Saturday, October 22, 2016

Chrome Desktop Notifications Are Annoying

This claims to turn them off, but it doesn't.

Friday, October 21, 2016

An Amazing Piece of Music

You may recall the use of this in Interview with the Vampire, a movie that made me want to scour my soul with steel wool and bleach afterwards.

Colt Revolvers

The letters between Colt and their "Allies" (big distributors) contain some surprises.  Colt as late as 1874 was still making both cap and ball revolvers and metallic cartridge revolvers.  For reasons that elude me, the metallic cartridge revolvers are called "Breech Loaders."  But the cap and ball revolvers are strictly speaking breech loaders as well.  They were loaded into the cylinder, but this is still behind the breech.

Enlighten me.

The Myth of Early Gun Marketing

Both Bellesiles and Pamela Haag's new book. The Gunning of America, claim that there was really no civilian gun market until the big gun makers like Winchester and Colt created one.  Part of what the NRA Civil Rights Defense Fund's research grant is paying for:

Among the pieces of evidence cited by Haag in defense of her claim is that, “A letter book in the archives of Colt’s Patent Fire-Arms Manufacturing Company reveals detailed, fractious bickering over how many guns the dealers should be expected to ‘push.’”[1]  She points to p. 174 of the Allies letter book.[2]  (Colt used the term “Allies” to refer to what were clearly distributors or wholesaler of Colt products.)  Examination of those pages reveals how Haag’s failure to read in context and her emotional desire to blame gun ownership on the capitalist class has led her astray from the facts.  The reference to “push” is: “We fail to see that the ‘facts’ warrant the closing sentence of the letter therefore do not concede all that is set forth in reference to the ‘Line’.  But as we do not propose at present to discust [sic] the merits and push of the Allies on the goods covered by the agreement, we rest.” [emphasis added][3]  The closing sentence of the letter to which this was a response is: “It is hoped that you will readily accede [sic] to our request, when the fact is conceded that the Line upon which we have the Discount, is not only smaller – but also, that notwithstanding our best efforts the sale of this class of Arms has decreased.”[4] Colt’s desire for its distributors to “push” its product is clearly referring to one particular product line whose sales were decreasing, and therefore the distributors were asking for a better profit margin.

Examination of other correspondence between Colt and its distributors and from Colt during this period suggests that there was no need to “push” the products. “[Proposed contract] [w]ould meet the unanimous consent of the allies & in the long run be more advantageous to the Colt Pat Fire Arms Co- The quantity should be 150 to 175 per month at the outside assorted viz.   22 cal [125]. 32 cal [30] 38 cal [5] 41 cal [15] with privilege of taking more of the larger or less of the smallest if demand required it.”[5]  The bracketed numbers were quantities of each revolver caliber requested per month written above the caliber.  A letter of January 24, 1874 from Colt to the Allies also shows that the quantities of revolvers under discussion, and the hardnosed pricing from Colt, do not suggest of a problem selling Colt revolvers: “[F]or we have between 4 & 5 thousand Pistols on hand and in the works.  The price named to the Allies (5.25 less 8%) is the lowest price we shall quote for them.   We have 1486 New Pocket BL [breech loading] Rim Fire and 408 do [ditto] do [ditto] pistols that we will sell to the Allies at 5.00 Each net 60 days.” [6]  A June 29, 1874 letter from the Allies to Colt: “Please accept this order from each of the subscribers for two hundred OM [Old Model] 7 Shot Revolvers at $2.99 each, weekly for one year.”[7]  Three Allies signed the letter, so this was an order for 31,200 revolvers a year.  On August 22, 1874 Colt confirmed an order from the Allies for “Ten Thousand (10000) new model 7 shot Pistols to be delivered within Twelve months from Sept 1st/74 at the net price of Five Dollars and Thirty five cents (%.35) each.  The first delivery of 1000 Pistols to be made in November 1874.”[8]  A December 30, 1874 letter to Colt ordered “Five thousand (5000) of the new 30 cal Revolvers.”[9]

[1] Haag, Gunning of America,  xv.
[2] Ibid., 408 n.10.
[3] Colt Collection, RG103, business file, box 11A, correspondence, Allies letter book, 1873-1880, from Hugh Harbison to Allies, October 30, 1877, p. 174 of letter book.
[4] Ibid., Willard and Seaver, Sec. [of Allies] to Hugh Harbison, October 17, 1877, p. 173 of letter book.
[5] Ibid., Colt Allies to Colt Patent Fire Arms Co., June 26, 1873, p. 15 of letter book.
[6] Ibid., Hugh Harbison to [illegible], January 24, 1874, p. 22 of letter book.
[7] [Allies] to Colt Fire-Arms, June 29, 1874, p. 25 of letterbook.
[8] Colt Fire-Arms to [illegible], August 22, 1874, p. 31 of letterbook.
[9] Hugh Harbison to Colt Patent Fire Arms, December 30, 1874, p. 39 of letterbook.

Startling Reading

As part of my research on a book I am writing about the Consequences of Sexual Abuse of Children (yes, I am trying to get out ahead of an emerging scholarly defense of adults having sex with children, and I don't mean teens), I read this article from Child Abuse and Neglect explaining why psychiatry for most of the 20th century believed child sexual abuse was rare and usually the child seducing an adult:
Among those discredited by this expanding professionalism were the late Victorian churchmen, feminists, and sex reformers who had criticized male sexual behavior and exposed the extent of child sexual abuse. These nonprofessional and uncredentialed women (and some“feminized”men) had presumed to act as subjects who see and describe, rather than functioning as part of the objective field “gazed” upon and defined by the professional experts (Foucault, 1977; Sartre, 1943; Showalter, 1990). In the powerful reaction they inspired, they were redefined (and effectively silenced) as man-hating, frigid, and possibly lesbian“ ‘prudes” who threatened to “desex” society (Jeffreys, 1985;Rush, 1980; Summit, 1988)....
The most ambitious redefinitions involved sexuality itself and were linked to sexual modernism (Robinson, 1976).  Baldly stated, the argument ran that male sexual violence is normal and that its victims secretly invite and enjoy it. Jeffreys has argued that in response to feminist demands that men give up the double standard and subscribe to a single standard of sexual behavior respectful of female needs and preferences, sexual modernists countered with a single standard of behavior that catered to male desires and needs (Jeffreys, 1985)
Of course this is a quote from the Patron Saint of Sexual Liberation, Kinsey, that it is difficult to understand why a child would be upset about "having its genitalia touched... or disturbed at even more specific sexual contacts..." [Erna Olafson and David L. Corwin, "MODERN HISTORY OF CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE AWARENESS: CYCLES OF DISCOVERY AND SUPPRESSION." Child Abuse & Neglect, 17[1993], 7-24.]

Thursday, October 20, 2016

What's the Difference Between A Prank Phone Call and One From a Polling Organization

Prank calls are often creative.

Clearing Action on S&W 1000 Shotgun

A neighbor has a number of guns to sell after her husband's recent death (this is becoming a pattern).  I went over today, and I could not figure out how to clear the action on a Smith & Wesson 1000 semiauto shotgun.  (Probably unloaded, but probably is not enough for a fun.)  The operating lever would not move and there did not seem to be a safety preventing motion.  Nor can I find instructions on the web,..