Friday, April 30, 2021

Fun With headlines - Election Integrity

 From the Epoch Times:

Tennessee Legislature Passes Bill Requiring Watermarks on Absentee Ballots

This being Tennessee, I presume the round ring from the condensation on my bourbon glass will provide sufficient proof that I'm doing this in Tennessee, and have been giving deep consideration to my choices. Must be a watermark, a coffee ring won't do.

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Biological Warfare

 Let's play a bit of "What If" shall we?

Suppose some hostile country mounted a biological warfare action against us. Say they had developed a fast-spreading disease with a 3-5% mortality rate among senior management types. Let's say they started spreading it using widely traveled vectors in the international business community who would be the most likely to come in contact with the senior management types they wanted to target.

Here's what a caseload graphic might look like:

It seems that it might be 2-4 months before anyone who mattered actually noticed, and about a year before the maximum effects would hit. At this point, you should have your pre-vaccinated troops ready to rectify whatever borders you want, facing a demoralized enemy with its leadership significantly reduced. If your troops can offer a vaccine, however unproven, to your new citizens, they might even be happily welcomed, especially if  the actual source of the disease can be adequately hidden. The NYT produced a graphic suggesting that a Covid vaccine might take as long as 10 years to produce in quantity, assuming standard super cautious methodology favored by the FDA.

A biological war would therefore, be very slow at the start, be very confusing in the middle, and fairly quickly done with at the end.

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

The Courts, When Faced With Math

 It has been argued that when debating with a liberal, the last thing you want to bring into your argument is anything having to do with math. Well, it seems that while citing statistics, and other such arcane magic to a liberal is nearly always counter productive, it is also true that not all conservatives are math whizzes either, and will shy away from such stuff.

Here is an article in Reason that describes what the problem is in cases when math of an order higher than balancing a checkbook rears its ugly head. Here's a quote:

For example, when presented with basic statistical evidence of anomalies in the 2019 election of Georgia's lieutenant governor, a Georgia Supreme Court justice said: "We are all lawyers. We are all judges. You are making us shudder with math." Another added, "I am one of many people who went to law school because I was told there would be no math. Yet here it is." It is hardly surprising that after advancing to his position as Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, John Roberts' response to statistical evidence showing Wisconsin's voting districts had been warped by political gerrymandering was to dismiss it as "sociological gobbledygook," when, in fact, it was a conclusion based on basic mathematical methods.

I can sympathize with the judges as one of the books that moved me to tears was "Elementary Differential Equations". My other experience was being subjected to a course in Statistical Analysis of Manufacturing Processes" which crammed a complete course in statistics into 4 days. I would not recommend it to a superior court judge who was presented with an analysis of voting distribution patterns. Far better would be for the judge to find a neutral(!) statistician who could sum up the numbers in a way understandable to a lay person. This sort of innumeracy goes a long way toward explaining why most of the lawsuits about the conduct of the last election have been dismissed. If the judge cannot understand your case, you might as well be presenting it in Klingon.

It also seems that if judges are noticeably light in the math department, at least some of the members of the various legislatures have at least a working comprehension of what's going on. In both Arizona and New Hampshire, the legislatures have ordered a detailed audit of the voting processes having been presented with statistical evidence that at least some of the members are familiar with. A business man when presented with evidence that the recorded inputs and delivered outputs do not match expectations, will immediately want to know why and what to do to fix this. His fellow legislators who do not have this background, would still respect his expertise on this matter and at some point, a majority might well form in favor of investigating. 

Thursday, April 22, 2021

The Gun Control Movement in The Peoples Republic Of Boulder

 A Boulder attorney and gun control advocate has purchased a couple of prominent billboards to make his case:

Well, O.K., the constitution itself was written in 1787, 4 years earlier. Imagine living in a country set up under those outdated ideas. I mean, C'mon man, modern progressive democracies like Russia, China, and the DPRK make a practice of revising or replacing their constitutions every 10 years or so to take into account the changing national or global landscape. Or possibly the mass starvation or privation the old, outdated constitutions delivered, so why wouldn't we want to follow in their footsteps. 

The entire Bill of Rights was written in 1791 so why should we have to put up with such an anachronism today? 

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Fun With Headlines - Gang Problems

Here's a story about CNNs Cuomo suggesting that police reform won't come until white kids start getting killed. 

CNN's Cuomo: Police reform won't come until white kids are killed

The problem with this is that most of the kids currently getting killed are members of predominantly black or Latino gangs which typically are not very "diverse". Thus, to get police reform, we must first come down on the non-diverse gangs to force them to admit members from outside their own ethnicities. We also need to get after the larger gangs to get them to diversify their upper management.

UPDATE: Seems I spoke too soon, so shame on me! Here's a collection of mugshots of people arrested in Portland from a BLM demonstration:

Looks like the diversity problem is being quite aggressively addressed. 

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Fun With Headlines - Butigieg

 Found at Brietbart:

PolitiFact Rates Pete Buttigieg Comment ‘True’: ‘Racism Physically Built into Some of Our Highways’

This requires the right viewpoint, and I've got it: Now look at how many of our roadways are made with black asphalt overlaid with white paint. Did you ever see such an example of outright racism?  And to make it even worse, you also find the oppressed black asphalt overlaid with yellow paint as well! Blatant promotion of white and yellow races over black, I say!

So here's how to strike back. Go out and buy a beater car. Doesn't matter what kind, and loosen the oil drain plug, just slightly. Now get out there and drizzle black oil over the racist white and yellow paint! That'll show them!

The Future Of Transportation - Elio Re-Invented


I'm completely unsurprised to see this, a variation on the Elio 3-wheeler only electrified. Adding the electric package is a coming thing among the amateur car builders. In this case the manufacturer has taken the Elio concept of a fully enclosed 3-wheeler with 2-in-front configuration and tandem seating, and electrified it.

The big differences are that 1. this one is the very trendy electric, and 2. It's actually in production. Priced at $17K it's not nearly as cheap as the Elio promised, but is probably more realistically priced considering the not inconsequential inflation that has taken place since Elio rolled out its first prototype.

Leaving off the side doors probably keeps the price down and makes sense in a tropical environment like Eugine OR. I could see some gullwing doors in this vehicles future which would make it a real, all weather vehicle. The top on this one is plexiglass and a half side cover is available on the delivery version. 

They promise a top speed of 75 and a range of (up to) 120 miles in town. I wonder what a used one costs, and how hard would it be to convert to a gasoline engine, either small car or motorcycle? Top speed then would be 110 and range essentially unlimited.

UPDATE: A little digging reveals that enclosure is an option. It's a gullwing, and is seemingly available on one side only. Or I could be wrong, both sides could be opening, just not at the same time.

Friday, April 16, 2021

FedEx Shooting - Speculation

 As of the writing of this post, nothing is known about the shooter or his motives, so as a counter weight to the inevitable lefty wails that he's a racist white guy, let me have a shot (so to speak).

1. He/She/It has lefty social/political views, and

2. He/She/It has a whole basket full of loose screws.

This is support of my view that if there were any way to keep lefty nutjobs from having guns, the instances of mass shootings would drop to near zero. I also don't see any practical way to do this, so I advise the rest of us to go armed.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Cementing Absolute Power

 From the NYdaily news, here's the other shoe we were (not) waiting for:

Reps. Jerry Nadler, who chairs the powerful House Judiciary Committee, and Mondaire Jones will announce the bill at a press conference outside the Supreme Court on Thursday, according to their offices.

Nadler and Jones will be joined by Georgia Rep. Hank Jones, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee’s sub-panel on courts, and Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey in announcing the high-stakes measure, which is formally called the Judiciary Act of 2021.

This would cement any gains from a 2022 election under the rules of HR1 which would institutionalize election fraud. The party in power usually loses seats in the legislature in the first off-year election following their coming to power, the Dems are punished for over reaching, and the Republicans for doing nothing. Under HR1 rules, the widespread anomalies we saw in 2020 would be spread nationwide to the house and senate races, and no protest would be heard by the supreme court unless a ruling were needed to assure us that there was nothing to see here.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Boredom – Farmers vs Engineers

So which is worse, bored farmers, with 3000 HP pulling tractors and giant sculptures of dinosaurs or bored engineers with rocket-assisted cars and steam powered motorcycles? Or both, competing with trebuchets?

D'wife has remarked several times that Engineers should never be allowed to be bored. The results all too often wind up making headlines and not always in a good way.

Here's my rather modest contribution: A crossbow, made from leftover parts of other projects involving bicycles and old motorcycle parts. I will warn you up front that this thing is not all that close to being finished. I'm designing this as I go along and most of is is subject to revisions, some of which may be quite significant.

Viewing the top. The notch in the right hand stave is not there on purpose. It was there when I found the piece of aluminum. So far, not a problem.

Bottom side. Here you can see the mechanism. The spring is inside the black PVC tube to keep it from flexing when I cock the bow.

The draw on this is a compound stringing method that makes the pull relatively lighter while increasing the pull distance quite a bit. Most crossbows only pull back 6-12 inches but might be as high as 150 lb. The physics of springs says that the energy in a spring is 1/2KX^2 where K is the spring force, and X is the distance it is compressed or extended. More pull distance means less effort to cock it for the same energy for the bolt.

This one uses a rear spring from a motorcycle to supply the force, and the bottom brackets from 2 small bicycles to operate the bow arms which normally do not bend. The chain runs from one sprocket, down through the spring, back up, and around the other sprocket. When the arms are pulled back, the spring is compressed forward. If you want a more powerful bow, you simply attach the chain further around the sprockets, increasing the pre-load on the spring.

It simply cries out for some sort of steampunk decoration.

Monday, April 12, 2021

QOTD - Subsidies

 I hope that the infrastructure package fails, but if it passes, let me say that massive payments to bloggers are infrastructure.

And I mean massive. Hey, it would be less destructive than what the money will actually go for.                 Glenn Reynolds

Being about as lazy as the next guy, I'm down with this. I mean who among us bit-stained wretches couldn't use a few thousand extra dollars? 

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Modern Thought Process

 When the Ever Given reached the Suez canal, it was required to take on 2 or 3 Egyptian pilots to safely get it through. These pilots were driving the ship when conditions went South on them and they wound up crosswise in the canal. 

The Egyptian government has announced that it's suing the Evergreen company for the costs associated with the blockage. 

When you lose control of your car on an icy road, spin it 25 times and become the root cause of a 62 car pileup on the freeway, nobody comes looking for the Ford motor company for damages. They come looking for the driver.

The only exception to this so far is when someone buys a gun and goes out and shoots a bunch of people. Then it's the gunmaker's fault. I guess the doctrine is expanding. Expect soon that when someone gets drunk and hits someone else with his car, the car maker will be held liable.

Thursday, April 1, 2021

NICS checks - No Foolin!

 March stats are up and we have another all time record!

You gotta hand it to the Democrats, they know how to sell guns like no one else. Defund the cops? Sure! Empty the prisons? Absolutely! Tolerate rioters to the point of favoring them over the citizenry? You know it! On the up side, no matter how many 30 round mags a mass shooter has, he probably doesn't have more than 20 rounds to put into them as that's about all the gun store will be able to sell him with the gun. Puts a premium on marksmanship and keeps the body count down.

The March count was 4,691,738 so if you take the received knowledge that about 70% of those checks went for gun purchases, that means a bit over 3.2M new guns in circulation. Throw in a box of 50 rounds per gun and someone needs to be making 164.2Million rounds of new ammo. Mama mia! Datsa lotta ammo! And that's just for the new guns. The existing 400M need to be fed too.