Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 in Review

2015 was not bad as I was employed for 11/12 of it. For 2016 I have no immediate prospects although that can change, so all in all I will go with the traditional Russian position:

2015 is average. Worse than last year, better than next year.

Earliest I would expect to see big change for the better would be 2017. In the meantime coming up with better logos for the Hildabeest seems to be catching on. Here's mine:
There are others pandering to various subsets of the American public.

Ammunition Bans

Recently offered legislation has suggested that certain calibers of ammunition can be banned within a state (New York) along with some really severe limits on the amounts of other calibers you might be permitted to purchase. Totals suggested in New York wouldn't get me past the first of 5 stages in the matches I shoot and certainly wouldn't cover any training ammo.

The National Review has a good article on owning guns, worth a couple minutes of your time. Here's what I saw as the money quote as regards the proposed ammo limits:
The “right of the people” that is mentioned in the Second Amendment is not “to keep and bear guns” or “to keep and bear ammunition” but “to keep and bear arms,” which, per Black’s Law Dictionary, was understood in the 18th century to include the “musket and bayonet”; “sabre, holster pistols, and carbine”; an array of “side arms”; and any accouterments necessary for their operation.
 Plainly this covered powder and shot keeping in mind that the brass cartridge was invented in the early 1800's.

Seattle now has a $25 tax on every gun sold and a $.02-.05 tax on every round of ammunition the argument being that the monies raised will go to cover the costs of gun violence or something. This tax will, next year be the topic of a lawsuit as I understand it claiming that the tax in an infringement on the citizens right to arms. Think about this for a bit.

Let's say the Seattle city council decides to go for broke here, takes this to the SCOTUS and loses. So an egregious tax is then an infringement and thus unconstitutional. What does this say about the NFA 34? Hmmmm.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

New Gun Laws

The next time a magazine capacity limitation or AW ban is proposed, make it a point to go to the hearings and ask the bills sponsor this; Since there is an exception to the possession of magazines and firearms whose only purpose is to "spray fire and kill as many people as possible in as short a time as possible"* for the police**, perhaps the sponsor would like to enlighten us as to the task he/she has in mind for the police for which they would need this capacity.

The expected harumpfing and waffling may then be reported as "Sen Snort refuses to disclose police mass shooting task" as a blog post title as it will surely never be mentioned in a newspaper or on the TV news.

Joe Huffman notes that both the CIA and DHS have shown an interedt in a post he put up featuring this newspaper clipping:

Now go back and read it again, this time skipping/deleting the word "Jewish" and replacing the phrase "Nazi organization" with "government". Note how it now sounds just like a presidential executive order.

*Their words, not mine
**There always is.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

New Gun Restrictions

The story is all over the web about draconian new restrictions the Prez is planning to implement about the middle of January. At this point the list is problematic, but the whole thing is posted here. Preceeding this list is the money quote:
President Obama has unveiled a plan to address gun violence in the nation. The initiative consists of 23 executive actions and three presidential memoranda, most of which will require congressional approval. Many parts of the plan may have significant effects
 Emphasis mine, but there you are. If congressional approval is required it's a pretty good bet he won't get it. And yes, as the last line states, many parts of the plan may have significant effects.

The Decline In Western Civilization

Stephen Hayward, the ex visiting professor of conservative studies at the University of Colorado has an article bemoaning a decline in enrolment in the Poly Sci foeld and even an influx of students seeking a Masters in PS with Bachelors' in unrelated fields.

And of the minority who were political science majors, I find many are unacquainted with, for example, the Federalist Papers, or basic constitutional principles such as the separation of powers, etc.

I maintain that standards have fallen so low that even knowledge of the above is no longer a prerequisite to hold political office. Indeed back in the 80's Edwin Edwards famously stated that the governorship was his as long as he wasn't caught in bed with a live boy or a dead girl. By then Ted Kennedy had thoroughly debunked the dead girl part and later Barney Frank finished off the rest. 

Political Bias In Government

Found this item on Insty where neither comments nor permalinks seem to be working right now:
COULD THIS BE WHY IRS ILLEGALLY HARASSED 292 RIGHT GROUPS IN 2010 AND 2012? Kathryn Watson says analysis of campaign contributions made by IRS workers between 1990 and 2014 found twice as many of them contributed to Democrats as did to GOP candidates and causes. The Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group’s analysis was based on FEC data compiled by
Since most people vote their pocketbooks, and government employees thrive when government is expanded, it makes sense that government employees vote overwhelmingly Democratic.Typically I've seen numbers well north of 90% cited. That being the general case, finding out that the IRS is going 66/33 in favor of the Dems would seem to make them one of the most conservative wings of the government.

Aren't you glad they aren't made up of the same people who staff the EPA?

Monday, December 28, 2015

Another Fine Project

Bites the dust.

Quite some time back D'wife bought a treadmill. Rather nice one too, 1.25 HP and speed up to 8 mph. Bottom line, it hardly ever got used so I gave it to her sister with the suggestion that it be used for walking her rambunctious Boxers.

I put it on her back porch pending a space being made available indoors but 10 years later it was still on the back porch.

Meantime a friend is looking to get into the electric bicycle biz and I got thinking maybe we could use the motor from the treadmill in a prototype so I dragged the treadmill over to John's shop where I could have a look at the innards.

The innards looked about like you would expect with 10 years accumulation of dirt and leaves but the thing almost ran when I plugged it in. Fixed 3 broken wires and cleaned out a pound or so of dirt and voila! working treadmill.

Checked the label on the motor: 1.25 HP, 90VDC! That voltage is a bit high for something expected to run on batteries and although not impossible, it looks like the treadmill will remain a treadmill for a while longer.

Going up to Boulder tomorrow to discuss the finer points of Design For Production as they relate to electric recumbents so maybe there is a project to get me through the winter..

Saturday, December 26, 2015

QOTD - Black Lives

Some people get it:
St. Louis Alderman Jeffrey Boyd, at a news conference in July after his nephew was slain, made a poignant plea: “We march every time the police shoot and kill somebody. But we’re not marching when we’re killing each other in the streets. Let’s march for that.”
This from an editorial by Heather Mac Donald in the WSJ, behind the paywall.


Got some Lock-n-Load Java brand Warrior Select coffee for Christmas. This is nice smooth good tasting coffee. They also supply coffee to the troops if you'd like to help them with that.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

More Robots

As I predicted, somewhere on this blog*, a news station in Shanghai has introduced a robot to be their weather reader. Microsoft has developed the speech software and it is getting a warm reception.

It is already raising concerns that robots may soon replace all the talking heads on the TV news. I called this a while back, noting that one animatronic head is all that's required with only a change of wig, voice pitch, and maybe lipstick to move seamlessly from news to sports to weather.

Since the robot won't say anything that's not downloaded into it, governments like the PRC would be quick to adopt this model. As long as the robot never said anything politically incorrect, he/she could expect to keep the job indefinitely. Of course after 30 years of this and no sign of aging among the staff, viewers might be forgiven for assuming that the government had found 3 immortal demi-gods to do the national reporting.

*My search window seems to have conked out. Please stand by.
*Re installed it. Also corrected typo in title. Spell check works everywhere except in the title bar. Go figure.

All I Want For Christmas..

Is one of these:

Well, maybe not.
At least not until Galco or somebody comes up with  a nice discreet carry holster.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Gerrymandering 2

The upcoming proposal to at least reduce the amount of gerrymandering done here is proceeding apace now with whines from the usual suspects, holders of racially gerrymandered districts who complain:
But black and Latino voters quickly raised concerns, pointing out that the language could limit minority voting blocs across the state by prohibiting drawing districts for the purpose of “augmenting ... the voting strength of a language or racial minority group.”
These are incumbents who complain that they effectively only hold their seats on account of their race and having to run in an honestly competitive district would cause them to lose their phony-baloney jobs.

Bummer, dudes.

Further detail emerges that the actual map boundaries would be drawn by the "unaffiliated" members of the redistricting committee and the 4 Republicans and 4 Dems would be there in an advisory capacity until it came time to vote on inflicting one of the maps on the citizenry.

No word yet as to where the unaffiliated people are coming from. Personally I'm favoring a system in which a cluster of computer geeks set up a program to generate maps and a super majority of 6 of the remaining 8 members on the committee must approve the map. This should be easy as this kind of map drawing programs are already available.

Arming Bears

This guy has an interesting way of looking at the world:
So far I like it.

Santa Claus

An article in today's WSJ* cites a study that shows a declining belief in Santa with age. The results are:
Age         % believeing in Santa
5               83%
7               63%
9               33%
25             10%**
45             5%**

*Behind a paywall. Trust me, it's there.

**All respondents over 20 years old affirming a belief in Santa also confirmed that they were either employed or supported by a government agency. (O.K. I made those last 2 lines up, but it makes sense doesn't it?)

New York Ammo Law Proposal

A lawmaker from Brooklyn has proposed a completely unworkable amendment to New York's SAFE act which would no doubt stop the "sensless gun violence" by severely restricting the ammo supply. Details at the link but the gist so far is that there would be a complete ban on the sale of .223 and 5.56 caliber ammo coupled with a limit to the number of rounds any one customer could buy set to twice the capacity of the gun it's intended for. They don't say, but all mag-fed guns in NY are currently officially limited to 10 rounds so you presumably couldn't buy more than 20 rounds of anything every 90 days tops. Revolver shooters would be limited to 10-12 rounds every 3 months and some shotgunners might be limited to 2.

The bill fails on logistical grounds as the only way to insure that no one is stocking up is to have an exhaustive and microscopically complete registration of every gun owned in the state. This database would need to be available to every ammo seller in the state as well which is equivalent to saying that it's a public record. At the same time, all the neighboring states have no restrictions on ammo sales so driving across the border for ammo would become as popular as driving across the border for cigarettes or whatever other commodity has been taxed excessively. Additionally the law would make all ammo sellers dispense their wares as "onesies" as most people would be restricted to buying less than a standard box of ammo.

As this would limit Joe Biden with his over/under shotgun to 4 rounds every 3 months I suppose it's not ALL bad but still... I note that the law also outright bans the sale of .223 and 5.56 calibers. I have not heard of a ban on 7.62 in any length possibly because that is also a popular hunting caliber so while your .308 is protected, there's a Kalashnikov loophole built in.

Counter proposal: Lets limit everyone not currently in detention to 2000 rounds/month in each caliber with no caliber off the list and no records of any sort kept. Since the buyers are not in detention, we presume their honesty and will accept a verbal statement that they're not buying extra bricks of .22 over the allowed limit.

But wait! Here's more! I propose that the gun bit be scrapped and this proposal be turned to the much more significant* issue of Global Warming. Why don't we simply limit automobile owners to 2 tanks of gasoline every 3 months? Think of the carbon we'd eliminate. I bet we could prevent the inundation of Manhattan by the rising seas just by doing this in New York alone. All in favor, raise your glasses and shout Huzza! All opposed, have another drink and reconsider your position.

Here's a map showing where the SAFE act passed in NY:
Perhaps the upstate folks would be willing to go down state for a civic work party and dig a moat between the red upper and the green lower, leave only a couple of bridges intact, and establish rigid border controls to include deporting from Albany all the carpetbagging downstate Townies. Then ask to split NY in two, New York City-State and New York. The City-State would keep the existing Senators since they elected them, and the new NY would get 2 new Senators, likely Republicans.

*The prez says so, who am I to argue?

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

A Fox Butterfield Moment

As the blogfather frequently says, Fox Butterfield, call your office. Here's a headline from our very own Pravda On The Platte. H/T to Colorado Peak Politics for the link:
Colorado gun sales soar in 2015, even amid debate over mass shootings
Conceal-carry guns are becoming more popular in Colorado, even after a series of mass shootings
Mr Butterfield is famous as the journalist who wrote an article headlined "Prison Population Increases Even As Crime Rate Drops" not noticing that he had gotten the cause and effect backwards.

 A couple of quotes from the article make me wonder if the Post isn't subtly inching to the right, trying hard not to not make it obvious. This one for example:
"Of course it's concerning," said Tom Sullivan, who lost his son, Alex, in the Aurora theater shooting in 2012. "I'm concerned about the people buying into the fear that the apocalypse is coming, that the government is coming to get you. No one's coming to get you."
I have the deepest sympathy for Mr. Sullivan. No one should lose a child like that. But Tom, it isn't necessarily the government that's coming to get you. Sometimes it's an orange-haired whack job.

At the same time there's Rhonda Fields (D-Gungrabber)  who lost a child and his wife in a gang-related shooting.
"It seems like every time, whenever there is a mass shooting, gun sales always increase," Fields said. "It's a trend. It happens."
Well, yes it does. People notice when crime increases and the police unfortunately can't get there until it's over. They get to thinking that they, the citizens, might actually be the first responders and that some of the criminals might be deterred by the prospect that the victims or bystanders might shoot back.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Space-X Does It!

The whole process is on video here. The launch happens at about 32 min, Complete pandemonium breaks out at about the 44 min mark. 11 satelites to orbit and the first stage back on the ground intact.

Break out the good stuff and raise your glass to them.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Quo Vadis?

I found 3 articles recently that are crying out to be written into some sort of uber-post and if I could write, I'd knock this out. Since I can't, you're stuck with this.

First is this article at which talks about the types of nations and what holds them together. Executive summary; There are 2, the ethnic nation made up of an ethnically homogeneous population like Japan or Korea, and the civic nations  made up of multiple ethnicities and held together by a common civic outlook such as Rome and the United States. The article notes that the civic nations are harder to hold together as divisions in the civic outlook among the population can weaken the nation. The example cited is Germany which some years back was a civic nation that seemed to be holding together fairly well but is now being strained by massive immigration of Muslims to the point that PM Merkel is now calling for a drastic slowdown or even a halt.

Good article, good background. Read this one first. Then go to for an article on how Sweden is feeling the bite possibly harder than Germany, noting a sudden interest in personal armaments there. This is in keeping with an upsurge in personal defense all over Europe as the most readily available arms, shotguns, are suddenly in very short supply which has led a Turkish manufacturer to run afoul of import rules in their haste to supply the market.

An article associated with the wnd piece here at gatestone institute describes Sweden as descending into anarchy, at least in selected locations, and describes the result as a night-watchman state -- each man is on his own. An interesting turn of phrase if ever I heard one and perhaps one destined to become more popular in the near future.

Interesting to note that the influx of Muslims in Europe is spurring the same reaction there as "sudden jihadi syndrome" is spurring here, i.e. a sudden increased interest in self defense. It is also, I believe spurring an interest among Muslims in instituting reform within the community. I can certainly sympathize as moderate Muslims certainly do not wish to be seen as ticking time bombs by a heavily armed and suspicious populace within which they're trying to live.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Another Personality Test

This one from the BBC on how nefarious you might be alegedly measures the darker side of your personality:

See? The very model of moderation.