Sunday, December 31, 2023

Another Warning of Why Civil War is a Really Bad Idea

From John Wesley, Rawles:

If people feel genuinely disenfranchised, then they tend to start to feel combative. This has happened many times, all over the world. Ditto for times when people feel singled out for repression, or over-taxed, or censored, or under-represented. The recent steamroller of Wokeness has justifiably made a lot of people angry. If situations like these are forced on a populace for an extended time, then civil wars or guerilla wars often result.


I must emphasize that I absolutely dread the prospect of a Second Civil War. I recently read about some liberals who are itching to see a Second Civil War. Let me remind folks of some facts about America’s last little Tiff of Unpleasantness:

  • US Population in the 1860 Census:  31,443,321.
  • Estimated number of combatants killed 1861-1865:  618,200, with 360,200 Union deaths and 258,000 Confederate deaths. Those figures do not include civilian deaths.
  • US Population in the 2020 Census: 331,464,948. (A more than 10x increase.)
  • The projected proportional number of deaths in a Second Civil War: About 6.3 million.

He makes many of the same points that I have made.  And a few that I have not:

There will probably not be state-level lines drawn in a Second U.S. Civil War. At least in the first few months, there will be no clear-cut “front lines” and there will be no safe “rear” areas. There could be fighting nearly everywhere: Fighting between states, between counties, between neighborhoods, and even between individual neighbors. It will probably resemble the 1920s Irish Civil War or The Troubles, in Northern Ireland in the 1970s more than it will America’s First Civil War of the 1860s. (The photo at the top of this article dates from the Irish Civil War.)

There also could be multiple factions formed — not just two sides. There will probably be massive repression doled out by tyrants in many of the more populous states. There could be large numbers of casualties and full-scale displacements of civilian populations. And if the war goes on long enough, then I predict that there will be wholesale arrests of dissenters, summary trials, POW internment camps, civilian concentration camps, and attempts to disarm the citizenry.  (With more than 350 million guns in private hands in the USA, good luck, with that, tyrants!) 

I can easily see individual Blue terrorist groups headed into Red states to indulge in random acts of mass murder, killing in some cases, Blues who still live in Red states.  (Not every white person wth a pickup or SUV is Red.)  This will certainly provoke revenge attacks, even within states.  There are some fiercely Red counties in California, Oregon, and Washington.  White supremacists will crawl out from under their sline-covered rocks and engage in racist attacks where inevitably, they will kill black conservatives, Asians, and Hispanics.

Assuming that a 2024 election is allowed (and the popular vote isn't 95% Biden, 3% Trump), we are in real danger of things going very badly.

Saturday, December 30, 2023

Stainless Steel is Really Hard

I thought I ordered 13mm carbon steel rod.  No, it was stainless steel but I thought I only need to cut a small section down to M13 major diameter.  But even carbide cutting tool just dulls the tool.

I just ordered an aluminum rod.  I really do not need that much stiffness.

Thursday, December 28, 2023

They Really Do Want Civil War, I Think

The Maine Secretary of State is removing Trump from the ballot for participating in an insurrection for which no one has been charged, and for which Trump has not been charged, much less convicted.

Banana Republic where political opponents are not even allowed to run.

Remember, civil wars, even with good people on one side almost always end badly.

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Free Yourself From Pronoun Police

 This is easier than it sounds.  You almost never use personal pronouns first-person, at least to the snowflake-in-rage.  "JoeAnne, is this your paper?"  Even "Is this yours?" is still gender-free.  "JoeAnne's paper was well-written, but it needed pronoun definition."  The pronoun "it" refers to zir paper, not zir.  Try it for a while and it does not feel as silly as looking up the snowflake's preferred pronoun in your pronoun database.  (You have one on your cellphone, don't you?)

This Would Be an Act of War With an Adult in the White House

12/27/23 Fox News:
"The U.S. Navy shot down anti-ship ballistic missiles on Tuesday launched by incoming Iran-backed Houthi missiles in the Red Sea, signaling a significant escalation in the region, a senior defense official told Fox News. 

"The Navy engaged three ballistic missiles provided to Yemen's Houthis by Iran. It was the first time the Navy shot down an incoming ballistic missile using an anti-ship ballistic missile."

Obviously we do not want to invade Yemen and attempt nation-building; the raw materials are just not present in that part of the world.  We can destroy the facilities prepared to launch stuff at ships in international waters.  I would think this would be a trivial task, once the Navy figures out what pronouns to use.

Take a Stand Against Racism

Some years back, the people of California passed an initiative prohibiting racial discrimination.  Not surprisingly, the Democrats were and are upset.  Having repeatedly failed to repeal it, they are now attempting to authorize the governor to overturn it for specific cases where they can show it is justified.  Sign this petition to express your disapproval.  It will not cost you anything; ignore change org's begging for money.  Will it help?  It won't hurt and it is fast 

This is Unnerving

12/26/23 New York Post:
"The agency’s spacecraft OSIRIS-REx — now named the OSIRIS-APEX — has been sent off to study the asteroid Apophis’ extremely close flyby of Earth in 2029, the likes of which “hasn’t happened since the dawn of recorded history,” NASA announced."

Apophis is projected to pass by in 2029 at 20,000 miles from Earth.  This is close enough because of the unpredictable nature of orbits that many years in the future to be a little concerning.  This is 1100 feet in diameter.  That is not a dinosaur extinction event, but hitting Earth would be a very bad day for most of the impact side.  This would have at least a 25,000 mph inward speed.  The kinetic energy on that is fabulously huge 

Fortunately this was big enough that we saw it coming.

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

This Is At Least Only Stupid

12/26/23 New York Post:
"Tampons and sanitary napkins are now available in men’s bathrooms at the Canadian Parliament under a new policy from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that requires all federally regulated employers — including airports and military bases — to offer free menstrual products in all washrooms, regardless of gender noted on the door."

I suspect they will expire before they are used up.

Can tampons be used for cleaning shotgun barrels?

Monday, December 25, 2023

Merry Christmas

I look back on my childhood Christmases.  While there are some pleasant memories, what was missing was any discussion of why Christmas mattered.  We all knew the common Christmas carols: We Three Kings, Silent Night, but the importance of Christ's birth was largely forgotten.  This is surprising because my mother has been a pastor in the Salvation Army in the 1930s.  I fear that she had allowed the American Christmas traditions to take over.  

When people talk about the 1950s being a time of Christian dominance in America, I think they are confusing these two.

In any case, let this be a day of family and friends, even if it is not a day of religious significance for you.  And I really hope not to see any FJB stickers today.  We can disapprove of someone's job performance and integrity by replacing them in time for next Christmas without being crude and rude 

Sunday, December 24, 2023

Odd Sign of Winning

It is an article of faith among a number of libertarians that Russia is easily winning the war in Ukraine.  This seems to be an odd mixture of several ideas: a traditional libertarian hostility to foreign intervention which historically saw Hitler as a result of our involvement in World War I but disturbingly enough I am hearing the argument that we had no business joining World War II.  It is not like we had much choice; Japan attacked us and Germany declared war.  There is just a hint of anti-Semitism in this bizarre claim.

A belief that Russia is the last savior of Western Civilization from what this crowd calls the "globohomos."

A belief that anything that Biden does is suspect.  I think as incompetent as Biden and his puppet masters are, they recognize that standing on the sidelines would suggest that they did a bad job discouraging what happened.  (They did.)

Anyway, back to the Ukrainians are losing claim.  12/24/23 Newsweek reports that the Russian Army admits that it is using chemical weapons:
"If confirmed, this would be a violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention, a treaty that has been in place for more than a quarter of a century aimed at destroying chemical weapon stockpiles and chemical weapon production facilities, as well as banning their use. Russia is a party to the convention."

Things to Worry About; Things Not to Worry About

I keep hearing this "ten million men of military age" concern about the swarm of illegal aliens, with either Chinese Army or Muslim terrorists attached.

Yes, there are too many illegals crossing what used to be a border.  But this recent evaluation of data on contacts shows that most remain Mexicans and even the OTMs (Other Than Mexicans) are largely from Latin America.

Young men are disproportionately economic refugees.  They are seeking work.  Americans are increasingly not too concerned with this work concept; there must be a lot of indulgent parents out there.

The idea that these millions of illegal aliens are waiting for a text message to open fire is not supported by the evidence.

We should be concerned about this 9/15/23 New York Post report:
"Federal law enforcement stopped 160 people listed on the terror watch list from entering the US illegally at America’s borders this fiscal year — the highest number ever — government statistics reveal."

A relatively small number of terrorists could do a lot of damage.  Those 160 are likely a fraction of border crossers.

Mechanical Engineering Question

My recollection is that deformation of a rod supported at both end is FL**3/48EL

Where F is force in newtons, L is length, E is Young's Modulus (in GPa)  L is length of rod (in meters).  I used to be able find calculators for this online.

One of you knew abouyt this website that I used to use but what evading my searches: Engineer's Toolobox.  Thank you. Now I have the formula for Area Moment of Inertia for a shaft.  I am still unable to find the formula for deflection of a shaft supported x distance from the end of the shaft with load N.

A Christmas Carol (1984)

 There are two movies, of which my wife and I try watch one each year.  It's A Wonderful Life (1946) and A Christmas Carol (1984).  If you have not seen either, do so.  I use a segment from the former to explain fractional reserve banking for my American History class, while warning them that it a life-affirming, heart-warming movie which is utterly unrealistic.  There are many people who can look back on their lives and see a steady line of good that they have left behind, but I know more who can only look back on a series of trainwrecks.  I like to think of myself in the first category but who knows?  Aim high and maybe succeed.

The 1984 A Christmas Carol starred George C. Scott doing a superlative job playing curmudgeon turned into a good man.  I remember being shown the 1951 version starring Albert Finney in elementary school.  (It was the 1960s, and the blatant Christian themes were not yet crimethink, and this in  a district with a large population of kids from Jewish or mixed marriages.)  

Dickens' short story played a big part in creating the now largely forgotten Christian tradition of Christmas, which replaced a very dour Puritan tradition that looked down on Christmas because it was associated with drunken carousing and gluttonous feasting.  The story of how Dickens' work caused this transformation is told in a film you can watch on Amazon Prime: The Man Who Invented Christmas .

What makes this transformative work so interesting to me both as a Christian and a historian is the way Dickens contrasted a Malthusian/Benthamite view of poverty and degradaion with a Christian analysis.  The sequence where Scrooge suggests that the poor were excess population and we would be better without them captures the hardness of the 18th century aristocratic contempt and fear of the poor.  The ferocious punishments of often minor property crimes until 1815 was:
the response of a society where capital enterprise was creating new forms of wealth that could not be adequately protected without a regular police force. In the absence of such an enforcement mechanism to promote the certainty of punishment, the exemplary expansion of capital punishment was used to scare people into obeying the expanding number of laws to protect the property of the elite.

 As much as we are angered by violent crimes today, we generally recognize that someone stealing food is not in the same category.  (I have only seen theft of food once in my life.  At a San Jose supermarket, where the couple waited for the cashier to ask for payment.  Then they grabbed several bags of groceries and bolted.)  This is why I think the Court is going to side with the food stamp fraudster in the Range case; someone who lies about his $9/hour job to get food stamps to raise a family of five is hardly a threat to society.

The important lesson of A Christmas Carol has always been about the Christian duty to alleviate suffering.  This is not unlimited.  2 Thessalonians 3:10: 

For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.”

Our laws have always recognized that children are not responsible for their parents' failings.  As much as it should bother the left, our society has long recognized a Christian duty to those who are poor and unable to provide for themselves.

Article About Argentina

12/23/23 New York Times article about the economic dislocations since President Milei took over--dislocations that he warned would take place 

After many paragraphs explaining that Argentina's economy has been seriously screwed up for years and the obligatory injured party interviews the absolute last paragraphs:

Despite the challenges, Ms. Cardozo said she remained a Milei supporter and was hoping his policies work.

“We were living under a fantasy,” she said, referring to gas prices before the recent hike. “If these adjustments are necessary to thrive in the end, they’re worth it.”

I am reminded of the pain after Reagan took office.  Crushing stagflation of the 1970s was hard on everyone but the rest of the 1980s was a good time for America.

Saturday, December 23, 2023

Do You Have a 1/4"-20 3/16" Long Set Screw?

I need one.  The local hardware store does not have one that short.  I really do not want to spend $5 in gas to drive to Home Depot or buy a whole box to get one?  One of you must have one you can mail me. 

Never mind.  I bought a box of 25 stainless steel ones from Amazon.  I build enough weird stuff that I will eventually use them all.

Civil Wars Seldom Have Winners

As with the U.S.Civil War I, Russian civil war following the Revolution, and Spanish Civil War, resentment is strong on both sides.  The loss of life breeds anger in survivors.  The destruction of capital goods makes survivors poorer.  The abusive measures of wartime yield a callous concern for civil liberties afterwards.  The U.S. lost 750,000 people in the first civil war.  

Most of the people who talk casually about civil war need to consider consequences.

1. The Left does not have moral problem with violence.  Most conservatives are Christians and the first time they shoot someone in battle, this is likely to be pretty dark.

2. Civil War 2 will cause loss of essential goods and services in cities.  Hungry people without power who might be only slightly left-leaning will become far more extreme.

3. The Left has been promoting race hatred for several years now.  They will cast it in racial terms, provoking race riots.  What might start as black on white will turn into white on black.  The tiny number of white supremacists in America will have a much more sympathetic audience for their hatred.  Privileged white Leftists will suddenly decide that police are useful to protect their privileged neighborhoods creating even more racial upset.

4. Plan that Social Security checks, Medicaid, and Medicare will be seriously disrupted.  Lots of people who may be naturally on your side are going to be in serious want.

If you know someone spouting, "Well, you know this might be the Great Reset we need," remind them where Civil War I took us.

Fortunately, This Could Never Happen Here

12/23/23 Reuters:
"LONDON, Dec 23 (Reuters) - Former TV journalist Yekaterina Duntsova was disqualified on Saturday as a candidate for Russia's next presidential election, preventing her from running against Vladimir Putin on a platform of opposition to the war in Ukraine."

Friday, December 22, 2023

Improving Coarse Adjustment on Polaris

Getting the Losmandy mount properly aligned no True North was possible but not easy.  The field of view in the Polar Alignment Scope is a bit narrow.  Someone on Cloudy suggested that I put a laser pointer in the polar axis use the beam to get a coarse aim at Polaris.  This would get the Polar Alignment Scope close enough for fine adjustment.

Fine idea so I machined an adapter to hold the laser pointer centered in the polar axis where the Polar Alignment Scope (PAS) normally sits.  That tube is 22mm diameter so I found some scrap aluminum that I could turn down to 22mm.  It is not a tight fit but then again I do not want friction impairing the fit of the PAS in the polar axis.

The laser pointer barrel is 16.6mm.  My largest twist drill that does not look like a prop from the 1960s terrible Land of the Giants series is a 1/2" bit.  My boring but is not long enough to bore out the needed length.  Yes, I came up with a clever workaround a week or so ago.  But better was to find a 17mm twist drill.  If one exists that is not made in the PRC, I could not find it.  Fortunately I found an American-made 9/16" bit which is about 17.2mm.  Close enough.  I do not want a press fit.

The steady-rest served its function as I drilled the 1/2" hole large enough for the laser pointer to easily slip in place.  My original plan was to put the laser pointer in the hole butt-end first but to get the on button to a useful position required enough cutting to take a different approach.  I put the business end into the 17.2mm hole turned the laser up to 1 MW and bored out a hole in the other end.  No, really I drilled a .157" hole in the far end so the beam goes out.  It slides into the base of the PAS bore and I can press the on button.  

The laser pointer will still fall out of the adapter and both fall out of the bore.  Tomorrow, I will drill and tap a 1/4"-20 hole in the side of the adapter and use a set screw to keep the laser pointer in position.  (This should not push the laser pointer too far out of center.  Even .6mm offset should be fine.,). I will put some masking tape on the outside of the adapter so it sticks in place at least approximately.

Thursday, December 21, 2023

Let Us Now Praise Great Service

I bought a Lenovo P17 Gen.2 three? Years ago.  This was a high-end laptop: i9 processor, eight cores, sixteen threads, 64GB RAM, 1 TB SSD.  I have since upgraded to 128GB RAM (and I have once seen an out of RAM message although how on VM processor eludes me) and added a 2TB SSD.  It is amazing how rapidly astrophotography imaging and keeping a big chunk of American history primary source documents gobble up space 

A few months back, I started experiencing two difficult failures: the laptop monitor would suddenly go black along with external monitor connected via HDMI to the laptop.  Then the second external monitor (USB) would flash black.  Everyone then came back to proper displays.

Less frequently it would just hang and require power off and on.  Frequently, Windows 11's version of the blue screen of death would appear saying that something went wrong, it was reporting the problem and then eventually it rebooted.

I installed one of those temperature monitor programs and my CPUs were often reaching 100 C.  Fan failure?  Fortunately because this beast was as an expensive as an okay used car, I bought the extended warranty on it with service at your place of business.  I am glad that I did.

Lenovo sent out a technician literally the 2nd day with a replacement for the system board which includes the CPU, fans, and heat sinks.  And a very nice and clearly incredibly knowledgeable technician.  He took it apart, identified that overheating likely melted the thermal paste causing it to bubble and cease transferring heat.  He replaced the system board and in 90 minutes had it working again with CPUs running 30-40 C.

Very impressive service.  Nice guy who was amused by my stories of the old days (8088 PCs with 640KB of addressable RAM).

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Major Victory (To Which I Contributed)

May v. Bonta (C.D.Cal. 2023).  Preliminary Injunction against enforcement of California's new sensitive places law that bans California concealed weapon licensees from carrying in most of the populated parts of the state.  Why did California pass SB2 to do this?  Bruen pretty well requires states to go shall issue.  California requires licensees to go through psychological testing, shooting testing, background checks and yet they still do not trust them.

California submitted 13 declarations by historians trying to justify bans on carry on parks, schools, libraries, places that serve alcohol, public transit, businesses open to the public unless they have posted a "guns welcome" sign,and a few others that I have forgotten, based on the standard laid down by Bruen.  I wrote rebuttals to all of them (some of which listed not a single pre-1791 law).  The preliminary Injunction did not find a single category persuasive.

Preliminary Injunctions theoretically can be overturned at trial but I am told this is rare.  This was a project of the California Rifle & Pistol Association among others.  If you have some money you want to go to a good cause give to them. They are putting up a good fight and I am doing my part.

This is not by St. Beneitz but Judge Cormac Carney.

Ed Driskill Decided to Get Out Front of the News


Dozens of Jeffrey Epstein's high profile associates are in for a New Year's surprise as they will be named in court documents set to be released in the first days of 2024.

The pedophile's powerful friends are set to be exposed as part of a vast unsealing that a judge ordered on Monday will take place in 14 days.

That will take the release day to January 1 – but as that is a holiday it is likely the files will be made public the following day.

Some 177 people will be identified across hundreds of files which will shed new light on the late financier's sex trafficking operation and his network of influence....

Some of the Does are identified in the ruling through links to interviews they have given to the media, which the judge cited as a reason why they should not stay private.

They include the housekeepers on Epstein's private island in the Caribbean where some of the worst abuse that he perpetrated was carried out.

In her ruling Judge Preska gave 14 days for any Does who objected to their documents being made public to object, after which they would be unsealed.

There will be documents about one of Prince Andrew's accusers, who claims he fondled her breasts at Epstein's New York mansion.

There will also be material about Haley Robson, who was named as a recruiter in police files of Epstein's original investigation in 2006 in Palm Beach – though she has more recently claimed she was a victim too.

The filing suggests some documents will relate to Jean-Luc Brunel, a French model scout who was close to Epstein and allegedly abused many young women. Brunel hanged himself in a Paris prison cell in 2022 while awaiting trial on a slew of sex charges. [emphasis added]

If Juidge Preska hangs herself, all your conspiracy theories will be correct. 

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

This Place is Turning into Extreme Northeastern California

My wife was having some odd symptoms.  Urgent Care went ??? And sent her to ER.  We waited 90 minutes to get her into a bed.  For those who live in much of California, this is pretty fast.  (I have bad memories of California ERs.)

Too many people have escaped to here and most of them are old enough to recognize that California is a giant cesspool but because of age they are high users of medical care.

Salivary gland stone.  I never heard of this before.

Democracy: the Process of Prohibiting Your Opponents From Getting on the Ballot

The Colorado Supreme Court has prohibited Trump from appearing on the Republican primary ballot because he participated in the J6 insurrection.  Which video tape contains that?  If they wanted to argue that he incited a riot by people who were at the Capitol before he spoke that could be entertaining.  

The ruling prohibits the Colorado Secretary of State from putting his name on the ballot.  Let us see how many Republicans write in Trump in the Colorado primary.   That has not been addressed.  If the left was upset by a few thousand angry people in the Capitol, imagine what will happen if he cleans the floor with Biden and the courts prevent him from taking office.  That could dwarf J6.

No one has been charged with insurrection for J6.   

Cue the Insanity Defense

12/19/23 WFLA:
"Tampa man tries to enter MacDill AFB with AR-15, calls himself ‘Captain America’: DOJ...
"Roche refused to hand over his ID and instead verbally identified himself as “Captain America,” court documents state. He told security personnel he worked with the U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) and had a meeting with a general “to provide top secret information.”

Why Does the Bank Robbery From Take the Money and Run Come to Mind?

12/18/23 Road & Track reports that armed robbers left the check cashing business to find that someone stole their apparently stolen getaway car.  Is there no honor among thieves?

Monday, December 18, 2023

Boise Zoning Code Change

12/17/23 Idaho Statesman has a long article about recent changes to the Zoning Code, generally to allow higher density housing.  This will likely increase traffic but I expect will drive down housing costs.  

For those who are homeless because of high rents, this is a win.  Even increases in high-end housing filters down.  People in nice apartments can afford their first house.  Cheaper nice apartments allow those in crummy apartments to move up. Crummy apartments getting cheaper means the family trying to get by on three or four part-time jobs can afford to move out of their car, homeless shelter, or mother's basement.

One of the more gratifying changes is allowing mixed residential and commercial zones.  When we lived in Petaluma, we lived in an apartment in "the blighted zone.". Yes that is what the city actually called it.  Being an older section, there was a corner grocery store (not a convenience store).  You need not drive to get eggs, milk, butter.

In Santa Monica, where I grew up, the corner of 4th Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard had a collection of ground floor retail businesses and upper story apartments.  (I suspect many were occupied by the business owners ). Montana Boulevard had businesses all along it in close proximity to apartments and houses.

During my campaign for City Council in 1981, I argued that allowing these mixed uses was beneficial in reducing traffic congestion, and improving security.  If you live on an upper story, you can call police when you see or hear a break-in below.  Do you see why I came in 2nd from the bottom on election day, just ahead of the guy who withdrew the day before the election?

I find myself wondering why mixed used suddenly went away through zoning during and after World War II.  The free market had created a very logical structure for development.  

One down side that my research on mass murders exposed: the merchant on the ground floor who refused to pay extortion would be burned out, often killing the families upstairs.

Sunday, December 17, 2023

Today's Trick Question to Annoy Your Progressive Friends and Family

One country is noted for its progressive policies on social welfare.  For part of their largely snow bound.  The other country has a social welfare state but one that progressives like to hold in contempt.  Throughout the winter, much of this second nation is warm and snowless.  Which has the higher homeless rate?

In 2022 the heartless, capitalist nation had 0.17% homeless.  The kind and generous nation has 0.78% homeless.

The homeless count for Canada is here, Canada population here.  The U.S. homeless count is here, population here.

Where would you rather down and out: the kind and generous nation or the heartless, fiercely capitalist nation?

Saturday, December 16, 2023

Does Anyone Make 14mm Twist Drill Bits Outside the PRC?

I need a 13.6mm 4" deep hole.  A 1/2" drill bit got me most of the way there.  The Sherline boring bar went about halfway down the hole at roughly the right diameter but their boring bar is not long enough.  I was thinking a 14mm twist drill bit would do the job but they all seem to be PRC.  

The Sherline boring bar is a 3/8" shank.  As you lengthen the boring bar relative to its diameter, it loses stiffness and the precision of the bore declines but on this case it is not going to be an interference fit.  That I will consider a 14mm twist drill bit should tell you that.

No luck on a 14mm non-PRC bit but Bad Dog Tools makes a 9/16" in Rhode Island.  Not evenly ridiculously priced: $30 including shipping and a lifetime warranty.

The laser pointer has a 14mm barrel so 9/16" is actually okay, maybe better than 14mm drill bit.  There is a pocket clip farther back on the pointer that sticks 2.5mm out from the barrel.  For this to work as intended with laser pointer centered to go into mount polar axis, I will need aend mill about 93mm long and 2.5mm diameter.  I would edge mill a slot in the vertical mill.  Obviously a end mill that long and thin will not be stiff enough and might well break in the process.  

Another solution is to mount the boring tool in the mill and go vertical in very small slices, say .0001" at a time.  But again where is such a boring bar?  Do I need to make my own?  A bar about 2mm wide and 100mm long with a carbide tip about 2.5mm wide?  This sounds very unstiff.

This sounds like another bad idea: use a long 1/4" twist drill as an edge mill moving from center in .0001" steps.  It might break the drill bit but at least it would be easy to remove.

The boring bar is 3/8" diameter.  Use .5" steel rod about 3" long.  Put 3/8" hole in one end.  Tap holes in that end to hold boring bar in place.  Put .5" rod in end mill holder.  Slide up and down with motor off about .0001" cut at a time.  The  .5" rod should be stiff enough for this; precise it will not be, but enough for this application.

Friday, December 15, 2023

Okay, Write the Joke For Which This is the Punchline

12/14/23 Business Insider:
Portland women in her 50s moves to small town Georgia for all the reasons you might expect: cheaper housing, gas, utilities, better produce and what is a remarkable difference, at least for the stereotypes:
"Larson also says that as a Jew, Canton is a safer place to exercise her religion. She says her current city is more accepting and respectful, and the people overall seem much happier and more positive."

Russiagate Was Real!

It just was not Trump who was working for them.  12/14/23 NBC News:
"Ex-FBI counterintelligence chief Charles McGonigal sentenced to 50 months in prison for working with Russian oligarch"

This Looks Like An Admission Trump Will Win the 2024 Election

11/30/23 Washington Post:
"A Trump dictatorship is increasingly inevitable. We should stop pretending."

How?  Is the woke military going to put him in power?  Is he going to rent a bunch of tanks and cruise up to the Capitol?

The only real way would involve elections and then continual lawfare against his political opponents.  Oh, wait, someone is already doing that.

The Next House That I Design*

The dishes cabinet will be immediately above the dishwasher.  My last house had those cabinets immediately opposite the dishwasher which speeded up emptying the dishwasher.

*I have designed one house, the late and lamented house on the hill.  At this point, while we could easily afford it, it seems likely the next move for me will be to assisted living or the Neptune Society.

Thursday, December 14, 2023

No Open Heart Surgery In Near Future

The surgeon says the cardiac rehab is the safest shot right now.  Yes, he confirmed 3.5-4% 28 day post-surgical mortality concentrated among those with comorbidities.  Best to wait until short-windedness is more incapacitating.

Does Anyone Know of a Battery Powered Hot Plate?

There are lots listed on Amazon but they never directly say they operate on batteries.  I would expect something that worked of a car battery would allow you to boil water but not much less.

Sunday, December 10, 2023

At Least They Are Thinking About This

FEMA Radiation Independent Study Course.

I Found This in a Comment Thread

Worth clicking 


I am running out of space for ammunition.  900 rounds of 5.56mm in a metal ammo can arrived from our ammunition dealer sponsor arrived today.  The wall of radiation shielding keeps getting larger.  In a steel can just makes it better.


 12/10/23 New York Times:

When Flint, Mich., announced in September that 68 assault weapons collected in a gun buyback would be incinerated, the city cited its policy of never reselling firearms.

“Gun violence continues to cause enormous grief and trauma,” said Mayor Sheldon Neeley. “I will not allow our city government to profit from our community’s pain by reselling weapons that can be turned against Flint residents.”

But Flint’s guns were not going to be melted down. Instead, they made their way to a private company that has collected millions of dollars taking firearms from police agencies, destroying a single piece of each weapon stamped with the serial number and selling the rest as nearly complete gun kits. Buyers online can easily replace what’s missing and reconstitute the weapon.

Hundreds of towns and cities have turned to a growing industry that offers to destroy guns used in crimes, surrendered in buybacks or replaced by police force upgrades. But these communities are in fact fueling a secondary arms market, where weapons slated for destruction are recycled into civilian hands, often with no background check required, according to interviews and a review of gun disposal contracts, patent records and online listings for firearms parts.

Be glad our enemies are not too sharp. 

Crowd Sourcing a Small Equatorial Mount

 Over at Cloudy Nights, I have been promoting the idea of a crowd-sourced homemade equatorial mount for smaller telescopes (under 15 pounds).  It would be rather like a Losmandy GM-1 instead of their GM-8.

The problem is that since Vixen's Japanese-made Super Polaris mounts were driven out of the American market by Chinese clones of the Vixen SP, the only choices are PRC or heavy and pricy like the Losmandy which I love but are a bit heavy for ocassional use with a telescope like my Televue-85.

I was thinking about the design problems after church and I suddenly realized that the obvious 1" steel shafts for the polar and declination axes needle bearings inside 1.25" ID aluminum housing tubes had a more elegant solution.

I was looking for sources of needle bearings, 1" OD steel rod, and 1.25" ID aluminum tube, and I wondered "Would aluminum rod be stiff enough?"  Then I thought a little longer.  Would .5" carbon fiber composite be stiff enough?  Yes and far lighter.  Instead of aluminum tubing, use carbon fiber composite tube.  Especially in these smaller diameters they are available and not hideously expensive.  

Fasteners are an issue.  Steel has a electrochemical corrosion problem with carbon fiber composite.  So does aluminum.  Stainless steel is apparently pretty good except in seawater.  (Stay out of the ocean.)  Titanium is apparently perfectly fine.  The needle bearings are steel but there are barrier materials to handle this.  See this discussion about the corrosion problem.  Many parts are best bonded with epoxy; only items that might require replacement should be held by screws. 


I suspect you could make a very stiff mount with 3' tripod weighing about five pounds with extraordinary stiffness.


This would likely require carbide taps; steel taps will likely be substantially dulled in carbon fiber.

Saturday, December 9, 2023

Steady Rest

I made use of a steady rest for the first time today.  This is a device used to support cylindrical workpieces in a lathe when the chuck cannot hold it solidly enough to keep it steady when turning, especially when you put any load on it from cutting.

When I first bought this, I misunderstood it.  You loosen the screws holding the brass bars in place put the workpiece inside and move the bars until the workpiece is centered.  I bought a very nice magnetic base indicator holder to verify that it is centered.  The brass rubs against the aluminum.  You do not want to turn at too high a speed or the rubbing will become friction and perhaps move it out of center.

Anyway, it worked well enough for a long piece of aluminum that was unwilling to clamp down well in the chuck.  The original drill chuck that goes in the tailstock to drill a center hole has disappeared.  What I used was an absurd 1/2" chuck to drill a starter hole.  It worked but where did that 3/8" chuck go?  Search of the garage tomorrow.

It was a bit embarrassing to order a riser for the steady rest, open the box, and say, "I already have one on the steady rest.". Fortunately it was from Amazon so I am only out $6.99 for return shipping.  I will search for that missing chuck rather than just buy another.

Odd. I Am Not Sure What It Means, If Anything

I am the WalMart in Caldwell and there are a number of school uses apparently sold off.  Several are empty.  One stopped and a bunch of mostly Hispanic young men but definitely not school age got off.  Some sort of dropoff point for day labor?

Societies On the Edge of Death

 Nine men were convicted of two seperate gang rapes of a 15-year-old.  One group finished with her and another group grabbed her next.  One was sent to prison, the others recveived suspended sentences.  Steyn Online says both groups videoed their crimes for 2 1/2 hours of evidence.

Bad news but this may be worse:  11/27.23 Der Spiegel:

» Perpetrators who live on the margins of society, completely uprooted culturally, linguistically and socially «

It is about alleged group rape in Hamburg, the district court now wants to announce a judgment against ten young men. Psychiatrist Nahlah Saimeh explains to what extent the background of perpetrators plays a role.

Why are they living on the margins of society?  Because their attitude about women reflects Islamic values? 

Friday, December 8, 2023

Great Replacement Theory As Racist Fantasy

 The left has claimed this is white supremacist conspiracy theory.  Here is Van Jones calling for it.

I Am Still Trying to Imagine FAA Hiring Air Traffic Controllers This Way

 Along with ATCs, there are a lot of other life-critical jobs which will be filled under these insane criteria:

Targeted Disabilities
Targeted disabilities are those disabilities that the Federal government, as a matter of policy, has identified for special emphasis in recruitment and hiring. They include hearing, vision, missing extremities, partial paralysis, complete paralysis, epilepsy, severe intellectual disability, psychiatric disability and dwarfism.

Yes, hire people with "severe intellectual disability, psychiatric disability" for jobs that involve human lives.  And ATCs who cannot hear or see: that's a winning combination!  "I have to wear the tinfoil hat or the voices give me wrong instructions on what runway to use."

On-the-Spot Hiring

A non-competitive hiring method for filling vacancies with Veterans and/or individuals with disabilities. Managers can choose to fill an open position through the On-the-Spot hiring process given they provide the required documentation for doing so. 

The beauty of civil service exams is that you need to demonstrate skills appropriate to the job.  But not if you are below average in intelligence.  I desperately want to believe hiring managers are smarter than their bosses but we all know failure to hire enough mentally ill ATCs will be a problem at performance review time.

I Want to Laugh...

But this is truly Darwin grade dumb.  From 12/7/23 IflScience:
"If you've ever had a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan, you'll know that they have a strict "no metal" policy.... A short "adverse event" report published by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) describes how a patient entered the MRI room with a concealed iron handgun. As she entered the MRI machine, the handgun became attracted to the magnet, firing a single shot into her "right buttock area". 

If the MRI area is so dangerous that need a gun, you should use someone not on your insurer's preferred provider list.

Another example (policeman):
The American Journal of Roentgenology published a fascinating article back in 2001 about an incident at a MRI imaging center in western New York State. An off-duty police entered the MRI scanner room and attempted to place his Colt M1991 A1 pistol on the top of a cabinet. The pistol was wrenched from his grip by the magnetic field. It was pulled towards the machine and then discharged!

The gun likely discharged as a result of the effect of the magnetic field on the firing pin block. The firing pin block was probably drawn into its uppermost position by force of the magnetic field. The firing pin block has to overcome only light pressure from a relatively small spring to release the firing pin. The pistol was likely drawn into the magnetic field so that the muzzle struck the magnet’s bore first. With the firing pin allowed to move freely in its channel, the force of the impact on the muzzle end was sufficient to cause the firing pin to overcome its spring pressure and move forward to strike the primer of the chambered round.

This account explains how the weapon discharged when the thumb safety was engaged.

Thursday, December 7, 2023

Whine All You Want About RINOs

12/6/23 The Hill:
"Senate Republicans block assault weapons ban, background checks bill "

I Hope You Prepared

12/7/23 Newsweek:
"Vista Outdoor, a parent company to many firearms businesses, told Newsweek that it will substantially increase its ammunition prices due to "an anticipated global shortage of gunpowder.""

If not, order from advertiser to the right.

The UNLV Shooter

12/7/23 CNN:
"It included links to common conspiracy theory fodder like Freemasonry, the Trilateral Commission and “The Rothchild (sic) Family.” George Soros, a common target for antisemitic conspiracy theories, is listed as one of the “Great Minds of the Twentieth Century,” alongside Albert Einstein and others."

I am sure they conspired to prevent UNLV from hiring him.

George Soros is not a mark of antisemitic theories.  His Jewishness did not stop him from helping the Germans loot his fellow Hungarian Jews during World War II and he has refused to admit that he did something wrong, not even a "I did it because I was afraid for my life" excuse.

Conspiracy theories are popular ways to explain failures that might lay a little closer to home.  I was watching the Son of Hamas author explaining why the Muslim world hates the Jews.  Israel is a successful nation with a European GDP, vastly higher than any Arab nation.  It could not possibly be Muslim religion or Arab culture at fault.  It is easier to look outside rather than inside.  The parallels to the constant AWFL screeching about racism as the core of black poverty explains why BLM chapters endorsed Hamas' murder, torture, and rape rampage.  Admit that sexualizing girls at 12, leaving pregnant mother's behind to pursue another underage sexual conquest, and glorifying drug dealers while denigrating education as "acting white" could not possibly explain anything that has gone wrong.  It is all Whitey!

And Joooos!

And capitalists!

Who else can I had to the list?

Note Returning Ammo Advertiser

 on the right.

AP Takes Off the Mask

 AP article about the disgruntled professor who went on a rampage at UNLV has an item in the middle of the article about the courts taking an increasingly absolutist position about the right to keep and bear arms and Americans increasingly feel thrir right to worship and "the pursuit of happiness" are being denied by this right.

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Monday, December 4, 2023

Is Gun Control Popular?

Marquette Law School did a survey to see if Americans approved of the job the Supreme Court is doing.  Most did not but not because of Bruen.
"Table 6: Favor or oppose Bruen decision on right to bear a gun outside the home

Among adults

Poll datesFavor or oppose Bruen
Marquette Law School Poll, national surveys
Question: In 2022, the Supreme Court ruled that, subject to some restrictions, the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to carry a handgun for self-defense outside the home. How much do you favor or oppose this decision?"

Sunday, December 3, 2023

Electrical Question

My well pump draws 1.5 kW.  I am unsure how many hours a day it is actually running.  I suspect unless I have the water running it is drawing little or no power.  There are clamp multimeters that go around a power cable to measure actual current draw.

Obviously I want to know total draw over several hours or maybe a day.  I see such clamp DMMs offered that refer to 2000 counts, 4000, 6000.  I am guessing that this refers to how many samples they make of the current draw.  I think thid something that you can set total duration.  6000 counts over a 24 hour period.  Does anyone know?

Saturday, December 2, 2023


 I am looking to replae my existing heavy treadmill with a 2 in 1 treadmill.  My daughter bought one that fits under desk so that she can treadmill while working at the computer.  This looks like a good idea.  Amazon has lots of them, but none show Country of Origin.  Amazon is now apparently requiring vendors to add a COO field.  If so, it is not showing up in these products.  I think that makes them all PRC.  

I have seen add-ons that distinguish Amazon products by COO, but I cannot find them right now.

Standing desk converters also seem to be exclusively PRC.

Are You Fluent in German?

 Google Translate is doing a not very good job, and my German is too rusty to be trusty, but good enough to see that Google Translate is doing poorly, and I am not good enough certainly for a court document.  This is about a pre-1791 repeating rifle from the Zeitschrift für historische Waffen- und Kostümkunde (Journal of Historic Weapons and Uniforms):

Der österreichische Gewehrtechniker G. C. Girardoni, ,,ein äusserst fruchtbarer und genialer Erfinder 2 ) , hatte 1780 eine Repetierkonstruktion an einem 15 mmJägerstutzen, versucht. Dabei zerschmetterte eine Magazinexplosion ihm den linken Arm. Mit einer eisernen Hand an dem zerstörten Arme vervollkommnete Girardoni seine Erfindung dennoch weiter. Nur verwendete er statt der gefährlichen Pulverkammer eine Kammer mit komprimierter Luft. So entstand", sagt Dolleczek in seiner genannten Monographie nach einem Privatbriefe der Urenkels Girardonis,,,die Windbüchse, welche als Repetierwaffe mit rauch- und nahezu knalllosem Schusse über 35 Jahre in der österreichischen Armee eingeführt war.

Diese Girardonische Windbüchse führte, wie jedes andere praktische Armeegewehr, eine dienstliche Bezeich nung ,,Repetier-Windbüchse M. 1780". Sie hatte 13 mm. Kaliber, einen mit 12 Zügen versehenen Lauf mit 5 , Drall, an den sich hinten ein messingnes Ventilgehäuse , dann der in den kleinen mit Leder überzogenen Kolben eingekleidete Rezipient anschloss. Dieser Kolben, Flasche genannt, wurde vor dem Schiessen abgeschraubt, mit Luft gefüllt und dann wieder luftdicht angeschraubt. Die Luftfüllung reichte für bis 40 Schuss. Jeder Schütze führte 24 gefüllte ,,Flaschen" mit ins Gefecht. Jeder Kompagnie führte man auf Wagen Reserveflaschen und zwei Luftpumpen nach.

I also have several pages in Fraktur if you can get in touch with me.  I really cannot read Fraktur but I can read the heading Das Luftgewehy als Kriegswaffe: The air gun as war weapon. 

18-21 Handgun Buyers

 Brown v. BATF (N.D.W.Va. 2023):

Defendants’ reliance on mostly 19th century gun safety regulations as their justification in regulating the 18-to-20-year-old age group is misplaced under Heller and Bruen.8 When later evidence “contradicts earlier evidence,” it “cannot provide much insight into the meaning of the Second Amendment.” Bruen, 142 S.Ct. at 2154. At the time of the ratification of the Second Amendment in 1791, eighteen (18) was the age of majority for militia service throughout the nation. Although, in 1775, sixteen-year-olds were expected to fight in the Revolutionary War. United States v. Blakeney, 3 Gratt. 405, 441 (Va. 1847) (“During the war of the revolution, sixteen was the military age.”). ...

In summary, because Plaintiffs’ conduct – the purchase of handguns – “fall[s] [within] the Second Amendment’s ‘unqualified command’” and the challenged statutes and regulations are not “consistent with the Nation’s historic tradition of firearm regulation,” the Court FINDS 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(b)(1) and (c)(1) facially unconstitutional and as applied to Plaintiffs. ...

For the reasons discussed, the Court DENIES Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss [ECF No. 23] and GRANTS Plaintiffs’ Motion for Summary Judgment [ECF No. 28]. Defendants are ENJOINED from enforcing 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(b)(1) and (c)(1) against Plaintiffs and otherwise-qualified 18-to-20-year-olds.  

This was a Second Amendment Foundation case. 

If You Are Not Local, Pocatello is the Rural, Largely Mormon part of Idaho

 11/27/23 Idaho Capital Sun:

A drag reading group received this year’s Human and Civil Rights award from the city of Pocatello’s Human Relations Advisory Committee for its work providing educational spaces for children amid community backlash.

The city’s Human Relations Advisory Committee consists of community members that address local civil rights issues and advise the mayor and City Council on civil rights concerns. Each year, the committee recognizes an individual or group that has worked to improve civil rights issues in Pocatello. Previous winners include educators, coaches, behavioral health advocates, among others.

This year, Reading Time with the Queens, a nonprofit whose mission is to have drag performers read stories that teach acceptance and self love, received the award. 

Each month, the nonprofit organizes a 45-minute program where drag artists read picture books, sing songs, teach sign language and create crafts with children and families in Pocatello and Idaho Falls. 

Friday, December 1, 2023

Peter Zeihan

I have no idea who he is, but this presentation to some business leaders group gives the impression of a polymath who makes very plausible and somewhat worrisome predictions and warnings.

1. China is near collapse and we will likely get no warning of governmental collapse until stuff just stops arriving in container ships.

2. Russian raw materials come from areas largely Turkic, not ethnic Russian which are growing in population rapidly while the skilled workers largely ethnic Russian is dying much faster than ther are being born.

3. Mexico and Southeast Asia will be replacing (other videos indicate Mexico already is) China as the manufacturing center for North America and likely the rest of the world.

4. The raw materials required for a green revolution are simply not available at scale to do this.  He argues that if the U.S. military were deployed to invade and occupy the nations that are the needed sources of these raw materials (and we was not recommending it), we might have enough to green America, but the rest of the world no way.

5. His discussion of what Trump did in creating the MAGA realignment of the Republican Party has been profound. He makes the claim that both the Obama and Trump Administrations were run by people with no idea of the math required to run a national economy.  This does explain a lot, sadly.

More Municipal Bonds

Id Hlth Fac Auth Rev REV 4% 03/01/2039 Callable
Spl Redem Provs

Continuously-Callable on 03/01/2032 @ 100.00000

Yield to worst: 4.37%.  The worst that happens is you get the par value back in 2032 which is 5% more than current price. 

Who Else Received Funding?

11/16/23 Washington Free Beacon:
"California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D.) has awarded millions of dollars in taxpayer funds to mosques whose leaders have preached anti-Semitic hate and called for violence against Israel....
"Newsom, considered a future Democratic presidential contender, said last month he will double funding in his state for its nonprofit security program, citing the "unconscionable terrorist attacks in Israel." Funds will be awarded to both synagogues and mosques, Newsom’s office said."

Considering that many terrorist attacks have been against churches and church-affilistrd schools (the attack on that black church in South Carolina, churches in Sutherland Springs, White Settlement, Colorado Springs, the school in Nashville, the West Nickel Mines school in 2006) and other non-profits (the Family Research Council in 2013) I would love too see a list of beneficiaries.  I suspect if this list is narrowly focused on mosques, or even mosques and synagogues there is a First Amendment challenge available.

First Snow of the Season

Thursday, November 30, 2023

Cardiac Rehab

I am undergoing cardiac rehabilitation at the moment, which is basically an exercise program to get everything repaired by the stents to work properly.  This means treadmilling, arm bikes, and some weight exercises as well.  This is in addition to the treadmilling I have been doing at home.  I am hoping to be finished before they cut me open for aortic valve replacement.  Then I suspect that I will do it again.

The good news was that after today's session my blood pressure was 115/48.  Before the stents it was far higher.