Wednesday, August 31, 2022

I See a First Amendment Challenge

8/28/22 New York Times:
"Trying to strike a balance between free speech and public health, California’s Legislature on Monday approved a bill that would allow regulators to punish doctors for spreading false information about Covid-19 vaccinations and treatments."

I am wondering if a government taking your medical license is really lawful.  There is a lot of claims being made that seem to not survive careful analysis, but even if a doctor says something incorrect if he actually believes it to be true, his First Amendment rights are being denied.  California fascist government.  No surprise. 

Coming Together: My DIY 5" Thumbscrews

I am still waiting for the 1/2" diameter thumb nuts to arrive and the blackening agent but I was able to:

1. Drill and tap a 6-32 hole in the collar.

2. Retap the 10-32 screw to correct for marring caused by the tapping.

3. Turn in the 6-32 x 3/16" set screw.  First I discovered that although coming from the same drawer at Ace Hardware, at least one was flat screw head.  Do you have any idea how hard it is to keep a set screw on a flat head screwdriver?  Magnetizing the screwdriver did not help.  It almost seems as though the set screw is not steel.  After I lost that one, the next one fit a 1/16" Allan head wrench.

4. You are supposed to countersink tapped holes but my smallest countersink is too large to fit in the available space.  I obviously need to buy a midget (is that word still allowed?) countersink.  Still, it went in (perhaps because my starter hole was with a center drill which leaves a small countersink) and screwed it down onto the screw quite solidly.

It is not going anywhere on that screw.

It turns out that the collar on the 5/8" diameter thumb nut is quite a bit smaller and drilling an tapping a 6-32 hole is impractical.  Let's try the simple but inelegant solution: SuperGlue!  Or look for a 4-40 set screw.  Let that dry an hour or so and see if it passes the application test.

This Sounds a Bit Worse Than Run-of-the-Mill Bipolar Disorder

8/30/22 Los Angeles Times:
"The nurse facing murder charges for allegedly slamming her Mercedes-Benz into traffic this month in Windsor Hills was in the throes of a “frightening” mental health crisis in the days, hours and minutes before the crash, new court records filed by her attorneys show.

"The fiery crash killed five, including a pregnant woman and a baby. The Los Angeles district attorney charged Linton with six counts of murder, including the pregnant woman’s unborn child."

Remember, in California killing an unborn child ID still homicide unless performed by a licensed physician. 

"She ran out of her apartment in May 2018 during a panic attack, and when police approached her, she jumped on a police car and was arrested for disorderly conduct, her attorneys wrote.

"A few days after that arrest, Linton told her family that she believed she was possessed by her dead grandmother."

There was a time when these events would have led to an involuntary commitment not a nursing career.

One of Those Technical History Videos That I Just Love


A Hobby Suddenly Very Active

Planespotting.  There are so many videos on YouTube showing arrivals of NATO aircraft at RAF bases.  B-52s, C-17s, C-130s, F-15s. There is a pile of money being spent reminding Putin that an invasion of an Article V member will lead to either near extermination of the Russian people in thermonuclear war or a NATO flag over the Kremlin in just a few weeks.  Russia cannot even beat a small country with a few modern NATO weapons.  A full NATO war would be the end of the Russian Army.  But the planespotters are having a grand time.

Rough Finish

 I have whined in the past about the rough surface from my supposed finish mill especially relative to my roughing mill.  The roughing mill is two flute; the finish mill is four flutes.  I think i see the problem.

At Least He No Longer Thinks We Need Cannon

 8/30/22 The Blaze:

President Joe Biden taunted "brave right-wing" Americans who say guns are needed to defy government overreach during a speech in Pennsylvania.

Biden was at a campaign stop on his "Safer America" tour when he made the comments.

"For those brave right-wing Americans who say it's all about keeping America, keeping America independent and safe, if you want to fight against the country, you need an F-15. You need something a little more than a gun," said Biden.

"No, I'm not joking, think about this, think about the rationale we use, that's used," he added.
Also the rationale used by the author of the Bill of Rights in Federalist 46. This was the best the Democratic Party could find?  Do they really have no idea from where the popular unrest comes?  It is not from watching CNN.

Cooler heads are on our side:

"Pure provocation. We don’t need or want violence, we are going to defeat this regime at the ballot box, this is what they fear the most, that’s why are they are trying to provoke us. Don’t take the bait, engage at every level of the political process !" tweeted congressional candidate Joe Kent.

"Did the sitting President of the United States just say that he's willing to turn the military on citizens?" read another response.

Others pointed out the irony of Biden saying more than guns are needed to fight the U.S. government on the one-year anniversary of his order to pull the U.S. military out of Afghanistan.

Biden made similar comments in June 2021, but added that Americans would need "maybe some nuclear weapons" to fight against the U.S. government.

Do not allow this clueless idiot provoke civil war.  They need to draw first blood. 

Why Would You Murder People Over a Bad Dry Cleaning Job?

 It was not the often hypothecated "he had a gun and lost his temper."  He went somewhere and returned with two rifles.

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Arguing Against Interest

That is what lawyers call it when you make a claim or present a fact that undercuts your argument.  I guess when CBS News presents news like this, evidence of partisan misbehavior at the FBI must be pretty strong.  8/30/22 CBS News:

"Timothy Thibault, a top-level FBI agent who had been under fire for his role in investigations regarding President Biden's son, Hunter Biden, resigned late last week and was walked out of the FBI, two U.S. officials confirmed. But these officials also said that Thibault had reached retirement age, and they added that all of those who retire hand over their badge and gun and are escorted out of the building."

Yes and their are leprechauns in my garden, too.  I have never seen an employee escorted out of a building except for misconduct.  As the article observes members of Congres have relied on whistle-blowers concerning this matter and FBI Director Wray responded to allegations:
""If there are allegations of misconduct by FBI employees, we want to make sure that we get that information so we can use the tools we have to go after that conduct," he said. "But certainly, I condemn in the strongest possible terms any prospect of retaliation against whistleblowers.""

If You See Something, Say Something

 8/29/22 KTVZ:

On his Instagram page Sunday, Miller posted a link to a now-deleted blog of sorts, which detailed his plan to take his own life and perform some type of mass shooting.

The post dates start on June 29, with a plan to shoot up Mountain View on the first day back to school, Sept. 8.

Sheila Miller, public information officer with Bend PD, addressed the posts in a news conference Monday. 

"We are aware that the shooter may have posted information online regarding his plan,” Miller said. “We're investigating this. We have no previous threats or prior knowledge of the shooter. We received information about the shooter's writings after the incident had taken place."

He detailed his purchase of the AR-15 type rifle, a sawed-off shotgun and preparation of Molotov cocktails, all of which were found at the scene or in Miller's car.

He also expressed his issues with work, society, rage, loneliness and love.

A Saturday post states: “I'm done waiting, I can't wait any longer.”

If you see stuff like this on social media, call the police.  A mental hospital visit for someone this upset is better than murder/suicide.  Even someone willing to listen while he expressed his frustrations might have helped.

How Dangerous is America?

 I know privileged whites in terror of gunmen in a mall murdering them.  Some European tourists are also in fear because of how gun murders are portrayed as a widespread problem here.  So how much danger are you in from gunfire?  I am using FBI publication Crime in the United States 2019 because this is the last year all the data appears in one easy to analyze publication,  From 2020 onward you use something called Crime Data Explorer with which I have little experience,  Also, 2019 was the last largely pre-COVID year and before the intentionally ginned up murder increase.

At first glance 13,927 murders (Of those 74% were with guns) sounds pretty bad compared to many nations with much smaller populations.  Total murder rate is 5.0/100,000 population.  Still not great but the distribution details are interesting and eye-opening about risk.

Whites (more than 234 million Americans) are victims in 42% of all murders.  That means they have a 2.3/100,000 murder rate.  This is substantially lower than the murder rates of some European nations.  White people are at very low risk of being murder victims.  Conversely, black people are at very high risk, with a murder rate of 16.5/100,000.  This is an ongoing tragedy for black Americans, one that gun banners like to overlook.  If you are looking to blame white supremacists for this, clutch another straw: 40% of the murderers are black.  Again, this is a tragedy for black Americans.  There is a nasty aphorism that if you are Dr. Martin Luther King Blvd. in almost any big city, find a freeway onramp and leave.  Sadly, this is true and doubtless reduces tourist dollars in these communities.

To put this risk in perspective compared to other risks, the white death rate from motor vehicle crashes (not all of which are necessarily accidents) is 12.5/100,000.  If you are worried about dying on vacation in the U.S., worry more about a traffic accident killing you.

There is also a message here for gun owners.  For whites (and especially whites outside of big cities) who carry a gun for self-defense, make sure your seatbelt is fastened, engage in "defensive driving," do not drink even a little and drive, and get off the streets at night, when 30% of DUI deaths happen.

Thanks to Anthony for causing me to check my arithmetic.  My point remains the same.  Murder for white Americans is pretty darn rare.

Leave My Carbon Sink Alone!

8/24/22 Washington Post:
"“It contributes nothing,” says M.J. Veverka about her lawn, which she’s watered and weeded and mowed for 31 years — and for what? The lawn is static, nonfunctional, tedious. Last year Veverka filled in her backyard pool, removed the surrounding lawn and enlisted Mattei’s company to turn the space into an oasis of native plants, a “homegrown national park,” in the words of a grass-roots movement for regenerating biodiversity. Veverka so loves the backyard — which is now an evolving work of horticultural art and a functioning component of the surrounding ecosystem — that she wants to do the same thing with her front yard."

That lawn soaks up carbon dioxide.  I thought that was a good thing.

You just cannot make the left happy. 

Monday, August 29, 2022

Planning For Putin's Nightmare Landscaping

One of the big issues after a thermonuclear Holocaust, just in case that is not enough, is food.  Yes, canned food is safe.  Just wash off the can.

Remember that the average American is carrying at least three weeks of reserve meals on them at all times.  The Civil Defense Diet will doubtless reduce long term cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and joint problems.  Short term, a lot of stress-related heart attacks and people overdoing it while digging through the rubble at the nearest Doritos factory.

But what about food not yet harvested?  The radioactive part of the fallout is dust and should wash off early. Wash the wheat before you grind it into flour.  Animals are a problem because they are not very competent at taking direction.  Herbivores will take in large quantities of radionuclides.  As predators up the food chain concentrate the nasties plan to take bear off your menu.

Now here is where it gets interesting.  A lot of the radionuclides are short-lived: I-131 has an 8 day half-life; in 32 days it will be at 1/16th initial levels.  Unfortunately iodine is a  critical nutritional component so you need to keep your body flushed with non-radioactive iodine for a few weeks.

Many of the nasty radionuclides have long half-lives like strontium-90 (29 years) and its daughter yttrium-90 (64 very hot days).  Strontium is especially important because it is chemically similar enough to calcium to replace it in your body (bones, neurotransmitters, teeth in growing children).  In some of these places these are permanent and will continue to spread radiation in destructive ways for many inches or even feet for years (beta particles in these cases with substantial range).

What about this stuff in the ground and water?  The short-lived stuff would decay to undangerous elements before most makes it into harvestable crops.  It might be best to live on whatever emergency food as long as you can.  In five years, a big fraction of the Sr-90 and Cs-137 will have decayed in the ground: that which is incorporated into the crops has another few months to cool and another month or two to reach your table.

Now we get to the cost-benefit ratio.  You have (slightly) radioactive wheat.  You are hungry.  Not "I want some Doritos" but I have not eaten in a week.  That wheat may cause stomach cancer in five years. Hunger, or Thunderdome, may kill you in the meantime.  Eat the bread.  If you are 60 or above, you will probably die of old age before the cancer.  Reserve the canned food for the younger ones.

What about radiation affecting the most common elements we use.  Hydrogen under neutron attack turns to deuterium which is not radioactive.  The tiny fraction of deuterium with a one petasecond dalliance with a neutron goes to radioactive tritium.  Most of the other elements (carbon, nitrogen, oxygen) have two isotopes: a very common one and the plus one neutron which is also stable.  It takes a lot of unlucky collisions to make much N-16, C-14, or O-18.  Worry more about botulism.

If You Have a Legal Reason to Shoot...

Announcing it is stupid.   8/9/22 WPEC:
" According to officers, a 911 call came in saying someone had been shot, the caller also said he shot the person who took a short-barreled shotgun out of a car, threatening to "shoot the crowd up".

The Redacted Affadavit

Read it here.  I understand that names and descriptions of job duties of people that work for Trump might need redaction to prevent retaliation against informants but this many pages blacked out in their entirety is hardly in that category.   Even if the content of some of these documents were very sensitive a general overview ("classified briefing on new reconssaince aircraft") would be better than blacked out pages.  That they grabbed his passports shows more like a fishing (trawling?) expedition. 

My Work Shows Up in Surprising Places

 Harness v. Watson (5th Cir. 2022).  This is mostly a challenge to Miss. Const. sec. 241 (how big is this beast?) concerning deprivation of the vote for any person "convicted of murder, rape, bribery, theft, arson, obtaining money or goods under false pretense, perjury, forgery, embezzlement or bigamy."

• As opposed to previous state constitutions' extending the right to bear arms to "all persons," Miss. Const. art. I, § 15 (1868), the 1890 constitution gave that right only to "every citizen," enabling the legislature to "regulate or forbid carrying concealed weapons," Miss. Const. art. VIII, § 12 (1890). These provisions, of course, were intended to prevent Black Mississippians from arming. See Ward v. Colom, 253 So. 3d 265, 279 (Miss. 2018) (King, J., dissenting) (explaining that these alterations were "craftily designed to obstruct or deny certain rights to African Americans" (quoting Westley F. Busbee, Jr., Mississippi: A History 178 (2d ed. 2015)); Clayton E. Cramer, The Racist Roots of Gun Control, 4 Kan. J. L. & Pub. Pol'y 17 (1994)).

Annoying Discovery About Microsoft Edge

 I am a little tight on disk space so I used Ccleaner's Duplicate File Finder.  I found some duplicates caused by reinstalling software such as the HP LaserJet files with a very subtle directory name distance.  Rather than delete files one by one, I just deleted the entire directory.  In some cases, it appears that an installation copy duplicated a /usr/bin copy (Cygwin, mostly).

But there are three copies of many files associated with Microsoft Edge, a browser I do not use.  Why would Edge be installed multiple times and not on top of existing versions?

Sunday, August 28, 2022

Something New for New York to Freak Out About

8/26/22 Syracuse News reports that N.Y. is now prohibiting sales of whipped cream to under 21s.  Why? I knew that these are charged with nitrous oxide which can be used as an intoxicant.  I had no idea anyone would put the energy into it 

How Are Idaho Schools?

There is a lot of complaining about Idaho being 50th in the nation in public schools.  We are 49th in spending per pupil but this report on National Assessment on Educational Progress shows that in 4th and 8th grade reading and math Idaho is above the national average.

Spending can help but it is not necessary.   The value that parents put on education and the commitment level of the teachers really matters.

Cricket Wireless

We have been paying our Cricket Wireless bill for a couple of years through our checking account AutoPay.  Suddenly they say they cannot get a payment.   I try to pay through their webpage with my Discover card and they cannot verify the card.   Of course there are no humans.   It appears all their payment systems have failed.  Why is this so hard?

Have any of you had a wireless provider that has managed payments for more than a year?

Saturday, August 27, 2022

What Happened to California's Drought?

8/26/22 Arizona Republic reports that part of I-10 was washed out by flooding.

Now growing up in L.A., it was true that an inch of rain often reduced drivers to utter incompetence.  (An inch of snow would cause famine.)  Washing out an Interstate is more than a little rain.

Remember When Female Genital Mutilation Was a Horror We Could Not Allow?

 This Post-Millenial article makes some horrifying claims.  

The Seattle Children's Hospital Gender Clinic gives patients puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones & so-called "gender-affirming" surgeries, and they begin seeing patients at the age of 9.

The clinic accepts new patients as young as 9 years old and "sees patients who have begun to show signs of puberty development. Gender-affirming medical care, such as puberty blockers, are not considered until patients have begun puberty development."

So I checked them.

Resources for prepubertal children and their families:Seattle Children’s Gender Clinic sees patients who have begun to show signs of pubertydevelopment (if you or your pediatrician have questions about your child’s puberty development,your pediatrician can reach out to our team by submitting our e-consult form). Gender-affirmingmedical care, such as puberty blockers, are not considered until patients have begun pubertydevelopment. For prepubertal children, caregivers can offer support around gender explorationand social transition, including learning about gender diversity, connecting with other families ofgender diverse children, connecting with affirming primary care and mental health providers,and advocating for children in school and legal settings. We hope the resources below will be ahelpful start.

The consequences for this sort of messing with hormones and then mutilating teens in the name of the fad de jour are horrifying.  Unlike playing around with your sexual orientation, once you remove breasts and genitals, there is no going back.  This is why I have long thought of homosexuality as almost normal and unremarkable compared to this headlong rush to permanently alter the OEM parts.

That doctors are active participants in this barbarism is horrifying; that many parents go along with or even encourage makes me think of the women in the Middle East who both perform and justify clitoridectomies.

Cross-dress; change your pronouns; pretend that you have catgender; but leave the children a chance to grow up unmutilated.

Student Loan Forgiveness

The Wharton School of Business at University of Pennsylvania analyzed Biden's bribe to lawyers and doctors:
"Summary: We estimate that forgiving federal college student loan debt will cost between $300 billion and $980 billion over the 10-year budget window, depending on program details. About 70 percent of debt relief accrues to borrowers in the top 60 percent of the income distribution."

Blackening Zinc Plate

The 5" screws are zinc plated.  There are products specifically made for blackening zinc plated steel.  It is not commonly stocked as near as I can tell.  Instead of oxidizing the zinc, it  molybdates it.  This is curious because zinc molybdate is white not black.

I used one of the DIY black finishes a few years ago for an American Arms PK-22, a licensed copy of the PPK which uses a zinc frame and receiver.  It came out okay, but I wonder if this product might have been a better choice.

The combination of thumb nut and 5" screw should work.

It is a tight enough fit at the head that I doubt it will move on the screw either direction.  I may put a lock washer between head and thumb nut and a lock washer and nut on the other side as well to get it very screw.  Another extreme solution is the drill a hole in the other end and use a set screw to lock it very solidly to the screw.

Turning it into the mirror holder, the thumb nut turned on the screw, so next step is lock washer.  I have an application test.

I thought that I ordered 5/8" diameter thumb nuts but these are 1", a bit too big.  No, I ordered 1". I was clearly no thinking so I ordered some with 5/8" diameter.

The more I think about it, once I get the right thumb nuts the more I think I will do some small set screws to hold these in place.  Setting them up in the mill to drill the holes and tap is easy. 

Friday, August 26, 2022

Why Linux Does Not Replace Windows

 I just installed Linux Cinnamon dual boot on my old laptop and indeed it is very speedy compared to Windows 10.  But the TP-Link USB WiFi adapter is not recognized.  Okay, it is a year or two old, so I should not expect Linux to recognize it but searching the web for how to install drivers for it has been so far fruitless.  I am blogging through an Ethernet cable.  I understand sudo apt update etc. and roughly understand git's purpose, but I would not expect any non-techie to have a clue how to get WiFi working.

This seems to indicate that they are not available.

I had another clunkier TP-Link USB adapter which came right up.  It is not AC1300 but it works.

The AC1300 does not work in the Linux box in the workshop either.  LinuxCNC recognizes it as WiFi but that is as far as it goes.  It does not appear as though a/b/g/n work, much less ac.

Small Town America Mass Murders

While many of these incidents take place in big cities (where people live in large concentrations), much like today, many are in very small towns, such as Merriman, Nebraska.  I wonder if some of these are crimes of opportunity in places where there was no fear of opening the door to a stranger.  They are often unknown as to reason.

Merriman, Nebr. (1952)

03/26/1952: An unknown person shot and killed the father, wounded the mother, and a son.  As the mother called for help, the murderer circled the house and shot the mother fatally as she held the phone.  A neighbor, unaware of what had happened approached the murderer’s car as he left and was wounded.  The murderer also shot to death another neighbor who approached the murderer’s car.

Category: family non-resident

Suicide: no

Cause: unknown

Weapon: shotgun, pistol[1]

[1] "Ranchers Hunt Murderer Who Slew 3 People", [Columbia City, Ind.] Commercial-Mail, Mar. 27, 1952, 1.

Thursday, August 25, 2022

Time to Stop Reading Mass Murders for the Day

 They are all grim, but the postpartum mothers who murder all their children and then commit suicide are especially bad; they require me to watch Spongebob Squarepants.

Pistol Safes

A friend forwarded this article to me.  It is 10 years old but the lack of response from the makers makes me wonder if they have fixed these flaws or just figured that most 3-year-olds are not going to try to open a pistol safe.

Quite literally, some of these were opened by the author's 3-year-old lifting one side of the safe and dropping it.  The locking mechanism is spring-loaded and even trivial vibration is enough.  Even better, many of these are Cal. DOJ approved.

Yes, if screwed to a flat surface this approach would likely not be feasible but could you bang one on the side hard enough?

I keep my guns in a Browning safe that is not spring-loaded and only Bam-Bam from the Flintstones could lift and a safe whose mechanism I fully understand which is not readily defeated by this approach.  I would love to know if any of the current safes (made in China, of course) have fixed these problems.  I have also read that some kitchen cutlery can defeat some of them.

Library Censorship?

9/23/22 NBC News:

For months, a group of conservative Christians have inundated the staff and board of a public library in Bonners Ferry, Idaho, with complaints about books they didn’t want to see on the shelves.

Their list of more than 400 titles predominantly focuses on young adult books with LGBTQ characters, scenes describing sexual activity or invoking the occult.

The only problem: None of the books are in the library’s collection. ....

“We want a strongly written policy that will not allow the library to order materials with sex acts,” the group stated on Facebook this month, adding that the American Library Association “has brainwashed our libraries” into believing this is a First Amendment issue.

The fight in Bonners Ferry over what books are allowed in the Boundary County Public Library echoes battles playing out at libraries across the country. Conflicts over literature that discuss sexuality and contain explicit passages have bled from school board meetings into library board meetings, as conservative and far-right activists call for bans on books, Pride Month displays and membership to the American Library Association.  

The problem is not the books that are already on the shelves but concern the library might put them on the shelves.  For those who find these concerns silly, let me ask you a few questions:

1. If your local public library purchased The Turner Diaries, would you be upset?  It is a well-written, entertaining, hate-filled book promoting theories of the Nuremberg Trials that are fiercely absurd and promoting race war against blacks, Jews, and Hispanics. (It seems to me to have some inspiration from Jack London's The Iron Heel, a similarly entertaining story of rebellion against capitalists.) Should public funds be expended to buy a book whose royalties doubtless end up in neo-Nazi pockets?  Should the limited shelf space in a library be used for a hate-filled book?

2. What about a serious book questioning the validity of the transgender claims?  Does that deserve public funds and shelf space?

3. What about 1960s hardcore porn, say High School Hooker

4.  The Plot Against Christianity The book "reveals the satanic hatred of Christ and Christians responsible for their mass murder, torture and slave labour in all Iron Curtain countries – all of which are ruled by Talmudists". After her death, it was retitled The Jewish Religion: Its Influence Today.

5. Any book promoting or giving a sympathetic portrayal of bestiality, female genital mutilation, or slavery?  Cannibals All! (1857) is historically important, but what about a modern work giving a sympathetic hearing to slavery?

If your answer is No, then you understand the dilemma of most Americans who are told to accept public libraries buying offensive and destructive trash, then called bigots for saying, "Not in public libraries."  You can still order such books from Amazon or other private institutions.  

"Not with my money!  Not in an institution which my taxes fund!"

8/24/22 Washington Post article about a town that defunded its library:

The National Library Association’s young adult branch named 10 winners in 2020, including a post-apocalyptic thriller about a boy searching for his lost dog, a science-fiction horror about twins with superpowers and a memoir about growing up nonbinary called “Gender Queer.”

Amber McLain, the library’s director at the time, ordered a copy of each. Pink-haired and openly queer, the 30-year-old stood out in a county that hadn’t backed a Democrat for president since 1864. Yet people embraced McLain, her former colleagues and patrons said.

“She helped bring my son out of his shell,” said one mother, Sara Crockett, checking out a STEM toy kit on a recent afternoon. “He’d light up when he saw her.”

“I miss Miss Amber,” 5-year-old Cecil said, clutching her hand.

Nobody complained about McLain until last November, after video of a Virginia mother condemning “Gender Queer” as “pornographic” took off on social media and protests against the memoir spread nationwide.

The 239-page graphic novel contains illustrations of masturbation, a sex toy and oral sex, as well as depictions of menstrual blood. Fans saw the scenes as part of the author’s coming-of-age experience, while critics blasted them as sabotage to developing minds. “Gender Queer” became the most banned book of 2021.

Reading the comments at the Washington Post is a reminder that America may need an amicable divorce.  Or the left can stop its abusive relationship with America.  Let us be us; stop trying to force us to be them.  But like most domestic abusers, the damage is so severe that I doubt they can stop.  "She made me do it!  She would not let me put obscene material around the house where the kids could find it.  She insisted that I could not take her paychecks and spend the weekend drinking on a Vegas weekend with my buddies!"

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

10-32 Thumbscrew

 As I feared 1/4" acetal turns okay in the lathe, as long as only an inch or two is outside the jaws.  (It fits through the spindle hole okay.)  But as it gets closer to the required .1513", it gets too flexible.  Fortunately, while hunting for a 10-32 die, I found a 5" long 10-32 screw.  These are a zinc finish so I guess gun blackening will work on this.  Then I just need some thumb nuts.  McMaster Carr has nylon and black oxide ones in 10-32.

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

In Other News, Americans Support Laws Banning Murder

8/23/22 AP:
"CHICAGO (AP) — Most U.S. adults think gun violence is increasing nationwide and want to see gun laws made stricter, according to a new poll that finds broad public support for a variety of gun restrictions, including many that are supported by majorities of Republicans and gun owners."

What laws do they want?

"Nicole Whitelaw, 29, is a Democrat and gun owner who grew up hunting and target shooting in upstate New York with her strongly Republican family. Whitelaw, who now lives along Florida’s Gulf Coast, supports some gun restrictions, such as prohibiting people convicted of domestic violence from owning firearms and a federal law preventing mentally ill people from purchasing guns."

Who is going to tell her?

That Rangefinder App

As cool as it was, suddenly I could not deposit checks through my First Tech Federal CU app.  I uninstalled it, restarted, and I can do deposits again.

Progressive Fact: "America Sends Too Many People to Prison"

 At Liberty Unyielding:

It’s common for progressives who hate the police to claim that America is guilty of “overpolicing” and “mass incarceration.” But as criminology professor Justin Nix notes, “Given its level of serious crime, America has ordinary levels of incarceration but extraordinary levels of under-policing.”

America has fewer police compared to its population than most developed countries. And as the above graph shows, it has far fewer police per homicide than most developed countries. America has less than a tenth as many police per homicide as Germany, Italy, Spain, Japan, Greece, Portugal, Austria, and the Netherlands.

America incarcerates fewer people per homicide than countries like Australia, Japan, Switzerland, and Australia, as you can see from the graph above.

Europe spends more of its economy on its police than the U.S. does. As a result, Europe has both a lower murder rate, and a lower rate of killings by the police. More cops on the beat means they can solve more murders, and catching murderers deters murders from being committed. If a murderer doesn’t think he will be caught, he may commit murder even if there are strict penalties for the few murderers who are caught. Nothing is more important in deterring crime than the rate at which criminals are caught.

Okay, America's lower police per homicide may reflect that America has a higher homicide rate (although only among blacks; our white murder rate compares favorably to any European country), but perhaps more police is part of why they have a lower murder rate.

Alt-Right Redistributing Russian Propagnda

 I am starting to see Russian propaganda cartoons coming through al-right channels.  One is Zelenskyy supposedly calling Americans "ridiculous, decadent, overfed and I have contempt for them."  No source of course.

Another cartoon shows a table filled with stereotypical Jews playing monopoly on a tabletop sitting a bunch of crouching people, with the caption, "If the people stand, the game is over."  Anti-Semitism has been at the core of Russian nationalism since the 1980s and of course goes back to Tsarist times.

Do not redistribute these Russian propaganda pieces.

I know the alt-right opposes support for Ukraine, part of a traditional non-interventionist foreign policy.  It used to be phrased as, "If we had not intervened in World War I, a negotiated settlement would have produced a less abusive treaty than Versailles and Hitler would not have risen."  Now I am hearing it as we should not have involved ourselves in World War II, even though both Hitler and Tojo had plans for dividing America at the Rockies.  The Alt-right has a substantial anti-Semitic element and this suddenly makes sense,

Perilously Close to the Stereotypical NYTimes Headline: End of the World Imminent: Blacks and Women Most Affected

8/23/22 New York Times:
Good morning. A surge in vehicle crashes is disproportionately harming lower-income families and Black Americans....

Vehicle crashes seem as if they might be an equal-opportunity public health problem. Americans in every demographic group drive, after all. If anything, poor families tend to rely more on public transportation and less on car travel.

Yet vehicle deaths turn out to be highly unequal. Lower-income people are much more likely to die in crashes, academic research shows. The racial gaps are also huge — even bigger on a percentage basis than the racial gaps on cancer, according to the C.D.C.



Monday, August 22, 2022

Toronto Police Boasts of Another Gun Off the Streets

Look at the picture.  Now, how deep and how long was this in Lake Ontario?  Is that a gun?  Or performance iron oxide art?

Magnificent in a T. Rex Sort Of Way

A YouTube video of a B-52 squadron arriving at an RAF base in Britain. If you have ever watched one climbing above you, you know what I mean.   That a plane so utterly absurd was built and still flies is amazing.  Like a T. Rex.

Can anyone ever forget Slim Pickens last rodeo?

In the event you never saw Dr. Strangelove, i recommend it.  For an absurdist better Red Than Dead movie it has some great lines.  Who can forget Gene Hackman:  "Do you know who you will have to answer to?" after someone shoots a Coke machine to get change for a phone call to stop World War III.  He responds "the Air Force?"   Hackman's deadpan response: "The Coca- Cola Company."

Come the Revolution there will likely be a shortage of film professors who have not fled to North Korea I can see teaching a film class where I have the students compare and contrast Dr. Strangelove and the grimly realistic Fail-Safe.

I Am Sure One Of My Elders Here Has Already Gone Through This

Mr. C is retired on disability. Mrs. C is beyond minimum Social Security retirement age.  As I read it, she is entitled to take early retirement at either her own retirement level or 50% of Mr. C's disability check.  Her monthly salary is below the level where it is partly subject to income tax.  

I would ask Social Security but waiting for hours in a phone queue is not attractive.  If this is correct in your experience, it MIGHT be worth getting in that queue.

Biometric Gun Safes?

 A relative is about to take the step to buying a handgun, so of course, he needs a gun safe.  I think a biometric handgun safe makes sense.  Anyone have any opinions?  This video demonstrates a couple security flaws with at least some Vaultek gun safes.

Idaho Enhanced Concealed Weapons License Class

 Saturday September 3rd 

Personal Protection Handgun Course
Idaho ENHANCED Concealed Weapon License
12 hour course 8am - 8pm
NRA Personal Protection in the Home Course exceeds Idaho 18-3302K ENHANCED Concealed Weapon License requirement, certificate recognized by all states as firearms training (Though NOT for certain states' CCW , see list below)
$199 Course Fee includes NRA handbook, fliers & NRA Course Completion & Idaho State Police Training Certificates. Classes are small (7 at most). PAID advance registration is required to reserve your seat. Class is open to Instructor-approved citizens who have no felonies or other legal gun-ownership disabilities. Liability Release form signature required.
Course consists of approximately 5 Hours Classroom, Hours on the Shooting Range, 2+ Hours Legal Instruction, 2 hours written test and wrap-up. Includes Basic Handgun Safety, Familiarization, Hands-on Firearms Handling, Shooting Skills & Instruction. Personal security & avoiding violent confrontations will be covered in depth. Safety & Awareness are critical.
Several hours will be spent on the firing range bringing student skills up to standards. Idaho State Law and Federal Law regarding firearms, concealed weapons, self-defense and after-event issues will be taught by a licensed Idaho attorney (formerly served as a public defender, a prosecutor and as an Idaho State deputy attorney general, and often competes in IDPA and IPSC shooting events)
BRING:  jacket & hat, Temps are expected to be warm, maybe even hot, and it sometimes gets cold, stormy and windy at the desert shooting range, and wear a button up shirt or turtleneck so no hot brass goes down your shirt to ‘brand’ you and make the event unsafe, eye and ear protection and handgun & at least 2 boxes of 50 rounds of factory ammunition ( Idaho law requires 98 rounds ), lunch ( some previous attendees have suggested you bring 2 lunches) snacks drinks notepad highlighter pencil post-its (Don't have a handgun or eye/ear protection? let me know I have a few loaners & can help you select the right one) NOTE -  class can go long due to questions to the lawyer, traffic, and other unforeseen circumstances so it is advised that you do not make plans for after class )
NRA Certified Instructor                 NRA Training Counselor
          (208) 631 3003                               PO Box 6232 Boise ID 83707
THE IDAHO ENHANCED CONCEALED WEAPONS LICENSE IS VALID IN: IDAHO ( & Idaho public colleges) ALASKA ARIZONA COLORADO DELAWARE NEVADA NEW MEXICO PENNSYLVANIA SOUTH CAROLINA VIRGINIA? LOUISIANA  MINNESOTA WASHINGTON WISCONSIN   as well as states that accept the Basic LicenseALABAMA ARKANSAS FLORIDA GEORGIA INDIANA IOWA KANSAS KENTUCKY MAINE MICHIGAN MISSISSIPPI MISSOURI MONTANA NEBRASKA NEW HAMPSHIRE NORTH CAROLINA NORTH DAKOTA OHIO OKLAHOMA SOUTH DAKOTA TENNESSEE TEXAS UTAH WEST VIRGINIA WYOMING. VERMONT (no lisc reqd) Oregon non-reisdent licenses easy to obtain with Idaho ECCW.   Total WAS 41 states allow CCW w/ID ECCW. note: List per Idaho State Police 9/2021 - states laws change constantly, this list may not reflect current status.  Current political events :  I believe we have lost VA & PA due to politics within those states, subject to change.
Yellowstone National Park accepts CCWs that are valid in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming (see website) Federal Park Service webpage indicates that which CCW holders may carry in Yellowstone park (but not into buildings of any kind) Shooting, even is self defense is prohibited, so don't unless you are being eaten, and then prepare for legal repercussions.
NRA Basic-Level Courses: Home Firearms Safety, Basic Pistol, Basic Rifle, Range Safety Officer, Personal Protection Outside the Home
Become an NRA Certified Instructor:
INSTRUCTOR-Level courses, CALL for information:
NRA BIT Basic Instructor Training course $150 (the first class required) Offered weekday evenings by arrangement.
NRA Basic Pistol Shooting Course Instructor course $399 (includes both Basic & Instructor courses)
NRA Personal Protection (in the home) Instructor course $399(BIT&Pistol are prerequisites)
NRA Personal Protection Outside the Home Instructor course $399 (BIT&Pistol & PPith are prerequisites)
NRA RSO Range Safety Officer $150
NRA CRSO CHIEF Range Safety Officer $175 (BIT & RSO are prerequisites)
NRA Basic Rifle Shooting Course Instructor course $399
Group & Individual classes available upon request. Liability Release form signature required. A written test will be administered (it is possible to fail this course).
Instructor reserves the right to dismiss anyone, anytime, without refund. All rights reserved. No Warranties are Expressed or Implied. Copyright 2022 Hoover Police Supply

Never Question the Integrity of the FBI

 8/18/22 KATV:

In a plea deal filed Wednesday, a former FBI agent pleaded guilty to paying a business to "wipe" his computer to make the hard drive unavailable for forensic examination.

According to court documents, former agent Robert Cessario was charged with "corrupt destruction of record in an official proceeding" in connection to the corruption trial of former state Sen. Jon Woods of Springdale.

In the plea deal, Cessario stated: "I erased the contents of the computer hard knowing that the court has ordered that the computer be submitted for a forensic examination. I did so with the intention of making the contents of the computer’s hard unavailable for forensic examination. At the time, I knew that the contents of the hard drive were relevant to an official proceeding, that is, Cause No. 5:17-CR-50010, United States v. Woods et al. I corruptly performed and had performed, the erasures with intent to impair the integrity and availability of the computer hard drive and its contents for use in that official proceeding."

Cessario could possibly face 20 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, forfeiture of property involved in the criminal offense, and supervision upon release.

There is no mention of a re-trial of Woods, so it appears that this little "impropriety" did nothing serious to the criminal case. 

Sunday, August 21, 2022

An Opportunity to Help

 The John Locke Foundation is putting together a policy paper about reducing poverty in North Carolina.  I was tasked with writing a chapter on the interaction of severe mental illness, substance abuse, deinstitutionalization, crime, and poverty.  (If you have much of my stuff, you can see why me.)  I am reaching the draft stage (perhaps not final draft).  It is about 9700 words.  If you would be willing to look it over for structural suggestions, typos, clumsy wording, I would be very appreciative.  Email me at firstname @ firstnamelastname .com.

I Learned This Over Lunch Today

 It explains part of how I have lost 20 pounds these last two years and made my doctor give me the thumbs up on my cholesterol numbers.

Soluble fiber is also called viscous fiber because it absorbs water to form a thick, gelatinous substance. This thick mass of fiber can interfere with the absorption of dietary fat and cholesterol, according to the Institute of Medicine. It accomplishes the task by binding with fats and cholesterol and carrying them through the digestive tract. As a result, fats are eliminated in your stool rather than absorbed into your bloodstream, reports the University of Illinois at Chicago....

The recommended intake for fiber, which includes the combined total of soluble and insoluble fiber, is 25 grams daily for women and 38 grams for men. About one-fourth of the total, or 6 to 8 grams, should come from soluble fiber, suggests the University of California San Francisco Medical Center. Adding 5 to 10 grams of soluble fiber to your diet may lower cholesterol by 3 to 5 percent, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. If your cholesterol is high, the NHLBI recommends consuming 10 to 25 grams of soluble fiber daily. 

How Many People Are Divorced?

There are a lot of divorces each year.  But it turns out that a lot are second divorces:

"According to available Census data, the divorce rate for second marriages in the United States is over 60% compared to around 50% for first marriages."

Not surprised.   My father-in-law was married three times.

  • 73% of third marriages end in divorce."

"Normal" Families

From Institute for Family Studies (yes, 2015 so a little dated):

"Yet despite all the talk about the growing irrelevance of marriage, 43 million children, a 58-percent majority, were living with both their birth mother and biological father in a traditional married-couple family. (See Figure 1.)"

Of course, marriages often fail because of divorce or spousal death.  From Census Bureau 2016:

"The majority of America’s 73.7 million children under age 18 live in families with two parents (69 percent), according to new statistics released today from the U.S. Census Bureau."

You were not expecting that!  Modern Family is television, not reality. 

Saturday, August 20, 2022

Why California Keeps Pushing Gun Bans

 This video from LAPD shows a flash mob at a 7-11 in Los Angeles.

I try to imagine conditions in L.A. after a 8.1 earthquake.  On the other hand, it might be an advantage: the gangs will not be calling the police to arrest their victims.

The good news: a very diverse population.

Friday, August 19, 2022

The Idea is Good

I found an Android app called Rangefinder.  I was wondering how something with only one eye would do range finding.   It is a clever hack.  It puts up a silhouette of a man, a deer, an F-150 truck among other choices.   You pinch or expand the silhouette until it matches the size of what need the range and when they match you get the distance in feet and inches.  I would do a few things differently: instead of arbitrary objects I would have put out a 1 meter or perhaps 1 foot ruler to make it not specific to any particular target.  I would also have included a zoom feature; anything more than a few hundred meters away is a couple pixels.  A 10x or 20x "scope" option would make this more useful.

A little more investigation finds it has a metric mode.  The F150 is roughly 2 meters high so this takes care of my first concern.   There is also a ghost mode that makes the silhouettes red or green.

Why Does Anyone Take These Fools Seriously?

I saw a composite of these articles over at Small Dead Animals.   They are mostly older articles but still: why would news organizations run articles suggesting that calling breastfeeding natural was a bad idea because it might cause mothers to become antivaxxers?  3/24/16 CNN:
"But, according to a pair of experts, this type of campaign could backfire in a big way. When federal and local health departments use the term "natural" to promote breast-feeding, it could inadvertently fuel concerns over other aspects of health and society that are seen as "unnatural," such as vaccines, genetically modified foods and assisted reproductive technologies, the experts warn."

"By endorsing breast-feeding as natural, they say, breast-feeding advocates are reinforcing the idea that natural is A) something that actually exists and B) healthier. By setting up this dichotomy, these pro–breast-feeding campaigns might serve as unintentional fodder for concerns against “unnatural” interventions like vaccinations."

If breastfeeding as natural does not exist we need to take this up with the tens of thousands of other mammalian species. 

No evidence presented that this very 1970s liberal crusade (with which I always agreed) actually caused antivaxxer sentiment.   I will say, the heavy handed way the COVID-19 vaccines were handled likely did provoke antivaxxer sentiment among people who did not lean that way before.  I keep looking for evidence that our self-appointed betters are even close to normal intelligence and I do not mean they are at the high end of the bell curve.

Division of Labor Concept is Breaking Down

Or no one really needs to work anymore.

1. We have evidence of a very small roof leak.  (The original owner complained during warranty and the builder did a slap dash job repairing it.  Just enough to get out of warranty. )

I got four different roofers over here to do estimates.   I did not write down names or phone numbers.   They obviously want the job or they would not come over and climb on the roof, right?

So far a week on and only one has provided an estimate.   Since I no longer remember who I called, I have contacted a bunch of new guys hoping some of them are prepared to get back to me with estimates. 

2. I am planning to upgrade my Lenovo from 32GB of RAM to 128GB (this should speed up video editing a lot and anything you can do to reduce VM swapping on SSDs is a win).

I also want to add a 4TB SSD.  My 1TB SSD is approaching full and I figure even I cannot fill up 4TB.

Two solutions: buy from and install the RAM and SSD myself.

Have BestBuy do it.   It is a bit more expensive but attempts to get a quote on the BestBuy cost were fruitless.   

Third choice: see if Lenovo can do it.  I have an on-site extended warranty.  I can pay them to do the install.  But no matter how many people I chatted with, no one seemed to know to whom I should talk.

Something Else to Watch For in San Francisco

 8/18/22 Hotair reports on efforts of a San Francisco Examiner reporter to intimidate a S.F. refugee into not saying bad things about San Francisco on social media.  It includes a disturbing discussion of dogs getting high from drug-containing human feces.  And here is a source.  6/20/22 NPR:

It all started on a Tuesday night, when I came home from work to an unmistakable absence. My brown-and-white pit bull mix, Maizey, wasn't at the top of the stairs to greet me. Instead she was in her bed, shaky and confused.

When I tried to get her up, she stumbled, nearly falling over while standing still. Walking to the vet, she leaped like a puppy chasing imaginary balls.

Later, at the 24-hour veterinary clinic in San Francisco's Mission District, the staff ran some tests and determined Maizey was in no immediate danger.

Instead, they wagered a guess that Maizey was simply high. On marijuana....

Black says dogs ingest marijuana by eating the remainder of a joint, or getting into someone's edible marijuana, either at home, on the street or in parks.

Another unsavory source in San Francisco — and other cities with high numbers of people living on the streets — is human feces tainted with marijuana. This is, in fact, what we think happened to Maizey. She spent quite a bit of time in the park bushes the morning she got stoned.

"Dogs love that [poop] scent," Black says. "To them it's perfume."

Black and other veterinarians believe this particular problem is becoming more common in the Bay Area, as the homeless population grows.