Thursday, June 30, 2016

I'm Reminded of A Mean Joke

An Israeli with whom I worked claimed that he knew someone when he was in the IDF, who while driving a half-track across the Sinai, set it on cruise control, went into the back and was surprised by an accident.  I have heard the same story about an Iranian college student in the U.S. in a van going back to make a sandwich.  Not sure I find either believable: how stupid are people?  They elected the 0 twice.  Self-driving automobiles.  6/30/16 Yahoo News:
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The first U.S. fatality using self-driving technology took place in May when the driver of a Tesla S sports car operating the vehicle's "Autopilot" automated driving system died after a collision with a truck in Florida, federal officials said Thursday.
The government is investigating the design and performance of Tesla's system.
Preliminary reports indicate the crash occurred when a tractor-trailer rig made a left turn in front of the Tesla at an intersection of a divided highway where there was no traffic light, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said. The Tesla driver died due to injuries sustained in the crash, which took place May 7 in Williston, Florida, the agency said. The city is southwest of Gainesville.
Tesla said on its website that neither the driver nor the Autopilot noticed the white side of the trailer, which was perpendicular to the Model S, against the brightly lit sky, and neither applied the brakes.
"The high ride height of the trailer combined with its positioning across the road and the extremely rare circumstances of the impact caused the Model S to pass under the trailer," the company said. The windshield of the Model S collided with the bottom of the trailer.
Since I used to write software for a living, I am disinclined to trust several hundred thousand lines of Java or C++ to make the right decision on something this hard.

VMWare Drag-and-Drop

I am sure someone suggested using this instead of shared folders, but drag-and-drop doesn't work for me, and the VM->Settings->Options->Guest Isolation option does not appear.

Today's Machining Lessons

It took many hours to excavate a slightly off-center .27" deep hole in steel.  Lessons learned:

1. Use the coarsest and most powerful tools available to get close, then use machine tools to get it where you want it.  In retrospect, the next time I will drill a centered pilot hole on the lathe, use the drill press to enlarge that hole with 1/4" and 1/2" drill bits, then use the mill to enlarge the hole to .611".

2. As annoying as using edge finders is, it really matters.  Eyeballing where x and y are 0 produces off-center results.

3. Always start with stock that is as close as you can find to your desired final product.  I started with 1" diameter cold rolled steel, but I could have been stupid and started with a 3" x 3" rectangle and cut it down to size and shape with the mill.

4. Think carefully about material choice.  In retrospect, aluminum would have been a better choice.  I don't want this so strong that users can break a tap by putting too much force on it.  I had planned to use aluminum arms for that reason.  The body can be aluminum for the same reason.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Entering the World Without Employer-Paid Insurance Soon

When I started work for the State of Idaho, I signed up for and started paying for Short-Term Disability coverage, and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made.  They have been paying a nice chunk of money every month since I retired on disability, and as long as I am on their plan, I get to buy health insurance through the state at cost for my wife and me.  Yes, that's an enormous benefit.
But the short-term disability company just reminded me that as of February 2, if there is any sort of employment that I can do (not just my old occupation of software engineer, but presumably Wal-Mart greeter) they stop paying and my wonderful health insurance deal with the state ends.  This is not quite as tragic as it sounds.  Two years of disability (February 2) and I am Medicare eligible.  My wife is another matter, so my plan is to enroll both of us in one of the Christian Health Sharing ministries.  (Me, to cover any expenses that Medicare doesn't. The additional cost to cover both of us instead of just her is pretty minor.)

The good news is that at least for Samaritan Ministries, my stroke and aortic valve surgery are far enough back to not be considered pre-existing conditions.  Medishare: "Eligible for up to $100000 in sharing if there are no symptoms of pre-existing conditions for 36 consecutive months."  By February 2 I will be well past that for my heart surgery and close to it for my heart attack. Last stroke was in 2015 so... I have seen very positive comments about Samaritan and Christian Healthcare Ministries (often from my readers!) and no negatives about Medishare.  Is there any other operation along these lines I should be looking at?

VMware Tools

I am running Debian Linux in VMware Workstation 12 on my PC so that I can do LinuxCNC development somewhere that is air conditioned.  After much struggle I got VMware Tools installed.  Now I am trying to share a folder between Linux in the VM and Windows 7 on the host.  I know this works; I was able to do it at Dept. of Corrections.  But there seem to be no working instructions that I can find for Debian 8 under VMware Workstation.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Machining Circles

Millie is excavating a .611 wide by .27" deep hole in a piece of steel, so .01" per pass.  I filled the hole with oil to prevent overheating and as the end mill goes in citcles slicing first the outer edge then the inner parts of the circle, it looks like the world's smallest and most repulsive Mixmaster.

Wow! Republican Hate Goes A Long Ways

I see that gay pride marchers are blaming Orlando on Christians and Republicans.  But their reach goes farther than I expected.  6/28/16 Sky News:

Nearly 50 people have been killed in an attack on the main airport in Istanbul, a senior Turkish official has told the Associated Press.
Initial indications suggest Islamic State was behind the attack, the official said.
Three suicide bombers opened fire before blowing themselves up at the international terminal of Ataturk Airport, Istanbul governor Vasip Sahin told NTV television.
How much longer will our captive media keep blaming terrorist attacks on NRA and Christians?

LED Light Bulbs Are Taking Over My House

The pantry light (52W incandescent) was just replaced with a 10W LED.  Much brighter in there.  The 60W CFL in my drill press is now a 10W LED bulb.  The exterior lighting fixtures still strobe with LED bulbs.  We'll replace these fixtures with one that have LED bulbs already in them.

Trying to Machine Circles Too Hard

As withj almost everything, CNC is so hard to program that it is faster to drill a pilot hole on the lathe, deepen and enlarge on the drill press, then bore on the lathe.  The LinuxCNC forum has been very helpful, but stuff that works for others doesn't work on mine.  Still wish I could make it work.  5/8" and 3/4" drill bits are pricey.

UPDATE: With some help from the LinuxCNC forum it now works, not as pretty as I would prefer.  Right now it is cutting circles in a hole I made with a 1/2" drill bit.  It may take awhile before it stops looking like a drunk.

What it looks like:
G20 G17 G40 G49 G64 P0.005 G80 G90 G92.1 G94
(cut circle; position at left side of outer circle)
G00 x 0.3195 y 0.5000 Z 0.0000 F 4.0000
(cut circle I radius)
G02 X 0.3195 Y 0.5000 I 0.1805 J0
( clean up debris)
G00 x 0.3195 y 0.5000 Z 0.0000 F 8.0000
G02 X 0.3195 Y 0.5000 I 0.1805 J0
(cut circle; one level in to hog out the center)
G00 x 0.3507 y 0.5000 Z 0.0000 F 4.0000
G02 X 0.3507 Y 0.5000 I 0.1493 J0
( clean up debris)
G00 x 0.3507 y 0.5000 Z 0.0000 F 8.0000
G02 X 0.3507 Y 0.5000 I 0.1493 J0

Clever Way to Cut 60 Degree Angle

I need to cut a 60 degree angle with a cutoff saw whose range only goes to 45 degrees.  Any suggestions for techniques?

Newspapers Trying Hard to Euthanize Themselves

I understand newspapers need to make money.  There isn't much ad revenue left in the age of  craigslist, spam, and the World Wide Web.  But the Los Angeles Times and Washington Post have
both put up paywalls that prevent me reading news stories.  If they think I am going to give money to the house organs of fascism, they are profoundly mistaken.

Monday, June 27, 2016

All I Can Say: Is This the Best Possible Use of Government Money?

6/27/16 Daily Mail:
The ship, which will features an animatronic Noah and lifelike models of animals including bears, giraffes and even dinosaurs, will be the center piece of the Ark Encounter theme park, which is scheduled to open July 7 in Williamstown
Read more: Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook
It was constructed by Amish woodworkers with donations, junk bonds and tax rebates from the state of Kentucky.Kentucky later tried to claw back its rebates after learning that Ham would require employees at the park to sign a 'statement of faith' that would exclude people who were gay or did not accept his particular Christian creed.Ham, originally from Australia, took the state to court and in January, he won.

Read more: Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Discrimination against gays: bad.  Punishment of taxpayers: good.

Mass Casualty Incident at California State Capital

Here.  An excuse for limiting freedom of speech?

Finally Found Useful Instructions For Sharing Windows to Debian Linux


Saturday, June 25, 2016

Struggling With gCode Circles

When in doubt, find code to steal.  This Dutchmen (hence the unique spelling of circle) has a good explanation and subroutine.  I improved it slightly to add vertical and circular feed rates as parameters, but also to make sure I understood gCode suroutines:

( Mill a hole with the centre at x,y and diameter d, diameter of mill Md and depth z )
( Parameters:  x  y  d Md  z vfeed cfeed)
(             #1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6    #7)
O100 sub
    #8 = [#3 - #4] ( Diameter of circle to mill )
    #8 = [#8 / 2]  ( Radius of circle to mill )
    G0 z 2 F #6
    G0 x [#1 - #8] y #2
    G1 z #5
    G0 F#7
    G17 G2 x [#1 - #8] y #2 i #8 j 0 z #5
O100 endsub
O100 call [2.75] [1.5] [1.5] [.5] [-.27] [5] [1]
(Clean up debris from circle)
O100 call [2.75] [1.5] [1.5] [.5] [-.27] [5] [20]
(remove inner circle )
G0 F 50 z 1
O100 call [2.75] [1.5] [1] [.5] [-.27] [5] [1]
(Clean up debris from circle)
O100 call [2.75] [1.5] [1] [.5] [-.27] [5] [20]
G0 F 50 z 1

Updated: No good reason to retract the cutting tool each time.

Sharp Cutting Tools Make All the Difference

I had purchased the Harbor Freight bandsaw because my chopsaw wasn't cutting through big pieces of aluminum well.  I replaced the 40 tooth blade with this 80 tooth blade, Much cheaper than a bandsaw.  A good suggestion from one of the guys at Gem State Metals in Garden City.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Weird Dream

I was getting out of a cab (and I almost never use cabs).  I handed the driver a $20 and a $5 and he says, "These are counterfeits."  I look more carefully than when I put them in my wallet, and they are not even good counterfeits.  Then I notice the Secretary of the Treasury's name is Arabic.  Prophetic?

New Paper

The Gunning of America as Magical Mystery Tour: Talking to the Dead

Pamela Haag’s The Gunning of America: Business and the Making of American Gun Culture (Basic Books, 2015) does something that no other serious book has done: it causes me to question the rationality of the author based on her apparent belief in the ability of mediums to communicate with the dead. Almost as disturbing is her belief that her religious beliefs are a legitimate basis for public policy.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

How Often Are Guns Used in Self-Defense?

This is a recurring claim of the mainstream media: that gun murders so far outnumber justifiable homicides that gun ownership is a net loss.  This is a statement that is technically accurate but misleading.

This would be an interesting argument if the FBI’s justifiable homicide statistics included all defensive killings by civilians.  But it does not.  The FBI’s manual on reporting data to the Uniform Crime Reports system is very clear as to what deaths may be reported as “justifiable homicides”:

Justifiable homicide, by definition, occurs in conjunction with other offenses. Therefore, the crime being committed when the justifiable homicide took place must be reported as a separate offense. Reporting agencies should take care to ensure that they do not classify a killing as justifiable or excusable solely on the claims of self-defense or on the action of a coroner, prosecutor, grand jury, or court. [emphasis added]
So if the police, prosecutor, judge or jury decide that a killing was legally valid self-defense, it isn’t included in the FBI’s justifiable homicide statistics.  Also, only defensive killings “in conjunction with other offenses” are included.  Obviously if you kill someone engaged in robbery or attempted murder it gets included, but many states allow deadly force under circumstances that may not involve such.   To use an example from California law: “committed by accident and misfortune, or in doing any other lawful act by lawful means, with usual and ordinary caution, and without any unlawful intent” or the excusable homicide category “When committed by accident and misfortune, in the heat of passion, upon any sudden and sufficient provocation, or upon a sudden combat, when no undue advantage is taken, nor any dangerous weapon used, and when the killing is not done in a cruel or unusual manner.”

These “sudden combat” excusable homicide deaths are not in a technical sense “justifiable homicide” and so don’t show up in the FBI’s statistics.  Studies of such deaths suggest that civilians kill in self-defense far more commonly than the police of the FBI’s “justifiable homicide” statistics sugest.  The noted criminologist Gary Kleck has concluded, based on these studies, that the number of CLDHs with guns per year is typically 7.1% to 12.9% of the murder rate (at least five times the FBI’s “justifiable homicide with a gun” figures).  So the FBI’s “justifiable homicide” statistics grossly understate civilian defensive uses of guns that cause criminal deaths.

There’s a deeper problem here as well: many civilian defensive uses of guns cause no deaths at all.  Bad guys suddenly remember an urgent appointment elsewhere when confronted.  How often?  For 2003-2011, my associates and OI gathered new media and official agency reports of such uses.  As of today, we have more than 4400 such uses that were considered important enough to report.  Doubtless, there were many others never reported.

Summary: the FBI’s justifiable homicide statistics are a very incomplete measure of civilians using guns for self-defense and any sort of cost/benefit analysis based on comparing gun murders to justifiable homicides is grossly misleading.  A more formal version of this will be appearing in the University of Florida Journal of Law & Public Policy soon.  PDF of this is here.
Clayton E. Cramer teaches history at College of Western Idaho as needed.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Mandatory Background Checks: Commonsense Gun Control?

“Everyone knows that mandatory background checks for all gun purchases is just ‘common sense.’”

It used to be common sense that heavier objects fall faster than light objects.  Then Galileo did something bizarre: experiments that demonstrated that common sense on this is wrong.

Fortunately we have run this experiment.  Eight states adopted mandatory background laws for either all firearms transfers or all handgun transfers between 1960 and 2012.  (Why those years?  Consistent and reliable murder rate data from the FBI starts in 1960.)  So if this is just common sense that such laws disarm criminals, wouldn’t you expect murder rates to fall (at least a little) in those states?

In the following graphs blue is the murder rate/100,000 people for each year.  The orange line shows the average for the five years before the mandatory firearms background check law took effect, and the five years after.  In some states, yes, murder rates fell.  Where you see an asterisk next to the state name, it means the change was statistically significant: likely the change was not random,.  All murder rate data comes from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports system.
But in a number of states, murder rates rose after the new law:

If mandatory background checks reduce murder rates, wouldn’t you expect to see murder rate reductions in all these states, or at least most of them?  I won’t argue that background check laws increased murder rates, but the benefits are shockingly subtle if present at all.  If you want all the technical details and footnotes go here.

There’s another experiment.  Gun control advocates have often argued that “the gun show loophole” allows criminals to buy guns.  A few years back, a group of social scientists, one of whom has supported gun control, decided to study the effects of gun shows on murder rates in the zip codes closest to gun shows in California and Texas.  California requires all gun show purchases to go through background checks; Texas does not.  If gun shows are a source of guns used in murder, Texas should show increases after gun shows.  Their conclusions?  They found, “no evidence to suggest that gun shows increased the number of homicides in California during our study period.”

Texas is wide open with buyers able to buy guns at gun shows without background checks.  They found “that in the two weeks following a gun show, the average number of gun homicides declines in the area surrounding the gun show. Aggregating across all gun shows in the state, we find that there are approximately 16 fewer gun homicides resulting from the 200 gun shows in the average year.”
Are mandatory background checks “commonsense gun control”?  Yes like heavy objects fall faster than light objects!
Clayton E. Cramer teaches history at College of Western Idaho as needed.

Daisy PowerLine 880S

Can't find snakeshot for driving away cows; my wife was just in tears yesterday when she saw the devastation they had done to her flowerbeds.  I bought a Daisy.  It is hand pumped and while the packaging says it fires either pellets or BBs, firing pellets (which look a bit like mini Minie balls) is single shot only.  BBs make it a repeater.  Worse the included 4x15 scope seems impossible to mount, and would cover the loading port for pellets (which is all I bought).  BBs definitely.

Even with iron sights (plastic sights?) it is pretty darn accurate and the pellets make an emphatic sound when they hit fence posts.

gCode for Cutting Circles

It is easie than figuring how to do it with x,y coordinates but not dramatically simpler.  There are multiple variants, but what I have settled on involves positioning cutting tool at left side of circle, then clockwise rotation for desired radius:

g00 x of center of circle - radius y of center of circle - radius Ffeedrate
G02 Iradius
The C to generate a series of progressively smaller circles to hog out the center is no fun and dig deeper on each pass is harder than I expected.

I Want to Blame Obama

There are no .22LR shot shells in Boise.  Even mail order is back ordered.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

This Should Not Be This Hard

Or the software engineer part of my brain got trashed in the stroke.

I am trying to install an existing collection of .c, .h, and Makefile into a project in Eclipse using the CDT package.  I find lots of instruction which do not work.  Somehow I did it with one program directory, but the instructions that I used no longer seem to work.

Assault Weapons, Fact and Fiction

Assault Weapons: Common Misconceptions

“These are machine guns or automatic weapons.”

Nope, the confusion comes from the fact that “assault rifle” means  “ a military rifle capable  of both automatic and semiautomatic fire, utilizing an intermediate-power cartridge.”

The gun control movement coined the term “assault weapon” to refer to guns, usually semiautomatic rifles, that share some parts and appearance with “assault rifles” much like the Chevrolet NASCAR race cars  looks something like the Chevrolet  SS street car and share some parts.

“But they are easy to convert to full auto.”

A recurring claim is that semiauto firearms are easily converted to full automatic.  Federal law already defines machinegun this way:

The term “machinegun” means any weapon which shoots, is designed to shoot, or can be readily restored to shoot, automatically more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger. The term shall also include the frame or receiver of any such weapon, any part designed and intended solely and exclusively, or combination of parts designed and intended, for use in converting a weapon into a machinegun, and any combination of parts from which a machinegun can be assembled if such parts are in the possession or under the control of a person. [26 USC 5845(b)]
Any semiautomatic firearm which can be “readily restored” is already a machinegun.  If you have the parts to do this conversion and a gun for which those parts can be used to do this conversion, it is already a machinegun, subject to the much stricter licensing requirements of machineguns.
In a few cases, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms has declared a few existing semiautomatic firearms to be machine guns under existing law because they were too easy to convert [27 Code of Federal Regulations §179.11, ATF Rul. 82-3, 82-8, 83-5, and 81-4]  Pretty obviously any firearm being sold today over the counter at a gun store or gun show is not readily convertible to automatic.

“These are especially deadly weapons, designed for warfare.”

Most rifles currently used for hunting were originally designed for war, including all bolt action rifles (all descendants of the Mauser), and lever action rifles (descended from the Henry, developed for the Civil War).

The cartridge used in the AR-15 and AK-47 semiauto rifles are actually low powered compared to hunting rifles.  The .223 has 1495 foot-pounds of energy.  The 7.62x39mm used in AK-47s has 1653 foot-pounds.  The .30-06 commonly used for hunting in North America has 3356 foot-pounds of energy.

“They are commonly used for mass murder in the U.S.”

USA Today several years ago created a database of mass murder incidents from 2006-2013.  Surprisingly, 23% of mass murders do not involve a gun of any sort.  Often these are mass murder by arson, sometimes by knife.   Of the 77% involving guns “72.9% were handguns.”  Rifles (including the much feared AR-15) were 18.5%; shotguns were 8.6%. Only 8.6% of the gun mass murders were with semiautomatic rifles, which includes many quite ordinary hunting rifles.

“But these are the reason for the dramatic increase in murder rates.”
Murder rates in the U.S. have been falling for a couple of decades.  The following graph shows murder rates/100,000 population since 1960 from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports system.

“So why is everyone making a big deal about assault weapons?”

Because panic is an effective way to pass laws that calmer reflection might not pass.  Mass murders are about 1% of all U.S. murders.  Not all that common, but worthy of concern, and great for news coverage which operates on the motto, “If it bleeds, it leads.”  It turns out that common factors in these incidents are (in the last few years) Islamic terrorist attacks and the destruction of the state mental health systems in the 1960s and 1970s, which is why this did not used to be a big problem, but now is.  There is a PDF version for all your friends and antigun relatives.

Welcome Instapundit readers!  There's a lot of stuff on this blog you will appreciate, so come here after your daily Instapundit visit.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Illegal Alien Tries to Kill Trump

And while he has an accent, it isn't the one you think.  6/20/16 Daily Mail:
A British man arrested at a Donald Trump rally in Las Vegas told authorities he tried to grab an officer's gun so he could kill the billionaire Republican presidential candidate. Anti-Trump protester Michael Steven Sandford, 19, who appeared in court on Monday, even went to a gun range on Friday so he could learn how to shoot.The 20-year-old, who was carrying a UK driver's licence, was arrested at the Treasure Island Hotel and Casino on Saturday after going for a metro police officer's gun....
Sandford later went to a Trump rally at Treasure Island and approached a Las Vegas police officer to say he wanted an autograph from Trump.The report says Sandford was arrested after grabbing the handle of an officer's gun in an attempt to remove it.  He was filmed by local station KLAS being led away.
According to the complaint, Sandford had targeted officer Ameel Jacob’s weapon because it was in an unlocked position and would be the easiest way to acquire a gun to shoot Trump.
Court papers read: ‘Sandford further stated that if he were on the street tomorrow, he would try this again.
‘Sandford claimed he had been planning to attempt to kill Trump for about a year but decided to act on this occasion because he finally felt confident to do it.’
The British national had lived in Hoboken, New Jersey, for around 18 months and had driven to San Bernardino in California before heading to Las Vegas on Thursday.
The teenager told police he visited the Battlefield Vegas shooting range on Friday where he fired off 20 rounds from a 9mm Glock pistol to learn how to use it. 
Sandford also told investigators he had a ticket for a Trump rally in Phoenix, Arizona, for later on Saturday as a back-up. ...
Despite living in Hoboken for 18 months, he did not have permission to be in the US and was unemployed.
Read more: 
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook
I guess current gun control works well enough.

It Appears the Harbor Freight Bandsaw Is Headed Back to the Store

Harbor Freight Customer Service has no solution.  Nor do people who advertise bandsaw repair in Boise respond to voicemail.  The guy at the metal store recommends a metal cutting blade for my chop saw instead.  I could go through a lot of blades for the cost of a working horizontal bandsaw.

Microsoft Word 2010 Question

Word has under File->Options->Save a way to set the AutoRecover save interval.  My wife is using Word 2010, and it appears that when she changes it to 60 minutes, that is not preserved to the next use of Word.  Word 2013 works as expected.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

GWX Control Panel

I was joking when I said Microsoft wasn't going to rape my PC and force it to Windows 10 without my permission.  Apparently, many have gotten up in the morning and found their PC in a Windows 10 sort of way while the PC had only hazy memories of what happened.  GWX Control Panel  lets you both block Windows 10 upgrades without consent, and even shuts up the "Windows 10 will be the best night your PC has ever had!  Please enjoy this drink and you'll see!" popup as well.

Friday, June 17, 2016

How to Respond to Those Denigrating Gun Ownership

"Owning a gun to resist a future tyrannical government is paranoid."

"Sp is Trump our next Hitler? "

Harbor Freight: Never Again

The new motor arrived (without the T. rex toothmarks).  Installed.  Motor works.  Blade does not move.  Customer service is offering a return postage label.  I am saying if you ship me one that actually works.

Those of You Planning to Vote for Bernie Should Look At Venezula

Caracas (AFP) - Venezuelan police have arrested hundreds of people as the country's food crisis erupted into deadly looting this week, heightening hardship and political uncertainty in the impoverished oil-producing nation.
Dozens of bakeries, supermarkets and hardware shops were looted on Tuesday in the eastern city of Cumana, the latest flashpoint in a crisis that has killed at least four people so far.
"It ended in total ruin because the businesses had not only their stock pillaged but also their furniture. It was total destruction," said Ruben Saud, president of the Cumana Chamber of Commerce.
The chaos started when gangs of looters on motorcycles raided trucks transporting food, witnesses said.
The governor of Sucre state, where Cumana is located, told state television channel VTV that "more than 400 people" were arrested, including three suspected gang leaders involved in the looting.
Arrests have also been reported in other towns.
- Blaming the opposition -
The opposition blames President Nicolas Maduro for an economic crisis in which Venezuelans are suffering shortages of basic foods and goods.
Maduro in turn blames the crisis on an "economic war" allegedly waged against his leftist government by the business elite.
He accuses the opposition of fomenting unrest to spark a foreign intervention to unseat him.
I would like to think most Americans are smart enough not to want to go down this path, but in the HP parking lot the Bernie 2016 bumper stickers are showing up.

A Whole Culture Built on Sexual Abuse of Boys

The Taliban are using child sex slaves to mount crippling insider attacks on police in southern Afghanistan, exploiting the pervasive practice of "bacha bazi" -- paedophilic boy play -- to infiltrate security ranks, multiple officials and survivors of such assaults told AFP.
The ancient custom is prevalent across Afghanistan, but nowhere does it seem as entrenched as in the province of Uruzgan, where "bacha bereesh" -- or boys without beards -- widely become objects of lustful attraction for powerful police commanders.
The Taliban over nearly two years have used them to mount a wave of Trojan Horse attacks -- at least six between January and April alone -- that have killed hundreds of policemen, according to security and judicial officials in the province.
"The Taliban are sending boys -- beautiful boys, handsome boys -- to penetrate checkpoints and kill, drug and poison policemen," said Ghulam Sakhi Rogh Lewanai, who was Uruzgan's police chief until he was removed in a security reshuffle in April amid worsening violence.
"They have figured out the biggest weakness of police forces -- bacha bazi," he told AFP.
The assaults, signifying abuse of children by both parties in the conflict, have left authorities rattled, with one senior provincial official who echoed Rogh Lewanai's view saying "it's easier tackling suicide bombers than bacha attackers".
The killings illustrate how bacha bazi is aggravating insecurity in Uruzgan, a remote province which officials warn is teetering on the brink of collapse, unravelling hard-won gains by US, Australian and Dutch troops who fought there for years.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

New PC in the House

My wife was complaining about how slow the 2005 HP laptop was that she has been using since she lost faith in the Toshiba laptop.  So...

2015 Newest Model Lenovo Thinkpad 11 Business Laptop with Windows 7 Professional, 11.6 Inch HD Display, AMD Quad-core A4-6210 1.8GHz, 4GB DDR3L RAM, 500GB HDD, Bluetooth, Webcam, HDMI, WiFi

So far pretty jazzed by it. $236.50.

One surprise: no VGA output, only HDMI, so I have ordered an HDMI to DVI cable.

New Paper In Need of Review


Pamela Haag’s The Gunning of America: Business and the Making of American Gun Culture (Basic Books, 2015) makes the argument that gun culture was developed largely through vigorous marketing of guns to people that neither needed nor wanted them. Examination of some of Haag’s factual statements demonstrate errors that cast doubt on either her research quality or honesty. Her conclusions are therefore suspect, except as an unlikely coincidence.

I'll Try Not to Sound Like Bernie Sanders

DETROIT - The Lamborghini Centenario has made its North American debut after first being revealed at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show in the spring.
It's a one-off supercar meant to show off the Italian automaker's engineering and design prowess. 
Only 40 are going to be produced, including 20 coupes and 20 roadsters. A spokesman told MLive Tuesday the supercar was priced at 1.75 million euros, or about $1.96 million.
If you're in the market for one, there is some bad news. They have all already been pre-sold. 
Oh well, that's $2 million less in the Hildebeast's campaign.

It's Obviously Caused by Our Lack of Gun Control

6/14/16 UK Express:
'ISIS' killer 'chanted Allahu Akbar' as he murdered police commander and wife in Paris
A POLICEMAN and his wife have been murdered in front of their three-year-old son after being taken hostage by a man reportedly shouting “Allahu Akbar”.

Arctic Ocean Losing Ice?

 Elisha Kent Kane, The United States Grinnell Expedition in Search of Sir John Franklin (1857), p. 546:
A second argument, bearing upon this, is found in the fact that a large area of open water exists, between the months of June and October, in the upper parts of Baffin's Bay. This mediterranean Polynya is called by the whalers the North Water. After working through the clogging ice of the intermediate drift, you pass suddenly into an open sea, washing the most northern known shores of our continent, and covering an area of 90,000 square miles.
The iceless interval is evidently caused by the drift having traveled to the south without being re-enforced by fresh supplies of ice; and the latest explorations from the upper waters of this bay speak of avenues thirty-six miles wide extending to the north and east, and free.
The temperature of this water is sometimes 12° above the freezing point; and the open bays or sinuosities, which often indent the Spitzbergen ice as high as 81° north latitude, have been observed to give a sea-water temperature as high as 38° and 40°, while the atmosphere indicates but 16° above zero.

Does Everything Have to Be About the Transgendered?

6/14/16 Breitbart:

Disney/Pixar’s upcoming film Finding Dory features a transgender stingray who transitions to become “Sting-Rhonda,” the film’s star Ellen DeGeneres revealed in an interview.
The sequel to the 2003 smash hit Finding Nemo has already fueled speculation that it will be the first Disney film to feature a lesbian couple, but Degeneres, who voices the titular blue fang fish, told USA Today in an interview that the film will feature a “trans sting.”
“There’s a stingray that’s becoming sting-Rhonda, so there’s a trans sting in the movie,” DeGeneres said.
How did a fraction of 1% of the population end up so powerful? 

Rubber Bullets vs. Snake Shot Feeding

Snake shot unsurprisingly, lacks the recoil to operate a Ruger 10/22, and the plastic tips chew up on feeding.  Do rubber bullets have similar problems?

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Those Scary Maps of Flooded Florida Because of Global Warming?

Here's a map showing the coast line during the last interglacial:

From: The Quaternary Period in the United States, Volume 2:151

On p. 149, there is a diagram of rocky California and Oregon coastlines.  Suddenly, the Santa Monica Palisades make perfect sense.

Sea Levels During Last Interglacial

From Science:


During the last interglacial period, ~125,000 years ago, sea level was at least several meters higher than at present, with substantial variability observed for peak sea level at geographically diverse sites. Speculation that the West Antarctic ice sheet collapsed during the last interglacial period has drawn particular interest to understanding climate and ice-sheet dynamics during this time interval. We provide an internally consistent database of coral U-Th ages to assess last interglacial sea-level observations in the context of isostatic modeling and stratigraphic evidence. These data indicate that global (eustatic) sea level peaked 5.5 to 9 meters above present sea level, requiring smaller ice sheets in both Greenland and Antarctica relative to today and indicating strong sea-level sensitivity to small changes in radiative forcing.


I was watching some AGW propaganda well disguised as 72 Most Dangerous Places on Earth. One person they interviewed about sea level rise mentioned that during the last interglacial period 125,000 years ago, temperatures were higher than now and sea levels were three meters higher than now.  So I started digging around:
See anything interesting there?  Solar input rises just before CO2 concentrations, followed by increasing temperatures on the last two interglacials.

What the First Amendment Does and Doesn't Protect

Democrats say it protects virtual child porn and violent adult porn, but not asking questions about global warming:
California congressmen wrote a letter to state attorney general Kamala Harris claiming the freedom of speech “is not designed to protect fraud and deceit” of the likes being spread by oil company ExxonMobil about global warming.
Nineteen Democratic lawmakers told Harris her “investigation as to whether ExxonMobil lied about the truth of climate change and misled investors does not constitute an effort to silence speech or scientific research.

Read more:
I wasn't aware ExxonMobil was doing that.  If so, could they please order 100,000 copies of my new book?

Like a Sci-Fi Novel

6/13/16 Sacramento Bee:
Some worlds have more than one sun in their sky. Now scientists say they’ve confirmed the existence of the largest-ever planet orbiting a pair of binary stars - a gas giant with the same mass and radius as Jupiter. Exoplanets such as this one - situated in their stars’ habitable zone and massive enough to lasso in many rocky moons - could be an interesting place to go looking for signs of alien life.
The newly confirmed behemoth has been dubbed Kepler-1647 b, and it sits 3,700 light-years away in the constellation Cygnus. A light-year is nearly 6 trillion miles. At an estimated 4.4 billion years old, it’s roughly the same age as Earth. But it’s nothing like our home planet. It’s what is known as a circumbinary world - one that orbits two suns that dance together as a binary pair - and it’s the size of Jupiter, a planet with a diameter more than 11 times that of Earth’s. Its suns are pretty similar to our own (one is slightly smaller and the other slightly larger) but, well, there are two of them.

Read more here:

Just Workplace Violence... Nothing to See Here

DEVELOPING: A gunman stormed into a Walmart in Amarillo, Texas and took at least one hostage Tuesday, investigators confirmed as law enforcement rushed to the scene.
Nearly an hour after city officials reported an "active shooter incident," police said they had entered the Walmart and there was no "ongoing" shooting. One store employee told KFDA the gunman had released a worker and the store manager but was still inside the Walmart...
Police were looking for a Somali man wearing khaki pants, KFDA added. Officers reportedly were evacuating shoppers from the west side of the store in the Texas Panhandle.
Doubtless one of those Presbyterian Somalis.

How Did The Orlando Shooter Pass a Background Check?

He was an armed security guard, which requires a class G license from Florida.

Guess Who Was No Longer on the Watch List?

The man who police say killed 49 people in a brutal rampage in Orlando, Fla., early on Sunday morning was on a federal watch list for roughly 10 months in 2013 and 2014, while he was the subject of an FBI probe.
But then Omar Mateen was taken off the list soon after the investigation ended in March of 2014, FBI Director James Comey said on Monday
“He was watch-listed with the opening of the preliminary investigation and he was taken off the watch list when the investigation was closed,” Comey told reporters.
So prohibiting gun purchase by those on the no-fly list would have done nothing.  Like the San Bernadino Islamoterrorists.

If Only There Was An Opposition Political Party to the Democrats in Congress...

They would be calling for an independent prosecutor.  6/14/16 ZeroHedge:
Jordan's official news agency, Petra News Agency, reported on Sunday citing the Saudi crown price, namely that Saudi Arabia is a major funder of Hillary Clinton’s campaign to become the next president of the United States.

As MEE notes, the Petra News Agency published on Sunday what it described as exclusive comments from Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman which included a claim that Riyadh has provided 20 percent of the total funding to the prospective Democratic candidate's campaign.
Of course, taking contributions from non-citizens is a crime, but the A-G isn't going to pursue that (yet another argument for why A-G should be elected separately from President). There was reason to suspect that the People's Republic of China provided substantial funding to Bill Clinton's 1996 campaign and that Obama received significant overseas funding.  But Republican officeholdes would prefer a Democrat in the White House.

The Right Tool For the Job

My father often used this expression to emphasize the importance of using tools as intended.  An adjustable wrench can be used as a hammer, but not as effectively, and may end up damaged.  I received a specifically metal cutting bandsaw blade for my Craftsman vertical bandsaw and what a difference.  Finer teeth (you should have three teeth in the material) and 1/2" wide, so less flex means a straighter cut.

A Disturbing Visit to the 50s

1850s, not 1950s.  I have always had a hard time taking feminist critiques of America very seriously.  This is likely because of the house I grew up in.  My father was quite traditional but women were treated with respect.  When we first moved to Idaho, along with a lot of pleasant surprises (teenagers saying "excuse me" and generally treating strangers with respect; the willingness to help strangers in need of help) my wife and daughter both noticed a just below the surface (and sometimes breaching the surface) misogyny.  Not traditional sex roles like I grew up with, but men who clearly held women in contempt.

I saw an example recently that made my blood run a little cold.  Coming home from my daughter's place in Caldwell, we saw a pretty stereotypical motorcyclist couple. Scruffy but older.  The woman riding bitch (as the stereotypical Hells Angel would say) was wearing a motorcycle jacket with one word on it: property.

Monday, June 13, 2016

As Queer As A $3 Bill

Sorry to use this insult from my youth, but it fits.  If some one kills an LGBTIIQABCDEFGHIJ, it's usually another member of the tribe, like Matthew Shephard's killer.  6/13/16 Palm Beach Post:
A former classmate of Omar Mateen’s 2006 police academy class said he believed Mateen was gay, saying Mateen once asked him out.Officials say Mateen shot and killed 49 people and injured 53 others at an Orlando nightclub early Sunday morning.The classmate said that he, Mateen and other classmates would hang out, sometimes going to gay nightclubs, after classes at the Indian River Community College police academy. He said Mateen asked him out romantically.
And 6/13/16 Los Angeles Times reports Mateen was a regular the club and used a gay dating app.

This really doesn't surprise me.  Part of why Islam is so homophobic, as I have pointed out in the past is that is a culture awash in child sexual abuse and what is often its successor: homosexuality.  Growing up Muslim with a father who supports the Taliban, a messy suicide to go to what the Koran calls a paradise full of "boys of perpetual freshness," may have looked good.

6/13/16 New York Post:
The ex-wife of Orlando mass killer Omar Mateen claimed Monday that she believed he was homosexual — as it was revealed that he frequented the gay nightclub where he staged the nation’s worst massacre in modern times.
Sitora Yusufiy, who was married to Mateen in 2009 for three months, made the shocking claim on Brazilian television station SBT Brazil.
Her fiancé, Marco Dias, speaking in Portuguese on her behalf, said Yusufiy believed that Mateen had “gay tendencies” and that his father had called him gay in front of her. Dias also claimed “the FBI asked her not to tell this to the American media.
Modal Trigger

The bombshell came as a male former classmate of Omar Mateen said he had been asked out romantically by the mass killer, who reportedly was a virtual regular at the Pulse nightclub, having visited it more than a dozen times over the years.
Modal Trigger

The former classmate said he would hang out with Mateen, hitting gay bars after attending class at Indian River Community College police academy in 2006 — and one time Mateen asked him out “romantically,” according to the Palm Beach Post.
“We went to a few gay bars with him, and I was not out at the time, so I declined his offer,” the former classmate told the paper.

Obama & Clinton: World's Best Gun Salesmen

The stock market took a beating today, almost like we were going to war, which is silly: ISIS is at war with us and Obama is pretending otherwise.

But Smith & Wesson (SWHC) gained 6.87% today.  Ruger (RGR) gained 8.5%.  Since I own thousands of shares, I am very happy.

Bumper Stickers

"Pressure cookers don't kill Boston Marathoners; Muslim terrorist do."

"Would you have preferred a pressure cooker bomb instead of a rifle in Orlando?'

I Turned on the TV to See How the Lamestream Media Were Going to Blame the Orlando Attack on Christianity...

And I was treated to an interview with a gay imam.  Yes, you read that right.  The goal is to cast Islam as tolerant of homosexuality.

UPDATE: A number of the lamestreamers are trying to pin this on Christianity.

Sunday, June 12, 2016


6/12/16 USA Today:
A former Fort Pierce police officer who once worked with 29-year-old Omar Mateen, the assailant in anOrlando nightclub shooting that left at least 50 dead, said he was "unhinged and unstable."
Daniel Gilroy said he worked the 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. shift with G4S Security at the south gate at PGA Village for several months in 2014-15. Mateen took over from him for a 3 to 11 p.m. shift.
Gilroy, a former Fort Pierce police officer, said Mateen frequently made homophobic and racial comments. Gilroy said he complained to his employer several times but it did nothing because he was Muslim. Gilroy quit after he said Mateen began stalking him via multiple text messages — 20 or 30 a day. He also sent Gilroy 13 to 15 phone messages a day, he said.
"I quit because everything he said was toxic," Gilroy said Sunday, "and the company wouldn't do anything. This guy was unhinged and unstable. He talked of killing people."


A few mass murders by gun owners ARE an argument for disarming the population, but a few mass murders by Islamic extremists are NOT an argument for limiting Muslim immigration.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Why Don't I Ever Get Spam Trying to Sell Me Drugs to Enlarge My POWER Tools?

Today, I wished my chop saw would extend to 15" cuts.

Technically the Correct Decision... But Definitely A Bad Sign

But still pretty monstrous.  From the U.K. Independent:
Sex acts with animals are legal in Canada, so long as there is no penetration involved, according to a surprise ruling issued by the Supreme Court.
The determination stemmed from a case involving a British Columbia man convicted of 13 counts sexually assaulting his stepdaughters - including one count of bestiality. But the man, identified only as "DLW", was acquitted of the bestiality count with the new ruling...."Although bestiality was often subsumed in terms such as sodomy or buggery, penetration was the essence - 'the defining act' - of the offence," the court said.
Thus, the court ruled by a 7–1 majority that bestiality required penetration. ...
According to court record DLW smeared peanut butter on the genitals of his victims and had the family dog lick it off while he videotaped the act.
Court documents disclose that DLW attempted to have the dog perform intercourse on the stepdaughter, but that ultimately failed. 

Friday, June 10, 2016

New Paper

California's Gun Violence Restraining Order Law: Duplicating Existing Commitment Laws?

Clayton E. Cramer 

College of Western Idaho

June 10, 2016

In the aftermath of the Elliot Rodgers’ mass murder in 2014, California created a Gun Violence Restraining Order Law allowing judges to issue temporary emergency restraining orders to take guns away from subjects of these orders and prohibit them from purchasing firearms. What does this new law accomplish that is not duplicative of existing California law? Are there due process problems with it? What does it fail to do to address public safety concerns?

Wrong URL; now fixed.

Shocking Evidence of Sense from Judges

6/9/16 Seattle Times:
The Washington Supreme Court has upheld a 2013 law that simplifies the process for holding mentally ill people charged with violent felonies after efforts to restore their competency fail.
If a person is found incompetent to stand trial and treatment doesn’t work, the charges against them are dropped. The new law lets the state quickly commit those offenders for extended periods if prosecutors can show the person is likely to commit another violent act.
Lawyers for two offenders challenged the law, arguing it violated their rights. A trial court commissioner agreed and found the law unconstitutional.

The Crisis Continues...

Charging documents accusing a 36-year-old woman of killing her toddler at her parents' home near Sammamish indicate she has a history of mental illness, suicide attempts and expressing a desire to get rid of her baby before the 15-month-old boy was found dead on Saturday.
Prosecutors charged Tami Christianson with second-degree murder on Wednesday for the death of her son, Brody Bass. She remains held in King County Jail on $1 million bail.
Christianson, a Spokane resident, "poses a clear danger to herself and others" and exhibited "warning signs that were ignored" before her son's death, Senior Deputy Prosecutor Hugh J. Barber wrote in court documents.
She reportedly was spotted last month standing on the ledge of a Bellevue skybridge, appearing ready to jump, Barber wrote. She was involuntarily committed to Fairfax Behavioral Health in Kirkland and released with several medications to take, reports say.
She has also reportedly told Brody's father and her fiance, "I'm just going to kill that little f**ker," referring to her baby when he was about two months old. The father reported this incident to Spokane police, who determined "everything was OK," according to court records.
6/8/16 Baltimore Sun:
Dozens of mentally ill men and women who have been charged with crimes are languishing in jails across Maryland despite court orders to send them to state hospitals for evaluation and treatment.
The state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, which spurned a consultant's warning four years ago, does not have enough beds or staff to treat new patients, officials say. The shortage comes as 80 percent of those admitted to such facilities are arriving via the criminal justice system.
Union officials blame the shortages on what they call the state's cost-saving policy of pushing care of the mentally ill into the private sector.
The state's psychiatric inpatient capacity declined from about 3,000 beds in the 1980s to about 960 now, a squeeze the state's top health official calls a crisis....
The shortages affect people such as Fredia Laverne Powell.
Powell, charged with second-degree attempted murder and other offenses, was brought before Baltimore Circuit Judge Gale E. Rasin in shackles.
Appearing disheveled in an ill-fitting, jail-issue pink jumpsuit, the 62-year-old woman launched into an angry tirade against the judge and court officials.
"I am the inspector general," she declared before trailing off into incoherence. 

For those who want to blame heartless Republicans:
Del. Kathleen Dumais, a Montgomery County Democrat who serves as vice chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said none of the judges she knows wants to release a potentially dangerous person.
"They're very much in a box and very frustrated," she said. 
Dumais said she has been watching the problem grow since she was elected to the General Assembly in 2002. She said Republican Gov. Larry Hogan has not done much to solve the problem, but neither did his predecessor, Democrat Martin O'Malley, or the previous Republican governor, Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.
The state hired the CannonDesign consulting group about five years ago to study the system's needs. In a 2012 report, the group noted severe deficiencies and recommended that the state add at least 216 mental health hospital beds.
O'Malley administration Health Secretary Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein rejected the recommendation in a 2012 letter to the legislature's budget chairmen. He said it would be "premature to undertake the substantial expense of building a new facility."