Wednesday, January 31, 2024

California Gun Owners Mail Order Ammo Now

California will definitely ask the 9th Circuit to stay the Rhode decision.  Place your mail order ammo orders now.  

On the upper right you can see my ammunition sponsor.

Indeed here is California's motion before the 9th Circuit seeking a stay.  It has not been granted yet.  I would be surprised if the 9th Circuit does not grant the stay.  Order your ammo next day delivery.  Or jump on the Interstate to Reno or Las Vegas and buy a couple cases.  I am sure the gangs have been doing this illegally for a couple years.

California's Ammunition Background Check Law Down in Flames

 And yes, I submitted declarations for this.  Judge Beneitz considered:

1. Second Amendment guarantees right to buy ammunition.  It does.

The ammunition background checks laws have no historical pedigree and operate in such a way that they violate the Second Amendment right of citizens to keep and bear arms. 

2. The law has so many false rejections that based on a similar question concerning the 15th Amendment and percentages rejected from voting for lacking identification to reject its validity.

3. California's list of analogous laws was severely defective for a swarm of reasons including:

The State’s compilation lists 48 laws which made it a crime to possess a gun and ammunition by Negros, Mulattos, slaves, or persons of color, and two laws that prohibited sales to Indians.32 For example, the Attorney General lists a 1798 Kentucky law which prohibited any “Negro, mulatto, or Indian” from possessing any gun or ammunition. [57] An 1846 North Carolina law offers another example wherein it was prohibited to sell or deliver firearms to “any slave.” [92] This is the third time the Attorney General has cited these laws in support for its laws and restrictions implicating the Second Amendment. These fifty laws identified by the Attorney General constitute a long, embarrassing, disgusting, insidious, reprehensible list of examples of government tyranny towards our own people.  

I don't know, that seems a good description of most of California's gun laws.

4. Dormany Commerce Clause.  If you do not know about this, the national government's authority to regulate interstate commerce was originally intended to prevent states from blocking interstate commerce.  By prohibiting interstate sales of ammunition, California has very clearly violated this.

5.  Theb Firearms Owners Protection Act guaranteed the right to transport firearms and ammunition in interstate commerce.  California's law is in conflict and therefore goes down in flames.

Judge Beneitz enjoined enforcement and seems not to have stayed the order.

Tuesday, January 30, 2024


 I beat my head against the wall long enough to make a very simple 3D object and export it as an STL.  Now I am trying topm find an STL to gCode converter intend for milling not 3D printing.

Carbon Fiber Composite Arrived

The square is 6" x 6" x 3/8" and as you might expect, is profoundly stiff even compared to steel.  This is why aerospace engineers used to refer to carbon fiber composite as PFM.  I will use this to make dust caps for the polar and declination axis housings 

The square tube is 1" x 1" x .03" wall and even though this is not the high modulus form, it is very stiff perhaps equivalent to steel and it weighs almost nothing.

The tube is 0.5" diameter 0.05" wall and is high modulus very stiff and very light.  This will become the polar and declination axes.  The promised concentricity may require turning a few thousandths off the outer diameter.  I also need to verify fit into the .0501" ID needle bearings.  

I am a bit tired to get started on this.  I have been writing a law review article about discrepancies between FBI murder rates and CDC murder rates.

The needle bearings are a very tight fit on the tube. Perfect.

Monday, January 29, 2024

Catholic Means Universal

 But it seems to be getting less universal as Pope Francis gives African Catholics an exemption.  1/29/24 Reuters:

VATICAN CITY, Jan 29 (Reuters) - Pope Francis said in an interview published on Monday that Africans were a "special case" in the opposition of bishops and many other people in the continent to homosexuality.
But he said he was confident that, except for Africans, critics of his decision to allow blessings for same-sex couples would eventually understand it.
Blessings were allowed last month in a document called Fiducia Supplicans (Supplicating Trust), which has caused widespread debate in the Catholic Church, with particularly strong resistance coming from African bishops.
"Those who protest vehemently belong to small ideological groups," Francis told Italian newspaper La Stampa. "A special case are Africans: for them homosexuality is something 'bad' from a cultural point of view, they don't tolerate it".

Would the Pope regard married priests or incest as tolerable for Catholics that regarded these as good?  I do not think so.  The old saying, "Is the Pope Catholic?" increasingly seems to be No.

Sunday, January 28, 2024

How Accurate Are Murder Rates Published by FBI?

 During the New Jersey assault weapons ban suit, the state's murder expert Randy Roth, challenged my use of FBI murder rates by state, claiming that rural states greatly underreport murders.  That there is underreporting is without question: reporting to the FBI by police departments is voluntary.

The more meaningful measure is death certificate data gathered by CDC.  This article examines the data and it is interesting:

The report concludes that the death certificates “consistently” show “a higher number and rate of homicides in the United States compared” to the FBI data, “likely due to the differences in coverage and scope and the voluntary versus mandatory nature of the data collection as described above.”

The FBI tries to account for incomplete coverage by estimating the number of murders that aren’t reported to the FBI, but over the past decades, this process has yielded about 1,500–2,700 less murders per year than homicides listed on death certificates...

On the other hand, death certificates tend to overcount murders because they include justifiable homicides by civilians acting in self-defense, which are not murders. Such cases amounted to about 2.5% of homicides in 2015–2019.

Death certificates also include some justifiable homicides by police, even though these are supposed to be coded as “legal intervention deaths,” not as homicides. A study of 16 states during 2005–2012 suggests that such miscoded cases accounted for roughly 1.7% of homicides.

If the two rates above are currently applicable to the nation as a whole, the actual number of murders is about 4.2% less than the number of homicides recorded on death certificates.

FBI underreports murders but not dramatically. 

I have since looked at CDC homicide rates (which includes justifiable and excusable homicides by civilians and police) for 2016.  CDC homicide rate for U.S. was 5.9/100,000 vs. FBI 4.9/100,000.   Not all of that difference was lawful homicides of course, but underreporting at least nationally is not that severe.


Is A Reamer Overkill?

One of the YouTube videos on tapping carbon fiber recommended drilling a. undersize hole then using a carbide reamer before using a carbide tap.  Yes, carbide for drill, reamer, and tap.  Carbon fiber composite wears out high speed steel quickly. 

Since I am sure some of you know: is the reamer step really needed?  The carbide reamers are both hard to find and expensive.  I had originally planned to use stainless steel 1/4"-20 and 6-32 fasteners.  The shear strength of 6-32 stainles screws is about 850 pounds.  Nothing on this mount will have such demands.  The 1/4"-20 fasteners are completely unneeded (4687 pounds).  There is no need for this strength so 6-32 everywhere.  This reduces the number of cutting tools.

The Opportunity for a New Market

1/25/24 Fox News:
"State Sen. Scott Wiener, a Democrat from San Francisco, introduced the Speeding and Fatality Emergency Reduction on California Streets Package this week that includes a provision that would require "new vehicles sold in California" to "install speed governors, smart devices that automatically limit the vehicle’s speed to 10 miles above the legal limit."

"These changes are a head-on attempt to tackle vehicle fatalities, which are surging across the U.S. — and especially in California — amid a rise in reckless driving since the onset of the pandemic," a press release from Wiener’s office explained. "A recent report from TRIP, a national transportation research group, found that traffic fatalities in California have increased by 22% from 2019 to 2022, compared to 19% for the U.S. overall. In 2022, 4,400 Californians died in car crashes.""

The ultimate nanny-state.  There are times when passing on two lane roads where 10 mph is simply not enough.  If speed limits cannot be enforced adequately to prevent abuse of those capabilities, perhaps it is time to consider why Californians are such scofflaws.

The U S. increase in motor vehicle deaths started in the 2010s.  If California death rates have risen faster, the obvious question is why California?

Tuners will have a whole new market opportunity.

Friday, January 26, 2024

Jimmy Carter is Looking Smarter and Smarter

1/26/24 Associated Pres:
"WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration is delaying consideration of new natural gas export terminals in the United States, even as gas shipments to Europe and Asia have soared since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The election year decision by President Joe Biden aligns with environmentalists who fear the huge increase in exports, in the form of liquefied natural gas, or LNG, is locking in potentially catastrophic planet-warming emissions when the Democratic president has pledged to cut climate pollution in half by 2030."

I could have sworn Europe needed LNG once supplies from Russia ended.

Thursday, January 25, 2024

This May Sound Weird

My wife's laptop has an 2.5mm audio output.  Excuse me, it had one.  It no longer works and the built-in ones are not adequate to Tai-Chi DVD.  We could take it into Geek Squad for repair but it would be out of service in the middle of the semester so I need another solution.

The obvious one is Bluetooth speaker.  But all of them seem to be battery only.  It would be fine even preferable if they were AC powered.  But what magic string in Amazon gets such a beast?  "Bluetooth speakers AC" returns a swarm but all seem to be battery powered.


I think I have figured out why there are so many very slightly (2,000 to 9,000 miles) used Corvettes for sale.  People buy them and lie on their credit applications.  A month or two later, they miss the third payment and the dream car is repossessed.

America's Stolen Guns put together a useful collection of data about stolen guns and their contribution to crime here.

In RMGO v. Polis (D.Colo. 2023) I testified about how stolen guns used by criminals made waiting periods not very significant.  The judge's opinion essentially denigrated what I had to say about this factor.  A tax credit for buying gun safes (and not the crappy little ones that are easily defeated) would be a win for public safety.

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Fiber Fun

I have been trying to make an extended counterweight shaft for a small equatorial mount.  This is not the carbon fiber project, more a short-term fix for the current mount.  The standard counterweight shaft is 12mm diameter with an M12x1.75 male thread and an M6x1.0 female end for a bolt to prevent runaway counterweights from ending up on your toe.

My attempts to turn a .5" carbon steel shaft to the 12mm diameter before using a die to thread it have been for naught.  I cannot reduce the diameter enough to successfully use the die in the tailstock.

Then I thought, "Do not make an entire shaft.  Turn something to 12mm diameter, thread the end to M6x1.0 so it screws into the hole at the end of the current shaft and tap the far end to M6x1.0.  I had some 12mm carbon fiber composite rod but the die did not cut threads.  It produced a fiber disaster that reminded me to wear rubber gloves when working with stuff.  It is almost as ugly as fiberglass in the poke your skin area.

Curiously, there are YouTube videos showing successful tapping.  This 12mm carbon fiber is Chinese and for all I know they build fighter planes from it.

I am not sure why cutting steel and aluminum is so hard.  Perhaps some 12mm acetal?  More flexible than steel but easier to turn to size and cutting threads in a known process.

I see encouragement on YouTube to use a reamer to get a very exact size and concentricity before tapping. Of course, this also means carbide. Carbon fiber is apparently very hard on high-speed steel.  I can see how reaming would be less stressful if you already have the through hole largely complete.  Drill a 6-32 pilot hole then use a 13/64 reamer to get to size for a 1/4"-20 tap.  I already have one made of solid carbide.  As nervous as I am about it's brittleness, it is amazingly fast on steel.

We May Be Reaching a Tipping Point...

 Gov. Abbott throws down the gauntlet:

"The Executive Branch of the United States has a constitutional duty to enforce federal laws protecting States, including immigration laws on the books right now," reads the statement. "President Biden has instructed his agencies to ignore federal statutes that mandate the detention of illegal immigrants. The failure of the Biden Administration to fulfill the duties imposed by Article IV, § 4 has triggered Article I, § 10, Clause 3, which reserves to this State the right of self-defense. For these reasons, I have already declared an invasion under Article I, § 10, Clause 3 to invoke Texas’s constitutional authority to defend and protect itself. That authority is the supreme law of the land and supersedes any federal statutes to the contrary."

He has slightly overstated this:

No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, 

Texas is free to go to war if invaded.  Whether this qualifies as an invasion in a legal sense is hard to tell.  I do agree that if we are going to engage in a nit-picking use of legal definitions then the Court needs to deal with Art. II, § 3 as well which identifies the President's duties:

he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed

Hungary And Sweden

 Hungary has been the lone holdout to Sweden's joining NATO.  It appears Prime Minister Urban has bent:

1/24/24 Reuters:

BUDAPEST, Jan 24 (Reuters) - Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban told NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg in a phone call that the Hungarian government supports Sweden's membership of the military alliance, Orban said on social media platform X on Wednesday.
"I reaffirmed that the Hungarian government supports the NATO-membership of #Sweden," Orban said in the post.
Orban added that he also told Stoltenberg that he will continue to urge the Hungarian national assembly to vote in favour of Sweden's accession to NATO and conclude the ratification at the first possible opportunity.
Stoltenberg said after the call that Orban and his government clearly supported Sweden's NATO membership.
"I look forward to the ratification as soon as parliament reconvenes," Stoltenberg said on X.
Turkey's parliament approved Sweden's membership in the Western military alliance on Tuesday, leaving Hungary as the only NATO member yet to ratify the accession.

Is Ukraine Really Losing?

 A lot of doctrinaire libetarians have taken Putin's side on this, for several rasons:

1. Biden is on the LGBTQ side; Putin makes a point of being in opposition.

2. Traditional libertarian opposition to foreign intervention, even by proxy against thugs.

3. Why is our border not being protected frtom invasion?

That last one I understand.  Still, we can do two things at once: Biden could do his job of enforcing our laws and helping Ukraine.  The same crowd keeps insisting that Russia is winning and that we will soon go to World War III with Russia, presumably after peace-loving Russia invades an Article V nation.

But how badly is Ukraine doing?  This 1/23/23 Newsweek article matches many other sources.

On January 18, Ukraine launched a drone attack on a St. Petersburg oil terminal, about 620 miles from the Ukrainian border. It marked the first time a drone had targeted Russian President Vladimir Putin's home region, Leningrad, since the full-scale war in Ukraine began in February 2022.

Another Ukrainian drone attack near the city of St. Petersburg overnight on Sunday struck a major gas export terminal—a Novatek PJSC gas-condensate plant in the port Ust-Luga—causing a huge fire, and halting fuel supplies. Ust-Luga is Russia's largest Baltic port, and Ukraine's Security Service claimed responsibility for that attack, the Kyiv Post newspaper reported.

Should Ukraine successfully strike Russia's two major oil terminals in the Baltic Sea, Ust-Luga and Primorsk, it could halt the export of 1.5 million barrels of oil per day. This could cause the country to lose billions, Bloomberg reported on Monday. Newsweek contacted Russia's Foreign Ministry for comment by email on Tuesday.

The amount of oil shipped by the two oil terminals daily accounted for more than 40 percent of Moscow's total seaborne crude exports on average from January to November 2023, Bloomberg reported, citing industry data.

Any more Russian success and they will be out of business. 

Mexico's Concerns About Gun Smuggling

You doubtless know that Mexico's suit against U.S. gunmakers is going forward but another interesting twist. 1/22/24 Associated Press:

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico wants an urgent investigation into how U.S. military-grade weapons are increasingly being found in the hands of Mexican drug cartels, Mexico’s top diplomat said Monday.

Mexico’s army is finding belt-fed machine guns, rocket launchers and grenades that are not sold for civilian use in the United States.

“The (Mexican) Defense Department has warned the United States about weapons entering Mexico that are for the exclusive use of the U.S. army,” Foreign Relations Secretary Alicia Bárcena said. “It is very urgent that an investigation into this be carried out.”

I would no be surprised if the Biden Administration is looking the other way while corrupt soldiers are enhancing their paychecks. 

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

How to Increase Outflow of Wealthy Californians

1/22/24 Fox News reports on California's solution to insane spending: a wealth tax.  Not a higher income tax but a tax on wealth no matter where it is:
"The proposed wealth tax is a sweeping measure, encompassing both full-time and part-time residents of California. Levying a 1.5% excise tax on worldwide net worth exceeding $1 billion, the bill aims to generate substantial revenue to fill the state's budget deficit. By 2026, the tax net expands to wealth exceeding $50 million, at a 1% yearly rate, with an additional 0.5% tax on assets exceeding $1 billion. "

If you were a typical California billionaire and therefore Democrat, would you keep a home even your little lake house on Tahoe in California?

I suspect a lot of California billionaires are going to be rethinking their blind support for Democrats.

That is okay.  All the illegal immigrants will supply the increased income tax revenue.

Bruen Worked

A friend just received his CCW from the San Francisco Sheriff's Office!

Excuse Me, While I Go Into Shock

1/23/24 National Propaganda Radio article about Wyoming's high suicide rate (mostly with guns) that discussed how gun shops are already doing their part:

"One recent week, she had logged hundreds of miles in her Toyota hybrid minivan crisscrossing southern Wyoming visiting local gun shops and advocating for safe storage — where a customer can bring their guns in and store them temporarily in a safe, no questions asked.

"At an unannounced drop-in at Frontier Arms & Supply in Cheyenne, she explained to counter staff: "Maybe their teenager is in crisis or they themselves were just saying, 'Hey, I'm not in the right space to have my firearm at home with me right now. Can you hold that?'"

"She was pleased to learn that the shop was already offering this service and getting willing participants. SinClair lost her mother to suicide by firearm when she was a little girl. She says that for too long, suicide prevention and guns were completely siloed from one another in Wyoming."

It was amazing to read an NPR article discussing solutions that do not involve disarming law-abiding people.  It also refers to the project by the University of Wyoming's Firearms Research Center on trying to reduce gun suicides.

Monday, January 22, 2024

BP 106/53

At the end of cardiac rehab today.  They just upped my time on the cardiovascular workout machines to 15 minutes and we are starting to increase speed and resistance.  Each week's step up is a little unpleasant the first day but is easy by the end of the week.

Sunday, January 21, 2024

18 USC 922(g)(9)

 This is often inaccurately shortened to misdemeanor domestic battery.  It is not.  It prohibits possession if you have been convicted of the much more narrowly defined "misdemeanor crime of domestic violence" which is at 18 USC § 921(a)(33).  Even then, first conviction is only a five year disqualifier.  It still fails the Bruen test; I am not aware of any firearms disqualifier for domestic violence in the Founding Era.

Saturday, January 20, 2024


One of you nice people sent me $20 using Venmo last year.  Try as hard as I could, I could never figure out to transfer that money out to my bank.

Recently, I received an email at my email address asking me to verify details about my account.  My name was Willie Jones.  Someone obviously saw my request for help last year, created a Venmo account and transferred that $20 away.  But it turns out that if you have an email address associated with that account, it is pretty easy to reset the password then change the profile.  There is no set of security questions required to reset the password.

Willie Jones is $20 richer (perhaps a lot for him) and I am $20 poorer (not even pocket change for me) and i learned an interesting lesson about how poor Venmo security is.

Slow Learners

1/20/24 New York Post:
"A band of newly arrived migrants who may be part of a bigger crime ring are allegedly behind a string of retail thefts and burglaries plaguing a Chicago suburb, police said.
"Chicago, a sanctuary city that does not cooperate with federal authorities investigating crimes by illegal immigrants or allowing local law enforcement to inquire about a person’s citizenship status, has received around 34,000 migrants since 2022....
"In December, Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson, who previously supported sanctuary city policies, pleaded for federal help in tackling the crisis at the border.

“Without real, significant investment from our federal government, it won’t just be the city of Chicago that won’t be able to maintain this mission,” Johnson told CNN. “It’s the entire country that is now at stake.”"

Really?  They will not cooperate with the national government concerning illegal aliens in custody, ask people they arrest about their status and now it is a big crisis that needs federal intervention.

Dead Trees Are Not Obsolete

1/17/24 Guardian:
"Using a sample of 59 children aged 10 to 12, a team led by Dr Karen Froud asked its subjects to read original texts in both formats while wearing hair nets filled with electrodes that permitted the researchers to analyze variations in the children’s brain responses. Performed in a laboratory at Teachers College with strict controls, the study – which has not yet been peer reviewed – used an entirely new method of word association in which the children “performed single-word semantic judgment tasks” after reading the passages.

Vital to the usefulness of the study was the age of the participants – a three-year period that is “critical in reading development” – since fourth grade is when a crucial shift occurs from what another researcher describes as “learning to read” to “reading to learn”

"Froud and her team are cautious in their conclusions and reluctant to make hard recommendations for classroom protocol and curriculum. Nevertheless, the researchers state: “We do think that these study outcomes warrant adding our voices … in suggesting that we should not yet throw away printed books, since we were able to observe in our participant sample an advantage for depth of processing when reading from print.”"

It is possible that adults are not similarly disadvantaged but putting a substantial cohort of America's children in online education for a year and a half may turn out to be the biggest damage done by COVID and the panicmongers.

Remember: If Someone Wants You To Commit a Criminal Act...

They are likely FBI. 

 1/20/24 Yahoo News:
"A man convicted in a post-9/11 terrorism sting was ordered freed from prison by a judge who criticized the FBI for relying on an "unsavory” confidential informant for an agency-invented conspiracy to blow up New York synagogues and shoot down National Guard planes."

Friday, January 19, 2024

There is a Step Down From Barista for Victim Studies Graduates

1/18/24 Truth About Guns:
"Meet Tyler Hamlin. He graduated from the University of Illinois (my alma mater) with a Gender Studies degree. Where has that degree taken him? Well, the homeless (first clue) and unemployed (clue #2) Tyler Hamlin, 31, was confronted by a CCW homeowner while burglarizing the guy’s garage in Chicago a while back....
"Despite his “on probation” status at the time, Tyler lucked out. He got another soft-on-crime judge who gave him “more” probation after police cuffed him up after a tense standoff in a garage in Chicago."

Be Glad the Gun Banners Are Not Too Teribly Aware

 In an otherwise disturbing development:

Among the suspicious purchases are "(religious texts ... containing extremist views."  What constitutes "extremist views"?  Traditional Latin Mass Catholic materials?  Apocalyptic books such as The Last Days of the Late, Great Planet Earth?  

Note also that along with centers of white supremacist terror as Cabela's, they have Dick's Sporting Goods who destroyed all their assault weapons to stop selling them.

Age Victory

 Lara v. Commissioner of Penn. State Police (3d.Circ. 2023):

Through the combined operation of three statutes, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania effectively bans 18-to-20-year-olds from carrying firearms outside their homes during a state of emergency. Madison Lara, Sophia Knepley, and Logan Miller, who were in that age range when they filed this suit, want to carry firearms outside their homes for lawful purposes, including self-defense. They, along with two gun rights organizations, sued the Commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police (the “Commissioner”) to stop enforcement of the statutes, but the District Court ruled against them. They now appeal the District Court’s order dismissing their case and denying them preliminary injunctive relief. They assert that the Commonwealth’s statutory scheme violates the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution. In response, the Commissioner contends that the Appellants are not among “the people” to whom the Second Amendment applies, and that the Nation’s history and tradition of firearm regulation support the statutory status quo. We disagree. The words “the people” in the Second Amendment presumptively encompass all adult Americans, including 18-to-20-year-olds, and we are aware of no founding-era law that supports disarming people in that age group. Accordingly, we will reverse and remand. They assert that the Commonwealth’s statutory scheme violates the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution. In response, the Commissioner contends that the Appellants are not among “the people” to whom the Second Amendment applies, and that the Nation’s history and tradition of firearm regulation support the statutory status quo. We disagree. The words “the people” in the Second Amendment presumptively encompass all adult Americans, including 18- to-20-year-olds, and we are aware of no founding-era law that supports disarming people in that age group. Accordingly, we will reverse and remand.

Good choice having two of the three plaintiffs be women, a group notable for low murder rates. 

Clueless About History

 Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Solutions report Defending Democracy raises the spectre of insuurection.  I think their concerns about this danger are real and no just because of J6. For several years, BLM and Antifa engaged in "mostly peaceful protests", arson attacks on federal buildings, riots in response to losing elections, pro-Hamas demonstrators shutting down the lower house of the California legislature, lawyers firebombing police cars while handing out Molotov cocktails to others, public workers occupying the Wisconsin legislature.  For some reason Defending Democracy missed these other insurrectionary acts.

10/23/19 Georgetown University Institute of Politics and Public Service:

These observations contribute to the Civility Poll’s additional finding that the average voter believes the U.S. is two-thirds of the way to the edge of a civil war. On a 0-100 scale with 100 being “edge of a civil war,” the mean response is 67.23.
6/15/23 Rasmussen Reports:

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 34% of Likely U.S. Voters think the United States will experience a second civil war sometime in the next five years, but that includes only nine percent (9%) who say it’s Very Likely. This compares to 31% and 11% respectively two years ago. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

While Democrats were more worried about pending civil war in 2018, now Republicans (40%) are more likely than Democrats (28%) and voters not affiliated with either major party (38%) to see a second civil war on the horizon.

As I have previously argued, this would be a very bad thing: massive loss of life, destruction of infrastructure, encouraging America's enemies to destroy our allies.  Their solution:

Policy and Practice Recommendations
• Regulate the public carry of firearms
• Strengthen existing laws, or increase the enforcement of current laws, to prohibit paramilitary activity
• Prohibit the civilian possession of firearms in locations essential to political participation, such as polling places, legislative buildings, and protests to protect the core functions of government
• Enact and implement Extreme Risk Protection Order laws to temporarily disarm people who pose a high risk of violence
• Repeal or create exceptions for firearm preemption laws to give local governments the ability to create policies to address risks of insurrectionism in their jurisdictions 
• Break the insurrectionist permission structure by openly denouncing violence 

With that last one I can agree.  If only we could get Democrats to agree and stop making excuses for riots.

The items on the list show that they do not realize that what started the American Revolution was arms control:

Acting on intelligence that the militia were stockpiling weapons, Gage ordered Lieutenant-Colonel Francis Smith to march to Concord and seize the arms.

Yes, gun banners are so afraid of insurrection that they want to take the steps that started a previous successful insurrection.  If you want an insurrection, keep pushing for gun  bans.  You will have no one to blame for inciting it but yourselves.

Thursday, January 18, 2024

Remember, War in the Middle East is Our Fault

I see Pakistan has retaliated for Iranian strikes by bombing Iran.  1/17/24 New York Times.

Why you might even imagine that Iran is the problem.

Pakistan has nuclear weapons and Iran may have nuclear weapons.  This could get bad.

Cardiac Progress

One of my health problems was that walking any distance (even a mile or more) in either cold weather (below 50) or hot (above 75) caused short-windedness.  Even after the recent stenting, it was only a little better.  The combination of cardiac rehab and clopidogrel means progress.  We just took the dogs to the nearby middle school (which is having a snow day) and walked them until they were tired (an unimaginable event for the younger one, Lillie) and even though it is in the teens, and walked at least a mile in the snow, I was never short-winded. I have 21 visits left to cardiac rehab and my confidence is that they may get me back to where I want to be without slicing me open.

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Starting to Make My Carbon Fiber and Titanium Screws Shopping List

1/2" OD tube which I will lathe to concentric for axes.  1" square tube for the two axes housings in which the axes will turn inside the stainless steel needle bearings (I have those now). Stainless is not the best although it is considered an adequate galvanic corrosion solution except in salt water.  A 3/8" x 6" x 6" plate from which I will cut the piece that attaches the polar axis housing to the declination adjustment piece and the two 1" x 2" ears in which it will sit attached to a round plate by titanium screws.  

A 1/4"-20  titanium  thumbscrew, turning in a square attached to the base plate will push the declination adjustment piece to the correct angle. 

Other parts of that 3/8" plate will make the end plates for the axis housings, one each with a hole for the axis and one solid for the blind end.  Why 3/8" thick?  So I can use 6-32 titanium socket head screws to hold them in the housings.  I could use epoxy but I like being able to disassemble for maintenance.  

The top of the polar axis will be expoxied into a square piece with a 1/2" hole milled in the end.  This piece will have two 6-32 holes.  Two holes in the declination housing will allow insertion of the screws to attach the housing to the polar axis.  A Teflon washer will allow easy rotation of the declination housing on the polar housing.

Yes I am having trouble falling asleep 

The Future is Now

1/10/24 UPI:
"Musician plays guitar while surgeons remove his brain tumor"

He plays guitar so they know how much they can remove without impairing coordination.

Let Me Know When Bangladesh Develops ICBMs

My wife used to complain that Wal Mart was ChinaMart because so much of what they sold was Chinese; then the complaint was Amazon.  I ordered some khaki pants from Walmart of the type (George) and size (34x30) which i now fit.  To my pleasure "Made in Bangladesh.". There are a lot of countries that need jobs for their people a step up from starving peasants, and if I can buy my clothes from there and they are not run by raving gangsters threatening to nuke us, all the better.  But warn me if things change.

Ditto for the Wrangler buffalo check flannel shirts I just bought from Amazon.

Back From Fresno

 The judge was too busy challenging the PD's inability to know in advance how the U.S. Attorney would argue that he failed to challenge the arguments that the U.S. Attorney would have made, so I never testified.  A lot of travel to do almost nothing more interesting than see federal courthouses now do security screening.

Blogging Up a Storm From SFO

The boarding time is close enough that pulling out my laptop, connecting to SFO's doubtless expensive and woke WiFi is not worth the time.

Feisty Russians

1/17/24 Daily Mail:
"Russia is hit by huge civil protest in support of anti-Ukraine war activist as 10,000 take to the streets and clash with riot police: Putin speechwriter warns 'This is how the Soviet Union collapsed'"

As Instapundit points out, that is not really how that happened.  It is still encouraging to see Putin's mortificious outsized ego at risk of serious pushback. 

Now I Cannot Unthink It!

My wife wants a motion-activated lighting fixture not for security but so visitors can see what they are about to trip over.  I sent her a link to a candidate.  Her response was that it looked like the child of Darth Vader and R2D2.  I do not want to imagine the coupling!

Airport Advertising

I can see why advertising in the space between the gate and baggage claim makes sense.  You are arriving in a new place and you do not know which are the restaurants most appropriate to your preferences. Or a realtor.

But between TSA and the gate.  I noticed an ad for a plastic surgeon who was so beautiful that if I were in the market for such services I would want to know, "Who did you?" You may be familiar with the logic question, "You are in a small town with two barbers.  One has a terrible haircut; one has a great haircut.  To which one do you go?"

Anyway, if you are departing Fresno and you are a visitor, will you ever need the services of Advanced Footcare: Ankle & Foot Surgery?  (Here is hoping this will be advertising bait.)

If you live here, will you remember them when you return?  Very poorly thought out advertising strategy.

Federal Courthouse Screening

Really thorough. No, not a cavity search.  The back of my vest has a little metal buckle at the back that serves no function but probably dates back to the overweight King Edward who is the reason that leaving the bottom button of the vest used to be considered correct.  The king's vest would not quite fit.

How Old Is the Airport?

If the chairs in the departure gate area have no power plugs (110VAC or USB) it is at least pre-1990 or maybe pre-2000.  For you still in the prime of your life, we did not carry stuff that needed recharging.

Let me really shock you: when I started flying, you could smoke in flight except when landing or taking off.  (I do not miss this.). The smell of jet fuel when we were taxiing to the gate shortly after landing was a bit unnerving 

There were no metal detectors.  An acquaintance became interested in Second Amendment law by sitting next to Don Kate's on a flight.  Don, was of course, armed.  There were apparently no laws at the time prohibitibg this.

You could meet your arriving friends at the gate.  (The ABC bomber, A is for airport) ended that last freedom, as well as airport lockers.

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

In Case You Are in Law School

I watched a lawyer say that women and children were chattels in colonial America subject to whatever punishment the father inflicted; women had no rights;  and that women were not allowed to own property.  She learned this in law school 15 years ago, dammit!

"an item of tangible movable or immovable property except real estate and things (such as buildings) connected with real property"

Women and children could not be sold.  

Blackstone's Commentaries are clear that there were limits on the level of correction that could be used against a wife or child.

The husband also, by the old law, might give his wife moderate correction. For, as he is to answer for her misbehaviour, the law thought it reasonable to intrust him with this power of restraining her, by domestic chastisement, in the same moderation that a man is allowed to correct his apprentices or children; for whom the master or parent is also liable in some cases to answer.

Women in the femme coverture status, which meant most never married women and married women, had no legal existence apart from their father or husband. Widows were generally femme sole with their own legal existence.  This is part of why wealthy widows met the property qualification and voted in New Jersey at the begiinng of the 19th century.  The Wealth of a Nation Yet to Be documented a lot of very rich widows who had worn out several wealthy husbands.

Uber Impresses Me Not

This is my first Uber use.  The first ride I hauled apparently expected to pick me up at the entrance.  I texted and called him about the pickup location without any success.  But he reported that he got me to the federal courthouse so I was charged.

The second Uber driver got me there just in time for a long metal detector delay so a couple minutes late to the courtroom.

I am trying to reverse the charge for the trip that did not happen.

Remember: Banning Guns Makes Them Go Away

1/15/24 BBC News:

Converted handguns - originally designed to fire blanks - are currently responsible for more shooting incidents in the UK than "real" handguns.

Police figures reveal there were 64 discharges from converted models in 2023, compared with 42 from real equivalent weapons.

Converted handguns were responsible for four deaths and 17 serious injuries.

A government ballistics expert says the issue is "a top-line threat priority".

The National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) - which provided the provisional figures in response to a Freedom of Information request from BBC's File On 4 - says there were also seven incidents in 2023 in which a converted sub-machine gun was fired.

Blank firing guns are produced for a number of reasons - such as for use in theatre or film, as starting pistols, or at firearms' demonstration events.

Instead of firing bullets, they use cartridges filled with gunpowder, which make a gun-like noise and a spark.

"The issue is that they look like the real thing," says Gregg Taylor, who is forensic technical lead at the National Ballistics Intelligence Service (Nabis), which analyses firearms discharges for all 45 UK police forces.

"Sometimes they even include genuine parts from genuine weapons," he adds. "Therefore you've got 90% of what you already need to then go on - and do the extra 10% to convert."

Monday, January 15, 2024

Having Made Fun of Russian and Chinese Military Fraud

 I thought sharing this gem of the USAF doing something clever and cheap with PS3s:

In November 2010, the Air Force Research Laboratory created a powerful supercomputer, nicknamed the "Condor Cluster", by connecting together 1,760 consoles with 168 GPUs and 84 coordinating servers in a parallel array capable of 500 trillion floating-point operations per second (500 TFLOPS).[22] As built, the Condor Cluster was the 33rd largest supercomputer in the world and was used to analyze high definition satellite imagery while costing only one tenth that of a traditional supercomputer.[23]

Can You Out Russia Russia?

 Report from 1/8/24 Newsweek:

Chinese officials filled missiles with water instead of rocket fuel in one example of pervasive corruption, according to a report on U.S. intelligence assessments of China's military.

Sources familiar with these intelligence assessments, quoted by Bloomberg, said Chinese President Xi Jinping's recent extensive military purge was prompted by alarming levels of corruption within the nation's defense infrastructure.

Widespread corruption had jeopardized President Xi's ambitious plans to modernize China's armed forces, the sources were quoted as saying. This revelation had led US officials to believe that President Xi is now less likely to consider major military actions in the foreseeable future.

One of the YouTube channels pointed out that liquid rockets are not normally kept loaded.  The most plausible explanation is that the fuel tanks, which are used to fill before launch were filled with water.  This raises more questions: What liquid fuel?  Titan IIs used red fuming nitric acid (which is as nasty as it sounds) and hydrazine.  Both are liquid at room temperatures.  Some crooked general could have sold the actual fuel to a black market chemical dealer and filled the tanks with water.  

1. Is there no central source for the fuel?  Would the central government give local generals authority to buy where they wished?

2. Why does China have liquid-fueled ICBMs?  The U.S. switched to solid fuel rockets the Atlas rockets were slow to fuel and launch.  The Titans were hard to maintain.  You may aware of an accident that started with a dropped wrench and ended with a 9 Mt hydrogen bomb being thrown close to a mile away.  These would be first-strike weapons.  If things got hot, these would be our first targets.

Sunday, January 14, 2024

Always Nice to See You Will At Least Be a Footnote to History

 1/14/24 American Conservative article how plagiarism and other academic no-no ruless are selectively enforced depending on whether you can claim victimhood and progressive team membership.

Sadly, labeling critics as “bad faith” actors has become a default weapon of its own for burying factually accurate revelations of academic misconduct by figures on the political left. We saw this same defensive pattern emerge in the early 2000s controversy around Michael Bellesiles, then a history professor at Emory University. Bellesiles’s book, Arming America, skyrocketed to academic fame primarily because its historical narrative bolstered present-day arguments for firearms regulation. When researcher Clayton Cramer uncovered evidence that Bellesiles falsified his sources and made unsupported claims from nonexistent historical records, academia circled the wagons. The American Historical Association passed a resolution depicting Bellesiles as a victim of harassment, and numerous scholars attacked Cramer as a “bad faith” critic with ties to the firearms lobby. They only changed their tune when the evidence became impossible to ignore, resulting in Bellesiles’s resignation and the revocation of the prestigious Bancroft Prize for his book.

Yes. Unique.

11/2/23 AP:
"A judge’s order for a new primary in Connecticut’s largest city because of what he called mishandling of absentee ballots is fueling skepticism about the security of U.S. elections, as well as conspiracy theories involving the 2020 presidential election.

"But election experts contend what happened in Bridgeport — people captured on surveillance video dropping stacks of ballots into outdoor collection boxes — is unique to Bridgeport, a working class city of more than 144,000 that has a long history of voting irregularities. At the very least, they said, it is pretty rare and shouldn’t be seen as evidence of widespread problems....

"On Wednesday, Connecticut Judge William Clark tossed out the results of the Sept. 12 primary and ordered that a new one be held, citing what he referred to as “shocking” surveillance videos that appeared to show supporters of Mayor Joe Ganim dropping multiple pieces of paper into absentee ballot boxes.

"Under Connecticut law, voters using a collection box must drop off their completed ballots themselves, or designate certain family members, police, local election officials or a caregiver to do it for them. Clark wrote in his decision that the volume of “mishandled ballots” left the court unable to determine the legitimate result of the primary."

The article goes on to explain that there is no reason to believe that there were any problems that might fit Trump's Stop the Steal claims:

"An Associated Press review of every potential case of voter fraud in the six battleground states disputed by Trump has found fewer than 475 — a number that would have made no difference in the 2020 presidential election."

Do they mean 475 votes?  Or cases of fraud.  Of course that means those dumb enough to get caught.


 U.S. v. Ayala (M.D.Fla. 2024)  I contributed an expert declaration to this case.  USPS worker drove a truck transporting mail from distribution center to post office.  He had a concealed carry permit.  (Florida: that explains it all.)  They put a hidden camera in his truck, saw that he had a pistol in his belly bag and arrested him when he entered the post office.

The decision struck down the federal law that prohibits being armed in a post office: 18 USC § 930(a).  Using Bruen and another argument that I did not imagine ruled that it violated the Second Amendment.  There are no fingerprints from my declaration except possibly:

Furthermore, although I do not disagree that “[t]he government has more flexibility to regulate when it is acting as a proprietor,” id. at 12, that does not mean it can bring criminal charges for conduct that occurs on its property regardless of an individual’s constitutional rights. Applying that principle in any other context reveals its absurdity. Would an indictment for failing to submit to a full body cavity search when showing up at the District of Columbia Department of Motor Vehicles to apply for a learner’s permit pass Fourth Amendment muster? Or could the United States charge the adherent of a non-favored religion with trespass for entering government property without offending the Free Exercise or Establishment Clauses? I think not.


MAGA Storms White House!

"Video taken at the event on Saturday shows how the metal perimeter was shaken so hard that portions of it were shunted back, forcing secret service operatives to rush to one part to prevent a breach."

Oops! Not MAGA:
"White House staff are relocated as pro-Palestine protesters threaten to breach security fence while hurling bloodied dolls symbolizing Gaza's dead children over perimeter."
"'The Secret Service made no arrests associated with the march and there was no property damage to the White House or adjacent buildings.' "

Yes.  J6 was bad.  But clearly storming the White House did not justify arrests.  I cannot find any CNN coverage of this "insurrection."  Can you?

NBC News covered the demonstration but not the riots.  I am so surprised.

Saturday, January 13, 2024

Do Any of You Live in NYC? Or Philly? Or Brooklyn?

 Are Central Park's gates the only entrances to the Park?  My memories of the Park are that it was not particularly blocked off from street access.

Ditto for Prospect Park (in Brooklyn) and Fairmont Park (in Philly).

Friday, January 12, 2024

If You Are Too Young to Remember President Reagan

You may be too young to remember the Fleetwood Mac song Tusk with the USC Marching Band.  It is really worth watching.

Thursday, January 11, 2024

There Are Times When It Is Best to Hold Your Tongue

Social media is one of those places.  12/26/23 Yahoo News:
"“Merry Christmas to all, including Crooked Joe Biden’s ONLY HOPE, Deranged Jack Smith, the out of control Lunatic who just hired outside attorneys, fresh from the SWAMP (unprecedented!), to help him with his poorly executed WITCH HUNT,” Trump wrote,"

I understand his rage.  I am not quite that angry and I have not been the target of absurd lawfare and false and lurid accusations about being a Russian agent.  But you need to hold your tongue.  Even I need to do so at times.  As part of a Christmas greeting this is especially sad.

I Want to Cry But...

I think I had heard of some these.  From Study Finds:
"Shared testimonies, collective singing, silent meditation and baptism rituals – these are all activities you might find at a Christian church service on a Sunday morning in the United States. But what would it look like if atheists were gathering to do these rituals instead?

"Today, almost 30% of adults in the United States say they have no religious affiliation, and only half attend worship services regularly. But not all forms of church are on the decline – including “secular congregations,” or what many call “atheist churches.”"

This should be no surprise.  The urge to worship is inborn and counterfeit religions (Marxism, National Socialism) are long-standing.  Many of the forms of church that these institutions copy are just less destructive forms of the high-runner species.

My experience is that a lot of kids have grown up in Christian homes where Mom and Dad promised until death do us part.  This lasted about fifteen years and then their Christianity seemingly failed to keep family together.

Do your best to model Christ in your marriage.

Never Reviewed the Grants

National Review at MSN:
"Fauci also testified that he approved of all foreign and domestic NIAID grants without reviewing the proposals, and conceded that he was unable to confirm whether NIAID has any procedure in place to conduct oversight of the foreign labs they fund."

If his job to approve grants why did he not review them?  If that was not his job, why did he have approval authority?

I Missed So Much Majoring in Chemistry

From the Rice University catalog:

CHEM 125 001 (CRN: 25669)


Department: Chemistry...

"Final Exam: No Final Exam
Description: Students will apply chemical tools and analysis to understand Black life in the U.S. and students will implement African American sensibilities to analyze chemistry. Diverse historical and contemporary scientists, intellectuals, and chemical discoveries will inform personal reflections and proposals for addressing inequities in chemistry and chemical education. This course will be accessible to students from a variety of backgrounds including STEM and non-STEM disciplines. No prior knowledge of chemistry or African American studies is required for engagement in this course."
I am increasingly wondering if there is any point to having the federal government provide ANY sort of financial aid to students attending schools built on racism.

It doesn't matter if you are white or black.  Na + Cl produces a vigorous exothermic reaction.  Your "lived experience" matters not in the least.  Why a chemistry department would offer a course like this tells me they are no longer a serious department.

There is no such thing as Afrochemistry.  Japanese, East Indians, Hispanics, American Indians all learn the same chemistry.  This smells like an admission that they are accepting students who are not up to the task of taking serious classes.  

They may not even be black.  There are plenty of whites who lack the capacity to take a class that involves memorization, basic algebra, and understanding concepts like valence, electron shells, thermodynamics, and gas law 

Monday, January 8, 2024

This May Seem Obscure But It Is Second Amendment Related

You know the average age of death for a population.  I suspect it is possible to calculate the distribution of those living beyond that average age of death.  Any ideas where I might find this?

How Did I Miss This?

9/19/23 New York Post:
"FBI lost count of how many paid informants were at Capitol on Jan. 6, and later performed audit to figure out exact number: ex-official"

Another Statue

The National Park Service is "rehabilitating" a park in Philadelphia by removing a statue of William Penn.  Apparently he is offensive to Indians.  This is the guy who insisted that settlers buy land from the Indians.  He was also an early promoter of religious tolerance and opponent of the overuse of the death penalty.

You can see why removing his statue is so important to the left.

Go here to supply public comment about this attempt to remove the statue of one of the good guys.  The goal is to make every white person an enemy.

Sunday, January 7, 2024

What Are They Teaching in CUNY Science Classes?

CUNY English Composition instructor asked his students to write an essay about space exploration:
"One girl argued in favor of space travel because “white people will move to space, maybe to Mars, or wherever,” creating a gap, or an opening into which the “indigenous brown and black people can move up in the class structure and fill that gap left behind by the white people who will move to Mars.”

“There’s a lot to unpack there, isn’t there?” Bratman responded. “First of all, the belief in this structure where white people are on top, everybody else on the bottom, and the only way to move up is if the white people leave.”

"Another girl wrote that no, we should not have space travel because then the white people would colonize the Martian people, as they always do, and ruin the Martians’ lives."

Yes, enslaved Martians are coming.

The Days I Fear the Stroke Took Away Far More Than I Thought

My attempts to draw anything in Fusion 360 caused me to try and use FreeCAD.    There is a tutorial but after drawing a rectangle in X-Y view, it says to click on a line of the rectangle to set constraints.  Click or double-click makes no difference, it starts making another rectangle.  Is there any CAD program that is obvious to use for drawing simple parts?

Carbon Fiber Corrosion Resistance

 Titanium fasteners seem to be better than stainless steel.  To my surprise, titanium 1/4"20 x 1/2" SHCS are readily available far stronger than the application requires and lighter than stainless steel, as if ten of these are going to make much of a difference in weight.

Saturday, January 6, 2024

May v. Bonta

I have no official word on this but one of the attorneys working this case, where the district court enjoined enforcement of the new law that pretty much out all of California out of bounds for CCWs, tells me the 9th Circuit 's administrative stay has been lifted.  The district court decision (for which I produced a storm of rebuttals) is back in force.  CCWs in California are again trusted to carry guns in the places that they were trusted to do so last year.

Peer Review

 I have some serious gripes with peer review.  It brought us wonder such as the 1996 Michael Bellesiles artickle that started the entire Arming America fraud.  Peer review means that ideas that conform to the status quo or that meet political needs of the elite are more likely to get published.  In the scuiences, the problem has been severe for a long time.  This article from Journal of Royal Society of Medicine:

There may even be some journals using the following classic system. The editor looks at the title of the paper and sends it to two friends whom the editor thinks know something about the subject. If both advise publication the editor sends it to the printers. If both advise against publication the editor rejects the paper. If the reviewers disagree the editor sends it to a third reviewer and does whatever he or she advises. This pastiche—which is not far from systems I have seen used—is little better than tossing a coin, because the level of agreement between reviewers on whether a paper should be published is little better than you'd expect by chance.

That is why Robbie Fox, the great 20th century editor of the Lancet, who was no admirer of peer review, wondered whether anybody would notice if he were to swap the piles marked `publish' and `reject'. He also joked that the Lancet had a system of throwing a pile of papers down the stairs and publishing those that reached the bottom. When I was editor of the BMJ I was challenged by two of the cleverest researchers in Britain to publish an issue of the journal comprised only of papers that had failed peer review and see if anybody noticed. I wrote back `How do you know I haven't already done it?'"...

Peer review might also be useful for detecting errors or fraud. At the BMJ we did several studies where we inserted major errors into papers that we then sent to many reviewers., Nobody ever spotted all of the errors. Some reviewers did not spot any, and most reviewers spotted only about a quarter. Peer review sometimes picks up fraud by chance, but generally it is not a reliable method for detecting fraud because it works on trust. A major question, which I will return to, is whether peer review and journals should cease to work on trust."...

The evidence on whether there is bias in peer review against certain sorts of authors is conflicting, but there is strong evidence of bias against women in the process of awarding grants. The most famous piece of evidence on bias against authors comes from a study by DP Peters and SJ Ceci. They took 12 studies that came from prestigious institutions that had already been published in psychology journals. They retyped the papers, made minor changes to the titles, abstracts, and introductions but changed the authors' names and institutions. They invented institutions with names like the Tri-Valley Center for Human Potential. The papers were then resubmitted to the journals that had first published them. In only three cases did the journals realize that they had already published the paper, and eight of the remaining nine were rejected—not because of lack of originality but because of poor quality. Peters and Ceci concluded that this was evidence of bias against authors from less prestigious institutions." 

When I did an ngram in for "peer review," it became apparent that the phrase is really not used until the 1940s and even then rarely.  Can anyone point me to other great frauds besides Bellesiles that survived peer review?