Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Great Bumper Stickers

My wife saw a car with an amusing combination of bumper stickers:  Be Patient Student Driver and Student Driver: Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid.

Monday, February 27, 2023

Yet Another Public Health Reason

2/24/23 UPI:

"Feb. 24 (UPI) -- Daily marijuana users face a one-third more chance of developing coronary artery disease compared to those who have never used the substance, according to research released Friday from the American College of Cardiology."

I am convinced George Soros funds the marijuana stuff to take down America. 

Checking Primary Sources

 From N.J.'s brief defending their requirement of affirmative consent from private property owners for licensees. 

“New Orleans in 1816, Ex. 7, prohibited “any person to enter into a public ball-room with any … weapon.” 

Left out is that the law provides:

Article 1. It shall not be lawful for any person to enter into a public ball-room with any cane, stick, sword or any other weapon , and every person having either a cane, stick, sword, or any other weapon, shall, before he enter the ball-room , deposit the same at the office which shall be at the door of the entrance of said ball-room, where there will be a person appointed to receive and take care of such articles, which he shall carefully keep, affixing to each article a number, a check of which be shall give to the owner ; and said articles shall not be returned to the persons respectively depositing them, until said persons are quitting the ball , and produce their checks.[1][emphasis added]

Sunday, February 26, 2023

Winning the Battle for Gun Rights

2/26/23 NPR:

Mass shootings targeting LGBTQ spaces and a rise in anti-trans rhetoric have inspired some queer people to take up arms. New Hampshire Public Radio's Todd Bookman joined the monthly gathering of a gun group that sees firearms as key to their own self-defense. And as you might imagine, the story does include the sound of gunfire.

TODD BOOKMAN, BYLINE: On a recent Sunday morning, the parking lot of Pawtuckaway State Park in southeastern New Hampshire is filling up with hikers. There's also a different crew packing up warm clothes and weapons.

FIN SMITH: Thank you all for coming to Rainbow Reload.

BOOKMAN: Today's organizer is Fin Smith. Like everybody else in this story, they've requested some level of anonymity because they fear for their safety.

SMITH: I recognize the temperature is freezing, and this is not the most comfortable, but if it's raining, we're training. If it's snowing, we're going.

BOOKMAN: Groups like Rainbow Reload exist around the country, often called pink pistol clubs. It's a place for experts and the gun-curious to practice and improve their shooting, but this goes beyond hobby. There's a practical goal here, to prepare and protect themselves.

SMITH: If the world is dangerous, then you have to be dangerous back. And that very much has pushed me into where I am now.

LGBTQWTF and drag shows for children bug me, but everyone has a right to be left alone.  Sometimes, shooting back is the only to fix that. 

But the Science!

Fascinating article in Quaternary Research Reviews.

A discussion of temperature change over the last 11,000 years.

"The Holocene defines the period during which civilisation
developed. Published sources provide multiple examples of societal
collapses that occurred during the last 6000 years, on local and
regional scales, synchronous with abrupt shifts to drier and/or
colder climate regimes (McGhee, 1981; Weiss et al., 1993; Hodell
et al., 1995; Dalfes et al., 1996; Weiss and Bradley, 2001; deMenocal,
2001). The frequency of wars has also been closely tied to climate
variations during the past millennium (Zhang et al., 2001), testi-
fying to the central importance of climate changes to human well-

Everyone Needs A Laugh

 Over at Quora, a question and answer:

Absolutely. All of my guns are very well behaved and pose no threat to me at all. I raised most of them from when they were little derringers. They are well trained and highly disciplined. I have to admit though that one of them sassed me one day. I put it to bed that night without any ammo and it hasn’t caused any problems since.

Saturday, February 25, 2023

March 1: Conjunction

Jupiter, Moon, and Venus will be in conjunction within a degree of each other.  If you have a telescope or a fairly long lens on your camera it might be a good time to take a photo.  I plan to, weather allowing.

Oh yes, the conjunction also means you need to empty all your bank accounts and send them to your favorite blogger or your love life is shot.  Remember Tycho Brahe: "Astronomy is the bastard child of the whore astrology."

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Not the Story I Was Looking For But Unsurprising

 1/24/23 NPR:

Three shootings with multiple victims shook California over the last few days. The shootings Monday at two farms in Half Moon Bay, Calif., closely followed a massacre over the weekend at a dance hall in Monterey Park, Calif.

That's no surprise, say scientists who study mass shootings. Research shows that these incidents usually occur in clusters and tend to be contagious. Intensive media coverage seems to drive the contagion, the researchers say.

Back in 2014 and 2015, researchers at Arizona State University analyzed data on cases of mass violence. They included USA Today's data on mass killings (defined as four or more people killed using any means, including guns) from 2006 to 2013, data on school shootings between 1998 and 2013, and mass shootings (defined as incidents in which three people were shot, not necessarily killed) between 2005 and 2013 collected by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

The lead researcher, Sherry Towers, a faculty research associate at Arizona State University, had spent most of her career modeling the spread of infectious diseases — like Ebola, influenza and sexually transmitted diseases. She wanted to know whether cases of mass violence spread contagiously, like in a disease outbreak....

"What we found was that for the mass killings — so these are high-profile mass killings where there's at least four people killed — there was significant evidence of contagion," says Towers. "We also found significant evidence of contagion in the school shootings."

In other words, school shootings and other shootings with four or more deaths spread like a contagion — each shooting tends to spark more shootings.

"So one happens and you see another few happen right after that," says Jillian Peterson, a criminologist at Hamline University in Minnesota and founder of the nonpartisan think tank, The Violence Project. She wasn't involved in the Arizona State research but has found similar patterns in her own research.

Towers and her colleagues also found that what set apart shootings that were contagious was the amount of media coverage they received. "In the incidences where there were four or more people killed, and even school shootings, those tended to get national and even international media attention," says Towers.

Can we ban "assault media"?  Obviously not.

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

The Corvette Was Calling My Name

More precisely a nice young salesman named Michael Melendez at Hometown Chevrolet in Fruitland somehow figured out that I had a Corvette jones.  I admit that yes, this is the last realistic item for the man who has or can afford everything.   It was not the convertible but it had the 3LT interior package which are the same seats as the 2LT package.   The only disappointment with my Jaguar XF is that the seats are not sufficiently supportive and seat customizers here say that the structure does not allow for any improvement even at absurd pricing.

Anyway, this was a blue hardtop (removable roof panel). The seats are very supportive.  It had not been driven except off the transporter so we just took it for a spin in the parking lot.  

Corvettes have had one year wait times for several years.  (Down to six months now.) This one was available because the guy who put down a $10,000 deposit when he ordered it has had some financial reverses and some financing problems so this bargain-priced supercar was available. 

Mr. Melendez tried to make the sale but took it well when I explained the convertible need.

If you need to spend something under $100,000 on the ultimate car, give him a call.  Perhaps if the expert witness stuff keeps coming my way, I will just pay cash for one.

And by the way, even the hardtop is an amazing car.  The seat bolsters are adjustable to hold you in place during those 1G turns.
It feels so neat that I felt a little guilty getting back into the Jaguar.  I think I heard it grumbling.

I wonder if aftermarket seats for the Jaguar might be the solution. Even $2000 on comfortable seats in a car I really love makes more sense than $85,000 on one of the world's best cars. But there are no Recaro dealers near me (like hundreds of miles). Who competes with Recaro?

I found an exploded parts diagram of the Jaguar seat.   There is an assembly labeled seat spring under the cushion which might be worn out.  A local car upholstery shop says it could be either and I am going to have them take a look.  I suspect something is worn out because the seldom used passenger seat is much more supportive and does not crush down when I sit in it.

Monday, February 20, 2023

The Other Side of the Ice

A gripping account of a really bad idea.  Navigate the Northwest Passage with your children and grandchildren and a couple friends while recovering from toe surgery.  He received considerable insight without any loss of life.

Can You Find This?

 Boston, Massachusetts

From the October 27, 2009 Boston Globe:
A patient in a psychiatric center near the Massachusetts General Hospital stabbed his doctor this afternoon before being shot dead by an off-duty security guard, police said.

The physician is in stable condition, Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis said at a press conference this afternoon as he described a chaotic scene.

A relative said the victim was Dr. Astrid Desrosiers, a Massachusetts General Hospital psychiatrist who worked at the center. Isabellie Desrosiers, Desrosiers' sister-in-law, said she had been told by Desrosiers' sister that Astrid had been shot. Police identified the patient late this afternoon as 37-year-old Jay Carciero of Reading.

The actions of the security guard, who does not work at the hospital, were hailed as "heroic" by Bonnie Michelman, head of security for Massachusetts General Hospital 

Thanks one of you  found it.

A Few Years Back...

 Mentally ill patient starts rampage in hospital.  Psychiatrist draws from desk drawer, stops the incident.  Pittsburgh?  Does anyone remember?

Saturday, February 18, 2023

Odd Request, But It Is Gun-Related

 Some years ago, I recall a suit involving a same-sex wedding reception to be held in a facility in Delaware or New Jersey.  The facility was owned by the United Methodist Church (or at least one UMC church) and they refused to rent the facility for a same-sex marriage.  (Yes, the UMC refusing that surprised the heck out of me.)  Can anyone point me to that suit?

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

I Finally Bought Some Idaho Municipal Bonds

 They have a 4.08% yield to worst and the dividends are exempt from federal and state income tax.  Idaho is unlikely to go bankrupt.  Yes that is unlikely to match inflation over the next few years, but it is a very low-risk investment.

A Little Busy

 Attorneys in Rhode Island and New Jersey have hired me to help.  And I am working cases in California, Oregon, Illinois, and (sort of) Georgia.

What is a Fice?

 In a book about frontier life:

“When a boy, he went coon hunting one night, accompanied by two hounds, a cur, and a small fice."

What is a fice?  Google did not know.

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Who or Where Was the Guy Who Stopped a Mall Shooting at an Incredible Distance in the Last Year or So?

It was briefly news.  A guy with an AR-15 shot and killed one person before a civilian took a 20 yard shot and disabled the shooter.

Found it!

Monday, February 13, 2023

Do You Have a Miami Herald Subscription

I need this article http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/broward/article202486304.html

Never mind.  I bought the $1 starter subscription.

Thursday, February 9, 2023

Too Good Not To Share

A relative had a child who become quite ill and the solution was Pepto-Bismol.  At one point he rose and vomited.  The result was like a Teletubby murder.

Does Your Library Have This Book?

 Pollard's History of firearms (1983).  I need an image of p. 210.  Oregon State at Corvallis has it.  I need this as part of killing Measure 114.

Thanks to all.  It turns out to be scanned in full.

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Better Than I Expected

Meteor (1979).  With Sean Connery, Henry Fonda, Brian Keith and a number of other stars of the time.  Clumsy special effects and one serious technical error involving a tsunami. 

Colt Blackpowder Revolvers

I believe they were designed to easily replace one cylinder with another for rapid reloads. Am I right?

Weird Problem

There is a web page   The item labelled source volume which is supposed to have a link to this.

I have changed the page locally then used FileZilla to upload the whole page. ]

FileZilla shows the file transferred okay, but when I reload the page, my change does not appear to be there.

Never mind: Pilot error.

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

How Many Times Do I Have to See Stories Like This?

2/7/23 KSN-TV:
"Jones, who entered the Omaha Target with an AR-15-style rifle and began firing before he was killed by police had been repeatedly sent to psychiatric hospitals because of his schizophrenia. But because Jones was never formally committed, he was able to keep purchasing guns legally, underscoring how little so-called red-flag laws do to keep firearms away from deeply troubled people."

His parents thought his hospitalization would get him on the firearms disqualifier list.  It did not.  The whole story is one of hallucinations, a mother with schizophrenia, suicide threats, and a system that refuses to treat severe mental illness seriously. 

Lever Action Tactical Rifles

 You laugh but while producing an expert declaration for a Highland Park, Ill. case, I found that in the three years before the 14th Amendment incorporated the Second Amendment against the states, Winchester was advertising its repeater as two shots per second.  That is 120 shots per minute, comparable to an AR-15, perhaps very slightly slower. Hence, YouTube is now awash in tactical lever action videos.

 But an AR-15 is magazine fed.  The Winchester lever actions were only 18 rounds.  That's okay, you can buy lever action speedloaders on Amazon.

Here is a homemade one in use.

Buying Idaho Municipal Bonds

 Yes, it is time.  A few of the odd collections of stocks that I own still have high yields, like PVL with a 15.92% yield, but some of the others have taxable yields higher than the tax-exempt municipal bonds.  Time to take those behind the barn and shoot 'em.

I am waiting for some sell transactions to complete but Id Hlth Fac Auth Rev REV 3% 03/01/2051 Callable has a yield to worst of 4.393% first callable in 2032, by which point I may not care.  Remember that is exempt from both federal and Idaho income tax.  That is equivalent to 6.56% taxable income in my marginal tax bracket and is safer than almost any stock.  Reducing taxes to the most wastrel entity that taxes me is a win as well.

The market is rising today, so I may do this over several days.

Christian Healthcare Ministries

 For several years, my wife had no health insurance.  Being disabled, I had Medicare and I purchased a Medicare Advantage plan from Blue Cross of Idaho, which covers all the stuff Medicare does not (which is really anything that does not put you in the hospital).  It is about $60/month, on top of the $160 or so held back from my disability check to pay for Medicare coverage.  This has turned out to be cheaper and better coverage than my last employer health insurance at State of Idaho, which I thought was pretty good.  Deductibles are utterly reasonable.  This should tell you how much of medical insurance is covering catastrophes.

My wife, until recently, stayed home to take care of me, which past the first six months after the stroke seemed unnecessary, but it was nice to have the company.  But what about insurance?  Obamacare, as many of its fans soon discovered, was hideously expensive with annual deductibles of $5000 typically.  Private insurance alternatives were no better.  (And that was the goal.)

If you are a professing Christian, Christian Healthcare Ministries may be a solution.  They operate on the New Testament model of Christians looking out for each other.  You pay a fixed amount each month, sort of like a insurance premium.  Any incident, meaning an accident or disease problem that exceeds $500 they cover the costs.  You are encouraged to pay upfront to get the cash discount, which is typically 10% off; in a few cases, this has been 50% off.  That $500 is not a deductible; my wife's clear-cell carcinoma treatment was paid in full, because getting above $500 was no problem.  She went back every six months, then every year for follow-up visits and each was reimbursed in full.  (This is all one incident as far as CHM is concerned.)

Even if you have insurance, this may be good if you have a high deductible.  Medicare has a $750 deductible for hospital stays and $250 for inpatient procedures (like the hernia repair a couple years ago).  CHM covered that $750 deductible.

Now that my wife is working and has health insurance, not quite as generous as my Medicare Advantage plan, we dropped her from CHM.  We can add her back in at any time.  Because of the Medicare deductibles I have stayed on CHM for $123 per month.  It may not make sense, because six months of CHM is one hospital stay deductible, but this makes it easy to add my wife back in, if needed.  And it is nice to know that I am helping out other Christians using CHM.  

Why so cheap?  CHM does not cover addiction treatment, mental illness, abortion, or STD treatment.  Except for mental illness, these are largely consequences of behaviors that professing Christians should not be doing; mental illness treatment can be hideously expensive.  Imagine what our society would spend on healthcare without substance abuse and promiscuity.

Back when you were required to have health insurance or pay a tax each year, CHM was considered health insurance even though for legal reasons, they must insist that they are not.

If you fit the profile visit here.

Monday, February 6, 2023

Sense of Humor

The F-22 that shot down the spy balloon now has a red balloon painted on the side, a first kill for the F-22.

Sunday, February 5, 2023

Birdshot and Overpenetration

2/5/23 Shooting Illustrated article about whether birdshot as a technique for avoiding overpenetration of walls when engaged in home defense.  

The short version: it is surprisingly effective at distances of less than 20 yards in sheetrock.  They (suggest better or more training.)  This is why my primary home defense gun (in the unlikely event anyone here was stupid enough to break into an occupied residence in one of the most heavily armed states in the Union) is a Browning Hi-Power.  It now has a 6 pound trigger pull and is mighty accurate.  I would still be concerned about overpenetration but it seems like anything with enough power to be an effective disabler is going to overpenetrate except for brick and concrete walls.

I remember my disappointment some years ago when a friend used material from his new house to construct multiple walls for testing.  Everything from .380 ACP JHP to .45 ACP Silvertips easily went through six sheets of drywall.  I doubt insulation would have helped much.

Make sure you practice with realistic targets and distances with multiple paper attackers.  Best of all move to places that do not believe in catch-and-release law enforcement. 

Saturday, February 4, 2023

The Russian Government Has Lost the Plot

They have an ad attempting to recruit American veterans to join the Wagner Group hyping the idea that a small number of families decided what countries we have invaded during the War on Terror and Russia alone is fighting evil.  It ends with sort of a threat of American cities getting nuked if Russia does not win.  Great way to get patriotic Americans on your side.

Tonga Volcano Cooling

Mount Washington New Hampshire is reporting -48 with windchill below -100.  Where is my global warming?

War Factories

Great series.  This video about Soviet war factories is really worthwhile.   They discuss the amazing relocation of 1500 factories to the Urals away from German troops.  Even the biggest war factories were built in the U S. in the 1930s, disassembled, shipped to Soviet Union and reassembled by American engineers.

You can also see strong parallels to modern Russian incompetence in Ukraine. 

Nice explanation of how Soviet starvation of its population and U.S. and British aid persuaded Socialists in the West (such as the British Labour Party) to take the command and control model for economic development with horrible results. 

I Love it When Gun Control Advocates Admit Their Limits

Attorney General Cummings testimony before the Ways and Means Committee concerning the National Firearms Act (1934), includes this revealing discussion between Cummings and members of the Committee:

Mr. McCLINTIC. I would like to ask just one question. I am very much interested in this subject. What in your opinion would be the constitutionality of a provision added to this bill which would require registration, on the part of those who now own the type or class of weapons that are included in this bill?

 Attorney General CUMMINGS. We were afraid of that, sir.

 Mr. MCCLINTIC. Afraid it would conflict with State laws?

 Attorney General CUMMINGS. I am afraid it would be unconstitutional.[1]

 The proponent of a machine regulatory law argued that requiring just registration was unconstitutional.  Imagine his reaction to bans on sale or purchase!

A bit further into the discussion:

Mr. LEWIS. Now a very brief statement on this subject: Lawyer though I am, I have never quite understood how the laws of the various States have been reconciled with the provision in our Constitution denying the privilege to the legislature to take away the right to carry arms. Concealed-weapon laws, of course, are familiar in the various States; there is a legal theory upon which we prohibit the carrying of weapons — the smaller weapons.

 Attorney General CUMMINGS. Of course we deal purely with concealable weapons. Machine guns, however, are not of that class.

 Do you have any doubt as to the power of the Government to deal with machine guns as they are transported in interstate commerce?

 Mr. LEWIS. I hope the courts will find no doubt on a subject like this, General; but I was curious to know how we escaped that provision in the Constitution.

 Attorney General CUMMINGS. Oh, we do not attempt to escape it.  We are dealing with another power, namely, the power of taxation, and of regulation under the interstate commerce clause. You see, if we made a statute absolutely forbidding any human being to have a machine gun, you might say there is some constitutional question involved. But when you say "We will tax the machine gun” and when you say that " the absence of a license showing payment of the tax has been made indicates that a crime has been perpetrated”, you are easily within the law.

 Mr. LEWIS. In other words, it does not amount to prohibition, but allows of regulation.[2]

The Attorney General of the United States sought a law to deal with a very real problem, organized crime and the much less organized gangs such as John Dillinger and Bonnie & Clyde, and yet he thought the Constitution prohibited the national government from banning private ownership of machine guns!  Nor did Cummings disagree with Rep. Lewis’ belief that the “right to carry arms” imposed some restriction.  If Rep. Lewis was not referring to the Second Amendment, to what was he referring?  Rep. Lewis’ lack of understanding why the “right to carry arms” did not apply to the states reflects the Court’s hesitant steps towards incorporation of the Bill of Rights to the states.  Bruen has clearly incorporated those rights, and it is hard to see any amendments to the Constitution between 1868 and 1934, or from 1934 to today, that could change Attorney General Cummings concerns. 

[1] National Firearms Act, Hearings Before The Committee On Ways And Means House Of Representatives, 73rd Cong.. 2nd sess. 13 (1934).

[2] Id., at 19.

Friday, February 3, 2023

Wednesday, February 1, 2023


2/1/23 San Francisco Chronicle:
It’s not generally prudent to criticize the umpire before the start of a ballgame, or the judge who’s expected to consider the constitutionality of the new law you’re proposing. But Gov. Gavin Newsom didn’t mince words Wednesday in referring to U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez of San Diego, who is likely to have the first look at gun groups’ challenge to a bill that would restrict the carrying of concealed firearms in public.

He is also whining that he expects Beneitz to strike California's assault weapon and regular size magazine law, and the article points out that the Supreme Court is on the same side.

I have been helping with this and my mass murder expert declaration has not even been filed with the court.  This will blow a Imperial Cruiser sized hole in their we need bans on these icky guns to prevent mass murders.