Tuesday, December 31, 2013


Making predictions is hard. Especially about the future.
                                                 Yogi Berra

Gun Fun - New Shooters

SIL made it to the gun show Sunday and came away with a Ruger SR-22. Eventually she plans to add an SR-9 to the collection on the premise that practice with the .22 will pretty much transfer to the 9mm. The 9 is physically a bit larger and heavier, but all the controls are in the same place so this should work well enough.

I told her to not practice dry-firing the .22 without either a plastic snap cap or a spent piece of brass in the gun to protect the firing pin. Figuring I had one rolling around in the center console of my truck, I tried to find one outside the show. I had 5 pieces ranging from 9mm to 8 ga but no .22. I asked if her gun came with a threaded barrel and she wrote back:

Yes it does. It comes with a little wrench and a black piece to thread in. We'll have to go over it together. Not sure what it's all about. Haven't had time to read the manual yet. It says not to use a cheater bar, can cause damage to the gun. Of course I know what a cheater bar is cause my brother in law taught me that years ago. haha Also enclosed was a small brown sealed envelope with a label and a signature across it. It contained a spent 22 casing. I assume for you to practice with before you try live ammo. They think of everything.
So there is a use for those things. I wrote back explaining that the NYPD or the state of Mass would want it for their collection, but otherwise she's got it right. Normally I don't encourage firearms discussions at work as the person in the next cube might get the vapors or something. I suspect the issue is overrated. SIL works for the government.
I took the manual in to show a few peeps at the office. The older grey haired lady that sits beside me nodded her approval and smiled. The red head on my other side won't like it. The deputy sheriff liked it. The most smiles came from ( her boss). He was all excited about it. He has a 45 with a kit to change caliber. Oh & I have already pinched the skin on my hand with the slide. Duh. Happy New Year & happy anniversary!*
It's her first gun and it still hasn't been fired. She's liking it.

* Five after midnight will be my 34th wedding anniversary. I used to throw some great new years parties.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Colorado Gun Law - Downstream

The Denver Pest is editorializing that Gov Chickenpooper should not only not countenance repeal of any of the gun laws passed this year, he should stand forthrightly against any modification to any of them. Period.
No, governor, there's no need to do it. There's no need to "tweak" the gun laws passed this year. Not without compelling evidence that one or more provisions are simply unworkable — and no such evidence has been produced, as far as we're concerned.
"As far as the Post is concerned", no evidence has ever been produced to contradict any of their positions.  Be that as it may, I'm in perfect agreement with their position, but for different reasons.

The laws in question have resulted in no attributable change in any crime rate, but have resulted in the recall of two Senators and the resignation of a third. Pols like to believe that the public has a short memory and nothing they do will be remembered the day after it is announced in the papers. What we have seen this year is that some of us have rather longer memories than that, and keeping those onerous laws on the books will be a constant reminder to us all the way through the '14 elections.

Sure, supporting repeal or amendment to some of them might boost the governors or some legislators chops as a "moderate" but what for? In the end the legislators will vote the way the Mayor tells them and the Governor will sign anything that lands on his desk and with his party still holding both houses he's unlikely to actually see anything the least bit moderate.

Hang in there Gov!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Gun Fun

IDPA match tomorrow, Tanner Gun Show Sunday. I'll be at the CSSA table.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Merry Christmas

Unfortunately about 20% less merry than last year. Should make for some interesting statistics in about a week.

Also those very long term unemployment benefits are about to start running out for the early adopters. Should make for some more interesting statistics over the next few months. Of course there are two possibilities here. Either we're having an economic recovery and all those folks will find jobs and unemployment will go down, or all those folks will simply give up and drop out of the labor force in which case the unemployment rate will go down.

Either way the administration looks good.

Getting Out The Vote

Effective Jan 2, 16 year olds will be able to register to vote. The authors of this new law assure us that with the states new all-mail-in system, no ballots will be sent to underage voters.

I'm sure that anyone 16 years of age on Jan 2 who has turned 18 by Nov 2 will get their ballot in the mail as reliably as getting health insurance from the government.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

The Peasants Are Revolting!

Following the Chicago town hall meeting in which Al Sharpton found the peasants to be getting restless, the Reverend Jackson attempts to address the problem by changing the subject.
“At least the bus driver, who ordered Rosa Parks to surrender her seat to a white person, was following state law,” he said in the release. “Robertson’s statements were uttered freely and openly without cover of the law, within a context of what he seemed to believe was ‘white privilege.’”
New definition for White Privilege: Saying something that Rev. Jackson disagrees with while not black.

Making statements "without cover of the law"? We need permission from the government to speak in public now?

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Alcohol Can Boost Your Immune System

It's true! It's settled science! We took a vote and all decided to have another drink.

In moderation of course. They define moderation thusly:
They define moderate as no more than four drinks on a single day and no more than 14 in a week for men. For women, it is defined as no more than three drinks on a single day and no more than seven in a week.
I must be more of a moderate than I thought  The methodology may be flawed though. Animals absorbed a vaccine more quickly when the shot of vaccine was followed by  a shot of something more palatable. I would imagine that the alcohol caused a dilation of the blood vessels which sped up the spread of the vaccine and really had no effect on the immune system.

Still, like the t-shirt says: Drink rum: It prevents scurvy and improves morale.

QOTD - Guns

“Comrade Kalashnikov will be buried in a pit of mud with full military honors,” said General-Major Saiga Molot, a spokesman for the Russian army. “After a week, we will exhume his body, clean it off, and put him back to work. We expect that there shall be no issue with his functions.”
              This. from duffelblog

 Not quite as accurate as Eugine Stoner, but all in all, more reliable. Which would you rather have buried in your back yard.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Regional Accent?

No, I don't have one at all:
That dark red area formed around Springfield MO and Topeka KS is supposedly where I'd fit right in with the natives.

Test is here on the NY Times.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Transportation - Some Things Never Change

I have been thinking of replacing the pickup with something a bit sportier for some time now, and was torn between an older Jag XK-8 and waiting for the 2014 release of the Elio. It now seems the Elio release has been pushed out to 2015 and a Jag came up on Craigs List, so here's my new ride:
Very spiff. A gazillion buttons and it didn't come with the correct manual to explain them. Jag supplies a quick cheat sheet for the most commonly used items including the A/C but it doesn't include the heater ops. Being 14 years old, it has its share of quirks. The windows go down about an inch whenever the door handles are pulled, inside or out. Makes the door easier to close, but they don't go back up again by themselves.

Brit cars used to have a lot of trouble with their electrics but Ford fired Lucas and this one was built under Ford management. The drive train doesn't leak oil either which is welcome. It does have a small oil leak however; The dome light.

Yeah I know, why is the dome light leaking oil? Well, it's a Brit thing, unless you're a fan you wouldn't understand. The joke goes that in England, a big mug of beer leaks a small amount of oil onto the bar top.

Gets good mileage though, about 22 around town and 27 on the road. Very quiet, very smooth.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Global Warming

I like global warming, it allows farmers to grow crops further north and allows me to ride my motorcycle more months of the year. Here's a chart from the Royal Observatory of Belgium:
Low times are colder, high times are warmer. NOTE: The graph has to be noticeably above 50 to qualify as high, otherwise it remains cold. The last few years for example. I'd say the next 10-15 years are going to be dismally chilly.

Note the fairly regular 11 year cycle. Note also a longer cycle somewhere in the 90 year range. I seem to remember that there are 3 cycles to this of differing lengths which sometimes add together and sometimes cancel each other out. Figure that out and you could become the next Pope Al and become fantastically rich selling snake oil.

Christmas Shopping

Strange and wonderful stuff you never knew you couldn't live without here. Make sure there isn't anything else you were going to do today before you visit.

Hickenlooper's Obamacare

Faced with unruly peasants demanding that some or all of the ill-advised gun laws passed this spring be either amended or repealed, Hick says it certainly won't happen on his watch.

The identical response the president gave when asked about any repeal efforts on his health care bill that might possibly happen in 2015 if the Republicans get lucky at the polls in '14. In Obummer's case it makes me think that either he's the most tone-deaf president we've ever had or he knows something about an NSA plan to find 10 million "lost" ballots in the trunks of abandoned cars on election night.

Hick may not be so tone deaf. Now he's making noises about being bipartisan. Letting bygones be bygones, eh? We'll see how that works out.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Transportation Law - 3 Wheelers

Elio is working to get its 3-wheel commuter classified as an auto-cycle by the feds. This would allow it to retain the advantages of being a motorcycle such as lower insurance rates, lighter weight, use of HOV lanes, etc, while dropping the requirements for the operators to wear eye protection and a helmet while driving it.

AFAIK the Elio is legally a motorcycle in all states. The problem is trying to market a car-like vehicle in which the operator would be required to wear eye protection in all states, and a helmet in most of them. Looking for an out by calling it a cycle-car or autocycle would make for better sales at the risk of having the rule-making nannies in Washington decide that  the vehicle must meet ALL the requirements, including emissions and safety that a car must. This will add about 1200 lb to the weight of the vehicle and make the engine notably more expensive.

The attempt is a risky move on Elio's part. An adverse ruling would effectively kill the company and the government is not really concerned about either safety or fuel economy but rather self preservation.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Ars gratia artis

Art for arts sake. And if this isn't art, I don't know what is.

Well, O.K. I don't, but let's not get into that shall we? Anyway here's a video of how to turn a Fire Ant mound into a piece of art worthy of any gallery, living room, or garage workbench:

And before any PETA types start banding together with the arts nobblers, spend some time getting to know Fire Ants. Up close and personal. Sit down on the ground next to one of their mounds and watch the little buggers at close quarters for at least five minutes.

Found this at the Blaze, another good informational site.

When Life hands You Lemons...

Make lemonade.

Dead tree commemorative plates:

Collect the whole set. Found here at Moonbattery, always a good read.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Solving The IRS Problem

Another day, another scandal. It's as though the white house solves all it's problems by creating a new one to draw attention from the last one. Here's something original. The IRS is proposing to eliminate the scandal of being used to target the presidents enemies by issuing new internal rules on the topic.

They propose to make it legal.

Even better, as these are internal rules, no outside approval is required. Stroke of the directors pen, end of the problem.

A benevolent dictatorship is the best form of government. Take a problem to a partisan legislature and all you get is partisan bickering. Take your problem to the dictator, and it gets solved on the spot to the greatest benefit of the greatest number.
                 Reportedly from a campaign speech by Benito Mussolini

Fun With Headlines - Drone Strikes

President Peace Prize marches onward:

Air strike kills 15 civilians in Yemen by mistake: officials

The gist of this is that the attendees were mistaken for an Al-Quaida convoy.

In that part of the world, wedding attendees all bring automatic weapons to provide the obligatory celebratory gunfire for the lucky couple. O.K. they don't normally use RPGs for that and maybe Mohammed shouldn't have brought his along, but still...

Ethanol - Timid Steps In The Right Direction

A bill has been introduced in the Senate to reduce the amount of ethanol being put into our gas tanks in the face of evidence that with gas consumption going down and the required ethanol amount going up, the available fuel will soon become toxic to the vehicles that use it.

At the same time the president, oblivious to reality, is ordering the fed.gov to increase its usage of renewable energy in all forms to 20% by 2020. No word as to where all these unicorn farts are expected to come from as for some reason the unicorn isn't on the endangered species list.

Meantime perhaps someone could copy on of those impassioned letters from PETA to the Interior department demanding that Yersinia pestis be added to the endangered species list, substituting Porcus Avionis and Eqquis Unicornus Flatulinus. I'm sure both would be worthy additions.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Future Of Transportation - Small, Fast, Commuter

Well there might be some drawbacks to using this as a commuter, but who would care?  A Mazda Miata would look like an SUV, and an SUV would kook like a semi. Briefly. As they blurred by:

Watch it in full screen, or go to hybridcars to see it in larger format and read the article.

I mentioned this earlier in a post about the Elio as both of these cars feature 3-cyl, 1 liter engines. The Elio shows the economy you can get with a reasonable level of civilization attached. The Ford shows how fast you can go if you aren't bogged down with a lot of civilization.

Spend some time at the gym first. Driving this at full tilt requires a good deal of physical exertion. Of course if you make a practice of driving this at full tilt on the public roads, you'll soon be able to get your workouts at the gym at the jail. But what better way to let everyone know what you really think of Al Gore. Oh yes, if you drive carefully, this is reportedly good for 118 mpg.

No word on the price. I'm sure the warranty is at least as good as it was on the old Ford Thunderbolt.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

National Politics - Playin' The Game

Bernie Sanders, Socialist of Vermont is making noises about an independent run for the presidency if the Donks don't nominate someone sufficiently progressive. He also hints that Elizabeth Warren AKA Fauxcahontis might fill that bill. If anyone hasn't figured it out yet, he's offering to be her V.P.

Assuming that no one will oppose a Hildabeest run, if I was Rinse Prius (Did I get that name right?) I'd be laundering money to funnel to Bernie's cause. You know the Dems will be supporting Libertarians.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Gun Law - Miller's Tale

Here is a scholarly paper on the rather colorful history and the maneuverings behind the Miller decision regarding the NFA. The machinations behind the decision make for interesting reading. Ex from the footnotes:
(“In the State of Arkansas, it is a violation of the law for a man to sell a pistol within that State. . . . This law has been, by the Supreme Court of the State of Arkansas, held constitutional, and you can not lawfully sell a pistol in the State of Arkansas.”)
Don't think this one is still on the books though.

Equal Opportunity

A judge has ruled that a Christian owned bakery is required to make a wedding cake for a gay couple or else pay a big fine. Great. I had thought that a business has the option to accept or reject any RFQ that floats its way, but there we are.

BTW: Does this mean that Muslim cabbies must either accept fares from the disabled with service dogs or else forfeit their cabbies license?

Friday, December 6, 2013

The Future Of Transportation - Can-Am On A Budget

We've all seen Can-Ams with 2 in front arrangements. Saw one a couple weeks ago the owner said would make 145 with the tach at 6000. Out of 9000. Quite the rig.

How about a switch? How about a Can Am on a budget:
The scooter is attached in the middle. The passenger presumably clutches the drivers throat.

I suppose that if the scooter still had its plate, this could be construed as legal. In the case the scooter was one of those under 50cc, no plate required jobs this might be legal if the scooter still had its sticker attached although I suspect you'd spend a long time discussing this with the cop and probably with the judge later.

Let me know if you get it out of the impound yard.

H/T to Jed.
Image found at Cheezburger.com.

Unintended Consequences

Amid all the teeth-gnashing over the failure of the Obamacare website, information is coming out from those (un)lucky enough to have succeeded there, namely big premium increases. Really big premium increases. And just in case you decided to avoid the whole thing, think about this coming April when the IRS will want to know if your insurance is up to the presidential standards. If your answer is What Insurance, the IRS will hit you with a fat penalty.

So everyone is now required to spend large sums of money that they hadn't budgeted. What's this going to do to the rest of the economy? Instead of having the promised $2500 to spend, the average family is going to have to find an extra $7500 with which to buy insurance. On top of that, if you do need medical help, the deductibles are noticeably higher as well.

Cancel the vacation, put off buying the new car, plan on buying a used on instead, and try to make everything else last as long as possible. The Millennials will grow up with a depression-era outlook on life for sure. Obamacare looks like it will be the equivalent of giving everyone a 10% pay cut.


Here are two views of the employment situation in the U.S. Number one is from the government which is reporting that for the first time in quite some time, over 200,000 new non-farm jobs were created in one month, and coincidentally, the official unemployment rate is now down to 7%.

Number two is the Gallup poll, done daily:

% Payroll to population% Underemployed% Unemployed
Gallup tracks daily the percentage of U.S. adults, aged 18 and older, who are underemployed, unemployed, and employed full-time for an employer, without seasonal adjustment. "Underemployed" respondents are employed part time, but want to work full time, or they are unemployed. "Unemployed" respondents are those within the underemployed group who are not employed, even for one hour a week, but are available and looking for work.
 The Gallup link is updated daily so if you click it tomorrow, it will include tomorrows results. Note that Gallup does not include those unemployed who have given up looking for work but would like to work. That would drive the unemployment numbers even higher.
Found this chart here. That 3% drop represents 9.45 million people who have given up looking for work. Add them to the governments 7% number which gives 14M unemployed, and you get 11.1% unemployment. Tack that on to Gallups number and the number goes to 12.6%.                   

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Making Bankruptcy Pay

Sen.Rand Paul has floated a suggestion as to how one might deal with the problem of Detroit. The Bankruptcy judge has ruled that the city's plan, such as it is, can go forward without the unions getting fully paid first and everyone else dividing up the leftovers. Highlights of Sen Paul's plan are:
Key to Paul's plan:
— Providing eligible areas with a reduction in individual and corporate income tax to a single, flat 5 percent rate.
— Reducing the payroll tax.
— Providing child education tax credits to parents.
— Suspending EPA non-attainment designations in Economic Freedom Zone areas.
— Suspend Davis-Bacon wage requirements on federal projects.
Great as far as it goes, but note that this plan requires a great deal of cooperation from the State and Federal government to be put into effect.

Working strictly at a local level, yes, a lower tax rate always helps, but the wailing immediately begins about how on earth will we fully fund 3 sports stadiums, a fine arts center, an opera house, a motor speedway, a municipal bus system and maybe high-speed trolleys to run across town?

To which I say: We don't. Sell all that stuff off to some enterprising souls, and let them run them to suit themselves and pay the 5% on whatever they make. The city's job is to enforce the laws, maintain the water, sewer, and streets, and keep the required schools open. Not a lot else.

Sell off the municipal enterprises, whatever they are. Trash disposal, bus drivers, support people, whatever, they go with the enterprise.The municipal monopoly does NOT go with the sale. Competition is encouraged.

Let every student be fitted with a virtual pull tab on his or her collar worth say 75% of what the city is currently spending on education per student. Then let them attend whatever school they can get in to. The school, public or private, gets the tab. If they can justify it, they can ask the parents for a bit more. If they're trying to drum up business, they might even offer a bit of a refund.

Suspending the EPA with a short rope from a tall tree sounds like a fine idea, but that's a Federal deal. Repealing Davis-Bacon has always been a good idea along with several other overreaching federal statutes, but that's the job of the Senate and House.

Running a city as though it were Hong Kong would work every time. The problem is keeping the do-gooders in check to allow the model to continue to work.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Gun Sales

NICS checks for November of this year ran 9.6% below November of last year and the curve is not showing signs of another drastic jump.
Whenever someone buys a gun, they also need a couple of boxes of ammo to go with. The trend suggests we should be well on our way back to normal

Monday, December 2, 2013

It's A Plot! The Closure Of A Lead Smelter

It may well be as the EPA's objective seems to be to eliminate all the jobs it can before the angry mob shows up to burn down their building.

As regards the conspiracy to impose gun control by making lead unavailable for ammo, I suspect this is somewhat over stated. I did some digging and discovered that some 84% of the lead used in this country goes into lead-acid batteries. Only about 6% is used for ammo.

While the Doe Run smelter may be closed due to the EPA cutting the allowable emissions to 10% of what it used to be, the company recycling center continues to churn out lead for all purposes pretty much unabated.

Reducing emissions to 10% of previous levels sounds like something you'd do if there were stacks of dead bodies lying about somewhere. I don't remember reading about such a catastrophe. Maybe one of you did? This sort of trick goes back a bit. At the end of the Clinton administration the EPA cut the allowable level of Arsenic in drinking water that drastically, rendering large areas of the southwest without federally approved water. The old level was not dangerous, but Bush's action to put the levels back where they were produced headlines about "Bush Raises Arsenic in water 10-fold". Making sure Bush knew where he stood with the press I guess, it's the regulatory equivalent of short-sheeting the bed.

Colorado Gun Law - Doubling Down

If at first you don't succeed, find another fool and try again.

From Colorado Peak Politics:
A new issue committee, ironically named Safe Campus Colorado, filed late last month would seek to put on the ballot an initiative to “amend the current concealed carry law to exclude college campuses from the concealed carry law.”
In case you need some background, this is exactly the proposed bill that cost Evie Hudak her seat in the Senate and contributed to the defenestration of Sens Giron and Morse. I suppose it's unlikely that Mr Toltz will find another legislator dumb enough to carry this as a bill, so he's betting that the Colorado electorate is dumb enough to pass it anyway.

What this proposal really needs is a catchy name like Megans Law or Amber Alert. I suggest calling it Hudaks Law in honor of its last sponsor. Or maybe Amandas Law in honor of the young woman who was raped on account of a similar statute already being in effect at UNLV.

Warms the cockles of your heart knowing there are people out there working to make the world a safer environment for the thugs doesn't it?

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Happy December!

1 or maybe 2 days I get to ride the motorcycle in to work, then the Fimbulwinter arrives in all it's glory. Well about half it's glory. Bitter cold, but no snow to speak of.

Nice prediction. I put up the mower and got out the snow blower and made sure it would start. This virtually guarantees that there will be no snow all winter long.

Had the victory celebration for the Hudak recall campaign today. All the cool kids were there and like a bunch of victorious Klingons, it was generally agreed that Great Deeds Were Done. Many thanks are due to the Goons, motorcycle riding friends of KNUS radio personality Peter Boyles whose presence at our sites greatly calmed down Hudak's Brownies who seemed to find them intimidating.

The group is NOT dissolving. The left is not giving up their agenda so we're not giving up ours.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

QOTD - Gun Control

Over at PJMedia they have an article featuring the big proponents of gun control. Here's one now:
Dan Gross, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, agreed, asserting that gun-control advocates want to “finish the job.”
“Momentum is on our side,” he said. “The will of the American people will not go away. The original Brady law took six votes over seven years to pass. We hope to achieve change even sooner this time. But whatever it takes, if it does something real to prevent more people from getting shot and killed, it’s worth it.”
Solidly on the side of the thug and adamantly opposed to the thought that your right to life or anything else implies a right to defend it. The kind of thinking that got Sens Giron, Morse, and Hudak where they are today.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Next Election

Got this on the ColoradoRKBA newsletter:
/The Libertarian Party: Electing Democrats for decades.../


The Republicans have a harder time doing the same thing. The typical Dem 
has already signed on to the Green or Red agenda and any wannabe 
candidate gets to talk with the union reps, Guido and Nunzio, about his 
political viability or even his metabolic viability before going on the 

Still, if some Greenie wants to get on the ballot badly enough on a 
platform of abolishing the use of fire, the R's would do worse than to 
slip him enough money to keep him from getting discouraged and dropping out.

Post election the union guys know not to use the former candidates own 
car. A Prius requires careful disassembly before being sent to the 
crusher, and the presence of a resident in the trunk would probably be 
noticed. Something on the Cash For Clunkers list however would go right 
through with minimal inspection.

New York Gun Law

We are told that everyone there likes it so we should like it too. Except for a few hicks in upstate.

Did you ever wonder what exactly constituted "upstate" New York? Just a few counties bordering Canada, right:
This map is from Scope a pro-gun organization in N.Y. What passed here is legislation or resolutions opposing the S.A.F.E. Act which is now being used to confiscate dangerous assault weapons like the bolt-action Marlin 25N .22 rifle. NOTE: Albany county, the green one at the upper right, has also passed a protest and is now red.

The results mirror those in other states in which a large metropolitan area gets to impose it's views on the rest of the state. Here's a screen cap of the letter in case someone denies that wholesale gun confiscation is beginning anywhere:
Note that the only reason they can do this is because the gun owners registered their guns first.

Update: Well I waited a good long time before posting, but it may not have been long enough. Via ColoradoRKBA:
The Letterhead is fake. Its nothing close to what we use as the City or with NYPD.

So, I called our good colleagues at the Rifle & Shotgun Section. They are well aware of the *****storm this caused all over the web.

This letter was sent to ONE person...for reasons involving his specific permit. He then changed it a bit to make it look like something it wasn't, and posted it online. 
This from someone on Glock Forum who claims to be a Sgt on the NYPD.Still, a good hoax needs to be at least partially based in reality. Given that this takes place in NY, the plausibility is certainly there. Still, I wonder what the letter was originally about.

Further down on that page is a copy of NYPD policy regarding the SAFE act which says pretty much the same thing.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Job Description

A potential juror in DeKalb county GA discovered that the workstation used to enter information had, in the "occupation" slot, the opportunity to describe your occupation as "slave". Being properly affronted by the notion that this might actually describe anyone's circumstances, objections were raised, and the offending selection removed.

I don't see the problem. In the course of my life and career I've seen lots of people who described their situation as "slave" either to someone, usually a spouse or S.O.) or some institution, notwithstanding the institutions tendency to actually pay them for whatever it was they did.

Back in the day, slavery was after all cheap, not free, labor. Since 1865 inflation has taken its toll. I wonder what the real cost of keeping a slave in 1860 would be in today's dollars?

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Global Wartming

Myself I'm a big fan of global warming, and I don't particularly care what or who is causing it. I got to ride the motorcycle to work today and that's good. Our Governor, however, blames fugitive methane, coming from gas wells that escapes past valve joints and other such places. This is accounted to be as much as 1-2% of the gas extracted from the wells. If you think a typically greedy capitalist oil and gas company wouldn't care about a 2% drop in revenues, you must live here and have a valid prescription.

Meantime, no less a source than the IPCC says that 70% of the fugitive methane out there comes from naturally organic sources. To make a real impact, the governor needs to be looking into controling these organic sources. I suggest installing afterburners on cattle:
Plus I kind of like this graphic.

Update: Oh yes, and Al Gore has become a vegan. Don't stand behind him.

Recall Too - Victory?

Today's news is that Sen Hudak has resigned rather than face a recall. My reaction to this is to treat the announcement like a Klingon funeral.

The announcement came as a surprise as most of us expected her to hold on through the petition submissions, complain about every single signature, and then not quit until the total was accepted as sufficient and the election announced. Oh yes, and file a few lawsuits as well as a delaying action.

When a Klingon dies, a temporary truce is declared, and all his friends and all his enemies are invited to the funeral. Everyone with an interest in the deceased brings a cattle prod and at the viewing of the body, each gives the deceased a jolt just to assure themselves that he really is dead and not just jiveing everyone.

While I have great hopes for the veracity of the announcement, I won't believe it until I see the video of ex-Sen Hudak walking down the capitol steps with her desk plaque sticking out of the cardboard box.

In the meantime, I have a nice (small) glass of premium rum in front of me as I type this. Clink your glass against the monitor and drink to the end of tyrants.

Rumor has it that the next recall target will be Ryan Call, head of the Colorado GOP.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Recall Too - The Finale

We're now in the last week of the effort to recall Sen Hudak, and things are heating up. Evie just got $120K from assorted unions and other leftie groups while the recall effort has raised some $64K mostly from small individual donors.

Mike McAlpine says the recall effort is 92% of the way to their goal with 87% of the allotted time expired, which suggests he's slightly ahead of where he needs to be. The operative word here is "goal". Mr. McAlpine has always suggested that his goal was 25,000 signatures. 92% of that would be 23,000 which would be adequately over the 18,900 certified signatures needed. Internal checks suggest that the signatures collected are 99% certifiable, but a 10% margin is always nice so 20,700 total would be about the minimum.

If you're registered to vote in Dist 19, get your name on the paper. If not, we can always use more warm bodies out there soliciting. For signatures.

Americans Getting Dumber

Actually this isn't quite true. Americans are getting less educated every year however which puts the blame largely on the public education system, which is where most Americans get educated. So to speak.

When I was in High School, ignoring the hardships of actually getting to the building, and took a math test, you were expected to produce the right answer. Methodology was taught, but if you wanted to use a Ouija board for a calculator, that was fine. We were also expected to be able to calculate the odds of the Ouija board delivering the correct answer two times running. Trust me; There are a lot of zeros to the right of the decimal point before you come to the first actual number.

My brother, who came 2 years behind me, got what was called "New Math". Using this technique, you didn't need the right answer as long as your methodology was correct. I went on to design missiles. He became an economist. Case closed.

In his defense, he quickly gave up on economics and become a successful businessman. As such, he probably now has a better grasp of how things actually work than Paul Krugman.

Americans also get dinged for not being as multilingual as say the Europeans. Back in the day this was because if you wanted anything, we probably made it better, faster, and cheaper than any one else. It helped that we were the only country in the world that hadn't been recently been bombed back to the stone age. Foreign language wasn't necessary. Everyone was learning English.

Today, if you want something, you come to America, and we'll tell you precisely which country to go to to get your product properly designed and built. What the unions did for manufacturing, they are now doing for education.

Obamacare - The Part That Actually Works

And works exactly as intended, who knew?

Gun Law - California

Apparently it's SOP there to shoot first and ask questions later.


Suppose the government mandated you buy a product. (Not what you're thinking.)

 Suppose that this product was demonstrably bad for your health and/or economic well being, and everybody knew it?

Suppose that the agency responsible for enforcing the mandate had a change of heart and announced that while the purchase would still be required, the required quantities would be somewhat reduced.

If you represented the people who provided this product, I suppose it would make sense to whine about the agency's "war" on your constituents.

For the rest of us, it looks like we get to drive our old beaters a bit longer.

Telling The Difference

What's the difference between Neville Chamberlain and Barack Obama?

Neville carried his own umbrella.

Sunday, November 24, 2013


Something went wrong and I seem to have lost most of my November posts. I assure you it wasn't my idea.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Economics - The Invisible Hand

Adam Smith famously stated that in economics prices were set by the invisible hand of supply and demand. Now what if in the 21st century, we were to automate that hand.

Watch the price of a scholarly treatise on fruit flies go to $23,000,000 with no human intervention at all, beyond the initial price setting algorithm.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Gun Fun - November '13 E-Postal

The November e-postal is up over at Sand Castle Scrolls. Based on a challenge from Top shot, imagine looking at the bottoms of 5 beer bottles with "church key" openers hooked on to the caps.
Your job is to open the bottles by shooting the openers but NOT the bottles. Details and pdf of the target at Dannos.

Could be worse. I had an aunt by marriage who as a little girl would go out to the dump with the family and shoot beer bottles with a rolling block .22. The game was to set the bottles with the necks facing the shooter who was expected to shoot the bottoms out of the bottles by shooting through the necks. Time frame for this would have been the thirties.

Maybe a target for next year. Don't worry, I'll use wide mouth bottles. Think Micky's Malt Liquor.

Which means I'll have to buy some so as to be able to model the bottle. The sacrifices I make for the sport.


Wrote my Senators to ask them about repealing the ethanol mandate. This law requires the refiners to ass ever increasing amounts of ethanol to the gasoline they make on the assumption that gasoline consumption will continuously increase, thus keeping the mix from becoming overly toxic to your car. Alas, gas consumption has been going down as fewer and fewer people drive to work or can afford to drive anywhere else. The ethanol requirement is not tied to this so the amount of ethanol in your gas goes up.

Sen Udal finally got around to answering. It's in bureaucratese, so maybe I can translate:

(202) 224-5941
United States Senate

November 1, 2013
Dear William,

Thank you for contacting me regarding the renewable fuel standard.  I appreciate hearing your views on this issue.
One of my top priorities in the U.S. Congress has been to reform our nation's outdated energy policies.  As a member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee in the U.S. Senate, I focus on these issues every day. 
I get a lot of attention from Big Corn, Big Oil etc, which I don't want to lose.
I support a comprehensive energy plan that includes responsible drilling for oil and natural gas,
I oppose fraccing,
expanding safe and secure nuclear power
"safe and secure" means 100% risk free. Inother words, I'm against it.
and fast-tracking renewable energy sources.
More money for solar power plants and windmills, a percentage of which comes back to me.
  The development of new vehicles that can run on fuel cells, natural gas and electricity, as well as new fuels such as cellulosic ethanol and other biofuels will help us reduce our dependence on foreign oil while creating jobs here at home.
Terry McAuliffs electric car boondoggle comes to mind. Cellulosic ethanol has never been produced in commercial quantities even though it's required of the refiners. They pay a fine tax for not using it and pass that cost on to you.
I believe ethanol has an important role to play in improving our energy security;
All evidence to the contrary notwithstanding...
however, I also understand concerns about the challenges presented by increasing the amount of ethanol blended into gasoline.  As you know, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will allow the commercial sale of gasoline that contains up to 15 percent ethanol, otherwise known as E15.  Though these mixtures are solely intended for specified vehicles,
It will damage most vehicles on the road today...
I understand the potential for accidentally fueling unapproved vehicles.  The EPA is currently taking measures to avoid this kind of misfueling,
When you fuel up now the pumps have 4 mixes and two hoses including diesel. This would add 3 more selections.
and I will keep your concerns in mind as I monitor this issue.  For further details outlining the EPA's policy, please visit its website: http://www.epa.gov/otaq/regs/fuels/additive/e15/.
I will remain attentive to what you and other Coloradans have to say about matters before Congress, the concerns of our communities, and the issues facing Colorado and the nation.  My job is not merely about supporting or opposing legislation,
As a Senator I'd say that that should be a larger part of it than schmoozing the president's favored lobbyists..
but also about bridging the divide that has paralyzed our nation's politics.
Have you ever voted with the Republicans? On anything?
  For more information about my positions and to learn how my office can assist you, please visit my website at www.markudall.senate.gov.
Warm regards,
 Sen Udall is a loyal party hack. Period.


Got a request from a lefty newsletter I get to demand that Facebook censor a bit more of their content:
Topless women aren't allowed on Facebook. But bodiless heads now are.

Facebook is no longer removing videos or images of people being beheaded, even as they continue to ban women for posting pictures of them breastfeeding. But what's going to scar you more — seeing a woman's breast or seeing someone butchered before your eyes?

This move isn't just stupid from a PR standpoint — it's also horrifically irresponsible, giving access to this traumatic footage to anyone with a Facebook account. Please join us in urging Facebook to reverse its policy and ban photos and video of beheadings now.
Frankly I thing the beheadings and the like should not only be permitted, but should be easily searchable. Lest we forget who or what the civilized world is up against.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Recall Too - Part 7, Thugs

Having gone back to work, I haven't been out on the street since last weekend. Today I got back out and discovered that the Hudak Brownies were out in force. More than ever complete with hippie chicks with tambourines and someone out on work-release from the local home for aging refugees from the 60's with a cowbell. Their signs continue to get stranger as well. One said "Shotguns for Signatures" on one side and "Selling your signature for $3" on the other. I asked where I could sign up for a shotgun and was curtly rebuffed.

More cowbell works. We were doing great. Several bikers and radio personality Peter Boyle, inspired by the D.C. motorcycle event decided to come out and hang with us at the 80th and Wadsworth site and everything there progressed peacefully. At another site however, the Brownies were noticeably more proactive, jumping out into traffic, shouting into peoples windows, and getting in the faces of those attempting to sign a petition. The police were called and the harassment ended. Why are anti-gun people so violent?

Saw one of the door hangers distributed by the Hudak people. Very professionally written and printed, the sort of thing the government might put out to warn the citizens of the presence of a rampaging rabid werewolf. Petition circulators were described as either identity thieves or sex offenders. Shades of the land shark skit from SNL. I'll try to get one to put up here in the next day or two.
Here we are. Click to enlarge to readable size. Dangerous aren't we?
Noticeable here is the ad hominem attacks by the Hudak folks. Not one had anything nice to say about her, just attacks on her opponents. I take that back. One gent had a sign reading "Evie Hudak hasn't taken my gun". I pointed out to him that he had left off the final word, "yet". Having the oversight brought to his attention seemed to put him out of sorts for the rest of the day.

Halfway through the process, signature collection is still on track, but warm bodies are needed. Having a smart phone or a tablet would be a plus. Volunteer at Recall Hudak headquarters at 11651 W. 64th Ave, 8AM to 8 PM seven days a week.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Recall Too - Part 6 Disinformation

9 News reports that the recall effort against Evie Hudak is going well enough that the Hudak people have taken to hanging fliers on doors warning people that those soliciting signatures might be identity thieves, or sex offenders as the minimum wage temps hired for the job haven't all had background checks run on them.
The hangers say the people out collecting the 18,000 signatures necessary to set a recall are potential criminals; some are even possible sex offenders.

This is especially amusing after watching Evie come down solidly on the side of the sex offenders during the Senate hearings on one of the gun bills passed early this year. Joe Salazar was also there protecting rapists, but somehow missed the recall wagon.

Watch the video at the second link. I was sitting 2 rows behind the young lady testifying when this happened. Every jaw in the room hit the floor.

The first link is an annoying auto start, complete with commercials.


According to the government, it's near zero, which is why I'm getting a 1.5% raise in my SS allowance. The way that figure is calculated has been changed repeatedly in order to keep the government from looking bad. Over at Theo Spark there's this:
Someone who is actually trustworthy, John Williams of ShadowStats, says that if inflation was calculated the way it was under Jimmy Carter it would run between 8 and 10 percent.

- The inflation calculation has been changed many times since 1978, and the purpose each time was to make it 'appear' as though inflation was lower than it actually was. "Officially" of course. [Inflation's a lot like the phony BLS unemployment numbers, or the initial enrollment numbers that were touted for ObamaCare...two other win-wins by Gooberment.]
Shadow Stats is behind a paywall but what gets out suggests it's worth the money. Remember the "misery Index"? Made up of the sum of the inflation rate and the unemployment rate it got to the point that it eventually unseated Jummy Carter. Current unemployment, which by the way has also been jiggered to look better, is at 7.8%. Add that to the 9% inflation rate and we're up to 16.8. Be honest about the unemployment rate and call it 16% (U6) and the misery index is a whopping 25.

This index got up to 19.9 for J.C. There's a chart, which is worthless given the tomfoolery and book cooking that's been going on, here.

Monday, October 28, 2013

The Future Of Transportation - 2 Extremes

Here's a "car" that starts out at 110" long and folds up to 70 inches presumable so you can get 2 of them in a one-car garage. Since it's an electric with a top speed of 37mph and a 60 mile range, it's more of a novelty than a real contender. In parts of the country where golf carts make up a significant part of the traffic, this might make sense. Still I have visions of grandma pushing the "fold" button before first exiting the vehicle.....

The other one is a trike, 2 in front, and Suzuki Hyabusa in the back.
The bhp for the Hyabusa is in the 150-200 bhp range. Weight is same as the Elio but is has no top/heater. Nice styling though. With a top it would look even more like a scaled down Viper.Go here to read the rest.

Took my first commute to work today since Jan 31. Overcast, 40 deg, drizzle. I'll take the Elio. I have a friend who can add a turbo.

Fun With Headlines

Found this collection in the dayly newsletter from the WSJ's Taranto:
The Buck Stops Ware?
  • "Obama 'Unaware on Investments"--headline, Albany (Ga.) Herald, March 8, 2007
  • "Obama 'Unaware of Illegal Aunt' "--headline, BBC website, Nov. 1, 2008
  • "Obama Unaware of Tea Party Protests"--headline, Examiner.com, April 15, 2009
  • "Obama Unaware of Backroom Deal, White House Says"--headline, Dallas Morning News website, June 4, 2010
  • "Blago Judge: Obama Unaware of Seat Exchange Bid"--headline, Associated Press, May 16, 2011
  • "Sebelius: Obama Unaware of ACA Website Glitches Before Launch"--headline, CaliforniaHealthline.org, Oct. 23, 2013
  • "Obama Reportedly Unaware NSA Spied on 35 World Leaders"--headline, ABCNews.com, Oct. 28
To which let me suggest:
                 "Obama Unaware That Bush Had Left The White House Five Years Ago "

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Recall Too - Facetime

Evidently seeing a need for some media face time, Sen Hudak held a rally on the steps of the capitol attended by 2 of her close friends, Rep McCann and Rep Fields. Rep McCann appeared to be among the Brownies* protesting the recall effort on Friday as well. The picture of the rally showed 11 live people and 9 empty chairs representing the 9 women killed in domestic violence disputes per week.

Rep McCann was one of 3 or 4 protesters out at 80th and Wadsworth on Friday. She went home early as it appeared that most of the traffic passing by favored the recall.

Rep Fields distinguished herself in front of the House Judiciary committee and about 1000 onlookers when as House sponsor of the magazine limitation bill she was unable to tell anyone where the exemption for profitable businesses was in a 3-page bill.

*I started out calling them Brownshirts, but they don't appear to be that well organized.

CCW - Ranking The States

G&A magazine has published a comparative ranking of the states with respect to their various CCW laws. Not surprisingly D.C. finishes last with a score of zero. It's also the only place to pull down this number. CA, HI, NJ, and NY finish out the bottom five.

I put the scores into a spreadsheet to see how the numbers broke out and while the rankings are not without their flaws, the question to be answered here is probably "Compared to what?".

If you can't locate your state here, go to the G&A article to see what your score was. Sliding down the slope from right to left, the last two >60 scores before the abyss were NM at 62 and CO at 63. IL got 50 which rather surprised me. AZ holds down the top of the list.

The graph suggests that while 70 is indeed better than 68, the big drop happens at 60. If your state is doing better than that, you're on the happy side of the list.

H/T to No Lawyers - Only Guns And Money for the lead.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Fun With Headlines


Maybe they're planning to attack the IRS...if so, they have my support.

Brings up a vision of an old geezer with a belt-fed machine gun bolted to his walker doesn't it?

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Do You Belong In Colorado?

Up to now I had thought that the only people who felt they belonged here was a software geek who had sold his shotgun shack in El Segundo for $1M and was looking to escape the California State taxes.

Here's a link to a personality test of eight questions that will tell you which of the lower 48 you would fit in best in. I can point to no attestations to its validity, and note that most states share similarities with several others. It told me that I'd fit in best in Georgia. I know just enough about Georgia to know that there's Atlanta Lanner, and then there's the rest of the state. Some parts look quite appealing, so who knows? Maybe I'll visit some time.

Recall Too - Part 5, Harassment

After a large front-page article yesterday in the Denver Pest, the Hudak Brownshirts are out practicing Alinkayite intimidation techniques including having one of their number prance about with a long lens camera taking everyones pictures and calling the police and everyone they can think of to make complaints. The fellow with the camera looked fairly lively. The rest of his crew looked like they had been recruited from the Jerry Garcia Memorial Nursing Home.

Our location is on a grass strip between the public sidewalk and the parking lot of a corner property. The grass strip is public property, but the City of Arvada has notified us several times in one day that all our signs must be 12 ft from the curb. This after we moved the signs. The repeat visits were just time wasters.

The Brownshirts have evidently called the property manager and complained about us as now they don't want us to park our cars on their asphalt. The police were summoned to enforce this edict and we had to move our cars across the street. This is inconvenient as the laptops we use need power and we had been getting it by using an inverter in one of our vehicles and running an extension cord about 10 feet down to the table. We now have to bring our own car batteries with us to keep the computers running. The police were reminded that the edict about parking was non-specific and included the Brownshirts, all of whose vehicles we helpfully identified. Everyone on our team was spry enough to park across the street and walk back. The Brownies, not so much and the pogrom reduced their numbers from six to two.

We use the laptops to confirm that everyone signing our recall petitions is in fact who they say they are, and is a registered voter in the district. This inconveniences the Brownshirts when they send their friends over to add known invalid signatures to the petitions.

Shortly after I got there a fellow approached me and told me that his grounds maintenance company wanted to blow out the sprinklers in the area we were using. We asked for 5 minutes to clear out the line at the table and that he start at the far end of the grass strip, which he agreed to. As the farthest sprinkler heads began to spray air and water, we picked up out table and moved it to the asphalt to wait out the storm. When the sections near us began to erupt, the Brownies found themselves dampened a bit. When the blowout process ended we moved everything back to the grass just in time for the police to arrive. Yep, they had been called about us being on the asphalt. We explained about the sprinkler blowout and all was well. The head Brownie then came rushing up and accused us of conspiring with the landscape company to deliberately soak them. Officer Friendly rather brusquely informed him that she didn't want to hear any more from him, having heard too much B.S. from him already. Come to think of it, a false report ticket is issued at the policeman's option isn't it?

The fancy lead-acid battery packs that we came up with, with a 400W inverter included and a claimed 12-hour run time alas only ran two laptops for about 30 minutes. Might be insufficient initial charge. We'll find out more tomorrow.

Also having 3 or 4 extras on the sidewalk even with opposing signs actually helped our efforts. Pity they left early.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


The government is reporting that few people are finding jobs at the end of the fifth consecutive Summer Of Recovery and are presumably baffled as to why no one wants to hire anyone in the face of the wildly successful rollout of the National Health Care clusterf*ck experiment.

The USG is claiming 7.3% unemployment, mostly due to people dropping out of the workforce:
Remember, the smaller the workforce, the fewer workers you need to make it look good.

In the meantime Gallup is calling it 7.6% unemployment and oh by-the-way, 17.1% U-6 un and under employment.

As to why you younger folk can't find work, it's probably because no one wants to hire a full time worker and find that the cost of keeping them is ruinous when they can hire a retired person part time with no benefits a whole lot cheaper. Since we already have Medicare, Medicaid, Part D and pay for our own Medigap insurance, nothing further is needed. Besides we don't want to work full time.

On that note I'll be going back to work this coming Monday, depriving some young college grad of a position which would otherwise allow him to get married and support a family, and providing me with enough extra disposable income to buy that used Jaguar I've been lusting after.
Beats the hell out of a Mercury Grand Marquise doesn't it?

Tea Party Rising

Notwithstanding the vilification by the MSM, new Republican candidates are making sure the voters know which side of that fence they're standing on, usually to great approval of the electorate. Absent the complete demise of the Republican party and its replacement by the Tea Party, complete with new leadership, this looks hopeful.

Even in Europe, the anti-statists are showing new strength.


Rand Paul is proposing a constitutional amendment declaring that “Congress shall make no law applicable to a citizen of the United States that is not equally applicable to Congress.”

Swell idea. It should read "...that is not equally applicible to any employee of the Federal government."

I had thought that this would be covered by the clause forbidding the congress from issuing titles of nobility which generally carry certain perks such as being exempt from the pesky regulations imposed on the peasants. The problem I guess is that that would require the Supreme Court, themselves members of the nobility, to issue a ruling to this effect.

H/T Roger Simon, PJMedia. 

History In The Re-Making

Stalin is reported to have remarked that "Those who cast ballots decide nothing. Those who count the ballots decide everything." As a corollary to that I suggest that those who make history decide nothing. Those who write history decide everything.

Here's a great example of rewritten history:
For the benefit of any of you who recently graduated from a public high school or otherwise flunked U.S. History, or are very low information voters, here's the scoop.

First: The Tea Party is a conservative leaning group, tending to the right side of the Republican party.
Second: The Republican Party was founded for the express purpose of abolishing slavery.
Third: The Democratic Party, while not founded for that purpose, was the staunch supported of slavery.
Fourth: The KKK, whose trade mark was the burning cross pictured above, is the militant wing of the Democratic party, founded to keep blacks, if not enslaved, at least in subservient positions. The burning cross is emblematic of the left, not the right.

On a similar note is the left's practice of denouncing the right as either Nazis or Fascists. This derives from the 1930's when pretty much the whole world was run by the left, the only difference being one of degree. When Stalin, darling of the New York Times who held down the position of leftmost leader, denounced Hitler and Mussolini as right-wingers, he was correct, at least from his point of view. The practice continues to this day with anyone to the right of the New York Times being called a right-wing Nazi or Fascist.

Complete article from which the above clip was extracted is at The Weekly Standard, here.


The Air Force is offering to fly the entire House of Representatives to Florida for the funeral of one of their members who was discovered to be dead recently.

One hopes that after the funeral the plane will be refueled and proceed on to Gitmo where the lot of them will be given a paid vacation for the next 13 months.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Vote Fraud

Want to vote multiple times in the current off year election? Here's how to get started. Lots of ballots are available in the mail rooms of large apartment complexes as one was sent to everyone who ever voted, and if there's a question, a letter is sent out asking for authentication of the voters existence.

A word of warning: The return envelopes are signed by the voter, whose signature is on file with the county clerk. When received, all signatures are compared. If they don't look enough alike, the ballot is side tracked and a letter is sent out asking the voter to confirm his or her existence. If the letter doesn't come back, the ballot is not counted.

Of course if the signatures are close enough, it gets counted. If you get caught, you'll go to jail. If you spend $.65/envelope to mail the ballots in, the odds of you getting caught are essentially zero.

The Future - Looking Bleaker?

Found here at Power Line Blog is an article that references Rasmussen polls taken 8 years apart. Poll #1 taken August 2008 during the campaign:
45% of voters think America’s best days lie ahead, while 37% think they have come and gone.
Poll #2 released Friday, Oct 18th:
31% of Likely U.S. Voters think America’s best days are still to come… Just over half (52%) think the nation’s best days are in the past.
Quite a fundamental transformation of the country isn't it?  Here's a description of what it will look like when the transformation is complete. Ace of Spades is always a good read.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Recall Too - Part 4, Process

The Colorado courts have ruled that a ballot initiative to ask for a $1Bn tax increase will have a fairly low standard for the process:
However, in his ruling, Mullins said the Amendment 66 campaign did indeed meet the legal test for “strict compliance” with election laws, but even if it didn’t, Mullins said Hagedorn’s side ignored 19 years of state Supreme Court precedents that give ballot campaigns leeway to comply with the law even if they don’t have all their paperwork technically perfect.
So "strict" doesn't actually mean "strict" in this case.

What we're finding out with the recall petitions is that if a petition is signed by
John Q. Public
28 Mockingbird Ln

This is NOT the same as the voter registered there with the secretary of State:
John Quincy Public
28 Mockingbird Ln

Hence we are looking up everyone who signs to make sure they use the same signing format as they did when they registered. Do you know what you put down when you registered? Most people don't.

The process is on track at this point. Different municipalities have different standards for doing this sort of thing, and we find out about them as we go along. As long as we're not blocking a sidewalk, Westminister and Broomfield don't care. Evie has friends in Arvada however and our tables get regular visits from Arvada municipal busybodies with tape measures and some without warning us that we must be 12 feet back from the curb with stationary signs although standing on the sidewalk with one is O.K.

Having a creepy guy sit in his Caddy in the parking lot behind us and watch us carefully all day long is likewise entertaining. That job must pay well. At another location someone sat in his car and videotaped us until one of the petitioners went over and took his picture with his cell phone whereupon the cinematographer departed posthaste.

The Durango Herald and the Colo Spgs Gazette are turning out to be much better sources of actual news than the Denver Pest.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

QOTD - Popularity

In the unlikely source department I stumbled across this:
Recent polls show that Congress is still slightly more popular than the Taliban with most Americans, but analysts warn that, "The numbers are fluid and the Taliban is creeping up. We think that people appreciate that at least the Taliban is honest about wanting to destroy America. If the House of Representatives would just come clean, they might get a little boost."
                                                                Dr Cosmo Fishhawk
Notwithstanding the obvious leftward tilt of the commenter, one could easily remove the reference to the House and insert any of the multitudinous factions that call D.C. home. I attribute the president's surprisingly high approval rating, 37% last I looked, to his remarkable ability to warm the chief executives seat without actually doing anything of an executive nature, thus avoiding the blame when it goes south on him.

The Best Handgun

The second best handgun is the one in your hand when you need it. The best handgun is the one that fits your hand correctly and is thus more likely to serve its intended purpose when you need it.

Here's a data sheet from a study on handgun ergonomics from a study done by the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center. It's 20 years old, so some of the data may be obsolete, but since the shooter has generally far more influence on accuracy than the gun.....
The stats were collected to try to figure out why small people were having trouble shooting large pistols. This sounds like a no-brainer, but the useful information comes from discovering which of several factors might have the greatest influence and how they might be modified with the minimal impact to the guns overall function.

If I were a firearm manufacturer, I'd be doing this sort of study work on a regular basis and adding data as quickly as I could. Some factors tie in to others in subtle ways. A high bore axis will cause more muzzle flip when you fire and a longer time to get back on to target. OTOH, converting recoil energy into muzzle flip might reduce the felt recoil.

In addition to trigger reach, I'd also consider the mag release reach. Build the basic gun small enough for a small-handed person to comfortably reach both the trigger and the mag release and make available grip overlays to fit the larger hands, and you're broadening your appeal. For newbies, the distance from the middle of the web between your thumb and forefinger to the center of the last joint of your forefinger should be at least equal to the trigger reach listed for any gun you might be considering.

The source for this is Bearing Arms. The actual study, in pdf format, is here.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Recall Too - Part 3 Getting Noticed

The Dem strategy in the recall efforts begins with the old standby of ignoring the opposition and hoping the rest of the public does the same. This is becoming increasingly difficult to do as even editorials in the Denver Pest ridiculing the effort serve to draw attention to it. The effort is bipartisan as both the Dems and the Republican leadership have weighed in denouncing the effort as divisive. The sentiment is shared as I had a lady stop her car in traffic on Friday to yell at me that if we didn't like Sen Hudak, we should wait for the elections to vote her out. Sen Hudak is up for reelection in 2016.

The governor is now suggesting that the anti-gun groups from out of state should stay away from this one as the people of Colorado, he has discovered, don't like being dictated to by New Yorkers. He must have only recently figured this out as not even the presence of thousands of angry peasants prevented him from signing everything that landed on his desk this spring. He is no longer listed on the membership list at MAIG, but one supposes he's some kind of member emeritus, having moved up from Mayor to Governor.

The lower tier Dems are less sanguine about this with the Aspen Times, the organ for rich ex-pat Californians reporting that a Herculean effort will be mounted next year to keep Colorado in the blue state category.
“We found in Pueblo, where there are a lot of hunters, that people didn’t understand the new gun-safety laws,” she said. “We would tell them that the laws passed in March and then ask them, ‘Is your gun gone?’”
Not yet.
It was difficult trying to counter the efforts of the National Rifle Association and other special-interest groups, she said, because they spend a lot of money and use scare tactics.
“We explained to people that what the (Colorado General Assembly) did was not ‘gun control,’ it was ‘gun safety,’” O’Leary said.
Hunters and shooters, it would seem, have no real grasp of the concept of "gun safety".

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Our Cybernetic Overlords

At least two companies are announcing that they have software that can pick potential new employees better than a human HR specialist. Personally I find this easy to believe. I bet they can even tell you when their own software is obsolete and in need of upgrades. Just don't plan on doing any hiring while the upgrades are running.

In related news there is reportedly software that can predict recidivism among prison inmates.Possibly these can be combined to predict how long that new potential star employee the first software picked will remain with the company once he or she gets to understand the corporate culture a little better.


While at the symposium I walked by Clayton Cramer who was discussing a piece of government software he had been privy to the workings of. The word "glitch" was used, along with several others which made the crash of the Hindenburg sound like a bumpy landing at DIA. Maybe I'll find out what it was. If so I'll update this post.

Meantime Drudge is using the word "glitch" in reference to a nationwide shutdown of the EBT card system. Seems they were running a routine test on it and the software flunked. Big time. Strip clubs, liquor stores and used car lots everywhere report crashing sales. Oh the humanity.

NRA Law and Second Amendment Symposium

Just got back from the NRA symposium on firearms law and the second amendment at D.U. in Denver. A star-studded gathering of everybody who is anybody relating to gun law from NRA-ILA executives to Emily Miller, possibly the only person in D.C. to actually legally buy a firearm. And me.

There may have been some media types there, but they weren't obvious about it. Maybe I was it. I was told that last year there were protesters. This year all I saw was a gaggle of students waiting for a bus across the street from the parking garage, so all in all, very quiet. I was also told that support for gun control is at an all time low among the under-30 demographic, so that's good.

Topics included National level litigation efforts with a description of what the NRA is doing and how it's doing it. We got an inside look at how the SCOTUS selects cases which explained why certain cases came up when they did. Seems the members work on the basis that it takes 4 votes to agree to review a case, and 5 to decide it. Unless both criteria are met up front, the court is unlikely to hear a case. If this sounds like an example of the fix being in, you're probably right. Most cases revolve around the vote of a single justice and the attorneys on both sides usually know who that is. The court being closely divided, cases are usually decided on the narrowest possible basis, so unless one philosophy or the other holds a substantial majority, don't expect any sweeping rulings.

Local litigation and involvement was also covered. The NRA is involves in the suits about the new gun laws here, which suggests they think they can win them. When asked about involvement in the recalls, they respond that notwithstanding the $350K they chipped in, they generally specialize in litigation, not electoral politics. They also noted that Mike Bloomberg has a lot more money than they do and can easily buy legislatures. Of course the obvious answer to the question about the NRA presence is that the recalls were heavily supported by the Colorado membership. Like the button says: I'm the NRA and I vote.

Clayton Cramer had an excellent talk on the state of mental health laws going back to the times before deinstitutionalization and the effects of the policy on the incidence of mass killings.

All in all a really interesting time listening to some really smart people. I have a copy of all the presentations. I may add more as it percolates to the top.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Gun Sales

The FBI's NICS data tells me that NICS checks are down almost 4% vs September of last year. This is the fourth month in a row in which checks were lower than previous year. It's still up from 2 years ago, so the antis have nothing to crow about.

The point of this is that ammo should be less stressed as a result. I have had reports of people walking into Wal Marts and finding the popular calibers on the shelf. One other thing is that the last Tanner gun show was very sparsely attended. Rifles and pistols were available at no more than 10% over last years prices, which is consistent with inflation.

Yes, I know the government is happy to tell you that inflation is in the 1% range, but listen carefully to the report. Note the disclaimer: "Excepting the volatile food and energy sectors, core inflation was...". So as long as you don't eat, drive to work, or heat your house, prices are stable.