Thursday, August 31, 2023

Florida & Shakespeare

Florida is banning Shakespeare?  No.  One or two districts were concerned that some of the plays are a bit racy for high schoolers.  I rather doubt that but some kids are still growing up in pretty traditional homes so I can see why they might be a bit nervous.
8/8/23 Tallahassee Democrat:
"After weeks of wildly-varying interpretations, Florida has finally let school districts know that it doesn't think William Shakespeare's works should be removed from classrooms.

With Gov. Ron DeSantis' signature of approval, Florida's latest book challenge law took effect on July 1. Soon after, media specialists across the state, including in Leon County, said the law could mean Shakespeare's works would have to be put on the chopping block.

Count on This Being Misrepresented

8/31/23 NBC News:
"The homeowner who fatally shot 20-year-old University of South Carolina student who tried to enter the wrong home on the street he lived on Saturday morning will not face charges because the incident was deemed "a justifiable homicide" under state law, Columbia police announced Wednesday....

"While the woman was on the phone with police, Donofrio broke a glass window on the front door "and reached inside to manipulate the doorknob," at which point the male resident fired the shot through the broken window that struck Donofrio in his upper body, according to police."

I have seen this before.  Some years back, there was a similar incident in Ukiah, California, where a drunk walked six miles north to his home.  Unfortunately, he needed to walk six miles south.  The house into which he forced entry was not his.  The resident shot him with a hunting rifle.  He lost his arm.

Tragic, but I would be surprised if this kid at University of South Carolina was sober.

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Aortic Valve

I went to see another cardiac surgeon today.  He confirmed that trans catheter replacement (TAVR) is not possible with the equine valve and that it will likely require open heart surgery.  There is no immediate need which is good because I need to wait at least three months and ideally at least six months after the stents put in last month to reduce the risk.  I will remain slightly winded until summer.

I have classes to teach and expert declarations to write 

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

It Hurts to Ignore the Second Amendment

8/28/23 Washington Post:
"D.C. will pay $5.1 million as part of a class-action settlement with gun owners who were arrested under laws that have since been found to violate the Second Amendment, according to the settlement agreement."

My first concern was: gang members? No various non-residents who passed through D.C. apparently unaware of the severity of D.C. laws who told police officers of having a gun secured in the car when asked.

Yes, taxpayers will get the bill but if they elect fascists, there are costs.

Does Anyone Else Find This Implausible?

 The father came home and found his wife and three children shot to death.  The children and the mother were all shot in the head.  The mother was also shot in the chest.  An apparently new .22 German-made pistol between the mother's legs that the father “was unable to say where it had come from.”  Police called it a murder-suicide with no apparent motive.  I have my suspicions.  How many people shoot themselves in both chest and head (besides Epstein, or various associates of Stalin and Putin).  This happened in Oregon, Ohio.  No, I had no idea an Oregon existed in Ohio.

Sunday, August 27, 2023

Northern Idaho Is Utterly Beautiful

And not just because I was staying in a million dollar lakefront home.  Friendly people, no real traffic jams even in Couer d'Alene.  Forests stretching to infinity.

The good news is that some day I will be free to move there, and the supply of appropriate houses is growing rapidly.

Council Has Friendly People

My friend Don was wearing his "I Find Your Lack of Ammo Disturbing," T-shirt and a stranger came up in the restaurant to talk shooting.

Sprockets Restaurant in Council Idaho

Best Philly Cheese Steak I have had since my last visit to Philly and no need to carry a gun.

Wonderful Weekend With Gun Rights Lawyers and State Legislators

And yes that is the view from the living room overlooking the lake 

Saturday, August 26, 2023

Again, No Surprise

8/26/23 Florida Times-Union:

 Previous incidents included a 2016 domestic call to his home that did not result in an arrest, police said. A year later, another call led to his temporary detention for emergency health services under Florida's Baker Act law. 

Baker Act, more formally, Florida Mental Health Act.  

The gun banners will keep insisting these are coincidences.

From Powerline Blog

 Funny, and it accurately describes the mindset, even if some conspiracy theories turn out to be spoiler alerts:


 1/11/18 Campus Reform.  Not recent but still a reminder that the value of higher education needs re-evaluation:

Three British professors recently claimed that statistical analyses have been weaponized to “serve white racial interests” within academia and beyond.

Led by David Gillborn, a professor at the University of Birmingham, the professors argue that math serves white interests because it can “frequently encode racist perspectives beneath the facade of supposed quantitative objectivity.”

“Contrary to popular belief, and the assertions of many quantitative researchers, numbers are neither objective nor color-blind,” Gillborn and his team assert in their article for the journal Race, Ethnicity, and Education....

Numbers are not neutral because “quantitative data is often gathered and analyzed in ways that reflect the interests, assumptions, and perceptions of White elites,” they contend, adding that even so-called objective analysis fails to take the pervasiveness of racism into account.

Other key tenets of QuantCrit theory include realizing that math tends to legitimate existing racial inequalities, acknowledging that numerical analyses disadvantage minorities, and understanding how numbers play to the benefit of white interests.

Even if data is gathered by methods that either unconsciously or consciously reflect racist goals or beliefs, numbers are neutral.  Hindu-Arabic numerals are not Western.  Algebra has roots in the Muslim world (hint look for al-).  I am increasingly of the view that universities need to be self-funded.

It Is Gratifying to See States on Our Side

 8/23/23 Fox 2:

ST. LOUIS – Just hours after St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones announced plans for new gun legislation Tuesday, the Missouri Attorney General fired back and said her office is “on notice.”

Jones, with support from the St. Louis Board of Aldermen, plans to introduce new legislation that would ban AR-15s, AK-47s, and similar military-grade weapons on city streets.

Andrew Bailey announced Tuesday evening that he wrote a letter to Jones, which stated that new legislation to ban military-grade weapons would “violate the constitutional right of Missourians to keep and bear arms.”...

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson, who appointed Bailey to the role of attorney general, shared similar concerns over the new gun proposal.

“Governor Parson is a strong and proud supporter of the Second Amendment and does not support any measure that he views weakens Missourians’ right to bear arms,” said Johnathan Shiflett, press secretary for Gov. Parson’s office, in a statement to FOX 2. Cities with the strictest gun laws still have some of the highest rates of gun violence because, simply, criminals are not deterred by restricting the rights of law-abiding citizens.”

While announcing her plans for legislation on Tuesday, Jones acknowledged she expected some GOP pushback. She recently signed Board Bill 29 into law for St. Louis as well, which requires individuals openly carrying firearms to have a concealed carry permit.

Friday, August 25, 2023


 One of you sent me $20 with Zelle.  Thank you.  I am trying to figure out how to transfer that $20 to checking.  Zelle tells you how to send money but I cannot figure out how to move that money into my account at First Tech Federal Credit Union, nor is their online tech support of much value.

The Case Against Life-Time Tenure for Federal Judges

L.M. v. Middleborough (D.Mass. 2023):

On March 21, 2023, L.M. attended school at Nichols in a t-shirt with the message “THERE ARE ONLY TWO GENDERS” (the “Shirt”). L.M. Aff. ¶ 14 [Doc. No. 43].1 While L.M. was participating in gym class, Principal Tucker asked L.M. to come speak with her. Id. at ¶ 15; Tucker Aff. ¶ 6 [Doc. No. 46]. Tucker informed L.M. that he could not wear the Shirt because of complaints, and that he could either remove the Shirt or discuss it further in another room. L.M. Aff. ¶ 15 [Doc. No. 43]; Tucker Aff. ¶ 6 [Doc. No. 46]. L.M. indicated he would like to discuss it further and Tucker escorted him to another room, where the school counselor joined the conversation. L.M. Aff. ¶ 16 [Doc. No. 43]; ...

Here, the School’s rational for prohibiting the Shirt is not that LM is bullying a specific student, but that a group of potentially vulnerable students will not feel safe. A broader view directed at students’ safety has been acknowledged by other courts.

Do not hurt anyone's feelings justifies censorship.  Wait until some school bans rainbow flag T-shirts.

H is for Hawk

 I just read this book by Helen McDonald.  It is hard to describe: part memoir of loss after her father's death; part her experience of training a goshawk so she can be a falconer; part thoughtful examination of the life and writing of T.H. White author of The Sword in the Stone.

White had a troubled life, a homosexual man in a time when this was still regarded as a bad, low status.  While McDonald is careful not to say anything too unPC, she several times alludes to White's abusive childhood and schooling in England:

"Despite several affairs with women, White's fantasies were sadistic and directed mostly at pubescent boys."  He was certain that these fantasies were because of his abusive rearing and education.

The writing is topnotch.  There is a bit of falconry jargon that she does not explain but you figure it out contextually.

Darwin Award and Pronoun Failure

 8/25/23 Yahoo News:

An arsonist who attempted to set a church on fire in Florida accidentally set themselves ablaze, a new video shows.

On Thursday, the Broward County Sheriff's Office released surveillance video footage of the unidentified culprit walking onto the property of the Power Outreach Ministry located at 2600 N.W. 21st Avenue, shortly after 1:40 a.m. on August 14.

There was one arsonist, identity unknown at press time.  Are they afraid of misgendering him/her? 

We're From the Government and We're Hear to Help You

 8/17/23 New York Times:

As the fire spread further into town, the problems multiplied: Hydrants ran dry as the community’s water system collapsed, according to firefighters. Powerful sirens, tested every month in preparation for such an emergency, never sounded. Lahaina’s 911 system went down.

Many of those who evacuated said they were corralled by road closures and downed power lines into traffic jams that left some people to burn alive in their cars and forced others to flee into the Pacific. Videos shared with The Times and posted on social media show cars on Front Street crawling in bumper-to-bumper traffic as smoke, embers and debris billow around them. Fuqua, abandoned their cars after getting stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic.

I am in northern Idaho at a 

 meeting of gun rights lawyers, legislators, and other activists in a lakefront house.  We were discussing this among Lahaina disasters and trying to understand the blockade.  
1. Preventing sightseer and burglar entry makes sense, but only for entry.
2. To avoid cars driving over power lines might make sense.  You do not want people fleeing a firestorm to risk electrocution; someone might get hurt.
In the comments, explain other reasons.

Thursday, August 24, 2023

Major Victory for Interstate Carry

Commonwealth v. Dean Donnell.  Headed somewhere now so comment later.  New Hampshire man charged with unlicensed carry in Massachusetts violates Second Amendment and equal protection clause.

I cannot find the whole decision.  The excerpts here:

I do not see how failure to recognize out of the state licenses will survive if this decision is upheld.

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Things Not to Believe

 In spite of a lot of press about Charles Whitman's hunting rifle, he actually used an M1 Carbine.

The news report claiming the Parkland murderer used 10 round magazines?  Apparently not true. 8/3/19 South Florida Sun-Sentinel:

Along with his AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, Cruz abandoned at least six magazines that each contained 30 bullets at the scene of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, according to two sources who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Sunday, August 20, 2023

Why Nuclear War With Russia May Not Turn Out as Badly As Feared

8/20/23 Hindustani Times:
"Luna 25 crashes: Russian space agency announced on Sunday that an initial analysis of the moon lander indicates that a difference between the planned and actual propulsion manoeuvre caused the spacecraft to move into an unintended orbit. This ultimately led to the spacecraft colliding with the moon's surface and being lost."
There is substantial overlap between Russian military and space programs.  In conjunction with the general incompetence of the Russian military over the last year, I see why some people think much of the Russian ICBM and SLBM fleet might not launch, might not go where aimed, or might fail to explode.  I would not want to make policy decisions based on such assumptions but the results might be less destructive than assumed.

One reader reminded me of a couple similar NASA screwups.  NASA is not quite as tied to the military as the Russian space agency, if I understand correctly.

Saturday, August 19, 2023

A Case On Which I Worked Won

Ohio Attorney-General:
COLUMBUS, Ohio) — In a win for the state of Ohio, the Tenth District Court of Appeals has upheld state law on firearms uniformity, overturning a preliminary injunction granted nine months ago to the city of Columbus, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost announced today.

Columbus wanted its own assault weapons ban and limits of firearms possession by 18-21 year olds.

And my work on this will air condition my garage.

I am promoting my response to a comment into the body.

A reader asked what these laws had in common?

1. We hate guns. We do not care what the Supreme Court rule in Brown v. Board of Education NYSRPA v. Bruen (2022). Gun bans today, gun bans tomorrow, gun bans forever!
2. They are arguing that the American historical tradition of arms regulation (disarming blacks, Indians, Chinese, Catholics) means that almost any law is allowed.

3. Saul Cornell in particular argues that the state governments have unlimited authority to pass any law that the majority thinks impacts public safety. The same argument applies equally well to sodomy laws, one man/one woman marriage laws, and abortion bans. Whether true or not, they only need believe it.

Thursday, August 17, 2023

The How Low Can You Go Chair

My wife and I went to Home Depot.  After explaining our need, an employee steered us towards some 70% off 4x6 beams because they were ugly.  That was fine.  No one will ever see it 

We used some steel plates to take three 4x6x24 beams and make them a pretty rigid base, then Rhonda put her upholstery skills to work affixing a cushion to it, then we put two carry handles on it.  It is amazing how a couple handles can make a clumsily heavy object easy to move.

Upholstery means tacks or nails not screws. Tacks and nails are heresy in my belief system.  Machine screws, bolts, and threaded holes.  Fasteners that you can easily remove and reinstall as needed.  Wood screws are perilously close to heterodox thinking.

Because the beams are really only 3.5", I suspect that I am only going to get 4" of elevation above ground level.  If I have to stretch half an inch to look in the polar scope that should not be a problem.

Chuck Frog?

The little rubber gadget that holds the chuck key to the power cord of the drill. I needed a new one.  The old one from 1975 failed and my attempt to fashion one from zip ties hurt my wife's hand too much to get a good grip. What is it called?  In the back of my mind the phrase "chuck frog" appeared.  But no they are called a "drill chuck strap."

A Couple Weeks Old But Still Funny

7/21/23 Daily Mail:
"Academics accuse students of 'fascism' after they said they identified as 'Apache attack helicopters' on survey about engineering culture"

Ask rational people (engineering undergrads) about their sexual identity and be prepared for serious mockery.  The response was to call it fascism and white supremacy.   Wow!

From a Quora comment: "Can I crash at your place?"

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Mobility Solution Installed

It would be nice to take a couple more inches off but I do not see how to do so.  The casters alone add 6".  Unless I came up with a scheme to put the caster stem at the same level as the bottom of the leg (let me think about that) this is as low as it will go.

The Fish Rots From the Head Down

8/16/23 New York Times:
"A campaign aide to Representative George Santos who impersonated Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s former chief of staff was charged with wire fraud and identity theft in a federal indictment unsealed on Wednesday.

"Federal prosecutors said the aide, Samuel Miele, was behind “fraudulent fund-raising” emails and phone calls that were sent and made to more than a dozen potential campaign contributors."

A little deeper:

"The case against Mr. Miele was filed by the same legal team that is prosecuting Mr. Santos in a separate case involving wire fraud. In a letter filed Wednesday, the lawyers advised the court that the two cases should be presumed to be related “because the facts of each case arise out of overlapping events.”

"Mr. Santos, 35, was charged with 13 counts that include money laundering, wire fraud, theft of public funds and false statements following an investigation into his finances that began last year. He has pleaded not guilty."

Rhode Island: On My Way

I have been retained by the Rhode Island NRA affiliate for several suits.  I keep thinking Corvette convertible.

Tax Volcanoes? Require Electric Volcanoes?

"Recently, researchers calculated that the eruption of Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apa spewed a staggering 50 million tons (45 million metric tons) of water vapor into Earth's atmosphere, in addition to enormous quantities of ash and volcanic gases. This massive vapor injection increased the amount of moisture in the global stratosphere by about 5%, and could trigger a cycle of stratospheric cooling and surface heating — and these effects may persist for months to come, according to a new study."

Every record temperature for years will be SUV or airline caused.  Count on it.

Frightening and Federalist 46 Land

"U. Chicago report: 30 million Americans believe violence justified to keep Trump from presidency"

And 18 million believe violence justified to make Trump President again.

From the 7/25/23 Guardian coverage:
"Democrats, however, expressed support for political violence for a different purpose. The survey found support for the use of force to coerce members of Congress to “do the right thing” grew from 9% in January to 17% – an estimated 44 million Americans – at the end of June, with the sharpest rise among Democrats. Support for violence to restore the federal right to an abortion also increased during this time."

Need a 4" Tall Seat

To get my eye to the polar alignment scope on the Losmandy, I need to sit about 4.5" above ground level.  I tried kneeling and stretching from ground level without success.

The obvious answer is a 4" x 4" cut into three pieces, glued together with expoxy to produce a 4" x 24" x 4" platform.  Adding a back would be nice but I do not expect to spend more than a couple minutes aligning on Polaris.  This is obvious, cheap, and readily available, although because a 4" x 4" is really 3.5" x 3.5" it will require a little stretching to get in position.  Can anyone think of a readily available 4" tall device intended for some other purpose that is not too expensive or heavy?  Are ammo cases that thickness?

Yes.  I bought a steel ammo can recently that is 4" thick and about 10" wide.  Three of them would likely do the job and they can be repurposed for holding ammo.

Want to Help?

 When New York was defending itself from Bruen, they cited some of the Test Acts, which disarmed Tories during the Revolution.  So far, I am finding citations to the wrong chapter and page numbers.  The text is often right, but taken out of context.  I suspect these are coming from the father of lies, the Duke University Repository of Firearms Laws, which on rare occasions cites laws accurately.  If any of you want to search for these laws there, and tell me if you find them there. it would speed up this process:

In the Revolutionary era, colonies frequently disarmed individuals based on their reputation for being disloyal or hostile to the new American nation. Massachusetts, for instance, had a law “disarming such person as are notoriously disaffected to the cause of America.” Act of March 14, 1776, in 1775-1776 Mass. Acts & Laws 31, TD Ex. 11. Once an individual had been deemed disaffected to the cause of America, he could often only regain his right to bear arms by appearing in person before an official to swear an oath of loyalty. In a Pennsylvania law passed in 1776, all white male inhabitants were required to appear “before some one of the justices of the peace of the city or county where they shall respectively inhabit” to take a prescribed oath of allegiance, and if they failed to do so, they were “disarmed by the lieutenant or sublieutenants of the city or counties respectively.” 1776-1777 Pa. Laws ch. XXI, §§ 1, 4, at 61-63, TD. Ex. 12. Other colonies adopted similar provisions. See An Act for the Better Security of the Government, 1777 Md. Laws Ch. XX, TD Ex. 13; An Act to Amend An Act for Declaring What Crimes and Practices Against the State Shall Be Treason, . . . and for Preventing the Dangers Which May Arise From Persons Disaffected to the State, 1777 N.C. Laws 228, TD Ex. 14; An Act to Oblige the Free Male Inhabitants of this State Above a Certain Age to Give Assurances of Allegiance to the Same (1777), in 9 William W. Hening, The Statutes at Large, Being a Collection of all the Laws of Virginia 281, 281-82 (1821), TD Ex. 15. In New York, if an individual refused to sign a loyalty oath, his arms were taken and redistributed to the colony’s militia. Journals of the Provincial Congress, Provincial Convention, Committee of Safety and Council of Safety of the State of New York, 1775-1776-1777, at 389 (1842), TD Ex. 16

Thanks to all who have been looking these up for me.  I know that many are not what New York claims.  The question is, did these often incorrect citations appear in the Duke Trash Repository linked above?

Monday, August 14, 2023

You Must Remember This Bumper Sticker

I am sure you remember the bumper sticker that goes with this.

YouTube Videos Worth Watching

Catastrophe.  It is about how a volcanic eruption in 535 AD created the modern world.  This was HUGE.  Multiple accounts report the Sun pretty much ceàses to shine for a year or two because of dust.  Drought, famine, bubonic plague (induced by the cold) and moving barbarians wipe out major civilizations or at least wound them badly enough to be knocked down.  I am reading David Keys' Catastrophe: An Investigation into the Origins of the Modern World.  Heaven for history-nerds.

1177.  The professor is marvelously fun to listen to as he explains how most of the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle Eastern civilizations collapsed around 1177 BC.  Climate change is the start and he is careful to point out that the Hittites did not use SUVs.  Cold weather, drought, famine, interruption of supplies of tin for the making of bronze reveal that the intricate trade network of these civilizations made them too dependent on each other for needs (or at least wants mistaken for needs) and much like today, we are not sufficiently self-reliant if trade stops.  (Think chips and cheap Chinese crap.). Oh and earthquakes.

I Have Been Through This Before

 I just reinstalled Windows.  I want local directories to show up in Windows Explorer in the left pane.  I do not want to go out to OneDrive to open directories.  One of you told ne how a couple years ago.  Making OneDrive the default for everything drives me crazy.

Sunday, August 13, 2023

If Only Reporters Knew to Ask Questions

8/31/23 Yahoo News:
"People who sell firearms online or at gun shows would be required to be licensed and run background checks on the buyers before the sales under the rule proposed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives."

What?  Selling guns for profit at gun shows already requires background checks.  Online sellers ship to FFLs who do the background checks.

I Had An Interesting Conversation With an Armenian Exchange Student Yesterday

Mother's are required to stay home until their child is three.  I am not sure if they get maternity leave pay for that time but it is a reminder that not nations have taken our path about the irrelevance of motherhood.

Saturday, August 12, 2023

A Core Poverty-Breaking Idea

A study of why entrepreneurship training was not working:
"People exposed to short- or long-term poverty develop a scarcity mindset because their cognitive bandwidth is overloaded with immediate concerns, leaving little space for the exploration or evaluation of a broader set of alternative actions. For example, the effort of getting enough money for food to eat today prevents creative planning for future food sourcing.

"Researchers found those who worked on changing their mindset from a scarcity mindset to a growth mindset saw increased self-confidence and were able to break their previous habits of when they saw risk as a danger rather than an opportunity to create something new."

The economist Thomas Powell derides the notion of systemic racism as something undefined and therefore untestable.  This study suggests that continually telling a group, "You cannot make it on your own," creates those same expectations.  I have mentioned America's black billionaires that are not entertainers.  Several grew up in segregated schools.  Somehow, they developed a growth mindset.  Perhaps they did not have the "Your a victim" rhetoric thrown at them repeatedly.  Many of America's ethnic white immigrant groups and Asian immigrants were subjects of discrimination and the disadvantages of language and religious minority status (Jews and earlier Catholics).  For Asians they had both federal and state laws against them.  They had not been slaves but still they were successful.

Been there; done that.

Time to Reinstall Windows 11

 I am not sure what has damaged Word on my PC, but I started seeing weird problems with screens going black, then coming back after a few seconds last month.  Lenovo sent me a Windows 11 install disk.  I have used LapLink's PCmover program to image all my applications and settings (or so they promise), done a full backup of my files to a USB drive and OneDrive and after enough rest and time away from the computer, we start over.

Reset this PC and Word can open documents and see macros again.  I am unclear if it restored on my drive D or drive C.  Either way works.  C for programs and D for data.  Right now I am attempting to get my installed applications restored using LapLink PCmover.  

Interesting story about LapLink.  Back in the 1990s, I sold a product called ETSR that intercepted Epson dot matrix printer codes, translated them to PostScript and sent them on their way to the printer.  Lots of applications back then did not have PostScript support yet but every application had Epson dot matrix racket printer support.  The code was all in C.  A terminate-and-stay-resident program attached itself to the printer device driver (interrupt 13).  In this case, it fed characters into a C program that I had written.  I sold a few copies but the big win was that LapLink near Seattle was an early vendor of programs for transferring files PC to PC via parallel ports and the president thought the code might be useful so I licensed it to him for $5000, which was big money back then, especially for me.

I need to remember how I mapped my pictures directory to the Libraries level in the magic list on the left side of a file selection window.  I also want to figure out how to make applications default to my local drive not OneDrive.

Friday, August 11, 2023

While I Am Concerned That the Marijuana Mental Illness Causality is a Real Problem...

This decision from the 5th Circuit is perfectly argued.  USA v. Daniels (5th Cir. 2023):

Throughout American history, laws have regulated the combination of guns and intoxicating substances. But at no point in the 18th or 19th century did the government disarm individuals who used drugs or alcohol at one time from possessing guns at another. A few states banned carrying a weapon while actively under the influence, but those statutes did not emerge until well after the Civil War. Section 922(g)(3)—the first federal law of its kind— was not enacted until 1968, nearly two centuries after the Second Amendment was adopted. 

In short, our history and tradition may support some limits on an intoxicated person’s right to carry a weapon, but it does not justify disarming a sober citizen based exclusively on his past drug usage. Nor do more generalized traditions of disarming dangerous persons support this restriction on nonviolent drug users. As applied to Daniels, then, § 922(g)(3) violates the Second Amendment. We reverse the judgment of conviction and render a dismissal of the indictment.

I do not care (much) how drunk you get, as long as you are sober when you have your gun. 

Yes, Hunter, thank us by ratting out your father. 

Weird Word Problem

 The massive Word document including my mass murder incidents crashes if I try to run any macro, or even start the Developer->Macros command.  I renamed the Normal.docm file as DefectiveNormal.docm to see if this file is the problem.  No change.

From the event log:

- EventData

AppVersion 16.0.16626.20170
AppTimeStamp 64cc5d7a
ModuleName VBE7.DLL
ModuleTimeStamp 63e1cbeb
ExceptionCode c0000005
FaultingOffset 00000000002c623a
ProcessId 0x26e8
ProcessCreationTime 0x1d9ccb21829fe6d
AppPath C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\root\Office16\WINWORD.EXE
ModulePath C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\VBA\VBA7.1\VBE7.DLL
IntegratorReportId a0f686fa-3f8f-4e4c-81a7-4eb84d491aea

I reinstalled Office, opened in safe mode, opened my document, and it saw no macros, of course, but it allowed me to record a macro.  I saved the document and then reopened in normal mode.  View macros still crashes it.  It does not appear that reinstall created a new Normal.docm.

I saved the file as an RTF, then reopened Word, opened the RTF and the macro command crashes Word.

GeekSquad worked on this for a while without success.  I imported it into LibreOffice Writer.  All the footnotes are now 0.  Are any of you expert enough in LibreOffice to tell me why?  The first new footnote and all of them updated.

Thursday, August 10, 2023

Perfection by Approximation

I took the 8" OTA off the mount today to see if the new mobility solution worked.  The thumbscrews that hold the inner legs in position within the outer legs did indeed turn out to be 3/8"-16.  (Losmandy uses this size a lot.)

However the inner legs do not close flush with the outer legs so the the 3/8"-16 holes would not clamp to the outer leg.  In addition, I made the spacer .1" thinner than needed and there was more slack on the sides than needed.


1. Make these with another inch of sleeve length.  

2. Add another thumbscrew to the side to clamp side to side, fixing the spacing problem. I think I will try to find thumbscrews with nylon tips to avoid marring the surface.  (Alas, where I attached the existing mobility solution to the inner legs looks terrible.  The surface is scratched and the inner leg is a bit dented.  I may be able squeeze out the dent from the inside and paint over the scratches.)

3. This time, instead of using a spacer, machine the acetal insert to fit the leg instead of fixing the problem with a spacer and the associated attachment holes.

I am not putting it all back together again until I have remade these.  At least this way I can try the first article on the first leg without going through the process of disassembling and reassembling.

UPDATE: My wife, who has a superior spatial sense than me, pointed out that shortening the existing legs that clamp onto the interior legs would allow a much shorter height and only require cutting the current set and tapping a few new 1/4"-20 holes in each assembly.  Far faster than starting from scratch and only a couple inches higher than the solution I have been pursuing.

Instead of using the 1/4"-20 hex head bolts that scratch the anodized surface of the inner leg, I think I will use plastic knurled thumbscrews instead.  The bolts are not carrying any load.  They only make sure these caster assemblies do not fall off the inner legs if we lose gravity (not likely).

I also ordered Parallax Instruments rotating tube assembly which allows the OTA to turn to whatever position is most convenient.  The German Equatorial Mount design has many virtues. One of the irritations is that the eyepiece can end up in positions so awkward that they can require severe contortions, sometimes on a ladder.

UPDATE 2:  I trimmed 2.5" off of each sleeve allowing me to lower the inner leg that much into the outer leg lowering the OTA what is that 2.5" cos 30?  That would be about 2.2".  That sounds right.  The footprint is smaller.  2.5" sin 30 would be 1.25" on each side?  Feel free to correct my imperfectly remembered trigonometry.  My wife also suggested, okay, maybe a stronger verb is appropriate, that I move the 5" f/9 refractor out of the back corner creating more room for the reflectors.  

There is now no shortage of room in the telescope shed for getting either reflector in and out.  The refractor is on the back patio under a cover.  This makes it a little more rapidly accessible for astronomy.  Perhaps I will find some way to get it into the garage for faster access out front.

Wednesday, August 9, 2023

Shocking Consequences to Laziness

8/9/23 CNBC reports on TSMC's problems getting workers skilled enough in Arizona to construct their new chip fab.  The union says TSMC is just using that as an excuse to fly Taiwanese workers in to do the work.  TSMC says flying them over is actually more expensive.  Intel, which has an Arizona fab, says skilled workers are in short supply but also that TSMC does not have enough experience as a global business to hire locally.

Whatever the problem is that TSMC is having, I fear that the Great Resignation (much of which is laziness and too many wealthy and spoiled young people) and failure to teach young people the importance of work is driving this.  Civilizations have certain basic values they must maintain to continue and I think we are failing.

Surprise, Surprise!

8/8/23 Axios attributes the change to COVID but I wonder how much reflects anger at the fascism and hypocrisy of their masters during the crisis.  Of course, the widespread rejection of punishing crime by Soros' DAs night be an issue as well:
"When millions of Americans rethought their living situations during the pandemic, their moves changed the geography of where money is made in the United States.
"It also shows a surge in income that arrived in many rural and exurban places and in popular vacation destinations.
  • Not only did residents leave the biggest cities, but those who left disproportionately had high incomes, meaning the hit to those local economies was larger than migration numbers alone would imply."
Of course, high income earners are freer to move away from Democratic urban hellholes. 

If you lose enough of those high income earners, your declining tax base will make the welfare state less practical.

Before you get judgmental about it, some of those beneficiaries are really in no position to become independent of the largesse of the government.  

Another Victory

Wolford v. Lopez (D.Haw. 2023).  Hawaii tried to ban carry by licensees (of which there are currently a handful in the whole state) at beaches, parking lots shared with private businesses with government buildings, places that serve alcohol, banks, and any business that did not have an explicit welcome to licensees.  Judge Kobayashi issued a Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction against enforcement on Second Amendment grounds.

Most of the historical evidence from my expert declaration made it in: no historical tradition of prohibiting firearms in parks before 1791; few regulations before 1868, and those were outliers; Hawai'i admitted in oral arguments that beaches and parks are similar; businesses open to the public have effectively given permission to well-behaved customers to enter.

8/9/23 Reuters reports the judge was an Obama appointment.

Tuesday, August 8, 2023

Why Do I Suspect This Guy Was Not Wearing a MAGA Hat?

8/8/23 Idaho Statesman:
"A Meridian man who was arrested in June after reportedly shooting at electrical substation equipment at two Idaho dams now faces federal charges over the incidents, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday."

DOJ has been banging the drum about domestic violent extremists (you know, MAGA Hat wearers).
"During his arrest and a pretrial conference in June, officials said Vail refused to respond to a judge’s questions and said he didn’t understand his Miranda rights. Third District Judge David Eames ordered an evaluation to determine whether Vail was fit to proceed in court.

"In the past several months, substations in North Carolina, Washington and Oregon have been damaged in various attacks. In February, the Department of Homeland Security warned in a bulletin that “domestic violent extremists” have looked at attacking electrical and communications infrastructure “as a means to create chaos and advance ideological goals.” The motivation behind Vail’s alleged attack is unclear."

I would wonder if ecodambusting or mental illness is a better explanation.

RMGO v. Polis (D.Colo. 2023)

Federal judge ruled that Colorado law banning under 21-year-olds from buying guns violated the Second Amendment.  He took apart Cornell's argument that under 21-year-olds were not citizens by pointing out that Cornell failed to point to any evidence that they passed laws disarming those under 21.

Mill End Stop

Everything on Amazon was Chinese.  Little Machine Shop had a nice cheap one but also made in PRC.  There was an American maker but they seemed to have stopped production.

It is really simple enough to make one.  Two blocks with a rod between them and a hole through the upper block that the stop rod (or maybe even just a long screw) goes through the upper block.  A set screw locks the vertical rod to the base.  A thumbscrew locks the upper block to the rod and another thumbscrew locks the horizontal stop rod in position in the upper block.  

There are two strategies for attaching the base to the table.  Use a 10-32 screw to the T-nut.

That is unlikely to give consistent square to the table.  This is not strictly necessary because the stop is not specific to anywhere except where the last workpiece was located.  I could cut the base of the bottom block to slide into the T-slot with a small nylon thumbscrew to hold it in position.  

Getting T-nuts into the Sherline T-slots is not easy.  They look square but seem to only want to slide in for one orientation.  I will make the T-slot part of the base just small enough to slide in easily. The length of the base block relative to the .2512" width of the slot should make it consistently square.

Monday, August 7, 2023

Are You Sure You Have Enough Magazines?

This ad on for a Browning Hi-Power (my favorite service pistol) has a few extra magazines.  Enough for the Zombie Apocalypse or even living in California.

After Several Weeks of Punishing Heat

With at least usually clear skies at night, we are getting the most severe summer thunderstorm that I can remember.  Sometimes on the hill above Horseshoe Bend, we had impressive storms like this but not in August.

Just Watched The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

You may recall that in the first movie, the Capitol that kept the deplorable in subjugation was so dreadfully similar to our nation's capital with absurd styles, extravagant living and abuse of power that it almost looked like a parody of a Trump 2016 campaign ad.

The sequel continues along the same lines with a little backstory to explain how this DC-like monster and the Hunger Games starts.  Remember that if a Federalist 46 solution is required, nothing less than utter destruction of the corrupt elite's power base will be sufficient.

Major Victory

Teter v. Lopez (9th Cir. 2023) struck down Hawaii'i's butterfly knife ban as contrary to the Second Amendment.

This may not seem like much to gun owners, but trust me knives have been long held in more disfavour by our masters then guns for reasons that I think have more to do with unpleasant experiences with blades in the kitchen than anything else.  Winning a victory before the 9th Circuit is really something.

Finally Done

I have been working on this mobility solution for my Losmandy G811G for a couple of months now.  A couple false starts and a lot of work writing expert declarations has delayed this.  The final step was making these spacers to make up the difference between the leg height and the size of the aluminum sleeves that were available. Then  I had to mill a slot in the spacer to go over several screw heads on the legs.  

In retrospect, I should probably have started with a block of acetal that filled the sleeve, then milled out the space for the leg and then the slot. It might not have been any slower.  Making these spacers and drilling and tapping the holes to attach the spacers to the sleeve was more work than it should have been.  I do not think it came out very much uglier this way but it would been cleaner in terms of external fasteners.

The big hole is where the existing clamping screw from the outer leg that holds the inner leg will clamp the sleeve to the outer leg.  The inner leg should stay just fine because of gravity.

The hole in the bottom is where the existing casters will screw in place when I take off the old set.

Book Banning

Important article about the supposed book banning going on across America: 

It’s not a ban when we do it

If the headlines are to be believed, book banning is exclusively the purview of the political right. The restriction of the graphic Holocaust memoir Maus at a school in Tennessee; the reshelving of Amanda Gorman's inauguration poem, "The Hill We Climb," for middle school instead of elementary school readers at a school library in Florida; the ongoing imbroglio over the graphic memoir Gender Queer, which features a strap-on blowjob scene that is simultaneously too boring to qualify as pornography yet also too explicit to be shown on television: every one of these incidents became a global news story, fueled by a media class that is heavily invested in the narrative of a national censorship crisis, and even moreso in the idea of a slavering mass of would-be book burners rioting in MAGA gear on the steps of every library in America.

It's true that incidents like these tend to be initiated by conservatives concerned that the content of certain books is inappropriate for children — although in many cases, it's more like one conservative for whom trying to get books removed from the library has become something akin to a weird hobby (one analysis found that 60 percent of challenges from the 2021-2022 school year were initiated by just eleven people). But this isn't the whole story when it comes to the removal or restriction of books that someone finds morally objectionable. For every parents' rights group demanding the removal of Gender Queer from the school library, members of the political left have their own, no less ideology-driven ways of restricting access to books. The only difference is there's no oversight, and no media outcry.

Every year, librarians and educators quietly purge their shelves of titles they've deemed outdated, irrelevant, or offensive in a process known as weeding. This is standard practice in school and public libraries across the country, and just as reflective of political pieties as the highly-publicized challenges to books like Gender Queer. Like so many other professions, library science has become increasingly preoccupied with progressive politics in recent years, while the notion that the library should remain apolitical is increasingly unpopular among those who work there. In 2016, librarians donated to Hillary Clinton's campaign over Trump's by a ratio of 419 to 1. The annual conferences of the American Library Association (ALA), the oldest and largest professional consortium of librarians, are packed with DEI-related programming, and librarians are instrumental in the DisruptTexts and Decolonize Your Bookshelf movements designed to steer readers away from the problematic classics written by straight, white men. Even the Dewey decimal system has been declared racist.

The archetypal librarian ingrained in the American imagination (and whom many of us still remember from our youth) might have shushed you for talking too loudly, but she'd happily connect you with any book you wanted. Today's librarians, on the other hand, often see themselves not only as custodians of literature, but gatekeepers, educators, and activists, and they've been as instrumental as anyone in turning the library from an ideologically neutral space into a political battleground.

Once a book has been deemed "harmful" — that is, guilty of one of the -isms or -phobias — it's not unusual for librarians to look for ways to keep it out of children's hands, if not pull it from the shelves entirely. There are many ways to suppress a library book when you're the one in control of which titles get displayed, promoted, and included on reading lists (just this week in the UK, a "best practices" guide for librarians reportedly advised keeping books by "transphobic" authors out of sight and off recommendation lists lest the reading public become distressed). As one blog post on the American Library Association website coyly explains, "While I’m not saying you need to out-and-out remove Tikki Tikki Tembo, Dr. Seuss or Little House on the Prairie from your library, what I am saying is we all — most especially white librarians — need to be more conscious of the messages our recommendations send to our public, and the lessons children are learning from those recommendations. If a classic isn’t circulating the way it used to, if it no longer meets the criteria set for inclusion in your collection — maybe it’s time to weed."

In other words, we're not saying you need to remove this book. We're saying, you should do everything in your power to stop people from reading this book, and then remove it because people aren't reading it anymore… for some strange reason.

If you want to have some fun with your local woke librarian, ask why they do not have The Turner Diaries in their collection.  Is it important?  For understanding the tiny neo-Nazi movement and the destruction of the Oklahoma Federal Building in 1995, yes.  Would it provoke young people to turn neo-Nazi?  Some, perhaps.  It is a well-written, entertaining novel, once you get past the racism, anti-Semitism, and incitement to violence.  

Do they have Dan Giffords' documentary Waco: The Rules of Engagement (1997)?  It is certainly important.  But it raises questions about the honesty of the FBI and the integrity of the official news media.

Oh yes: The Myth of Extermination of the Jews and Holocaust: The Greatest Lie Ever Told.  Of course, some progressives might appreciate those.

These are public libraries.  If the people funding them have no say in how the collections are curated, then the "woke" should fund them.