Sunday, June 25, 2017

Sound Question

Trying to record from an Audio-Technica PRO24 stereo microphone into my wife's Lenovo ThinkPad, plugged into the audio jack.  Using the Y-splitter cable because Lenovo has stopped using separate input and output jacks.  From Manage Audio Devices, Recording tab, I can see the Realtek Microphone, the one built into the laptop and it shows sound coming in (at least the sound level thingie is going up and down).  But the external microphone does not appear.  Worse, when I run Sound Recorder, it hears no sound at all.  I have tried this external microphone on my Lenovo X140e and it works fine.  Any suggestions?  Realtek HD Audio Manager, Microphone tab gives me nothing useful to try.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

What Type of Fastener?

My very nice leather office chair has a failed hydraulic cylinder so it won't stay up.  Theoretically, you can replace the hydraulic cylinder.  I bought one and discovered that my chair was enough different that I could not use it.  The other approach is to put a tube around the column of the chair that prevents it from dropping: a 4" ID by 12" long by 1/4" wall tube should do it.  It has to go on from the sides, so slice it into two half cylinders.  But what fastener to hold the two half cylinders together?  Airplane clamps have to go on over the top, I believe.  Any other ideas?  Maybe a C clamp with round jaws?

Split ring clamp is the magic word.

Fascinating Article About Inbreeding Among Arabs

In Reproductive Health Journal:
Consanguineous marriages have been practiced since the early existence of modern humans. Until now consanguinity is widely practiced in several global communities with variable rates depending on religion, culture, and geography. Arab populations have a long tradition of consanguinity due to socio-cultural factors. Many Arab countries display some of the highest rates of consanguineous marriages in the world, and specifically first cousin marriages which may reach 25-30% of all marriages. In some countries like Qatar, Yemen, and UAE, consanguinity rates are increasing in the current generation. Research among Arabs and worldwide has indicated that consanguinity could have an effect on some reproductive health parameters such as postnatal mortality and rates of congenital malformations. The association of consanguinity with other reproductive health parameters, such as fertility and fetal wastage, is controversial. The main impact of consanguinity, however, is an increase in the rate of homozygotes for autosomal recessive genetic disorders. Worldwide, known dominant disorders are more numerous than known recessive disorders. However, data on genetic disorders in Arab populations as extracted from the Catalogue of Transmission Genetics in Arabs (CTGA) database indicate a relative abundance of recessive disorders in the region that is clearly associated with the practice of consanguinity....
Another study shows that the risk of having an IQ lower than 70 goes up 400 percent from 1.2 percent in children from normal parents to 6.2 percent in inbred children: "The data indicate that the risk for mental retardation in matings of normal parents increases from 0.012 with random matings to 0.062 for first-cousin parentage." (Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, 1978 Effect of inbreeding on IQ and mental retardation"). The study A study of possible deleterious effects of consanguinity concludes, that "The occurrence of malignancies, congenital abnormalities, mental retardation and physical handicap was significantly higher in offspring of consanguineous than non-consanguineous marriages." 
I am sure that this has nothing to do with the culture of that part of the world.

The Twilight Zone

Everytime I sit down and bingewatch Rod Serling's masterpiece series, I catch new and interesting aspects. both in individual episodes and across the entire series.  The first theme that I never noticed before, is how the threat of nuclear war hangs over so many episodes: the one with the bookworm (Burgess Meredith) surviving a complete destruction of civilization in the bank's underground vault and several other episodes.  Were I to teach second semester U.S. history, I would probably show that episode to show how the 1950-1970 period was dominated by this fear.

The Holocaust and totalitarianism is also a dominant theme, both directly (the camp commandant who returns to the scene of his crimes) and indirectly ("The Obsolete Man") and probably the most disturbing ("It's A Good Life").  Sometimes totalitarianism and nuclear war ("Third from the Sun").

I just finished watching "Monsters Are Due on Maple Street") which is most obviously about McCarthyism, but more generally about mob mentality and paranoia.  The aliens at the end might as well have been speaking with Russian accents.  (For a little paranoia recursion:  Was Sen. McCarthy a Soviet agent trying to discredit concern about Communist influence, and provoking irrational fear?)

While many of themes and even plot lines reappear (the World War II lieutenant who can see which of his soldiers will die the next day, and later in the series, he is a Civil War soldier with the same skill); there are some themes that show Serling's concerns were not just 1950s liberalism but also gambling addiction ("The Fever").  How sad he never tackled smoking; he might have lived many more years.

It is also fun to watch for actors (often so bit that you have to look to see them) who later went on to larger careers: William Shatner ("Nightmare at 20,000 Feet", "Nick of Time"); Leonard Nimoy ("A Quality of Mercy"); Robert Redford ("Nothing in the Dark"); Inger Stevens ("The Hitch-Hiker"); George Takei ("The Encounter")>

Special effects are dreadful but the series was about ideas and drama (although sometimes comic)  If you are too young to have grown up with this brilliant piece of Golden Age TV, do so..

Democrats Are Going to Regret the Whole Russia Collusion Fiction

6/23/17 USA Today:
WASHINGTON — Senate Judiciary Committee leaders said Friday they are seeking information about former attorney general Loretta Lynch's alleged efforts to stifle the FBI's investigation of Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while Clinton was secretary of State....
The committee, in a statement released Friday by Grassley and Graham, cited an April story by The New York Times reporting that the FBI came into possession of a batch of hacked documents, including one authored by a "Democratic operative who expressed confidence that Ms. Lynch would keep the Clinton investigation from going too far." After reading that story, Grassley requested a copy of the document from the Justice Department, which he said never responded.
A month later, The Washington Post reported that the email had been sent by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., in her former role as the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, to Leonard Benardo of the Open Society Foundation, an international grantmaking network founded by Democratic mega-donor and businessman George Soros. That email, according to the Post, indicated that Lynch had privately assured Clinton campaign staffer Amanda Renteria that the FBI's investigation wouldn't "go too far."

Friday, June 23, 2017

Remember: Muslim No-Go Zones in France Do Not Exist

Nebraska Democratic Party Official Glad Rep. Scalise Shot

6/22/17 Fox channel 42 reports on the audio and firing.

Experiments With Latex-ite

I applied I hope the last coat today, filling in a couple of depressions and squaring up the area resurfaced as best I could.  As I finished the bucket, a solution an annoying problem occurred to me.

Latex-ite is mostly asphalt cement so it is viscous enough that it does not spread out under gravity much at all. Raking it with the intended tool is only somewhat effective at making a flat even surface.  The bottom of the bucket never completely empties, even upside down for many minutes.  To get that last bit of brownie mix out, and get a surface that flattens out under gravity, I threw some water in, mixed, and poured it as a last layer.  So far, it looks better than the raked surface.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Peace and Love Generation

I know the 1960s generated a lot of anger at America, hence the "Empress Hilary deserved to win" reaction.  6/22/17 Columbus Dispatch:
A voice mail that threatened U.S. Rep. Steve Stivers and his family landed a Westerville man in federal court Wednesday, charged with a crime that carries a 10-year prison term if he is convicted.
In the voice mail that authorities said was left with the Upper Arlington Republican’s Hilliard district office on Sunday, the caller mentioned the June 14 baseball practice during which House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., and four others were wounded or injured in Alexandria, Virginia.
“I’ve seen the prayer ya’ll were saying at the baseball diamond ... I think ya’ll better hit your knees and pray for the people that you’re screwin’ up their lives,” the message stated, according to a criminal complaint filed by Capitol Police in U.S. District Court in Columbus.
“We’re coming to get every goddamn one of you and your families. Maybe the next one taken down will be your daughter. Huh? Or your wife. Or even you.”
E. Stanley Hoff, 68, is charged with threatening to “assault, kidnap, or murder a United States official.” He appeared in federal court wearing a Mickey Mouse T-shirt, jeans and sandals in addition to ankle and wrist chains.

Obama Cabinet Member Demolishes Part of the "Russia Hacked the Election" Claim

WASHINGTON – Former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson told a House congressional panel Wednesday that he wasn’t informed for months that Russian hackers had broken into computer systems at the Democratic National Committee, which blithely shrugged off help from his agency.
“Hindsight is 2020,” Johnson told the House Intelligence Committee.
“In retrospect … I should have bought a sleeping bag and camped out in front of the DNC in late summer.”
Johnson said he was “not happy” to learn several months after the crime occurred that the DNC had been hacked and he expressed “disappointment” the DNC rejected the help of Homeland Security professionals to help identify intruders and patch vulnerabilities in its IT system.
“The answer [from the DNC], to the best of my recollection, was not reassuring: the FBI and the DNC had been in contact with each other months before about the intrusion, and the DNC did not feel it needed DHS’s assistance at that time,” Johnson said.
Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) argued even if Johnson had camped out at the DNC it wouldn’t have made “any difference” since it wasn’t cooperating with the feds.
“The DNC never turned the server over to law enforcement,” Gowdy said.
“Why would the victim of a crime not turn over a server to the intelligence community or to law enforcement?”
“I’m not going to argue with you, sir,” Johnson responded.

Coalition of the Willing Larger Than I Thought

I was listening to NPR the other day, and they were discussing operations in Afghanistan.  The interview was with a New Zealand general in charge of some part of the operation.

Now I see this 6/22/17 USA Today article:
A Canadian soldier in Iraq has killed an ISIS militant from more than two miles away, shattering the world record for a confirmed sniper kill in military history.
According to Toronto’s Globe and Mail newspaper, the gun specialist from the elite Joint Task Force 2 achieved the feat with a shot from a high-rise during an operation within the past 30 days.
“The shot in question actually disrupted a Daesh [Islamic State] attack on Iraqi security forces,” a military source — who requested anonymity because the unit’s operations are classified — told the paper. “Instead of dropping a bomb that could potentially kill civilians in the area, it is a very precise application of force and because it was so far way, the bad guys didn’t have a clue what was happening.”
The 3,450-meter shot, which took about 10 seconds to reach its target, was independently verified by a video camera and other data, the source said.
Canadian sniper in Iraq?  I thought we were alone there.

This is very interesting partly because our HVAC guy was Special Forces sniper in the first Iraq war.

Another Gun Control Success Story

Mexico City (AFP) - Mexico registered a record number of murders last month, officials said, underlining the country's struggles to deal with the horrific violence surrounding the multi-billion-dollar narcotics trade.
There were 2,186 homicides in May, said a report from the National Public Safety System -- the highest figure since the country began keeping track 20 years ago.

Legalizing Pot and Car Crahes

Does driving while high have any impact on auto accident rates? Legalized recreational marijuana use in Colorado, Oregon and Washington correlates to about a 3 percent increase in auto collision claim frequencies compared to states without such legislation, according to a new Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) study. It's the first one the group has conducted since the drug went on sale legally.
"More drivers admit to using marijuana, and it is showing up more frequently among people involved in crashes," the study said.
It is an article of faith that legalizing pot reduces impaired driving because drunks drive, while pot smokers do not, and pot substitutes for alcohol.  It should be apparent that anything that increases the percentage of people intoxicated is likely to increase number of people driving while intoxicated.  Further, I have seen no evidence that pot replaces alcohol abuse; often it seems to be in addition to alcohol.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Democrats Wonder Why They Lost

From Gallup:
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Thirty-eight percent of U.S. adults say the threat of terrorism makes them less willing to attend events where there are thousands of people. This is up from 27% in July 2011, the last time Gallup asked the question. It is also the highest level recorded since Gallup began asking the question after 9/11.
That includes me.  The largest public event I attend is church, and the pastor and much of the congregation are packing.

My Inner Cynic is Going on Vacation

As a general rule, money buys elections.  Unless a candidate has some incredibly dark negative (Klan membership), the biggest spender usually wins.  Simple reason: name recognition drives most voting decisions.  When I ran for state senate some years ago, I was running against a pro-gay, anti-gun Republican in the primary, but the difference between "Corder" and "Cramer" isn't much: Six letters starting with a C and ending -er.

I was surprised and pleased to read this:
As if the 2016 presidential primaries and general election were not enough, the Georgia 6 special election underscored that money does not win elections. This special election was the most expensive House election in U.S. history, and the candidate who spent the most lost.
Ossoff's campaign raised and spent $24 million, while Handel's campaign only raised and spent $4.5 million. Handel did receive more support from outside groups ($18.2 million supporting her or attacking Ossoff) than Ossoff did (just under $8 million supporting him or attacking Handel). But Ossoff still received $10 million more in support than Handel.
Ironically, Ossoff's huge war chest might have hurt him. In the last two months, the Democrat reported receiving nine times more donations from California than from Georgia. In the nine counties of the San Francisco Bay Area alone, Ossoff reported receiving 3,063 donations, nearly four times the Georgia total of 808 gifts. Republicans hit him on that, while Democrats focused on Handel's support from "dark money."
In the presidential election, Hillary Clinton outspent Donald Trump by a factor of 2-to-1, pro-Clinton ads outnumbered pro-Trump ads 3-to-1, "dark money" spending for Clinton beat Trump by 3-to-1, and Clinton backers ran 3 times as many ads in battleground states. The three biggest super PACs in that cycle backed a losing candidate.
Perhaps  "Democrat" is becoming the equivalent of Klan in terms of negatives.

The Billionaires Really Need to Spend Their Money the Way That They Claim Makes Sense

Charles Glasser at Instapundit:
NAPKIN MATH: Ossoff raised $23.6 million to make a symbolic run against President Trump, most of it from Marin County, California and Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts. Running the numbers, Democrats might have been better off considering that same amount would have bought 855,072 school lunches (at $2.76 each); 236,000 elementary school textbooks (at $100 each) or even 956 Priuses (at $24,685 each).
The billionaire left screeches that Republicans don't care about the poor, but their money trying to regain power could be better spent.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Quantum Entanglement

One of those things that works, but shouldn't.  6/17/17 Chicago Tribune discusses the latest experiments where two photons hundreds of miles apart mirror each other's state.  Clearly impossible, but proven to happen.  The potential for instantaneous communication across the enormous distances of space should be obvious.  The Star Trek transporter is really just transmitting information about an object, not actual matter, so quantum entanglement might allow long distance transmission of data without the struggles about range and power.  How you get that information in enough detail to replicate a human is a different nearly impossible task.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Ego Problem

It was bound to happen sooner or later—Hillary Clinton has weighed in on Wonder Woman.
She admits she hasn’t seen the DC Comics superhero blockbuster but now it’s a huge smash hit, she’s keen to talk about it, characteristically relating the film to herself, her never-ending political ambition and her determination to avenge last November’s shock presidential election defeat to Donald Trump.
Speaking in a 95-second video message at the Women in Film Los Angeles’ Crystal + Lucy Awards on Tuesday night, Clinton paid tribute to Elizabeth Banks, actress, director and Clinton activist who was receiving an award for Crystal Award for Excellence in Film.
She then moved on to Wonder Woman: “Now I haven’t seen Wonder Woman yet, but I’m going to, in part because it’s directed by the fabulous Patty Jenkins.
“But something tells me that a movie about a strong, powerful woman fighting to save the world from a massive international disaster is right up my alley.”
And Trump was a narcissist?

No Need to go to Gym Today

I just did the Latex-ite workout.  Lifting a 4.75 gallon bucket of asphalt several times; turning it over;  spreading it out;  troweling it into the gap between garage floor and driveway was about as many steps and as much exhaustion as my gym workout.

I Knew This Was Going to Happen Eventually

6/18/17 Daily Mail:
Police hold back furious crowd as they arrest 'terror attacker who ploughed into a crowd of Good Samaritans helping collapsed OAP' before brave worshippers managed to pin him to the ground
Read more: Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook
Fortunately no one dead as of yet. Revenge for Islamoterrorist attacks.   This is not only morally wrong:

1. Most Muslims do not support Islamoterrorist attacks.

2. Most victims worldwide of Islamoterrorism are Muslims.

3. It is random attack on innocent civilians.

It is also pragmatically wrong:

1. May drive some Muslims into lone wolf attacks.

2. Creates fear of the larger non-Islamic society.

3. Probably reduces willingness of Muslims to report extremists.

4. Gives ISIS an excuse for more terrorist attacks.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Father's Day

I have what I consider the best gifts of all: two children that I am proud of.

Some parents are focused on financial success: "My son's a doctor!"

In spite of some very painful teen years, my daughter is someone that makes me feel like a good father.  She is a social worker, providing counselling primarily to teens.  She is also on-call for a problem about which had never thought.  Police officer finds a situation where a child may be at risk in the wee hours.  Is the situation so serious it requires immediate removal, or can it wait until morning?  Call in a social worker to evaluate.

My son, unlike many other millennials, ended up with a useful degree (Communications) and is not living in his parents' basement.  (This is good; we would have to dig one.)  He is self-sufficient and advancing in his career managing web content.


My friend Terry Hoover (who teaches awesome firearms training classes) turned me on to SHIBA, an Idaho program that shows those going on to Medicare how to optimize their Medicare supplemental insurance. I filled three prescriptions Friday,  and cost $6.

Lock, Stock, and Barrel Nearing Completion

I am fast approaching completion. Dave Golden is powering through it, catching many stupid mistakes and improving some clumsy sentences.

More Asphalt Fun

I am about to do what I hope is my final asphalt coat for the telescope garage driveway.   (This is necessary for testing a new ScopeRoller project.) The last coat had a few rocks stuck in it, so I knocked most of them loose. The last coat should overwhelm any remaining rocks. I also have a couple depressions that need filling in. They are not very deep, so filling them in should be easy.

Sleep Apnea

I forgot to put my BreatheRight strip on Friday night. I woke up miserable, and stayed that way all day.  Last night, the experiment demonstrated that it is necessary to overcome at least in part my sleep apnea. I just cannot imagine being like that every day.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Left Insanity Keeps Growing

After a shooter in Alexandria left House Majority Whip Steve Scalise in critical condition and wounded four other people, a longtime New Jersey Democratic political strategist responded by introducing the hashtags #HuntRepublicans and #HuntRepublicanCongressmen.
“We are in a war with selfish, foolish & narcissistic rich people,” wrote James Devine on Twitter. “Why is it a shock when things turn violent? #HuntRepublicanCongressmen.”
Devine has run for office, consulted for numerous New Jersey campaigns, and worked in the offices of state lawmakers. He’s also a blogger.
George Takei (a talented actor before turning into a buffoon):
The universe doesn't joke around. The officer who saved bigoted, homophobic Rep. Steve Scalise during baseball practice was a black lesbian.

Never Listen to Economists

They will tell you that feeling morally superior doesn't solve the problem of causing workers at the bottom to lose their jobs.  6/13/17 Fresno Bee:
In a pair of affluent coastal California counties, the canary in the mineshaft has gotten splayed, spatchcocked and plated over a bed of unintended consequences, garnished with sprigs of locally sourced economic distortion and non-GMO, “What the heck were they thinking?”
The result of one early experiment in a citywide $15 minimum wage is an ominous sign for the state’s poorer inland counties as the statewide wage floor creeps toward the mark.Consider San Francisco, an early adopter of the $15 wage. It’s now experiencing a restaurant die-off, minting jobless hash-slingers, cashiers, busboys, scullery engineers and line cooks as they get pink-slipped in increasing numbers. And the wage there hasn’t yet hit $15.
As the East Bay Times reported in January, at least 60 restaurants around the Bay Area had closed since September alone.
A recent study by Michael Luca at Harvard Business School and Dara Lee Luca at Mathematica Policy Research found that every $1 hike in the minimum wage brings a 14 percent increase in the likelihood of a 3.5-star restaurant on Yelp! closing.

Too Good to Miss

6/15/17 Daily Caller:
The left-leaning Washington Post awarded four “Pinocchios” to the lie that former Alaska Gov. incited schizophrenic Jared Loughner to shoot Democratic Rep. Gabby Giffords in 2011 — a long-debunked claim that the NYT used to attack Republicans after a left-wing Bernie Sanders supporter tried to murder dozens of Republican congressmen on Wednesday.
The NYT editorial board claimed there was a clear “link to political incitement” in the Giffords shooting because Palin placed crosshairs on Gifford’s district as one of the House seats Republicans needed to flip in 2012. The editors later described it as a “sign of incitement” that was “direct.” There is no evidence to support that claim.
When the left calls out the left; watch out for falling pig droppings.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Trump Really is Rich

During the campaign there was a lot of screeching that he wasn't releasing his tax returns because he really wasn't that rich.  6/16/17 CNN blows that away:
President Trump reported hundreds of millions of dollars in income Friday in financial disclosure forms that shed more light on his vast business holdings.
At his golf courses alone, Trump reported $288 million in income in the past year. That includes $19.8 million from his club in Bedminster, New Jersey, where he has spent some weekends as president.
Trump reported $37.2 million in income in the past year from Mar-a-Lago, the private Florida resort where Trump hosted the president of China and ordered missile strikes against Syria. The club has doubled its membership fee in the past year.
The Mar-a-Lago income figure was $7.4 million higher than on his previous financial disclosure filing, in May 2016.
Trump reported $19.7 million in income through mid-April at his luxury Washington hotel, which has been a center of concerns about conflict of interest because of the possibility that foreign governments can curry favor with the president by booking rooms there. The hotel opened in September.
The president reported up to $7 million in book royalties, including $1 million to $5 million from his book "Great Again: How to Fix Our Crippled America." He reported nearly $11 million from the Miss Universe pageant and an $84,000 pension from the Screen Actors Guild.

Not An Assault Rifle

News media reporting baseball shooter used an assault rifle.  No, an SKS, not included in any law defining assault weapons because not a detachable magazine.  But why expect accuracy from mainstream media when they can run fake news.

To their credit, CNN has corrected their story.

Most fake news outlets are still insisting it was an M4.


Back in the 1980s, I was writing software for an integrated fiber optics digital loop carrier (trust me, you don't want me to explain it), and I pointed out to my boss that Y2K was coming.  He laughed at my concern.  The federal government is apparently still spending money preparing for it, or just ignoring existing paperwork requirements.  6/15/17 Bloomberg Politics:
Seventeen years after the Year 2000 bug came and went, the federal government will finally stop preparing for it.  The Trump administration announced Thursday that it would eliminate dozens of paperwork requirements for federal agencies, including an obscure rule that requires them to continue providing updates on their preparedness for a bug that afflicted some computers at the turn of the century....
Seven of the more than 50 paperwork requirements the White House eliminated on Thursday dealt with the Y2K bug, according to a memo OMB released. Officials at the agency estimate the changes could save tens of thousands of man-hours across the federal government.
The agency didn’t provide an estimate of how much time is currently spent on Y2K paperwork, but Linda Springer, an OMB senior adviser, acknowledged that it isn’t a lot since those requirements are already often ignored in practice.
And gobs of other pointless rules.  How silly to put a successful businessman in charge of our government!

Progressive Fruit

6/16/17 CBS reports that Illinois may be the first state to go bankrupt:
Like Puerto Rico, Illinois has a massive pension crisis. Its unfunded pension liability for the state's five major plans grew 25 percent alone in one year, reaching $251 billion, according to Moody's. On a per-household basis, the state's pension debt burden stands at $27,000, according to the conservative-leaning Illinois Policy Institute. 
So how did the state's pensions balloon into such a crisis? First, the pension problem has been a long time in the making. The state has more than 660 government pension funds, which are sometimes called defined benefit plans because they promise workers will receive a specific pension when they retire. 
But critics say some of those pensions carried overly optimistic assumptions, especially given periods of market turmoil like the global financial crisis, which ate into investment returns. The state's general assembly wasn't required to fully fund pensions, which meant tax money was spent on other priorities such as schools or infrastructure. 
Population is declining as people vote with their feet. 

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Amazingly, Not The Onion

6/12/17 PJMedia:
On Sunday, Black Lives Matter activists pulled off the sort of victory that right-wing hooligans could only hope to achieve: They stopped a gay pride parade.“We are calling you out!” Alexandria Williams, co-founder of the group’s Toronto chapter, shouted through a megaphone as the Black Lives Matter float came to a halt and marchers sat down. Amid rainbow-colored smoke bombs, she accused event organizers of harboring “a historical and current culture of anti-blackness” -- a curious claim considering how the festival welcomed Black Lives Matter as “guests of honor.”

Cultural Appropriation

6/13/17 Yahoo News:
Indigenous advocates from around the world are calling on a UN committee to ban the appropriation of Indigenous cultures — and to do it quickly.
Delegates from 189 countries, including Canada, are in Geneva this week as part of a specialized international committee within the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), a United Nations agency.
Since it began in 2001, the committee has been working on creating and finishing three pieces of international law that would expand intellectual-property regulations to protect things like Indigenous designs, dances, words and traditional medicines.
The meeting takes place as concern grows worldwide about the rights of cultures to control their own materials. In the U.S. this week, designer Tory Burch agreed to change the description of one of her coats for women after Romanians protested that it had been described as African-inspired when it actually appropriated a traditional Romanian garment.
Okay, no electricity, glasses, snowmobiles, or steel for American Indians; those were cultural appropriations from white culture.  Having been through three major surgeries let me include the most important gift of our culture: general anesthesia.

More evidence that the UN has too much money.

Quick! Call PETA!

6/15/17 Washington Post:
HOPE, Maine — A Maine woman says a rabid raccoon attacked her while she was out for a run, so she drowned it in a puddle.
Rachel Borch, of Hope, says she was running in woods near her home June 2 when she saw the raccoon charging with its teeth bared. She says she knew the animal was going to bite her, so she held out her hands so it would bite her there.
The 21-year-old says she then noticed a puddle in a nearby swampy area. She ran over with the rabid animal still biting down on her thumb and held its head underwater until it drowned.

Too Much Winning

MADISON, Wis. — A Taiwanese company that assembles Apple's iPhones and other electronics is considering building a plant in Wisconsin that could employ thousands of people and give Gov. Scott Walker a huge political boost as he prepares to run for re-election.
A person with direct knowledge of the negotiations who was not authorized to speak publicly confirmed to The Associated Press on Wednesday that the state is in talks with Foxconn. At least one other upper Midwest state, Michigan, is also pursuing the plant.
It hasn't happened yet, but even serious discussion is a win.  And there won't be discussion of exploitation and virtual slavery in Wisconsin, will there?

Michael Savage Obviously Put Him Up to This :-)

6/14/17 WND:
Less than 24 hours before a supporter of former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders fired at Republican members of Congress at a baseball practice, seriously injuring House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and four others before U.S. Capitol Police took down the assailant, talk-radio host and author Michael Savage warned of violence by “marginal” people who are set to explode and “kill somebody.”

Blaming Palin for the Baseball Shooting

6/14/17 New York Times:
Was this attack evidence of how vicious American politics has become? Probably. In 2011, when Jared Lee Loughner opened fire in a supermarket parking lot, grievously wounding Representative Gabby Giffords and killing six people, including a 9-year-old girl. At the time, we and others were sharply critical of the heated political rhetoric on the right. Before the shooting, Sarah Palin’s political action committee circulated a map of targeted electoral districts that put Ms. Giffords and 19 other Democrats under stylized cross hairs. But no connection to that crime was ever established.
Jake Tapper at CNN points out:
even way back in Jan 2011 we knew that Loughlin's obsession began 3 years before the Palin map. 

Wednesday, June 14, 2017


Found this very useful search site.  Includes birth, marriage, and death records for England.

Not Alone

6/14/17 The Hill:
The office of Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-N.Y.) received a threatening email with the subject line “One down, 216 to go…,” shortly after a shooter opened fire on GOP lawmakers who were at a congressional baseball practice, according to her office.
The person who sent the email then wrote in the body of the email, "Did you NOT expect this?"
"Did you NOT expect this? When you take away ordinary peoples very lives in order to pay off the wealthiest among us, your own lives are forfeit. Certainly, your souls and morality were lost long before. Good riddance,” the email said.
If this is as wide a sentiment among the left as I think, it is going to be the start of a very ugly civil war.

Slow Learner

6/13/17 USA Today:
A Texas woman who was freed from a life sentence last year after President Obama granted her clemency is behind bars again.
According to the Houston Chronicle, Carol Denise Richardson, 49, was arrested for theft in Pasadena, a Houston suburb, and violated other conditions imposed when she was released from prison.
"This defendant was literally given a second chance to become a productive member of society and has wasted it," Assistant U.S. Attorney Ted Imperato said in a statement released by his office. "She has clearly shown a willful disregard for the law and must face the consequences for her crimes and actions."
Richardson was convicted by a federal jury in June 2006 for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of crack cocaine and two counts of possession with intent to distribute the drug, the paper reported. With an extensive criminal background, she was sentenced to life in prison.

Republican Congressman Shot; Left Exults

Someone opened fire on the Republican baseball team (did not even know that there was such a thing).  Many shot, including one Congressman and another's aide, left predictably responds with cheers and excuses.  Shooter's Facebook page is full on left-wing Democrat.
Trump is a Traitor. Trump Has Destroyed Our Democracy. It's Time to Destroy Trump & Co.
And of course Sanders backer::
I want Bernie to Win the White House.
He asked earlier which party this was.  He couldn't see the horns and tails.

The Washington Post  mentioned shooter's left-wing Facebook page.  New York Times? No.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Bought new furniture from Amazon

Bought new furniture from Amazon, a couch, love seat, and chair:
I have bought a lot of furniture over the years made in China; this is by far the most impressive.  I suspect the US patent numbers on the side of the box are related to the assembly method.  It arrived in boxes so small that I briefly wondered if I had ordered inflatable furniture.  (This is the first time I have ordered from Amazon that it wasn't USPS or UPS delivered.)  The fasteners required precisely positioned holes in all the parts; and they were.  Instead of screwing into wood, the fasteners went into threaded metal inserts in the wood.  (Retired engineer; I notice these things.) 
Each piece took my wife about 10-15 minutes to assemble; she was a wiz at it by the third piece.  The cushions and pillows were inside the bottom frame, which reduced shipping volume substantially.  
A nice touch is that the back cushions are Velcroed in place so they don't fly off when you get up.  
All the fasteners were present and with enough surplus that even if we had lost a few, it would not have stopped assembly.
They are comfortable, especially compared to the broken down 1995 couch and loveseat they replaced.
Instructions were very clear; if you can't figure them out, surrender your car keys.
I doubt that they will last as long as Flexsteel's competing products, but at this price, I can afford to replace them in 10 years and feel good about it.
Because of how they assemble and disassemble, if you need to get these through a narrow hallway or door, it will be easy to move them. 

Monday, June 12, 2017

100% Accurate

When anyone claims that their records are 100% accurate, it is always wise to assume that they do not understand how humans work.  For a very long time BATF claimed in unlawful machine gun prosecutions that their register of NFA weapons is 100% accurate.  Dave Hardy at Arms and the Law made some discoveries while doing FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) queries:
OIG [Office of Inspector General] asked how often there was a discrepancy between the inventory and what the NFRTR said the inventory should be: 46% of inspectors said either "always" or "most of the time." (Only 5% reported "never"). How often was the discrepancy found in the NFRTR? 44% said always or most of the time, only 6% said "never." The comments by inspectors were pretty eye-opening:
"When I conduct an NFA inventory reconciliation, I start knowing that the NRA register will be incomplete or inaccurate."
"The discrepancies in the NFRTR makes it impossible to verify the onsite inventory."
"I encounter discrepancies on a daily basis."
"In one instance, I received an NFRTR inventory report with more than 60 errors on behalf of the NFA branch."
A majority of the FFLs I have inspected, NFA is a small portion of their business. However, I spend the most time on the NFA portion due to the NFRTR being inaccurate most of the time."
"It creates embarrassment to the agency and the IOI because we are always wrong." 
People go to prison based on the claim that the NFRTR is accurate.

Here's a video that includes a BATF official admitting that they perjure themselves about this, and always will:

And this declaration by an attorney:
6. In October 1995 I was informed by a reliable source -- a senior career BATF official -- that Thomas Busey, the Chief of BATF's NFA Branch, which is the official custodian of the NFR&TR, had just given a headquarters training presentation (known as "Roll Call Training"), taped on videotape, in which Busey stated that when he had assumed command of the NFA Branch the previous year he had discovered an error rate of as much as 50% in the NFR&TR, but that his underlings routinely testified in court (and by certifications under seal) that the NFR&TR was 100% accurate when they knew that was not the fact. I promptly filed a Freedom of Information demand for the videotape, identifying it with sufficient specificity to warn those involved that destruction or denial were not viable responses. Even so, my source advised that the first reaction at BATF headquarters on receipt of my FOIA demand was the proposal by Gail D. Rossides, Assistant Director for Training under whose jurisdiction Roll Call training is conducted, that the incriminating tape be destroyed. Wiser -- and perhaps more honorable -- heads prevailed and the tape was sent to the Department of Justice for its assessment. Ultimately, some months later, a transcript of the tape was furnished to me, along with an unsolicited self-serving "correction" (declaration) by a Busey underling attempting to take the edge off the rather startling admissions made by Busey. A copy of the Busey transcript has been previously provided to the Court, and is also included in Exhibit 2 to this declaration. I also possess a copy of the actual videotape (which BATF and the Department of Justice have continually tried to keep out of private hands) and will supply it to the Court on request. A recitation of these facts, authored by me but adopted by Congressman David Funderburk of North Carolina, was published in the Congressional Record, a copy of which is attached as Exhibit 1.
7. Shortly after the disclosure of the Busey transcript described above, the Department of Justice sent a mailout to all United States Attorneys advising of the Busey matter and supplying copies of other BATF documents which could be deemed to be exculpatory in NFA firearms prosecutions. I received several of these packages as Brady material in various firearms cases I was handling and am acquainted with other defense lawyers who also received them. Attached as Exhibit 2 is a copy of the Brady package distributed to the United States Attorneys by the Department of Justice.

As much as I would like an NFA weapon (such as a M3A1 grease gun), this history of sloppy records and institutional perjury, makes it seem too risky.  Don't tempt me, however.

More Evidence of Trump Mendacity!

6/11/17  Washington Post:
Preet Bharara, a prominent former U.S. attorney ousted by President Trump, said Sunday that he reported to the Justice Department efforts by the president to “cultivate some kind of relationship” with him, describing phone calls from Trump that made him increasingly uncomfortable.
In his first sit-down interview since his March removal, Bharara said he reported one of the phone calls to the chief of staff for Attorney General Jeff Sessions because it made him uneasy. He said he was dismissed from the important prosecutor’s job in Manhattan only 22 hours after he finally refused to take a call from the president.
In case you did not know this: U.S. Attorneys work for the President.  Imagine having your boss wanting to talk to you!

Democrat Screeching About Corruption Coming Back to Bite Them

6/11/17 New York Post:
WASHINGTON – The top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee called Sunday for a congressional investigation into former Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email probe.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said she’s concerned by former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony Thursday that Lynch asked him to downplay his “investigation” into the Democratic presidential nominee as merely a “matter.”
Comey said the political request called into the question the credibility of Lynch’s Department of Justice and made him “queasy.”
“I would have a queasy feeling too,” Feinstein admitted Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “I think we need to know more about that. And there’s only one way to know about it and that’s to have the Judiciary Committee take a look at that.”
Lynch, a President Obama nominee, ultimately had to distance herself from the FBI probe after meeting with former President Bill Clinton on a tarmac in Phoenix during the height of the election campaign and email investigation.
Rats abandoning the sinking ship?  Or does Feinstein actually have a conscience?

Finished watching season 5 of House of Cards.  Many Democrats are tired of the Underwoods.

Just arrived in the mail:
Hillary phoned the White House just after midnight. “I must speak to the President, it’s an emergency!”, she exclaimed.
After some arguing, a Secret Service Agent woke him up. “What’s so important that it can’t wait until morning?” Trump grumbled.
Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg had a heart attack, and I want to take her place.” Hillary begged.
“Trump replied - Okay - if the undertaker agrees.

Satan's Rock

That's what of NASA's global warming advocates calls coal.  6/10/17 Fox News:
First New Coal Mine of Trump Era Opens in Pennsylvania

Sort of Specious Reasoning, But the Net Result is Good

6/12/17 Yahoo News:
Oslo (AFP) - The Norwegian government on Monday proposed a bill to ban the full-face Muslim veil in all schools, from nurseries to universities, saying it hinders communication between students and teachers.
Norway's ruling coalition of conservative and anti-immigration rightwing parties had promised the ban last year, targeting the full-face veil called the niqab as well as burqas, balaclavas and masks.
"We do not want clothes covering the face in nurseries, schools and universities," Minister of Education and Research Torbjorn Roe Isaksen said in a statement.
"These clothes prevent good communication, which is important for students to receive a good education," he added.
If the niqab is really that important to your religion, perhaps you need to stay in a Muslim country.  I have seen women wearing the niqab in Philadelphia, and it was a bit startling.  Laws prohibiting the wearing of masks in public are common because of the public safety risks of making identification hard.  Hence the antifas wearing masks at demonstrations.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Pants Shopping

I went pants shopping Saturday morning.  For many years I have bought Target's Merona brand casual pants.  As I arrived at Target, I suddenly remembered that they are now LGBTarget, having spat in the face of half (or more) of America by allowing customers to use whichever sex of restrrooms they were feeling like today.  The ensuing boycott cost Target vast amounts of money, including mine.  Of course, another reason I switched was that Target has been aiming its stores increasingly at younger customers because everyone knows that millennials living in Mom's basement after completing their degrees in Gender Studies, Gaea Worship, and the like have far more money to spend than older adults.

So I drove over to Wal-Mart which sells essentially the same pants under their George store brand name.  Probably made in the Third World sweatshop.  Cheaper, slightly, than Target's Merona label, and the fabric feels slightly thicker..

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Yup, I Believe You!

Jerold Reed, Linda Reed, Natures of Mankind Psychology, p. 190:
I wasn't totally unfamiliar with guns; after all I was the Arizona State Junior Rifle Champion in 1961....
After describing how the gun store owner sold him a Taurus handgun with a "clip that contains 12 rounds":  
He showed me a box of ammunition that contained 308mm hollow-point cartridges.

Excuse me, but I think FMJ is sufficient.  I hope you bought some Pachmayr grips to control the recoil!

Cultural Appropriation

6/8/17 Bloomberg has a marvelously entertaining description by Megan McCardle of a French interpretation of American food:
“It’s the bread,” said Pascal, my dinner companion, when talk turned to the strange things that happen to burgers when they venture abroad. Pascal, a great lover of American food, turned out to have given the matter of burger structure and form a great deal more thought than I ever had. “American burger buns are slightly sweet, which you never find here.” They are also spongy, soaking up the meat juices until burger and bun meld into a nearly indistinguishable whole. European burger bread, in my experience, keeps fighting for its separate identity to the very last bite.
The whole article is worth reading for her criticism of the whole "cultural appropriation" idea of the SJWs.

If my wife makes Thai food and tacos for guests who don't like Thai, is that "multicultural appropriation"?  Do we get extra points for "multicultural"?

Great comment over there:
One of my worst foreign food experiences was finding "Philly Cheesteak" on a menu in Glasgow. It was a slab of meat on a Kaiser roll with a pat of cheddar cheese. This was the Philly equivalent of conducting a Catholic mass with Tostitos and Fanta instead of bread and wine.
I am sore from laughing at the comments below that one.

If the Shoe Fits...

6/10/17 Yahoo News:
A wave of anti-Muslim rallies will sweep nearly 30 cities across America on Saturday, in a move by far-right activists that has drawn sharp criticism from civil rights groups and inspired counter-protests nationwide.

The so-called “anti-Sharia” rallies have been organized by Act For America, which claims to be protesting human rights violations but has been deemed an anti-Muslim hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The planned demonstrations prompted security fears at mosques across the country and come at a time when hate crimes against Muslims are on the rise.
Notice the "civil rights" groups and Muslims quoted in the article are characterizing  "anti-Shari'a" as being equivalent to anti-Muslim.  Yet imagine the ACLU's reaction if any significant elements of sharia were written into our laws: requiring four adult Muslim men as eyewitnesses to prove rape; cutting off hands for theft. So what does this upset really mean?  Muslims are complaining that shari'a is Islam.

Another Mental Illness Tragedy Being Bent into the Black Lives Matter Mold

6/10/17 CNN:

(CNN)A mental health call turned into a deadly shooting in Oklahoma when three law enforcement officers confronted a knife-wielding man outside a convenience store, the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office said.
Two deputies and one Tulsa police officer opened fire and shot 29-year-old Joshua Barre on Friday morning. He was taken to a hospital, where he later died, the sheriff's office said.
"My son was mentally ill and they didn't have to kill my son," Barre's mother, Etta Jones Barre, told CNN affiliate KTUL. "They could have done something different."...
Deputies with the county's mental health team had gone to Barre's home earlier Friday to take him into custody for a mental health evaluation.
But when they arrived, a neighbor told them Barre was in the street holding two large knives, the sheriff's office said.
Police received four 911 calls about a man walking with "two butcher knives" and who was threatening people, officials said.
When deputies found Barre, they ordered him to drop the knives, but he walked away.
Fearing that he would go into a convenience store and endanger the public, he was given commands to stop and not enter the store, the sheriff's office said in a news release.
A confrontation ensued at the entrance to the convenience store. A deputy used a stun gun on Barre but "it had no effect," then two deputies and one police officer fired at him, the sheriff's office said.
This was not their first interaction with him because of mental illness and threats to others.  It sounds like they made less than lethal attempts, without success and had good reason to fear for their safety.  Inevitable BLM response.

Friday, June 9, 2017

North Carolina: Constitutional Carry Coming?

6/7/17 Charlotte News & Observer:

It would no longer be necessary to have a concealed handgun permit to bring a gun anywhere that firearms can already be carried openly, under a bill that a divided state House tentatively approved on Wednesday.
The change would eliminate the need for concealed-carry permits for adults who are at least 18 and are not otherwise prohibited from owning firearms, except where open-carry is barred. That would change current law that requires concealed-carry applicants be at least 21 and complete firearm safety training to obtain a permit.
The debate on House Bill 746 was preceded by days of intense pressure from national and statewide gun-control and gun-rights advocates. It resulted in an 11-vote margin; eight Republicans broke from the majority and voted with all Democrats against the bill. The vote was 65-54.
Rep. Susan Fisher, a Democrat from Asheville, set the tone for the afternoon when she delivered the daily prayer peppered with references to the victims of gun violence.
Tarheels might want to contact their state senators and governor.

Hat tip to Shall Not Be Questioned.

Flying Pig Alert: New Jersey Supreme Court Recognizes Second Amendment

New Jersey v. Montalvo (N.J. 2017):
The jury convicted Montalvo of unlawful possession of a weapon and acquitted him of possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose. Montalvo appealed, arguing that the conviction violated his Second Amendment right to bear arms and that the jury instructions were erroneous. The Appellate Division affirmed. We reverse because the jury instructions constitute plain error.
Montalvo was holding a machete inside his home when an angry neighbor confronted him at his door:
Self-defense is a potential defense to a possessory weapons offense. The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution states, “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” U.S. Const. amend. II. The Second Amendment “guarantee[s] the individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation,” District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570, 592, 128 S. Ct. 2783, 2797, 171 L. Ed. 2d 637, 657 (2008), and fully applies to the States, McDonald v. City of Chicago, 561 U.S. 742, 750, 130 S. Ct. 3020, 3026, 177 L. Ed. 2d 894, 903 (2010). It extends to “all instruments that constitute bearable arms.” Heller, supra, 554 U.S. at 582, 128 S. Ct. at 2792, 171 L. Ed. 2d at 651.
So far, only machetes seem protected, but I am sure this will lead to something good.  Either that, or the National Machete Association is stronger than I thought.

Terrorism? No, You Bigot

TORONTO - A Scarborough woman swore allegiance to ISIS in a Scarborough courtroom where she appeared to face allegations that she swung a golf club at hardware store employees while screaming threats and Islamic chants.
Before Tuesday’s proceedings started, Justice of the Peace Alice Napier asked Rehab Dughmosh, 32, to identify herself in court — but the accused woman didn’t initially answer the question.
“ISIS — I pledge to the leader of the believers — Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi,” blurted the woman through an interpreter.
There are Canadians who think being Islamophilic, Canada will be safe from terrorist attack.

Washington Tax Payers: Your Money is Well-Spent

6/6/17 Heat St describes the Evergreen State College course catalog
This coming fall, for example, you can take a number of classes that count as biology, but actually aren’t biology at all. They include, as the Daily Caller found, Reproduction: Gender, Race and Power, but also Dancing Molecules, Dancing Bodies, where you’ll use the art of dance to communicate with your body and understand the chemical processes within.
If that’s not up your alley, perhaps you would prefer Actions and their Consequences, which will “examine local, national, and international policy issues of the postcolonial and neocolonial world in education, health care, social welfare and environmentalism” through a series of “interdisciplinary” lectures. That class will eventually gather and design “projects to address issues of unequal distributions of power.”
If math and economics are more your style, there are plenty of social justice-tinged options for you. Advocating for Sustainable Culture is considered a math course (you even get to do field trips!), as is Dimensions for Inequality and Options for Change.
And lest you think you’d have to abandon your progressive politics for a class in something seemingly objective, like physics, fear not! Under the “physics” catalog offerings, there’s Defending Mother Earth: Science, Energy and Native Peoples.
That last one is described in the catalog as:
Fields of Study
chemistry physics writing
Preparatory For
chemistry, physics, Native American studies, environmentally-related fields, and science education.
Whatever merit there might be in such a class; a real chemistry class would make a more sensible prerequisite.

I am beginning to think that the strategy of Dissenter colleges in the 18th century is the way to go. Oxford and Cambridge were limited to Anglicans, and taught a very traditional medieval education. Dissenter colleges soon started teaching sciences and engineering.

The Name Alone Tells You a Lot About Her Home: Reality Winner

A 25-year-old Federal contractor was charged Monday with leaking a top secret NSA report — detailing how Russian military hackers targeted US voting systems just days before the election.
The highly classified intelligence document, published Monday by The Intercept, describes how Russia managed to infiltrate America’s voting infrastructure using a spear-phishing email scheme that targeted local government officials and employees.
While I generally discount everything from InfoWars, this article reproduces  some of Tweets:
@realDonaldTrump the most dangerous entry to this country was the orange fascist we let into the white house
@kanyewest you should make a shirt that says, "being white is terrorism" 
Of course, she's white.
@JZarif There are many Americans protesting US govt aggression towards Iran. If our Tangerine in Chief declares war, we stand with you! 
And how she was identified shows she is an idiot, in case the Tweets from this twit were not sufficient.  6/8/17 Bloomberg Politics:
In denying Winner’s request to be released while awaiting trial, Epps also cited her journal which federal agents found during a search of her Augusta home. She allegedly expressed support in her writings for Taliban leaders and Osama bin Laden as well as proclaiming she wanted to burn down the White House.
“She seems to have a fascination with the Middle East and Islamic terrorism," Epps said. He quoted her as having written: “It’s a Christlike vision to have a fundamentalist Islamic state.”
More evidence progressive hatred of the U.S. exceeds their own self-interest. Does she really think Islamic extremists are going to let a woman have any occupation other than wife or sex slave?

6/8/17 New York Post:
Prosecutors also said 25-year-old Reality Winner might try to flee the U.S. if released on bond. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Solari told the judge Winner had written in a notebook: “I want to burn the White House Down … find somewhere in Kurdistan to live. Ha-ha!”