Sunday, July 31, 2022

If You Enjoyed Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy...

I just started reading The Left Hand of Dog free for Kindle on Amazon.  It is not the laugh out loud book but it is witty and involves a guy and his dog, Spock, kidnapped by cute fuzzy aliens.  I am only three chapters in so far but it is fun.

The deeper I get, the funnier it gets.  The dialog between the sentient robot that the fluffy bunny bounty hunters kidnapped, and Big Bird is riotously funny.

Saturday, July 30, 2022

I Have the Housebuilding Itch Again

Perhaps reasons will overcome the itch. As my wife and I have been watching San Fernando Valley 2.0 under construction down the street from our semi rural subdivision we have been talking about the very traditional and not very efficient manner in which frame houses are built.

Some builders a few years ago were starting to experiment with steel framing both because it is more fire resistant than wood and long-term pricing was more certain.  If you use even similar dimensions for the base beams and studs it should be far more resistant to earthquake and hurricane.

I was started on this thought experiment by a concrete structure house on the Oregon coast advertised as good to Richter 9.5, which that close to the Juan de Fuca plate seems like a good idea.   Yes, Oregonians seem on the edge of California gun control nonsense half the time but the Bruen decision is going to eventually cool their jets.  This perpetual heat and crowding is getting a bit much for me.

Fiberglass is becoming a popular experimental material for building.  You might build a conventional rectangular structure using the off-the-shelf structural members or go all out, tacking down fiberglass cloth to off-the-shelf structural members then pouring epoxy.  This would be a pricey pour of course.  Then there would be a load of dust mask sanding.

Another thought is the Monsanto House of the Future in Disneyland's Tomorrowland? Do you remember it?  It turned out to be nearly impossible to demolish.

Perhaps a cast dome?  You would need to cast conduits as you poured but fiberglass can be drilled and cut (although not as easily as gypsum board).  Drilling holes for pictures in interior walls is simple enough and patching is just using the right color epoxy.  Window frames would need to be cast in place. 

Fiberglas is an excellent insulator.  I suspect the traditional 6" wall would be far superior to any existing building code.   I cannot find clear information about fiberglass flammability.   The epoxy makes me nervous. 

Friday, July 29, 2022

YouTube Advertising

We just bought a Hyundai Tucson.  So now because I did a bunch of searching related to that term I am getting Hyundai Tucson ads.  A bit late guys.

Okay, Which One of You Wrote This Washington Post Article?

 7/28/22 Washington Post:

Black women who once hated guns are embracing them as violence rises

While research shows that possessing a gun raises the risk of violent death, some Black women are desperate for a way to feel safer

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Today's Horrible Joke

The Past, the Present, and the Future walk into a bar.  The situation is...tense.

Until Last Week, I Did Not Know What TL;DR Meant

7/28/22 Inside Higher Education discusses something I have long thought made sense but is already a thing.

The student borrows money from the college or private lender in exchange for some percentage of postgraduate income for some fixed number of years.  If you believe what you are teaching will enhance a student's future income, it makes sense.  If you think a degree in Grievance Studies will get you 5% of a barista's pay you may think differently. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Lessons from the Hero of Indianapolis

I am seeing accounts that his accuracy was in part bracing against a solid surface.

This point cannot be too strongly made.  We are taught isosceles shooting stance, sometimes Weaver, because the emphasis is on sudden confrontation with a peer or near-peer attacker.  He has a pistol and so do you and short distances (7 to 25 yards).

 But an active shooter scenario may (and often does) involve someone with a substantial advantage in accuracy (rifle or shotgun) and range (20-40 yards).

Some years ago when I was a kitchen table FFL, I sold a couple of Browning Hi-Powers to friends.   Out at the range, I showed them firing Winchester white box FMJs with the frame (not the slide) braced against a wooden beam, I could get 5 to 7 shots out of 10 on the 100 yard gong.  Soon they were burning through ammo that I sold them at an entertaining rate.

I am not sure how practical this will be at an indoor range but it is worth trying at least to find out what brand is most accurate in your gun under those conditions.

Praying that you will never need to use this skill but please be proficient if needed.

The high precision field of view is about 6 degrees.  As we all know, peripheral vision is pretty limited as to information processed and thus brain availability.  Unless a mass shooter is consciously sweeping the area for threats, attacking from 60 degrees off his target area might catch him by surprise.  Worth a try if you can get there steathily.

I Think the Fed Demonstrated the Required Courage

7/27/22 CNBC reported the Fed raised the benchmark interest rate .75%.  This is a huge increase intended to squash inflation.  The stock market responded very favorably.   My portfolio grew 3%.

Schwab's analysis of market reaction indicated that the Fed chair's remarks implied that they will watch the data and not automatically keep raising rates.   

This is what I would expect from adults.  Step lightly on the brake and watch the reaction.  By some accounts, the Crash was a result of the Fed finally realizing that they had spent most of the 1920s inflating the money supply to ease Bank of England debts to the U.S. for World War I, and when they realized it, they stomped on the brakes full force at 140 mph.

Live Free or Die

Free with ads on YouTube.   If you enjoyed Die Hard's outrageous collection of impossible "I fell a couple stories and got up to fight again" stunts and Bruce Willis' sharply delivered witty lines, you will likely enjoy this.  

I started watching during yesterday's treadmill brisk walk.  It is one of those films that is the film equivalent of a bag of Fritos: once you start, how can you stop?

Not really a spoiler: you will figure this out in the first couple minutes.  World's best black hat hacker against the U.S. Government's least effective cybersecurity team.  Det. John McClane gets dragged in by an arrest request.

Most of the cyber stuff is absurd but they have least one thing right (and I hope they have this right in the real world by now): The only truly secure systems have airgaps to the Internet.   This is what NSA and Mossad had to defeat to destroy Iran's uranium enrichment centrifuges a few years ago.

Speaking of which: Why are there no toasters on the Internet of Things?  Imagine your toaster app telling you your toast is up.  Imagine a Chinese hacker overheating your toaster until it starts your kitchen on fire.

Who Needs Food Anyway? A Universal Basic Income is Enough

7/27/22 CTV News:

Dutch farmers protested government plans to reduce nitrogen emissions by dumping manure and garbage Wednesday on highways and setting fires alongside roads -- the latest actions in a summer of discontent. Police urged them to stop for safety reasons and were investigating who was responsible.

"Traffic authorities said several roads in the central and eastern Netherlands were completely or partially blocked by the early morning blockades and fire services rushed to clear roads as traffic built up. Cleanup operations were expected to take hours on some roads."

This is about attempts to reduce nitrogen emissions.   You know that gas that is 78% of our atmosphere.   There's no such thing as fossil nitrogen.  I think the perpetual busybodies just ran out of things to ban with a plausible basis.

This is So San Francisco

7/26/22 KABC:
They will not arrest people shooting up on the street; they seem incapable of stopping brazen mob robberies of stores; they release felons in possession of concealed assault weapons; but they can paint around the tire and issue a ticket.  He owns a car: class enemy.

I Would Never Have Guessed It!

7/26/22 Medical Xpress:
"Tweens who spend more time on screens have a higher likelihood of developing disruptive behavior disorders, with social media having an especially strong influence, a new UC San Francisco-led study published today in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry found."

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

What Next? Will They Starting Fining Burglary Victims for Failing to Fortify?

7/25/22 Yahoo News:
"Viet Nguyen, owner of the soon-to-open Gao Viet Kitchen in the Inner Sunset, told NBC Bay Area that he is tired of his restaurant being targeted by vandals and repeatedly having to paint over the graffiti.

"The latest tagging of his restaurant also came with a violation notice from the San Francisco Department of Public Works last week. The notice instructed Nguyen to clean up the graffiti in 30 days or face a $362 fine."

San Francisco Police cannot stop vandalism so the victim has to pay?

Active Shooter History

7/26/22 New York Post:
"The woman who opened fire in a Texas airport this week had once claimed to be “God’s prophet” married to singer Chris Brown — and has been repeatedly freed from jail for a series of alarming crimes after being found mentally unfit to stand trial, according to a report.
"It later emerged that Odufuwa was free despite a lengthy history of mental illness and serious crimes, including bank robbery and even arson, according to records reviewed by the Dallas Morning News."

Why would not release a person so crazy she was not fit for trial on minor charges such as bank robbery?

A Libertarian Fantasy Comes to Life

 7/25/22 PJMedia:

There’s a new crowdfunding craze in Minneapolis, the city that helped birth the #DefundThePolice movement: Police officers.

Residents of the City of Lakes are so fed up with rising crime and decreasing police patrols that they’re hiring off-duty cops.

The crowdfunding effort is officially sanctioned by the Minneapolis Safety Initiative, created by the city council earlier this year.

The program’s “suggested contribution” is $220 per month, per household. That’s a “buyback” (their word) of two hours of additional patrolling each month.

“In aggregate,” the Safety Initiative’s site claims, “we expect that all neighbors’ contributions will purchase 10 hours of additional patrol per day, based on the number of households that we expect to contribute.”

The first step towards defunding local government!

Red Flag Laws and the New Gun Law

7/27/22 KTVB discusses what few effects the bipartisan bill has on Idaho gun purchases.  One gun dealer observes:
"And according to Guy, the process at his store hasn't changed much. They run the same background check, clients fill out the same forms and sign the same documents. These forms go through questions like criminal history, if the gun is for the purchaser and if the purchaser has ever been committed to a mental institution. The only difference in the process brought by the new laws is what documents the FBI has access to once the submit button is clicked for potential gun purchasers ages 18-20.

"If they need to be flagged, they need to be flagged. We're all for that," Guy said. "I don't think anybody's upset about opening it up to a kid that was in a mental institute in high school, but we couldn't see it before. I think everybody's for that."

A BSU criminology professor about the red flag law funding:

"Perhaps the most controversial part of the new federal law is $750 million in new funding for states that can be used for the creation and administration of “red flag laws,” which restrict gun ownership among those a court has determined to be a danger to themselves or others. Idaho has no such laws, nor is its Legislature inclined to pass any. But the funding also could be used by states for other purposes, such as mental health courts, drug courts and veterans courts.

“We were an early adopter and a leader in specialty courts or problem-solving courts,” Bostaph said. The bill also includes additional funding for behavioral health initiatives, school-based mental health programs and more. She said Idaho likely will be in a good position to apply for some of those funds, given the ongoing efforts of the Idaho Behavioral Health Council to address mental and behavioral health needs on a statewide basis."

I now remember that the language of the law only added red flag laws to an existing list of specialty programs for which states can use the grants.  As long as Idaho passes no red flag law, that additional funding can be used for those other specialty programs.

Sunday, July 24, 2022

What's The Error Bar On That?

7/24/22 Daily Mail:

Tour de France fans took matters into their own hands yesterday as they angrily removed a gang of eco-protesters threatening to disrupt the historic bike race by sitting in the middle of the road to block oncoming riders. 

Eight climate activists from French campaign group Dernière Rénovation (Last Renovation) sporting T-shirts emblazoned with the message 'we have 978 days left' to tackle environmental decline tried to stop the race during the 20th stage between Lacapelle-Marival and Rocamadouron on Saturday. 

But their attempts to wreak havoc at the stage were thwarted by spectators, who stormed onto the road and dragged them out of the path of the oncoming bikes even before the police arrived on the scene to make arrests. 

978 days?  The precision impresses me.  What is the uncertainty of that?  In 2006 Al Gore said we had ten years.  Again, no error bar.  If it was large enough we could combine his and theirs and get a more certain "too late; no need to bother" date.

What makes this sort of fanaticism especially sad is that their goal like that of a sister group in Britain is among all the climate change objectives, the least objectionable: have the government insulate buildings.  This would reduce both heating and cooling costs without impoverishing anyone (except taxpayers).  

I went all out on insulating my last house and it really made a difference.  We have a few others home improvement projects in mind first, but increasing insulation on this house is on my list.

Bruen Bearing Fruit!

 Superior, Colorado adopted an assault weapons sale and transfer ban.  The federal court issued a TRO on enforcement while awaiting trial.  Now, what does this tell us?  

To obtain a TRO or injunctive relief in any other form a plaintiff must establish: “(1) a substantial likelihood of prevailing on the merits; (2) irreparable harm unless the injunction is issued; (3) that the threatened injury outweighs the harm that the preliminary injunction may cause the opposing party; and (4) that the injunction, if issued, will not adversely affect the public interest.” 

So, there is a strong possibility that at trial, Bruen's reading of the Second Amendment will overturn the ordinance.  We are not out of the woods yet, but when federal judges read a decision as giving our side the benefit of believing we have "substantial likelihood of prevailing on the merits," this is good news.

The judge who granted the TRO was appointed by Obama!

A Pail of Air

I have mentioned this as one of my favorite short science fiction stories before by Fritz Leiber.  I am reading Galaxy Science Fiction Superpack #1 on Kindle.  I cannot remember if it was free or just cheap and just ran into it in there.  And even reading it the third time it is powerful and hopeful as any story can be where Earth is so cold that liquid helium is the top layer on top of the frozen layers of atmosphere. 

Also, another classic science fiction writer: Murray Leinster "Med Ship Man" is one they I had never seen before and for a story written at least 50 years ago, it is not hopelessly dated or clumsy.

Saturday, July 23, 2022

Parts of Our Government Still Worry About America

7/23/22 CNN:
"CNN Exclusive: FBI investigation determined Chinese-made Huawei equipment could disrupt US nuclear arsenal communications"
A fascinating article about how the agencies responsible for counterintelligence have been finding what seems to suspicious equipment on cell towers made by Huawei.  Long and both worrisome in the risks exposed and encouraging that even in the Obama Administration they were looking at and trying to fix Chinese espionage efforts.

The Promise of the New South: Life After Reconstruction (1992)

This was a Christmas gift from my wife in 1996.  (What sort of gifts did you think family and friends would give me?)

I started it many years ago and my MA thesis and several books got in the way.  I am reading it now and finding it fascinating.  Edward Ayers has done a fascinating synthesis of official records, memoirs, newspapers and magazines to paint a profoundly complex picture of the South.  Many of the stereotypes of the South in that period seem to be true and many others are somewhat surprising.   This one about Southern timber industry is a reminder that discrimination is often a victim of a competitive industry.

Friday, July 22, 2022

China Collapse May Protect Taiwan

 7/21/22 India Today:

Army tanks rolled on the streets of China’s Henan province to deter protesters who have been demanding the release of their savings after banks put a freeze on withdrawals.


Videos shared on social media showed a contingent of tanks making their way down main thoroughfares in a bid to scare off angry citizens and check demonstrations against banks. Local media reported that the tanks were deployed to protect banks.

Has anyone seen this in our official media?

Thursday, July 21, 2022

If the Court Can Overturn DOMA...

Why can they not do the same to this proposed law?

"The Democratic-led House passed legislation on Tuesday that would protect same-sex marriage rights, with 47 Republicans voting in favor of the bill."

I Am Shocked

7/20/22 ABC News story about Uvalde that tells a story larger than guns, guns, guns.

"The Texas House of Representatives committee report on the Robb Elementary School shooting revealed the accused school shooter exhibited many warning signs in the years, months and days leading up to the school shooting, but he was still able to legally purchase the assault rifle used in the shooting.
"The report illustrated many failures by the school and by enforcement officers leading up to and on the day of the shooting and caused outcry among families of the 21 people killed in May."

Why Conspiracies Fail

It is a common belief that large elaborate conspiracies dominate our world.  The names change every few generations with a few persisting: the Illuminati; the Jews (in several variations such as International Jewish Bankers, all Jews, Jewish Intellectuals), Trilateralists, the Council on Foreign Relations.  The latest versions are the World Economic Forum, the Davos crowd (or are they the WEF? too many different sources of confusion).  

All genuine conspiracies have two major failings: inability to conspire and intelligence agents who go undercover. 

Anyone who has ever tried to conspire with five co-workers to pick a lunch spot knows that the often trivial differences in preferences and goals make this an astonishingly complex process for something as trivial in importance and net gain as picking where to get a meal that will cost each of you about $10 and be over in 40 minutes.  Now, imagine hundreds or thousands of egomaniacs coming to even a common goal (starving the middle class to death, enslaving us, confiscating all of our property, replacing every white person with a BIPOC) much less agreeing on a strategy or timetable.

The other problem is that conspiracies are readily spied upon by government agencies or even private enemies even when they are not at least in part government entrapment schemes.  

As a friend active in the antiwar movement of the 1970s observed: "You could always tell who the FBI agent was: he was the guy who thought burning down the ROTC building was a really neat idea."

Anytime three or more people gather to plot an action against a government (Czarist, National Socialist, Victorian England denying Irish nationhood,  U.S. Government, French Indo-China) I think it is a good bet that at least one of your fellow "freedom fighters" will be an agent or someone who can be turned by the threat of severe punishment.  Think of spending the next twenty years inside a federal prison and how rapidly turning on your cellmates will seem a fit response to the stupidity that one of them did to put you on the Checka's interrogation list.  

It cannot be your own loose talk or sloppy use of the dead drop. Even if you can intellectually admit that you screwed up, the prospect of 20 years in federal prison will rapidly persuade you otherwise.   If you are confronting something far worse (20 years of Siberian exile, drawing and quartering, 10 years in an Arctic forced labor camp, Buchenwald) the transformation from courageous revolutionary to state's witness will be blindingly quick.

If you are ever in the horrible situation of seeing the cattle cars being loaded up with political dissidents or door-to-door searches for Jews: avoid conspiracies.   You will fight the "It has to have a salad bar/not Japanese again" problem and the confidential informant problem.  Lone wolves really are a huge difficulty for governments.  

Where will they strike next?  We cannot concentrate all of our Gestapo agents in one place without leaving other places exposed.  

Curiously, it now appears that the much feared Gestapo had a tiny number of agents in prewar Germany.  It was the willingness of ordinary Germans to report on their peers that made the Gestapo so powerful.  Today, it is the promiscuous use of antisocial media.

A friend's uncle was an engineer and made some uncomplimentary remarks about Hitler just before leaving work.  The Gestapo were waiting for him when he finished bicycling home.  Only his value as an engineer prevented six weeks in custody from ending much worse.

A lone wolf is admittedly not as destructive as the elaborate plan that takes out the Lubyanka prison in one earthshaking  explosion.  But 100 snipers attacking government offices at random intervals will create chaos and terror entirely disproportionate to the damage.  Shooting out the entrance doors to a government building just as workers for the Ministry of Love are arriving need not kill a single employee.  If such actions happen repeatedly at unpredictable intervals, employees will stop wearing the Anti-Sex League sash and coming to work.  Actually avoiding killing anyone is a win; the resulting chaos exposes how little love the workers have for Big Brother and creates no martyrs for the cause of LGBTWTF.  (This is a new variation of the most desperately mutating identity tag in history.  The Life of Brian battles over what to call the different Judean Liberation Front factions is downright reasonable by comparison 

A single lone wolf may well attract other members to be an uncoordinated pack.  Three snipers at work from different hides (one on a rooftop, one at fourth floor, and one from an automobile hide such as was used in the DC sniper murders after 9/11) along Kurfurst Strasse into the Foreign Ministry are 3x the work to find as one conspiracy.

This is of course a purely historical evaluation.  I believe the midterm elections will deliver a defeat to the National Socialist Billionaires Party that might actually lead to Congressional oversight.

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Because the News Media Are Incorrectly Reporting That Concealed Carriers Seldom Stop Mass Murderers

Go here for a very long list of such incidents. 

Triumph of Western Civilization By What Was Then the Leading Nation of It


Should We Require the Indianapolis Hero to Train Denver Police?

 7/20/22 Denver Post:

Denver police on Wednesday defended the actions of three officers who wounded six bystanders — one more than originally reported — while shooting a suspect in Lower Downtown early Sunday morning.

Cmdr. Matt Clark showed still images from the officers’ body-worn cameras that showed 21-year-old Jordan Waddy facing officers and pulling out a gun before three officers fired seven rounds at about 1:35 a.m. Sunday at Larimer and 20th streets.

The officers shot Waddy but also wounded six bystanders in the busy district, which was especially crowded as bars closed and patrons moved into the streets. Clark on Wednesday refused to say how many of the wounded bystanders were shot, saying he could not determine whether they were hit by direct gunfire or injured by flying debris....

The incident began when officers regularly tasked with patrolling the area as bars close each night witnessed a fight between Waddy and another man outside the Larimer Beer Hall in the 2000 block of Larimer Street. Waddy struck the man and officers believed he was concealing a gun in his clothing, Clark said.

The officers followed Waddy and confronted him in the middle of the street — which was closed to traffic and empty of pedestrians. Waddy did not listen when officers told him to stop, and instead walked away from officers and back to the sidewalk, closer to the crowds.

The officers briefly lost sight of him behind a vehicle. When they saw him again, he pulled the gun from his clothing within two seconds, prompting the officers to fire. Waddy fumbled with the gun as he pulled it out, and appeared to grab it on the top, with his hand over the slide, Clark said.

He did not hold the gun in a “pistol grip” and it’s not clear if he could have fired it the way he grabbed it, Clark said. He said the officers believed the muzzle of the gun pointed at officers as Waddy pulled it out. The officers believed they were in mortal danger and fired, Clark said.


1. If drunk and disorderly, do not pull out a gun.

2. Stay away from bars.

3. If you have a legitimate basis to use deadly force, hit that target, not the bystanders.  If you cannot, wait until you can.

4. When gun banners insist that only "trained professionals" are competent enough to be armed in public, point to Dicken in Indianapolis and Denver PD.

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

The Hero in Indianapolis

The Greenwood PD is now reporting that Eli Dicken took 15 seconds to neutralize the mass murderer at 40 yards.

Courage.  Practice.  Luck.  You need some of each.  I really need to go shooting this weekend.

Save the Earth!

7/15/22 Los Angeles Times article about how all those solar panels California made happen starting in 2006 are becoming a recycling problem.

Wow!  There really is no free lunch!  Who would have guessed.

How Many Giant Animal Movies Were There?

Them! really started it with giant irradiated ants.  YouTube has a channel of old science fiction movies, free, and you look at the titles and you see why.  The Killer Shrews, Attack of the Giant Leeches (to what do they parasite?), The Giant Gila Monster.   And other classics The Brain That Wouldn't Die, War of the Insects, Invasion of the Neptune Men, Cat Women of the Moon, The Brain Eaters!  There was a lot of money available to make horrible movies back then. 

FBI Report on Active Shooters

Active Shooter Incidents in the United States in 2021  There are no great surprises.  Active shooter incidents were flat until 2020, rising in 2020 and 2021.  In 2021 2 out of 61 shooters wore body armor.  14 were killed by law enforcement; 4 by citizens. 12 of the 61 incidents met the federal definition of mass murder.  The number one state for active shooters was California with six.  This is unsurprising; they are the most populated state and those assault weapon laws are clearly doing a great job!  The average casualties have fallen substantially since 2017 (largely because of the high casualty count from the 2017 Las Vegas shooting).

Citizen Engagement and Casualties

In two incidents, citizens engaged the shooter.

In one incident citizens sustained injuries.

In one incident, seven employees exchanged

multiple volleys of gunfire with the shooter,

four of them during the final encounter

resulting in the death of the shooter.

Two people were killed (one customer and one

employee) and two employees were wounded

(one was shot in the arm and one in the leg).

The shooter was killed at the scene by armed


More on the Indianapolis Mass Murder, Interrupted

 Some have guessed that the uniquely spelled first name (Elisjsha) of the guy who stopped the mass murder suggested that he was black.  No.  Picture in 7/19/22 New York Post.  Unique spellings or names that appear to have spelled with an Ouija board were at one time more common among African-Americans but in the last few years these unique spellings often come from evangelical homes,  I do not really care which piano key color this hero was, but do not spread false information.

Monday, July 18, 2022

That Closeup I Posted a Day or Two Ago

 Was not so wonderful when printed.  I fiddled a little too hard on the wavelet processing.  Despeckle in GIMP helped.

This Lenovo P17 Gen. 2 just flies at this.  I am considering an upgrade from 32GB of RAM to 128GB.  There is apparently an asymptotic curve of RAM and speed with Windows.  (Yes, I know Windows is not a lightweight OS compared to Linux.)

Sunday, July 17, 2022

Mass Murder Interrupted by Armed Civilian

7/17/22 Fox Channel 3:
"4 dead, 2 wounded in shooting at Greenwood Park Mall; police said ‘good Samaritan’ shot and killed shooter"

Mass murderer had a rifle and multiple magazines.  These are still rare events but be prepared. 

A Busy Day

My wife hates unreliable cars so much that she does not like to wait for them to become a problem.   In addition our Springer Spaniels need more room.  The back seat is currently occupied by a cover to keep the seats clean from the dogs so it is generally too dirty to transport both grandkids.  The dogs currently ride in the back seat (the space behind the back sear is a bit crowded for them).  We went to a Mazda dealer where the sales associate informed us that they could not get new Mazdas to have on the lot; they were all sold before they arrived.   This is almost believable; the CX-5 and CX-50 have awesome reviews. 

The Jeep Compass was bigger than the Renegade behind the back seat but not dramatically so.

At the Hyundai dealer they had no new Tucsons. It seems anything Asian is in short supply.  They did have a certified Tucson Limited (the luxury version, all the electronics you good ever need with 1700 miles).  A couple bought this very expensive car, then separated, so back to the dealer it went.

We took it for a test drive and we bought it.  Leather seats with A/C ventilation in the seats (and of course heat for winter and a heated steering wheel).  Lane deviation warning with either beeping or actual intervention (thanks I still want to drive just warn me, please).  Along with the backup camera now required on all new cars, there was a feature that still mystifies me: at least in reverse you get a birds eye view showing you everything around the car.  Blinkers on gives a backward view better than the side view mirrors.  Lumbar support on the driver's seat.  A passenger seat with enough legroom for my 6'4" son-in-law (the little one in his family).  Sunroof.  Quiet enough at freeway speeds.  4WD with snow and mud settings.  Big back seat and only slightly wider than the Jeep.  And Hyundai's 10 year, 100,000 mile power train warranty.  Lots more storage space for luggage. Power lift gate.

Best of all, replacing the Jeep reduced our auto insurance $186/year.  I am guessing blind side avoidance has paid off in accident claims. 

Saturday, July 16, 2022

For All the Never Trumpers: There is Fruit

7/16/22 Daily Mail:
"Judge rules Biden

administration's LGBTQ directives forcing schools and workplaces to allow trans people to use bathroom of their choice infringes on states' rights"

And yes a Trump appointment.   The Court has suddenly started to recognize where the insanity of results-oriented law takes you so I think this will survive.

Of all the utterly deranged policies the progressives latched onto with epoxy-like talons, mandating mixed sex locker rooms is likely the one that will definitively destroy them at election.   Even pretty radical feminists recognize the modesty and public safety craziness of this.  That Democratic politicians do not says all we need to know about the exclusivity of their bubbles.

I Have Boasted of the Reliability of my Wife's Jeep Renegade

The air conditioning was still cold but limited air flow.  It turns out the cabin filter needs replacing every 15,000 miles.  It was filled with dirt and tooth marks.  When we lived on the hill, those critters got in everything.   103,000 miles: $37 in repairs (for a very sloppy definition of repair).

Please, Tell Me Where All the Workers Went

Pretty much every business in the Boise area has help wanted signs offering $14 

Excuse While I Celebrate

While below the historical levels,

"Over all, 7 in 10 children live with two parents, about two-thirds live with two married parents, and about 6 in 10 live with both biological parents, according to the latest analysis, which is drawn from 2004 surveys.

In 1970, 85 percent of children were living with two parents and 11 percent with their mother only, proportions that shifted to a little more than 70 percent and slightly more than 20 percent, respectively, in 1990."

Okay 2004 is a while back, but would you have believed that even then, 60% of American children were growing up in an Ozzie & Harriet home?

The woke want us to believe that Modern Family is the norm.

The Progressive Idiocy

6/27/22 American Greatness quoting California Lt. Governor's attack on Clarence Thomas about abortion:
"Who is Clarence Thomas? Is he my Saudi Arabian father who’s going to tell me what I can and cannot do with my body, with my life?”

Of course, the Court did no such thing.  It returned abortion law to the states either by legislative action or in states with an initiative process, the people.  Many states (especially hers) will do nothing to interfere in that process.  Oh yes, "my body, my vaccine choice."  I think refusing vaccination was for most people a poor choice, but suddenly progressives care about choice.

Progressives wonder why they usually have trouble accomplishing their goals democratically at the state level.  Perhaps it is their contempt for democratic processes and persuading people except at gunpoint.  

Do not get me started about a tyrannical Supreme Court. I am old enough to remember "Imprach Earl Warren" bumper stickers over the Miranda decision.  And where was this concern about judicial tyranny when they were making decisions in Roe v. Wade and Lawrence v. Texas.  To progressives it is only judicial tyranny when they dislike the results.

I am no big fan of unlimited democracy.  Neither were the Framers, for the most part.  Unsurprisingly, no state governments granted the franchise to every adult male.  (A few granted it to free blacks.)

 I think mandating 18-year-old voting rights was a mistake, even more do with the juvenilization of Americans.  There are perfectly responsible and sensible 18-year-olds; there are many who have not had three years experience watching idiots destroy their jobs.  I want them to have enough real world experience to see that there are political differences in results before they vote.  If 18 is too long to buy a gun it is too young to vote.  We can reverse the juvenilization if we want.  Do we?

Friday, July 15, 2022

Why I Do Not Expect the Court to Strike Down the National Firearms Act Soon

There are a lot of gun rights activists who seem to have high hopes that the Court will overturn the National Firearms Act because of the Bruen decision. 

I think not and this is why.  The Court has seldom engaged in overturn of an existing collection of ideas overly quickly.  Brown v. Board of Education (1954) might have seemed sudden to segregationists but it was the last brick in a wall going back a couple decades.  

There were decisions starting in the 1930s ruling against racial segregation of public law schools.  Some of these laws were really amazingly tax-foolish.  Texas built an entire law school for five black law students rather than put them in the same classrooms as white students.   South Carolina, if my memory serves me correctly, hired tutors to teach two black law students instead of building a separate law school or integrating the existing one.  What can I say: Democrats are always willing to waste money for racist reasons.  

These previous decisions lead up to the not entirely shocking decision to prohibit de jure segregation K-12. 

Going the other way, Roe v. Wade (1973) did not just spring out of the ground.  Griswold v. Connecticut (1965) recognized a previously invisible right to privacy for married couples seeking contraception.   Married couples had a plausible claim to some sort of privacy because English law had always considered a married couple to be one person (almost always to the detriment of the wife's interests).  Later decisions extended this privacy right to contraception to unmarried couples where no English legal tradition had ever existed. 

The Court seldom jumps too far ahead of popular sentiment and when they do, the results often backfire.  The recent overturn of Roe v. Wade and the Bruen decision both reflect a fairly pronounced change in public sentiment about abortion and guns.  The Court's GVR orders (Grant writ of certiorari, Vacate an appellate court decision, and Remand to the original trial court for rehearing consistent with the Bruen decision) clearly intend to strike down not only good cause concealed carry laws but also state assault weapon and magazine limits.

Americans are not prepared for ready access to automatic weapons.  They may be ready for suppressors to be less restricted, especially because the Bruen decision's gutting of the two step scrutiny process leaves the government in the difficult position of defending the public safety benefit of suppressor licensing.  The original NFA hearings seem to have included suppressors with almost no explanation except related to unlawful hunting, which is hardly a public safety matter.

I do think the Hughes Amendment (1986) ban on new machine gun manufacturing for civilians is a first step that they might take, especially because U.S. v. Rock Island Armory did such an effective job of demonstrating that NFA regulation of machine guns was dependent on them being in commerce.  They could be taxed only as a consequence of interstate commerce.

There Are Natural Consequences

7/14/22 New York Times:
"When her final stint on probation ended last year and her juvenile record was sealed because she had turned 18, “It was like a whole chapter of my life that had been closed,” Ms. Guevara said in an interview. “I was free.”

But before long she began receiving monthly reminders that she was anything but. Bills totaling $60,000 in restitution owed for her crimes began pouring in, drowning the teenager in debt just as she had started trying to get back on her feet.

Ms. Guevara, now 19, is one of thousands of teenagers and young adults across the country paying restitution imposed by juvenile courts to compensate their victims for losses and damages related to their crimes. But a new report examining the practice asserts that many are paying into a broken system — one that often derails the lives of the young offenders the juvenile system was created to rehabilitate, all the while delaying or even denying compensation to their victims."

If victims are not receiving compensation I am concerned.   But reparative Justice is both moral and should be a message to young people that robbery, burglary, and fraud will make your life really, really hard.

If a victim decides to show mercy, that could be a wonderful learning experience for a young person trying to turn their life around.   But watching a relative or friend struggling for years because they injured someone may be a learning experience as well.

Why High-Capacity Magazines Are Needed

7/14/22 Fox News:

"The Escambia County Sheriff's Office released video of a Florida homeowner firing a rifle at home intruders as deputies try to identify the fourth suspect. 

Three of the suspects approached the victim's home while a fourth waited in a car. When the victim unlocked the front door, two of the men allegedly pushed their way inside and started attacking him, while the third waited outside with a handgun. 

The victim was armed but lost his gun during the scuffle, then ran to the back of his house and grabbed an AK-47-style rifle, which he started firing at the intruders, Escambia County Sheriff Chip Simmons said."

Multiple invaders.  Some convicted felons with guns.  Would I want 20 rounds with four home invaders?  Sure.  In the heat of a firefight you might well miss on the first shot or two.  You also want them to know that you will not be running out of rounds anytime soon.

First Use That I Have Seen of AR-15s For Military Service

 Civilian purchased by Finnish reservists.  Fascinating video overall.

Thursday, July 14, 2022

Was Sen. Hirono (D-HI) Absent in History?

7/13/22 Fox News:
"Who the heck would know what our Founding Fathers meant?"

Gee.  The Supreme Court claimed to know when they wrote Roe v. Wade (1973).  How do people this ignorant of history end up in Congress?

I would be happy to discuss the different models (good and bad) that the Court has used but it might involve words of more than two syllables and require a knowledge of American History.   That might be a bit much for her.

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Processed the Videos


These were taken with a 25mm eyepiece projection on an 8" f/7.  The camera lets me control frame exposure time but does not seem to preserve this in the EXIF data.

This was a single still ISO 100, 1/100th sec., prime focus.

I need to update the diagonal mirror holder to improve resolution.   That is a task that I have been dreading because I have remove the tube from the mount precisely locate four holes, drill them, remove the old spider, patch the old holes and then install the new spider.  Not a job for a hot day.

Which Do You Believe?

 7/12/22 Reuters:

KYIV, July 12 (Reuters) - Ukraine said on Tuesday it had carried out a long-range rocket strike against Russian forces and military equipment in southern Ukraine, territory it says it is planning to retake in a counter-offensive using hundreds of thousands of troops.

The strike hit an ammunition dump in the town of Nova Kakhovka in the Kherson region and killed 52 Russians, Ukraine's military said. It came after Washington supplied Ukraine with advanced HIMARS mobile artillery systems which Kyiv says its forces are using with growing efficiency.

and the Russian explanation:

Unverified videos posted on social media showed smoke and sparks, followed by an immense fireball erupting into the night sky. Images released by Russian state media showed a wasteland covered in rubble and the remains of buildings.

An official from the Russian-installed local administration said that Ukraine had used HIMARS missiles and that they had destroyed warehouses containing saltpetre, a chemical compound which can be used to make fertilizer or gunpowder. A large explosion resulted. \

Saltpeter does indeed explode but I think the ammunition dump rather than randomly hitting saltpeter warehouses is more likely. 

Monday, July 11, 2022

Too Late to Process the Videos Tonight

Some of the single exposures came out okay for a full and therefore non-contrasty Moon:

I need to remember the Citronella candles and Off!  Mosquitoes serve no ecological function that I can see except keeping human population down.

Hawai'i Seems to Have Gone Shall Issue

 Hawai'i Attorney-General sent a directive post-Bruen that "good cause" is no longer required.  There is a list of circumstances that would make someone not suitable for a license:

1. Whether the applicant has been involved in recent incidents of alleged domestic violence; 

2. Whether the applicant has been involved in recent incidents of careless handling or storage of a firearm;

 3. Whether the applicant has been involved in recent incidents of alcohol or drug abuse; 

4. Whether the applicant has been involved in other recent violent conduct. 

That does not seem a particularly silly list, unlike California.

Because Bruen recognized that either open carry or concealed carry had to be available, the open carry licensing remains pretty much the same.  Don't scare the tourists and keeping thugs guessing is really the best solution.

Fascinating Book

Vince Beiser The World in a Grain: The Story of Sand and How It Transformed Civilization.   On pp.60-1 he describes how a greedy capitalist named Owens largely eliminated child labor in the glass bottle manufacturing business by inventing a machine that took nearly all the skilled labor and time out of making glass bottles.   The bottle maker unions pushed children out of the workplace to reserve the best paying jobs for adults.  Even do-gooder groups gave him more credit for eliminating child labor than their efforts.  Self-interest can often yield public good.  All the leftists quoting Gordon Gekko "Greed is good" need to consider the real world not just the world that Hollyweird shows them.


 Have you ever heard anyone pronounce America this way in a non-ironic way?  The Urban Dictionary:

The term "murica" is the way how many people with extremely thick, American accents, pronounce "America". The term is used to denote extreme, extreme nationalism and patriotism, but not necessarily facism. It is generally seen as a derogatory yet humorous way to describe most Americans: fat, lazy, gunwielding, war loving, horse riding, saloon fighting, beer drinking, sex wanting or etc.

according to knowyourmeme, murica originated from a post in 2003, but then re-appeared a year later from the red states who voted for George Bush's re-election.

I hear privileged whites use it as a way of distinguishing themselves from those ignorant deplorables, but I cannot ever recall one of them using it. This satirical or ironic use reminds me of this scene from Airplane:

It was funny, but would never be allowed today by the voices of cancellation.  The next time you hear your privileged American friends use it, ask if it would okay to speak in an exaggerated black, inner city accent or jive.  No?  Then if you do the equivalent it is just racism!

When Adhesive Tape Is Not Enough

I wanted a photovoltaic panel to charge the battery box that I use for my telescopes.   Nice panel.  It produces 17V unloaded.  With the 12VDC plug it produces 13.3VDC when charging.  Just right to avoid overcharging.  (I guess that because of the plug there is some regulator to keep the voltage in the right range for its intended use.)

Originally I used adhesive tape to stick it to the clear plastic window of the telescope shed.  Of course it gets warm in there so within a couple days, the panel was on the floor.  The window pane is held in place by 7 or 8 screws through the pane into the wall.  The panel has several mounting holes.  Simple solution. Unscrew two of them and back through the mounting holes into the wall.

Sunday, July 10, 2022

The 10-Year-Old Rape Victim Story Gets Stinkier and Stinkier (The Rape Apparently Happened)

Over at Substack some troublemaker points out that even this rape victim exists, Ohio law does not prohibit an abortion.   It is a fetal heartbeat law.  There is no six week limit in the law.

It now appears the rape happened.  7/13/22 Columbus Dispatch:

A Columbus man has been charged with impregnating a 10-year-old Ohio girl, whose travel to Indiana to seek an abortion led to international attention following the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v Wade and activation of Ohio's abortion law.

Gerson Fuentes, 27, whose last known address was an apartment on Columbus' Northwest Side, was arrested Tuesday after police say he confessed to raping the child on at least two occasions. He's since been charged with rape, a felony of the first degree in Ohio.

Columbus police were made aware of the girl's pregnancy through a referral by Franklin County Children Services that was made by her mother on June 22, Det. Jeffrey Huhn testified Wednesday morning at Fuentes' arraignment. On June 30, the girl underwent a medical abortion in Indianapolis, Huhn said.

Huhn also testified that DNA from the clinic in Indianapolis is being tested against samples from Fuentes, as well as the child's siblings, to confirm contribution to the aborted fetus.

A  10-year-old?   If  convicted, let us hope he never comes out.  I understand child abusers are not held in high regard by savage felons.

Gcode Arcs

 I think that I am getting this, finally.

I started with th example and some graph paper.

g1 g20 g40 f500
g0 x0 y0 f500
g0 y1 f500
g0 y0 f500
g0 x-1 f500
g1 x1 f500
g1 x0
g1 y-1 f500
g0 x0 y1 f500

g2 x1 y0 i0 j-1 f500
g2 x0 y-1 i-1 j0 f500
g1 x0 y0 f250

No, I am not cutting 2500 ipm.  That might work on air, who knows?  But the backplot feature of linuxCNC was taking forever.  I altered MAX_VELOCITY in the config file.  I am running linuxCNC in VirtualBox.

The first G2 made a 90 degree arc; the two g2 made another 90 degree arc.  If this does not seem that hard that it should have taken hours to figure out, you have more working brain cells than me.  The next step is making an arc that is only part of a 10" circle.

I am sure there is a way to do a screenshot in linux, but I am not even sure what GUI this is:

Defunding Police

 6/3/22 Daily Caller reports that Seattle P.D. is no longer investigating adult rapes.  No funding no staff.   With a link to a truly tragic memo from the supervisor of the Sexual Assault Unit.

I am sure the people of Seattle are just saying "the end of white privilege."  How can people be this stupid?

It Is Tempting to Think This is a Fraud

United Nations Chronicle:

"The Benefits of World Hunger...
"We in developed countries sometimes see poor people by the roadside holding up signs saying "Will Work for Food". Actually, most people work for food. It is mainly because people need food to survive that they work so hard either in producing food for themselves in subsistence-level production, or by selling their services to others in exchange for money. How many of us would sell our services if it were not for the threat of hunger?
More importantly, how many of us would sell our services so cheaply if it were not for the threat of hunger? When we sell our services cheaply, we enrich others, those who own the factories, the machines and the lands, and ultimately own the people who work for them. For those who depend on the availability of cheap labour, hunger is the foundation of their wealth."

Saturday, July 9, 2022

Trans Crowd Self Identifies

7/7/22 Fox News:

"The Wisconsin Supreme Court's conservative majority ruled Thursday that a transgender woman cannot change her name because she is on the state's sex offender registry and the law does not allow people on the registry to change their names."

The crime itself makes me wonder why this person is not locked in a cell.  I know, I know, that shows no compassion.  I am saving my compassion for the next victim of this 6'5" woman.

Friday, July 8, 2022

I Have Long Considered This the Finest Newspaper Article Lede Ever Written

 5/2/92 Los Angeles Times:

In the shadow of a flaming mini-mall near the corner of 5th and Western, behind a barricade of luxury sedans and battered grocery trucks, they built Firebase Koreatown.

Richard Rhee, owner of the supermarket on the corner, had watched as roving bands of looters ransacked and burned Korean-owned businesses on virtually every block.

But here, it would be different.

“Burn this down after 33 years?” asked Rhee, a survivor of the Korean War, the Watts riots and three decades of business in Los Angeles. “They don’t know how hard I’ve worked. This is my market and I’m going to protect it.”

Why Gasoline Prices Are Not Dropping

At least here.  7/8/22 Yahoo News:
"U.S. SPR release were exported to Europe and Asia last month, including top US geopolitical nemesis in the global arena, China, even as U.S. gasoline and diesel prices hit record highs."

Is the Big Guy getting his 10%?

I Am Not Going to Blame the California Refugees

7/7/22 KTVB:
"New data from the Idaho State Police Bureau of Criminal Identification's “Crime in Idaho” report for 2021 shows the number of reported rape cases is up 11.83% compared to 2020. Cases of incest are also exponentially higher over the year with an increase of 833.33%."

Our whole society is collapsing at so many levels.  The decision to believe in nothing in order to believe in anything is bearing its expected fruit.  "But they is not what we wanted."  No, but is what happens.  I am reminded of Thomas Paine's complaint that Christianity with its threats of damnation had failed to solve the serious problems.   Franklin responded that with those threats it had not been completely effective what will it be like without them?  I fear the answer stands before us.

Thursday, July 7, 2022

How Black Republicans Will Slaughter Democrats in November

La'Ron Singletary running for Congress.

From Where Does Idea of Christian Nationalism Come?

 To quote the Library of Congress website:

It is no exaggeration to say that on Sundays in Washington during the administrations of Thomas Jefferson (1801-1809) and of James Madison (1809-1817) the state became the church. Within a year of his inauguration, Jefferson began attending church services in the House of Representatives. Madison followed Jefferson's example, although unlike Jefferson, who rode on horseback to church in the Capitol, Madison came in a coach and four. Worship services in the House--a practice that continued until after the Civil War--were acceptable to Jefferson because they were nondiscriminatory and voluntary. Preachers of every Protestant denomination appeared. (Catholic priests began officiating in 1826.) As early as January 1806 a female evangelist, Dorothy Ripley, delivered a camp meeting-style exhortation in the House to Jefferson, Vice President Aaron Burr, and a "crowded audience." Throughout his administration Jefferson permitted church services in executive branch buildings. The Gospel was also preached in the Supreme Court chambers.

Jefferson's actions may seem surprising because his attitude toward the relation between religion and government is usually thought to have been embodied in his recommendation that there exist "a wall of separation between church and state." In that statement, Jefferson was apparently declaring his opposition, as Madison had done in introducing the Bill of Rights, to a "national" religion. In attending church services on public property, Jefferson and Madison consciously and deliberately were offering symbolic support to religion as a prop for republican government.

James Caan Obituary mentions his recent death but neglects to include with what many of the comments agree with me: Rollerball and Thief were great films.  He was understated in both and Rollerball is one of the great hopeful, dystopia films.  Thief is a story of a bad guy trying to rehabilitate that but finds out too late that his employer has other plans.  The closing sequence is gritty, bloody realistic using a .45.  A friend who saw it has absolutely no memory of the closing.  It ranks up there with Looking for Mr. Goodbar for most overwhelming endings.

Clock Drive Again

To my surprise and pleasure the Edward Byers company (for many years, the premiere clock drive maker) is still in business selling a complete clock drive gear set.  Made in USA.

Sing the Bee Gee's Tragedy As You Watch This

 Aussie military procurement specialist explains why the Bundeswehr spends way more than France but still has a joke of a military.  When he finally shows the ship whose refit was 13.5x estimate, try not to cry.

Already for the Treadmill

Or running on dark city streets.

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Worst Bad Choice of 2022

6/6/22 NBC News:
'A Texas police officer had the Uvalde gunman in his sights but never fired a shot, believing — perhaps incorrectly — that he needed permission to fire, a new study of the mass killing revealed Wednesday."

I am sorry, but until police officers develop the sense of a turnip, I refuse to be held responsible for what some idiot with a gun did.

I Am Sure That You Read Gulliver's Travels

He makes fun of the desire for immortality with a country where no one dies.  They just get more and more infirm in their 100+ and 200+ range.  Yes.  I do not feel a need to live forever but to feel 20 or 30 or even 50 again.

I Just Cannot Stay Up That Late

Old age catches up with you.  I did not have the energy to stay up until I could see Polaris to get polar alignment with the new mount.  Maybe when fall arrives. 

Red Flag Laws Work So Well!

 7/5/22 Reuters:

HIGHLAND PARK, Ill., July 5 (Reuters) - The man charged with killing seven people at a Chicago-area July Fourth parade slipped past the safeguards of an Illinois "red flag" law designed to prevent people deemed to have violent tendencies from getting guns, officials revealed on Tuesday....

Sergeant Chris Covelli of the Lake County Sheriff's Office said earlier in the day that Crimo had legally purchased a total of five guns, including the suspected murder weapon, despite having come to law enforcement's attention twice for behavior suggesting he might harm himself or others.

The first instance was an April 2019 emergency-911 call reporting Crimo had attempted suicide, followed in September of that year by a police visit regarding alleged threats "to kill everyone" that he had directed at family members, Covelli said....

According to Covelli, police responding to the second incident seized a collection of 16 knives, a dagger and a sword from Crimo's home in Highland Park, Illinois, the Chicago suburb where the shooting occurred on Monday. But no arrest was made as authorities at the time lacked probable cause to take him into custody, the sheriff's sergeant said.

"There were no complaints that were signed by any of the victims," Covelli explained....

Later on Tuesday came a separate statement from the Illinois State Police recounting that the agency had received a report from Highland Park Police declaring Crimo a "clear and present danger" after the alleged threats against relatives in September 2019.

At the time, however, Crimo did not possess a state "firearm owners identification (FOID)" card that could be revoked or a pending FOID application to deny. So state police involvement in the matter was closed, the agency said....

Three months later, at age 19, Crimo applied for his first FOID card, under his father's sponsorship. But because no firearm restraining order or other court action against Crimo had ever been sought, "there was insufficient basis to establish a clear and present danger and deny the FOID application," state police said.

Crimo passed four background checks in the purchase of his guns, all of them conducted in 2020 and 2021, well after the 2019 incidents that drew police attention, according to the state police.

Are you worried red flag laws might be used to disarm law-abiding people?  I wouldn't.