaning this close to the mount.   In daylight I will paint a phosphorescent line to north.

Even about 20 degrees off north the mount was teaching the Moon well enough to do some photography.   It will be tomorrow before I have the energy to see what I got.   It is still a bit of work getting used to the Gemini 2 hand controller and its myriad options.   I did the telescope shed a bit more organized so that it does threaten to become a telescope traffic accident in there.

A More Innocent and Hopeful Time

 Crocker Bank was a California operation.

The Jooos Control the Weather!

Remember when one of the DC politicians claimed Jews (or at least one Jewish family at the heart of all good anti-Semitic libels) controlled the weather?  10/14/21 New York Post:

WASHINGTON — City Councilman Trayon White is running for mayor of the nation’s capital despite facing accusations of anti-Semitism for praising Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan — and for saying that the Jewish Rothschild family controls the weather.

White represents DC’s Ward 8, the former home of Marion Barry, who won a third term as mayor in 1994 despite spending six months in prison after a crack-cocaine sting in which he exclaimed, “Bitch set me up.”

“I’m running,” he wrote on Instagram. “Join me.” He confirmed his plans to local journalists.

White, 37, recently rankled local Democrats by being the lone vote against a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for city council members and their staffs.

The councilman faced intense criticism in 2018 for saying he was concerned about “climate manipulation” by a prominent Jewish banking family.

“DC keep talking about, ‘We’re a resilient city.’ And that’s a model based off the Rothschilds controlling the climate to create natural disasters they can pay for to own the cities, man,” White said.

Is that the best DC Democrats can do? 

Two Days in a Row Below 202 Pounds!

My BMI is almost into the Normal range.  I am so pleased.  Where's that pizza?

Thursday, October 14, 2021

The Masses Are Revolting

Positively deplorable.   
"American Airlines cancels 230 flights, delays 600+… Sickout is spreading…"
It is not just Southwest.

"Affluent White Vanity That Is Wokeism"

10/13/21 KTTH:
"A Seattle elementary school canceled Halloween activities over concerns about student equity and inclusion. Specifically, Seattle Public Schools says Black males do not celebrate and, more generally, students of color feel marginalized by the holiday. One parent, however, thinks this is an “exercise in affluent white vanity that is wokeism."

Black students don't go trick or treating?  I could have sworn African-Americans were like other Americans.  Are they abnormal, or to be PC, "holiday deviant."

Some Christians (myself among them) find Halloween distasteful because it is pagan in origin and unhealthily focused on dark images.  I am also upset how what used to be a juvenile activity has become an adult (but not terribly mature adult) past time.  

This is not to say that there cannot be some fun doing costume party. At one company, a guy did a great job with a suit that was hobo hand me down on one side and proper attire on the other.  He was shaved and properly groomed on one side and unshaven and scruffy on the other.  It was cleverly done and not from a costume store.

My Wife, Daughter, and Son-in-Law Were Preparing for Our Church's New More Contemporary Worship Service...

Nice group of people there but we are very close to the youngest couple there and Carter was President when my wife and I Wed.  Near the end of practice whoever was on percussion hit one particular instrument and in unison "More Cowbell!"

The Dakota Lithium Battery Charger Arrived

Not surprisingly, the 12.8V the SLA chargers provided was soon above 13V.  Of course equilibrium sets in and getting from the 14.4V output of the charger to that voltage in the battery will take a while.

I was watching a video explaining why electric vehicles are having trouble making sense.  The first 100 miles you add is fast; the next hundred is much slower because you approach equilibrium and current goes in more slowly.  

Could you have two sets of batteries, like a spare gas tank, so both charge at the same time and speed, and switchover when the first pack runs out?

I Think That I Finally Figured Out Registax

 I stacked 165 frames from an AVI.

Then I fiddled with contrast and brightness in Irfanview:

Then I did an unsharp mask in GIMP:

This is on my list of things to do from a creative category of my writing: do excellent astrophotography and sell it.

The 14th Century Visited: A Mass Arrowing

 10/14/21 WSOC:

KONGSBERG, Norway — A man armed with a bow and arrows killed five people and injured two others Wednesday in the Norwegian town of Kongsberg, authorities said.

10/14/21 Associated Press:

Police identified the attacker as Espen Andersen Braathen, a 37-year-old Danish citizen, who was arrested Wednesday night. They said he used the bow and arrow and possibly other weapons to randomly target people at a supermarket and other locations in Kongsberg, a town of about 26,000 where he lived, before he was seized by police on the street.

Police said they believe he acted alone.

“The whole act appears to be an act of terror,” said Hans Sverre Sjoevold, head of Norway’s domestic intelligence service, known as the PST.

Bow control.  Now. 

The good news: full auto crossbow.

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Obscure Question

I cannot figure this out from the Social Security website.

Mr. A collects Social Security income of X.  Mrs. A collects SS income of Y.  Mr. A passes.  It appears that Mrs. A gets somewhere between 71.5% and 100% of Mr. A's check of $X.  Because X is > than Y, she does not get Y anymore.

Do I have that right?

BabylonBee Does it Again

 Walgreen's is closing more stores in the Bay Area because California voters made shoplifting legal.  Now:

SAN FRANCISCO, CA—A hot new Silicon Valley startup allows you to send someone to loot stores in San Francisco and other Democrat-controlled cities with no laws against looting. You can loot from the comfort of your home with just a few simple steps on the app.

"Want to loot a bunch of stuff from Walgreens, but don't want to turn off your Netflix show? Try LootDash!" said LootDash CEO Dirk Hendersen. "Our professional LootDashers are ready and waiting to go steal some stuff from whatever stores you want. Just remember to be generous with your tips!"

LootDash offers a full selection of stores, from pharmacies and big-box retailers to local mom-and-pop businesses. You can even sort the results by race so you know you're looting a white-owned store and not harming a black-owned business with your LootDash order.

The Most Troubling Hunter Biden Story Yet

10/12/21 Daily Mail:

EXCLUSIVE: Joe Biden could become embroiled in the FBI's probe into Hunter's finances, experts say: Emails reveal they SHARED bank accounts, paid each other's bills and the president may have even have funded his son's 2018 drug and prostitution binge

  • Emails from Hunter Biden's abandoned laptop, obtained by, reveal Joe and Hunter shared bank accounts and paid each other's bills 
  • The president have may have inadvertently funded his son's 2018 drug and prostitution binge
  • Emails between Hunter and Eric Schwerin, his business partner at consultancy Rosemont Seneca, show Schwerin was working on Joe's taxes 
  • The claim raises serious questions about whether funds from the joint accounts were used for Hunter's May 2018 week-long bender with a prostitute 
  • Last December, Hunter admitted in a public statement that he was under federal investigation over his tax affairs 
  • A former federal prosecutor tells that if money was flowing between Hunter and his father, that could make Joe a target of the probe  
  • The FBI and IRS probe is reportedly also looking into Hunter's foreign business relationships and the potential for money laundering chargesNow 
If only there was a way to get American news coverage.  Although I suspect most Biden voters would just say, "No mean tweets."

Can the Social Compact Be Restored?

 The social compact theory derives from the idea that the state of nature is so unpleasant that we willingly give up some of our rights to live under the rule of law.  That rule of law is not unlimited; the laws must be adopted with the consent of the governed and equally applied.  The Bill of Rights and structures such as separation of powers are two mechanisms for guaranteeing that 51% will not oppress the other 49% (and that is a best case scenario; it is often 15% who are rich and influential telling the other 85% how to live).

The current COVID-19 crisis is building on the existing shattering of the social compact.  For several decades, a minority that fancies themselves smarter and more rational than the masses, have been striking down the social compact by ordering the majority to give up the writing of our laws.  Because this destruction of the social compact started out disfranchising a racist majority in some states who were using democracy to violate rights guaranteed by the Bill of Rights, it was pretty easy for both the elites and even much of the masses to say, "Okay.  These creeps deserved to be disempowered."

In the last few years, as the elites chose to overturn laws far removed from race (transgender bathrooms, abortion on demand), just to remind us that what we believe is narrow-minded and backward, there has been an unsurprising rebellion, of which President Trump's 2016 victory was an example.

Today, that notion that the social compact can be ignored if we do not like it has come full circle.  The elites insisted "My body, my choice," and shockingly enough, many Americans are saying that about vaccination.  Much of our elite has demonstrated that they feel no need to obey the masking, vaccination,  and social distancing rules they insist we follow.

If you want people to take the social compact of giving up some rights for the common good, you need to honor the social compact so that most Americans do not feel that they are ignored.

"They Are Murdering My Friend in Here"

CBS News had a gloomy report on the stress that idaho nurses are suffering from COVID-19 care. One picture showed protesters at St. Alphonso claiming the title above.  What is driving this?  Do they think the hospital is slowly killing people?  Or is there some more complex logic at work?  (The aliens are hungry?)

At least Idaho protesters are not doing violently lethal protests like in Europe.   See 3/23/21 New York Times.

UPDATE: It appears that a video from last year, a doctor raised the question of whether the ventilators were doing more good than harm.  He indicated that he was spreading his knowledge on this.   If this remains a problem, I am not finding it.

Please get vaccinated.  The risks are pretty low.  I really want this madness to end so the left loses excuses to control lives.

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

What is the World Coming To?

PBS documentary about how China's cover up turned a local crisis into a world tragedy.

I am about half way through it.  I am hoping that the average PBS viewer who thought Trump was a racist for calling it the Wuhan flu and xenophobic for shutting off travel from China is having a hard time dealing with this.  But no mean tweets!

Second Crop

In spite of the sudden cold weather and the shorter nights, the second crop of California poppies and roses is appearing. 

Curious Cult


Chicago, Ill. (1929)

09/25/1929: “The gun battle stripped secrecy from the Moorish Science Temple of America and the World, a cult in which Mohammedan titles, voo dooism [sic], Confucianism, Buddhism and “'jungle magic' were intermixed strangely.”  Police forced entry to the temple to rescue a cult leader “who had been kidnaped [sic] by other leaders of the cult.”  The members of the cult used guns to resist, killing two police officers and a relative of the victim, and wounding another officer.  Negroes, attracted by the gunfire, crowded the streets and 350 police  men were sent to disperse them.  More than one hundred shots were  fired.”

Category: public

Suicide: no

Cause: resisting arrest

Weapon: firearms[1]

Do I Have Any Readers Near Kew, England?

 There is a translation inconsistency in the printed Statutes of the Realm, which makes me think the Norman French armez (chain mail) might have been misread by the editor of Statutes of the Realm as armes (plural of arm or weapon).  The difference matters slightly in current cases headed to the Supreme Court.

Monday, October 11, 2021

CRT Article of Faith: Blacks Are Picked On By Police

 The high rates of arrest, conviction, and imprisonment of black people, are part of systemic racism.

Race and Ethnicity of Violent Crime Offenders and Arrestees, 2018 compares race of offenders from Uniform Crime Reports and victim reports from NCVS to see if police charge blacks disproportionately to their involvement in violent crimes.  The answer is that Hispanics seem to be disproportionately arrested but white and black offenders are charged at rates comparable to victim reporting.  Table 3.

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Is the Great Airline Strike of 2021 Starting?

A little background.   A strike by railroad workers in 1877 grew into a national rebellion as National Guardsmen in some cases refused to fire on strikers and sometimes actually joined them.  For a while railroads effectively stopped.  More here.

Rumors are floating about that the cancelation of a big part of Southwest Airlines flights is because the airline ordered all pilots to be vaccinated and many walked out along with some air traffic controllers.

What is really happening?  10/10/21 CNN reports that Southwest canceled more than 1000 flights.
 "Flight delays and cancellations occurred for a few hours Friday afternoon due to widespread severe weather, military training and limited staffing in one area of the Jacksonville Air Route Traffic Control Center," the FAA said."

Hmm.  While Biden has authority to order the ATCs to vaccinate, if Southwest is ordering vaccination it is their decision.   Biden has issued a press release ordering employers to require vaccination, but press releases are not legally binding. Congress might have the authority similar to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which involved interstate commerce and applied to businesses larger than 100 employees, but not by executive order.

We may seeing the start of serious resistance, something more important than foul epithets directed at President Biden.   National Guardsmen: remember the Nuremberg Principle. There is no obligation to obey unlawful orders such as opening fire on peaceful protesters.   Quite the opposite: there is an obligation to arrest those giving such unlawful orders.

This is not the Holocaust, but the Democrats may be about to discover that "I was only following orders" may not work this time.

Centrally controlled societies like Red China operate on orders from the top.   People in free societies need persuasion, not orders.

Think Very Carefully About This

 A University of Virginia poll found that 59% of Biden voters and 77% of Trump voters would like the other states to secede.  See Table 3.  Two ex-Americas would be much weaker in foreign affairs than even the currently senile-led nation.  Would either nation go to war with China to guarantee either Taiwanese or Japanese sovereignty?  What about Alaskan sovereignty?  

Any division will leave the two coasts of Blue State America separated by a likely angry Red States of America, or perhaps like an angry couple, the separation might bring the anger down..  Who gets the aircraft carriers and submarines?  Building new ports for our half of the fleet on the Gulf of Mexico would be expensive.

Who gets the ICBMs?  They are all in Red State America.  Do we let Blue State America have visitation rights?

Exporting and importing everything through the Southern ports would seriously impair Pacific trade, although we could perhaps make a trade for air and rail transport through the Red States of America.  

Do we start from where we are now to clean up the existing case law, or simply declare every decision from Roe v. Wade (1973) invalid?  The lawyers will make a fortune.

"Empty" Hospitals

 The paranoids are running around claiming that there is no crisis; hospitals are not overflowing with COVID cases.  Before you pass such a claim on, ask the person making this claim to walk the floors of these "empty" hospitals.  Discreetly photograph the empty rooms.  (If they are empty, there is no privacy issue for patients.)  Then provide those pictures.

The Biden Administration gets enormous benefit from these lunatic claims.  Too many people that I know have either been hospitalized or are working extended shifts in hospitals to let this pass.  Put up or shut up.

Do You Have Kids in Public Schools?

What is the situation about discipline and behavior?  Do kids generally make an effort to learn and treat teachers with respect?  Do teachers have talk extraordinarily loud to overwhelm students who are talking to each other instead of listening?

Saturday, October 9, 2021

Socialism: Belief in an Invisible Friend

I say that it is an invisible friend because wherever it had been tried it has failed to alleviate poverty and human suffering.  Maybe it is real but it sure behaves like an invisible friend: utterly useless for its supposed benefits.

Clarification: the welfare state is not socialism (government ownership of the means of production).  The welfare state relies on taxes paid by corporations and individuals to help those in need (and in incompetent welfare states, those in want).

Am I Just Lacking the Larceny Gene?

This 10/9/21 Business Insider article describes a guy who kept returning stuff  to Amazon, but not the stuff he ordered, stuff much older and with different serial numbers.  Then he sold the stuff that Amazon shipped on eBay. $290,000 worth so felony wire fraud.

I would never have thought of this.  I would never have it expected it to take five years.  I would have expected the first bogus return to have been a refusal to credit him and shutting down his account 

Counterweight, Battery Charging

The extra 11 pound counterweight arrived and everything is now balanced in both Right Ascension and Declination.  When it gets dark I will try and use it to goto.  

At first I found myself wondering if the Gemini electronics or my homemade battery pack had already failed because the power on LED was off.  No, just too much sunlight.  I started using the hand controller and everything moved so it obviously had power.

I have wondered why the 8Ah Dakota Lithium battery does not seem to charge above 12.8V.  It appears that SLA chargers do not go any higher and they shorten lifespan for lithium batteries.   So I ordered a lithium battery charger from Dakota (made in USA).  It was only $29. When it arrives I will clip off the spring battery clamps and combine it with the 12V cigarette lighter charger that I am currently using.

And with three telescopes in there and a small rolling cabinet of telescope accessories it is a bit crowded.  The next house, a dome for every telescope even at the risk of seeming eccentric which of course I am not.

Friday, October 8, 2021

Amusing Line But I Am Easily Amused

I'm reading "Time Trap: Red Moon science fiction, time travel trilogy book 1 (Red Moon Trilogy)" by Micah Caida and wanted to share this quote with you.

"“I don’t know what your problem is but I bet I can’t pronounce it.”"

I'm reading "Time Trap: Red Moon science fiction, time travel trilogy book 1 (Red Moon Trilogy)" by Micah Caida and wanted to share this quote with you.

"“I don’t know what your problem is but I bet I can’t pronounce it.”"

I’d worry about that when we found some liquid. With as much as we were sweating, dehydration was a given. I’d gotten more light-headed with each step and I was sure a small furry rodent had slept in my mouth for a week."
 reading this book for free:

I am not sure where this book is going but 1/3 of the way through, some of the fantastical aspects should be foreshadowing some science fiction.  I am tired of it in spite of the often clever writing. 

Not What I Was Expecting


Detroit, Mich. (1929)

01/18/1929: Apparently as a result of conflict between fascist and antifascist supporters between Italian-Americans, a bomb “wrecked a small store and apartment building.”  The bomb killed for men and injured two.  Police took the two injured men into custody.

Category: public

Suicide: no

Cause: politics

Weapon: explosive[1]

Not A 'Standard-Issue School Shooting"

Now there's a quote for you!  9/7/21 New York Post reports a school shooter was released on bail:

"A family spokeswoman has claimed that he acted out of self-defense after being robbed and targeted by bullies."

That would be an interesting claim even with several bystanders injured but:
"class with another student that escalated to gunfire Wednesday.

The fight was broken up and the two students calmed down, but then Simpkins pulled out a firearm from his orange backpack and fired several shots that struck three people, according to an arrest warrant Thursday."

Sorry that does not qualify as self-defense.   The original altercation was over.

Where is the Missing Plastic?

 Interesting video about the great ocean plastic garbage patch areas of the oceans, and the mystery of why only about 1% of the plastic that should be in them is there.

Not mentioned is the obvious: this plastic in the sediments will be oil again in 100 million years.

That Power Supply For the Telescopes

I originally figured that whatever current that cute little LED voltmeter drew was not enough to worry about.  Voltage was dropping, although not very quickly.  Perhaps 0.1V per week?  So with a little help from my friend Willy, I added a push button in the circuit that feeds the LED.  Now it only shows voltage when I push the button.

Wednesday, October 6, 2021


Not sure how old it is, but the bad guy demands a half a million pound ransom for not sinking a cruise ship.  Richard Harris is young so it must be pretty old.  Fun to watch on YouTube. 

Just Because You're Paranoid....

9/14/21 New York Times reports a number of European countries have stopped using AstraZeneca and some may never resume it. 

New Gun Owners

 From 9/16/21 Wall Street Journal article about increased diversity of new gun owners.

Kanisha Johnson, 39 years old, joined NotMeSD and bought a 9mm Glock earlier this year. The father of her children nearly killed her by shooting her in the head in 2017, according to court records.

If that does not make you a gun owner "there is something wrong in your head."

More Incomprehensible Spam

"Let's drafty talks. How is your day? At present I am trying to find top-grade buddy.

Im rreproachable 35 yo Person living in Russia;)
response to me at:!
Drafty talks?

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Curious Reason So Many Healthcare Workers Are Vaccine-Hesitant

 I mentioned several weeks ago that Ph.D.s and professional degrees (J.D. and M.D.) were the most vaccine-hesitant.  This June WebMD poll linked to by Reason shows a deep distrust of CDC nd FDA by nurses and doctors:

Out of nearly 2,000 U.S. nurses surveyed on Medscape (WebMD's sister site for health care professionals) between May 25 and June 3, 77% said their trust in the CDC has decreased since the start of the pandemic, and 51% said their trust in the FDA has decreased. Similarly, out of nearly 450 U.S. doctors surveyed in the same time period, 77% said their trust in the CDC has decreased and 48% said their trust in the FDA has decreased.

Health care professionals have been critical of these agencies’ decisions during the pandemic, with some concerned that their work has been politicized.

“I do not question, doubt or disagree with the mission(s) of the agencies,” one nurse wrote in a comment on the Medscape poll. “I do (within the last 2 years) question the degree to which leaders of those institutions are able to truly implement scientifically sound and public health-centric recommendations and practices free from political influence and bias.”...

In addition to a lack of trust, many health care professionals said they disagreed with the CDC's and FDA’s actions on COVID-19. About half of both doctors and nurses said they disagreed with the FDA’s overall decision-making during the pandemic, compared to 36% of WebMD readers. Nearly 60% of doctors and 65% of nurses said they disagreed with the CDC’s overall pandemic guidance, while 39% of WebMD readers did.

Last month’s CDC guidelines that fully vaccinated people did not need to wear masks or socially distance are a prime example of where health care professionals disagree with official guidance.

“The new CDC masking guidelines centers those communities that have high rates of vaccination and those for whom masking was a burden,” tweeted pediatrician Rhea Boyd, MD. “In communities where most folks are still “waiting to see” or lack access to vaccine, masking is still critical for EVERYONE.”

“They flip flop daily on masks and which vaccine is safe,” a doctor commented about the CDC and FDA on the Medscape poll. “Sadly, I no longer feel I can trust them at all.”

Why?  One of the Tweets they quoted from comments on their poll:

Because of the damage done by the prior administration, the


were put in the position to earn back the public and scientific community’s trust.

This is a head-scratcher for me.  I had no idea that either CDC or FDA bent to Trump's political wishes; if anything it seemed to me that CDC was going out of their way to fight Trump.  In any case, this is hardly a Trumper sort of position.

The large scale firing of nurses and doctors to which I have alluded in prevuious postings now makes more sense.

Astonishing But Unsurprising Admission

 From Critical Race Theory in the Academy (2020):

Curiously, this criticism of hiring that picks the best rather than the right race is about hiring in the academy, the place most loudly hostile to racism.  This leads to three questions:

1. Why are progressive-dominated institutions so racist?

2. Is the real problem that these institutions are meritocratic in goals, and too many BIPOCs are using failure of the standards of merit as an excuse to demand preferred hiring?

3. Why are Asian-Americans not running into these same problems?  Are they suddenly considered white, unlike BIPOCs?

Destroying Academic Standards

 10/5/21 Inside Higher Ed:

Truckee Meadows Community College wants to terminate a tenured instructor of math for “insubordination.” The professor, Lars Jensen, says the college wants to get rid of him because he’s telling inconvenient truths about how the college is lowering math standards.

“Let it be clear that this hearing is not about deliberation of two unsatisfactory annual performance ratings that I have earned, but rather about two unsatisfactory annual performance ratings that have been pinned on me in retaliation for speaking out on academic matters,” Jensen said in his opening statement for his termination hearing before a faculty panel last week. “This case is about whether a faculty member at TMCC is permitted to use his or her academic freedom to speak on academic matters and matters of public concern. We will show today that the insubordination charges against me are unsubstantiated and incompatible with an open and free academic environment.”...

Jensen says that math standards have been eroding nationwide for some time, but that things took a turn for the worse at Truckee Meadows after the Nevada System of Higher Education’s Board of Regents voted in 2019 to ditch traditional remedial math and English courses in favor of a new, “corequisite support” program.

“By redesigning first-year math and English classes, adding additional instruction time to these college-level courses, and requiring mandatory tutoring for students who need the support, we have seen very promising data across the nation that students are more successful,” Thom Reilly, system chancellor, said at the time. “This approach allows students to kill two birds with one stone by completing the college-level work while also receiving needed remedial support designed to ensure greater success.”

Jensen said there’s nothing inherently wrong with this approach, and many student success advocates say that forcing students to take remedial noncollege courses before they begin actual college coursework only hurts their chances of ever getting a degree. But Jensen said that in adopting the corequisite support program at TMCC, the college aggressively pressured the math department to remove content from its required courses, specifically the core algebra content that had always been included in the college’s math requirement for liberal arts-oriented students. (Jensen says that math requirements for students who wish to pursue math and the natural sciences have been less affected.)

Hey, how important is math, anyway?  

Question for Black Powder Shooters

Is there a way to unload a black powder pistol without firing it?

I was actually looking for a 1783 way.

Monday, October 4, 2021

A Nice Surprise

One of my longstanding reasons to exclude Tesla from consideration was my fear that I was putting money into China (batteries).  But this indicates the Tesla 3 batteries are U.S. made and the other cars are Japanese made.  ONE country that will stand up to China (two if we can replace the Depends President).


Free on YouTube.   Don't let Charles Bronson's presence discourage you.  Yes it is an action movie (sort of) and very entertaining.  It is mostly a Border Patrol officer trying to find the killer of another officer, but it really shows in a non-lecturing way how illegal aliens are exploited by businesses and individuals who want cheap maids, coyotes, and corrupt Mexican officials. 

Even those of us who are opposed to illegal immigration would like an honest way to do this: background checks, a process that does not enrich lawyers, and a process for controlling the volume to avoid driving down wages of lawful residents (many of whom are Hispanic, both citizens and permanent residents).

Ivermectin RCTs

 This was in Israel:

Professor Eli Schwartz is with the Sheba Medical Center in Israel, considered one of the world’s top hospitals. For decades, Prof. Schwartz has traveled the world fighting outbreaks like Dengue Fever and Ebola. He also began the Travel Medicine and Tropical Disease Institute at Sheba. At the beginning of the pandemic and months before any vaccine, Israel's Defense Ministry assigned Schwartz to find a medical solution for COVID-19. 

“Since Ivermectin is one of the drugs that we are using in daily life in the Tropical Institute, I knew it. I know the safety profile of it. And since there was some hints of in-vitro studies, which show the efficacy against specifically, even against COVID-19, we decided to go for it.”

That meant putting the drug through a clinical trial that lasted ten months.

“Our study, which was done here, it's a randomized controlled trial, double-blind. It's really, I would say, this is the best method that you are doing studies. And our conclusion is that it really has antiviral activities,” Shwartz told CBN News.

From the American Journal of Therapeutics:


Moderate-certainty evidence finds that large reductions in COVID-19 deaths are possible using ivermectin. Using ivermectin early in the clinical course may reduce numbers progressing to severe disease. The apparent safety and low cost suggest that ivermectin is likely to have a significant impact on the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic globally.


Things You Learn Visiting the 1920s

 I was reading a mass murder in which the murderer took revenge for being expelled from the "county infirmary."  Was that a public hospital?  No.  At some point in the 19th century, some states renamed the county poorhouse to county infirmary, where the indigent, mentally ill, and orphans worked the land and livestock to keep themselves fed and shelter over their heads.  The mentally ill and orphans were later separated into different institutions for the protection of all.

Sunday, October 3, 2021

I Am So Glad I Bought American

Everything is so beautifully machined and thought out.

Expensive, and worth every penny.

Obviously, the ScopeRollers are my manufacture.

While balancing the scope on the mount last night, I discovered the 11 pound counterweight (that big donut on the shaft on the left) is not enough for the weight of the telescope.  I sold an 8 pound Losmandy counterweight a few months back to reduce garage clutter.  I used to use that on my older Losmandy GM8 mount with the 8" telescope, but I forgot that was why I had it.  I am ordering another 11 pound counterweight.  Probably more than I need but I can just move it up the counterweight shaft if it is too much.

Does Racism Persist in America?

 Of course.  How commonly?  The FBI's 2020 Hate Crimes Report shows a little under 8000 hate crime incidents.  In a nation of 322 million, that does not seem very high.  Obviously, not every expression of prejudice qualifies as a crime.  But reports like this from 10/1/21 Yahoo News:

Criminal charges were filed against Terresha Lucas, a 30-year-old Black woman

In an unexpected turn of events, this week authorities in Georgia revealed they believe a Black woman is behind the “racially charged” notes that have been terrorizing her neighborhood.

Since last December, a Douglasville, Georgia neighborhood has been gripped in fear due to racially charged messages that have anonymously been left in the mailboxes of residents of color, reports Fox News. But now officials say police said they have made an arrest and the alleged culprit is not who anyone would have expected.

Wednesday, the Douglasville Police Department confirmed that they had filed criminal charges against Terresha Lucas. Lucas is a 30-year-old Black woman who they believe threatened people in her community while posing as a Ku Klux Klan member.

These fake hate crmes are identified surprisingly commonly.  keeps track of them.  Now a few hundred fake hate crimes compared to a few thousand a year is not much.  But these were the fake hate crimes done so inexpertly as to be detected.  A reasonably competent self-victimizer could create a plausible looking hate crime that survives investigation.  The not bright ones include a lesbian minister in San Francisco whose "attackers" used permanent marker to write slurs on her face.  Police noticed immediately that they were reversed; as though whoever wrote them was looking in a mirror.

Why bother making these up?  Often they are to excite political tension and guilt privileged whites into supporting the latest expressions of anti-white hatred.  Sometimes they are simpler and sadder: a black woman who wanted to drop out of college and come home, so she put up racist graffiti.

Also of interest

Of the 6,431 known offenders:

  • 55.2% were White
  • 20.2% were Black or African American

So blacks are overrepresented among the offenders.  Not what you expected? 

Saturday, October 2, 2021

Looking for Data on Middleton Education Level

 This seems like a pretty blue collar town.  To my surprise, less than 9% of adults over 25 did not graduate high school.  Not surprisingly, people with a graduate degree make roughly twice the high school dropouts.  Another "Duh": 

The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 1.43%. Among those working part-time, it was 17.05%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 18.64%.

Work is the most effective anti-poverty program known. 

Technology Not a Solution

 J Urban Health 2021 Apr 30. doi: 10.1007/s11524-021-00515-4


Over the past decade, large urban counties have implemented ShotSpotter, a gun fire detection technology, across the USA. It uses acoustic listening devices to identify discharged firearms' locations. We examined the effect of ShotSpotter with a pooled, cross-sectional time-series analysis within the 68 large metropolitan counties in the USA from 1999 to 2016. We identified ShotSpotter implementation years through publicly available media. We used a Poisson distribution to model the impact of ShotSpotter on firearm homicides, murder arrests, and weapons arrests. ShotSpotter did not display protective effects for all outcomes. Counties in states with permit-to-purchase firearm laws saw a 15% reduction in firearm homicide incidence rates; counties in states with right-to-carry laws saw a 21% increase in firearm homicide incidence rates. Results suggest that implementing ShotSpotter technology has no significant impact on firearm-related homicides or arrest outcomes. Policy solutions may represent a more cost-effective measure to reduce urban firearm violence.

Friday, October 1, 2021

The Soft Bigotry of Low Expectations

 9/30/21 Inside Higher Education:

Only 13 of more than 125 graduate programs at the University of California, Berkeley, will require the Graduate Record Examination for admission next year, the university announced this week.

 Most departments eliminated GRE requirements last year due to difficulties applicants had in taking the exam during the COVID-19 pandemic. But the majority of Berkeley’s departments this year again chose not to require the GRE.

Berkeley, like most universities with many graduate programs, leaves the decision on admissions requirements to the individual departments. But the change at Berkeley -- at a time when most applicants could take the GRE -- is significant.

“I’m thrilled that so many of our departments elected to eliminate the GRE requirement in their admissions process,” said a statement from Lisa García Bedolla, vice provost for graduate studies and dean of the Graduate Division at Berkeley. “The research clearly shows that there are significant race, gender and socioeconomic disparities in GRE scores. We are looking forward to assessing how removing the GRE admissions requirement allows us to develop better assessments and improve our holistic approach to graduate admissions."

If you did not go to grad school, you likely missed the GREs.  These are an attempt to see how well you know the subject for which you will be seeking an advanced degree.  If there are "race, gender and socioeconomic disparities" it means that your undergraduate program was not very good, or you have a poor memory. 

 Theoretically, a high GRE score opens doors.  It did not for me.  I was 91% percentile in World History and 99% in American History.  I had two published books, one refereed journal article and a 3.71 GPA.  Washington State University, Pullman, University of Idaho, and University of Wyoming all said No.  Only Sonoma State where I received my BA would take me. 

So, if your undergrad education was so bad, why are you suddenly prepared to do a graduate degree?  No one dares ask the question what role inferior inner city schools or culture play in this failure to get the Diversity police happy.  Or perhaps these institutions already run by the Diversity Police are racist/sexist/classist/homophobic/cisist hotbeds.

Another reminder that Orwell's classic question about the sum of 2+2 is again uncertain is this statement from McGill University's Physics Department:

Fostering and sustaining an equitable and inclusive environment —one which recognizes the diversity of backgrounds, identities, and expectations— broadens our perspectives and strengthens our community, research, and teaching activities.

What, exactly, does that mean?  If a black physicist insists one kilogram moving at 1 meter/second produces 0 joules of work and a white physicist says it produces 1 joule of work, are they both right?  Is it too white to ask each to stand back and throw 100 kg blocks at each other and see who is correct?  Does correct mean anything anymore at McGill?

Ads So Absurd You Keep Watching to See If It Is Parody

A YouTube ad where a guy with a hideous English accent tells his tale of woe: wife is cheating on him; they get a divorce; she emptied his bank account; his depression gets him fired; evicted; he moves back in with his parents.   At this point I was expecting it to be a castle or manor home.  No, he starts searching for jobs online and buys a bracelet that is supposed to bring good luck.   It does: he wins the lottery; buys a house; owns a successful jewelry store; starts to wonder about that bracelet.  Then the Feng Shui pitch.  So predictably absurd and then all the way to "throwing out Newton with Nagasaki."

The ads just get weirder, stupider, and more New Age.  I wonder if I have exhausted the supply of high paying, serious company ads.

How Small Was Las Vegas in 1928?

 This was front page news in the Aug. 28, 1928 Las Vegas Age:

Are Medical Staff Refusing Vaccinations in Large Numbers?

You might wonder.  Here is New York Governor Hochul's executive order essentially allowing doctors, nurses, and pretty much all medical professionals licensed anywhere in the U.S., Canada, and "or any other country as approved by the Department of Health" to practice in New York.

Perhaps this has nothing to do with the mandatory vaccination requirement for healthcare workers.   If so, why was this not issued last year during the even larger crisis?  

I still think the vaccine is a better idea than taking your chances with COVID-19, but when large numbers of healthcare workers, including physicians, are refusing vaccination at risk of losing their jobs, pretending this is just ignorant Trump rednecks is not plausible. 

A friend observed that the governor is calling up the National Guard to replace them.
Other Options Include Deployment of Medically-Trained National Guard

The National Guard mandatory vaccine date however:

The service was the last to announce its plans after Pentagon leaders announced a vaccine would be mandatory last month. The Army timeline is the longest of the services, with active-duty soldiers having until Dec. 15, 2021, to be fully vaccinated. Army National Guard and Reserve soldiers will have until June 30, 2022. 

So unvaccinated healthcare workers will be replaced with possibly unvaccinated National Guardsmen.  The logic is impeccably Democrat. 

The Difference Between Tea and Coffee

Tea is a sophisticated and urbane stimulant; coffee is for chain-saw and flamethrower days.

Rhonda was up late making medieval clothing.  Coffee!