Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Libertarian Takeover

No the Libertarians aren't taking over, just the opposite, The left has seemingly taken over the Libertarians. First we got irrefutable proof that the Lib VP knows nothing about guns but is on board with extreme regulation of them, then there's this:
“The five-shot rifle, that’s a standard military rifle; the problem is if you attach a clip to it so it can fire more shells and if you remove the pin so that it becomes an automatic weapon, and those are independent criminal offenses,” Weld said. “That is when they become, essentially a weapon of mass destruction. The problem with handguns probably is even worse than the problem of the AR15.”
Now we get this:

Gary Johnson is supporting a carbon tax. Welds position shows what you have to do to get elected Governor in Massachusetts. Johnson must have gotten a big campaign contribution from the Clinton Foundation on the expectation that the Libertarians usually draw votes from Republicans. Bet they didn't expect that the gratitude would extend to taking the Dem platform positions though.

There you have it Dems, the Libertarians are endorsing both gun control and job-killing taxes and regulation. On top of that, neither of the Libertarian candidates are currently under federal investigation.

Monday, August 22, 2016

The Art Of Persuasion

Time Magazine has an article by a social psychologist that says that liberals are somewhat more influenced by scientific research while conservatives are more influenced by their perceived  view of the mob.
“Our research shows that, in forming social judgments, both liberals and conservatives rely on consensus cues from a neutral ‘out-group,’ such as scientists, which often acts as a ‘gateway’ to shaping other key personal beliefs,” van der Linden said. “However, at the same time, a large body of social-psychological work, including our own, also finds that conservatives typically value adherence to social norms and social conformity more than liberals.”
Hence we see the liberal argument for climate change as "the science is settled" and the position for more gun control running to "95% of Americans favor stricter gun laws."

If the science were settled, no one would be doing any further research on the subject. If 90+% of Americans wanted more gun control, the legislation would get whooped through the legislatures with very little notice from the press or anyone else. Also no pol would ever lose his or her job for supporting it.

If as Scott Adams says, identity is the best persuader, the winning approach for the anti-greenies would be to paint the greens as cave-dwelling Luddites, and for us to associate the anti-gunners with the German gun control laws of 1938 and the subsequent Holocaust. Yes, I know, Godwins Law and all that, so how about Jim Crow and the Black Codes from the post civil war era. Might be a better fit as it's the same party trying to disarm its enemies now as it was then.

Raffle To Counter Bloomberg

Nevadans For State Gun Rights is raffling off an AR rifle to raise money to counter the Bloomberg- sponsored Q1 which would set up a statewide registry under the guise of universal background checks.

Nevadans For State Gun Rights is currently being outspent about 10:1 and in spite of opposition by the Governor, the Senate, and most of the Sheriffs in Nevada, the polls have it winning so click the link and give them a hand.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Drone Racing and Shooting

Went to a drone race Thursday as part of the entertainment. The little (about 9 in square) critters are fast, agile, and flown from remote seats using VR goggles. The venue was indoors at a place called the Glitter Dome which also features Roller Derby. Lighting was what you would expect from a nightclub with the volume turned up appropriately. 4 drones are raced at a time with scoring being the number of laps completed in 2 minutes. The course features aluminum pylons with moving concert lights attached, and cloth draped between the floor and ceiling in an artistic manner. The craft alternate between flying under the drapes and over them up near the ceiling. Here are 4 pilots ready to begin:

Teams are identified by color and the drones have similarly colored lights on them. As they pass by the "front straight" the infamous pedal air gun is poised to have a shot at them using "nerf" darts made from pipe insulation.
An audience member gets to pedal the gun and take as many shots as he or she can in the alloted 2 minutes. As it happened, the first shot in the first race took a drone down by hitting one of the cloth drapes and having the drone hit the dart as it was falling. This knocked a critical wire loose and grounded the drone for the duration of that heat. The rest of the evening went about as I had expected with several near misses and the drones taking themselves out by flying into the netting, the drapes, the walls, each other or whatever else was available.

In the last heat of the night the second hit on a drone happened, a good shot tagging the back side of one, giving it a bit of a speed boost but doing no damage. 2 total hits for the entire evening was about the high end of what I had expected. Both hits by the way were made by women. The audience seemed to be rooting for the gunners.

The pits looked a lot like the pits at a Critter Crunch robot fighting competition with dozens of nerds busily putting the finishing touches on their machines. Here there were a lot more laptops involved.
The indoor venue made for a very busy course with tight turns and lots of obstacles. Some of the pilots were good enough to give a trained fighter pilot cause to worry. There were cameras placed strategically around the course so there may be some You Tube video at some point showing drones racing, crashing, and getting hit by foam darts. Here's the course from a pilots POV:

 I'm seeing the next generation of fighter pilots flying from a hanger or a passenger plane a long ways from the actual battle space. The next generation of fighters will be limited only by the ultimate structural strength of the air frame.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Policy Debates

Scott Adams is doing the Lords work watching the candidates and their apologists and lawyers so we don't have to. The other night he watched the Clinton people on CNN (Clinton News Network) trying to explain away Trumps foreign policy speech. Here's the money quote from that:
I watched Clinton surrogates on CNN criticize Trump’s speech, and their criticisms were mostly these two:
1. All of Trump’s foreign policy ideas are crazy and uninformed.
2. Obama is already wisely doing all of those same things.
So vote for the crook, it's important, and click the link, RTWT and buy his book thus proving that dirty jobs can be remunerative.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Disproof First, Theory Second

Sometimes you find stuff like this, with a theory and it's disproof say in the same issue of a newspaper or even in a single editorial column. This one sets a record by publishing the disproof of a theory first and the theory second, 5 hours later. Here's the theory:

Conservatives Take Note: The Left Always 'Wins' Because They Can Disobey Laws They Don't Like

The example cited is the Mecklinburg school district although the lead picture is Hillary Clinton.

The disproof is from Pennsylvania where the states Attorney General has been busted for abusing her office to benefit her career.
‘Rising Democratic Star’ Kathleen Kane Convicted on 9 Criminal Charges
Mrs Kane was widely expected to move up to a U.S. Senate seat, but that's not happening, at least not right away. No word just yet on what she got, but I've heard that she has resigned her A.G. position.

I guess you don't get to rise above the law until you rise to some unspecified but fairly exalted position, apparently further up the food chain than State A.G. in PA but no lower than the school system administrators in N.C.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Pest Control

I bet you thought this was going to be something about shooting marauding flying monkeys or some such. Bummer dudes, it's about Japanese Beetles.

The pests are attracted by anything with a fragrance, plus anything they land on and eat as their droppings have an odor that attracts more of them. First part of summer, the raspberries were protected by the Linden tree whose flowers attracted the beetles. It also appeared that eating linden flowers was bad for the bugs.

One of the neighborhood gardeners on the next block has chickens who think Japanese Beetles are a form of candy. He put the bait portion of a beetle trap into the top of a piece of PVC pipe, and hung it so the bottom ended at a partially covered tin pan. The beetles fly to the bait, fall down the pipe and  hit the tin pan with a "plink" . The pan is located in the chicken coop. It never requires any cleaning.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Cooking The Books

BLS statistics frequently get revised as the complete data don't show up until after the reporting time frame. Quarterly growth rates are usually revised downward a point or two, but this is some sort of record:
Bureau of Labor Statistics yesterday reported a massive downward revision of the 1Q 2016 YoY real wage growth from +4.2% to -0.4% (a 4.6% swing).
This to lead into our seventh consecutive Summer Of Recovery from the Bush Recession.

I sure Hope this Changes pretty soon.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Bumper Sticker

A blow for truth in advertising and just to show you that I don't just favor Great Cthulhu:
Maybe if I added the H and arrow logo as the crossbar...

Print some of these out and offer them to your liberal friends.

Smart, Dumb, Lazy, Industrious

To get a PhD you have to write a thesis. To keep your job as a professor, you have to keep writing those things although once you get tenure it seems like you no longer have to defend them. Here's one that suggests that there's an inverse correlation between physical activity and intelligence. While it's true that there are a lot of jobs out there for which a strong back and a weak mind will qualify you, is it not also true that a sewing machine operator expends about the same energy as a desk jockey with a fancier desk.

" The researchers, led by Todd McElroy, then selected 30 'thinkers' and 30 'non-thinkers' from the pool of candidates. Over the next seven days both groups wore a device on their wrist which tracked their movements and activity levels, providing a constant stream of data on how physically active they were. Results showed the thinking group were far less active during the week than the non-thinkers.

Proving that people with desk jobs are somehow smarter than people with hammers or shovels. I think he's got it exactly backwards. Civilizations greatest advances were invented by inherently lazy people looking for some way to produce wealth without producing a commensurate amount of sweat. Being lazy is not a sign of high intelligence, everybody's lazy. Being smart allows you to be lazy without adversely affecting your economic status.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Drone Racing

That's right. Those Funkin Drones will be putting on an indoor drone race August 18th at the Glitter Dome. The exact details are still being worked out so if you want to race, you need to contact them. Details at the link. The event see

Glitter Dome
3600 Wynkoop St,
Denver, CO 80216

Extra added attraction: Some spectators will be allowed to use the infamous Pedal Air Gun, showcased on earlier pages here to launch Nerf darts at the passing aircraft. The race course will be enclosed inside of netting and the Pedal Gun barrel will be poked through the mesh. During a 2 minute heat, a quick person with a bit of assistance in loading should be able to get 4 shots off. My Nerf darts are 2 inches in diameter and 12 inches long. I judge it unlikely in the event of a hit that any craft would be more than moderately inconvenienced, but think of the entertainment value.

Live music and beer seem to be on the card as well so I'd recommend tucking some ear plugs into your shirt pocket, just in case ya know?


With Dr. Amiris execution we now know that the Iranians have a copy of Hillarys e-mails. I'm guessing that the $400mil the prez gave them was not just for 4 hostages, but to insure that the e-mails wouldn't get released before the elections.

Which makes me wonder how much Hill will need to give them to keep them un-released after she gets into the white house.

Voting - My Way

I figured this out some time back, and have passed it on to whomever asks how to vote.

1. Vote the incumbents out.

2. Vote to NOT retain any judges.

3. Vote NO on all the questions.

As Robert Heinlein said, voting is an important duty of a citizen and the citizen owes it to his country/state/locality to study the candidates and issues and vote intelligently. This requires some effort on the part of the voter so it is seldom done. Plan B was to find some well meaning fool, ask what he/she plans to do, then do the opposite.

Here's plan C which requires essentially no effort and which will seldom leave you with any regrets over the results. Of course plan C is a tacit admission that you didn't do your homework and your opinion on anything political is essentially worthless, but you don't have to admit in public that you had no idea what to do in the voting booth. Hardly anyone ever does.

1. There could be some down sides to this, for example a good incumbent might get undeservedly voted out. Quit laughing, it could happen.

2. A good judge could be voted out and would be replaced by the moron you voted for in step 1. This is pretty unlikely as judges are seldom voted out except as an afterthought to a conviction.

3. A ballot question/referendum/amendment might be asking for something besides more money, say the repeal of an unpopular law. Be careful. Laws are unpopular with people who have enough money to sponsor ballot questions usually because they limit the graft they can get or favors they can buy.

Not foolproof, but generally safe.

Rifle Match

The club tried out something new last weekend, a rifle match held under USPSA rules*. 5 stages involving moving and shooting, mostly standing and unsupported. Ranges ran from 3 yd out to 200. A close stage ran 3 to 50 yards with varying amounts of moving involved. Stage 4 ran from 10 yards out to 7 12" gongs at 100 yards. Stage 4 was a snipers stage, with 2 cardboard targets visible from each of 4 positions, and 2 more visible from position 3, 10-25 yards out. At each stage after shooting the cardboard, you had to finish out by shooting each of 3 14" gongs at the 200 yard mark. Given time and a bipod I could have done this, but with a timer running, a total time limit for the stage, limited gun support and exhaustion, I only got 3 hits out of 15 possible.

Only 1 or 2 people on my squad actually got those gongs as from position 2 for example they were behind the weeds. Very challenging. Generally conceded to be perhaps a bit too challenging.

This was a test match to see what worked and what didn't. In general, target positions from 30 to 100 yards worked. Stages that involved lots of movement also worked. Stages that involved movement strategy were popular as well.

Most people were using a 4x scout scope. Took us a stage or two to remember that at distances under 20 yards, if you want to get the A-zone head hits you have to put the horizontal line right at the top edge of the head. Two of us were using PCCs which means we have to keep in mind the arc trajectory. 3 in over at 50-75, 12-14" under at 200. The Hi Point ran flawlessly though the scope mount proved to have loosened up on stage 4. The Glock carbine conversion shot well but had feeding problems later traced to dirt in the mags. Neither of us felt that our guns put us at any great disadvantage. Well, O.K. the Hi Point could have used bigger mags and a bolt release button.

Fun stuff.

*USPSA: Rules? we doan' need no steenkin' rules. Rules is for IDPA.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Cargo Shorts

Yesterdays WSJ had an article in their Style section denouncing cargo shorts as a huge fashon faux pas and pretty much defending wives who don't want to be seen with men who wear them, including their husbands.

Sears currently has Lees cargo shorts on sale, reg $50, now $21. Where else can you get shorts with 2 mag pockets on one side and a camera/phone pocket on the other, right from the retailer without even a mention of the word "tactical" which would drive the price back to $75.