The REAL reason for the extinction

The problem is obvious. You can have hunters from all periods of human history, and all periods in the future, all hunting dinosaurs. With only a few hunters from a given time paying exorbitant prices for their dinosaur safaris, that still could add up to billions and billions of hunters. Surely you see the problem.

Tam knows, but she’s not letting on.

Idaho Campus Carry

I’ve been working on campus carry, really, since 2007. In 2008 I was forced to write some words, in order to get the preemption bill passed, that recognized the right of the universities to regulate firearms on their campuses. I have felt shitty about that since then. The best thing about S1254 (besides adding one more blade to the swiss army knife-like enhanced license) is that the language I wrote in 2008 is repealed. My sin was washed away today.

There is really a lot less than meets the eye to S1254. The colleges and universities were never granted authority to do something that was really none of their business in the first place and they didn’t even bother to provide any security to make sure that their policy was followed. The institutions pretended they had the authority to adopt policies banning guns. They were never willing to negotiate with people who felt they should be allowed to have a choice to carry a concealed weapon while on campus; they thought they could win through sheer bluster as they had before, and this is what they got for their arrogance. The people of Idaho and the legislature have decided that they want uniform firearms rules across the state. The private non-criminal behavior of adults who choose a means to defend themselves against rape, robbery, etc. is no more a legitimate concern of college administrators than it is of city or county governments. One final thought: If the universities were truly committed to making their campuses gun free zones why haven’t any of them deployed metal detectors and the whole panoply of security we are familiar with at the airport and other secured locations? They knew how to truly banish guns if they had wanted to and yet they chose to protect their campuses from the “menace” of firearms with a piece of paper that only the law-abiding would respect.

Gun Song – I feel like a bullet (in the gun of Robert Ford) by Elton John

Another Elton tune. Not really about guns, but guns have become used as metaphors in all sorts of ways in our language. Much of language is sourced in metaphors and cultural references and expressions that have (d)evolved into words or shorthand. The more common or the more powerful an item or reference is, the more it’s used and the further expressions are stretched. Here it is yet another oblique reference.

Robert Ford was an old west outlaw that killed his gang leader, a guy by the name of Jesse James.

Static dynamics

We call it “static” electricity, but it can sure cause havoc when it moves. My office carpet charges me up when I walk across it, and if I am dumb enough to touch a USB port on my computer it causes problems from disabling every USB device to shutting down the computer. “Whack”. If I’m thinking, I touch the cabinet first, to discharge the static harmlessly. The USB port is a vulnerable point in the system.

I was awoke in the middle of the night years ago during a snow storm, by the noise. “POP!….snick…..POP!….Snick…” with perfect regularity, over and over. That’s something that’ll get your attention in a deep sleep in the middle of the night. I had a 40 meter “inverted vee” dipole antenna atop my trailer, but it was a crude experimental set-up with no grounding switch. For equipment protection I simply unscrewed the antenna connector when not in use. Static was building up on the wire outside, then jumping to a metal desk lamp nearby– “POP!” A second later it jumped onto a ground cable next to the lamp– “Snick”. I guess it took a second for the charge to migrate to the pointy piece of the lamp where it discharged. It was dark, so I could see the sparks. They were impressive. Stupidly, I grabbed hold of the cable to screw it into a grounded jack I had set up. Yow! That’ll wake ya right up. It’s amazing how much voltage can be pulled out of a snow storm in just a few seconds.

When we were kids, we had to wait at the Spokane airport for a long time one day. We found that the carpet there would build up an impressive charge on you, and when you touched a doorknob or something you’d get a pretty good jolt. So naturally we played a trick on our little sister. We told her to touch her finger to someone else’s finger. “Ouch!”
“Try it with someone else.”
“There must be something wrong with you. Here; try it on me.”
“Ouch!” After several rounds of this we had her convinced that it was all her– Something was wrong with her, and after facing the prospect of a lifetime of never being able to touch another person without causing pain, she started crying. Then of course we had to console her and explain the joke, feeling guilty about it.

One winter night while driving home at night in sub freezing weather I watched a lightning storm. It was a little, single, isolated thunderhead off in the distance. Normally a thunder storm is driven by warm, humid air condensing as it rises, releasing its heat energy thus causing more rising and more condensation, etc. Vapor to liquid– There’s a lot of energy involved in changes of state, but in this particular case it was quite cold outside. Compared to the more familiar springtime or summer thunderstorms, this one was very low energy. One strike only every several minutes. Could this thunder storm have been the result of a liquid to sold change-of-state system? Never heard of such a thing. I’ve seen winter lightening only twice in my life, and the other time it was just one strike.

A Security Theater: Intermission

TSA announced this week that they will begin allowing airline passengers to carry small knives on board again, with restrictions.

“These are popular items we see regularly,” agency spokesman David Castelveter told Bloomberg News. “They don’t present a risk to transportation security.”

Apparently, in the ten years since they were banned, these small knives have learned the evil of their ways, and have collectively agreed to not hurt anyone. I wish TSA would return the little CRKT Zilla tool they seized last year – perhaps if I write a letter on its behalf, promising that it will be good and not slice anyone, they’ll release it from knife jail and send it home.

Of course, those evil “Assault Knives” – box cutters, are still on the banned list. Even though the typical blade length on a box cutter is less than half the length of a newly-permissible knife. And the knife can’t have a locking blade, because, well – it might actually make it useful for something. Or have a molded grip, as opposed to riveted-on scales, because, well – because TSA says so. I didn’t see any mention of the “shoulder thing that goes up,” but if you have a knife with one, it’s probably best not to try to board with one.

I imagine that this relaxing of previously stupid regulations is supposed to placate us – instead of questioning the entire regulation in the first place. Perhaps now is the time to push for complete retraction of all those bans.

“Carry on a full bottle of shampoo? Why, proceed, young lady!”

“Are those hollow points you’ve loaded in that .44 Mag, sir? I’m sorry, we only allow Glasers or other approved frangibles on board – please change those HPs out with these TSA approved rounds, and give them back at the end of your flight. Have a pleasant trip, sir!”

Once again, the typical bureaucratic response to promulgating laws is to make shit up. I run into it all the time in my industry (environmental remediation – regulators without a clue blindly enforcing idiotic rules that actually hinder the cleanup they are supposedly trying to foster). In government, cosmetic features and illusion comprise the reality of bureaucrats. It’s bad because I say it’s bad, unless it’s good.


Quadrupling your impact

I do the same as Ry.

Some explanation is probably required…

Employee donations to 501(c)(3) corporations are matched by Microsoft. Microsoft made up a special pop can to put in our refrigerators that said, “double your impact”. Referring, of course, to the matching gifts.

But then Ry and I donate money to American Snipers. That should result in an additional impact multiplier, right?

The anti-gun male

Joe Waldron sent a copy of this by Julia Gorinto to an email list I’m on. A small sample:

The very ownership of a gun for defense of home and family implies some assertiveness and a certain self-reliance. But if our man kept a gun in the house, and an intruder broke in and started attacking his wife in front of him, he wouldn’t be able to later say, “He had a knife–there was nothing I could do!” Passively watching in horror while already trying to make peace with the violent act, scheduling a therapy session and forgiving the perpetrator before the attack is even finished wouldn’t be the option it otherwise is.

In short, he is a man begging for subjugation. He longs for its promise of equality in helplessness. Because only when that strange, independent alpha breed of male is helpless along with him will he feel adequate. Indeed, his freedom lies in this other man’s containment.

There is lots of very powerful stuff in there. Some useful concepts for when you write letters to the editor and politicians.

2nd Amendment in the belly of the beast

On July 2nd (presumably this will be post Heller decision) Stephen P. Halbrook and Don B. Kates, Jr. under the auspices of The Independent Institute will be putting on an What the Second Amendment Means Today in Oakland California.

California in general and to a great extent Oakland in particular is extremely hostile to gun ownership. I wonder if the politicians will get the hint that they are on the wrong side of the issue.

News from Israel. The Anatomy of a Ceasefire

From our friend Howard in Israel, we get news.

What really is a tactical ceasefire?
I’ll answer my own question.
It is a 1,000% increased police presence downtown for fear of Hamas terror shifting from Gaza to Israel proper.  Of course we cannot hit back at Hamas in Gaza if there is an attack, say in Jerusalem.  Hitting back would violate the ceasefire.
Now armed terrorists are on the Gaza border, literally next to the fence building defensive positions and planting explosives. Prior to 06:00 a terrorist near the border would be shot.

At 06:00 the ceasefire took effect, thus giving Hamas a chance to regroup, rearm, and entrench in preparation for their next string of attacks.  Meanwhile, the missiles have been coming in daily.  Imagine what we would do if, say, the Canadian government had been launching daily missile attacks into the U.S. for the last several years.

“Why can’t we all just get along?” you might ask.  Answer; because we’re unwilling to face the fact that some people have no interest in getting along.  When we try to get along with them, we’re encouraging them to take advantage of our weakness as they will see it.  There should be peace talks alright, after the enemy has been defeated beyond all hope.  The “peace talks” that actually amount to peace are the ones that take place as part of the surrender agreement.  It’s all been said before of course, but the True Believers in Washington will discount it as the ravings of the unfaithful.

“All we are saying is give peace a chance” seems to be the motto of the day, borrowing a lyric from John & Yoko.  This form of “giving peace a chance” is in reality nothing more than “giving the enemy a chance” to kill you.

Environmentalists’ wild predictions

Furthering the discussion prompted in Joe’s post here (read the comments) I point you to a must-read (and a real knee-slapper IMO)– a recent piece by Williams, in which he catalogs just a few highlights from the never-ending string of end-of-the-world predictions coming from “authorities” on climate and economics.

(And we gun owners are often called paranoid)

I grew up hearing many of these prophecies of doom, and what’s a kid to do other than believe them in a time when there was no opposition in the media, and a time (then as now) when the public schools were parroting them as gospel?  What’s a kid to do with a mind full of such doom and gloom, other than become cynical about the world, fearful and somewhat hopeless about the future?

Those who perpetrate such idiocy, besides being liars and scoundrels, are practicing child abuse.  Most of the people so abused will never realize that they’re being abused– they’ll just live in fear of the world and in hatred of their fellow (“Earth destroying”) human beings.  I finally figured it out, and it’s part of why I’m now in such vociferous opposition to the lefty-loon-cultists who spread this trash.  I can’t get my childhood back, but I can help fight the continuing abuse.

“Oh, but can we afford to ignore these dire predictions?” you might say.  OK.  Can we afford to ignore the fact that you may be a child rapist?  Do we have to wait for you to actually rape a child in front of witnesses before we incarcerate you?  Wouldn’t that be unfair to your potential victim(s)?  Shouldn’t we save your potential victims in advance?

Stupid, isn’t it?  This country was founded to protect human rights– not save the planet from dwindling resources, or to control the weather, etc..  With our freedom protected– our ability to act in our own interests, unimpeded and un-harassed, we will have the best chance of successfully overcoming life’s challenges.

Truther consequences

One of the sessions at the NRA conventions I attended was “It’s Not The Critic Who Counts”. It was a good session and I’ll post more about it another time.

What was embarrassing at the time was some 9/11 Truther who heckled Ollie North. I thought North handled him well during the session and I figured that would be the end of it.

But after the session the guy came up and harassed him some more. I was busy talking to someone else and didn’t pay much attention.

A couple hours later while a bunch of us were eating lunch Rick noticed someone being marched out the door by a squad of men in blue. Here is our lunch gathering:

Rick and I went outside to check it out. The guy in handcuffs (you can’t see the cuffs in this picture) up against the wall was the Truther.

According to my sources he didn’t stop with harassing North he continued on with Ted Nugent and maybe even some others. The powers that be finally got tired of it. They yanked his pass and escorted him out of the building.

Gun School – Eight More Join the Gun Culture

After having taught many people to shoot, I’ve found a universal challenge (in addition to the well-known and documented challenges): It seems that most people have a hard time grasping the idea of charging a semi-auto pistol or rifle.  There is a tendency to want to ease the charging handle (or slide) forward, rather than pulling it all the way back and letting go, so it can fly forward under its own spring tension as should be done.  We demonstrate the technique, and explain why it should be done that way– the gun operates this way every time it’s fired, and it’s necessary to let this happen when charging it by hand, so as to ensure a solid lockup of the mechanism prior to firing, and in some cases, to avoid having your fingers bitten by the mechanism.

Still, while doing a team-teaching session this weekend in NRA Basic Pistol, we had a guy cut his finger while charging a MK II pistol.  “It will bite you” I tell them now, “if you don’t let go of the slide.  Just let it fly forward.”  In my next class it will be an objective to see to it that this doesn’t happen again.

It was a very rewarding day, and all the students came away from it satisfied that they had acquired a good basic understanding of the safety principles, of pistols, and of pistol shooting.  The fact that it was a twelve-hour ordeal came to my mind only afterward.  For those who would like the rewarding experience of teaching people to shoot, using proven, time-tested methods, see Joe’s post here or contact the NRA about instructor training classes being held near you.

Mathematically impaired

Most people can’t do simple math. If they could they would have immediately seen something wrong with these results:

A new federal survey about sex and drug use in the United States reveals that an average American man has sex with seven women during his lifetime, compared with four male sexual partners for the average woman.

The latest survey, which claims to have used the high-tech methods to solicit candid answers on sexual activity and illegal drug use, found that approximately 29 percent of men reported having 15 or more female sexual partners in a lifetime, while just over 9 percent of women reported having sex with 15 or more men.

Every time a man has sex with a new partner that woman has sex with a new partner. The writer of this story should have clarified they are not using the usual definition of “average” (the “mean”). If they were then the average for both men and women must be the same. This article clarifies they are using a measure less frequently used by (excuse the pun) lay people, called the “median”.

I don’t have the time to go looking for it in my sex archives but this anomaly in survey results has been known for a long time and it was about five or six years ago they figured it out what was going on.

It turns out prostitutes are under represented in nearly all surveys. Most surveys were done with phone calls during the evening hours. The evening is during the working hours of the “ladies of the night” and hence they are under represented. A simple example will demonstrate why the numbers above, interpreted as a mean, must be bogus and the prostitute answer explains how it could happen.

Suppose there are 100 men and 100 women in a given closed population. Each of the men pair up with one women. But one woman, wanting a little something extra, has sex with not only her partner but the other 99 men as well. The true mean number of partners for the men is (99×2 + 1×1)/100 => 1.99. The true mean number of partners for the women is (99×1 + 1×100)/100 => 1.99. Yet if you did a sample of 20 men and women with a bias against surveying women who were likely to have large numbers of partners then you would probably end up with numbers of 2.0 and 1.0. In any example of heterosexual sex pairings you can come up with in this population the mean number of different partners for men must equal the mean number of partners for the women.

Dangerous thoughts

I got some email from the “Gun Guy” today. I guess this bigot has never heard of the concept of prior restraint. But of course that isn’t surprising since he apparently hasn’t gotten the word the Second Amendment as well as most state constitutions guarantee the people the right to keep and bear arms.

Here is the scary stuff:

Many of our current gun laws have loopholes and vary from state to state. So, even if we locked up all the criminals, all we’d end up with is… more criminals. Most criminals don’t commit crimes based on some inner, unavoidable evil inside of them. They commit crimes when given the opportunity to do so. Get rid of that opportunity, and you get rid of the crime completely.

So enforcement alone won’t do it. But prevention will. Prevention in the form of comprehensive and effective gun laws — laws that keep guns from ever reaching the hands of criminals in the first place — will make a difference. Laws that keep weapons that do not belong in civilian hands, such as high powered rifles, will make a difference. And, laws that keep firearms out of the places they shouldn’t be, and that stop crime even before it starts, will also make a difference.

That’s how you stop crime. What the NRA misses when it asks for enforcement only is that enforcing the law doesn’t actually prevent it. You can’t arrest someone until after they’ve committed a crime, so if all you do is arrest criminals, you’re still seeing the crimes happen.

We need to remove opportunities for crime? Yeah, right. Does that mean to prevent rape we should castrate all the men? How about sewing all vagina shut so women can’t engage in prostitution? Or removing eyes so people can’t engage in voyeurism? And to prove I’m not stuck on sex crimes, we can prevent fights by shackling the hands and feet of everyone. We can prevent drunk driving and public drunkenness by banning alcohol. Slander can be prevented by removing people’s vocal cords. Libel can be prevented by banning publication of, well, everything. And while we are at it we can prevent theft by abolishing private property.

This isn’t the first time this anti-freedom bigot has pushed this particular hot-button of mine.

The bottom line is you cannot prevent crime without going down a very dangerous path.

Currency of Hatred

One of our employees found this gem a few years ago at the local food co-op– a place where they charge high prices for food that’s “non-corporate” and where they promote anti-capitalist politics and ideals.

It reveals much of the driving force behind the institution of Socialism– pure, unadulterated, white-hot hatred for Mankind, marketed to us as “compassion”.  This rare glimpse into the mind of a Leftist is what I call the “Hate Dollar”.

I believe I can speak with some authority in this area, having been one of “them” myself, growing up as I did among people of similar attitudes and beliefs.  Let me know if you want any part of this work explained:

Check out the high resolution version and you’ll see the exquisite detail and the care with which the artist spills out hatred for America, for Liberty, and for most anything that smacks of human achievement and advancement.  Note also that President Clinton was far too Right Wing for them, having been something of an open-trade president.

Incidentally, I can find nothing in the hate dollar that would be at odds with what the current crop of jihadis has been saying– The overlap of the two ideologies is worthy of note.

Ante up

I kept forgetting to post this.  A couple weeks ago Ry told us about a some changes announced at a company meeting at Microsoft.  One of the things he didn’t mention that struck me the most was the reason Bill Gates didn’t attend the meeting.  Bill had just finished up a CEO summit meeting he had hosted and he and his good friend Warren Buffet were going to play poker that afternoon. 


I wonder what the ante for one of those games is. Would it be $100K, $1M, or a penny?  What would it mean to the future of the world if both of them pushed all their chips into the center of the table?

This shouldn’t take long

I suppose it depends on how you define “successful”.  From New York Daily News:

The National Summit on Illegal Guns will take place next Tuesday. The event will begin with a symposium outlining successful gun control policies from cities across the country.

If they mean using legal restrictions on weapons to reduce crime then it will be a very short symposium.  If they mean disarming the victims and enabling murder and other violent crime to increase then they could probably spend months on the topic.  My prediction is they will measure success in terms of gun destroyed, not lives destroyed, by their illegal actions.

I have Just One Question for these nut cases.

Lack of postings

Sorry for the lack of postings lately.  Here is what I have been doing for the last couple of days that has kept me away from the computer.

Most of the day Thursday I was looking at apartments and roommate situations after having lunch with some friends at Dixie’s Barbeque in Bellevue.  It was good to see Mike in good spirits and apparently healthy after his bicyle wreck which resulted in seven broken bones, a punctured lung, and other injuries.

Probably the most interesting potential roommate was the room in the basement of the owner of a house in Bellevue.  This is her business.  A professional matchmaker–who is single.  Another was a travel agent who was having some difficulties because of the hurricane that wiped out a Cancan resort where a big group of his had made reservations for late November.  His comment was “You know not to make reservations during hurricane season, but who would have thought the resort would be closed for two months after the end of the season?”  Then there was the potential roommate that said, “You can hunt all the coyotes you want from the backyard.”  I would have had to watch out for:

…one llama, 2 alpaca, 3 angora goats, 1 jacob sheep, 9 indian runner ducks, 2 Cayuga ducks, 1 leonberger dog (who rarely comes inside, his job is guarding the flock/herd) and a personable, ancient cat that lives in the garage.

And those were just the animals outside the house.  I was tempted.  I grew up on a farm and it would have had some similarities to “home”.  However the commute to work was a little farther than I really wanted and I turned them down.  I have one more potential roommate to check out on Tuesday when I arrive back in the area.

I finished the visit with the last potential roommate and left the Seattle area for the long drive home at 22:00.  I got into bed with Barb at 02:38.  Barb had Friday off and after she took Xenia to school we celebrated my new job by staying in bed all day.  No time for the computer except for the reaching over the side of the bed for the laptop long enough to post the Quote of the Day while Barb was getting us something to eat from the kitchen.

Yesterday after continuing our celebration in bed until mid morning Barb and I went to Lewiston for a walk along the levees and a visit to Costco.  Barb has been reading a book on Alford Hitchcock and we watched one of his early movies before going to bed early.  Which explains why I woke up early this morning.

One of my tasks for today is to create a blog for Jason’s parents and other friends visiting him in Walter Reed to post information in.  That will be easier for them than making lots of phone calls and keeping lists of all the people than need to be on the To: line of the email.  Once I get that set up I’ll post a link here too.

I’ve got lots of other things to do too.  Lots of stuff to take care of before I head back over for my new job.  I’ll try to get in a gun related post soon.  The deadline for the latest postal rifle match is coming up soon and I still need to shoot it.  I’m thinking of going hunting, shooting the postal match, and working an the Taj Mahal tomorrow.  The Taj is in good shape now but I need to do inventory, check the battery charging system, and empty all the jugs of water (used for cleaning) before it freezes.  And if I have enough time I’ll test some targets using the .223 at long range.