Tuesday, January 31, 2023

More Obscure Session Laws

 You guys are wonderfully good at this.

1931 Ill. Laws 452, 452; 1927 Mass. Acts 413, 413-14; Act of

June 2, 1927, no. 372,  1929, Act No. 206, Sec.

3, Comp. Laws 1929; Act of Apr. 10, 1933, ch. 190, 1933 Minn. Laws 231, 232; Act of Apr. 8,

1933, no. 64, 1933 Ohio Laws 189, 189; 1927 R.I. Pub. Laws 256, 256; Uniform Machine Gun

Act, ch. 206, 1933 S.D. Sess. Laws 245, 245; Act of Mar. 7, 1934, ch. 96, 1934 Va. Acts 137.

I am good.  I have the obscure 1933 S.D. and 1934 Va. laws that supposedly imposed magazine capacity limits.  It turns out both states used identical language.  It was only unlawful to use a machine fun in an "aggressive or offensive " manner.  The definition of this says a U.S. citizen with a machine gun in his home or business was breaking no law.  It turns out that I found those two laws buried in Spitzer's appendix so this just makes him look more dishonest 

Monday, January 30, 2023

I Really Like the Idea of Electric Cars

Even if they are in many places coal-powered.  This 1/27/23 Motor Trend article is why I do not expect to ever buy an EV although hybrids seem a reasonable solution especially the new incredibly fast hybrid AWD Corvette.   Although spending $100K+ seems like something I would only do if I won the Powerball.

What If She Was Reading the Communist Manifesto?

I started reading one day in the library.   It was a serious snoozer.  1/30/23 Inside Higher Ed:
"Stanford University officials’ response to a shared image of a student reading Adolf Hitler’s autobiography has drawn a sharp critique from a national free speech advocacy organization.

The image of the student reading Mein Kampf was shared on the social media platform Snapchat and led to the filing of an online complaint with the university, according to an email from Jewish faith leaders addressed to Jewish Stanford students. It isn’t clear from college officials who filed the complaint, though a Stanford spokeswoman, in response to questions from Inside Higher Ed, said a “concern” was raised by an unnamed student organization."

Why would you want to understand the motivations of one of the great monsters of history?  It is legitimately similar to learning the hunting habits of mountain lions.

Help Me Find

 Judge Edward Scott, Laws of the State of Tennessee: Including Those of North Carolina Now in Force in this State: From the Year 1715 to the Year 1820, Inclusive Page 710.  Hathitrust.org has Vol. II and another entry for Vol. I but it is just another copy of Vol. II.

1786 Va. Laws 33, ch. 21.  To my surprise I cannot find Virginia session laws for 1792 online.

I Thought I Needed to Make This Video

This is a video from the Boone County, Indiana Sheriff showing 30 shots fired at aimed shooting speed from a pistol and an AR-15 showing how little difference LCMs actually make in bullets on target.

The pistol demo uses 15,10, and 6 round magazines to fire 30 rounds.

The AR-15 uses a 20 and 10 round magazines. 

The total time difference is trivial.  From a practical standpoint this means an LCM Ban is not a killer for self-defense.  It also means the LCM bans do nothing.


Sunday, January 29, 2023

Source Needed

I have read that Custer's men were armed with single-shot rifles compared the repeating rifles of their attackers because the Army believed repeating rifles would encourage wasteful shooting practices.  (This is a rather logical assumption; panic may cause you to replace accurate shots with many poorly aimed shots.)  Does anyone have a source for that?

Saturday, January 28, 2023

This is Comforting

But alas, good advice.  1/27/23 Yahoo News:
"World Health Organization Recommends Stockpiling Meds for Radiological Catastrophe"

I Think California Needs Gun Safety Laws

1/28/23 AP:
"The shooting occurred about 2:30 a.m. in the Beverly Crest neighborhood. This is at least the sixth mass shooting in California this month."

Whatever they are doing is not working.

It Is Coming Together

This has taken far longer than it should. 

I mentioned that I needed a bracket to go over the drill press vise to hold a 1/2" stop rod for the Tapmatic and I did not want to go Neanderthal and drill a hole in the vise itself.  I did that on the old one and it was sometimes less than perfectly positioned.   So I am building a bridge that holds the stop bar in position over the end of the clamp handle part:
Yes it is not symmetrical for the hole.  Neither is the vise.  I wanted the stop rod to go as far down as possible.   The 1/4"-20 thumbscrew is probably not truly necessary; a 1/2" drill bit made a hole so tight that the first time I needed to tap it out.  (Perhaps debris from tapping the hole for the thumbscrew.)  But on the old vise the stop rod was not a terribly tight fit and on occasion it would leave its assigned seating, although never fast enough to scare me.  This will just be increased confidence of that.

I still need to drill holes for thumbscrews on the sides to lock it in position on the vise.  It is already just a few hundredths of an inch away from a press fit.  I want to move easily so that is the final step.  I am expending a lot of mental energy trying to  destroy gun bans in Oregon, California, Illinois, and New York so I have to pace myself.  (Do not feel sorry for me.  I am getting well-paid for my expertise.)

Once You've Gone Black...

Carbide you'll never go back to High Speed Steel taps.  The 1/4"-20 carbide tap I bought a few weeks ago, has spoiled me badly.  I may add some more of these USA made carbide taps and keep the HSS taps as backups.  Brand name Champion.

First Mass Murder With an AR-15?

If you have been working this issue as long as me, you remember when the semiauto rifle used in mass murders was the AK-47.  Now the dying legacy media click-bait with AR-15s.  This change, I think, may be because the news coverage tells the unstable who want to go out in a blaze of infamy what gun to use.  So when did the choice of unstable sociopaths change?

Friday, January 27, 2023

Do Any of You Californians Have Access to a Law School Library?

The other is claiming California banned revolvers in 1917 and 1923.  I am having trouble finding the 1917 session laws.  The 1923 session laws have no such chapter number.  If you have some time, I can pay you well to do a little photocopying.

Thank you, all.  The 1917 session laws are here.  The laws supposedly banning revolvers are Ch. 221-225:

I Am So Surprised

1/24/23 New York Post:

Anthony Loffredo, who calls himself the “black alien,” removed his ears, nostrils and even a few fingers; sharpened his teeth and dyed them purple; and covered his body in extreme tattoos. Now the Frenchman says he’s found one space where he can’t come in peace.

“If I want to eat at a restaurant, sometimes the server says I can’t eat on the terrace,” Loffredo, 33, recently told LAD Bible.

Whatever surgeon did this should have his medical license revoked. 

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Question Asked By Oregon's Attorney Defending Measure 114

How many mass murders were there before 1960?  What went into the Supplemental Declaration:

How do you kill lots of people without modern firearms technology?  Before 1960, there are four incidents with more than 50 dead.  Colfax, Louisiana (1873) where the KKK murdered 150 black civil rights activists using firearms; Mountain Meadows, Utah (1857) where Mormons with firearms of type unknown murdered 140 settlers moving west; Tulsa, Okla. (1921), at least 89 murdered by a mob, with a variety of weapons, Calumet, Mich. (1913) where one person provoked a panic that killed 74 people, mostly trampled to death.

By comparison, my database, while incomplete after 1960, has six mass murders with more than 50 dead after 1960: San Juan, P.R. (1986), 97, dead by arson committed by three men; New York City (1990), 87 dead by arson by one person; Oklahoma City (1995), 168, dead by explosive committed by two (only one was given a capital sentence); New York City (2001), 3047, dead by aircraft, and Arlington, Va. (2001), 184, dead by aircraft with 19 murderers from both events; Las Vegas (2017), 58, dead by one rifleman.

New Secret Service Report on Mass Murders 2016-20


Most of the attackers had exhibited behavior that elicited concern in family members, friends, neighbors, classmates, co-workers, and others, and in many cases, those individuals feared for the safety of themselves or others. 

• Many attackers had a history of physically aggressive or intimidating behaviors, evidenced by prior violent criminal arrests/charges, domestic violence, or other acts of violence toward others.

• Most of the attackers used firearms, and many of those firearms were possessed illegally at the time of the attack. 

Who would have guessed that

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

USA Today Mass Murder Map

 The USA Today/Northeastern University 2006-present mass murder data base in this article is really interesting.  They include all weapon types about 20% of which are not guns.  There is a map where you can select a type and then move from tragedy to tragedy.  Category other gives you a lot of the non-gun mass murders.


 I listened to Cal. Dep. A-G question Prof. Saul Cornell about how pre-1789 laws provided analogs to California's Unsafe Handgun Act, which requires a drop test different from the industry standard and therefore another cost to add to getting a handgun on the roster of lawful for civilians to buy handguns.  (Police can buy whatever "unsafe" handgun they want.)  It also requires a magazine disconnector and a loaded chamber indicator that makes me think of either the 1960s Batman TV show (with the garish effects around the words "POW!!!") or the Mask.  Fine for TV but not really needed on a gun.

His analogs?  Massachusetts adopted a barrel proofing law, you fire a ball with 4x the usual charge to verify it is safe.  Gunpowder storage laws that limited how much black powder you could store in your home instead of the public magazine, 28 pounds and 30 pounds being typical limits.

Fortunately, I was able to respond to Cornell's claims and it was fun in an exhausting sort of way.  His Exh. 24 included the New York City gunpowder storage law.  But the actual law is at 2 Laws of New-York 191-93 (1792), and he copied from volume 1, a law organizing city governments.  He did not even read it carefully enough to notice.  You lucky California taxpayers are paying $500/hour for that expertise.

He claimed that proofing law from 1805 was passed in the biggest gunmaking state in America.  So I pulled the 1810 Census of Manufactures and Massachusetts does not even have any makers.

There are criticisms that this 1810 census was not very complete.

The 1820 census lacks the state by state summary, but I went through each state county by county, and Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Virginia have lots of pistol and rifle manufacturers.  Massachusetts lists one: Springfield Arsenal.  The 1805 proofing law exempts any barrels made for the U.S. government, so the law did... nothing.

He claimed that low murder rates in the period around the Constitution was because no one kept black powder guns loaded, to avoid water damaging the guns or the powder.  This is vey logical, but it appears the people of the time did not agree.  Mass. Gov. Winthrop's Journal has four incidents of guns not about to be used going off, killing a 5-year-old, and an 8-year-old.  Another unloaded musket at a militia seriously injured three people.  Four incidents in one book.  And the piece de resistance, a law prohibiting Bostonians from keeping loaded cannon, hand grenades, and firearms in their homes.

Odd that you would need that law if people did not load guns until they were needed.

The range of mistakes was just overwhelming.  Hard but fun.

Monday, January 23, 2023

I Am on a Zoom Call As Exciting As Watching Paint Dry

I was called as an expert witness in a challenge to California Unsafe Handgun Law.  For reasons that I do not understand I was called first and now I am waiting for Prof. Cornell to testify why his almost random collection of gunpowder storage laws and barrel proofing laws justify microprinting, magazine disconnector requirements, and loaded chamber indicators that look like cartoons.

Federal Judge Carney seems like an energetic and thoughtful fellow, but audio is off and I can hear nothing of what is happening.  It seems as though they do not want witnesses to hear each other, which is weird, unless they are in Witness Protection.

First Step: Make Sure It Was Not the Babylon Bee

 1/17/23 Chicago City Wire:

As Gov. J.B. Pritzker was signing a sweeping gun ban and gun registry many law enforcement officers are refusing to enforce, the Pritzker family was opening a gun range as part of a museum under construction in Somers, Wis. 

The new facility will house the Pritzker Military Museum & Library, located at 104 S. Michigan Ave., in downtown Chicago. 

Pritzker’s cousin James Nicholas Pritzker, who in 2013 announced he is a transsexual now known as Jennifer N. Pritzker, is behind the push to move the collection north.

According to Kenosha News, “the gun range and facility will be about 22,000 square feet between two floors. It will include an indoor sports shooting range, training and retail facility, with offerings for skill levels ranging from beginners to professionals.” 

They Tried

A serious complaint has been that whites sometimes tricked Indians out of their lands by deception and alcohol.  ("She was beautiful last night," is the modern equivalent.)  Congress required its approval for transfers of Indian lands.  And it seems, New York also tried to protect the Indians.

Laws of New-York, Eleventh Session, 2:194

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Windows 10 Had a Very Useful File Search

 In Windows Explorer you could search all files at the current directory and below for Word files containg a word or words.  It does not work in Windows 11 except for file names.  Solution?

If you search starting at ThisPC it works.

Thursday, January 19, 2023


 While the dramatic increase in mental illness mass murders of the post-Civil War period does not make itself very obvious after the World Wars, I do notice a lot of veterans.  One had been a POW of the Japanese.  Another used “his German war souvenir” pistol.  I wonder what I would find if I could match service records up to these mass murderers.

War is a nasty business best avoided or fought by proxies with more at stake to justify the post-war suffering.

Tulsi Gabbard on the Second Amendment


Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Ukrainian Ministry of Defense Has Great Marketing

1/17/23 Motor Trend has the Ukrainian MOD's parody of Chevy truck ads suggesting we relabel the Abrams as a recreational vehicle.  Hilarious. 

Dangerously Ethical

I have been considering having a lawyer set up a trust to save our heirs the nuisance of probate.  Our son-in-law went through a real mess with his father's estate in Washington. 

The first attorney I contacted wanted $3750 to set up a trust.  My Fidelity representative recommended an attorney named Merilee Munther.

I called her and explained the simple situation: no previous spouses, no previous children, no property outside Idaho, less than the magic $5 million border where inheritance taxes become an issue.  She responded that Idaho probate is so simple that a trust almost never makes sense.   Turning down a chance to make money.  If you need a lawyer, I think I would try her first.


I am watching a miniseries on YouTube about the Temptations.  It is so satisfying to see a portrayal of urban black life when middle class aspirations dominated.  Hard work, positive work ethic.  Christian values even if more the form they learned from their parents. Figuring out what went wrong would be worthwhile.

They ditched David Ruffin pretty early on because of drug use and selfishness.   He died of a crack overdose in 1991.

And then the alcohol starts destroying them.

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Deposition for Oregon Measure 114 at 10:30 Thursday

Two Expert Declarations that I expect to be questioned closely on: that licensing of firearms before 1868 has one example, a North Carolina law that only applied to free blacks: and one about mass murder as a not recent and not primarily firearms problem in America. 

Pray for patience, calm, and being able to answer questions clearly and thoughtfully.

Expert witness BDUs:

It turns out to be Thursday.

Monday, January 16, 2023


I have battled several years with globes syndrome which is a swallowing sensation well-characterized by the Chinese medicine description: peach pit syndrome.   It feels like something is in one side of your throat and it will not move.  If I talk for long the sensation forces me to keep swallowing.  It is exhausting.  I am told that the frequent pauses make sound thoughtful. 

I have had extensive testing with fluoroscopes and barium milkshakes looking for a mechanical cause to no avail.

A speech therapist who I worked after my 2014 stroke saw me today and says it is a combination of silent reflux as evidenced by speaking after a drink of water and getting an odd set of sounds causing by fluid on my vocal chords when it should be nowhere near there.

She also says my throat muscles are week and are not moving correctly.   She has me discontinuing pretty much my entire diet for a few weeks (caffeine, carbonated beverages, processes meats, tomato sauce, all spicy foods) putting a wedge pillow under my head, and starting Friday, electrical stimulation.  She scheduled me for 8 appointments but thinks we will not use them all.

I was a little unsure if she would remember me seven years later but I had her family up to the old house for a star party and she says her kids will never forget it.

Some Tweets Are So Silly That They Have to Be Misunderstandings

Norway's Research Council is investigating white paint as a tool of racism:

Whiteness is one of today’s key societal and political concerns. Within and beyond academia worldwide, actions of revolt and regret seek to cope with our racial past. In the pivotal works in whiteness studies within art and architecture history, whiteness is understood as cultural and visual structures of privilege. The new research project ‘How Norway Made the World Whiter’ (NorWhite) funded by the Research Council of Norway (12 million NOK), addresses, however, a distinctively different battleground for politics of whiteness in art and architecture. Two core premises underpin the project: Whiteness is not only a cultural and societal condition tied to skin color, privileges, and systematic exclusion, but materialize everywhere around us. Second, one cannot understand this materialization without understanding the societal, technological and aesthetic conditions of the color itself.

A reader pointed that white paint on roofs is a way to reduce infrared heating of buildings, which reduces air conditioning needs.  So Green is White Supremacy! 

When Stupid People Launder Money

1/13/23 New York Post reports on Hunter Biden renting his father's house for $50,000 per month and paying half his income to cover Joe's bills.  That's 10% for the Big Guy.

Some years ago, a Republican Congressman from California sold his house at an absurdly high price to a defense contractor executive.   He was caught and sent to prison for taking a bribe.   Will any Democrat be concerned about this?

Get Ready!

 This is from a series titled Fall of Civilizations.  This episode is about the collapse of Roman Britain.

It is a detailed examination of how and why Rome left Britain.  

Sabrent NVMe Heat Sink

 I just listed it on eBay.  I ordered an SSD and spent the extra $20 for the heatsink, which only fits in desktops, not laptops.  I cannot return it without the drive so...

Oh and a Lenovo USB to HDMI/VGA adapter.

And an Insignia USB to HDMI adapter.

Sunday, January 15, 2023

When An Elected Official's Net Wealth Declines...

It is at least a hint that he is not using his position to get rich.  My Congreeman for several years had the lowest net wealth of any member of the House at the end of his last term.  He is now Idaho Attorney-General.

Gov. DeSantis has a net wealth a bit above $300,000, down for the third year in a row, so he is not hurting but clearly has more in common with us ordinary people than Trump.  Watch the media focus on him as a "rich" person.  Especially from media figures with net wealth much above him.

Saturday, January 14, 2023

SQL Question

In Access:

SELECT Table2.category_ID AS category, count(*) AS incidents, sum(Table2.dead) AS dead, avg(Table2.dead) AS [avg]

FROM Table2

GROUP BY category_ID;

returns a table with the category table correctly looked up:

In Excel, I use Data->Get Data to connect to that query, and I get this:
Instead of using the lookup table for Category, I get the lookup index.  Any idea why?

This Reminds Me of the Rhode Island Plantation Tempest in a Teapot

 Rhode Island's formal name for centuries included the phrase "Providence Plantations." Plantation is a word used throughout the the 17th century to refer to situations with no blacks: Plantation of Ulster.  Rhode Islanders, ignorant of history, approved removal of that awful word two years ago.

1/14/23 NPR:

An office within the University of Southern California's School of Social Work says it is removing the term "field" from its curriculum because it may have racist connotations related to slavery.

The newly renamed Office of Practicum Education, formerly known as the Office of Field Education, within the university's Suzanne-Dworak-Peck School of Social Work, is making the change in order to be more inclusive, according to a memo sent out to faculty and students this week and obtained by NPR.

"This change supports anti-racist social work practice by replacing language that could be considered anti-Black or anti-immigrant in favor of inclusive language," the memo reads. "Language can be powerful, and phrases such as 'going into the field' or 'field work' may have connotations for descendants of slavery and immigrant workers that are not benign."

Of course, you know darn well that "field work" is really working outside the ivory tower.  Watch out physicists: your racist "Unified Field Theory" is next!  And what will call the influence a big magnet has on its surroundings?

Thank Biden's DOJ

 1/14/23 NPR:

It's been more than five years since the mass shooting in a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas killed 25 people, including one pregnant person, and injured 22 others. Officials put the total death toll at 26.

A District Court ruled in 2021 that the government was 60% responsible for the massacre after shooter Devin Kelley, who was discharged from the Air Force after a felony conviction, wasn't entered into the national database that would have prevented him from buying a gun. A judge said the government also owed victims $230 million in damages.

But in court documents filed this week, the Department of Justice pushed back on paying damages and denied that they were primarily responsible for the shooting — a move that gun control advocates say not only harms victims and their families, but is also a backwards step for the Biden administration's own stance on gun control policy....

Jamal Alsaffar, the attorney representing the Sutherland Springs victims and their families, said that by appealing the ruling from the district judge, the DOJ is playing into the National Rifle Association's hands.

"If the DOJ wins, we have substantially weakened the ability to enforce background check laws," Alsaffar said.

The NRA's legislative arm released a statement saying the lawsuit "forced the government to admit inconvenient truths about the limitations of gun control."

The NRA said it was "significant" that the Justice Department has argued that a background check on the shooter may not have stopped the shooting, and argued that the Air Force could not have known that the shooter had the potential to commit such a crime.

"Both those admissions essentially negate any further claims by the Biden Administration that firearm background checks have any essential role to play in public safety," the NRA wrote.

"The Biden DOJ is walking right into the NRA's trap," Alsaffar said. "Why the DOJ wants to undermine the very most important element of the Biden administration's gun safety policy is beyond me."

Because they're stupid?  Or are they are telling the truth.  The government cannot do even the simplest of jobs: reporting criminal convictions and involuntary mental hospital commitments? 

A Shocker

 I have long wondered if the dramatic increase in mass murder deaths/100,000 people in the period 1860-1909 might have something to do with Civil War PTSD.

Another interesting quirk is the rise in mental illness mass murder incidents and deaths in the 1860s and 1870s continuing upward until the decade starting in 1900.  One hypothesis worth exploring is whether this might represent PTSD among returning Civil War soldiers.  It was not recognized until recently,[1] but the enormous percentage of Americans who fought in the Civil War might explain the several decades of increase.  Recent estimates suggest that 750,000 soldiers died in the Civil War,[2] more than any other war in our history, and a much larger percentage of the population fought in it: 20%.[3]

[1] “Post Traukmatic Stress Disorder and the American Civil War,” National Museum of Civil War Medicine, May 2, 2019, https://www.civilwarmed.org/ptsd/, last accessed January 14, 2023.

[2]“Who, What, Why: How many soldiers died in the US Civil War?“ BBC, Apr. 4, 2012, https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-17604991, last accessed January 14, 2023.

[3] The Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System contains records on 6.3 million service members.  “The Civil War,” National Park Service, https://www.nps.gov/civilwar/soldiers-and-sailors-overview.htm, last accessed January 14, 2023.  U.S. Census Bureau, https://www.census.gov/history/www/through_the_decades/fast_facts/1860_fast_facts.html, last accessed January 14, 2023.

Friday, January 13, 2023

Californians Clearly Need Higher Taxes

1/11/23 CBS channel 8:
"A new bill introduced by Assemblymember David Alvarez, who oversees the 80th District, could soon help low-income students in Mexico who live within 45 miles of the border.

If the legislation is approved, low income Tijuana college students who hope to attend community college in San Diego, would only have to pay in-state tuition."

Why 45 miles?  How about 45,000 miles?  Why discriminate against the location-challenged?

They Do Not Want to Go There

 Washington State legislators are proposing mandatory firearms training.  Under the standards set by Bruen, there is an historical justification: militia musters.  I do not think they want to go there.  It would only apply to militia members and musters would be mandatory.

Going Pronounless

Or is that having a pronounectomy?  Some of my students now have preferred pronouns listed in their profile in my roster.  All match the first names that are generally male or female, except for one who says "Use my name as a pronoun."  This raises an interesting question: how often do we use pronouns in a classroom?  I can construct some examples.  After X says something profound about the Fugitive Slave Act, "Does anyone disagree with her assessment?"  Most of the time, I would simply say, "Are there other points of view?" or "What do the rest of you think?"

I Guess Congress Cannot Investigate Hate Crimes for Fear It Will "embolden anti-White Rhetoric and Hate"

1/12/23 Daily Caller:

Democratic Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley told CNN on Thursday that the newly established bipartisan select committee investigating China will invoke “anti-Asian rhetoric and hate.”

The House voted 365-65 in favor of a resolution to establish the committee to investigate economic and technological challenges in the U.S. posed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Republican Wisconsin Rep. Mike Gallagher will chair the committee consisting of seven Republicans and nine Democrats.

“I voted no because it’s another sham effort here. It’s really clear that this is just a committee that would further embolden anti-Asian rhetoric and hate and put lives at risk,” she said. “We have enough infrastructure and governance to tackle those issues and we don’t need the select committee and that is why I voted no, because I am afraid that will embolden anti-Asian rhetoric and hate.”

They have a CNN clip where Rep. Pressley (D-MA), the bald black woman (who looks as silly as that sounds) says that.  Does she really think the widespread often black hate crimes against Asians are going to go up from investigating a political party in another nation?  Or is she on PRC's payroll?

Thursday, January 12, 2023

EMP and Cars

Interesting discussion of EMP on cars:
"No, an EMP attack would not disable all vehicles. According to a study conducted by the United States EMP Commission, only about 1 out of 50 vehicles are likely to be rendered inoperable. The effects of an EMP on hybrid and electric vehicles, however, have yet to be studied and is currently unknown."

Bruen is Having Results

A friend applied for a CCW in San Francisco and they have set an appointment for fingerprinting!

Current Frustration

The gratifying activity includes:

1. New semester starting.

2. Providing historical research for the California baton ban; the California assault weapons and large capacity magazine ban; Oregon Measure 114, and an upcoming case in Naperville's assault weapons ban.


I bought that wonderful Taiwanese cross-slide vise and having used it for a while had been very gratifying.   It works so much better than the PRC version.

However, the marvelous Tapmatic tapping tool requires a stop rod to catch the mechanism and causes it to start reversing direction and back the tap out of the hole.  With the old vise, I drilled a hole in the vise for a .5" steel rod but I do not want to drill holes in this beautiful vise.  Besides, depending on the position of the quill relative to the cross-slide vise, the rod did not always end up in a useful position. 

So, I decided to build something that would slide back and forth above the clamping screw.

I could I suppose have carved a U out of a block of aluminum but it was simply easier to cut a piece wide enough to cross over that clamping screw with two "legs" going down the side.  I will hold the legs in position on the ends of the bridge with 8-32 screws and then 1/4-20 thumbscrews in the legs to lock the bridge in position.   A 1/2" hole in the bridge for the stop rod with a thumbscrew to hold the rod in place.  The entire assembly can be repositioned on whatever position is most useful.

The hard part is how wide is the bridge.  Getting an accurate width was difficult because my micrometer cannot go low enough because of the clamping screw.  

I obviously mismeasured and ended up with a bridge just narrow enough that the legs will go down over the edges.  I then noticed that I could measure at the Jaws which are the required width: 5.78". Unfortunately while I can mill that bridge a bit smaller, I cannot mill it any wider.  So I need to recut that bridge from a existing piece of aluminum stock.  

Once cut to 5.85" or so, I only need to mill the ends to square then drill and tap 8-32 holes at .34" and .67" from the ends centered in the .5" thick bar.

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Firearm Serial Numbers

 When are the first firearms with serial numbers?  I know GCA68 required manufacturers to number every firearm.  This suggests that the practice was not yet universal.  Can anyone with antebellum firearms look for serial numbers?

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

How Stupid Do You Have to Be?

YouTube video titled "When Pirates Attacked 2 American Warships."  Yes, Somali pirates opened fire on a USN destroyer and cruiser.  They were a little overmatched.

Of All the Ukraine War Videos

Perun's are among the most impressive.  He is Aussie and is a defense logistics specialist.   I am watching a video about ammunition shortages and he shows two satellite photos from a NASA wildfires monitor.   Guess what?  You can get at least an idea how much artillery is being fired from these.

While discussing U.S. production of 155mm shells he observes that many of these will be the blingyist versions.  "If you look away for five minutes the U.S. Army will put a guidance kit on a hand grenade."

A Radical Proposal That Deserves Consideration

 1/10/23 Fox News:

FIRST ON FOX: Republicans in the House of Representatives will vote on a bill that would abolish the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), eliminate the national income tax, and replace it with a national consumption tax.

Fox News Digital has learned that the House will be voting on Georgia Republican Rep. Buddy Carter's reintroduced Fair Tax Act that aims to reel in the IRS and remove the national income tax, as well as other taxes, and replace them with a single consumption tax.

The vote on the bill was made as part of the deal between House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and members of the House Freedom Caucus and was pushed forward in his quest for the gavel.

A national sales tax is easy to implement.  Merchants already calculate sales tax for each state.  Most states exempt groceries and Rxs, so such a tax would not excessively harm the poor.  There just cannot be exemptions for jets, yachts, and electric vehicles.  This may reduce purchases somewhat, but reduced income taxes would likely more than compensate.  

Lots of Surprises

Biology Methods and Protocols 9:1 (2022) did a really large survey of Czechs and looked for behaviors, physical traits, and dietary supplements to see if there was an association with risk of COVID-19 infection and severity once infected.  Many of the results are surprising:

Blood group (system ABO) had a moderate effect on the risk of COVID-19 infection and probably no effect on its course. Individuals with blood group 0 had a lower and those with blood group B had a higher risk of infection. The former concurs with the majority of published findings [2425]. The higher risk of the infection in subjects with blood group B also agrees with published data, but a meta-analytic study showed that blood group A usually has a stronger effect on the risk of COVID-19 than blood group B does [26]. Both effects were stronger and statistically significant in men, while in women, they were weaker and nonsignificant. In the second questionnaire, men with blood group B reported worse physical health, while those with blood group 0 reported better physical but worse mental health.

There is an enormous variation in blood types by ethnicity.  It makes you wonder how severe the national variations in infection and death rates might be tied to this.  U.S. blacks are 20% B; U.S. whites are 11% B.  Sweden did very well with a much less severe approach to the disease; they are also only 10% B.

Rh factor had no significant effect on the risk of infection. Rh-positivity had only nonsignificant effects on the severity of the course of COVID-19 (significant for the severity of symptoms index in men), which concurs with previously published data [26]. Similarly, Rh-heterozygosity had no significant effect on the risk or severity of COVID-19, but that could be due to the relatively low number of participants whose heterozygosity could be determined based on their Rh-phenotype and the Rh-phenotype of their parents. Our results indicate that the potential effects of the Rh-factor on the risk and severity of COVID-19 do deserve further attention. However, the investigation of this phenomenon should be preferably based on DNA-genotyped populations because Rh-positive heterozygotes have better health and Rh-positive homozygotes have worse health than Rh-negative individuals [12]....

Many behavioral traits had protective effects against the infection, while three factors, namely being actively involved in sport (in both men and women), frequent singing (only in men), and cold water swimming (in both men and women), increased the risk of infection. We can only speculate about the proximal reasons for these findings. It seems likely that these activities increase the risk of infection only indirectly, that is, by increasing the number of physical contacts with other people. It is, however, also possible that singing facilitates the transmission of the virus even directly. A large community-based cohort study performed on 387 109 UK citizens showed a positive effect of physical inactivity on the risk of COVID-19. However, the study took into account only hospitalized patients and not the numerous subjects without a severe course of COVID-19 [28]. The negative effect of sport on the risk of hospitalization thus probably reflects the negative effect of physical activity on the risk of severe COVID-19 (also observed in our study) rather than its negative effect on the risk of the SARS-CoV-2 infection.

The most substantial protective factor against COVID-19 infection was strict adherence to wearing masks and respirators; this factor was stronger in men than in women. Based on the results of laboratory tests, it is usually supposed that the wearing of masks, and even more so respirators, protects individuals against infection with SARS-CoV-2 (and not only against transmitting the infection to other people). On the other hand, the results of a meta-analytic study show that empirical evidence for this claim is relatively weak [29]. To the best of our knowledge, there is no published prospective longitudinal study that examined the effects of wearing masks on the risk of COVID-19 or its severity (up to October 2021).

Curious that they observe that with regard to masks "On the other hand, the results of a meta-analytic study show that empirical evidence for this claim is relatively weak..."  All that shaming and virtue signaling over something which seems to be effective but for which the evidence is weak.

The second most substantial protective factor was the consumption of vitamins and supplements. Analyses performed separately for women and men had shown that the strongest protective factor in women was walking in nature, possibly an indication of a solitary activity of more introverted women, because in men, walking in nature was a risk factor, albeit a weak and nonsignificant one, rather than a protective factor. The strongest protective factor for men was adherence to wearing masks and respirators. Sustaining social distance and frequent washing hands had only a weak and nonsignificant effect in both men (P > 0.069) and women (P > 0.699).

Again,  "weak and nonsignificant" protective factors on two highly hyped behaviors: social distancing and frequent hand washing.  Vitamin D turned out to be a significant factor in reducing infection risk.

We found that tobacco smoking (in both men and women) and partly also marihuana use (in women) have a relatively strong protective effect against SARS-CoV-2 infection. Marihuana use and, less probably, tobacco smoking could also have some protective effects against a severe course of COVID-19. The protective effects of tobacco smoking have been reported [7] and discussed [30] in some previous studies. However, most studies show adverse effects of smoking on the risk of a severe course of COVID-19 [219283132]. The former smoking habit seems to have three times stronger adverse effect than current smoking [33]. This result agrees with that of a meta-analytic study based on 233 studies [7]. We have no explanation for the contradiction between our data and reported data except for a hypothetical publication bias: it is possible that authors and editors may be reluctant to publish results showing any positive effects of smoking. It should be mentioned, though, that in our study, smokers reported worse mental health, and female smokers reported worse mental and physical health in the second questionnaire than nonsmokers did.

This is the biggest surprise to me, unless smoking creates an unfavorable environment for COVID-19.  Still not a good reason to smoke. 

The most unexpected result of this part of the study was the positive correlation between higher severity of the course of COVID-19 and adherence to wearing masks and respirators and, to a lesser extent, also with keeping social distance. We speculate that individuals with predispositions to a severe course of COVID-19, mainly those who were overweight, suffered immunodeficiency, COPD, or diabetes, put more effort into trying to avoid infection and more strictly adhered to recommendations concerning wearing masks and maintaining a safe distance. At the same time, if they did become infected, they had a more severe course of the disease than individuals without such risk factors. The strength of these associations was lower or nonexistent when the intensity of symptoms or duration of COVID-19 was used as a measure of the severity of COVID-19 (except for the rather strong association between maintaining safe distance and duration of COVID-19 in women). Also, it was much stronger when we used a self-rated severity of the course of COVID-19. It is possible that subjects who did not adhere to recommendations concerning personal protection against COVID-19 were later more reluctant to admit that they had a severe course of the disease. Alternatively, one could also speculate that more anxious people followed existing recommendations concerning personal protection against COVID-19 more strictly, but they also tended to have a more severe course of COVID-19 if they did become infected. On the other hand, the strength of all the associations remained approximately the same when we included in the model the reported intensity of anxiety and depression (partial Tau: masks 0.105 versus 0.109; distance 0.107 versus 0.107).

Why Biden Went After Trump About Classified Documents

1/9/23 Reuters:


ASHINGTON (Reuters) - Classified documents from Joe Biden's vice-presidential days were discovered in November by the U.S. president's personal attorneys at a Washington think tank, CBS News reported on Monday, citing a White House lawyer.

The nearly 10 documents were found at Biden's office at the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement, CBS News reported. It said U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland had asked the U.S. attorney in Chicago to review the classified documents which were handed over to the National Archives.

The classified material was identified by personal attorneys for Biden on Nov. 2, the day before the midterm elections, Richard Sauber, special counsel to the president, was quoted as confirming to CBS News.

What is "nearly 10"?  Nine?  Eight?  9.5? 

Bump Stocks

 Cargill v. Garland (5th Cir. 2023):

Cargill is correct. A plain reading of the statutory language, paired with close consideration of the mechanics of a semi-automatic firearm, reveals that a bump stock is excluded from the technical definition of “machinegun” set forth in the Gun Control Act and National Firearms Act. 

But even if that conclusion were incorrect, the rule of lenity would still require us to interpret the statute against imposing criminal liability. A rich legal tradition supports the “well known rule” that “penal laws are to be construed strictly.” United States v. Wiltberger, 18 U.S. (5 Wheat.) 76, 94–95 (1820). As Chief Justice Marshall explained long ago, the rule “is founded on the tenderness of the law for the rights of individuals; and on the plain principle that the power of punishment is vested in the legislative, not in the judicial department. It is the legislature, not the Court, which is to define a crime, and ordain its punishment.” Id. at 95. 

The Government’s regulation violates these principles. As an initial matter, it purports to allow ATF—rather than Congress—to set forth the scope of criminal prohibitions. Indeed, the Government would outlaw bump stocks by administrative fiat even though the very same agency routinely interpreted the ban on machineguns as not applying to the type of bump stocks at issue here. Nor can we say that the statutory definition unambiguously supports the Government’s interpretation. As noted above, we conclude that it unambiguously does not. But even if we are wrong, the statute is at least ambiguous in this regard. And if the statute is ambiguous, Congress must cure that ambiguity, not the federal courts.

This is an en banc decision. 

Things That Make You Want to Go Boom


Bond belongs to a wildly popular formerly underground troupe of British drag queens and kings with Down Syndrome, known as "Drag Syndrome(opens in a new tab)." Since the group’s first performance close to a year ago(opens in a new tab), Drag Syndrome has since exploded in popularity, with performances all throughout the United Kingdom and Northern Europe and an American tour in the works, the group’s creative director Daniel Vais(opens in a new tab) told Mashable.

"We now have invites [to perform] from around the world," Vais says.

Daniel Vais is the artistic director of Culture Device(opens in a new tab), a London-based experimental performance and dance company that works with artists who have Down syndrome and operates Drag Syndrome. The company has put on everything from ballets(opens in a new tab) to fashion shoots(opens in a new tab).

Drag Syndrome, for its part, was born from another performance. In December 2017, Vais brought one of his Culture Device performers to watch a show in London that included drag queens. Vais, noting the performer’s enthusiasm for the show, asked her and the rest of the artists in Culture Device if they would be interested in performing drag some day. They jumped at the idea, Vais says.

Am I the only person who thinks this stinks?