Quote of the day—Lyle

There have been many, many statements to the effect that gun owners, so-called “constitutionalists” (spoken as an epithet), libertarians, et al (any of a generally pro-liberty, anti-authoritarian mind) are essentially vermin, heretics who deserve no rights unless they recant. And so while they’re saying we MUST trust liars and power-hungry psychopaths in government, who hate us, to “keep us safe”, they’re simultaneously saying that we’re the problem the world needs to get rid of in order to be safe (“safe” meaning “free from opposition”).

History proves beyond all doubt that if you comply and turn in your guns they’ll not stop hating and accusing you. They’ll persecute you all the more. More because you’re not only an enemy of their beautiful alliance, you’ve now proven yourself to be weak, manipulated via lies, unable to stand on your own principles, a coward, and therefore all the more contemptible! Compliance with liars and criminal psychopaths is like chum in the water— It attracts a feeding frenzy among the sharks. It ONLY leads to more contempt and more violations!

Lyle
January 11, 2022
Comment to Quote of the day—JPFO @JPFO_2A
[This reminds me of something I learned (the hard way) from dealing with people with personality disorders. You must draw a line and provide consequences for misbehavior which transgress that line. If you do not you will end up in an abusive relationship.—Joe]

Quote of the day—EngiBones @EngiBones

Dude you dont want to have a conversation, you want to jerk off your gun, I will own more than you, my family has an actually armory, but we all agree that some people should not get guns. Like my uncle. Dont use your gun like a penis extension, it shows hard.

EngiBones @EngiBones
Tweeted on December 29, 2021
[It’s not only another Markley’s Law Monday it’s another science denier!

This is a rather odd set of statements. I’m thinking troll. This, from their description, supports that hypothesis:

This chaos is fun

Whatever. It’s just another person using childish insults about gun ownership when they don’t have anything of substance to say.

Via a tweet from In Chains @InChainsInJail.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Scott Adams @ScottAdamsSays

I think it’s accurate to call #Jan6 an “insurrection.”

Unfortunately, the protesters at the capitol were not able to stop the insurrection and the vote was certified.

Scott Adams @ScottAdamsSays
Tweeted on January 8, 2022
[I really laughed at this one.

Nineteen minutes later he followed up with:

I declare my right, as a citizen of the United States, to label the 2020 election illegitimate based on a lack of transparency.

An election that can’t be fully audited — by design — must bear the full presumption of fraud.

So, it wasn’t only a joke. Okay, that’s fair.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Hannah Furfaro

Similar in nature to vaccines against disease, addiction vaccines stimulate the body to create antibodies that recognize a drug, and prevent or slow it from reaching the brain. A shot every few months, or once a year, has the potential to seriously ease a person’s path to recovery. 

Hannah Furfaro
January 5, 2022
To fight opioid crisis, UW researchers take new shot at developing vaccine against addictive drugs
[Interesting. I never who have guessed such a thing was possible. But now that the idea has been presented I can imagine “vaccines” for all kinds of things.

The first one that came to mind was one prevent Marxist beliefs. That was quickly followed by the concern that someone would probably develop, and the government would soon mandate, a vaccine to prevent individualism and/or suspicion of large government.

I soon returned to the present day and reality by reminding myself there has been a vaccine for the lethal variants of Marxism since before the mutations first started spreading over 100 years ago. Current prices vary from less than $0.10 to over $5.00 dollars a shot. And, if properly injected, they will cure as well as provide lifelong 100% immunity from infections. Even though the shots are widely available, inexpensive, and effective we still have rising Marxist infection rates. It seems to me there will have to be mandates to achieve herd immunity. This is because the voluntary inoculation rates are so very low..—Joe]

Quote of the day—Jason Rantz

A top King County prosecutor told a group of South Sound law enforcement officials that they better “get used to” no jail time for juvenile criminals responsible for the alarming rise of violence in the region. He even joked about their concern, using a popular meme that some on the call found offensive.

Ben Carr is the senior deputy prosecuting attorney for King County. He offered a PowerPoint presentation on how the county treats juvenile offenders driving much of the crime. The meeting was called after mayors criticized the prosecutor’s office for going too easy on criminals, demanding answers. It did not go well.

Jason Rantz
January 4, 2022
Rantz: Prosecutor says ‘get used to’ no jail time for teen gun crimes, assault, theft
[King County encompasses Seattle and many of the nearby towns.

Other items of interest from the same article:

  • Violent criminals will be enrolled in restorative justice programs run by police and prison abolitionists
  • a large portion of the changes are overdue, being done to address racial disproportionality and over-incarceration
  • The alternatives are offered to certain felony suspects. Rather than going in front of a judge, RCP puts the suspects in front of a community panel of activists. That panel decides how the suspect can be held accountable.
  • RCP explains its “end goal is ABOLITION,” and that they are “fighting to dismantle the carceral state.”

Things are going to get a lot worse around here before they get better.

Prepare appropriately.—Joe]

Typical

Via Catturd ™ @catturd2:

image

This kind of thing happens a lot. If you supply someone with irrefutable evidence of their wrongly held belief they will be very creative in protecting that belief.

It’s irrational to expect people to be rational.

Quote of the day—Rhona Redtail @Rhona_Redtail

the DOT should charge Walmart trucks to use the interstates.

Rhona Redtail @Rhona_Redtail
Tweeted on January 4, 2022
[Truth is stranger than fiction because fiction has to make sense.*

If I were to make up ignorant and/or stupid stuff about people saying something like this you wouldn’t believe it.

It should be no surprise she is anti-gun too. Anti-gun attitudes are highly correlated with ignorance and stupidity.—Joe]


* There used to be a couple of morning DJs on KJR in Seattle that had a regular “thing” of telling stories about stupid/ignorant stuff and they used this as their tag line.

Quote of the day—Dan

High-pressure weather systems in the winter bring lots of sun (at a low angle) and little or no wind, just when energy demands are at their highest. The clear skies also let the earth’s heat radiate off into space at night, so it gets real cold. In the summer that same system will also result in little or no wind, and the high angle of the sun and the clear skies will result in lots of heat, and airconditioning demands lots of electricity.

Politicians don’t consult meteorologists or engineers. They consult people like Greta.

Dan
January 2, 2022
Comment to We Don’t Need No Stinking Frozen Fans
[The critical component of the article being commented on:

Alberta’s entire fleet of 13 grid-connected solar facilities, rated at 736 megawatts, was contributing 58 megawatts to the grid. The 26 wind farms, with a combined rated capacity of 2,269 megawatts, was feeding the grid 18 megawatts.

Be cautious of the inclination to “let them freeze in the dark” to “learn their lesson”. That may not turn out the way you might hope. We need a better way to show them the light.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Jake Fogleman

According to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). They said Canadians had only turned in 160 of the recently-outlawed firearms for destruction since the announcement of the ban.

The buyback scheme is the result of a May 2020 regulation from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau banning 1,500 “assault weapons” by make and model. It was enacted in response to a high-profile mass shooting in Nova Scotia, in which a gunman used illegally-obtained weapons to murder 22 people.

The ban provided a two-year amnesty period from its announcement for gun owners to comply but prohibited them from using any weapon affected by the ban going forward. The government estimates that approximately 72,000 gun owners and 105,000 firearms are affected by the policy.

Jake Fogleman
Canadians Aren’t Turning in Their Guns
December 28, 2021
[I know some people affected by this. We I talked about this before it was certain and they were quite concerned. I made a few suggestions but they were noncommittal as to what action they are going to take. I’m hoping to see them face to face sometime soon so I can get an update.

We live in interesting times.—Joe]

Most AWESOME Boomershoot fireball video ever

Jason used to enthusiastically participate, including volunteering, in Boomershoot every year. He, his wife, and kids didn’t attend for several years but made it to Boomershoot 2021. At the time I knew he had video cameras set up from various angles but forgot about it until he sent me a message:

I finally got around to editing my fireball video. Happy new year!

It’s the best Boomershoot fireball video I have ever seen:

Sign up for Boomershoot 2022 and experience the next fireball yourself. It’s an experience you will never forget.

Quote of the day—Erich Pratt

The Brady Campaign has asked us to believe the impossible… yet again.

Every January, the gun control group issues a state report card, giving each state a grade on the basis of their gun laws.

But one look at their report card reveals that the grades have nothing to do with how safe people are in the state.

Their report card is somewhat reminiscent of Lewis Carroll’s classic Alice in Wonderland. When Alice doesn’t believe the White Queen is 101 years old, she is encouraged by the Queen to spend more time trying to believe the impossible.

“When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day,” the Queen smiled. “Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

Well, the Brady Bunch would have us believe many impossible things. But here are six for starters.

First, the group gives Vermont a grade of D- because, supposedly, the “state’s weak laws make it too easy for criminals, the mentally ill and juveniles to get guns.”

But this statement is laughable, for crime in Vermont is virtually non- existent. Just last year (2003), Vermont earned the Safest State in the nation award from the Morgan Quitno Press — a group of statisticians who rank each state according to its safety record.

The Green Mountain State has consistently had one of the lowest crime rates in the nation, as they have earned this “Safest State” award three times in the last ten years.

Erich Pratt
Director of Communications for Gun Owners of America
January 16, 2004
THE BRADY BUNCH VISITS WONDERLAND ONCE AGAIN
[Via Women Against Gun Control, Ladies of High Caliber.

It’s not about reducing crime. It’s about disarming and controlling people.—Joe]

Tips for your move to Idaho

I’ve been keeping my finger on the pulse of people moving to Idaho for a couple years now. Last July this crossed my desktop:

Idaho is America’s fastest-growing state, according to data released by the U.S. Census Bureau. Its population increased by 2.1 percent to almost 1.8 million from July 2018 to June 2019.

Because of this I thought I would offer a few tips to those moving in. There can be some culture shock and the locals are going to insist you adapt to their culture rather than you imposing your culture and “the right way to do things” upon them. If they wanted the city culture they would have adapted it or moved to the city years ago.

Finding a home.

I talked to a builder in North central Idaho a few months ago and he had some interesting stories to tell.

There are no houses available for sale or rent in the area. One family, desperate to leave California, brought a camping trailer and lived in it while they looked for a place to buy or rent. After several months they gave up and went back to California.

Home builders, if you can get one to return your call, will tell you they are completely booked up a year or more into the future. If you decide you want to get on their schedule you will discover it involves an interview and if you aren’t local the odds are very low of them you giving you an interview. They won’t answer or return your calls if you fail your one and only interview. Although there may be a half dozen or a dozen builders in your area you will be lucky to get more than one to talk to you. After you fail the first interview he will tell his builder friends what a doofus your are and share your name and telephone number with them.

Here are some common interview questions and tips for answers:

  • Why are you moving here? Wrong answers include:
    “I don’t have to work in the office anymore and we want to be in the country.”
    ”There is too much crime in the city.”
    ”Things are too hectic in the city and we want a simpler life.”
    Answers that won’t eliminate you from consideration:
    ”The prosecutors are on the side of the criminals.”
    ”Saying, ‘All lives matter’ will cost you your job.”
    ”They are making all my guns illegal.”
  • Who do you know around here? Wrong answers are anything other than a half dozen people who have lived there all their lives and will vouch for your good character. You will be asked how you know them and you should be ready to tell stories about them that your interviewer, who probably also knows them, will recognize as being in character.
  • What are you going to do here? Wrong answers include:
    “Farming a few acres.”
    ”Organic <anything>.”
    ”I have enough money I don’t have to do anything.”
    Answers that won’t eliminate you from consideration:
    ”If I can get a good enough Internet connection I can work from home.”
    ”I’ll do almost anything to get out away from the politics of <state/city>.”
    ”Construction/drive truck/heavy equipment operator/etc.”
  • What sort of hunting do you do? Wrong answers include:
    ”I’m a vegan.”
    ”I’m not against others hunting but it isn’t something anyone in our family would ever consider doing.”
    ”I was thinking I might try hunting antelope (or other species that doesn’t exist in this area of Idaho) when I get here.”
    Answers that won’t eliminate you from consideration:
    ”I’ve harvested a few mulies and some ducks, but nothing recently.”
    ”Hunting is something I have always wanted to try. Can you recommend someone to help me get my hunter education card?”
    ”My wife did some hunting when she was growing up and promised she would teach me after we get settled in.”
  • What type of guns do you have? Wrong answers include:
    ”We have a couple 9mm shotguns.”
    ”Part of the reason we are leaving the city is to get away from all the guns.”
    ”Nothing right now but I expect we will be getting an assault weapon or two after we get here.”
    Answers that won’t eliminate you from consideration:
    ”We started to buy a couple handguns a year ago but it was just too much of a hassle and the sheriff wouldn’t give us a concealed carry license unless we ‘donated’ to his reelection campaign anyway.”
    “I’d rather not discuss the details until we can get them out of the state.”
    ”I haven’t done an inventory recently but I checked with a moving company and we are going to need to rent a U-Haul trailer because they won’t move them for us.”
  • What did you think of that last presidential election? Wrong answers include:
    ”It was so scary that Trump got that many votes.”
    ”If Hillary had not given up in 2016 we wouldn’t have had to worry about Trump in 2020.”
    ”If there hadn’t been so much corruption Trump would have been in jail and we could have all breathed a little easier.”
    Answers that won’t eliminate you from consideration:
    ”Let’s go Brandon!”
    ”Why hasn’t the FBI interviewed any of the people who reported election fraud?”
    ”They called that an insurrection? One day soon they are likely to see a real insurrection.”

The weather deserves mention. Given the state of the education system people may not know that living within a few tens of miles of the ocean has a moderating effect on the temperature. Currently my property in Idaho looks like this:

Preview_Mecca_01_20220101_134038_96885468

That is a picnic table covered in snow next to my explosives production facility. The snow has drifted some so the depth is quite variable but on the average it’s a couple feet deep with another 10 inches or so forecast for the coming week. And my weather station went offline last night when the temperature suddenly crashed below –5 F:

image

It’s been a common problem. The weather station was sold by an Arizona company and it just doesn’t seem to be able to handle the cold. And –5 isn’t all the cold as things go around here. I’ve seen it as low as –30F for a week at a time while never getting above –20F. It’s not all that bad as long as the electricity doesn’t go out. That winter with the lows of –30F for a week included no electricity. We heated snow on our wood stove for water. After the electricity came back on we thawed the frozen underground pipes using our electric welder. You do know how to do that, right?

The –30 F for a week was an outlier. But there have been several times when it never got above 0 F for more than a month so you should be prepared for that. Also, with it that cold and lots of snow the county may not plow the roads for several days. You and your neighbors will need to get your dozers started up and plow them yourselves. Be sure and put winterized diesel in your snow removal equipment before it turns cold. The summer diesel will be jelly when you need it the most. Starting a diesel engine in the extreme cold is not for the novice. Know how to use glow plugs, block heaters, and starting fluid.

Oh! You alerted on the “explosive production facility”? It’s no big deal. You don’t have to have your own facility. Most people buy their recreational explosives from the local sporting goods store or even the local builders supply. I have my own facility because I make over a ton of recreational explosives each year.

Back to the weather… The summers are hot. 100+ F is expected in the late summer. Some of the lower elevations get days with the temperature over 110F. You should see the wildfires we get around here: That was in 2020 and was just a warm up for 2021. After they lite the backfires for the 2021 fire less than a mile from my brother’s house the flames were estimated at over 1000 feet high. If you want to keep your buildings you will need your own generator to keep your pump running and hope your well has the capacity to supply enough water to keep everything saturated. Why your own generator and water you ask? The power frequently goes out because of the fires. There is no city/county water supply. Your own well is what you have. The local fire department is a volunteer organization and will probably be busy someplace else. This is especially true if you are the new guy in the neighborhood and has been a little snotty about the local “deplorables”. If properly equipped, your dozer for plowing the snow in the winter can be used for fighting fires in the summer.

Gardens are common. Most people in the country have gardens and maybe a few fruit and/or nut trees and/or berry bushes. But its not required unless driving 30 minutes to an hour into town to buy fresh food is annoying. You will need to have a fence which is at least six feet high. The deer will jump over anything less than that. Instacart and Amazon fresh don’t deliver in this area. You might want to consider canning and freezing your own food too. Have enough on hand to make it through those weeks where the roads haven’t been cleared of snow or are closed because of the fires.

Transportation. The thing about no Instacart or Amazon Fresh services reminded me of a story about someone who shall remain nameless. This person was coming out for a visit and I offered to pick them up at the airport. They declined saying they would just take public transportation from the airport to the motel in the closest town to me. I repeated my offer but they insisted. An hour or so later they called back, “There isn’t any public transportation from the airport to your town!” Yeah, I was pretty sure you would discover that. I’ll be glad to pick you up.

Septic systems. Another service people in the city take for granted is a sewer system. That’s right, in addition to your own well you have to have your own septic system. This is composed of a 1000+ gallon tank buried near your house where the turds decompose until they exit as a smelly liquid along with the other stuff you send down your drain. The effluent from the septic tank go into the drain field a little further from the house, and much further from your well, to be reintroduced to the ground. The septic tank will need to be pumped out every three to five years. Do not neglect this! Get it done during the summer. If your drain plugs up during one of those times when the roads are closed because of the snow and the subzero temperatures you will be using a latrine made out of a snow drift. Your pee won’t necessarily freeze before it gets blown into your shoes and that will probably result in more frequent changing of your socks than if you just had to brush the ice off.

Because the bacterial requirements for turd decomposition differs from that required for food scrap decomposition you will not have a garage disposal in your kitchen sink. You will learn to compost for your garden or pay extra for garbage removal—if it exists in your area. You may have to take it to the transfer station yourself. They are usually within 30 minutes to an hour away from your house.(when the roads are passable). You might want a pickup to haul it because carrying garbage in your car can cause it to smell bad for a long time.

Vehicles. Speaking of transportation and cars… You should have at least one four wheel or all wheel drive vehicle for winter travel. And don’t count on all season tires to be “good enough”. Get dedicated winter tires. If you have a decent relationship with your neighbors they will pull you out of the ditches the first few times you slide off the road near their place. But if you are a slow learner they will grow tired of it and let you stay in the ditch for a day or two. They might give you a ride home or bring you some food, water, and a blanket. After all, we are friendly folks and care about our neighbors.

If you slide off the edge of the hill instead of a ditch… well, you will be lucky if your car stops tumbling after a couple hundred feet. It’s over 1,000 feet all the way down to the river. And the only people I have ever known to call a tow truck were city people. If you call a tow truck and manage to get one to come out the neighbors will be telling that story for decades.

Your Prius, Tesla, BMW, and Mercedes will be viewed in a very negative light with you thought of as virtue signaling and/or a snob. The Ferrari, Jaguar, or Porsche that was the status symbol of your city neighborhood will be be considered conclusive evidence you are an arrogant narcissist.

Privacy. You might think that because your nearest neighbor is hundreds of yards away that you have more privacy than in the city with neighbors a few dozen feet from you. Don’t count on it. When the deer are more common than people your neighbors know what vehicles you drive and when and probably where you are at any given time. When your spouse invites a friend over while you are in town or out of the area for a while within a few hours the neighbors will have shared that information with everyone else in a five mile radius.

Internet access. Do you require “good Internet”? If you do, then don’t even think about moving here. I recently had a repairman come out to my place to fix something and while waiting for someone to bring him some parts from town I told him he could use my open Wi-Fi. This is at a rather remote location where I have a dish antenna pointed at a mountain top four miles away to get my Internet. This connects to my router and retransmits to another location almost a half mile away where it is broadcast again at my gun range. Both the router location and the gun range Internet equipment is powered by solar cells and batteries. When he was leaving he thanked me for the Internet connection and commented, “That is a better Internet connection than I have at home.”

My service is 6 Mbs down and 3 Mbs up. For comparison, “good Internet” in the city is going to be something on the order of at least 70+ Mbs down.

Social factors. Having good neighbors is incredibly important. Defending against fires in the summer and travel in the winter are life threating even with good relationships with your neighbors. You will need to fit in to be welcomed or even tolerated. If you are a slow learner or think the way the things are done in the city is better then you are likely to become a social outcast and you will spend, at most, a few years before you retreat to the city where you belong.

Summary. Country life in Idaho is much different from what city people are used to. I’ve just touched the surface to give you some clues. People who live here do not appreciate people who move from the city and expect people and the environment to adapt to them or accept your insistence that they are your inferiors. If you are arrogant, difficult to get along with, or a slow learner they can and will make life difficult or deadly for you simply by minor neglect. You will adapt or you will leave—one way or another.

Update 1/8/2022: I forgot to mention the Indian reservation. The reservation encompasses a lot of square miles and several small towns:

image

The Nez Perce tribe has their own court system.

Business dealings with the tribe can be “interesting”. Once, my brothers and I came to a verbal agreement on a land swap with them. It was a great deal for both them and us. They were getting land which was well connected with their land (and not much of ours) and we were getting land which well connected with ours (and not much of theirs). After the verbal agreement it took (IIRC) six years to get a signed contract which only formalized the verbal agreement and said the deal will be closed within six months. It took seven, rather painful, months to close the deal.

I could tell stories for hours but that might spoil relationships that took decades to build.

The snow kept falling. Here are updated pictures of the same location a few days later:

Mecca_live_1641496671011

Mecca_live_1641612512025

Here is a picture of my brother’s front deck:

HuffmanFrontDeck

They lost electricity at the same time for a day or too also.

The city has charged the looters

It was over a year and a half ago when the looters hit Bellevue Square. The city responded by pulling in police officers from nearby cities and the State Patrol. The next couple of “protests” in Bellevue were closely escorted and there was zero looting.

It was a tough job tracking down the masked individuals via 10k+ pieces of video evidence but the city allocated the resources and last Thursday the Bellevue Reporter announced the current status:

Twenty-five individuals charged in relation to Bellevue Square Mall looting that occurred in May 2020

Twenty-five different individuals have been criminally charged in relation to looting that occurred in Bellevue in May of 2020, according to the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

The 25 felony cases against the defendants include 31 burglary charges, three possession of stolen property charges, one unlawful possession of a firearm charge and one malicious mischief charge.

Most of the charges are related to demonstrations and looting that primarily occurred on May 31, 2020 at businesses in Bellevue Square Mall. The defendants came from places across the region, including residents from Bellevue, Tacoma, Seattle, Everett, Renton, and at least one defendant was recognized as being homeless in the charging documents.

Additional cases are expected to be referred by police at the misdemeanor level, and the King County Prosecuting Attorney;s Office said they will be sent to the Bellevue City Attorney’s Office to be handled in Municipal Court.

A year and half is a long time and the pursuit of justice had to be extremely expensive. But Bellevue is a very wealthy community and I expect almost everyone in the city is willing to pay the price. I expect there will not be any more looting in Bellevue like that seen in so many other cities for many years.

I hope the criminals enjoy their trials.

Quote of the day—John Boch

Clearly the First Amendment doesn’t restrict an Ivy League seat-warmer from dishing out inane dorm room “wisdom” about topics he clearly doesn’t understand. We hate to break it to you, David, but enumerated rights limit what the government can do, not citizens.

Oh, and no one has a “right” not to be shot. Unlike keeping and bearing arms, “not being shot” doesn’t make an appearance in the Bill of Rights. Or anywhere else in the Constitution for that matter.

You have no exemption from being perforated. Not by criminals. Not by the government. Not even by yourself, if you’re careless enough.

Americans with IQs above room temperature increasingly understand that nothing stops bad people with evil in their hearts like a good guy with a gun. That’s why, even in states with extremely restrictive gun control laws, firearm sales remain at or near record high rates.

John Boch
December 29, 2021
David Hogg is Confused: None of Our Rights Are Absolute
[This is in reference to this tweet by David Hogg. He says:

The second amendment is not an absolute right. None of our rights are.

We have a right to not be shot.

Boch is being too kind. Hogg has been thoroughly schooled many, many times on this and closely related topics. He choses to continue tweeting the falsehoods. That makes it lying, not confusion.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Matt Taibbi

For good reason, there’s no parent anywhere who believes that any “expert” knows what’s better for their kids than they do. Parents of course will rush to seek out a medical expert when a child is sick, or has a learning disability, or is depressed, or mired in a hundred other dilemmas. Even through these inevitable terrifying crises of child rearing, however, all parents are alike in being animated by the absolute certainty — and they’re virtually always right in this — that no one loves their children more than they do, or worries about them more, or agonizes even a fraction as much over how best to shepherd them to adulthood happy and in one piece.

Implying the opposite is a political error of almost mathematically inexpressible enormity. This is being done as part of a poisonous rhetorical two-step. First, Democrats across the country have instituted radical policy changes, mainly in an effort to address socioeconomic and racial disparities. These included eliminating standardized testing to the University of California system, doing away with gifted programs (and rejecting the concept of gifted children in general), replacing courses like calculus with data science or statistics to make advancement easier, and pushing a series of near-parodical ideas with the aid of hundreds of millions of dollars from groups like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that include things like denouncing emphasis on “getting the right answer” or “independent practice over teamwork” as white supremacy.

Matt Taibbi
December 28, 2021
The Democrats’ Education Lunacies Will Bring Back Trump
[Via email from John S.

Taibbi has a point. Politicians can falsely claim to be a climate, crime, or economics expert and the average voter isn’t going to offer stiff resistance to that claim. But if a politician claims high school graduation shouldn’t depend upon proficiency in reading, writing, and arithmetic you are going to get their attention. It’s something everyone capable of reading is going to have a fair amount of expertise in. And the ruination of our education system has reached the point where it’s impossible to ignore.

The remarkable thing is that when called out on this the politicians don’t admit they were wrong. They double down. From the same Taibbbi article:

When criticism ensued, pundits first denied as myth all rumors of radical change, then denounced complaining parents as belligerent racists unfit to decide what should be taught to their children, all while reaffirming the justice of leaving such matters to the education “experts” who’d spent the last decade-plus doing things like legislating grades out of existence. This “parents should leave ruining education to us” approach cost McAuliffe Virginia, because it dovetailed with what parents had long been seeing and hearing on the ground.

Similar examples could be presented from Democrat attitudes regarding defunding the police, gun control, and failure to secure the border.

This hubris will be their undoing. But will it occur soon enough?—Joe]

Quote of the day—Victoria Parker

Some policies—and some partisans—deserve forceful opposition, even contempt, from the other side. Vigorous disagreement, both within and between parties, is essential in a functioning democracy. But democracy also requires at least some level of mutual comprehension. No matter where people are on the political spectrum, they ought to know whom they’re fighting with and what they’re even fighting about.

Victoria Parker
December 27, 2021
Conservatives and Liberals Are Wrong About Each Other
[It is my belief that instead of treating people as belonging to one tribe or another people should treat each other as individuals. Individuals that have a much more nuanced set of beliefs and actions than the caricatures assigned to them by the leaders of their tribal opponents.

That may be too much to ask. The tribal behaviors are almost certainly deeply embedded in our psyche and difficult to override. As I have said many times before*, “It is irrational to expect people to be rational.”

The end result may be a tragedy of misunderstandings with a great mass of people “targeted” by each side when, if at all, it should only be that small fraction of extremists who are dragging the whole population into the fire.—Joe]


* For example:

Labradar accessory

I have a Labradar chronograph. It is more expensive than previous chronographs I have owned but as I have outlined before it has some major benefits.

There are some some issues with it too. It’s not required, but there is an app for use on your Android or iPhone. The app improved the usability considerably even though it wasn’t the best design and it would disconnect when the phone turned off the screen.

Then my phone had to be replaced. I bought a Samsung Galaxy S21 5G. Name brand, should be good, right? The Labradar will not connect with it. The phone recognizes the chronograph Bluetooth is up and running but cannot make the connection. It turns out many other people are having the same problem with other Android phones and tablets as well as iPhones.

The Android app hasn’t been updated since it was released on June 14, 2018. I have two very cheap older Android phone scheduled to arrive in a day or two and I’m hoping one of them will work.

Another issue is that you have to have the unit pointed at your target such that the bullet stays near to the center of the radar beam. You are supposed to use the notch on the top as a sight:

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This is far from the best sight and is marginal at best.

While looking for a solution to the Bluetooth phone application issue I ran across a solution to the sighting issue. Actually, three solutions:

  1. Low profile without a bubble level.
  2. With a bubble level.
  3. Standard height without a bubble level.

I ordered option three on Saturday afternoon (Christmas day!) and it arrive today just four days later.

It took me less than 25 seconds to install it.

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It fits perfectly and solidly. It deserves the average of five stars on the reviews it is getting.

Now if I can just get a phone to run the out of date app and connect to the unit. I think I could reverse engineer the API and write my own app but that is an extreme last resort.

Update: I tried two different phones:

The View 2 would not connect. The View 3 would sometimes connect five times in a row. Then it would fail 20 times in a row. I returned both of them and ordered a phone using Android 9 with 1 GB RAM. I have my suspicions that it is a timing problem. It seemed that if I were to reboot the phone then immediately try to connect to the chronograph the odds of connecting were better than 50%. But I didn’t try that enough to have a good sample size. I’m hoping that with not much RAM (and reviews complaining about how slow the phone is) that it may reliably connect to the Chronograph. The phone should arrive late next week. I’ll let you know….

Quote of the day—Barbara Walter

We actually know now that the two best predictors of whether violence is likely to happen are, whether a country is an anocracy, and that’s a fancy term for a partial democracy, and whether ethnic entrepreneurs have emerged in a country that are using racial, religious, or ethnic divisions to try to gain political power. And the amazing thing about the United States is that both of these factors currently exist, and they have emerged at a surprisingly fast rate.

The United States is pretty close to being at high risk of civil war.

Barbara Walter
Professor at University of California at San Diego
December 20, 2021
How close is the US to civil war? Closer than you think, study says
[Apparently there are measurable indicators of the risk of civil war. Walter has written a book on the topic. I might have to read it. This is even though there are a lot of indicators Walter places a lot (most? all?) the blame on Trump and his supporters.

See also what J.D. Tuccille has to say about Walter and her book.—Joe]