Friday, December 30, 2022

Suggestions How to Find the Right Person for Copyright Permission?

 This article published in 1954 has a very useful graph on p. 257 for my Western Civ class.  The powers that be have decreed that for an online class every image must be public domain or have a copyright permission.  From 1954, I am sure the author is dead and the journal seems to be dead as well.  Where do I go for copyright permission?

I Bet They Deactivated Jack Bauer's Card

12/29/22 The Intercept:
"FOR THE FOURTH time since 2007, an internal audit shows the Department of Homeland Security isn’t deactivating access cards in the hands of ex-employees, leaving its secure facilities vulnerable to intruders.

"A new report by Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General shows that the department is systemically failing to revoke tens of thousands of “personal identity verification” cards that allow staff to enter sensitive, secure facilities and access internal data networks, despite being warned about the problem for 15 years. The issue is made worse, the report continues, by the fact that Homeland Security’s internal record-keeping is so shoddy that it was impossible to determine how many ex-staffers have working access cards they aren’t supposed to."

Is this confidence inspiring?

Justifiable Breaking & Entering

Many years ago, I worked with a very smart engineer who supported gun bans because "there are all sorts of reasons someone might break into your home with no intent to harm you.  Maybe there has been a traffic accident and he needs medical supplies." He was a nice guy who grew up in the Midwest and could not imagine a city government (like San Jose) that simply did not even try to do city government functions. 

Yes it is just barely possible that this could happen.   And the pigs can fly in after our hypothetical Good Samaritan.   So imagine my surprise and pleasure at this 12/30/22 ABC News story about a guy who went out into the Buffalo blizzard to rescue a friend.

"Soaking wet and freezing, Withey decided to seek shelter inside a local school and broke a window to get inside. But instead of hunkering down and resting, he ventured back out into the dangerous conditions to help others who were stranded.

"I can see there's a couple other vehicles stuck in the vicinity of the school. So I go to them and tell them I've broken into the school and that there’s heat in there," Withey said."

Thursday, December 29, 2022

A Very Cerebral War Movie

The Great War of Archimedes (2019).  If you always found the series Numbers (with the backwards 3 instead of e) a bit too light on equations, or really need to know the Japanese for "second order differential equation" watch it on YouTube.  It is the heartwarming story of a Tokyo University mathematician trying to check the cost estimates for the Yamato compared to building an aircraft carrier.  If you know what happened to the ultimate bad decision you find out in the first few minutes. 

Head Injuries

I have now read two incidents in a row where the murderer appears to have become so because of head injuries.  One was a New York City officer who shot four people without provocation then exited the bar by throwing himself through a window.  

Lincolnton, N.C. (1958)

10/24/1958: The farmer, 28, murdered his wife, “her sister and a neighbor woman with a shotgun.  His “head was injured in an auto accident three years ago; He had served a sentence recently for beating his wife, had a nervous breakdown while in prison, and spent about six months in the prison hospital. Roy's mother said that before the accident he never caused her ‘a day of trouble in his life.’”

Category: family

Suicide: no

Cause: mental illness

Weapon: shotgun[1]

[1] "Farmer Is Slain By Posse After He Slays Three," [Sayre, Penn.] Evening Times, Oct. 25, 1958, 1.

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Done For the Day


West Palm Beach, Fla. (1958)

10/17/1958: The mother, 40, left a suicide note:


I can't talk so I'll write I can’t do it alone. I can't stay boxed any longer.  The children and I don't fit anywhere.  We're not really wanted … I tried but I never really had a chance.

"It's all sham and pretense.  I am second to TV and books.  I am supposed to be well off.  But I have nothing to say about how I live every day of my life.


She shot to death her three kids and then herself.  Her husband returned home with a 1959 model station wagon as a birthday present to find the tragedy.

Category: family

Suicide: yes

Cause: mental illness?

Weapon: firearm[1]

[1] "'Bored' Mother Kills Three Children Self," [Evansville, Ind.] Evansville Courier and Press, Oct. 18, 1958, 1.

The Crazy is Strong at Hamline

 12/27/22 MSN:

Minnesota-based liberal arts university reportedly fired a professor who showed students two paintings of the Prophet Muhammad after a group of Muslim students complained.

The incident occurred at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota, where members of the Muslim Student Association expressed shock and outrage after an unnamed professor showed two paintings of the Prophet Muhammad, one from the 1300s, and another from the 1500s, during a class on Oct. 6.

The students were outraged because it is expressly forbidden in Islam to depict the Prophet Muhammad in art. According to the Hamline Oracle, Aram Wedatalla, the president of the Muslim Student Association, informed university administrators of the incident the day after it occurred....

“I’m like, ‘this can’t be real,’” Wedatalla told the campus newspaper. “As a Muslim, and a black person, I don’t feel like I belong, and I don’t think I’ll ever belong in a community where they don’t value me as a member, and they don’t show the same respect that I show them.”

I think the MSA should take up this matter with the Muslim artists who depicted Muhammad.

LegalZoom: Your Experience

 I need a revocable living trust.  Local attorneys want $3750 to set up one.  This seems high for what should be a small amount of paperwork.  LegalZoom will do it for $449 for a couple.

When I Googled for reviews, I found a lot of lawyers saying that LegalZoom does not adequately handle anything complex and you will not discover the reason for having a lawyer do it until you are dead (when you might not care but the heirs will).

Other lawyers admitted that while complex cases need a lawyer, simple ones (no previous marriages, no minor children, no corporations, no bequests outside children, all property in one state) probably do not.

So, the questions:

1. Have you used LegalZoom to prepare legal documents of any kind?

2. If a situation came up where those documents came into play, did they do what was needed.

3. Especially have you or someone you know had LegalZoom create a revocable living trust without troubles later?

If the Swedes Are Backing Down...

 Swedish Board of Health and Welfare:

– The National Board of Health therefore wishes to emphasize the importance of decision-makers in the health care regions acting for improvement in both issues, and that this needs to be done in the near future. Young people suffering from gender dysphoria need to be able to quickly get an investigation and be offered adequate care measures, based on health care assessments of health care needs. Good psychosocial care is fundamental, says Thomas Lindén, Head of the National Board of Health and Welfare.

The National Board of Health and Welfare has, among other things, the basis of SBU, the State Preparation for Medical and Social Evaluation, found that systematic documentation and follow-up of care are not sufficiently performed and that the scientific evidence is insufficient to assess the effects of puberty inhibition and gender-contrary hormone therapy in children and adolescents.

– The need for good clinical studies is clear from the knowledge gaps that SBU lists. Follow-up and evaluation was something we already emphasized in the knowledge support in 2015, and since then very little knowledge has been added. It is important that the health care regions work to ensure that systematic documentation and follow-up of care at national level is realized and for clinical studies to start, says Thomas Lindén....

There is also a recommendation regarding breast surgery ( surgical removal of breast tissue ). Like the hormonal treatments, the assessment is that such treatment should continue to be given within the framework of research, and that, pending a research study, it may be given in exceptional cases, according to the criteria contained in the knowledge support.

UFO Abductees

"Supernatural Support Groups: Who Are the UFO Abductees and Ritual-Abuse Survivors?" Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion attempts to demographically compare two disturbingly large groups: people who claim to have been victims of usually Satanic child abuse; and UFO abductees.

I started watching an odd indie film Beyond the Sky, which starts as sort of Blair UFO Project, and it rekindled a question.  Why do so many UFO abductee stories sound suspiciously like childhood sexual abuse memories filtered through a less dangerous model?  It wasn't the uncle or Scoutmaster or priest or teacher when Cartman insists  "I know I didn't have an anal probe."

Starting with The Interrupted Journey of Mr. and Mrs. Hill, stories of alien abduction have often involved people taken against their will, subjected to testing or experiments, sometimes seemingly sexual in nature (at least when viewed retrospectively, and not by the abductees).  The repressed memories, the sense of violation (even when not explicitly sexual as with the Interrupted Journey couple), all make me wonder if UFO abductees are attempting to make sense of violations too painful to directly face.

A retrospective study of childhood sexual abuse went back to 153 women who had been hospitalized for sexual abuse as children.  This must have been pretty severe to have put them in the hospital.

In 1990 and 1991, 153 of these girls, now adults, were located and personally contacted. Ten women refused to be interviewed, and seven scheduled but never came in for an interview. One hundred thirty-six women were interviewed (66% of the total sample). Four of these interviews were dropped from the analyses because the initial report did not involve actual sexual contact, and three additional cases were dropped because the women indicated that they or others had fabricated the initial report of the sexual abuse. Thus, the sample for these analyses consisted of 129 women....

Of the 129 women in the sample, over one third (38%) did not report the sexual abuse that they experienced in childhood and that had been documented in hospital records (the index abuse), nor did they report any sexual abuse by the same perpetrator. Although some of these women may have simply decided not to tell the interviewers about the abuse, additional findings discussed later suggest that the majority of these women actually did not remember the abuse.
Some women gave dramatic indications that they really did not recall the abuse and would have told us if they had "known." For example, in one instance, the young woman told the interviewer that she was never sexually abused as a child, and she repeatedly and calmly denied any sexual abuse experiences throughout the detailed questioning. She was then asked if anyone in her family had ever gotten into trouble for his or her sexual behavior, and she said, "No," and then spontaneously added, "Oh, wait a minute, could this be something that happened before I was born?" When told "yes," she said, "My uncle sexually assaulted someone." Later she said the following:
"I never met my uncle (my mother's brother), he died before I was born. You see, he molested a little boy. When the little boy's mother found out that her son was molested, she took a butcher knife and stabbed my uncle in the heart, killing him."

 The interviewer (unaware of the circumstances of this woman's victimization) recorded the details of this account of the uncle's death and completed the interview. Comparison with the original account of the abuse recorded in 1974 revealed that this participant (at age 4), her cousin (at age 9), and her playmate (at age 4) were all abused by the uncle.

Another explanation "Alien abduction: a medical hypothesis", J. Am. Acad. Psychoanal Dyn Psychiatry:

In response to a new psychological study of persons who believe they have been abducted by space aliens that found that sleep paralysis, a history of being hypnotized, and preoccupation with the paranormal and extraterrestrial were predisposing experiences, I noted that many of the frequently reported particulars of the abduction experience bear more than a passing resemblance to medical-surgical procedures and propose that experience with these may also be contributory. There is the altered state of consciousness, uniformly colored figures with prominent eyes, in a high-tech room under a round bright saucerlike object; there is nakedness, pain and a loss of control while the body's boundaries are being probed; and yet the figures are thought benevolent.

There are a lot of traumatized people out there, working through their trauma in different ways.  They all deserve our sympathy even if we do not start hunting the skies over Roswell, N.M.

Beyond the Sky was worth watching.  It has a strange ending that can be read as a MK Ultra follow-on project hallucination or Close Encounter of the Third Kind.

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Finally Something Besides Ice Fog

How Will it End?

 I was counting sheep the other night.  Of course my way is a bit ... different.  I calculate squares of two digit numbers in my head.  (It is really easy.  Every two digit number can be converted to (x + a). where x is the next lowest multiple of 10.  Binomial expansion: (x + a)^2 = x^2 + 2xa + a^2.  You can do all those in your head and add them.  Try it... I'll wait.)

So when I reached 99^2, I started trying to imagine how the generation who think Biden is a great president will confront the national debt end game.  When this happens, I am not sure, but I am hoping after I have returned to the carbon cycle.

We finance our national debt through Treasury-bonds.  Alexander Hamilton's wit in assuming state Revolutionary War debts and giving the new nation a topnotch credit score and a couple of centuries of adults running the country means that we are still the safest place to put money that you want to earn interest and be sure that it will not disappear in the future.

The Congressional Budget Office projects that interest payments will surpass defense spending in 2029 and will be close to nondefense spending in 2032.  At some point the national government will run out of subtle ways to tax the income of middle class and low-end millionaires.  Get unsubtle and you lose the next election and by percentages that are beyond the margin of fraud.

The billionaires, of course, are safe, regardless.  You can buy a lot of Congresscritters when you have a billion dollars.  SBF and FTX is your example.

So, what happens?  The U.S. can start by suspending interest payments to nations who seem too willing to challenge us for supremacy.  "China has steadily accumulated U.S. Treasury securities over the last few decades. In August 2022, the Asian nation owned $971.8 billion in Treasurys, roughly 13% of the U.S. national debt."  It is also believed that a few hundred billion is owned by the humbly paid civil servants of China.  As that article points out a Chinese sell-off of T-bonds would drive down prices substantially; the last T-bonds sold would be worth far less than the first ones sold.  ("If you owe a bank a million dollars you have a problem.  If you owe a bank a billion dollars, they have a problem.") 

 China’s strategy is to maintain export-led growth, which aids in generating jobs and enables it, through such continued growth, to keep its large population productively engaged. Since this strategy is dependent on exports, China requires RMB in order to continue to have a lower currency than the USD, and thus offer cheaper prices.

If the PBOC stops interfering—in the previously described manner—the RMB would self-correct and appreciate in value, thus making Chinese exports costlier. It would lead to a major crisis of unemployment due to the loss of export business.

What would China do?  Nuke the nation who they are hoping might resume interest payments and which will nuke them right back?  Even invading the U.S. unsuccessfully would destroy our credit rating.

However, even suspending payments just to China would technically be a default and raise interest rates on all future T-bonds.  Institutional and individual owners of T-bonds would see a sharp reduction in value of those bonds.  I suspect before that point was reached, there would be a massive flight from T-bonds to equities and state bonds, producing a truly amazing bull market.

Increased interest rates would quickly make financing the house of cards impossible.  I can see Medicaid and Medicare stop making payments.  Medicaid recipients are usually poor and not a risky voting population.  Medicare and Social Security are riskier; old people vote.  Still, hospitals would start competing on price if they have to rely on cash payments; many retirees are not poor.

At some point, the national government would be forced to reduce spending in other categories.  Depending on which party is left holding the bag, this could be a good thing or a bad thing.  (Okay, strictly speaking, "a bad thing" or a "really bad thing.")  I can see states taking over essential duties.

The Christmas Lodge

My wife and I were looking for a rom-com last night (too many recent PBS documentaries about polio, tuberculosis, Donner party, Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson).  Warning: there were no trigger warnings about offensive content.

Architectural restorer takes her boyfriend to the forest to go hiking and hopefully get a ring.   They find an injured teen girl, help her get back home, and discover she lives in a broken down mountain lodge that her father is trying to renovate back to commercial use.  The restorer immediately recognizes it as the lodge her family used to stay at when she was very little.

Boyfriend and restorer call it quits because he lives for city life and she lives to hike in forests.

I think you can see where this is going.   Heartwarming tale of restoration, elderly grandfather getting to see the lodge where he met his long-dead wife.  Punctured along the way with the sort of evangelical family that many of us see us as.

Predictable?  In some ways.  Positive? Encouraging?  Yes.  Decent dialog sometimes predictable because they are depicting the culture in which we live so we know what people should and often do say and do. 

No one is mean.  No one suddenly needs gender mutilation surgery or comes out of the closet.  Good people come together for a good purpose with good results.

We saw it on Amazon Prime.  I shudder to think what trigger warnings it might carry on Netflix.

Monday, December 26, 2022

The Saddest News Story of 2022

A tarot reader has accused a history professor of the University of Idaho mass murder.  The professor is a world renowned expert on gay rodeo.

The best comment was someone is playing weird court bingo.  "Okay I have gay and rodeo and tarot cards and TikTok."  I win.

Headphone Recoomendations?

I need Bluetooth headphones, the kind that allow at least some outside sound (doorbells, puppies whining to go outside) to reach me.  One of you nice people gave me some bone conductions a couple years ago.  They were nice but eventually stopped charging.

A Lovely Christmas

Church was cancelled because the roads were too dangerous.   We went to our daughter and son-in-law and played Scattergories with them and the grandchildren for waiting for the ham.

Our daughter made a dessert with the ominous name of Dutch Baby.

I figured that I would skip the pictures where she sliced up the Dutch Baby with a knife.  It was very good.

As awful as the next couple decades will be in Middle Roman Empire America I do not expect the full economic collapse in my lifetime.  

The generation under 35 will scratch their heads and wonder how virtue signaling got them to a society in economic collapse and the dissolution of the Republic as the national government defaults on its bonds while most responsibly run states maintain decent credit ratings and functional governments; I expect many will coalesce into military alliances after Washington fails to defend Taiwan and Hawaii from Chinese control.  Defending the border with Chinese occupied California/Oregon/Washington is going to be ugly. 

Sunday, December 25, 2022

Have Any of You Heard the Claim That Polio Did Not Exist?

Merry Christmas

Our church cancelled services this morning because the roads were too icy for driving.   I have lived here more than 20 years and THAT has never happened before.  There have been snowstorms so bad that no one needed to be told to stay off the roads but I have never had a church cancel a service for weather.

Burn more coal please.

Instapundit Links to an Interesting Article

But the real fun are the endless physics and chemistry puns and jokes in the comments.  One example among many that you will get if you took chemistry or physics anywhere in your education.  (I am increasingly disturbed how few people have taken either at any grade level.)

One atom says to another: "I've lost an electron."  

The other atom says. "Are you sure?"

"I'm positive."

Saturday, December 24, 2022

The Left is Terrified

12/20/22 Atlantic article about how home ownership as a financial move is mostly about luck because home ownership is not always a win.

The article admits:
"In America, homeownership is not just owning a dwelling and the land it resides on; it is a piggy bank, where the bottom 50 percent of the country (by wealth distribution) stores most of its wealth."

Of course home ownership is bad.  It helps people at the bottom and the left would prefer everyone be poor (except themselves of course).

What Is It About Being Raised by Professors at Prestige Universities?

12/23/22 New York Post:

However, in exchange for Ellison’s decision to “truthfully and completely disclose all information concerning all matters” in the investigation, prosecutors agree to release the Stanford-educated math whiz on $250,000 bail.

Deals struck with federal prosecutors are not usually revealed before they have been completed, so the amount of prison time — if any — Ellison has agreed to serve will not be announced until after she has finished co-operating, likely once Bankman-Fried’s trial has concluded.

The bail sum is 1,000 times less than that of her former paramour, Bankman-Fried, who is holed up at his parents’ Palo Alto home with an ankle monitor after being released on a record-breaking $250 million bail bond following his extradition from the Bahamas. 

As part of her plea, Ellison, a Massachusetts native whose parents both teach at MIT, is also not allowed to travel outside the continental United States, and was made to surrender her travel documents to law enforcement. 

SBF's parents are Stanford professors.  It is an article of faith to the left that high crimes in the ghettos are caused by poverty.  How much grinding poverty did SBF and Ellison suffer?  

And how did SBF post $250 million bond?  Partly a house owned by Stanford.  It must be a heckuva house.  (Just kidding; there are doubtless a lot of other leftists who have pledged their homes to get SBF out.)

Is Bruen Working?

The daughter of a friend in Maryland who was raped has sought a concealed carry license for some years.  She just received it, likely because Bruen limited Maryland's excuses.

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Just Too Bloody Cold!

I have a clear sky but is 25 degrees out there.  I wish I could talk my wife into moving to Hawaii.  Houses on the Big Island are pretty cheap, even with some acreage.

Science Fiction Turns Real

 12/20/22 Yahoo News:

Lawyer Kelly Conlon was denied entry to a performance of the "Christmas Spectacular" show with the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall in New York City after facial recognition technology spotted her in the lobby.

Conlon spoke to NBC New York about being booted from the venue due to the law firm where she works, which she said was “mortifying.”

The weekend after Thanksgiving, Conlon said she and her daughter arrived in New York City along with other members of a Girl Scout troop and their mothers to watch the Rockettes perform in the "Christmas Spectacular" show.

However, shortly after walking into the theater Conlon said was flagged by security and told to leave because of her place of employment.

Monday, December 19, 2022

Mass Murder, Eh?

 12/19/22 AP:

TORONTO (AP) — Five people were shot and killed in a condominium unit a Toronto suburb and the gunman was killed by police, authorities said late Sunday.

Chief James MacSween of York regional police said one of his officers shot and killed the suspect at a condo in Vaughan, Ontario.

“Horrendous scene,” MacSween said. “Six deceased. One of them is the subject. The other five are victims,”

He said a seventh person shot by the suspect was in the hospital and expected to survive.

Yes, they are not common there, but look at their population. 

Friday, December 16, 2022

Thursday, December 15, 2022

Tonight's Obscure Question

Identify a 19th century common use object an inch or so diameter and a foot or so long that person might carry not intentionally as a weapon but that might be used as such on sudden notice.

Our Unsurprising Allies

12/15/22 NPR:
"Some of Oregon's trans and queer gun supporters are worried that a new state law will prevent them from buying firearms.

The law, Measure 114, grants county sheriffs and police chiefs discretion to determine who qualifies to purchase a firearm under a new permit-to-purchase program."

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Pronto: Need a Link to an Official U.S. Army Operator's Manual for the M9

I need evidence that a detachable magazine is part of a firearm, not an "accessory. "  Preferably on an a government website. 

Thanks to all.  Why did I need this?  Ocean State Tactical v. Rhode Island (D.R.I. 2022):

When a multiple-round device like an LCM [Large Capacity Magazine] is attached, a handgun becomes a "semiautomatic" weapon, meaning that it is capable of rapidly firing several bullets, one right after another.

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

I Think I Can Declare Victory

I have only a little residual muscle pain from the coughing.  I have had substantial coughing in several hours and I am not fatigued.   

And just in time.  California is defending its LCM Ban by claiming that individual mass murder was rare before the mid-20th century because firearms technology was not advanced enough.  So I prepared an Expert Declaration on American mass murder (surprised?). I am told that California has deposing me at the top of their list.   They are going to be very disappointed I think.

Sunday, December 11, 2022

No Longer in Much Pain

NYQuil is helping with the cough but I have no interest in doing anything.  The fatigue is really hard.

Everything Hurts

I expect the coughing is going  to show up as chest pain in a day or two.  It has been years since I have had flu.  The good news is that I finished the Expert Declaration for Fouts v. Bonta before I got completely miserable.   I need to do an Expert Declaration for a Naperville, Ill. assault weapons sale ban in the next few days. 

I am bathrobe and slippers for the day.

Saturday, December 10, 2022

Friday, December 9, 2022

Light and Fluffy

Blue sky also so not too cold.

Who Could Have Seen This Coming?

 12/9/22 AP:

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — The Colorado Springs gay nightclub shooter had charges dropped in a 2021 bomb threat case after family members who were terrorized in the incident refused to cooperate, according to the district attorney and court documents unsealed Thursday.

The charges were dropped despite authorities finding a “tub” full of bomb-making chemicals and later receiving warnings from other relatives that suspect Anderson Lee Aldrich was sure to hurt or murder a set of grandparents if freed, according to the unsealed documents.

In a letter last November to state District Court Judge Robin Chittum, the relatives painted a picture of an isolated, violent person who did not have a job and was given $30,000 that was spent largely on the purchase of 3D printers to make guns....

The grandmother’s in-laws wrote to the court in November 2021 saying that Alrich was a continuing danger and should remain incarcerated. The letter also said police tried to hold Aldrich for 72 hours after a prior response to the home, but the grandmother intervened.

“We believe that my brother, and his wife, would undergo bodily harm or more if Anderson were released. Besides being incarcerated, we believe Anderson needs therapy and counseling,” Robert Pullen and Jeanie Streltzoff wrote. They said Aldrich had punched holes in the walls of the grandparents’ Colorado home and broken windows and that the grandparents “had to sleep in their bedroom with the door locked” and a bat by the bed.

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Baseball Bat Registration

 I have a memory of Cincinnati City Council proposing baseball bat registration in the 1990s.  They had experienced dozens of bat murders and no assault weapon murders.  Others remember the story but are having no luck finding it.  Can you find it?

Monday, December 5, 2022

Extended Warranties

I always find myself wondering if buying an extended warranty really made sense when it expires without having been used.

Then there was that Plymouth Neon where the covered repairs exceeded the repairs about 4x.  The Neon was a wonderful car when not in the shop.

The Lenovo extended warranty i bought for my wife's Yoga 7i is another "so glad I did that."  It failed a month out of factory warranty and while the promised on-site repair did not happen (I cannot blame them, when the charger does not even turn on the power LED in the side it is bad), they fixed it and had it back to me in about a week and a half.  It arrived today and I was able to copy the Thunderbird profile off of it to get my wife her contacts back on her new HP.  

It is weird that Thunderbird cannot just export the address book.  You copy the entire profile over from deep in registry land.


One of the saddest endings to a book is William Bradford's Of Plimouth Plantation. For 40 years he kept a detailed history of a colony for which had been governor through most of it.  The last two lines 

Another year.
And another year.

At 66, every birthday becomes like that.  I figure that I have probably lived 2/3 of my life.  I have projects to do that matter (two Expert Declarations underway at the moment and probably more on the way) but it just wears you down after a while.

Enough whining.  I feel a little better.

Sunday, December 4, 2022

Two Heads Are Better Than One

Especially if one is your wife's.  She asked me several questions about the goals for the observatory.

1. Out of the wind and cold.  The rollaway building accomplishes none of that.

2. Improved north aim for tracking.   We are going to spray paint a north arrow in glow-in-the-dark paint on the concrete.  True North is 13 degrees west of magnetic north.

3. Faster in and out of service.  She used her superior spatial skills to rearrange Big Bertha in the telescope garage.  Two night ago it was two minutes out and two minutes back in.  

Of course it is now snowing heavily so I will likely not be able to do much for a while.

Saturday, December 3, 2022

If the Government Coordinates It

It is no longer private free speech decision.   2/3/22 Fox News:

"EXCLUSIVE – An FBI agent testified to Republican attorneys general this week that the FBI held weekly meetings with Big Tech companies in Silicon Valley ahead of the 2020 presidential election to discuss "disinformation" on social media and ask about efforts to censor that information."

Clubs, Batons, and Other Impact Weapons

If you are aware of historical sources that show common carrying of the above in historical documents of American history, provide them.  They feature in the 1689 Boston rebellion against Gov. Andros and the Boston Massacre.  Any others, let me know.

Friday, December 2, 2022

Can I Demand Reparations From Italians for Roman Oppression of My Ancestors?

 12/1/22 Daily Mail:

A reparations committee in California has suggested that descendants of slaves in the state could be compensated $223,200 each for 'housing discrimination'.

The nine-member Reparations Task Force was formed by California Governor Gavin Newsom as part of the country's largest ever effort to address reparations for slavery.

A focus of the California task force has been 'housing discrimination' - it has been estimated that it would cost around $569billion to compensate the 2.5 million Black Californians for setbacks between 1933 and 1977, according to the New York Times


Don't Be An Election Denier!

 Lookout Mountain County District Attorney:

On Wednesday November 16, 2022, William Chase, a 62-year-old man from Walker County was convicted by a Walker County jury of Forgery in the First Degree, Illegal Acts Regarding Election Documents, Unlawful Acts Regarding Elector's Vote, Repeat Voting in Same Election. The trial began Monday, November 14th and concluded with a guilty verdict on November 16th in front of the Honorable Chief Judge Kristina Graham. 

The evidence presented at trial showed that a Walker County resident’s absentee ballot for the January 2021 runoff election was sent by mistake to an old address, a PO Box in La Fayette, Georgia. When the resident’s ballot never arrived but her husbands did, the resident called the Elections Office in Walker County to inquire about her ballot. The Elections Office discovered that they had already accepted, but had not yet counted, an absentee ballot for the resident, and the ballot appeared to have resident’s signature on the Oath of Elector section. The resident went to the Elections Office to view the ballot with the signature on it and immediately noticed it was NOT her signature. The Elections Office immediately cancelled the forged ballot and had a new ballot sent to the resident’s current address. 

Defendant's fingerprints on the ballot likely sealed the decision. Remember that these are the ones so incompetent that the get caught.

Surprise, Surprise! (Say It Like Jim Nabors)

12/1/22 KING:

SEATTLE — King County records show that in the last four years, judges have released dozens of mentally ill defendants charged with felonies because they waited too long in jail for court-ordered mental health treatment.

In Washington, state law requires defendants deemed so mentally ill they can’t understand the charges against them receive help at a state psychiatric hospital within seven days. Currently, records show, some inmates are waiting up to nine months for a bed at Western State Hospital, run by the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS).

The record backlog has prompted judges across the state to release defendants on their own recognizance or to dismiss charges altogether, citing a violation of the defendants’ constitutional right to receive medical care while in custody.

Since 2018, charges dismissed due to long wait times include felony harassment, indecent exposure, burglary, hate crimes and assault with a deadly weapon, records show.

“This is a public safety crisis,” said Rebecca Vasquez, a senior deputy prosecuting attorney at the King County Prosecutor’s Office who specializes in these cases. “These delays are harming public safety, harming my office’s ability to do our job and prosecute cases, and harming the defendants that (DSHS is) directed to care for.” 

Residents of the small, rural town of New Meadows, Idaho know all too well about the worst-case scenario when mentally ill inmates are released due to unconstitutional wait times for psychiatric help.

John Cody Hart was released from the Clark County Jail in Vancouver, Washington in July due to lack of mental health treatment in a timely manner.

In October, the 28-year-old ended up in New Meadows, Idaho – allegedly shooting and killing Rory and Sara Mehen, two pillars of the community whom he had never met.

“We are all grieving,” said New Meadows Mayor Julie Good. “How could this be happening? How is it that he is free to come into our small, quiet, beautiful community and wreak havoc not just with the family’s lives but our life? How does that happen and there’s no reason that it should have.”

Before making it to Idaho, Hart was serving time in the Clark County Jail, awaiting trial for charges of first- and second-degree assault. According to legal documents, in 2021, Hart allegedly attacked an acquaintance in a Vancouver apartment. “Unprovoked,” prosecutors said he strangled the man and tried to “rip out (his) eyes” with his thumbs. 

 It is almost like Washington does not want to treat the mentally ill.

Capricorn 1

 Yes, yes, I know.  I have met too many people, especially young ones who grew up on X-Files, and think it or what they heard of it as documentary, a film roman a clef, or in some other way exhibited "truthiness."

It is available on YouTube for free with ads (for me, Medicare Advantage plans, solar panels, and Lenovo PCs; a little late on that last one).  I had forgotten what a brilliant piece of film this was:

1. An interesting premise.

2. Some pretty prominent actors for its time (Elliott Gould, Karen Black, Hal Holbrook)) and some just getting started (Sam Waterston).

3. An almost technically plausible story (Mars and back with the Apollo-era technology would not have been nine months; the technicians at the fake Mars studio adding slow motion to the sequences where the astronauts fall under Martian gravity).

4. A really terrifying sequence where the courageous reporter (back when such existed) discovers his Mustang has been sabotaged: no brakes, engine full throttle, engine key off does nothing.

5. Federal LEO planting cocaine in his house.  (I almost wonder if judges should require LEOs to wait for an attorney for the soon-to-be defendant to be there during a search.)

And I forgot a 1/3 happy ending!

Does Any Nation Besides PRC Make Trackballs?

Thursday, December 1, 2022

I Wish That I Did This Before Ordering a Trackball For My Wife

I Googled Taiwan made trackball and received a list of brands made in Taiwan.   It would silly to ship this Chinese made trackball back but it is amazing how easy this is to find  

If a Democrat Can Say This, What Else Can Happen?

11/29/22 CBS News:

New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced an initiative that would give the city more leeway to involuntarily hospitalize severely mentally ill people on the city's subways and streets, even if they do not appear to pose an immediate danger to others.  

"My administration is determined to do more to assist people with mental illness, especially those with untreated psychotic disorders, posing a risk of harm to themselves, even if they are not an imminent threat to the public," Adams said Tuesday. "It is not acceptable for us to see someone who clearly needs help and walk past. For too long, there has been a gray area where policy, law and accountability have not been clear and this has allowed people in need to slip through the cracks." 

Adams, a former police officer, said the city will be training Emergency Medical Services staff and other medical personnel to "ensure compassionate care." He said the policy he's proposing "explicitly states" when it is appropriate to use this process to hospitalize a person suffering from mental illness even if they do not want to go.

I am sure many of you share my concern about the role that severe mental illness plays in mass murder and this is not new.  Out of 1916 mass murder incidents before 1960, 308 involved mental illness--the single largest category.  There is also the misery of living on the street in the cold, eating out dumpsters, often the victims of violent crimes when they are the criminals.  I know that many progressives object to the loss of human dignity from being hospitalized.

In a mental hospital: they will not freeze to death; they will have meals that lack mold; they will have medical care; they may even receive the mental health care to help them get their lives back on track,  Where is the indignity in that?

Okay, Brilliant Readers, Next Answer

 One of you pointed me to MotoCabin.  They make fiberglass motorcycle shelters.  69" high, 54" wide, 123" long,  Big Bertha will fit with room to spare.  What I would need to change 

1. Remove the front wheel support rail.

2. Cut out a square in the bottom of base so that it does not run into the telescope.

3. Attach casters to the base plate.  

4. When pouring pad, include U-channels in the concrete so they do not rise above the concrete.  These need to be just wide enough for the casters to roll, but narrow to prevent my telescope ladder catching on them.  (You motorcyclists and bicyclists know what happens when you hit railroad tracks at an angle.)

The last part of the puzzle: to keep a weather, bug, and house-proof seal, the base of the MotoCabin needs to end up on the pad, not above it.  Is there a way to have casters rise or fall without lots of wrench work?  I suppose I could put a rubber seal along the bottom and go for a very small elevation above the concrete.  The seal would require regular replacement.

Why Checking Sources Matters

 Currently making the alt.right rounds is this:

This is official UK government data for ages 10-59 (brown line is vaxxed):


Berenson's article says:

I have checked the underlying dataset myself and this graph is correct. Vaccinated people under 60 are twice as likely to die as unvaccinated people. And overall deaths in Britain are running well above normal.

I don’t know how to explain this other than vaccine-caused mortality.

The basic data is available here, download the Excel file and see table 4: 

Since I at am least skeptical of how honestly a lot of the vaccine claims are, I downloaded that spreadsheet. I looked in Table 4 and all the others.  There were no death rates.  Table 4 column headers contain nothing like this.  At most there is "Age-standardised mortality rate / 100,000 person-years."  There might be some data somewhere that shows death rates for vaccinated and unvaccinated in Britain, or perhaps derived from that spreadsheet, but that is not what Berenson claims.

This all reminds me of the current battles in the courts on gun ban laws after Bruen.  The "expert witnesses" their side keeps trotting out make false claims galore.  So many and so absurd that I could write a book about them.  My wife has a theory that their side's pursuit of billable hours for their lawyers and "expert witnesses" means that they do not care that they are wrong and will not win.  Prof. Saul Cornell charges California $500 per hour for his work.  So what if it is wrong?  That's a nice chunk of change for a college professor.

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

This Rollaway Observatory Is Keeping Me Up At Night

I keep looking for alternative ways to have a water proof structure that will enclose a 26" square by 4' x 7' telescope that I can roll away to get a clear sky with minimal horizon obstruction and still allow the rolling telescope ladder to get close.

I played with the idea of four fiberglass walls sitting on casters in aluminum channels set into the concrete.  Take the top off and pick up and move side walls.  I can see spending a pile of money to have leaks.

Walls fold down but the rolling ladder goes over and damages the walls.

The only thing that seems to make sense is a building 4' tall inside x 2.5 ' deep and 7' long with doors that open wide enough on at least side to roll the structure away from the telescope.   It need not even be rolling in rails.  It could just roll on the concrete pad.  The height is to reduce sight line blockage for our neighbors; that is below the height of our sage.  Rolled away it is still below that sight line.

Search for floorless sheds.  They seem to be either 6' wide or 6' high or 2' deep.

I would prefer resin.  It goes with the architecture better and would likely stand up to being rolled better.

Another Taiwanese Victory

 I recently acquired an LG 33"? (big whatever) monitor.  The Lenovo USB to HDMI adapter does not go to 4K.  The USB 3.0 to HDMI Adapter - 4K 30Hz Ultra HD - DisplayLink Certified - USB Type-A to HDMI Display Adapter Converter for Monitor - External Video & Graphics Card - Mac & Windows (USB32HD4K) does.  Best of all: "Made in Taiwan."

I Finished That Last Counterweight

I did not really need it and tapping steel even with a carbide tap makes me nervous. 

I think it came out rather pretty.  I just wish I could have found stainless steel thumbscrews the right length.

In case you need steel discs.

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

I Need Someone to Either OCR or Transcribe This Law

 It is a 1771 New Jersey law that the gun banners are using as evidence that very dangerous guns could be banned.

I just found the statute.  It is primarily aimed at lazy hunters:

"6. And Whereas great Numbers of idle and disorderly Persons make a Practice of hunting on the waste and unimproved lands in this Colony, whereby their Families are neglected, and the Publick is prejudiced by the Loss of their Labour...

"7. And be it enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That if any Person or Persons within this colony shall set any Trap or other Device whatsoever, larger than what is usually and commonly set for Foxes and Muskrats, such Person, setting such Trap or other Device, shall pay the Sum of Five Pounds..."

If you could start transcribing at the bottom of p. 343 to the end of the law on p. 347 you would be doing gun rights a great service.

Does anyone know how to use ReadIris to do OCR?  I paid for it and it is not clear how to use it.

Adobe has an online free splitter and converter now.

This is done.  Thanks to all.

Slop Adjustment

No, the pigs are not complaining. (By the time I see a pig it has nothing to say.)

I mentioned that the new cross-slide drill press vise had some slop in the Y-axis motion.  There are indeed adjustments on it. 

see the shiny screws on the side? Loosen the nuts against the vise and tighten the Philips head screws.  Of course, the tradeoff is that the Y axis is a stiffer movement.  I will put some 3-in-1 oil on the contact surfaces and likely make it a little less sticky. 


My wife's Lenovo Yoga 7i was sick enough that onsite repair was not going to save it.  A Next Day Air box arrived yesterday and it went to Lenovo hospital the same way.  My new travel Lenovo laptop also arrived.  My P17 Gen. 2 is blindingly fast and way too heavy for airline travel.  The Lenovo ThinkPad 11e Gen. 5 is the spitting image of the x140e that I used to use but far faster.  In five seconds it boots into Windows 11.  Waking from sleep mode (which still uses battery) is only slightly faster than a hard boot (which uses no battery).

It fits into the messenger bag in which I used to carry the x140e.  It weighs two pounds.  

I had considered keeping my wife's Yoga 7i as my travel laptop, but compared to this it is huge.  In the cheap airline seats, the 11" laptops fit on the tray table just barely enough to type.  Larger is a problem.

Word 365 Is Getting Smarter

 Word has always made useful grammar warnings and suggestions, but it seems to be getting smarter, or at least I am noticing its improvements.  A student paper included this sentence: "

Over time, as the plantations and demand grew, farmers were in need of workers."  That phrase was underlined in blue.  The suggestion was to replace it with "needed"; this reduces word count and converts passive voice to active voice.

There are so many corrections and good suggestions in Word that every student can be a better writer by just looking at the warnings and suggestions.

It is not yet smart enough to recognize where a new idea requires a new paragraph.  Nor does it yet recognize that a sentence is in the wrong paragraph.  Who knows?  Soon students will have no excuse for turning in B papers.

Monday, November 28, 2022

If You Think the COVID-19 Pandemic Crisis Reflects Some New Deficiency in American Society...

I just watched a fascinating PBS documentary called Plague at the Golden Gate.  
There are some striking similarities to recent experience.   Just do not try to match everything up to neatly: Dr. Fauci=Dr. Kinyoun.  Gov. Gage=Gov. Newsom.  It is not like that but there are elements that are a reminder of Mark Twain's aphorism: "History does not repeat but it often rhymes."

First: the setting.  (This part is not well covered in the documentary.  I am just giving the benefit of knowledge.)  San Francisco was a hotbed of Democratic hatred of Asians who competed with white workers for jobs and the city had passed repeated laws ostensibly for public health reasons, but really to oppression the Chinese.  (Race has always been a Democratic Party tool for engaging poor unskilled workers.)  The laundries must be only in brick buildings to drive the Chinese out of the laundry business. 

The Cubic Air Law limiting housing density as a way of squeezing Chinese out of low rent housing.  A law requiring crew cuts for men going into the county jail because Chinese violators of the Cubic Air Law found three hots and a cot preferable to paying a $10 fine.  (Many probably did not have it.)  The Pigtail Law was an affront to Chinese men and Federal courts struck it down.  If public health was the reason why only men?  Ho Ah Kow v. Nunan, 12 F. Cas. 252 (C.C.D. Cal. 1879) 1

In 1900, bubonic plague cases start hitting Chinatown.   There was a widely held belief including among scientists that Chinese were especially prone to it compared to whites and the documentary runs with the racism explanation.   I can see two other explanations:

A. Chinatown and its counterparts were poor sections of town likely more rat-infested than most.

B. Whites are more likely immune to bubonic plague because the CCR5-delta 32 mutation that appeared during the Black Death provides some of full immunity (depending on whether you get it from one side or the other).  It also provides similar protection against AIDS and various hemorrhagic fevers.

Generations of Europeans have had multiple passes of bubonic plague to build up that mutation's frequency in the white gene pool.   By comparison it is not very common in East Asia.

Perhaps racism, perhaps some real differences in likelihood of infection.

The doctor with the Marine Hospital Service (the predecessor to the Public Health Service) at Angel Island was not just a doctor but a pre-eminent bacteriologist.  His response to the early cases was a quarantine of Chinatown and then a full lock down.  They started building a wall.

As it became apparent that there were cases outside Chinatown he became increasingly arrogant and demanding.  Threatening to quarantine S.F. and then all of California upset the people that really mattered, who insisted there was no plague and besides it was only the Chinese who had it, and Dr. KInyouan was transferred to Detroit after a corrupt deal was created by President McKinley, California government and business interests.  ("Take him to Detroit!")

His replacement was a South Carolinian with modest credentials.  He went into Chinatown and made friends and received cooperation where Dr. Kinyouan just received federal court injunctions.   He eventually figured out the role of the rats.  He started a rat catching campaign and ended the epidemic.  Being a white Southerner he did something scandalous: he paid his Chinese workers the same as his white workers.

Economic interests, a perception that individual rights were being destroyed over a disease that many denied existed.  Vaccine hesitancy with an experimental vaccine.  Everything is there in slightly different forms like an episodes of Sliders.

Sunday, November 27, 2022

I Kid You Not: a New Book From Duke University Press

I used to think the f-word (no the other f-word) was rude and bigoted.  Now I see there is an entire academic field of scholarship to it.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Mice

I used a trackball at one company.  Does anyone have other suggestions for my wife's wrist?  What is a vertical mouse?

Saturday, November 26, 2022

Not An Observatory

But perhaps a more practical way to go from outside to observing faster.

This Canadian has another odd shaped telescope for which has designed a very clever way to protect his scope from weather while making it fast to get it open and closed.   Picture a box that closes over the telescope in its most relaxed position.   It is mounted on a hinge and when you winch it up your telescope is ready for action.  There are no walls so I still have to dress warmly but open is about 30 seconds ditto for close.  I just need a watertight 2.5' x 4' x 7' box open on one side to which hinges will go.  I wish there was a way for it to go completely flat 

Two great advantages compared to an observatory or the moving building design. Once down for the night it is only 4' high.  No sight line obstruction for our neighbors.   It is also easily moved when we move on to a hopefully magnitude 6.5 sky.  No concrete pad.

If you wanted to make something like that lid: 2.5' x 4' x 7' that was watertight how would you do it?  It sounds like an aluminum welding job.  It does not need to be thick.   There is only snow load on it and I would brush it off before it got too deep.  Thin because it should be light enough to pull a rope over it to lift it up.

Or fiberglass?  Sheets of it here are not very expensive.   I suppose that you could take sheets and turn them into a box with fiberglass cloth and epoxy to bind the corners together.   Probably not pretty until sanded and painted.

Fiberglass planter boxes!  But finding one deep enough is not easy. There is a company that custom makes them.

That Taiwan Cross-Slide Drill Press Arrived

You get what you pay for and at almost twice the price of the PRC equivalent it is well worth it.  It was described as cast iron and most of it clearly is, but the smoothness and finish on some parts looks more like steel.
The x and y axes have no backlash that I can feel unlike the dear departed (but not yet recycled) Harbor Freight version. There is a little slop in the moving jaw section but there may be way to adjust or shim that into a tighter fit.

The metal was coated in a shipping grease and Styrofoam chips but it cleaned up well and then I applied some 3 in 1 oil to moving parts.  

The bolts that I used to lock the Harbor Freight to the drill press table worked perfectly.   I had been concerned that 6" vs. 4" might be too big for the table but it fits just fine.

The only issue remaining is to figure out how to attach the Tapmatic stop.  The Tapmatic tapping attachment (PBUI) needs an upright bar to hit for when it reverses direction.  On the Harbor Freight I drilled a .5" hole into the frame and it worked pretty well until I needed to open the jaws a bit wider and discovered that I had drilled a hole into a part that needed to move.  I will look for some other way to hold the stop in place.  I might even spend the time machining a stop holder that locks onto the drill press table instead of marring this beautiful vise.

I was not expecting a machine tool but first testing suggests the metric dials are pretty far from being accurate measuring tools.  Let me look again when I am better rested.

The slop is that the gib on the Y axis is not as tight as it could be.  Of course the tradeoff is a little slop or binding.  I might stick a couple thin sheets of brass in there to make it a bit tighter in exchange for a little more effort turning the Y axis screw.

Not a Friendly Source

Objectives. To determine the frequency of loaded handgun carrying among US adult handgun owners overall and by state concealed carry law status.

Methods. Using a nationally representative survey of US firearm-owning adults in 2019, we asked handgun owners (n = 2389) about their past-month handgun carrying behavior.

Results. A total of 30.3% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 28.0%, 32.6%) of handgun owners carried handguns monthly, of whom 38.1% (95% CI = 33.6%, 42.7%) did so daily. In permitless carry states, 29.7% (95% CI = 25.9%, 33.9%) of handgun owners carried handguns in the past month, compared with 33.1% (95% CI = 29.9%, 36.3%) in shall issue states and 19.7% (95% CI = 14.9%, 25.5%) in may issue states. Of handgun owners without a permit, 7.5% (95% CI = 4.1%, 13.3%) of those in may issue states and 11.5% (95% CI = 8.5%, 15.4%) of those in shall issues states carried handguns in the past month.

Conclusions. In 2019, about 16 million US adult handgun owners carried handguns in the past month (up from 9 million in 2015), and approximately 6 million did so daily (twice the 3 million who did so in 2015). Proportionally fewer handgun owners carried handguns in states where issuing authorities had substantial discretion in granting permits. (Am J Public Health. 2022;112(12):1783–1790.