Thursday, January 23, 2020

Tomorrows News Today!

Riffing off the news that Washington is considering letting people vote by phone. What could go wrong?

So the 2020 elections will be a replay of 2016 with Trump winning the electoral college by a lop-sided margin while the popular vote will run Trump: 67M, Clinton 1.6Bn, with 1.54Bn of those votes coming from Washington.

 Mrs Clinton becomes the Dem party nominee when original nominee, Bernie Sanders, commits suicide by shooting himself twice in the head, and leaving the nomination to Mrs Clinton in the suicide note found pinned to his body.

This news from the Potsylvanian News Agency. Our motto: Tomorrows News Today!

Thursday, January 16, 2020

New Gun

Sort of. 9 years ago I got one of the  first Hi Point 4095 carbines to hit the market. I've been shooting the dickens out of it since to the point of using it exclusively for IDPA competitions to the tune of around 1000 rounds a year. December of last year it had a failure that the factory opined was probably terminal so I sent it back via Triple J Armory in Littleton.

Had rather a crush Tuesday with the new gun arriving around noon and the club having a scheduled match that evening. The shop had to log it into their inventory, me arriving at 2:30, and the BC and all taking to 3:30. I showed up with the red dot and the rest of the match gear and left the shop directly for the match with the parts in bags and boxes.

Arrive at ARPC at 4:15, assemble the gun with the sight, set up a target and get the sight more or less dialed in. It adjusts with an allen wrench and all I had was one that was pretty close to the right size. Hard to feel the clicks. I decided the lower group was close enough.

Helped with the stage setup and shot the thing. The gun worked great. Had one failure to feed from the brand new (really ought to take them apart and clean them before use) magazine, and one brain fart loading the wrong mag for the stage and coming up 1 round short (5 down). Finished the match in 4th overall but the fellow who finished 3rd was some 20 points ahead of me so the -5 didn't hurt my standing any.

From the look of those groups, the new gun is noticeably tighter than the old one so any complaints I had about looseness before can now be safely disregarded.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Bloomberg Program I Can Support

What? I hear you howl. Well yes. He has stated that he's willing to spend all of his not inconsiderable money to try to get rid of Trump. Fine then, as I think his odds of success are sufficiently small as not to worry me. If he bankrupts himself, he'll have nothing left over for his idiotic anti-gun crusade, so win-win, no?

Friday, January 10, 2020

Prescient Software

In a demonstration of some facial recognition software for the City of Denver, the software identified 9 of the 13 members as registered sex offenders. Opponents of the use of the software say this should end any consideration of its use, but knowing that the city council has been screwing their constituents for years while managing to remain, for the most part, unarrested, I'd have to say the software was better than advertised, and classify it as "Prescient" rather than inaccurate.

Science Marches Onward - Gene Editing

Here is a link to an article in the New York Times on the state of the art in genetics that's lengthy, but well worth reading.
Imagine you could make a genetically transmitted trait super-dominant. The example here was to make all offspring of a batch of mosquitoes male. How long before the entire colony is wiped out? The answer is not very long if the bug is a fast-reproducing type, but in any case extinction will happen eventually since the trait is always passed along. Super-dominant, see?

The researcher is looking at the malaria-carrying mosquito as that is a clear and present threat. The opposition to wiping the little bugger out is irrational, but surprisingly strong. It seems to be coming from the same sort of anti-vaxers who travel from village to village in Pakistan, checking all the children and cutting off any arms that show signs of a smallpox vaccination.

Virginia Gun Laws

Here's an excerpt from a newsletter I get describing a proposed law restricting the kinds of ammunition you will be permitted to have in Virginia:
Delegate Levine has also introduced HB 899, which would ban the possession and use of “restricted firearm ammunition” in the state, and makes it a felony to own any ammunition that meets the following criteria:

(i) Teflon coated or coated with a similar product;(ii) commonly known as “KTW” bullets or “French Arcanes”; or(iii) cartridges containing bullets coated with a plastic substance with other than lead or lead alloy cores, jacketed bullets with other than lead or lead alloy cores, or cartridges of which the bullet itself is wholly composed of a metal or metal alloy other than lead, but the definition does not include shotgun shells or solid plastic bullets.
So you would be allowed only lead bullets. Next up is banning lead I suppose. Note that the all-copper slugs are already banned.

A handful of billionaires have figured out how to game the system to their own benefit and are making the most of the knowledge. First off you don't have to fund every Democrat in a state. Most of them have safe districts and would get re-elected if they came out in favor of cannibalism. Identify the close races and concentrate the funding there. It's cheaper to buy 2 or 3 seats than to try to buy the whole party.

Second, keep your people in line. Make sure they understand that if they get out of line, primary races cost comparatively little and they can be replaced very easily that way. Again in most districts the incumbent party has a huge advantage.

Third, know that over reaching can cost you some seats, but unsurprisingly not very many. See note 1 above. Timing is everything. Take the trifecta in a year ending in 0 and you get to draw the district lines in time for the next 5 elections, by the end of which opposition parties will be safely banned.

This will get the left safely entrenched. The next problem is staying there. If over reach is limited, they are probably safe for 20-30 years or more as witness Illinois, California, or New York, pretty much no matter how bad it gets. Keep in mind however the adage about leftism that it's easy to vote yourself into it but you must shoot your way out of it. Ex: Cuba, Venezuela. OK eastern Europe got out without shooting, but it took about 60 years and required the collapse of the parent government first.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Projects - Scooter Chair

At this point I'm ready to call this one done. All the elements are in place and about as neatly as I care to make them given that I have no plans to use this thing for transportation.
Hop on, hook up, take off.
Fairly simple to use, and not that hard to make now that I've made all the mistakes on this one. It's entered in a contest for assistive devices at which is now over. No bikini girls with oversized checks have shown up at my door yet but I think if I'd won I'd have heard by now. Oh well.

I guess I'll see if I can find a wheelchair user who wants to try this out and let them have it for a while. There's a Northern Colorado Maker Faire coming up in March in Longmont and I'll have it there.

UPDATE: Oh wait! voting is still open till the end of today it would seem. Hope springs eternal!

Prosperity Comes, Prosperity Goes

The Wall St Journal today has a lead editorial (paywall) describing how, in addition to population shifts from one state to another, the bigger story may well be the shift in state GDP that moves along with it. It doesn't move directly with the population of course, if one rich entrepreneur moves out of a state and takes his business with him, it has a much greater effect on the states economy that having several hundred "refugees" with no notable talents beyond an ability to apply for assistance and vote Democratic.

Shining examples of how not to do it include the usual suspects, California and New York, with special mention of the way population flows reversed in Connecticut after they established an income tax, and then raised it annually to one of the highest on the east coast.

Mentioned on the other end as a net gainer, is Colorado, where I live. We've seen a modest increase in state GDP over the last few years as disgruntled Californians and Chicagoan's move here to escape the taxes and regulation that have made their former home states such garden spots. A word of warning to any more who might be considering the move: The legislature this year has several taxation bills on offer that would eliminate our TABOR law which allows the taxpayers a veto over taxation proposals and establishes a modest 4.2% state income tax rate.

The problem with TABOR is that the now democratic-controlled legislature has a lot of splendid and worthwhile projects they would like to impose on us, and has discovered that the state cash cows are not providing enough milk to fund them. At the same time, there is a strong party-based movement to penalize charter schools as they seem to have a way of making the public schools look bad. The solution to all these problems is: Higher Taxes and no accountability. The legislature has some 30 proposals slated for the upcoming ballot which would abolish Tabor, make the income tax progressive, drive the oil and gas industry (5.6%* of the states economy) out of the state, and impose crushing burdens on the charter schools. Oh and did I mention, give Colorado's electoral college votes to California and New York?

Locally the powers that be in Denver and some of the surrounding towns are trying to make themselves more tolerant of the homeless. We all know how that worked out in L.A. and Portland. It's heading that way here with 2 or 3 panhandlers on every significant surface intersection in town.

Colorado look like a nice place to move to? Don't worry, by the end of 2020, if the legislature gets its way, it will be just as desirable as California or Chicago.

*Revised down. real numbers seem to be hard to come by and if you want a second opinion, that's easy as 6 or 7 will pop up on any search.

Monday, January 6, 2020

NICS Checks - A Record

Although December checks did not top the 2015 level set following the San Bernadino shootings, The happening of note was that NICS checks exceeded 2,000,000 every single month of this year. Decembers total of 2,936,894 is now the second highest ever.
Buy guns and ammo. They may soon come in handy. I'll put in a plug for my friends at Lucky Gunner for the ammo. Guns, I'm constantly assured, can be found lying in the streets, stalking the innocent with evil intent.

Saturday, January 4, 2020

QOTD - The Twenties

From Peggy Noonans column in todays Wall St Journal:

The past decade saw the rise of the woke progressives who dictate what words can be said and ideas held, thus poisoning and paralyzing American humor, drama, entertainment, culture and journalism. In the coming 10 years someone will effectively stand up to them. They are the most hated people in America, and their entire program is accusation: you are racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic; you are a bigot, a villain, a white male, a patriarchal misogynist, your day is over. They never have a second move. Bow to them, as most do, and they’ll accuse you even more of newly imagined sins. They claim to be vulnerable victims, and moral. Actually they’re not. They’re mean and seek to kill, and like all bullies are cowards.
Everyone with an honest mind hates them. Someone will finally move effectively against them. Who? How? That will be a story of the ’20s, and a good one.
It's behind a paywall but if you can get there, the whole thing is worth the effort. I would remind the woke progressives I come in contact with that professional help is available even though some percentage of it will simply affirm their world view.

Friday, January 3, 2020

Trumps Benghazi

Now this is how it's supposed to be done:

From what I've been seeing, there were 7 dead and 2 arrested for the day:

Sulemani - 2-star general of Quds, #2 or 3 in all Iran
Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis - "The engineer" deputy chief of Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Forces)
Nurn Qasm - #2 man with Lebanon Hezbola
Redha al-Jubri - Head of protocol for Popular Mobilization Forces, Iranian sponsored militia in Iraq

Arrested the same day, 2 high functionaries with the Iranian presence in Iraq.

Quais al-Khazali - As head of the Special Groups, Khazali directed arms smuggling, formation of death squads to participate in sectarian violence, kidnappings, and assassinations, most notably the January 20, 2007 attack on American forces in Karbala.
Hadi al Ameri - the reported leader and secretary general of the Badr Organization, an Iranian-sponsored Shiite militia and political party based in Iraq.
 “One of [al-Amiri’s] preferred methods of killing allegedly involved using a power drill to pierce the skulls of his adversaries.”

The remaining 3 were likely chauffeurs and/or aides to the above.

All in all this looks like a huge win for Trump and Iraq. One hopes the 2 arrested are somewhere remote and quiet where they are filling our people in on the latest news from Tehran.

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Fun With Headlines In The New Year – Iran

Found on Strategypage, this article looking at how the world is and speculating on how it might be

I found the bits on Iran to be interesting in light of their recent adventurism in Iraq. President Rouhani says Iran never bows to superpowers but their history tells a different, and much longer story.

From Strategypage this:
First there is Iran, which has been a regional superpower for thousands of years but fell on hard times after the 7th century because of a succession of damaging visits by invaders. First came conquest by the Arab revival (the initial wars of conquest by newly converted Moslem Arabs). This was humiliating because Persians never thought such a thing possible. That was followed by a devastating visit by the Mongols (1219-1221) after which came a series of exhausting wars with the Ottoman Turks and finally the Western nations and all their new tech and ideas.

The protests in Iran which have reportedly resulted in over 1500 deaths by the regime include some interesting demands by the protesters who are acutely tired of the Islamic dictatorship and are proposing some interesting changes:
Even more disturbing was that some of the protesters are calling for Islam to be banned and replaced with something else, like Zoroastrianism, the ancient Persian religion that Islam replaced, violently and sometimes incompletely in the 7th and 8th centuries.

Replacing Islam with almost anything would be a big help to Iran or anyone else. RTWT, mainly the first link. It's lengthy but covers most of the world and in a lot more detail than you get from CNN for sure.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

New Shooter

Took my daughters fiancee out shooting today. He's a newbie having never fired a gun before. Started out with the .22 rifle
Which he took to easily
Nice groups, no?
We worked our way through my collection of handguns up to the .357 mag
which he liked using the .38 ammo. And a good time was had by all.

Monday, December 30, 2019

New York Approach To Crime?

Here is a couple of approaches which should work well together: First make bail proportionate to your ability to pay. Thus if you are an otherwise destitute criminal, and you get caught committing a crime, you'll be released on your own recognizance the same day so you can quickly get back to work.

Second up is a law that makes information on anyone who calls 911 available to the defense attorney for the criminal who was caught doing something naughty. Thus the criminal will have the name, phone number, and home address of whomever called 911 and ratted him or her out. This should help immeasurably in putting together a strong defense a la H. Clinton. If you can't find the witness, you won't get convicted.

Sounds delightful.