Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Mayors Against Illegal Guns, 2

I read this stuff so you don't have to. At least if you're as lazy as I am. Executive summary, based on an admittedly quick perusal:

First 4 or 5 pages is the literary equivalent of the fanfare of trumpets and shouting of heralds when some self-important blowhard enters the room.

Next 25 pages is a long sad whine explaining how much better off we would doubtless be if only the BATFE were given a paltry 1 or 2 hundred million more dollars so they could afford to buy more jackboots and hire more thugs. Think of the extra jobs this would save or create. Includes the usual half-truths, bogus surveys and outright lies.

Pages 32 through 55 are footnotes. If you think this is a lot of footnotes, you're right. Footnotes are a wonderful place to put bogus references to support your thesis in the main body, since no one but lawyers gets engrossed with footnotes.

Most of what they propose has been proposed before, just not all at once in one document. The biggest reason most of it is not implemented is lack of enforcement funding. Very little of this requires any legislative effort, which is what makes it scary. Folks, do everyone a favor when you write your representatives in Washington. Include at the bottom of every petition a post script. Here's an example:

Hon Senator Jack S. Phogbottom:

I write you today to urge your support for the Mothers, Widows, Orphans, and Apple Pie enabling act of 2010. This legislation is of paramount importance to the continued existence of the country, blah, blah, blah.

Yours truly
Joe Sixpack

P.S. Please cut off all funding to, and abolish the BATFE, or else expect to have to find an honest job after the upcoming election.

Lasers and Railguns

Two topics near to my heart, the military forges onward, developing a laser almost as good as its tracking system, capable of hitting small, fast-moving targets at short distances.

Railguns are fun in that almost anybody with the inclination can build one at home, although probably nowhere near as powerful as the ones the Navy is playing with. It's hard to guess the cal;iber of the one in the video, but they're claiming to have gotten 8200+ fps out of it.

For comparison, pistols deliver about 1000 fps, rifles range from 2500 to 3300 fps, and yes, I know some are notably faster. Rifle bullets, however, start coming apart from the stresses at speeds over 4000 fps.

To whet your appetite, they also say that the 8200 fps figure was obtained at 1/3 the maximum power setting. The downside to these things is that the rails take a large amount of damage every time the gun is fired. Sort of like driving a fuel rail dragster to work. Great fun, for a little while.

Have no fear, both systems will rapidly get better. I guarantee it.

Mayors Against Illegal Guns

MAIG is Mayor Bloombergs personal hobby horse. It is rabidly anti gun. It has skilled people to propose the methodology without having to involve weak-minded politicians who have to actually run for their offices instead of simply dropping a couple hundred million of their own money into a campaign and, in effect buying it.

It has been known to invoke the membership, sometimes without informing the membership first, and sometimes without informing the members that they are members, apparently by inheriting the membership card from a predecessor.

Colorado has only one member mayor.

John Hickenlooper, of Denver.

Bet you didn't think he was that rabidly anti-gun. I bet even he didn't know he was that rabidly anti-gun.

Feel free to drop him a line and encourage him to resign the group. Be polite. Be professional. If you get a form letter back telling you how good he thinks MAIG is, then send him one telling him what a scumbag he is, but not until, OK?

Monday, December 28, 2009

Star Formation

Something to think about. Solar systems are created when the debris, dust, and cosmic dust bunnies in some area of space fall together. We expect solar systems to be anchored by a sun, but it is just as likely that the dust ball prove to be on the small size and create a sub-sol system, anchored by a large entity like Jupiter, with "planets" ranging from pretty good sized down to ring structures.

Being small, these sub-suns would have little or no thermal signature, making them the potholes along the interstellar space ways. Admittedly the odds of your proto-Enterprise, while making a test run to the Centauri system, hitting one of these is vanishingly small, remember that Murphy never sleeps. Brown dwarf stars would be at the upper end of this group.

The odds of anyone finding the wreckage is equally small.

I suppose some budding astronomer could get his PhD by actually finding one of these, although I'm not sure exactly how. Some budding Science-Fiction writer could probably parley this into a novel, with the low-key sub-solar system being the location for some evil genius' base or something.

This post brought to you by inspiration from XKCD, which sometimes diverges from geeky humor to geeky science.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Red Dot Sights

Greg of the Colo RKBA newsletter included a bit on the use of red dots in his newsletter:

"Red-dot, non-magnifying, optical sights (particularly the Aimpoint T1) changes the game much more than I ever imagined! With 'normal' shooting positions, their value is seldom truly realized. It is in the roll-over-prone position, shooting support-side shoulder, around cover, in low light, when you're out of breath, that they really shine! Improvised positions, particularly around cover and obstacles, do not lend themselves well to tediously aligning front and rear sights. Being able to simply '(1) put the thing
(2) on the thing, and (3) pull the thing' magnificently simplifies achieving consistent hits."
To which I would like to add my $.02. I got a Barska 30mm job
for about $20 and mounted it successively onto several of my guns, including pistols.
What I found was that with the tubular units, since you can't see the front sight, sometimes getting the pistol on target takes a bit longer as you wave the gun about trying to find the dot. With practice, however, you learn to get the gun pointed correctly automatically so that when you look through the tube, there the dot is, and when you take the sight off and go back to iron sights, you get on target faster as the pointing is now much more automatic.

And A Happy New Year

There's playing with the new Christmas toys, then there's Really Having Fun with the new Christmas toys.

Also nice training video for all you wannabe A-10 pilots.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

A Pack, Not A Herd

The NW253 saga comes to something of an end, with the perp in custody, and several of his associates also being held and questioned. Details of the event here and here.

As Boris Badenov says, "I love story weeth happy eending!".

The passengers swarmed the wannabe shoe bomber and subdued him for the authorities on arrival. Frankly I thing the only proper ending is the pilot calling the destination airport to request a "wet cleanup on aisle one".

Congratulations and Merry Christmas to the passengers, and here's hoping Abdul the Bul-Bul gets plenty of swimming lessons at Gitmo.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

Hope all of you got what you had in mind, with all the right accessories.
A properly manly tool, no? There's more of this at Free Market Fairy Tales. The vacuum is particularly appealing as D'wife hates having to push hers, and has trouble emptying the bag and then properly re-assembling the thing. With this one, the dirt catcher looks big enough that I'll only have to empty it once a year.

Gun Law: Making It Up As You Go Along

Clayton Cramer is preparing a book on 2A court rulings and is rather appalled at what he finds so far.

It isn't at all unusual to find cases that cite one set of decisions to prove that there is no right to concealed carry, and another set of decisions to prove that their is no right to open carry--with no awareness that the "no right to concealed carry" decisions often directly say that concealed carry can be prohibited only if open carry is allowed (or vice versa).
Gee, judges making the precedent up to suit themselves, or possibly the politicians who got them their judgeship's in the first place. Who'd-a thunk it?

Puts me in mind of a Will Rogers quote: "We revere the hell out of judges. No matter how crooked."

Thursday, December 24, 2009


Or possibly the lack of same.

I remember thinking, back in October when the press breathlessly announced that the economy was growing at 3.5%, that I wasn't seeing much evidence of this. I mean, shouldn't there have been an uptick in help wanted ads?

Sailor Curt found a fellow who thought the same thing, and was skilled enough to do some serious looking at the economy at the time, and he didn't find anything either. The number has since been revised down twice, and the official word is that the economy only grew at 2.2% in the 3rd quarter.

Better than nothing, though, right? Well maybe not. Karl Denninger is unknown to me, so his opinion carries as much weight as mine right now, but it may well turn out that he's an economic boffin of the first order. In any case, he appears to have done his homework, and continued to keep an eye on the official heralds of the government.

Here, for example, he notes that in the GDP report, it turns out that government growth was 8% in an industry that makes up 30% of the economy. This means that government contribution was 2.4% for the 3rd quarter, and the rest of the economy was down .2%, which is more in keeping with my own observations and reports on the gun shows.

Health Control

We all know it's not really about any kind of "care" now, don't we? Anyway I wrote my Senators on the topic, politely and diplomatically suggesting that voting for this bill might have side effects, such as unemployment, tomatoes, and possibly even tar and feathers. I may have used too much nuance, as they both voted for it.

I got canned reply from both of them, and a somewhat more elaborate second reply from Sen Udall, the senior senator. Bennett hasn't gotten all his canned replies printed up yet, as junior senators have to wait at the copier until the senior senators lackys are done.

I wrote Sen Udall back:

Dear Sen. Udall:

Thank you for your Christmas wishes. May your Christmas be a happy one too.

Sen Reid has mentioned that the Health Control bill contained something for every Senator in the Senate, and it would speak poorly of any Senator who didn't get anything for his vote.

Since you voted for the bill, may I ask what you got for Colorado. Sen Nelson got some 50 million a year in perpetuity, making Sen Landreau look like a piker with a $300M one time donation. I hope your efforts were in the "solid B+" category.

I'm like a kid a Christmas, shoveling my way through that huge pile of manure, secure in the belief that there's a pony under there somewhere, right Mo.

What Do You Know?

This ought to be the qualifier to see if you get to vote. Yes, I know, it discriminates against people who can't read, can't speak English, yada, yada.

I got 11/12.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

He Knows If You've Been Naughty..

He knows if you've been nice.

And he's out of patience with you naughty varmints, so, as the song goes;"Sleep with one eye open..."

Christmas Gift Ideas

Some of your favorite vices may, in fact, be good for you. Many of them make great stocking stuffers too.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Guns and Crime

The FBI is reporting that violent crime, especially murder is down 10% this year. You suppose that this
could have had anything to do with it? 2009 number is extrapolated from 11 reported months.

Is There Nothing This Man Can't Do?

After accomplishing the seemingly impossible, in making Jimmy Carter look good by comparison, O'Bama has surpassed all expectations once again.

After 8 years of incessant hammering by the press, Bushes approval/disapproval numbers were at 29/43. Today, after only 11 months of fawning adulation by the press, O'bama is holding down approval/disapproval numbers of 25/46.
Now I ask you: Who would have thought he could have done it?

Monday, December 21, 2009

Call Of Cthulhu

Just what you need to get you through the coming Ice Age, AKA winter of '09-10.
I like Lovecraft, I'm just not sure I like him that much. Still, imagine this under a motorcycle helmet, blasting down the road, leaving people in your wake wondering why the crazy old coot on the bike dyed his beard green.

Get one here, or tell someone you know who knits to get busy.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Health Care Prize

Ben Nelson (D-NE) has famously sold out for a promise to Nebraska that the Fed.gov (you and me) would pick up the states Medicare bills, in light of the anticipated increase in Medicare costs resulting from the Health Control Bill. Initial commentary suggests that NE is paying out about $45M/yr to cover this at present.

The agreement extends to perpetuity.

NE has a population of about 1.7M, of which those over 65 are currently eligible for Medicare. Looking at age distributions:

It looks as though about 6.1% of the population are currently eligible. Under the new health bill, the eligibility age goes down to 50, which makes the eligible population jump to about 13.5%. Lessee, 13.5 divided by 6.1, times 45 M equals 99.5M.

In 3 years, Nelson will have equaled the bribe given to Mary Landreau (D-Big Easy). 4 other states have reportedly gotten similar deals, including Vermont, Florida, Louisiana, and Montana. Our wet-behind-the-ears Senators have gotten us nothing, so in addition to the upcoming state tax increase, we get to pay other states bills.

The above numbers suggest that Colorado, with a population of 5M needs about 132M to cover Medicare now, and will need an additional 160M shortly to cover the additional demand.

Say, Gov Romer, how's that budget coming?

Disclaimer: Size of Sen Nelsons bribe extracted from news reports, most of which agree. Population data is from U.S.Census dept, which is not yet a subsidiary of ACORN. Calculations were done on a TI calculator, and are guaranteed to be at least as good as measuring tree rings.

Saturday, December 19, 2009


At this late date, it is becoming increasingly apparent to me that the health care bill is a done deal. Any remaining Senators with "deep philosophical objections" to anything in or out of it, are simply holding out for a bigger bribe. Bribes will be apportioned according to seniority in whatever quantity the Distinguished personages want, and the cloture vote will be 60-40, on strict party lines. (1)

Following this, some minimal debate will be allowed, with Dems splitting into two camps, the larger one pointing out the crying need for government health control (care will be an afterthought), and the smaller one demanding some sort of changes to be added. Republicans will also split into two camps, generally along the same thought processes, with the RINOs crying that they could not only write a smaller bill, but could be better trusted to manage the nations health, and the larger group, coming down against the whole thing.

In the end, all the Republicans will vote against, and Harry will allow the "Blue Dogs" that can possibly be saved in the upcoming elections to vote against, but only enough that the bill passes by two votes or so. A masterpiece of Kabuki theater.

The bill then goes to conference committee, from which Republicans will be effectively excluded, and everything taken out will be put back in. The House will approve this, with selected members permitted to vote against in order to preserve their jobs(2), and the Dear Leader will sign it.

That's what my crystal ball says.

(1) Anyone care to make side bets as to weather the promised bribes are actually delivered or deliverable?

(2) See Wayne LaPetomaine.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Controling The Internet

The Devil is reporting that Parliament in England is currently considering legislation which would allow the British Secretary of State to control use of the internet by speeding up, slowing down, or cutting off the internet service of anybody, for any reason, or even pretty much no reason at all.
(1) The Secretary of State may at any time by order impose a technical obligation on internet service providers if the Secretary of State considers it appropriate in view of—
A technical obligation is, as mentioned above, speeding up, slowing down, or shutting off. This sort of thing could easily be copied here, substituting the DHS for the SoS, who, in England, serves a different function from the SoS here.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Grading On The Curve

O'bama has rated his first 11 months in office a solid B+. Oddly, Tiger Woods had the same rating for his marriage.

For myself, I rated my first year in college a solid A. Unfortunately the faculty had other opinions and I wound up doing four years in the Air Force. The (paid!) vacation was helpful. I did much better afterword.

Roach Guns

For when a mouse gun is overkill:
Real Guns has the complete skinny on this.

Interestingly, they also have a calculator that suggests a rifling rate based on length and diameter of your bullet. For grins, I ran my 2-1/2 bore guns through it and am informed that 1 turn in about 150-180 inches will do the trick. That works out to about 45 degrees of twist over the 23 inches of the barrel.

Grenades Are Safe

So says the Army. Unfortunately, they mean this only in an ecological sense, so the advice that "Once the pin has been pulled, Mr. Grenade is no longer your friend!" holds true. Still, it's a step in the right direction.

Any day now I'll be expecting to find grenades available at the gun show, along with the rocket launchers and automatic weapons. No questions asked.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Getting Married

Not me, having been married for some time now*, but I wish I could have had this topper on a cake at my wedding:
It summarizes everything I hoped a marriage would turn out to be. A couple competently covering each others backs.

Actually, at the time I was probably thinking of Conan and Red Sonja. In retrospect, I would have made a better Bond in a tux than a Conan in a fur Speedo.

There's a whole collection of unconventional toppers here.

*January 1st will be 30 years. Seems like forever. Oh wait...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Star Wars

Yeah! Duck you suckas!

Sign of the Times

Two days ago, people lined up in Colorado Springs before sunrise, in bitter cold, to get a place in the next line to have Sarah Palin sign their copy of her book. The mall owner let them in out of the cold.

The bookstore could have helped by providing a burn barrel into which the people could toss remaindered copies of Earth In The Balance to try to keep warm. A singularly good use for it.

Is there an editorial cartoonist in the house?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Medical Marijuana and the Great Experiment

We in Colorado now have a chance to perform two of the great un-run experiments of all time. Medical Marijuana is now legal, and for the most part, unregulated. The Dems are proposing vast new fields of regulation covering the stuff, so we'll soon see if, with government help, even dope dealers regularly go broke.

Secondly, we get to test the hypotheses that if drugs were legalized, the Libertarian party would never be heard from again.

The challenge facing the Donks currently running the state is to keep the jackboot of regulation planted firmly enough that nobody dealing pot makes any money, while at the same time, making enough of it available to eliminate one of their staunchest enemies.

Now taking bets.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Global Warming

Now here's a problem well on its way to solving itself. At the rate the winter is progressing, by January, the white crystals falling out of the sky will be CO2. All that will remain is to hire one illegal alien to shovel it into a city truck, and give raises to the guy with the "slow" sign, the truck driver, and an intern to take notes on how many shovels full of CO2 it takes to fill a city truck.

Also raises will go to a county clerical type to agglomerate the data together, a state-level wonk to massage the numbers, and a director-level personage to present the power point presentation to the feds showing how many jobs were "saved or created" in the prevention of global warming, and the stimulus money spigots will be wide open.

Oh yes, did I forget to include the guys at the landfill who will be covering the crystals up? Bonus! I bet that comes to 100-150 jobs per county times 85 counties, one per congressional district. Do the math, and don't forget the fudge factors, and you've got 850,000 new jobs here in Colorado alone.

As an extra added bonus, the CO2 removed from the atmosphere will stop the evil warming in its tracks, keeping temperatures this low all year round, which means: permanent employment for all. I tell you it doesn't get any better that this.

CSU Gun Ban

The board of governors at CSU has voted to ban guns in any form from the campus. I am informed by a friend with a Law Degree that this is equivalent to a local mayor ordaining a municipal assault weapons ban in the face of a state preemption law.

A student despairingly asked what is to be done, as even though what they do is illegal, it takes a long time to correct the problem, and as we know, by the time the problem is corrected, the public has forgotten who was responsible, and the guilty parties get reelected. Is the solution to enroll at another school?

To paraphrase Margret Thatcher, while leaving town is the path of least resistance, the problem with it is that you eventually run out of other peoples towns to run to.

Gun Show Report

Worked Saturday instead of Sunday this time. Seemed to be fairly well attended, but I didn't see a huge amount of money changing hands. If you're looking for a gun, it seems like a favorable time.

Problem is that after the buying panic in the first half of the year, people are now worried about being employed in the first half of next year, and aren't buying as much. Notable observation was the large number of people carrying guns to sell. If what you're looking for seems hard to find, I'd say wait till next month, then check the pawn shops.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Engineering Math

It is widely known that engineers are good with numbers. The better you are, the more money you can expect to make in this line of work, as XKCD points out here:

A clever engineer knows how to work with the available resources.

And of course, by the time you've been in the biz for a while, you have derived, using your own calculator, the famous truth, used by statisticians the world over: 44.6% of all statistics are made up on the spot.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Copenhagen Confrence

OK, this is too good not to report. iOwn The World, among others, is noting that the mayor of Copenhagen's efforts to discourage the local sex trade has resulted in the local girls offering a freebie to anyone with the mayors postcard.

Elsewhere, which now I can't find, I saw that Brazil was sending a 700 person delegation to Copenhagen. New converts to the "green" cause, I'm sure.

Found it here.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Going Postal, Mr. Bond?

The deadline being over, the details of our special mission can now be revealed. 3 of us visited the range, just a few days after a significant snow storm to try our luck. The mud was unbelievable.

Paula and I both used a Remington Nylon 66 .22 rifle with a BSA scope
(class 6). Paulas rifle target had 26 holes in it, 1 too many. This is
my fault. I put up multiple targets, and she lost track (repeatedly) of
which one she was supposed to be aiming at.

I used a Ruger Mk 1 .22,Paula used a Ruger Mk 2, and James used his Ruger Mk 2, a newer version with a heavy barrel. I submitted the targets, and the results are here.

Looks like I won class 1, and finished a respectable 3rd with the rifle.

The Icons on the target are:
Upper Left: Blimp from View To A Kill
Lower Left: Habitat Atlantis from The Spy Who Loved Me
Center: The boat Disco Volante from Thunderball
Lower Right: Death Sphere from Moonraker
Upper Right: Lifeboat from Diamonds are Forever
Bond Girl: From the movie poster for For Your Eyes Only

Disclosure and credit: Anonymous, who posted to my blog identified 4 of
the icons, and thanks for the assist, whoever you are.

I'm not sure how this part was scored, but I got 8 tiebreaker points for those answers. Danno got 11 and Engineering Johnson got 9, so there may be some problem with my answers.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Air Guns

They come in all sizes, from BBs to pea shooters, to pumpkin-caliber units, and in varying degrees of complexity. Ready Line has one constructed by the writers nephews, who are in engineering school.

It looks complicated enough to have been made from pilfered parts from somebody's prototype FTL drive.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Workshop

The removal of the pumpkin gun from the inventory brings up the question of "What's next?".

Currently the can crusher is on the bench
The exit ports have been cut away, and some guarding has been added. It runs well now. A larger magazine feed is in order.

The 2-bore muskets are languishing in the shop. Since I got called back to work for a while, I can't work on them. Oh well, Money will get you through times of no muskets better than muskets will get you through times of no money.


Basically a silly guessing game of no import at all, but anything for a laugh. Penetrating Insights (I never heard of them either) reports that a new Obama poster is showing up in Downey, a suburb of Los Angeles.
That would be it on the right. When the middle one came out, people actually got busted for "posting bills" or whatever it's called for putting them up. Sure, it's illegal, like littering, but you seldom hear about people getting ticketed for it.

Anyway, the new one has everyone baffled as to what TWAP might possible stand for. Perhaps The Worst American President ever could enlighten us?