Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Whites Killing Whites in Situations Similar to Arbery Case

 Can you point me to any?  Or press about police officers killing whites?  Or racially motivated shootings of whites?

I know they happen, but they get little press coverage.   7/15/21 Washington Post:

The Rev. Al Sharpton has spent almost half a century fighting for Black people. Ben Crump has become the go-to attorney for families of Black people who have been killed by police, including Breonna Taylor’s and George Floyd’s.

Now the major names in Black civil rights are shifting their focus to Arkansas — where a White teenager was killed by an officer — and saying police brutality hurts communities of all races.

Hunter Brittain, 17, was fatally shot by a White Lonoke County sheriff’s deputy during a traffic stop in a Little Rock suburb on June 23, according to police.


6/15/21 People:

A weekend shooting spree that injured five people in Alabama and Georgia was racially motivated, police allege.

At a preliminary hearing Monday in Columbus Recorder's Court in Georgia, a detective testified that 39-year-old Justin Tyran Roberts, who is Black, allegedly admitted to police that he was targeting white men during a series of attacks over two days.

"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, the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer reports.

10/18/21 Tampa Bay Times:

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating after an officer-involved shooting in Tarpon Springs that left a 17-year-old boy dead, according to the Tarpon Springs Police Department.

The boy who was shot and killed by officers Saturday night was identified during a news conference Monday as Alexander King, an 11th-grader at Tarpon Springs High School.

Police said they received several calls Saturday evening about a white male walking down N. Pinellas Avenue and pointing what appeared to be an AK-style rifle at passing vehicles.

When officers arrived at the southeast corner of the intersection of N. Pinellas Avenue and Tarpon Avenue around 9:30 p.m., they spotted King on the northwest corner of the intersection. King pointed the gun at them and at several occupied cars on the road, police said....

Officers had received reports that King was possibly armed with an AK-style rifle but, according to Young, King actually was carrying an airsoft gun, which is also known as a pellet gun.

King was hit and fell to the ground. Officers then handcuffed King as a precaution, Young said, and began CPR until paramedics arrived.

King was transported to Bayonet Point Hospital, but was pronounced dead at 11:05 p.m., Young said.

7/12/21 PBS:

UPDATE: Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill ruled on July 22 — 10 days after The Salt Lake Tribune published this article — that Sgt. Tyler Longman acted within the law when he shot Michael Chad Breinholt and won’t face charges.

The last words Michael Chad Breinholt heard were, “You’re about to die, my friend.”

Then a West Valley City police sergeant pulled the trigger.

Breinholt’s mother, Susan Neese, has seen the final moments of her 31-year-old son’s life. The body camera footage from Aug. 23, 2019, shows he was intoxicated at the police department.

With his hands cuffed behind his back, he briefly wrestled with two officers. One screamed that Breinholt was grabbing his holstered gun. Sgt. Tyler Longman rushed into the room, made his declaration and fired.

“He took the time to think about that, to say those words,” Neese said in a recent interview. “And then aim and shoot. And kill Chad.” 

One of the pictures shows Breinholt handcuffed in a chair. 

Are blacks especially victimized by police?

11/29/21 Washington Post:

Black Americans are killed at a much higher rate than White Americans

Although half of the people shot and killed by police are White, Black Americans are shot at a disproportionate rate. They account for less than 13 percent of the U.S. population, but are killed by police at more than twice the rate of White Americans. Hispanic Americans are also killed by police at a disproportionate rate.

Of course, blacks are arrested at more than twice the rate of whites, explaining disparities in contacts between officers and blacks.  This might be evidence of racism, but it might also be because of higher rates of crime. The National Crime Victimization Survey (which is based on victim reports, not arrests) used to record race of offender.  At least the 2020 data no longer does so.   They still categorize victims by race, so this was likely not an oversight.  As late as 2015 they were still doing so.  Table 3 in the 2015 report shows that black offender against black victim violent crimes were at a higher rate (16.5) than white offenders against black victims (3.1) or white offenders against white victims (12.0) in spite of whites greatly outnumbering blacks.  These rates appear to be based on the number of crimes.  Because blacks are disproportionately victims of violent crime, mostly by black criminals, this disparity in criminals by race is not as extreme as the rates alone suggest.  Table 1 may be more useful.  Blacks were 22.7% of violent criminals, so about twice the rate of their share of the population, much like the Washington Post's analysis above.

Now, remember that black criminals are a tiny part of black America, atypical in many ways (as is true in white America), but disproportionate rates of police shooting of blacks is hardly evidence of racism.

Monday, November 29, 2021

"Sorry/Not Sorry" From the Salvation Army

First: some background.   I grew up in a Salvation Army church.   My mother was an SA minister.  Over the years, I have contributed well in the thousands of dollars to their relief efforts which have always been very valuable for helping those in need.

When the LGBT crowd went after them for not putting HIV+ people in food service and refusing to go along with gay marriage and adoption, I was proud to increase support for their courage in standing up for biblical values.

Now the SA's International Social Justice Committee (clearly too much money) has put out this guidebook on racism, spouting (along with perfectly biblical statements about the evils of racism), the whole CRT collection of absurd claims:

"The problem of racism is pervasive and complex. It is described as prejudice plus power."  So racism can never be black hatred of whites or Jews.

Whoever wrote it is not terribly well educated: 

"Racist national policies can result in segregation, oppres￾sion and, ultimately, genocide. The social outcomes are 
incalculable in their human devastation – slavery, civil 
rights violations, apartheid, Arian supremacy, caste 
system, and more.
Racism negatively." [Emphasis added] Arianism was a third century heresy.  Aryanism is the word they almost knew.

"Racism can be so entrenched in institutions and culture that 
people can unintentionally and unwittingly perpetuate racial 
division. For instance, devout Christians who naively use racial 
epithets or a well-intentioned Sunday School curriculum that 
only uses white photography and imagery." Any Christian using racial epithets needs to get back aboard their time machine.   I heard the N-word used by blacks in high school far more than I have heard it from any Christians that I have known. (I cannot think of one in 40 years of attending evangelical churches.)

"Oppressed people groups invariably experience poor health and housing services, reduced life 
expectancy, lower employment opportunities, lower high school graduation rates, increased 
homelessness and more incidents of violence."

There are many other reasons that have persisted even after racism is no longer part of our legal system and is so offensive to decent people that the only people who use the N-word are black or the trifling number of white supremacists left in America.   (Hold up your hands so I can count you.  Thanks.  That was quick.)

The insistence on seeing racial inequities as based on racism is an attempt to not ask the Left painful questions: do crummy inner city schools hold black kids back?  Does a culture that denigrates education as "acting white" play a part?  To be fair you can trace some of this hostility to antebellum laws prohibiting teaching blacks to read and write.   But that was 150 years ago.  Irish immigrants at the same time were arriving illiterate but decided not to be trapped by it.

The problems of racial inequity are more complex than racism alone, although there are certainly some areas where racism still plays a role.  If I walk into a jewelry store, even dressed casually, the employees do not tense up.  For a black man, I am sure they do.  But very little of American life involves high value transactions.  If a black man walks into most businesses dressed and acting Iike a white man, there are few businesses that will worry.  Walk in dressed like you just arrived from a Compton revival of Boys in the Hood, and yes you will get much the same reaction as a bone skinny white guy wearing raggedy clothes whose head is constantly twitching.

Drop the do-rag and the ghetto slang and watch doors open.  Everyone that I know wants an America where you are judged by the content of your character, not the color of your skin.

The next fundraising letter from the SA will get a short response: "Ask your International Social Justice Committee for help. They have all the answers.  The SA has money for this; help the poor with whatever money these privileged white people are blowing."

Aztec Human Sacrifice

 In grad school, I wrote a paper about Aztec Human Sacrifice.  Imagine my surprise to see a video on YouTube about the subject that is meticulously researched.  As the narrator explains, he is pretty sure it will not be monetized because YouTube does not like educational videos that make people uncomfortable.  Annoy your PC friends:

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Arctic Icepack

National Snow & Ice Center reports:
"As of October 31, sea ice extent is tracking higher than any year since 2015, as well as higher than observed in 2007, 2011, and 2012 (Figure 2a)."

Odd behavior for a worsening crisis.

Saturday, November 27, 2021

Cold-Induced Angina Pectoris

I now see why the ER cardiologist wanted me to make an appointment with my cardiologist.   It was not a heart attack but when cold induces angina it indicates that you are likely demanding more oxygen than your heart can easily produce.  (Being cold creates a strong demand for more oxygen to burn calories to keep you warm.)  The reason people die of heart attacks while shoveling snow is not just the increased physical demand but in combination with very cold conditions.   I can assure you that being out under the stars in freezing weather burns a lot of calories.

I suspect he is going to want to do an angiogram to see if any cardiac arteries are in need of cleaning.  If only it was simpler: a self-propelled device just below artery size that did a Roto-Rooter on the arteries and then dissolved on the 3rd or 4th pass.  I suspect passing by aneurysms would be risky, however.

This is Sort Of An Experiment

To see if anyone wants astrophotography themed clothing, drinkware, refrigerator magnets, phone cases, etc.  At CafePress.

Yes, Something Has Gone Terribly Wrong

When you learn a German exchange student is being asked how to translate the N word into German.  America, we have a problem. 


The head of my blog says that I am trying to prevent Idiocracy from becoming a documentary.   What am I hearing from teachers tells me we have ten years left.

Much of a generation in lower grades right now have no interest in education and no plans for after high school except playing video games.

Friday, November 26, 2021

Manhattan From the Air

You have no comprehension when you are on the streets how spectacular Manhattan Island really is.

And what a magnificent creation Central Park is:

I started using GIMP on some of these pictures from 2007, and find myself wishing that I had known about GIMP back then.  As an example, this spectacular picture of the top of the Chrysler Building, a brilliant example of Art Deco architecture.

and then after adjusting Contrast/Brightness and Unsharp Mask:

I Am Not Sure How...

 But I gained no weight at Thanksgiving and what a feast it was.  I explained to the German exchange student that my daughter is hosting that this was nearly the perfect example: all my children, grandchildren, and much of the extended family together, thankful and enjoying each other's company.

Indian Land Title and the Doctrine of Discovery

 My wife and I have recently watched a PBS series titled Native America.  It is a strongly biased presentation of Native American history, including the howler about how Indians invented democracy with the Iroquois Confederation, and that the U.S. Constitution was based on it.  The Iroqouis have a legend about how they were required to live in peace.  Of course, this did not apply to anyone else.  See this article about Iroquois "mourning-wars."

What really got me digging, however was the claim that in 2005, the Supreme upheld the Pope's 1493 "Doctrine of Discovery" granting land ownership to the sovereign who discovered new lands.  The case turned out to be City of Sherrill v. Oneida Indian Nation of N. Y., 544 U.S. 197 (2005).  Digging back to the origin of the claim, Oneida Indian Nation v. County of Oneida, 414 US 661 (1974) we find:

It very early became accepted doctrine in this Court that although fee title to the lands occupied by Indians when the colonists arrived became vested in the sovereign —first the discovering European nation and later the original States and the United States—a right of occupancy in the Indian tribes was nevertheless recognized. That right, sometimes called Indian title and good against all but the sovereign, could be terminated only by sovereign act. Once the United States was organized and the Constitution adopted, these tribal rights to Indian lands became the exclusive province of the federal law. Indian title, recognized to be only a right of occupancy, was extinguishable only by the United States. 

Doctrine of Discovery was considered a guarantee of Indian ownership.  The City of Sherrill case revolved around:

In the years after the Revolutionary War, "the State of New York came under increasingly heavy pressure to open the Oneidas' land for settlement." Oneida II, 470 U. S., at 231. Reflective of that pressure, in 1788, New York State and the Oneida Nation entered into the Treaty of Fort Schuyler. For payments in money and kind, the Oneidas ceded to New York "all their lands." App. to Pet. for Cert. A136. Of the vast area conveyed, "[t]he Oneidas retained a reservation of about 300,000 acres," Oneida II, 470 U. S., at 231, "for their own use and cultivation," App. to Pet. for Cert. A137 (internal quotation marks omitted).[1] OIN does 204not here contest the legitimacy of the Fort Schuyler conveyance or the boundaries of the reserved area....

Early litigation concerning the Oneidas' land claims trained on monetary recompense from the United States for past deprivations. In 1893, the United States agreed to be sued for disposing of the Kansas lands to settlers, and the Oneidas in New York shared in the resulting award of damages. See New York Indians, 170 U. S. 1New York Indians, 40 Ct. Cl. 448 (identifying the Tribes qualified to share in the distribution of the sum recovered). ...

OIN's predecessor, the Oneida Nation, had transferred the parcels at issue to one of its members in 1805, who sold the land to a non-Indian in 1807. The properties thereafter remained in non-Indian hands until OIN's acquisitions in 1997 and 1998 in open-market transactions. See 337 F. 3d, at 144, n. 3. OIN now operates commercial enterprises on these parcels: a gasoline station, a convenience store, and a textile facility. Id., at 144.

Because the parcels lie within the boundaries of the reservation originally occupied by the Oneidas, OIN maintained that the properties are exempt from taxation, and accordingly refused to pay the assessed property taxes. The city of Sherrill initiated eviction proceedings in state court, and OIN sued Sherrill in federal court. In contrast to Oneida I 12

and II, which involved demands for monetary compensation, OIN sought equitable relief prohibiting, currently and in the future, the imposition of property taxes. OIN also sued Madison County, seeking a declaration that the Tribe's properties in Madison are tax exempt. The litigation involved a welter of claims and counterclaims. Relevant here, the District Court concluded that parcels of land owned by the Tribe in Sherrill and Madison are not taxable. See 145 F. Supp. 2d 226, 254-259 (NDNY 2001). 

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Rittenhouse Trial As Learning Tool

I am watching a video by a Canadian gun lawyer using the cross-examination of Gaige Grosskreutz as an example of an effective piece of work.

There are so many examples that if law schools were not BLM affiliates, the Rittenhouse trial would be the core of entire courses on criminal law.

The very most important is do not ever ask a question where you do not know the answer.

I Thought It Was a Heart Attack

My EKG is always confusing because of past damage but the troponin numbers showed no evidence of fresh heart cell death.  The ER cardiologist thought it was a spasm induced by last night standing in the absurd cold.  I may put off astronomy until night temperatures get above 40.

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Stuff Sitting in the Eyepiece Drawer

I have a 8 f/7 reflector that was an act of love by my father in the 1960s. It has a 1.25" University Optics focuser. It works so well that replacing the focuser and therefore the diagonal is not attractive. 

 A while back, I bought a 2" to 1.25" adapter. (This lets you put a 2" OD eyepiece into a 1.25" eyepiece focuser.)  I never used it. 

 This evening, while preparing to do some photography, I was attempting to align the 9x60 finderscope with the scope. The target mountain range is sufficiently regular that I needed a lower power eyepiece to get a chance at identifying a peak that was obvious in the finderscope.

So I pulled out the 50mm SuperPlossl and put it in the adapter. Not only did it reach focus, but the dark circle you usually see in reflectors in daylight with these low power eyepieces was not there. It was although not severe with the 85mm SuperPlossl. I now have perfectly useful 28x and 17x eyepieces.  Those should give me 1.78 degree and 2.9 degree fields of view (although likely with some vignetting of the field).

The First Thanksgiving

 There is a lot of misinformation out there.  I have heard it described as commemorating a great victory over the Indians or thankfulness to the Indians (of whom this book is very complimentary) but no.  This is the only written account of that First Thanksgiving from Mourt's Relation:

Windows 10 Seems Intent on Keeping All Your Files in Their Cloud

 I tried to change the definitions of ThisPC->Documents and ThisPC->Pictures to actually be on my PC.  Properties->Location lets you change the location to C:\Users\clayton/Documents but then wants to move everything from OneDrive to that new location.  If you say no, it complains that there is a folder in that location already.  Yes, you idiot!  I do not want to have my documents default to the cloud.

If I go to \Users\clayton, I cannot open My Documents.

I have found a solution.  

1. On your Desktop, right click New->shortcut

2. Browse to C:\Users\username\My Pictures  (this may vary depending on the naming convention)

3. Next

4. Enter a name for this object (e.g., Pictures)

5. Finish

6. Right click that icon; Pin to Quick Access

7. In Windows Explorer (or whatever that folder looking thing is called now) Select the old name that points to OneDrive, right click and Unpin From Quick Access.

Not simple but not impossible.

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

I Did Not Get Any Useful Video Last Night

 But I did go back to some video that I had not processed from July.  This was prime focus 2000mm f/4.5:

Waukesha Suspect

Watching his preliminary hearing, why was this guy even out of jail?  He has a long history of felony convictions, and a registered sex offender.  A lot of people used to insist that three felony convictions should lead to life were unnecessary because most third felony convicts are so old that they cease to be dangerous.   This guy remains young and dangerous with at least three felony convictions.  How he found the time to do so many crimes I have no idea.

I know that the DA was part of why this guy was out.  But also Wisconsin and Nevada seem to be weak on keeping dangerous felons locked up.

The prosecutor also told the judge a sixth child has died.

I Did Not Believe This At First

 Semirepubtable organizations such as ZeroHedge and Epoch Times referenced it but those had no particularly credible sources.  11/2/21 Guardian:

The Queensland government will forge ahead with its Covid-19 quarantine camp near Toowoomba, despite reports the federal government wants to scale down a facility being built in Brisbane, reports Marty Silk from AAP.

The state is building a 1,000-bed facility at Wellcamp, while the federal government is building another 1,000-bed quarantine camp in Brisbane, like similar camps in Melbourne and Perth.

However the federal government is considering downsizing those facilities with as states progressively open their international borders, according to News Corp.

Queensland Agriculture Minister Mark Furner said the state-funded facility at Wellcamp will be needed for foreign and unvaccinated travellers for the foreseeable future and there’s no plans to scale it down.

11/23/21 Daily Wire:

Giving a COVID-19 update to the public, Australia’s Northern Territory Chief Minister Michael Gunner revealed that the army was helping to transfer positive COVID cases and contacts into quarantine camps.

“Binjari and nearby Rockhole have been placed into strict lockdown in response to the outbreak, and the Australian defence force has been called in to help with transferring positive cases and close contacts,” The Guardian reported, adding, “Unvaccinated travellers will no longer be able to enter the NT from Monday under sweeping border rule changes. The only exception will be essential personnel and Territorians returning from jurisdictions where the virus is not present, called green zones.”


 Shortly after moving into the new house and having to give up a 10' warehouse ladder for use of the telescopes (too big to fit anywhere inside, too ugly to leave outside), I bought this steel ladder with handrails that would take me up 38".  It worked well for a few months, but it is now wobbly enough that I do not feel entirely safe on it.  Worse, the legs are not wide enough to feel secure against falling over.  The base is 20" wide.

I am trying to find a solution that gives me 3' elevation, folds, and a wider base with handrails.  A little lighter would be nice as well.

Who is to Blame for the Parkland Mass Murder?

 11/23/21 CBS News:

Fort Lauderdale, Florida — The families of most of those killed and wounded in the 2018 Florida high school massacre have reached a multi-million dollar settlement with the federal government over the FBI's failure to stop the gunman even though it had received information he intended to attack.

Attorneys for 16 of the 17 killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland and some of those wounded said they have reached a monetary settlement with the government over the FBI's failure to investigate a tip it received about a month before the massacre. The 17th family chose not to sue.

The attorneys said the settlement's details are confidential, but two sources familiar with the details of the settlement told CBS Miami the DOJ has agreed to pay the families between $125 million and $130 million....

Andrew Pollack, whose 18-year-old daughter Meadow died in the shooting, commended the FBI for accepting responsibility for its inaction, comparing it to the Broward County school district and sheriff's office, the school security staff and the psychologists who treated the shooter. He believes they all failed to stop the shooter and have ducked responsibility....

About five weeks before the Feb. 14, 2018, shooting, an FBI tip line received a call saying a former Stoneman Douglas student, Nikolas Cruz, had bought guns and planned to "slip into a school and start shooting the place up."

"I know he's going to explode," the caller told the FBI.

But that information was never forwarded to the FBI's South Florida office and Cruz was never contacted. He had been expelled from the school a year earlier and had a long history of emotional and behavioral problems.

So many people had the chance to prevent this.  So why was David Hogg so prominent in the efforts to hold gun owners responsible for this?

He is the son of Kevin Hogg, a former agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. 

Monday, November 22, 2021

Mostly Testing the Waters for Astrothemed Products

 Here.  And the mug version.

What a Little Fiddling in RegiStax Can Do

 These are all the same MOV file from my Pentax with slight variations in the wavelet transfotm settings.

It Sounds Like Parody, But It Is Actually an Intellectual

 10/21 The Critic:

If all opinions that I disagree with were made illegal, fascism would be over.

Under the current tyranny of “free speech”, bigots feel emboldened to harass me online with their calls for “debate” and “discussion”. Luckily, the police have been monitoring bad opinions on social media for quite some time, which is far more important than all this so-called “knife crime”. A stab wound might be unpleasant, but at least it can’t be retweeted.

Judith Butler, the world’s leading expert in Gender Studies (the only academic subject that actually matters), recently declared that gender-critical feminism is “one of the most dominant strains of fascism of our time”. This means that anyone who believes there are biological differences between men and women is literally a Nazi.

We are dealing with a very educated person here:

Anyone who has the courage to stand up to these monsters deserves as much respect as whoever it was who killed Hitler.

Who killed Hitler? I am sure just about all of you know. It was suicide. 

I take that back, this is World Class parody.

Why Do We Have Particular Dreams?

 I took an afternoon nap to prepare for imaging tonight and I  dreamed that I was  copying DVDs of 1970s TV shows, including for no apparent reason Cannon.   I have not consciously thought of that detective series starring William Conrad since the Disco Era.  Why now?

Remember Most Black Americans Are Not So Different From Most White Americans

 11/22/21 Chicago Tribune:

Five years after leaving South Shore, Jason and Jennifer Parks are convinced the decision to move their family to northwest Indiana was the right one.

As Chicago continues to struggle to contain violent crime, the Parkses said they appreciate the town of St. John’s slower pace.

The four-bedroom home they had built on a wide lot in Lake County provides space, security and the community kinship they were searching for....

The Parkses and their four daughters had lived in a modest bungalow on South Euclid Avenue, the same block that Michelle Obama’s family once called home, until violence drove the Parkses out three years after they moved in.

Now they appreciate the active parents at the local schools where their 15-year-old twin daughters are thriving and have part-time jobs after school. Their younger daughters can play in the yard without the possibility of gunfire. Best of all, their new community has shopping of all kinds, and their money seems to go further than on the South Side, which lacked many of the basic neighborhood amenities they expected as homeowners.

See? Rittenhouse's Use of An AR-15 Leads to More AR-15 Crimes

11/22/21 Fox News:

The man being questioned after a red SUV plowed through Waukesha's Christmas parade, killing at least five people and injuring dozens, has been identified as Darrell E. Brooks Jr., a Milwaukee man with a criminal history dating back to 1999 that includes numerous violent felonies.

Multiple senior law enforcement sources told Fox News that the 39-year-old longtime felon was being questioned in connection with the attack.

Police said early Monday that a red SUV plowed into pedestrians Sunday evening, killing five and injuring at least 40 more. Some of the victims were children.

He has a long rap sheet and a number of pending cases. Brooks’ most recent court appearance came on Nov. 5 for charges including reckless endangerment, battery, domestic abuse, resisting arrest and bail jumping. He was out on $1,000 bail for those charges at the time of the attack.

I can't believe it!  They misspelled AR-15 as "red SUV." 

Imagine If Trump Told These Whoppers

 11/21/21 Yahoo News:

Explore the topics mentioned in this article

President Biden said last week that his house burned down with his wife Jill Biden inside before trying to correct himself, adding to a long list of personal stories he’s embellished over the years.

Speaking on a New Hampshire bridge on Tuesday about his bipartisan infrastructure plan, Biden said, "Without this bridge, as I said earlier, it’s a 10-mile detour just to get to the other side. And I know, having had a house burn down with my wife in it — she got out safely, God willing — that having a significant portion of it burn, I can tell: 10 minutes makes a hell of a difference."

Biden has recalled the story before, saying in 2013 that a fire "destroyed a significant portion" of his New Hampshire home.

However, a 2004 report from the Associated Press, archived by LexisNexis, said lightning struck the Bidens’ home and started a "small fire that was contained to the kitchen." The report said firefighters got the blaze under control in 20 minutes and that they were able to keep the flames from spreading beyond the kitchen.

Atacama Desert Clothing Mountain

 11/8/21 Yahoo News:

At least 39,000 tons of discarded fast fashion is being left in rubbish dumps in Chile’s Atacama, the driest desert in the world.

Every year, around 59,000 tons of secondhand and unsold clothing, often from China or Bangladesh, reaches Chile after passing through Europe, Asia or the United States, according to a report by AFP.

The clothes are sent to the Iquique port in the Alto Hospicio free zone in northern Chile from where some of the clothes are resold around Latin America, but the majority ends up in the desert because no one pays the necessary tariffs to take it away.

Franklin Zepeda, the founder of EcoFibra, a company that makes insulation panels using discarded clothing, told AFP: “The problem is that the clothing is not biodegradable and has chemical products, so it is not accepted in the municipal landfills.”

I am glad to see someone taking advantage of this ecological disaster, but why is anyone producing clothes that no one will buy?  This makes me wonder if there are government subsidies at the root.

American Heart Association Journal

11/8/21 Circulation: Looks at changes in a measure of future cardiovascular disease.

Recently, with the advent of the mRNA COVID 19 vaccines (vac) by Moderna and Pfizer, dramatic changes in the PULS score became apparent in most patients.This report summarizes those results. A total of 566 pts, aged 28 to 97, M:F ratio 1:1 seen in a preventive cardiology practice had a new PULS test drawn from 2 to 10 weeks following the 2nd COVID shot and was compared to the previous PULS score drawn 3 to 5 months previously pre- shot. Baseline IL-16 increased from 35=/-20 above the norm to 82 =/- 75 above the norm post-vac; sFas increased from 22+/- 15 above the norm to 46=/-24 above the norm post-vac; HGF increased from 42+/-12 above the norm to 86+/-31 above the norm post-vac. These changes resulted in an increase of the PULS score from 11% 5 yr ACS risk to 25% 5 yr ACS risk. At the time of this report, these changes persist for at least 2.5 months post second dose of vac.We conclude that the mRNA vacs dramatically increase inflammation on the endothelium and T cell infiltration of cardiac muscle and may account for the observations of increased thrombosis, cardiomyopathy, and other vascular events following vaccination.

"Segregation Today, Segregation Tomorrow, Segregation Forever"

 Fitchburg State University is offering safe spaces for processing the Rittenhouse verdict, segregated by race, of course.

Tell Me What is Wrong With This

The spreadsheet is from Deaths by vaccination status, England.  Table 4.  Age-specific death rates per 100,000 week ending 24-Sep-21 ages 10-59: 

Unvaccinated: 0.9; Within 21 days of first vaccination: 1.7; 21 days or more after first vaccination: 2.1; second dose: 2.2.

Perhaps this is some quirk of recent history.  At first glance, it looks like vaccinated ages 10-59 are at higher risk of death than the unvaccinated.

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Those Italian COVID Death Revisions

 The Italian government says that article was incorrect:

Il Tempo Director Franco Bechis, who authored the article, told USA TODAY in an email his decision to apply the 2.9% figure to all COVID-19 deaths was based on previous action from the Italian National Institute of Health, whose experts used "a few hundred" medical records to describe the trend and impact of the virus across Italy at the beginning of the pandemic.

But the article's conclusion that only 2.9% of deaths were caused by COVID-19 is "completely wrong," said Pier David Malloni, a spokesperson for the Italian National Institute of Health.

 Graziano Onder, director of the Department of Cardiovascular, Endocrine-metabolic Diseases and Aging, also told La Repubblica that's not an accurate way of interpreting the report.

"It's all wrong, it's not true that only 2.9% of deaths are due to COVID," Onder told the newspaper, according to Google Translate. "Of course the vast majority of deaths are people who had pre-existing diseases but who very often were in good health, and they would have lived for many more years."

In most cases, he said, patients with pre-existing conditions like hypertension would not have died without first contracting COVID-19 – meaning the virus was the primary cause of death. Onder told the newspaper that, in Italy, there were 100,000 more deaths recorded in 2020 than in 2019.

"The reason for that increase cannot be the pre-existing chronic pathologies in many victims, which were equally widespread in previous years," he said. "That number tells the impact of the coronavirus in our country."

That makes sense.  Those with comorbidities died because of the addition of the virus,  Relatively few did of the virus alone. 

Saturday, November 20, 2021

Not Related to That Depressing Post

I am reading Mukherjee's The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer.  It is clearly written, engaging, and makes only a few assumptions about how strong your vocabulary is; I have only looked up a couple words.

There is a profoundly uplifting narrative of how child leukemia was transformed from a near certain quick death by the discovery of chemotherapy as a consequence of a bomb hitting an American ship carrying mustard gas (which I knew about, but not this level of detail).  

It is also a story of what happens when pride overcomes good science.

There Are Many Bad Things About Getting Old

One of the more embarrassing is that your bladder turns to leather and has limited capacity.   A full colon puts lots of pressure on that inflexible bladder.   Keep a lot of water and fiber in your diet or you will be stopping every ten minutes on the road.

Whatever Happened to "Looters Will Be Shot"?

In the 1960s, riots were often suppressed with the warning "Looters will be shot."

To quote from the legal code of the Bluest of Blue states' justifiable homicide statutes:

"(4) When necessarily committed in attempting, by lawful ways and means, to apprehend any person for any felony committed, or in lawfully suppressing any riot, or in lawfully keeping and preserving the peace." [Cal. PC sec. 197.]

"Riot declared in Portland as protesters, cops clash after Rittenhouse verdict

Police declared a riot in downtown Portland, Oregon after a group protesting Kyle Rittenhouse’s acquittal damaged property and threw rocks at cops on Friday night.

The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office declared the riot just after 9 p.m. local time after 200 protesters began breaking windows and doors of city buildings and “throwing objects” at cops, officials said.

The group also talked about burning down the city’s Justice Center, which houses the Portland Police Bureau headquarters, a county jail and some courtrooms, KOIN TV reported."

You wonder would happen to these riots if Portland PD started arresting rioters, and shooting those who resisted arrest.  With current media so widely distributed, would there be any more such riots?  Or would the rioters go sulk in Mom's basement or Bahamas beach house.

I am having to assume the people of Portland approve of rioting so when police fail to respond to home invasions, burglaries and the like, they will take in good cheer.

Thursday, November 18, 2021

This Is Idaho

Go to the grocery store.  At the cashier, "15% Off Glocks."

Trial Day 6 DeBruin's Testimony

Independent photojournalist provides pictures and video to prosecutor.   He testified that the prosecutor asked him if he wanted to add anything to his police statement after identifying a rioter who has been indicted but not called as a witness.

DeBruin felt so uncomfortable saying no that he hired an attorney. 

This prosecutor should be disbarred and made to live in Antifaland.

Cross-examination was nasty.  Prosecutor tries to pick his statement apart while he admitted that he might have remembered details later.

Then he uses the fact that De Bruin never saw Grossbaum attack anyone as evidence that Grossbaum was not really dangerous. Tipping over a Portapotty and setting fire to a trailer endangered no one.  Rioting is fine until someone gets hurt 

Armored Backpack

I ordered the Lenovo backpack for my new computer because the more expensive Amazon Basics backpack for 17" laptops would not fit--and the Lenovo was slightly cheaper.  They described it as "armored": should I get my greaves out to match?  No, I knew better.  While I would not wear this to San Francisco (or even visit it) the back is pretty tough plastic, enough to stop a box cutter and perhaps even a knife plunged with medium force.  The laptop is pretty tough also, and would likely absorb anything that went through the hard plastic.

MSNBC Banned From Courthouse

 An MSNBC reporter was caught trailing the blacked out bus that takes jurors from the courthouse to somewhere that presumably is where they get into their cars.  Judge Schroeder never made it explicit that this was an attempt to doxx them, or intimidate them, but the implication was clear enough.  It does not seem to fit into Wisconsin's jury tampering statute.  I cannot easily find their obstruction of justice statute, but it would seem to fit that.  Freedom of press does not apply; this would be a violation for anyone, not just a reporter.

Working My Way Back Through Earlier Days of the Trial (Trial Day 3)

Prosecutor on direct examination of journalist McGinnis tries to get McGinnis to say that McGinnis felt in danger from Rittenhouse.   McGinnis said that he changed his direction to not be behind Rosenbaum.  He also confirmed Rittenhouse's claim that they were very close.   He could not see if there was contact because Rosenbaum was in between him and the gun.  And the prosecutor called this witness!  If Binger was not trying to lose, he is incompetent.

On cross, McGinnis confirmed that he did not feel threatened by Rittenhouse, and the overall situation was menacing because of armed people on the roof.  McGinnis also said that Rittenhouse was in a dead end with nowhere to retreat and no one with him.  At least two people were apparently working together to surround Rittenhouse. McGinnis also said Rosenbaum never turned away from Rittenhouse so he could not have been shot in the back.  McGinnis said that he thought the attackers were reaching for the gun.

There was a lot of flak from the peanut gallery about a small-town lawyer discarding a lawyer who wanted to use a jury consultant.  Rittenhouse's defense team is one that I would want defending me.  They are really good.  Of course, they are up against an idiot.

Great Way to Persuade Poland to Let You Enter

Throw rocks at Polish police defending their border.

Note to 3M, Maker of Scotch Tape

 When did you decide to stop making useful packing tape? This is the second roll where the tape tore before getting to the cutting edge.  Also "Made in China" should be more prominently displayed, so people can know to buy another brand.

Most Curious

 11/17/21 [U.K.] Daily Express:

Gibraltar cancels Christmas celebrations amid Covid spike

Sad but unsurprising.

In March, Gibraltar became the first nation in the world to fully vaccinate its entire adult population against coronavirus.

USA Made Audio Cables

 My 33" monster monitor has built-in speakers but needs a 3.5mm male-to-male cable from PC audio jack to monitor.  Amazon has gobs of them, mostly (probably all) Chinese-made.  I would be happy with any non-Chinese cable but what I found was Cables for Less:

Constructed of the Highest-Quality AMERICAN-MADE materials, and HAND-ASSEMBLED right here in the USA!

They had none in stock in either 3' or 6' lengths, but they are making one for me and I should have it next week for $19 delivered.   Even Amazon would need until Saturday to get me Chinese.  I wish Amazon consistently identified country of origin for all products.

I just received a shipped notice!

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Rittenhouse Technical Clownery

Apparently there is a discrepancy between the drone video submitted by the State and that received by the defense.   One is compressed and the other is not. As you might expect the prosecutor and defense are utterly out of their depth.  4 millibyte video file?  Compression from transferring from iPhone to Android?   The prosecutor admitted that if he understood this stuff, he would have a much better job.

The filename somehow changed along the way.  I have no idea why this video matters so much. And the metadata has different create dates.  One is 21 minutes later than the other.  Enough time to fudge and recreate it 

Of course all the defense should need is reasonable doubt and this video is way beyond reasonable at this point 

I Think CNN is Preparing Its Viewers for "Not Guilty"

 11/17/21 CNN gives a shockingly fair description of the trial including:

Defense attorneys say in their motion that they were given a compressed version of the drone video that was only 3.6 megabytes, while the state had a higher resolution version that was 11.2 megabytes. Schroeder told attorneys Friday he would let the jury decide on the video.

That interpolated and still hopelessly fuzzy picture might convince a blind man, but not his seeing-eye dog. 

Good Article About MSM Incompetence or Cupidity

11/15/21 Tablet:

On Jan. 24, 2020, British peer-reviewed journal The Lancet published a study on a novel coronavirus it identified as 2019-nCoV. The study substantially contradicted the official Chinese government narrative about when and how the virus originated, placing its emergence months earlier. It also cast doubt on how the virus emerged. While the Chinese government had pointed to the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, the now-infamous wet market in Wuhan, the paper found that at least one-third of initial cases—including “patient zero,” the first person known to have been sick with the virus—had no connection to the market whatsoever.

In the United States, the media’s initial response to The Lancet paper was largely sober and serious. The New York Times ran a Jan. 25 article connecting the Chinese Communist Party’s authoritarianism to an assortment of prior botched efforts to manage major crises. The next day, Science magazine ran a story questioning the CCP narrative about the origins of the virus, citing The Lancet study’s discovery that of the 41 initial patients, 13 had no link to the wet market. The day after that, Vox ran a piece calling into question many of the assumptions formed in the earliest days of the pandemic, including those that had been shaped by Chinese officials.

But then, Sen. Cotton made the same argument--that this might have been an accidental lab leak and the idea was now preposterous conspiracy theory. 

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Why Do I Have to Read Foreign Newspapers to Find Out What is Happening in America?

 11/12/21 Daily Mail:

The judge presiding over the Kyle Rittenhouse trial has been slammed as a racist and had his life threatened in a torrent of abusive and menacing emails, letters, postcards and faxes received by Kenosha County Courthouse and seen by DailyMail.com

DailyMail.com has reviewed the hundreds of offensive communications sent to Judge Bruce Schroeder, and today we can reveal the extraordinary outpouring of vitriol that the high-profile trial has inspired.

One email, sent Wednesday, reads simply, 'Wow way to name a white skinhead hot head to be a judge. No wonder they burn down your city.'

Others calls for the 'racist' judge, the longest serving in the county, to be dismissed and disbarred.

One addressed to 'Your Honor' reads, 'I didn't know that under your black robes of justice you wear a white robe of the klan. There is no way a fair trial can be heard under your supervision. Better yet, resign.'...

Among the most disturbing messages to the judge was one that threatens the lives of the judge's children, promises 'pay back,' and states that Rittenhouse 'won't live long' if acquitted.

The email, much of which is too offensive to reproduce, states the hope that one day Judge Schroeder's 'kids become victims to the most heinous homicide known to man so he feels the pain an [sic]we will call his kids not victims but b******s.'

That so many are only semi-literate says much about the quality of Victim Studies programs at our universities. 

Terrorist Threats at School Board Meetings

 From 11/15/21 Newsbreak including video of this CRT jackass:

A pro-Critical Race Theory parent told attendees at a Texas school board meeting that he has 1,000 soldiers “locked and loaded” for those who “dare” question the need for race-based curricula.

Malikk Austin turned to address parents who had expressed their discontent over Critical Race Theory (CRT) pedagogy being taught in the Fort Worth Independent School District (FWISD) during the public comment portion of the meeting, according to video footage of the incident.

“For those who got an issue with this critical race theory, equity it’s something I fought for my children,” Austin said to meeting attendees. “How dare you come out from here and talk about the things that my daddy and my grandparents went through, the lynching, the oppression, Jim Crow. My kids are still being afflicted by this. How dare you come off in here and challenge me on critical race theory.”

Do you wonder why many of us regard CRT as just leftist black racism against whites?

11/15/21 Daily Mail tells us more:

Austin [his real name], a registered Democrat, has a criminal record. In 2004, he was convicted of public lewdness, a class A misdemeanor.

In 2009, he was sentenced to prison for assaulting a family member.

In 1993, Austin was sentenced to prison for sexual assault. He served three years behind bars.