Friday, January 21, 2022

Where Communism Leads You

All the worst aspects of free market capitalism as the left would claim seem to be more common in Communist countries.  The Soviet Union tried to create "True Socialist Man" who was more concerned for the common good than his own selfishness.  It failed BIGLY because people are by nature self-interested.  At best, some religions can promote concern for others, but this is by no means a certain consequence and so our laws and government structure is built around the assumption that people will look out for their own interests, sometimes destructively so.  This video shows what the Chinese call tofu-dreg construction (and when you see the materials used, tofu makes sense).  They correctly lay the blame on the delusions of Communism:


Another Amazing and Likely Short-Lived Victory in the 9th Circuit

 McDougall v. County of Ventura (9th Cir. 2022):

The panel reversed the district court’s order dismissing, for failure to state a claim, an action alleging that Ventura County’s COVID-19 public health orders mandating a 48- day closure of gun shops, ammunition shops, and firing ranges violated plaintiffs’ Second Amendment rights. 

The panel first held that the Orders’ 48-day closure of gun shops, ammunition shops, and firing ranges burdened conduct protected by the Second Amendment, based on a historical understanding of the scope of the Second Amendment right. 

In assessing the appropriate level of scrutiny, the panel held that the district court erred by determining that Jacobson v. Massachusetts, 197 U.S. 11 (1905), applied to Appellees’ Second Amendment claim. The panel held that Jacobson, which addressed a substantive due process challenge to a state statute requiring smallpox vaccinations, did not apply here because Jacobson did not concern the specific, constitutionally enumerated right at issue, and essentially applied rational basis review. The panel declined to determine whether the Orders were categorically unconstitutional and instead, because the Orders failed to satisfy any level of heightened scrutiny, based its decision on the traditional tiered scrutiny analysis. 

The panel held that the Orders’ burden on the core of the Second Amendment warranted strict scrutiny—which the Orders failed to satisfy because they were not the least restrictive means to further Appellees’ interest, especially when compared to businesses that had no bearing on fundamental rights, yet nevertheless were allowed to remain open. The panel distinguished this case from Silvester v. Harris, 843 F.3d 816 (9th Cir. 2016), which applied intermediate scrutiny in assessing California’s 10-day waiting period between purchase and possession of a firearm. The panel held that the Orders at issue here imposed a far greater burden than the 10-day delay at issue in Silvester.

This is a twofer: a "specific, constitutionally enumerated right" must be evaluated using strict scrutiny and also use of less than strict scrutiny in Jacobson for requiring vaccinations cannot be used if such an order violates an enumerated right.  Would a person's sincere religious objections to vaccination defeat Jacobson?  Freedom of exercise of religion would certainly fit.  The government would need a less restrictive method to solve the problem than mandatory vaccination.

Where LGBTQ Takes You

 I wondered if this clip in a PJMedia article was carefully clipped but here is the video from Dr. Phil:


Yes, rape is not a safety issue.  Are there any feminists left at Kent State?  Or have they all been co-opted into saying rape is not a safety issue?

Thursday, January 20, 2022

I Think It Was More Than Britain That Got This Wrong

1/2/22 The Guardian:

There was a distinctive moment, at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, that neatly encapsulated the mistakes and confusion of Britain’s early efforts to tackle the disease, says Mark Woolhouse. At a No 10 briefing in March 2020, cabinet minister Michael Gove warned the virus did not discriminate. “Everyone is at risk,” he announced.

And nothing could be further from the truth, argues Professor Woolhouse, an expert on infectious diseases at Edinburgh University. “I am afraid Gove’s statement was simply not true,” he says. “In fact, this is a very discriminatory virus. Some people are much more at risk from it than others. People over 75 are an astonishing 10,000 times more at risk than those who are under 15.”

And it was this failure to understand the wide variations in individual responses to Covid-19 that led to Britain’s flawed responses to the disease’s appearance, he argues – errors that included the imposition of a long-lasting, national lockdown. This is a strategy that Woolhouse – one of the country’s leading epidemiologists – describes as morally wrong and highly damaging in his forthcoming book, The Year the World Went Mad: A Scientific Memoir.

“We did serious harm to our children and young adults who were robbed of their education, jobs and normal existence, as well as suffering damage to their future prospects, while they were left to inherit a record-breaking mountain of public debt,” he argues. “All this to protect the NHS from a disease that is a far, far greater threat to the elderly, frail and infirm than to the young and healthy.

Good News

1/12/22 CNBC:
UK could be among the first countries to emerge from Covid pandemic, top scientist says

Heymann, speaking at an online seminar hosted by think tank Chatham House on Monday, cited the latest figures from the U.K.’s statistics authority on immunity that estimated that 95% of the population in England have antibodies against infection, either through vaccination or natural infection. The majority of those in intensive care units now, Heymann added, were the unvaccinated. 

Tonga Tsunami Hit Puerto Rico

https://youtu.be/pnmsvq2HkG8

A Little Less Self-Righteousness About COVID, Please

 While this is primarily aimed at Christians, it is sound advice for the rest of you, too.

The Christian church in America has polarized around how to respond to COVID-19.

1. "I have faith, not fear."  This is a variant of the prosperity gospel.  If I have faith that God will protect me, I will not get sick.  I know a few people who must not have had enough faith and ended up with it, anyway.  Anyone who goes to a doctor for a sinus infection or a heart attack but not for COVID-19 is not being serious.  If you get a flu shot every year (as most older people should), then this argument against vaccination is not serious.  (There may be others against the vaccination; I will get to that later.)

2. "This is a hoax."  I know too many people who have had it, including some who said #1.  A friend is a nurse back East and quite conservative.  He is seeing his patients dying of this crud.

3. "Masks do not work."   Cloth masks are indeed of questionable value.  This 2015 RCT of cloth vs. surgical masks found:

Conclusions This study is the first RCT of cloth masks, and the results caution against the use of cloth masks. This is an important finding to inform occupational health and safety. Moisture retention, reuse of cloth masks and poor filtration may result in increased risk of infection. Further research is needed to inform the widespread use of cloth masks globally. However, as a precautionary measure, cloth masks should not be recommended for HCWs, particularly in high-risk situations, and guidelines need to be updated.

Even their 2020 update says that cloth masks are better than no masks but:

The study found that cloth mask wearers had higher rates of infection than even the standard practice control group of health workers, and the filtration provided by cloth masks was poor compared to surgical masks. 

N95 masks are better:

What to know about NIOSH-approved respirators

  • When worn consistently and properly, they provide the highest level of protection from particles, including the virus that causes COVID-19. Additionally, they contain your respiratory droplets and particles so you do not expose others.
  • They seal tightly to your face when fitted properly.
  • It is important to pick a respirator that fits your face and seals well since not all fit the same.
  • Respirators approved by NIOSH are evaluated against a specific US standard that includes a quality requirement.
  • They filter at least 95% of particles in the air when approved by NIOSH and when you have a proper fit.

The KN95 masks are made in China:

Poor quality KN95 respirators

  • About 60% of KN95 respirators NIOSH evaluated during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021 did not meet the requirements that they intended to meet.
    • Using a poor-quality product may not provide the level of protection indicated.
  • Learn about factors to consider when purchasing an international respirator. This webpage and a webinar provide reliable information to guide you.

 Gee, China shipping junk, who would have guessed?

4. "I will not be forced to wear a mask."  Americans hate to be told what to do.  While the cloth masks are not worth using, the N95 masks are.  (That link takes you to US-made N95s.)  Wearing them may reduce your risk (which is your risk to take), but reducing risk to others by controlling sneeze, cough and general exhalation of the virus is something you can do for everyone around you.  John 15:13 tells us: "No one has greater love than the one who gives his life for his friends."  You are not giving your life; wearing a mask is a discomfort and nuisance.  Show your love for those around you who may not survive infection.

5. "This was used for political purposes."  No question.  We will correct this stunt in November.  Revenge is not Christian.  This isn't even revenge.  It is increasing risk for neighbors who might well have voted for Trump.

6. "We were lied to repeatedly."  Yes, every alternative treatment, even ones that have demonstrated efficacy, have been the subject of mocking and dishonesty.  The public health authorities have changed instructions so many times that you have reason to wonder how much was incompetence, changing conditions, and intentional deceit.  Their failures are not a reason to make a bad decision.

7. Microchips, tracking devices.  Show me one.  I hear that a friend of a friend was able to hang a magnet on his vaccination site.  Show me or stop spreading this claim.

On the other side:

1. "I am angry that Christians do not care about others."  Perhaps they do not see the larger picture or their anger has caused them to over react.  Let us watch for self-righteousness.  We all have areas of sin or stupidity.  This does not make those who disagree outside our fellowship once the disease either passes or gets under control.

2. "Why are they anti-science?"  Are you sure they are?  A lot of what was considered clear science about this a year ago is not so clear now.  The unwillingness to consider other treatment possibilities and occasionally outright false statements have made a lot of people skeptical of the scientists who are claiming to be experts; not necessarily skeptical of science.

3. "Why don't they get vaccinated, so we can put this behind us?"  Even countries with high vaccination rates are not doing all that well.  Fewer deaths but still a lot of sick people.  (That describes America as well; lots of new cases but not as many deaths.)  I suspect this will peter out as previous pandemics have done.  Also, many people have already had COVID and believe (rightly or wrongly) that they do not need the vaccine.  Britain's top scientist thinks they are about past the pandemic because 95% of the population is vaccinated or has antibodies.

A little less self-righteousness and contempt for other viewpoints (which may include some introspection) is needed on both sides.

 

I Guess the 2022 Elections Are Going to Be Illegitimate

Legal Insurrection reports about Biden's concerns:

"“Oh, yeah, I think it could easily be illegitimate … The increase in the prospect of being illegitimate is in proportion to not being able to get these reforms passed.”

Without those reforms, we would have the election rules of 2020 so those would also be illegitimate.   I guess Biden is agreeing with Trump.

Some Divorce Attorney Became Rich, I Guess

 


If Only

 Tampa, Fla. (1933)

10/17/1933: An “allegedly insane drug addict, hacked to death his mother, father, sister and two brothers….  He appeared in a daze and gave   coherent replies to questions…. Friends of the family told police that [the son] was a habitual smoker of marajuna [sic] and had been known to be insane for more than two years but that his family had refused to place him in an institution.”  Later coverage revealed that he “was once named in a lunacy petition which was later withdrawn when the family maintained they could care for him at home."  He later denied his role but described a dream in which “he was being tortured by family members, ‘had pains in my stomach’ and later saw ‘real blood’ dripping from an axe.”

Category: family

Suicide: no

Cause: mental illness

Weapon: ax[1]

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Treating Patients With Ivermectin and Where It Leads

 1/17/22 Daily Mail:

A medical board in Maine has suspended the license of an MIT-educated doctor and ordered a psychiatric evaluation after she was accused of treating some of her patients with Ivermectin and Hydroxychloroquine and spreading misinformation about COVID-19.

Maine’s Board of Licensure in Medicine voted last week to conduct a deeper investigation into Dr Meryl Nass, from Ellsworth. The board also voted to suspend her license for 30 days and have her undergo a psychiatric evaluation.

The board stated in its January 12 order that allowing Nass to continue practicing medicine 'constitutes an immediate jeopardy to the health and physical safety of the public who might receive her medical services.' 

Here is the suspension.

Here is the order for evaluation.

She is an antivaxxer and has admitted obtaining hydroxychloroquine deceptively (because its prescription is now tightly dispensed) so this is certainly contributing to her problems, but it all smells badly.

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Ivermectin

From the National Institute of Health library:

Ivermectin: a multifaceted drug of Nobel prize-honoured distinction with indicated efficacy against a new global scourge, COVID-19
Bring on the horse de-wormer!

Curiously, FDA approved an RCT of 28 days in April of 2021.  Either it failed (in which case the above study is wrong) or it worked and FDA kept it quiet.  If they stomped on it, hundreds of thousands died without reason. The conspiracy theories (give unlimited control to the fascists who run the Blue States, kill off old people who tend to vote for conservatives) seem increasingly plausible.

Meta-analysis of 15 trials found that ivermectin reduced risk of death compared with no ivermectin (average risk ratio 0.38, 95% confidence interval 0.19–0.73; n = 2438; I2 = 49%; moderate-certainty evidence).

Meta-analyses based on 18 randomized controlled treatment trials of ivermectin in COVID-19 have found large, statistically significant reductions in mortality, time to clinical recovery, and time to viral clearance. Furthermore, results from numerous controlled prophylaxis trials report significantly reduced risks of contracting COVID-19 with the regular use of ivermectin. Finally, the many examples of ivermectin distribution campaigns leading to rapid population-wide decreases in morbidity and mortality indicate that an oral agent effective in all phases of COVID-19 has been identified.


RESULTS: Ten RCTs (n=1173) were included. Controls were standard of care [SOC] in five RCTs and placebo in five RCTs. COVID-19 disease severity was mild in 8 RCTs, moderate in one RCT, and mild and moderate in one RCT. IVM did not reduce all-cause mortality vs. controls (RR 0.37, 95%CI 0.12 to 1.13, very low QoE) or LOS vs. controls (MD 0.72 days, 95%CI -0.86 to 2.29, very low QoE). AEs, severe AE and viral clearance were similar between IVM and controls (all outcomes: low QoE). Subgroups by severity of COVID-19 or RoB were mostly consistent with main analyses; all-cause mortality in three RCTs at high RoB was reduced with IVM.
From a peer-reviewed journal Cureus:

Results: Of the 223,128 citizens of Itajaí considered for the study, a total of 159,561 subjects were included in the analysis: 113,845 (71.3%) regular ivermectin users and 45,716 (23.3%) non-users. Of these, 4,311 ivermectin users were infected, among which 4,197 were from the city of Itajaí (3.7% infection rate), and 3,034 non-users (from Itajaí) were infected (6.6% infection rate), with a 44% reduction in COVID-19 infection rate (risk ratio [RR], 0.56; 95% confidence interval (95% CI), 0.53-0.58; p < 0.0001). Using PSM, two cohorts of 3,034 subjects suffering from COVID-19 infection were compared. The regular use of ivermectin led to a 68% reduction in COVID-19 mortality (25 [0.8%] versus 79 [2.6%] among ivermectin non-users; RR, 0.32; 95% CI, 0.20-0.49; p < 0.0001). When adjusted for residual variables, reduction in mortality rate was 70% (RR, 0.30; 95% CI, 0.19-0.46; p < 0.0001). There was a 56% reduction in hospitalization rate (44 versus 99 hospitalizations among ivermectin users and non-users, respectively; RR, 0.44; 95% CI, 0.31-0.63; p < 0.0001). After adjustment for residual variables, reduction in hospitalization rate was 67% (RR, 0.33; 95% CI, 023-0.66; p < 0.0001).

Conclusion: In this large PSM study, regular use of ivermectin as a prophylactic agent was associated with significantly reduced COVID-19 infection, hospitalization, and mortality rates.

Does ivermectin work?  Heck if I know, but it seems hard to argue against doctors at least trying.  The sheer scale of snarky articles by non-experts rejecting the claim is curious:
Here’s some of the latest “say-whatever-you-want-without-real-evidence” news. There have been claims online that ivermectin somehow helped Japan conquer the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic. For example, Pierre Kory, MD, MPA, a critical care physician who has been pushing for the use of ivermectin to prevent and treat Covid-19, recently tweeted out that “Tokyo in particular is kicking Covid’s [word that means butt] with IVM- fewest hospitalized since before pandemic:...

First of all, the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) doesn’t have a butt that can be kicked. Instead, the virus is shaped like a round ball with many spikes. So perhaps you could say that you want to kick Covid’s balls.

Secondly, what evidence did Kory provide that Tokyo has been using IVM to do the said kicking? Here IVM presumably stands for “ivermectin” rather than “I varnish mangos” or “I value muskrats.”

More Evidence China is Crashing

 


China has been cracking down on its citizens moving non-Chinese currency abroad because they are beginning to suffer such serious cash reserve problems that they may not be able to import the food and raw materials that they need.

I Have No Idea Who the Big Shot Was

 But it is likely an interesting story.

Hot Springs, Ark. (1933)

08/15/1933: A lawyer confessed to poisoning “a man, his wife, and their two children because the man ‘knew too much.’”  A third child had seen the lawyer adding the strychnine to the grape juice, warned his parents, and refused the drink.  The lawyer had hired the father “to steal papers from the Akron prosecuting attorney which involved a ‘big shot’” the lawyer’s firm was defending.  The lawyer attempted suicide after confessing.

Category: public

Suicide: no

Cause: other

Weapon: poison[1]


Ambulance-Chaser Spam

Like me, you probably get five or more calls every day seeking victims of various medicines or medical devices or seeking to sell extended car warranties (most of which are so full of exceptions as to be worthless).

Now, I understand why businesses do this: they want to find people to join their class action lawsuits or buy worthless extended warranties. 

What I do not understand: how does this number of calls actually work?  If there were lots of people suffering from adverse reactions or lots of people who need extended warranties then the first two calls per day should get almost all of them.  This volume of calls makes no sense?  Is some government subsidizing this?

Trump v. DeSantis

 The DNC Official news media are reporting a feud between Trump and DeSantis over the 2024 nomination.  While anything the DNC's mouthpieces says is likely to be made up to promote internal Republican feuding, a comment over there raised a serious question about Trump running in 2024.  He will be 78 when he takes office like Joe Biden.  Even if Trump is tack sharp at 78, unlike Biden, what about by the end of his term when he turns 82?  Some of Reagan's second term mistakes (Contragate) may have been early Alzheimer's, which finally took him.

Trump has very strong negatives with enough voters that he might only be able to defeat the Empress.  DeSantis is the obvious choice.

School Board Politics Have Always Been Rough

 

Floyd and Morgan Co., Ky. (1933)

07/03/1933: A school board election turned violent, causing eight deaths and three injured.

Category: public

Suicide: no

Cause: politics

Weapon: pistols[1]

Monday, January 17, 2022

Idaho Hospital Availability

I found a pretty recent breakdown of bed and ICU use by county.  Ada County is worst:

"- Inpatient beds occupied: 89.0% (13.0% by COVID-19 patients)
--- 23.6% more full than Idaho overall
- ICU beds occupied: 84.0% (32.0% by COVID-19 patients)"

This is not wonderful but hospitals are seldom empty.  Omicron seems unlikely to overwhelm hospital capacity here.

Separation of Church and State

 The ACLU should have filed this suit, but realistically, they were never concerned about the mixing of religion and state, just Christianity and state. 1/17/21 Christian Post:

The California Department of Education said it's removing two religious chants to Aztec gods from its ethnic studies curriculum in response to a lawsuit filed by parents.

As part of a settlement in the lawsuit, the California Department of Education and the State Board of Education have voluntarily agreed to officially remove the prayers from the state-approved Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum, according to the conservative legal firm Thomas More Society.

The curriculum included a section of “Affirmation, Chants, and Energizers,” including the “In Lak Ech Affirmation,” which invoked five Aztec deities. Although labeled as an “affirmation,” it addressed the deities both by name and by their traditional titles, recognized them as sources of power and knowledge, invoked their assistance, and gave thanks to them.

“The Aztec prayers at issue — which seek blessings from and the intercession of these demonic forces — were not being taught as poetry or history,” said Paul Jonna, partner at LiMandri & Jonna LLP and Thomas More Society Special Counsel, in a statement shared with The Christian Post.


 

Today

 Never burned a building.

Never looted.

Never killed anyone.



Changed everything.

Gov. DeSantis' Campaign Slogan

 Trump Policies: With 50% Less Irritation

Sunday, January 16, 2022

More Evidence That China's Booming Economy Was Potemkin Villages, All the Way Down

 


As I have previously mentioned, the miracle of Chinese economic growth is looking suspiciously like the unstoppable Japan, Inc. of the 1980s.  This sort of deranged speculative business development predates COVID.  I suspect that the madness and wasted resources show how truly destructive the CCP has been to a productive nation.

I Knew It Was a White Supremacist!

 1/16/22 For Worth Star-Telegram:

The FBI has identified the hostage-taker in Saturday’s standoff at Colleyville synagogue as Malik Faisal Akram, a 44-year-old British citizen. “The FBI’s Evidence Response Team (ERT) will continue processing evidence at the synagogue,” the FBI said in a news release. “At this time, there is no indication that other individuals are involved. The FBI’s North Texas Joint Terrorism Task Force (NTJTTF), which includes member agencies from across the region, will continue to follow investigative leads. An FBI Shooting Incident Review Team (SIRT) will conduct a thorough, factual, and objective investigation of the events.”


Read more at: https://www.star-telegram.com/news/local/community/northeast-tarrant/article257381472.html#storylink=cpy

Saturday, January 15, 2022

I Could Have Sworn the AG Said Domestic Terrorism Was a Bigger Threat

1/15/21 Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports on a hostage taker demanding release of an Islamic terrorist from federal prison.

Strange who white supremacist MAGA hat wearers want released. 

Racism in Math

 I went looking for this in the California math standards, but I found it in "A Pathway to Equitable Math Instruction.":

White supremacy culture shows up in math classrooms when... 

There is a greater focus on getting the "right" answer than understanding concepts and reasoning....

White supremacy culture shows up in math classrooms when... 

Students are required to “show their work” in standardized, prescribed ways. ...

Professional Development: Practice with math colleagues how to answer mathematical problems without using words or numbers.


Friday, January 14, 2022

Did You Ever Wonder What Happens to neo-Nazis Discredited by Being Children of Holocaust Survivors?

 I mean Frank Collins who led the National Socialist Party that threatened to march through Skokie, Illinois to annoy the many Holocaust survivors there?  He came out of prison and became the author of many books:

  • The Destruction of Atlantis: Compelling Evidence of the Sudden Fall of the Legendary Civilization (Atlantis Research Publishers, 1987) OCLC 17424780
  • Atlantis in Wisconsin: New Revelations About the Lost Sunken City (Galde Press, 1995) ISBN 1-880090-12-0
  • Edgar Cayce's Atlantis and Lemuria: The Lost Civilizations in the Light of Modern Discoveries (A.R.E. Press, 2001) ISBN 0-87604-434-8
  • Lost Pyramids of Rock Lake: Wisconsin's Sunken Civilization (Galde Press, 2002) ISBN 1-931942-01-3
  • The Lost Treasure of King Juba: The Evidence of Africans in America before Columbus (Bear and Co., 2003) ISBN 1-59143-006-2
  • Synchronicity & You: Understanding the Role of Meaningful Coincidence in Your Life, 2003, ISBN 1-84333-102-0
  • Last of the Red Devils: America's First Bomber Pilot (Galde Press, 2003) ISBN 1-880090-09-0
  • Survivors of Atlantis: Their Impact on World Culture (Galde Press, 2004) ISBN 1-59143-040-2
  • The Atlantis Encyclopedia (New Page Books, 2005) ISBN 1-56414-795-9
  • The Lost Civilization of Lemuria: The Rise and Fall of the Worlds Oldest Culture (Bear and Co., 2006) ISBN 1-59143-060-7
  • Opening the Ark of the Covenant: The Secret Power of the Ancients, The Knights Templar Connection, and the Search for the Holy Grail (New Page Books, 2007) ISBN 1-56414-903-X
  • Atlantis and Other Lost Worlds (Arcturus, 2008) ISBN 1-84837-085-7
  • Advanced Civilizations of Prehistoric America: The Lost Kingdoms of the Adena, Hopewell, Mississippians, and Anasazi (Bear and Co., 2009) ISBN 1-59143-107-7
  • Power of Coincidence: The Mysterious Role of Synchronicity in Shaping Our Lives (Arcturus, 2009) ISBN 1-84837-224-8
  • Mussolini's War: Fascist Italy's Military Struggles from Africa and Western Europe to the Mediterranean and Soviet Union 1935–45 (Helion & Company Ltd., 2009) ISBN 978-1906033569
  • Gods of the Runes: The Divine Shapers of Fate (Bear and Co., 2010) ISBN 1-59143-116-6
  • Atlantis and 2012: The Science of the Lost Civilization and the Prophecies of the Maya (Bear and Co., 2010) ISBN 978-1-59143-112-1
  • Ancient High Tech: The Astonishing Scientific Achievements of Early Civilizations (Bear and Co., 2020) ISBN 978-1591433828

Neo-Nazi to New Age guru.  Is anyone surprised?

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Her Motive May Be Holding Her Seat

 


But her speech, pointing out that destroying the filibuster to pass this session's "must have" bill has two destructive effects:

1. It makes it easier for Republicans with a one seat majority to ram stuff through after the next election (when everyone knows Republicans will control both houses).

2. This "ram things through on purely partisan lines" is aggravating the polarization of American politics.

We should all applaud a speech that says the right things, even if she is just trying to win  re-election.

Interesting Piece of Trivia Doubtless Startling to You Younger Readers Who May Never Have Read a Newspaper on Dead Trees

Newspapers throughout American history were page numbered 1 through something like 8 or 12.

Starting in the 1920s, I started seeing newspapers with multiple sections, so page numbers like A-3 B-4 and so on,

Weird Word Question

 I have a Word macro that takes a selected block of text, puts every word in first letter upper case, then applies a style.  Right now, I have to paste the text, select it, then run the macro.  I wish that I had a way to paste the text and then select and do the rest of the macro.  I cannot figure out how to paste and select only the pasted text.  It is not a consistent number of words (e.g., "Henderson county register" "Indianapolis Times").  

I tried F8 before the paste, but that does not create a selection on the pasted text.

I tried pug an unique character first \ then paste text, then F8, then search for the \.  

Any suggestions?

Not Every California Refugee is the Enemy

The owner admitted that most were not but he had run into a "Biden is doing a great job" recent arrival.  I am hoping that the more typical refugees will recognize that this is not aimed at them.

And again, let me emphasize the importance of civility both for its own sake and as a tool of persuasion.   I saw a truck yesterday with an Idaho outline and three words emphasizing that we are full and using some words I will not repeat and F Biden sticker.  

We need to persuade the people in the center and not unnecessarily anger people who are not fully supportive of Presidentish Biden.

Babylon Bee Hits Another Home Run

 1/11/22 Babylon Bee:

WASHINGTON, D.C.—In response to customer feedback, the FBI has pledged to make hoaxes or 'red flag operations' less obvious in 2022....

At publishing time, Sen. Rand Paul attempted to censure the agency and force President Biden to relieve Director Wray of his duties, but his Republican colleagues refused to lend support to the measure, opting to wait until a Republican was in the White House and get the FBI to perform hoaxes on their behalf. 

How You Know Someone Was Really Loved or Respected

 Lacrosse, Va. (1933)

03/31/1931: Robbers shot to death three men and wounded a fourth on a farm, who subsequently died.  They were apparently well-like, an estimated 10,000 people attended their funeral.

Category: family non-resident

Suicide: no

Cause: robbery

Weapon: firearm[1]



[1] "Triple Murder Occurs On Farm Near Lacrosse," [Henderson, N.C.] Henderson Daily Dispatch, Apr. 01, 1933, 1; "Local People At Cannon's Funeral," [Henderson, N.C.] Henderson Daily Dispatch, Apr. 03, 1933, 6.

I doubt 10,000 people will make it to my funeral.  (Don't buy airline tickets yet.)

Good News From the Cardiologist

The results of the nuclear stress test have me all aglow.  The only area not thoroughly profused with Technetium-99 was a small area near the left anterior descending artery ("the widowmaket") which is likely left over from the 2014 infarction that led to the stroke.  The angina Thanksgiving morning was likely a rare combination of coffee and inadequate clothing.  I will experiment with warm clothing and no coffee.

Technical Gun Stuff

 1/11/22 U.S. News & World Report:

(Reuters) - Personalized smart guns, which can be fired only by verified users, may finally become available to U.S. consumers after two decades of questions about reliability and concerns they will usher in a new wave of government regulation.

Four-year-old LodeStar Works on Friday unveiled its 9mm smart handgun for shareholders and investors in Boise, Idaho. And a Kansas company, SmartGunz LLC, says law enforcement agents are beta testing its product, a similar but simpler model.

Both companies hope to have a product commercially available this year.

LodeStar co-founder Gareth Glaser said he was inspired after hearing one too many stories about children shot while playing with an unattended gun. Smart guns could stop such tragedies by using technology to authenticate a user's identity and disable the gun should anyone else try to fire it.

The objections to smart guns have been: too easy to jam electronically; expensive; likely to drive boutique gun makers out of business; tying the gun to one person makes it unusable by your spouse (unless operated by a ring sending unit); reliability.  The article does acknowledge the jamming problem which this gun has supposedly solved. Police are apparently starting to use it.  Where is not identified.

Of course, if police forces start using them, reliability must have been solved or officers would refuse to carry them or start dying from failures.  They also are not cheap:

Note above that police are testing "a similar but simpler model."

I will believe it when police start using the civilian version.

Also 1/12/22 Forbes:

Cody Wilson is hunkered down in a dimly lit warehouse behind the headquarters of Defense Distributed, the Austin, Texas company best known as the maker of the first 3D printed plastic gun. As a film crew shines a spotlight on him to record a demonstration of his new Zero Percenter desktop software, a vast library containing 11,000 books, films and 3-D printable gun blueprints appears from the blackness behind him. His new software is capable of turning a raw block of aluminum into the receiver for an AR-15 assault rifle in just three hours.

On the one hand, I understand the legitimate concerns about criminals bypassing background checks to make guns.  On the other hand, this may well force the state governments to focus on the root causes: insufficient mental treatment (both inpatient and outpatient) and the unwillingness to treat gateway felonies  (robbery, rape, gang-related crimes).  Murderers are not ordinary people.

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

The Power of Greed

 Instapundit pointed to this very long article at the American Conservative about how supposed conservatives are doing the Left's bidding on effectively abolishing the Electoral College.  Why?  The answer is near the end of the article:

There’s one more element to the story the public should know.

According to its latest Form 990 filing, Saul Anuzis is vice president and board member for the Institute for Research on Presidential Elections, earning $104,000 in 2020 for the ten hours per week (that’s $200 per hour) he provided undescribed “services” to the organization, making him by far its highest-paid staffer. By comparison, Larry Lessler, the group’s board secretary and a Cupertino-based financial advisor, earned $31,500 last year in CPA fees from the group.

Anuzis’s salary is important because it represents nearly one-third of the institute’s $358,000 budget, and one sixth of its total revenues in 2020. The institute’s 2019 Form 990 also suggests that Anuzis collected $100,000 in fees as part of “Medaglia,” possibly referring to a difficult-to-trace firm in Washington, D.C. (Medaglia & Associates) listed in an older NPV Form 990 filing.

Anuzis’ political consulting firm, Coast to Coast Strategies, has pulled in at least another $330,000 in consulting fees from the institute’s 501(c)(4) sister, National Popular Vote, across three years (2019, 2016, and 2010).

Institute president Ray Haynes, a former Republican California assemblyman and state senator, is another principal at Anuzis’s Coast to Coast Strategies. Haynes has also received personal payments from both the institute and NPV for consulting services totaling at least $159,000 since 2016.

Yet that isn’t National Popular Vote’s only potential conflict of interest—or the most egregious. NPV president and co-founder Barry Fadem, a left-of-center election lawyer, has netted at least $1.4 million in consulting fees from the group since 2008. Institute chairman Patrick Rosenstiel heads Ainsley-Shea, a Minneapolis public affairs firm that has raked in at least $1.2 million from both groups since 2011.

As consultants, these payments present no problem and are in fact quite common. But as board members, the payments paint a picture of elite operatives enriching themselves off of a left-wing campaign that threatens to undermine the Constitution.

For many years, antigun groups such as the National Coalition to Ban Handguns raised hundreds of thousands of dollars a year and typically 80% went to pay the small n umber of employees.  This is not just a problem on their side.  Once you have become dependent on the salary you get paid, you can justify anything.

A Non-Answer That Tells You Everything You Need to Know

Sen. Cruz questions FBI official about FBI agent involvement in Jan. 6 riot.  It is a long enough clip that it cannot be out of context.

She refuses to answer the question because methods of gathering intelligence are confidential.

UPDATE: Some people I have sent this to say it does not matter if the FBI incited the riot; some Trump supporters made bad decisions.  But that also means blaming Trump for the riot makes no sense.  Blame the FBI.

New slogan: Defund the National Police.

A better segment where she refuses to answer if FBI agents committed criminal acts on Jan. 6.  

Monday, January 10, 2022

Wow! Homes on the Big Island Are Cheaper Than Boise

And they do not have subfreezing winter nights.  If only the Court would once and for all nuke assault weapon bans and mandate shall-issue I could tolerate the higher costs for practically everything but pineapples.

Okay Volcano Road is a little offputting.  Going up to $800,000 gives some ocean view properties.

This May Surprise You

 In the 1932 campaign, Hoover boasted of his increase in government spending to relieve the Depression; FDR emphasized cutting government spending:



Clever Design

I received my solar filter for the Televue today and the Sol-Seeker.  The solar filter is an over the front lens aluminized Mylar filter.  This turns a set fire to newspapers light to something at which you can comfortably look.

What is a Sol-Seeker?  Think of it as a finderscope for solar observing.  It is fiendishly simple.
There is a tiny hole in front that lets sunlight pass through and illuminate a translucent piece of plastic.  You can either look for the Sun's disc on the back or the front of the plastic. Once properly adjusted, put the circle in the middle and the Sun is at least approximately in the center of your eyepiece. (Adjustment discussion with third picture.)
It is held into one of the two slots on the ring with two Allan head screws.
Adjustment.  Loosen the two little Allan head screws in front and move the aperture until the circle is centered on the translucent plastic.  Tighten the screws.

It is all so simple and obvious.  This is much easier than moving the scope until you get a circle of light in the eyepiece.

How Deadly is COVID-19?

 Johns Hopkins reports a U.S. case-fatality rate of 1.4%; 98.6% of people identified as having COVID-19 do not die.  I know some who do not die are still pretty miserable afterwards.  The CFR is now 1.3%; I suspect as omicron takes over, this will fall more.

What about people infected but asymptomatic?  

Findings  In this systematic review and meta-analysis of 95 unique studies with 29 776 306 individuals undergoing testing, the pooled percentage of asymptomatic infections was 0.25% among the tested population and 40.50% among the population with confirmed COVID-19.

If you are old or sick already, the case-fatality rate is much higher, but the level of panic is absurd.

In the two years 2020-21 we have had 835,302 deaths.  On Jan. 9, we had 332,421,069 people.  That is 251 COVID-19 deaths per 100,000 people over a bit less than two years, so call it 125 deaths per 100,000 people.  In 2016, we had about the same death rate from the top four causes of death. [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. Compressed Mortality File 1999-2016 on CDC WONDER Online Database, released June 2017. Data are from the Compressed Mortality File 1999-2016 Series 20 No. 2U, 2016, as compiled from data provided by the 57 vital statistics jurisdictions through the Vital Statistics Cooperative Program. Accessed at http://wonder.cdc.gov/cmf-icd10.html on Jan 10, 2022 11:49:29 PM]

I25.1 (Atherosclerotic heart disease)

C34.9 (Bronchus or lung, unspecified - Malignant neoplasms)

J44.9 (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, unspecified)

G30.9 (Alzheimer disease, unspecified)

The COVID-19 death rate is nothing to cough at but we should be just about as panicked by heart disease, lung cancer, COPD, and Alzheimer's.  Notice that the top three causes of death in 2016 are comorbid with smoking as well as COVID-19.  Until I see comparable panic about smoking's consequences, I cannot take the crisismongers very seriously.

With COVID vs. Because Of COVID

 


Saturday, January 8, 2022

Especially If You Survived the 1960s

Instapundit.com linked to an article about research on use of psychedelics to treat mental illness.   The comments are "do not have anything liquid in your mouth" funny.

Finally a Chance to Use the New Scope

Too cold to be out there.  But at least it was only two minutes in and out because of the weight.  As I expected, my 5" apochromat is at least as good, likely even a bit sharper on the Moon as should be expected on a scope with 50% more resolution (which scales up directly with objective diameter). 

On Jupiter it is pretty much identical although there is perhaps more detail at a lower magnification. Cloud bands are visible and reasonably sharp.

Saturn was too low in the sky by the time I got outside.

While in theory you can skip a finderscope on this scope by using a very low power eyepiece, even the sequence of moving up through three eyepieces is just not very practical on an alt-azimuth mount.  (Objects keep moving.)  Trying to sight along the tube to center the Moon is not easy.

The mount works well.  I had wondered why the slow motion controls can be installed 180 degrees apart, but now I see: depending on where you are aimed, the cable can easily become hard to use.  

This will be a fine scope for star parties and grab-and-go astronomy in winter.

Sort Of Good News

 This came from one of College of Western Idaho's microbiology professors and seems consistent with other reporting.


Omicron is replacing delta.  Omicron is still nasty but far less lethal and hospitalizing than delta.

Hospitalizations  274 (247 - last week)

ICU beds 82 (76 - last week)

Deaths  9/day (10/day - last week)

Still not good, but reducing hospitalizations and ICU beds in use.