Monday, October 31, 2016

The Price Of A Vote

Back in the day you heard stories about ward heelers or local pols with "walking around money" which would be distributed to people who wouldn't otherwise be bothered to go to a polling place and vote. The amounts ran in the $5 to a pack of smokes range in return for a vote for the favored candidate.

Lately it's becoming harder to buy votes that cheaply as it would seem the recipients are remembering who it was whose economic policies got them there in the first place and are understandably reluctant to elect or reelect them, thus the runaway inflation in the amounts being offered, sometimes up to $300 in Cali where the cost of living is so much higher.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Flying The Friendly Skies

From an RKBA newsletter I get:
Metro Detroit Airport now has a new way to allow people to move seamlessly through airport security. It’s called CLEAR and it’s now in operation at the airport’s McNamara Terminal. Certified as a “qualified anti-terrorism technology” by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, CLEAR has been used more than five million times to move travelers quickly through airport security lines at 16 other airports. “They validate their identity using a knowledge-based quiz, they use a government identification that’s validated using technology, and then we link it to their bio-metrics – we take 10 fingerprints with a digital reader, we take a scan of their iris, and we take a high-res photo of their face,” said CLEAR spokesperson David Cohen. Cohen said the initial sign-up process takes about five minutes and after that, getting through security lines should be a breeze. He said there are special lines for CLEAR customers that can be a great time-saver for travelers, who will still have to pass through X-Rays and body scans... (At this point, this appears to be a voluntary program.)
At some point in the future, there will be only one commercial airline to handle the minuscule numbers of people who actually consider an airplane a form of public transportation. Business travelers will fly on corporate jets and a company ID will be all that will be required. Demand for the remaining airline will be so low that anyone buying a ticket will be immediately arrested as a terrorist.

Greenies Replace Sage Grouse

When the lesser sage grouse was declared to be not particularly endangered, the Greenies had to immediately find a substitute to prevent drilling or production of oil and gas in Colorado and Utah. It seems they've found their savior in a flower that amazingly:
Conservation groups are celebrating a victory after a federal judge on Tuesday ruled that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service improperly denied Endangered Species Protection to two wildflowers that live only on oil shale formations in Colorado and Utah.
 For them it doesn't get any better than this unless they can find a hydrocarbon-eating bacteria that lives in deep HC deposits and get that declared an endangered species. Somehow I suspect that these flowers do not require oil shale to thrive and this will be brought up in the near certain upcoming court cases.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Top 5 Guns Hillary Hates

Let me guess:
1. Semiautos
2. Bolties
3. Pump actions
4. Percussion cap
5. Flintlocks

Now check the video. Or not as it runs 19 minutes. Looks like the ones they suggest are all EBR variants of one sort or another.

My Ballot

Got my ballot Saturday and turned it in today. There were 30 choices for the presidency crammed into 24 slots. This is done by making slot #24 the write in slot but in Colorado you have to register as a write in candidate in order for any write in votes to be counted for you. Only six people so registered so your write in for SMOD, Mickey Mouse, or me will go uncounted. Sorry.

When voting for President, you have to remember that you are not electing members of Parliament. Thus no proportional representation. You either win or you don't. We will elect either Trump or Clinton and even if the others combined get more votes than one of those two, one of them will be President.* So I voted for Trump on the premise that he would do me the least damage over the next 4 years. I mean, imagine one of these on the new quarter million dollar bill:
Makes it easier to pay her speaking fees with a single note. Of course if she does win, I assume her fees will double. still, only 2 bills to buy what you need.

Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics

Here's a piece at Zero Hedge showing a Podesta e-mail describing how polling data can be fudged with a minimal chance that the publisher would get caught. Early on the point of polls is to encourage your own people and discourage the other side and if you can gin up a 12 point lead, that surely does the job. This is why when polls are published, it behooves the public to know at least some rudimentary math and maybe a bit about the makeup of their own country before breaking out the champagne or the seppuku knife.

If the polling sample breaks out 36-27-31 for D, R, I, that might be valid for parts of upper Manhattan, but not for the nation as a whole. The Dems have a slight lead on registered voters with their very high hold on blacks and a virtual lock on the prisons and graveyards, but the enthusiasm just doesn't seem to be there this year. Changing the break to say 34,33,31 will give a much more likely result and if it takes a 9 point bias to get Hill a 2 point win, a one point bias is going to look like  a prison sentence.

Update: And what do you do with dishonest polling data?

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Hillary's Gun Violence Victim Is Fantastic

In the second or third sense of the word:
1.conceived or appearing as if conceived by an unrestrained imagination; odd and remarkable; bizarre; grotesque:
fantastic rock formations; fantastic designs.
2.fanciful or capricious, as persons or their ideas or actions:
We never know what that fantastic creature will say next.
3.imaginary or groundless in not being based on reality; foolish or irrational:
fantastic fears.
Seems the story was written by her staff and a warm body was selected to be the "author", and the whole thing was turned over to the press, who found nothing wrong with the story.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Cutting Gary Johnson Some Slack

O.K. so he didn't know where Aleppo was. Had it not been for the incompetence of Hillary and Barry, no one would have cared and the question would never have been asked.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

QOTD - Election Years

Found at Maggies Farm courtesy of Insty:

"The amount of energy needed to refute bullshit is an order of magnitude bigger than to produce it."~Alberto Brandolini
I'm inclined to make that "at least" an order of magnitude.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Cyber War Against Russia

You always knew that it was unlike Obama to do anything aggressive against anyone but his political enemies, so here we are, the first move of his cyber war against Russia seems to be an effort to shut down Julian Assange's internet access.

It's working about as well as his Syria policy with Assange releasing sets 9 and 10 of Hillary's e-mails pretty much on schedule.

Hillary's suggestion was to send a drone strike against the Ecuadorian embassy in London so I guess you can assume that she will faithfully defend herself against all enemies, foreign or domestic as long as she's president.

Global Warming: Warming It Up

Cooking the books is what the latest proposal is about, in view of the dearth of hurricanes coming ashore almost as though mother Nature was making fun of Al Gore. The climatistas are asking that the rating system for hurricanes be redefined so as to artificially create more of them:
The current measure is the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale, which, according to the National Hurricane Center, provides "a 1 to 5 rating based on a hurricane's sustained wind speed." But if the intensity of a storm is redefined by using other criteria, such as rainfall and storm surge flooding, the game changes.
"So with a new metric, warmists can declare every storm 'unprecedented' and a new 'record,' " says Marc Morano, publisher of Climate Depot and producer of "Climate Hustle," a movie that "takes a skeptical look at global warming."
If this bunch of bunkum succeeds I suppose we can expect some of the weather squalls that pop out onto the plains around here to be elevated to the status of named storms mostly depending on how deep the water gets at some of the famously less-well-drained underpasses along I-25. Who knows, perhaps we can get the bigger snowstorms named which might help Mayor Hancock to shift the blame for slow snow removal.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Try To Remember...

The words to this ditty...

In a sworn deposition it seems Hillary couldn't remember much about her tenure as Secretary of State, claiming memory failure 21 times out of 25 and refusing the other 4 questions  as "out of scope" or some such.
In her responses, Clinton used some variation of “does not recall” at least 21 times.

She has a long history of memory problems going back to some questions about her tenure at the Rose law firm.

The moderators at the next debate should ask her about her stint as Secretary of Defense and see if she reflexively gives the "I can't remember" line of actually knows that she never held that office.

Winning The War, Losing The Peace

Something we have gotten very good at since the end of WWII. We didn't win the Korean war, we negotiated a settlement with the Chinese who have been using their half of Korea as a cats paw to annoy and threaten the west ever since.

Viet-Nam was won with a nice solid treaty threatening the North Vietnamese with the return of the B-52's if they crossed the border. This held up until the Dems took over the U.S. government and abandoned our former allies.

The Cold War was won when the U.S. began fighting it with our best weapon: money. Star Wars was a bunch of research projects that prompted the Russians to develop costly countermeasures, which bankrupted the Soviet Union. The Dems have been in mourning over that ever since as the USSR was one of their examples of how socialism could be made to work. When they took over the presidency in '92, no monies were allocated to helping the Russians become productive members of the world society, and we saw a return to power of the same people who had been running the USSR before, and who are now seemingly looking are reassembling the old empire.

The rest of the world, including the Russians, has learned from our success in the Cold war and has discovered that when properly placed, one can get a lot of mileage from a modest amount of money. Instead of spending on big, fancy military stuff, you simply spend modest (by comparison) sums on individual politicians.

Wretchard T. Cat sums this up nicely. Now we get to see how well this approach works.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Cooking The Books - Polling

Trump down 11 post-tape? Not so fast. When you see a poll like this from the Clinton News Network, the first question should be about the methodology. When your poll is made up of 58% Dems and 41% "others", the result should be laughed out of the room. Under ordinary circumstances I would expect a poll like this to deliver all the Dems to Hillary and the "Others to be 50-50 Reps and Independents. The I's usually split somewhere near 50-50 so add another 10 to Hills column and allocate the remaining I's to the R's and expect about a 70/30 split in Hills favor.

Yet with this much built in bias, Hill could only show an 11 point lead?

It's now official; She hates you, so I suppose it's to be expected that we deplorables don't think much of her either.

The DNC is denouncing Trump's suggestion that in a more honest society Hill would be in jail as being "banana republic thinking", but their own record suggests that the banana business is flourishing here already. The Clintons are already well enough known for not actually needing anything as slow and cumbersome as a justice system especially if going to court could prove to be as damaging to them as to the target of their prosecution. Thus when Hill calls for an "intervention" against a protester, it would probably pay the protester to hire some armed guards.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Clutch Repair

I have repaired, replaced, and rebuilt clutches, both hydraulic and mechanical in the past, but this trick I had never seen or heard of. Seems one of the passages in the master cylinder on my Gen 4b ('98-'02) Camaro was made too small to pass trapped air in the system so;

If the clutch on your Gen 4b Camaro is soft, spongy, and sinks to the floor, the fix is to mechanically power suck the last bits of trapped air from the Master cylinder through the reservoir. This quick and simple process will have your clutch as firm and high as your neighbors teenage daughter in about 5-10 minutes.

There's probably a more diplomatic way of describing the process, but since I'm not running for president...

Latest Window Sticker

Bumper stickers are so last election. Today your best bet is a window "sticker" taped to a car window that can be removed after the election. Lately it seems Trump has behaved about 11 years ago, like a drunken frat boy in the locker room. He's not the first and I'm sure he's not the last. He's crude, rude, and uncultured, but so what. the people who are most bothered are of little consequence aside from having a monopoly on the news.

So Trump is capable of acting the asshole. So what I say and others agree. Remember the contest for governor of Louisiana between Edwin Edwards and David Duke which gave the citizens of LA the choice of a convicted crooked pol and a KKK wizard. The slogan was "Vote for the Crook, it's important!" Edwards being the crook.

So here we are again with history repeating itself only on a national level. So here's the sticker:

QOTD, The Decade, That Is

And in video format as well.

Hill had some poor schmuck in L.A. do a year in jail for producing a video that no one saw as scapegoat for her misfeasance in Benghazi, then got Dinesh D'Souza a part-time year in jail for producing a movie critical of her.

Seems only fair.

Found at I Own The World.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Go Nuts, Go E-Postal

The October match is from Mrs True Blue Sam and lets you shoot some nuts that obviously need shooting.
Go here to get the full sized pdf of the target and all the rules, such as they are. 10 rounds only, pretty much any gun you want as long as it's user supported.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Punkin Chunkin

The big squash tossing contest is now located in Colorado where the air is thin and hope for a 1 mile toss springs eternal. I've been advising some students at an alternative school, K-12 who have been working on a couple of trebuchets. Here's the crew, at least most of them
The bearded fellow on the right has been held back so many times that no one can remember when he started there*.  In the back you can see the beginnings of one machine and on the left, the beginnings of another. These kids have about 4 weeks to finish starting pretty much from scratch.

4 weeks later out at the fairgrounds:
Voila! her they are having finished for the day with a best toss of 428 ft. The other machine is lying on its nose awaiting some additional work. Actually quite a lot of additional work. The kids are learning about all the fiddley details of a large project like this and what happens if some of them fall in the cracks. For the most part, they are learning to successfully improvise on the spot.

Down the line a bit are the "old timers.
The nearest one was powered by air springs from semi-trailers, the far one was an exercise in complexity with a 2 piece arm.

Down on the end were the air cannons.
L-R Big 10 inch, Mikes Machine, Death Star, and Big Red 1. 4000 ft is pretty much the minimum you need to be taken seriously any more.

*Oops: He's the technology instructor.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

The State Of Education

In Colorado anyway. Saw this on a car in the faculty parking lot at a middle school on my dog-walking route:
The owner should know after all, he/she teaches both of them.

Speaking of dog walking:
Doesn't this look idyllic? It's about 25 yards from one of the busier streets here. Good thing it doesn't come with a sound track.

Fashion Contest

Found at Tams, where the comments are turned off.
Award yourself one point for any garment that meets any of the following criteria:

  • Military surplus
  • Has MOLLE loops
  • Non-hunting-oriented camo (double points for Multicam, triple for Kryptek)
  • Any gun- or gun-related company branding other than Beretta or Browning
  • Made by: Arc'teryx, Kitanica, Propper, 5.11, Blackhawk, et al
  • Has gun-specific features like mag pouches or holster compartments
  • Has epaulets
I fall into the "Not a slave to fashion*" category which means I shop at the second hand stores and other discount places. I've found this makes CCW much easier on the whole. I find I can score 2 points here in the summer, and probably none in the winter.

Summertime points come to me from #3 and #6 as I wear Aloha shirts as cover garments, the eye-watering patterns being great distraction from any printing that might happen. #6 came from the Lee brand cargo shorts which come from Sears with 2 mag pockets on the left pocket overlay.

Come winter I could probably conceal a SAW under everything else I wear.

*Heard that one referring to the wardrobe manager on the Click and Clack show on NPR. One gets the impression they were being charitable to him.

Why We Love Polls

Because with little or no effort you can get any answer you want. A lot of them right now are heavily skewed to discourage targeted voters from voting.

Reuters was reporting Trump up 2 this morning which would be a significant jump from being down 6 yesterday. It makes a good headline, but look under the hood. To get to Trump by 2, the sample included 46% democrats, 32.5% Republicans, and 13.9% Independents. In the last election, Coloradoans cast more Republican votes than Dem by a small margin. Expert gerrymandering in 2010 got the Donks the House and Governorship.

Other polls suggest that about 11% of each party is planning to vote the other party, being unable to stomach the selected candidate. If the I's break 100% for Trump (unlikely) the poll would show a 46/46.4 in Trumps favor. If the I's break 50-50 (more likely), the results look like 53/39 in favor of Hill. Right now no one sees that happening either. Adjusting for the disgruntled would move about 5.8 points from D to R and 4.3 points from R to D making the margin 51.7/40.3.

In order to get to a 2% Trump win, about 8 points of the D's would have to switch to the R side, or voter turnout would have to look more like it usually does around here. Still, if it took that big an oversampling of Dems to get Trump 2 points up, think what an approximately even split must yield.