Tuesday, March 31, 2009
I haven't had any reason to upgrade from Windows XP to Vista at home. Even when I started work in central Oregon, there was one spare workstation available--and it was still running XP Professional, and there was no immediate need to upgrade, so why bother?
I finally had enough problems with trying to do a repair install that I went ahead and upgraded to Vista. I really don't see that most of the changes to the user interface relative to XP are really any gain. They're different, but I don't see that they are better.
I'm sure that there are other good features here, but everytime you change a user interface I believe that there should be a better reason than, "This is cool!"
I remember reading some years ago that professors at a journalism school in the East were asked to pick the most boring, uninteresting headline possible--and the majority agreed that it would have the word "Canada" in it. I thought that was really cruel, but the fact is that we tend to worry about that which represents a danger to us. The greatest danger that Canada is to the U.S. is the tendency of American leftists to misrepresent Canada as a socialist paradise. (It isn't socialist, really, nor is it paradise--although it is the country that I think I would most be willing to relocate to if driven into exile.)
So when I saw this headline in the March 31, 2009 Idaho Statesman, I first thought it had to be a typo:
Canadian hit man pleads guilty to 27 murders
Even more amazing, buried in the guts in the story:
At least one Quebec man has killed more people than Gallant: Yves Trudeau, a founding member of the Hells Angels in Quebec, was sentenced to life in prison in 1986 after pleading guilty to 43 counts of manslaughter, part of a deal struck in exchange for information about fellow gang members.You have to admit--when you think, "Canada," high count hired killers really aren't the first association you make.
You would think that people would be embarrassed to publicly admit. This piece from the March 31, 2009 Washington Examiner is especially tragic:
Now, the article goes on to suggest that Bush's supporters were similarly embarrassing, and quotes some very gushing remarks about Bush in the short period after 9/11 when his leadership was actually pretty impressive. But none of these quotes even begins to approach the "laying on hands" craziness, or "follow him anywhere" nuttiness.Obama "walks into a room and you want to follow him somewhere, anywhere," George Clooney gushed to Charlie Rose.
"I’ll collect paper cups off the ground to make [Obama’s] pathway clear,” Halle Berry recently told the Philadelphia Daily News, “I’ll do whatever he says.” (Does Michelle know about this?)
Hollywood stars aren’t known for their political wisdom. More disturbing is how starstruck the mainstream media has become. Hardball host Chris Matthews isn’t the only one who gets a “thrill” up his leg at the very thought of our new president.
Last summer, San Francisco Chronicle columnist Mark Morford wrote that "Many spiritually advanced people I know … identify Obama as a Lightworker, that rare kind of attuned being who … can actually help usher in a new way of being on the planet."
The Politico recently ran a 900-word article entitled "The Power of Obama's Hand," reverentially describing how the president "uses touch to control and console simultaneously," laying hands on supporters and opponents alike.
And in February, author Judith Warner used her New York Times blog to confess that “The other night I dreamt of Barack Obama. He was taking a shower right when I needed to get into the bathroom to shave my legs.”
Instead of keeping that information to herself, Warner “launched an email inquiry,” which revealed that “many women—not too surprisingly—were dreaming about sex with the president.”
Of course, there are examples of people who had that kind of idol worship of political leaders in the past. "Uncle Joe" Stalin. Hitler. "The Great Helmsman" Mao Ze Dong. It is no surprise that the same leftists who admired all of these people (and Hitler, remember led a party that was until 1931, truly a National Socialist party) are much like the leftists who are drooling all over Obama.
I don't want to suggest that Obama is in the same category as those other objects of leftist worship. For one thing, those others were pretty competent at the day to day business of seizing power. Obama's competence level is so low that he makes Carter look like a competent politician; Bill Clinton look honest; and George W. Bush look like a master orator. (Bush didn't need his teleprompter to deliver three minute introductory remarks, and he could answer a question without dozens of "uh" "um" and similar verbal boo-boos.) To be fair, Obama is still more exciting than George H.W. Bush!
But the same worshipful reverence from the followers is there. About as close as I have ever seen on the Republican side was the way that some (like my father-in-law) gave Reagan the benefit of the doubt when I wasn't prepared to do so. And even that isn't at the level of craziness that the Obama dog whistle ("Inaudible to most, but irresistible to those who can hear it.") produces.
I call him the "Obamination of Desolation" as a wicked little pun on the phrase "abomination of desolation" that is used in Daniel and Revelations, not because I think Obama is the Antichrist (who will be, I'm sure, a vastly more competent administrator than Obama), but to make fun of the bizarre religious aura in which Obama's worshippers have cloaked him.
Back a couple of weeks ago, when I attended the Boise Tea Party, there was a guy walking his dog who stumbled into our little demonstration by accident. He had voted for Obama, and was beginning to realize that Obama was in way over his head. He told me that he had tried to talk some sense before the election into his Obama-worshipping friends--to emphasize that he was a politician, and couldn't walk on water. But he wasn't getting anywhere.
HR 875, theoretically a "food safety" bill, appears through either incompetence or because its sponsors (all Democrats) are bought and paid for by Big Agribusiness, would likely be the end of all small scale fresh vegetable and fruit production and sale. As Ace of Spades HQ points out:
HR 875 sets up a MASSIVE new government bureaucracy called the Food Safety Administration, and compels anything known as a "food establishment" to register with the federal government (paying registration fees of course) and to submit to inspections that are at different intervals depending on the type of "food establishment" you are.Oh yes: one million dollar fines for violations:
The (formerly) ubiquitous summer roadside vegetable stand appears to be both Category 3 and 5 "food establishments" since they sells "fresh produce in ready-to-eat raw form" and "stores, holds, or transports food products prior to delivery for retail sale".
The explicit exclusions in Section 3 (13)(B) do not exclude roadside vegetable stands.
Section 3 (14) explicitly declares "any farm" (no matter what the size) to be a "FOOD PRODUCTION FACILITY".
Section 406 is a real doozy which places the burden of proof on the small farmer or roadside stand operator to demonstrate that none of their goods were participants in interstate commerce (the basis for this whole thing appears to be the Commerce Clause).
Would you operate a small farm, selling produce directly to consumers with that prospect facing you? All the "buy local" crowd who voted for Obama and the Democrats are going to get what they deserve. Unfortunately, the rest of us will, too.(A) IN GENERAL- Any person that commits an act that violates the food safety law (including a regulation promulgated or order issued under the food safety law) may be assessed a civil penalty by the Administrator of not more than $1,000,000 for each such act.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink(B) SEPARATE OFFENSE- Each act described in subparagraph (A) and each day during which that act continues shall be considered a separate offense.
Monday, March 30, 2009
The Obama Administration has changed the terms. From the March 26, 2009 Investor's Business Daily:
In a memo e-mailed to Pentagon staff members this week, the Defense Department's office of security review said that "this administration prefers to avoid using the term 'Long War' or 'Global War on Terror.' Please use 'Overseas Contingency Operation.' " As Gen. Sherman once said, overseas contingency operations are hell.Whatever hopes that I had in January that Obama wasn't going to be a raving leftist are now gone.
Recently the Justice Department announced in a court filing that it was dropping the term "enemy combatant." No particular substitute was provided, only the explanation that in the future only those who provided "substantial support" to terrorist groups would be detained, not those who "provide unwitting or insignificant support" to al-Qaida and the Taliban.
How can any support of terrorism ever be "insignificant"? Was 9/11 al-Qaida's version of an "overseas contingency operation"?
It was not terrorism, at least in the eyes of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. It was a "man-caused disaster" — you know, just like Pearl Harbor.
In an interview with the German magazine Der Spiegel, Napolitano said this word game was "perhaps only a nuance, but it demonstrates that we want to move away from the politics of fear."
When a nuclear, biological or chemical device is detonated in or over an American city, will that be a matter of "nuance"?
I wasn't going to comment about the Ashley Biden cocaine video story. What Vice President Biden's adult children do isn't particularly relevant. Parents do their best to raise kids, and sometimes they pick up our values, sometimes they don't, and sometimes they go through a wild stage before growing up. But Gay Patriot points to this September 2, 2008 Boston Herald story about far left Democrat Barney Frank:
Rep. Barney Frank is among the first Democrats to publicly say Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s family background, including the pregnancy of her unwed teenage daughter, should be fair game for campaign discussion.
I would not encourage you to do this. It worked out okay, but what if the robbers called his bluff?
CALUMET CITY | Calumet City Police are investigating an attempted armed robbery in the 100 block of Webb Street at 11:24 p.m. on Sunday.Here's an interesting point. Imagine if certain politicians had their way, and by application of enough liberal police state, handguns were prohibited and actually became extremely rare. Would these robbers have believed that it was possible that the pizza delivery guy had a gun on him? Probably not.
Three men attempted to rob a pizza delivery man at gunpoint, Calumet City Police Commander Dan Zorzi said.
"(The victim) saw these guys approaching and got nervous," he said. "When they came up and pulled a gun, he pretended he had a gun, and they took off."
Sunday, March 29, 2009
I can understand why some people stop being Christians. (Often because they are surrounded by people who are talking the talk, and utterly failing the walk.) But to make such a loud proclamation seems a bit weird. But someone sounds like they are so desperate that they are making someone else well off. From March 29, 2009 AFP:
More than 100,000 Britons have recently downloaded "certificates of de-baptism" from the Internet to renounce their Christian faith.Being a Protestant, I don't think that infant baptism makes any sense. But because it makes no sense, it makes even less sense to make a point of being "de-baptised."
The initiative launched by a group called the National Secular Society (NSS) follows atheist campaigns here and elsewhere, including a London bus poster which triggered protests by proclaiming "There's probably no God."
"We now produce a certificate on parchment and we have sold 1,500 units at three pounds (4.35 dollars, 3.20 euros) a pop," said NSS president Terry Sanderson, 58.
John Hunt, a 58-year-old from London and one of the first to try to be "de-baptised," held that he was too young to make any decision when he was christened at five months old.
UPDATE: Yes, Anglicans are formally Protestant, but in many respects closer to the Catholic Church than Protestantism. But I did not know that Lutherans do infant baptism. I'm shocked!
They're snapping up Hummers, because they look like what our guys drive! From the March 29, 2009 New York Times:
Cargo cult meets idol worship!
Iraqis Snap Up Hummers, Seeing Them as Icons of Power...
In a country with at least 20,000 Humvees and a war-weary population, who would think there would be a market for the civilian version?
Mr. Hilli did. “I just knew there’d be a huge demand for this in Baghdad,” he said. Now Mr. Hilli and his brother Dhafir run a car dealership specializing in Hummers. It is called, in English, “Al Sultan for Trading Cars.”
“Iraqis love them because they’re really a symbol of power,” said Mr. Hilli, a chubby 37-year-old who could not stop chuckling. Nonetheless, he spoke with authority, since he was his own first customer.
MSNBC has run a series of investigative reports in various parts of the country where decoys lure adult men over to have sex with underage girls and boys. I was watching some of the outtakes this evening, and it is tremendously sad. It is horrendous that so many guys show up, expecting to have sex with children--and really sad watching their reactions when they realize that instead of a child, there's an adult man there, asking them embarrassing questions about this. The excuses that they come up with to justify why this was okay, and that they weren't really planning to have sex (even though they have condoms in their pockets), are painful to watch.
I would like to think that knowing that stuff like this is going on would discourage people from doing this. Watching Rabbi David Kaye try to turn the tables on the reporter was astonishing.
I know that creeps like this were around fifty years ago. I am also aware of the claim that the widespread sexual repression of the Dark Ages (the 1950s) made these problems more common. If so, what explains today, when we as a society are about as far from sexual repression as a society can be?
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Wow. I see why this film won eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture. It deserved them. It's a movie with heroes, bad guys, and bad guys who end up redeeming themselves with heroism of a sort. It is a film that affirms the power of love to overcome a disastrous start in life.
I don't ordinarily like heavily flashbacked movies, but there's a good reason for it here, as becomes apparent by the end. There is nothing pedestrian about the cinematography, and in spite of the fact that most everyone is speaking either Hindi (with subtitles) or various levels of Indian-accented English, it is completely comprehensible.
The language is coarse in a few spots, but it is the subject matter--the montrosity of growing up in the Mumbai slums, and the horrible things that happen there--that earns this film an R rating. My wife and I were not surprised, since we have read a bit about the problems of India, but I think for many Americans, they may find it shocking, and it is probably too intense for anyone that isn't a teenager. (Of course, there are people who take their kids to see Saw, so what do I know.) It makes you glad to know that as poor as you can get in America, you will never be reduced to this level of poverty.
You probably know that POTUS is the common abbreviation for President Of The United States. But what is TOTUS? The Teleprompter Of The United States! And there is a very clever, very witty blog purportedly written by that piece of electronics!
The March 28, 2009 Austin (Tex.) American-Statesman has one of those news stories that makes you scratch your head. It would appear that a police officer failed to identify himself under circumstances where there was a plausible basis for the homeowner to believe that he was under criminal attack:
Travis County prosecutors on Friday dismissed the case against David Lozano, who lost his leg in a late-night shootout with an Austin police officer at Lozano's Northeast Austin house in 2007.If you are writing a novel, here's a way to set up a tragedy:
"We believe that Mr. Lozano maintained a reasonable belief that on that day and time he was defending himself, his wife and his property," Travis County Assistant District Attorney Steven Brand said.
The dismissal came after a series of expert witnesses for the state and defense cast doubt on whether officer Roger Boudreau told the truth about the confrontation, according to lawyers in the case.
"Had it not been a police officer, this case would have been dismissed a long time ago," said Lozano's lawyer, Ryan Deck. "A police officer changed everything."
Lozano, 48, spent 13 months in jail before he was released on bail last year.
Lozano and his wife, Rosemary, were having marital problems leading up to the incident on March 11, 2007, according to Deck and a police affidavit.In dispute, but the rest of the article explains why all charges were dropped--an audio recording demonstrated that Boudreau was, at best, grossly mistaken about who fired first. Even if Lozano was in the wrong--and it isn't clear that he was--Boudreau's statements about his actions were so at variance with the facts that the prosecutor would never have won the case.
That night, a man with whom Rosemary Lozano had had an affair threatened David Lozano in a phone conversation, Deck said. Then that man, Miguel Salazar, called police and reported a domestic disturbance at the Lozano home, Deck said.
Next, according to both Boudreau's account as detailed in the police affidavit and Lozano's account as told by Deck, Boudreau knocked on the door, heard someone chamber a round into a gun through the door and moved off the porch.
Lozano thought it was Salazar knocking and intentionally made the sound with the gun to scare him, Deck said. After Lozano looked through the peephole and saw nobody, he opened the door, Deck said.
Boudreau never identified himself as a police officer during the incident, according to Deck and the affidavit.
What happened after the door opened was in dispute.
A police officer should always identify himself as a police officer when responding to a domestic dispute.
Friday, March 27, 2009
From the March 27, 2009 Financial Times:
Brazil’s President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva on Thursday blamed the global economic crisis on “white people with blue eyes” and said it was wrong that black and indigenous people should pay for white people’s mistakes.Yeah, all several hundred million "white people with blue eyes" did this to them. And no "white people with blue eyes" were injured by this.
Speaking in Brasília at a joint press conference with Gordon Brown, the UK prime minister, Mr Lula da Silva told reporters: “This crisis was caused by the irrational behaviour of white people with blue eyes, who before the crisis appeared to know everything and now demonstrate that they know nothing.”
In 2002 or 2003, or even 2004, this would have been satire in astonishingly bad taste. But now it is news. From AFP:
President Barack Obama's intelligence chief confirmed Thursday that some Guantanamo inmates may be released on US soil and receive assistance to return to society.
"If we are to release them in the United States, we need some sort of assistance for them to start a new life," said National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair at his first press conference.
"You can't just put them on the street," he added. "All that is work in progress."
Obama has vowed to close the controversial prison camp by next January and has ordered individual reviews for cases against each of the over 240 remaining prisoners.
Blair told reporters that the review of Guantanamo cases was still underway, and that the government was "building dossiers on each of the detainees."
The Obama administration is currently evaluating what could be done with the prisoners, he said, but pledged that if they are sent to another country, "we have to be sure that that country will treat them in a humane fashion."
Twenty men detained at the remote US naval base at Guantanamo Bay in southern Cuba have been cleared of terrorism charges, including 17 Chinese Uighurs ordered released by a US court in June, seven years after their arrest. But the US says they may face persecution if returned to China.
Support? Maybe we could retrain them. As airline pilots.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
One of the enduring myths that underlies much of the gun control movement is the idea that a lot of murders are committed by ordinary people like you and I who lose their temper one day, grab a gun (because it's readily available), and murder someone. The FBI studied this problem in the 1970s, and found that people arrested for murder generally had long arrest records and a sizable fraction had previous felony convictions. An astonishing number had previous homicide convictions!
Professor Volokh over at Volokh Conspiracy points to some more recent data that suggests that this is even more true now:
I know of no truly comprehensive data on this, but here's what we learn from the intentional homicide line in Justice Department's Felony Defendants in Large Urban Counties, 2004 (a sample that is representative of the large urban counties that account for roughly half of the nation's violent crimes):There are people without criminal or mental illness histories who do, indeed, lose their tempers, go get a gun, and murder someone. But they aren't that common. Far more typical is the person who, by the time they reach adulthood, already knows what it is liked to handcuffed by a police officer, has been convicted of at least a misdemeanor--and carries a bail bond company's business card with him.
This does not include "arrests or convictions that occurred while the defendant was a juvenile" (I quote here from an e-mail from the author of the report). Since nearly half of all homicide offenders are 24 or under, the exclusion of juvenile arrests and convictions is thus likely to substantially undercount the actual arrest and conviction record. This also doesn't include arrests or convictions that the state effectively expunged or never logged, for instance because someone was allowed a "deferred adjudication," which is essentially probation in lieu of a conviction, so that no conviction would be entered if the probation is finished with no observed violations.
- 83% had a prior adult arrest (compared to likely 25% or so of the adult U.S. population).
- 76% had two or more prior adult arrests.
- 55% had five or more prior adult arrests.
- 65% had a prior adult conviction.
- 44% had a prior adult felony conviction (compared to about 7.5% of the adult U.S. population, see Christopher Uggen et al., Citizenship, Democracy, and the Civic Reintegration of Criminal Offenders, 605 Annals Am. Acad. Pol. & Soc. Sci. 281, 288 (2006)).
The Kansas legislature just proposed an amendment to the Kansas Constitution guaranteeing an individual right:
A person has the right to keep and bear arms for the defense of self, family, home and state, for lawful hunting and recreational use, and for any other lawful purpose.Professor Volokh reports that it passed by overwhelming majorities in both houses of the legislature: "39-1 in the Senate and 116-9 in the House." Since the Kansas Supreme Court in City of Salina v. Blaksley (Kan. 1905) utterly misread the existing provision:
The people have the right to bear arms for their defense and security; but standing armies, in time of peace, are dangerous to liberty, and shall not be tolerated, and the military shall be in strict subordination to the civil power.as guaranteeing the right of the legislature to organize a state militia to overturn the legislature (yes, I'm not exaggerating), the Kansas courts have been reluctant to admit that there is an individual right. Professor Volokh thinks this amendment, scheduled for the November 2010 election, will be pass by large majorities. I think he's right.
There's a lot of people who don't realize that we are still making stuff in America (besides worthless mortgages). I lost the circular level that I use for manufacturing ScopeRoller caster assemblies, so I had to buy a new one. I found a Empire Bullseye Circular Level at Home Depot for a bit under $3.
Made in USA byI needed some round, 1" dies to use with my lathe. I went to McMaster-Carr to order them--and I discovered that American made dies were only a few dollars more than imports. Just to be sure, when they arrived, I checked each of them. The packaging says Greenfield, and the dies are stamped USA. I've previously mentioned my surprise and pleasure at the number of items that I have bought, assuming that they were made somewhere else--and they were made in USA.
EMPIRE LEVEL MFG. CORP.
Mukwonago, WI 53149
American manufacturing isn't dead. Labor union American manufacturing may be dying, but that's not the same thing.
And no, I don't mean the ones that work for President Obama. Daily (hourly?) we all get emails that purport to be a security alert, or request for clarification that asks you to login to a bank's web page. When you get to that web page, you are asked to enter account information. The goal is to get you to tell them credit card information or personal details that will let them either run up your credit card, or steal your identity.
Most of these aren't very well done frauds. There will be a web page link that says something like "http://www.bankofamerica.com" but if you move the mouse over the text, you will see that the link actually takes you to an IP address based web page, not a domain name web page, like http://220.127.116.11/index.html. Unless you look very carefully at the browser's address line, you won't notice that the page, which may actually be a copy (in most respects) of the real institution's web page, isn't where you think it is.
Today's more clever than usual fraud purports to be from the Kansas City Police Credit Union. Since I have no account with them, I knew that the email was fraudulent:
We recorded a payment request from HostGator - www.hostgator.com - Professional Web Hosting to enable the charge of $ 18.20/month on your account.If you click on the "Cancel this payment" line, it takes you not to an IP address-based web page, but one with a plausible domain name: http://www.kccpcuhb.com/. If you go to the actual Kansas City Police Credit Union web site, it is similar enough that you might believe that it is the real thing. But the real institution's web site is kccpcuhb.org, not .com.
Because the order was made from an African internet address, we put an Exception Payment on transaction id #POS 718493-5 motivated by our Geographical Tracking System.
THE PAYMENT IS PENDING FOR THE MOMENT.
If you made this transaction or if you just authorize this payment, please ignore or remove this email message. The transaction will be shown on your monthly statement as "HostGator Professional Web Hosting".
If you didn't make this payment and would like to decline the $ 18.20 billing to your card, please follow the link below to cancel the payment:
Cancel this payment (transaction id #POS-849035)
NOTE: Because email is not a secure form of communication, please do not reply to this email.
So I did a WHOIS to find out who owns the www.kccpcuhb.com domain name:
Domain Name.......... kccpcuhb.com
Creation Date........ 2009-03-26
Registration Date.... 2009-03-26
Expiry Date.......... 2010-03-26
Organisation Name.... Cally Nichols
Organisation Address. P O Box 99800
Organisation Address. EmeryVille
Organisation Address. 94662
Organisation Address. CA
Organisation Address. US
Admin Name........... PrivateRegContact Admin
Admin Address........ P O Box 99800
Admin Address........ EmeryVille
Admin Address........ 94662
Admin Address........ CA
Admin Address........ US
Admin Email.......... firstname.lastname@example.org
Admin Phone.......... +1.5105952002
Tech Name............ PrivateRegContact TECH
Tech Address......... P O Box 99800
Tech Address......... EmeryVille
Tech Address......... 94662
Tech Address......... CA
Tech Address......... US
Tech Email........... email@example.com
Tech Phone........... +1.5105952002
Name Server.......... yns1.yahoo.com
Name Server.......... yns2.yahoo.com
Interesting problems. The creation date: today? That's a clue that this is a fraud.
Whoever registered this domain obviously doesn't live in California, or they wouldn't have spelled EmeryVille with a capital V.
The phone number? Putting a period between the country code and the area code--but no periods between area code and phone number--tells me that this wasn't done by an American. And if you call that number, it goes directly to voice mail--and the mailbox is full!
But I do give them credit for having the wits to register this domain to an American address, although it's a bit odd that the registrar is "Current Registrar: MELBOURNE IT, LTD. D/B/A INTERNET NAMES WORLDWIDE".
During the election campaign to create the California State Lottery, opponents claimed that you were more likely to be struck by lightning than win the lottery. I knew someone back then who had been struck by lightning twice and survived--and I kidded that someone that lucky needed to play the lottery! But that's nothing compared to this Mr. Lucky. From the March 24, 2009 New York Times:
TOKYO (AP) — A 93-year-old Japanese man has become the first person certified as a survivor of both atomic bombings by the United States, officials said Tuesday.Now, you might think that having the misfortune to be in the only two cities that have ever been atomic bombed would not qualify as Lucky. But surviving two such attacks? Play the lottery, Mr. Yamaguchi!
The survivor, Tsutomu Yamaguchi, had already been a certified hibakusha, or radiation survivor, of the bombing on Aug. 9, 1945, in Nagasaki, but he has now been confirmed as surviving the attack on Hiroshima three days earlier, in which he suffered serious burns to his upper body. Certification qualifies survivors for compensation, including monthly allowances, free medical checkups and funeral costs.
Mr. Yamaguchi was in Hiroshima on a business trip on Aug. 6, 1945, when an American B-29 dropped an atomic bomb on the city. He returned to Nagasaki, his hometown, before the second attack, officials said.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
I mentioned some days ago that the Harris QD swivel stud adapter that I purchased for my M1A did not quite fit, and I had been forced to make a replacement part for the washer that goes inside the stock. (If you have no idea what a QD swivel is--you can see one here. You press or pull to the side, and it quickly releases it from the gun stock. Hence: QD for Quick Detachable.)
I was not completely happy with the result. The reason is that the Harris bipod tightens up to the stock by turning a thumb screw. To work correctly, the base of the QD swivel stud must be screwed down to the material of the stock. The swivel stud adapter is about .750" long, and if I turned it in far enough to be screwed down to the stock, about .100" was sticking above the .110" thick rectangular part that I made to go inside the stock. The gun would go together, but it required force, and that's never a wise thing with a mechanical part--especially since the part the screw was hitting was the cylinder in which the operating rod resides.
I added several washers between the stud and the stock, getting the end of the stud's screw away from the operating rod assembly, and the gun would go together without force--but now the bipod thumbscrew would not allow it to be tightened enough to grip the stock firmly.
The obvious solution is to use the lathe to turn .100" off the end of the stud. But in spite of having a heck of a lot of taps and dies, I did not have a 10-32 die to recut the threads, which might be necessary afterwards. (This is on order, because you never know when you might need to rebuild civilization with the contents of your garage.) Besides, there's a sense of accomplishment in making a part like this from scratch!
1. I started with 1/2" diameter steel rod, because I had that lying around the shop. (It would have been faster to start with 3/8" rod.) I cut it with the chop saw to about .700", and trimmed it on the lathe to .650".
2. Then I turned the end that was going to have the hole in it for the quick detachable part to .368" diameter for a length of .350". (It actually came out more like .363" diameter.)
3. Then I turned it around, and turned the other .300" (which will be the threaded end) to .245" diameter.
4. I had a 1/4"-20 die, so I threaded the .245" end. (This is also a somewhat stronger thread than 10-32. As we computed previously, a 1/4"-20 screw requires about 7500 Newtons to shear. The stock will probably break before the screw does.)
5. Now I put the part in the vertical mill, and used a 4 flute end mill to flatten opposite sides of the cylinder to flats. The target was .300" wide, because that's the QD swivel stud width on the flat sides; I settled for .318" wide.
6. Now I measured the center point for the hole into which the QD part goes. I used a center drill to mark the spot, but the mill vise on the vertical mill doesn't have enough grip on a round part like this to do more than mark it.
7. Then I put the part in the drill press vise, and drilled a hole that the QD part goes through. It should be .143", but my .140" drill was the closest size, and it was a bit tight of a fit, so I moved up to the .168" drill, which speeds up connecting the QD--and still leaves enough steel that I'm not worried about it breaking. (Well, perhaps those manuevers where the aircraft with the tailhook grabs you off the runaway might be a problem, but I try not to do things like that.)
8. Last step: the rectangular washer that i made previously had a 10-32 hole. I enlarged it and tapped it to 1/4"-20.
Everything now goes together without force, and the bipod locks firmly in place against the bottom of the stock.
From the March 25, 2009 New York Daily News:
The troubled teen charged with stabbing WABC newsman George Weber during drug-fueled rough sex is a 16-year-old Satan-loving sadomasochist with a knife fetish.Like I said, it's like an episode of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit. It's dark. It's grotesque. It's seamy. Except that the writers of Law and Order would be reluctant to admit that homosexuals have a disproportionate tendency towards sadomasochistic sex, and would find some way to weave in a straight sadomasochistic couple as well (along with a Japanese-American burglar, for balance).
John Katehis is also a hustler who stabbed Weber "50 times to the neck" and body, police said.
"He and Weber met online sometime last week and had arranged to meet," Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said. "There was going to be an exchange of money."
Katehis was charged as an adult Wednesday with 2nd degree murder and criminal possession of a weapon - charges that could send the tattooed teen to jail for a long time.
Katehis admitted stabbing Weber after answering an ad the newsman placed on the Internet looking for rough sex - but claimed self-defense. He was also carrying a dagger that cops do not think was the murder weapon, sources said.
"He saw the victim's ad looking for violent sex and said, 'I can smother somebody for $60,' but it got out of hand," a police source said.
Cops found Katehis by combing through Weber's e-mail and Web browser history and tracking calls he made from his cell phone, sources said.
Katehis and Weber rendezvoused Friday evening and headed for the newsman's Brooklyn brownstone for sadomasochistic sex, sources said.
Weber, 47, whose ankles were bound with duct tape, was stabbed repeatedly in a frenzied attack that sprayed the walls with blood.
Police found evidence the newsman fought back and wounded his assailant - the killer's blood was found in the bedroom and bathtub drain, the sources said.
I've mentioned in the past the studies that find a correlation between childhood sexual abuse and adult homosexuality, suggesting that at least for some homosexuals, abuse causes or at least predisposes towards adult homosexuality. While there are straight sadomasochists, it is pretty clear that this is disproportionately associated with homosexuality (especially male homosexuality). Can anyone imagine a reason why a person whose first sexual experiences involved a mixture of pain and sexual excitement might have pain and sexual excitement mixed together as an adult?
From the March 25, 2009 Idaho Statesman:
MEXICO CITY — The U.S. bears much of the blame for violent drug wars roiling Mexico because of its demand for drugs and its failure to stop illegal weapons from crossing the border, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Wednesday, accepting "shared responsibility" for the problem.Any guesses how long it will be before the drug traffickerrs have a Blackhawk? And watch her try to blame the NRA for that!
She announced that Obama would seek $80 million, most of it in an upcoming supplemental budget request, to provide Mexico with three Blackhawk helicopters. Mexican officials, along with some members of Congress, complain that U.S. anti-narcotics aid under a program called the Merida Initiative has been slow to arrive.
Clinton offered the bluntest comments to date by any senior U.S. official that Americans' habits and government policies have stoked the drug trade and the accompanying violence.Hmmm. I remember those efforts trying to reduce demand through social pressure ("Just say no") and encouraging companies to do drug testing of employees. And the response of liberals? Ridicule for "Just say no," and lawsuits to try and prevent drug testing.
"How could anybody conclude any differently?" she said. "Our insatiable demand for illegal drugs fuels the drug trade. Our inability to prevent weapons from being illegally smuggled across the border to arm these criminals causes the deaths of police officers, soldiers and civilians."
U.S. domestic drug-control strategies during the past three decades have largely failed, she said, suggesting that the Obama administration will try to reduce demand and emphasize treatment more than its predecessors.
"We have certainly been pursuing these strategies for ... a long time. I remember Mrs. Reagan's 'just say no,' " Clinton said, referring to former first lady Nancy Reagan's exhortation to young people to refuse drugs. "It's been very difficult."
From the March 25, 2009 Idaho Statesman:
State government could not seize private arms or ammunition during a state of martial law under a bill approved Tuesday by the Idaho House.The bill passed the house 61-9.
Rep. Pete Nielsen, R-Mountain Home, sponsored the bill. He cited Hurricane Katrina and the bedlam that developed in the aftermath in New Orleans and other Gulf Coast cities as an example of a time when people needed their arms and ammo.
"Even in those instances, we should have the right to keep our Second Amendment right and keep our arms and ammunition," Nielsen said.
Unsurprisingly, a Democrat from Boise, Grant Burgoyne, argued against it, because it "takes power away from Idaho's governor to seize arms and ammunition in the case of a rebellion or insurrection." Yes, that's the idea! If someone breaks the law, they can be arrested and disarmed while awaiting trial. If they haven't broken the law, they can't be disarmed. That's not a bug. That's a feature.
It is probably not truly necessary since Idaho authorities are already substantially restricted by our "no foolin'" right to keep and bear arms provisions in the Idaho Constitution:
The people have the right to keep and bear arms, which right shall not be abridged; but this provision shall not prevent the passage of laws to govern the carrying of weapons concealed on the person nor prevent passage of legislation providing minimum sentences for crimes committed while in possession of a firearm, nor prevent the passage of legislation providing penalties for the possession of firearms by a convicted felon, nor prevent the passage of any legislation punishing the use of a firearm. No law shall impose licensure, registration or special taxation on the ownership or possession of firearms or ammunition. Nor shall any law permit the confiscation of firearms, except those actually used in the commission of a felony.An Idaho statute would be ignored by the federal government if they decided to disarm Idahoans, but it's a nice symbolic touch.
And Pete Nielsen represents me in the lower house! That's nice, too.
Hearing Democrats whine last election about the size of the Bush deficits was irritating, not because they were wrong to be upset, but because it was rather like hearing a prostitute accuse someone of immorality for a one night fling. The Heritage Foundation has this graph comparing them:
You will also notice that after the Democrats got control of Congress in 2006, there was no obvious gain. (The 2007 budget was set before the Democrats could do anything--not so for 2008.)
I mentioned several days ago that there were a couple of weird street names in the extreme southwest of Boise, off Eagle Road: Easyjet and Brandi's Jewels. A reader explains:
Easyjet and Brandi's Jewels are, or were, race horses from the Boise area. My folks raised quarterhorses and bred one of their horses to EasyJet. EasyJet's prime time would have been in the 70's or early 80's I think. My folks horse had a couple babies that did fairly well in the racing environment.And that's about right. The subdivisions are 1980s, I would guess, by the appearance of the houses.
Many street names have obvious origins. There's a reason that most cities in America have a Main Street, or a Broadway, and the numbered and lettered streets are also obvious. (Boring, but simple to find your way around town.) But I would bet that not one Los Angeleno in a thousand has a clue why Rosecrans Boulevard is so named. It's for a Union Army general who was later a Congressman representing Los Angeles, and who bought up 16,000 acres of "worthless" land in the Los Angeles basin for $2.50 per acre. Many cities have a Euclid Street, instead of 13th, because of the same superstition that meant that many skyscrapers didn't have a 13th floor. (Euclid's Elements consisted of 13 books--hence the substitution for 13th Street.)
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Adam's Blog points to one of those reminders that there's always someone prepared to play the victim card and take offense, even where none was intended:
Political correctness will rot a thinking mind. Case in point, the reaction to the following statement from Id. Rep. Dick Harwood (R-St. Maries):Adam agrees that Harwood needs some remedial U.S. History classes, but that the term "confederate republic" is used in Federalist #9, and Tony Stewart's comments also show a certain lack of knowledge. I might excuse this ignorance a bit more except Stewart is a retired political science professor--and he doesn't know that "confederacy" refers to something more than the C.S.A.? I can see why I can't get a teaching job at a community college--not ignorant enough.
Promoting his state sovereignty resolution on the floor of the Idaho House of Representatives on Monday, St. Maries Rep. Dick Harwood declared that the United States is really a “confederacy.”“To be accurate, we’re a confederated republic,” the fifth-term Republican then told the House.This brought a strong reaction from a local minority right’s activist:
“It’s a very offensive term for minority communities in our country, like African-Americans,” said Tony Stewart, a board member and co-founder of the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations, and a retired political scientist at North Idaho College. “That whole term refers to the period of slavery.”So every use of the term confederacy applies to slavery? Not according to my dictionary. The primary meaning is, ” an alliance between persons, parties, states, etc., for some purpose.”
Steve Shaw, an active political science professor at Northwest Nazarene University, while disagreeing with Harwood and suggesting that Harwood needed remedial U.S. History classes, identified Switzerland as a confederacy. I guess this would indicate the Swiss have slaves, if we’re to believe Mr. Stewart.
Was the United States founded as a confederacy? I’m going to do something totally wild and suggest we find out what the Founding Fathers say.
What really disturbs me is how often victimhood offense is based on ignorance. I mentioned several years ago how a member of the Rhode Island legislature was insisting that the formal name of the state ("Rhode Island and Providence Plantations") be changed because of the slavery connotation of "Plantation." Except that "plantation" did not have a slavery connotation with respect to Rhode Island's name, and there were similar "plantations" in Ireland.
And the District of Columbia official who was forced to resign for using the word "niggardly" which has nothing to do with the racial epithet.
And as I mentioned last year, when the term "black hole" was used to refer to the Dallas County traffic ticket collection system, a judge insisted that this was a racist term--with no apparent awareness that it refers to an object so dense that light can't escape it. (Or perhaps a judge so dense that no knowledge can cross his event horizon.)
I've watched your show on Fox News channel for several years, first when you were teamed up with Alan Colmes, and now, by yourself. I have appreciated your efforts to inform Americans about the important issues and challenges confronting our nation--but I do not appreciate the direction that your show seems to be headed.
For most of the Bush Administration, before 9/11 and after the invasion of Iraq, one of the defining aspects of the left was the deeply personal insults that it directed against anyone with whom they disagreed. They turned everything into a personal attack. Instead of arguing that the Iraq War was perhaps a bridge too far, they insisted that it was an attempt to enrich Haliburton for the benefit of puppet master Dick Cheney. The attacks on Governor Palin were even more outrageously in this same vein.
In the last few weeks, I've noticed that your show seems to be relying increasingly on personal ridicule rather than serious policy questioning. The "Liberal Translation" segment is especially offensive. There are also times that going for the cheap laugh is causing you to overlook far more substantive criticisms. For example, last night you spotlighted the profoundly embarrassing interview on 60 Minutes in which President Obama's responses to Kroft involved a lot of giggling and laughs about the economy. Kroft realized that something was wrong, and asked, "Are you punch-drunk?"
Pretty obviously, Obama wasn't. The use of that movie clip got a few laughs, but a little thought would have revealed that Obama's behavior was indicative of someone who is profoundly embarrassed, and not quite sure how to handle an interview involving a crisis that he feels unequipped to solve. Obama is in over his head, because he lacks executive experience--and that is the real story. We can feel sorry for Obama, who was promoted by the mainstream media to a job for which he is clearly unqualified. We can feel sorry for America, which is suffering from a crisis that demands the best possible President right now--and we don't have it. But this is a serious problem--and going for the laughs isn't helping.
I've written before about how Ann Coulter's sometimes cruel personal statements get a cheap laugh--and distract from serious and important points that she makes. Over the last several years, I have become increasingly disappointed by Bill O'Reilly's increasingly confrontational manner of dealing with guests. There's a difference between challenging someone to defend their position, and just talking over them, more loudly and more belligerently. Glenn Beck is a breath of fresh air; he either is a very humble person, or he at least knows how to fake one on the air. When Michelle Malkin or Laura Ingraham substitutes for O'Reilly, I come away with that same positive reaction: here is someone with strongly held conservative views, but who is focused on policy, not personal insults.
I am especially irritated by the cheap personal insult approach from people that purport to be following Jesus. Christians aren't obligated to be milquetoast. We can strongly disagree with our opponents, but the personal insults are outside the pale.
Very Truly Yours,
Clayton E. Cramer
UPDATE: Let me emphasize that questions of personal corruption (exchanging governmental favors for money, gifts, etc.) are legitimate concerns. Hypocrisy as it impinges on public policy is also a legitimate concern. Raising these issues in a dignified and honest manner doesn't qualify as personal insult.
Monday, March 23, 2009
As part of the manufacturing process for ScopeRoller's caster assemblies, I first make a rough cut of the cylinders on a chop saw, then square them and trim them to the correct length (plus or minus .002") on the lathe. The last couple of times that I have made a set, I have had a heck of a time getting the cylinders to square up correctly on the lathe--and as a result, when it comes time to center drill the ends of the cylinders, those holes just don't end up very well centered. For the cylinders that I am going to bore out to make a sleeve, this is a nuisance, but not a hopeless one, because I generally use a boring bar to finish the interior diameter of the sleeve. For those that will be turned to an exact outside diameter, it is more than a nuisance--I end up have to turn away a lot more material than I would prefer, and do another squaring cut.
I couldn't quite figure out why I used to be able to do a pretty good job of squaring these cylinder--but not anymore. Then I pulled out a steel square, and checked to see if the chop saw blade was exactly perpendicular to the surface on which the cylinder lies for cutting. And that was the problem. The chop saw blade is adjustable for vertical angle (from 90 degrees to 45 degrees), and it was easily several degrees off of 90.
Squaring a cylinder on a lathe can correct for small discrepancies, but when you get to something that is several degrees from a right angle, it seems to be pretty much impossible to get a perfectly square result. You start with the end that is the closest to square, and chuck that end first. Then make a cut across the less square end. I'm having trouble applying the opposite angles theorem from geometry to a rotating 3-D domain, but my intuition tells me that as the net effect is that the squaring cut makes the less square end at least as square as the end in the chuck--and then when you turn it around, the second squaring cut gives you something darn close to 90 degrees. If worst comes to worst, turning the cylinder end over end again gives you an even closer cut to 90 degrees.
In any case, with the chop saw angle set correctly, I only need to square each end to have a 3.048" long cylinder so square that no matter how carefully I check it, there's only about .001" difference between the length of the cylinder at various points.
Shoplifting is wrong. Trying to shoplift items that cost hundreds of dollars under the watchful eye of the proprietor is stupid. And trying it at a gun show? From the March 23, 2009 Wichita Eagle:
His first mistake was trying to steal four guns.Thanks to Dustin's Gun Blog for bringing this to my attention.
His second one was trying to steal them at a gun show.
The alleged crook scooped up four Smith & Wesson guns from a vendor's table at the RK Gun Inc. show Sunday at Cessna Activity Center, 2744 George Washington Blvd.
But he didn't make it far. The vendor and at least two others who were at the show grabbed the man before he could make it out the door, held him down, then cuffed him with zip ties -- hard plastic fasteners -- until law enforcement officers arrived.
Austin Sechler, the vendor who said the man tried to steal from him, said it was "the very wrong place to do this."
Traditional media keep pretending that they have professionalism and experience on their side in the battle against the blogosphere. But I keep hearing from around the country that really large tax protest rallies are just being ignored:
You know, you could almost get the impression that the professional journalists are letting their partisan enthusiasm for the left get in the way of reporting important events. Nah!Yesterday, March 21st,ONE THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED PEOPLE showed up in downtown Lexington, Ky. to participate in the Kentucky Tea Party protest against the continuing fiscal madness in Washington, DC.
And how many front page stories were there in the newspapers in Lexington and Louisville, or in our own home town paper, the State Journal, about this event?
NONE. ZERO. ZIP.
In one of the most blatant examples of media manipulation that I have ever witnessed in my entire life, the mainstream media have chosen to ignore a mass protest by over a thousand Kentuckians, speaking their minds about an issue of major importance in our lives.
When that putrid hate-monger Louis Coleman held a rally at which only a handful of his sycophants showed up, they covered it like it was the second coming. If it had been 1500 NON-CITIZEN ILLEGAL ALIENS demonstrating for rights that they do not possess, demanding benefits for which they have not paid in a country NOT their own, they would have been all over it. But let 1500 men and women who love their country and are tired of being abused by their elected officials show up in one place, hold a PEACEFUL rally and what do they write about it?
NOTHING. RIEN. ZILCH.
You remember: the movie about the little Mexican village that hires seven American gunfighters to protect them from bandits who are operating with no fear of the federales? From the March 22, 2009 Houston Chronicle:
CUAUHTEMOC, Mexico — Little town, big hell.That proverb about turmoil in small communities has never seemed truer than in this gangster-besieged village and a neighboring one in the bean fields and desert scrub a long day’s drive south of the Rio Grande.Since right before Christmas, armed raiders repeatedly have swept into both villages to carry away local men. Government help arrived too late, or not at all.Terrified villagers — at the urging of army officers who couldn’t be there around the clock — have clawed moats across every access road but one into their communities, hoping to repel the raids.“This was a means of preservation,” said Ruben Solis, 47, a farmers’ leader in Cuauhtemoc, a collection of adobe and concrete houses called home by 3,700 people. “It’s better to struggle this way than to face the consequences.”But shortly after midnight last Sunday, villagers said, as many as 15 SUVs loaded with pistoleros attacked nearby San Angel, population 250, and kidnapped five people. Four victims were returned unharmed a few days later. The fifth hostage, a teenage boy, was held to exchange for the intended target the raiders missed, villagers said.“We have support of the federal forces,” said an official of the dirt-street village. “Security is what we’re lacking.”After the earthworks were dug in both villages, volunteers manned checkpoints at the remaining open entrances. Those sentinels, however, were removed when it was decided they couldn’t stop a serious attack, anyhow .“We aren’t able to confront this sort of thing,” Solis said. “We have a few shotguns, some .22 rifles, a few pistols — nothing compared to what they have.”
I mentioned the new American made copy of the Steyr AUG; a reader tells me that he saw a couple of them offered for sale at a gun show in California. What? How could that be? To original California assault weapons law adopted in 1989 was defective because it banned most guns not by function, but by name and model. As a result, there was a series of revisions to the law in the 1990s as gun makers made trivial changes to the guns that did not affect functionality--and ended up with guns that were exempt from the ban. The last set of revisions apparently sought to ban guns based on functional characteristics--such as a detachable magazine. This is what California should have done in the first place, if the functional characteristics of the assault weapons were actually a problem, but that would have banned milions of guns that Californians--and some California legislators--owned, such as the Ruger 10/22, the Ruger Mini-14, the Auto-Ordnance M1A1 (the semiauto version of the Tommy Gun).
And what defines "detachable magazine"? One that can be removed without a tool. If there's a button you push, that's a detachable magazine. If you have to use a screwdriver, or even the tip of a bullet to do so, it's not a detachable magazine.
Now, here’s the good news: a commonly-accepted definition of a “detachable” magazine is one that can be removed without a tool. And…a tool can be almost anything, even a cartridge for the gun. Enter the Bullet Button from Prince Industries (no web site), a clever invention that honors the law while preserving most of the convenience of a detachable magazine.Apparently AR-15s, Steyr AUG clones, and a variety of other weapons are now being sold in California with this alteration--and thus not violating the California Assault Weapons Control Act. And not surprisingly, it isn't terribly difficult to replace this with the standard parts on short order.
The Bullet Button is just a few small parts that alter the behavior of the magazine release. Parts 1, 2 and 3 in the photo make up the Bullet Button. Part 3 fits inside part 2. Part 4 is the magazine release that comes with an AR-15 parts kit. Parts 5 and 6 are the standard magazine release spring and button; these can be discarded after installation of the Bullet Button.
UPDATE: A reader gave me this update, with some warnings to avoid falling afoul of this incredibly stupid law:
I use these when assembling AR’s with an off-list lower. But, and this is a big but, you must use a magazine that holds no more than 10-rounds.
Here is the relevant provision of the AW Ban.....
Generic Characteristics Defining Assault Weapons:
12276.1 (a) Notwithstanding Penal Code section 12276, “assault weapon” shall also mean the following:
(1) A semiautomatic, centerfire rifle that has the capacity to accept a detachable magazine and any one of
(A) A pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon.
(B) A thumbhole stock.
(C) A folding or telescoping stock.
(D) A grenade launcher or flare launcher.
(E) A flash suppressor.
(F) A forward pistol grip.
(2) A semiautomatic, centerfire rifle that has a fixed magazine with the capacity to accept more than 10
(3) A semiautomatic, centerfire rifle that has an overall length of less than 30 inches.
The controlling clause for off-list weapons utilizing a bullet-button is PC 12276.1(a)(2).
By restricting the fixed magazine to 10-rounds or less, all other characteristics are free; ie, you can have a pistol grip, a thumbhole stock, a telescoping stock, a flash suppressor (I skipped grenade launcher – I wouldn’t want to challenge them on that), and a forward pistol grip.
The key is the fixed, 10-round magazine.The catch-22 though is, if you remove that magazine, you then have a rifle capable of accepting high-capacity magazines; therefore, an AW. People at public ranges have been busted for this when they removed the magazine to reload, instead of breaking open the AR, and refilling the magazine while it is fixed in the lower receiver. People need to be very careful when they are around people they don’t know.
Saturday, March 21, 2009
The Steyr AUG is one of those rifles that looks like something out Star Wars.
And it wasn't just futuristic looking; it was a very clever, very forward looking battle rifle--and one that was extremely compact: only 27" long with a 16" barrel. It turns out that very, very few of them were ever imported into the United States, and at least partly because they were incredibly expensive. This didn't prevent California from including it on the 1989 Roberti-Roos Assault Weapons Control Act list of banned weapons. It is hard to imagine that there had ever been a criminal misuse of one at the time. Since President Bush banned them from import at about that same time, I would even more surprised if there had been any subsequent criminal misuses.
Still, the design was so cool that filmmakers couldn't resist it. I recall seeing one film in which a sniper uses a Steyr AUG because the barrel is easily removed, making the whole package even more compact--enough to fit into a briefcase.
Well, the patents underlying the AUG finally expired--and an American company, Microtech Small Arms Research, is building a somewhat modified version called the STG-556. Peter Kokalis has a review of it in the March 20, 2009 Shotgun News. Among other interesting aspects of it: a 0.6 minute of arc group at 100 meters with the 16" barrel. That's extraordinary for a battle rifle.
The price tag is, as you might expect, absurdly high: $1953.86. But if you are one of those people who always wanted a Steyr AUG for its unique design, and have that kind of money lying around with nothing better to do with it (like some of you AIG executives who are now getting death threats because Senator Dodd wanted to make sure that you weren't suffering), I can think of worse ways to spend it! Here's their website. And here it is being offered at what I guess is the dealer cost of $1645--and as you might expect, out of stock!
From C.V. Nevius' March 21, 2009 San Francisco Chronicle column:
Rozelle Trizuto always takes her glasses off when she sees her daughter. She's resigned to the fact that Angela may punch her at any moment and doesn't want to keep replacing broken glasses.Reading the comments on the article is also quite depressing, and a reminder of why I am glad to be far away from San Francisco:
Angela Trizuto is a diagnosed schizophrenic. She hears voices, thinks terrorists are spying on her and lashes out violently. She spent Thursday, her 25th birthday, in a San Francisco jail cell on suspicion of assaulting a person this week on Van Ness Avenue. On Friday, she was transferred to Marin to face an outstanding arrest warrant for separate assault and battery charges.
"Please help my daughter," her mother said Friday. "She is dangerous to herself and to others, obviously. At what point do people see that she's gravely disabled and needs to be in a locked unit?"
The problem is that California law makes that incredibly difficult. Laura's Law, under which patients can be required to take their medications, is so expensive and cumbersome that it is rarely used. And a conservatorship, in which a judge orders someone to be kept in a locked setting against their will, can be a legal nightmare.
Now, mental health advocates worry that a proposition included in May's special statewide election will further hinder efforts to help people like Angela Trizuto. Proposition 1E would redirect $460 million from mental health services to help balance the state budget. San Francisco has also cut its mental health services in light of the looming deficit here.
As local health services decline, the state must step up and deal with the tragedy of uncontrollable mental illness.
"It's a mess," said Paul Linde, who has been a psychiatrist at San Francisco General Hospital's Psych Emergency Services unit since 1992. "We all want to protect civil liberties, but because of the way the laws are structured, we have to say someone is a danger to others 'at this time.' They almost literally have to have a knife to someone's neck to be able to say they are dangerous."
If I see an obviously crazy person coming towards me on the street (which happens usually at least once every single day), I will cross over. I have had two acquaintances murdered by insane people in SF, and I will not be one of them. I don't care how insensitive this sounds. There is no room for sensitivity when you have dangerous, violent people roaming freely on the streets. I will probably vote against 1E, though I am suspicious at the "concern" of mental health advocates, who should be really called mental illness advocates. Governor Schwarzenegger's cuts to the mental health system are a huge mistake, and even as a Republican I can't get behind them. Judges are clearly pat of the problem, but we as a society must realize that we are not helping anyone by letting crazy people loose. Bring back asylums.
Friday, March 20, 2009
I use a VPN connection to telecommute. A couple of days ago, my wireless internet provider switched me from one radio to another. I didn't bother to get all the details; I just know that the IP address of the WAN side of my router had to change.
Ever since, my VPN connection has become very frustrating. It used to be that I would lose the connection perhaps once or twice a day--and it usually reconnected pretty quickly. Now it is dropping the connection like clockwork--in fact, every four minutes. (The regularity of it alone is curious.) It eventually comes back, but since it typically takes 20-30 seconds to do so--and it happens every four minutes--this is a major frustration.
With VPN disabled, everything works just fine--no problems.
I have whined to my wireless internet provider--and reminded them that they aren't the only game in town. (Even out here.) But I would prefer not to go through the aggravation of switching right now if I can avoid it. I have VPN client logs, if there is anyone out there who is sufficiently knowledgeable to tell me what these interesting complaints mean.
My guess is that the failure of these ISAKMP message (which provide authentication and security keys) is related to corruption or loss of packets--but I would think that the contents of these packets would be passed right through TCP/IP. They should just be data inside the data packets.
2009/03/20 15:20:13:593 Information 18.104.22.168 Starting aggressive mode phase 1 exchange.
2009/03/20 15:20:13:593 Information 22.214.171.124 Ignoring unsupported vendor ID -1.
2009/03/20 15:20:13:593 Information 126.96.36.199 NAT Detected: Local host is behind a NAT device.
2009/03/20 15:20:13:593 Information 188.8.131.52 The SA lifetime for phase 1 is 28800 seconds.
2009/03/20 15:20:13:593 Information 184.108.40.206 ISAKMP SEND: EXCH=OAK AG, ICOOK=0x7F929B126DA22A86, RCOOK=0x72D53A4C55B602BD, MSGID=0x00000000, SIZE=124
2009/03/20 15:20:13:593 Information 220.127.116.11 Phase 1 has completed.
2009/03/20 15:20:13:718 Information 18.104.22.168 ISAKMP RECV: EXCH=MODE CFG, ICOOK=0x7F929B126DA22A86, RCOOK=0x72D53A4C55B602BD, MSGID=0x82C0FFA4, SIZE=76
2009/03/20 15:20:13:718 Information 22.214.171.124 Received XAuth request.
2009/03/20 15:20:13:718 Information 126.96.36.199 Sending XAuth reply.
2009/03/20 15:20:13:718 Information 188.8.131.52 ISAKMP SEND: EXCH=MODE CFG, ICOOK=0x7F929B126DA22A86, RCOOK=0x72D53A4C55B602BD, MSGID=0x82C0FFA4, SIZE=92
2009/03/20 15:20:13:859 Information 184.108.40.206 ISAKMP RECV: EXCH=MODE CFG, ICOOK=0x7F929B126DA22A86, RCOOK=0x72D53A4C55B602BD, MSGID=0xFB04F23A, SIZE=68
2009/03/20 15:20:13:859 Information 220.127.116.11 Received XAuth status.
2009/03/20 15:20:13:859 Information 18.104.22.168 Sending XAuth acknowledgement.
2009/03/20 15:20:13:859 Information 22.214.171.124 ISAKMP SEND: EXCH=MODE CFG, ICOOK=0x7F929B126DA22A86, RCOOK=0x72D53A4C55B602BD, MSGID=0xFB04F23A, SIZE=68
2009/03/20 15:20:13:859 Information 126.96.36.199 User authentication has succeeded.
2009/03/20 15:20:14:000 Information 188.8.131.52 ISAKMP RECV: EXCH=MODE CFG, ICOOK=0x7F929B126DA22A86, RCOOK=0x72D53A4C55B602BD, MSGID=0xDA1CD1F7, SIZE=92
2009/03/20 15:20:14:000 Information 184.108.40.206 Received request for policy version.
2009/03/20 15:20:14:000 Information 220.127.116.11 Sending policy version reply.
2009/03/20 15:20:14:000 Information 18.104.22.168 ISAKMP SEND: EXCH=MODE CFG, ICOOK=0x7F929B126DA22A86, RCOOK=0x72D53A4C55B602BD, MSGID=0xDA1CD1F7, SIZE=116
2009/03/20 15:20:14:140 Information 22.214.171.124 ISAKMP RECV: EXCH=MODE CFG, ICOOK=0x7F929B126DA22A86, RCOOK=0x72D53A4C55B602BD, MSGID=0xDA1CD1F7, SIZE=68
2009/03/20 15:20:14:156 Information 126.96.36.199 Received policy change is not required.
2009/03/20 15:20:14:156 Information 188.8.131.52 Sending policy acknowledgement.
2009/03/20 15:20:14:156 Information 184.108.40.206 ISAKMP SEND: EXCH=MODE CFG, ICOOK=0x7F929B126DA22A86, RCOOK=0x72D53A4C55B602BD, MSGID=0xDA1CD1F7, SIZE=76
2009/03/20 15:20:14:156 Information 220.127.116.11 The configuration for the connection is up to date.
2009/03/20 15:20:14:187 Information 18.104.22.168 Starting ISAKMP phase 2 negotiation with 0.0.0.0/0.0.0.0:BOOTPC:BOOTPS:UDP.
2009/03/20 15:20:14:187 Information 22.214.171.124 ISAKMP SEND: EXCH=OAK QM, ICOOK=0x7F929B126DA22A86, RCOOK=0x72D53A4C55B602BD, MSGID=0xE6511F9E, SIZE=164
2009/03/20 15:20:14:187 Information 126.96.36.199 Starting quick mode phase 2 exchange.
2009/03/20 15:20:14:312 Information 188.8.131.52 ISAKMP RECV: EXCH=OAK QM, ICOOK=0x7F929B126DA22A86, RCOOK=0x72D53A4C55B602BD, MSGID=0xE6511F9E, SIZE=164
2009/03/20 15:20:14:312 Information 184.108.40.206 The SA lifetime for phase 2 is 28800 seconds.
2009/03/20 15:20:14:312 Information 220.127.116.11 ISAKMP SEND: EXCH=OAK QM, ICOOK=0x7F929B126DA22A86, RCOOK=0x72D53A4C55B602BD, MSGID=0xE6511F9E, SIZE=84
2009/03/20 15:20:14:312 Information 18.104.22.168 Phase 2 with 0.0.0.0/0.0.0.0:BOOTPC:BOOTPS:UDP has completed.
2009/03/20 15:20:14:312 Information
2009/03/20 15:20:19:406 Information
2009/03/20 15:20:19:453 Information
2009/03/20 15:20:19:453 Information 22.214.171.124 NetWkstaUserGetInfo returned: user: Clayton Cramer, logon domain: CLAYTONLAPTOP, logon server: CLAYTONLAPTOP
2009/03/20 15:20:23:656 Information 126.96.36.199 ISAKMP SEND: NAT KEEP ALIVE
2009/03/20 15:20:23:953 Information 188.8.131.52 NetGetDCName failed: Could not find domain controller for this domain.
2009/03/20 15:20:23:953 Information 184.108.40.206 calling NetUserGetInfo: Server: \\CLAYTONLAPTOP, User: Clayton Cramer, level: 3
2009/03/20 15:20:23:968 Information 220.127.116.11 NetUserGetInfo returned: home dir: , remote dir: , logon script:
2009/03/20 15:20:28:656 Information 18.104.22.168 ISAKMP SEND: EXCH=ISA INFO, ICOOK=0x7F929B126DA22A86, RCOOK=0x72D53A4C55B602BD, MSGID=0x65F05CFC, SIZE=84
2009/03/20 15:20:28:656 Information 22.214.171.124 Sending dead peer detection request.
2009/03/20 15:20:28:812 Information 126.96.36.199 ISAKMP RECV: EXCH=ISA INFO, ICOOK=0x7F929B126DA22A86, RCOOK=0x72D53A4C55B602BD, MSGID=0x11E9BC14, SIZE=84
2009/03/20 15:20:28:812 Information 188.8.131.52 Received dead peer detection acknowledgement.
2009/03/20 15:20:33:656 Information 184.108.40.206 ISAKMP SEND: NAT KEEP ALIVE
2009/03/20 15:20:43:671 Information 220.127.116.11 ISAKMP SEND: NAT KEEP ALIVE
2009/03/20 15:20:53:906 Information 18.104.22.168 ISAKMP SEND: NAT KEEP ALIVE
2009/03/20 15:21:03:906 Information 22.214.171.124 ISAKMP SEND: NAT KEEP ALIVE
2009/03/20 15:21:13:906 Information 126.96.36.199 ISAKMP SEND: NAT KEEP ALIVE
2009/03/20 15:21:23:906 Information 188.8.131.52 ISAKMP SEND: NAT KEEP ALIVE
2009/03/20 15:21:33:906 Information 184.108.40.206 ISAKMP SEND: NAT KEEP ALIVE
2009/03/20 15:21:43:906 Information 220.127.116.11 ISAKMP SEND: NAT KEEP ALIVE
2009/03/20 15:21:53:906 Information 18.104.22.168 ISAKMP SEND: NAT KEEP ALIVE
2009/03/20 15:22:03:906 Information 22.214.171.124 ISAKMP SEND: NAT KEEP ALIVE
2009/03/20 15:22:13:906 Information 126.96.36.199 ISAKMP SEND: NAT KEEP ALIVE
2009/03/20 15:22:23:906 Information 188.8.131.52 ISAKMP SEND: NAT KEEP ALIVE
2009/03/20 15:22:33:906 Information 184.108.40.206 ISAKMP SEND: NAT KEEP ALIVE
2009/03/20 15:22:43:906 Information 220.127.116.11 ISAKMP SEND: NAT KEEP ALIVE
2009/03/20 15:22:53:906 Information 18.104.22.168 ISAKMP SEND: NAT KEEP ALIVE
2009/03/20 15:23:03:906 Information 22.214.171.124 ISAKMP SEND: NAT KEEP ALIVE
2009/03/20 15:23:13:906 Information 126.96.36.199 ISAKMP SEND: NAT KEEP ALIVE
2009/03/20 15:23:23:906 Information 188.8.131.52 ISAKMP SEND: NAT KEEP ALIVE
2009/03/20 15:23:33:906 Information 184.108.40.206 ISAKMP SEND: NAT KEEP ALIVE
2009/03/20 15:23:43:906 Information 220.127.116.11 ISAKMP SEND: NAT KEEP ALIVE
2009/03/20 15:23:48:906 Information 18.104.22.168 ISAKMP SEND: EXCH=ISA INFO, ICOOK=0x7F929B126DA22A86, RCOOK=0x72D53A4C55B602BD, MSGID=0x721706CD, SIZE=84
2009/03/20 15:23:48:906 Information 22.214.171.124 Sending dead peer detection request.
2009/03/20 15:23:53:906 Information 126.96.36.199 ISAKMP SEND: NAT KEEP ALIVE
2009/03/20 15:23:53:906 Information 188.8.131.52 ISAKMP SEND: EXCH=ISA INFO, ICOOK=0x7F929B126DA22A86, RCOOK=0x72D53A4C55B602BD, MSGID=0x547EAFA9, SIZE=84
2009/03/20 15:23:53:906 Information 184.108.40.206 Sending dead peer detection request.
2009/03/20 15:23:54:046 Information 220.127.116.11 ISAKMP RECV: EXCH=ISA INFO, ICOOK=0x7F929B126DA22A86, RCOOK=0x72D53A4C55B602BD, MSGID=0x7BB66179, SIZE=168
2009/03/20 15:23:54:046 Warning 18.104.22.168 Received an unencrypted packet but encryption keys have already been established.
2009/03/20 15:23:54:046 Error 22.214.171.124 Failed to decrypt buffer.
2009/03/20 15:23:54:046 Information
2009/03/20 15:23:59:031 Information 126.96.36.199 ISAKMP SEND: EXCH=ISA INFO, ICOOK=0x7F929B126DA22A86, RCOOK=0x72D53A4C55B602BD, MSGID=0x59A2626D, SIZE=84
2009/03/20 15:23:59:031 Information 188.8.131.52 Sending dead peer detection request.
2009/03/20 15:23:59:171 Information 184.108.40.206 ISAKMP RECV: EXCH=ISA INFO, ICOOK=0x7F929B126DA22A86, RCOOK=0x72D53A4C55B602BD, MSGID=0x5E8DD5D5, SIZE=168
2009/03/20 15:23:59:171 Warning 220.127.116.11 Received an unencrypted packet but encryption keys have already been established.
2009/03/20 15:23:59:171 Error 18.104.22.168 Failed to decrypt buffer.
2009/03/20 15:23:59:171 Information
2009/03/20 15:24:04:031 Information 22.214.171.124 ISAKMP SEND: NAT KEEP ALIVE
2009/03/20 15:24:04:031 Information 126.96.36.199 ISAKMP SEND: EXCH=ISA INFO, ICOOK=0x7F929B126DA22A86, RCOOK=0x72D53A4C55B602BD, MSGID=0x1E017212, SIZE=84
2009/03/20 15:24:04:031 Information 188.8.131.52 Sending dead peer detection request.
2009/03/20 15:24:04:156 Information 184.108.40.206 ISAKMP RECV: EXCH=ISA INFO, ICOOK=0x7F929B126DA22A86, RCOOK=0x72D53A4C55B602BD, MSGID=0x1B94935E, SIZE=168
2009/03/20 15:24:04:156 Warning 220.127.116.11 Received an unencrypted packet but encryption keys have already been established.
2009/03/20 15:24:04:156 Error 18.104.22.168 Failed to decrypt buffer.
2009/03/20 15:24:04:156 Information
2009/03/20 15:24:09:031 Information 22.214.171.124 ISAKMP SEND: EXCH=ISA INFO, ICOOK=0x7F929B126DA22A86, RCOOK=0x72D53A4C55B602BD, MSGID=0x340D45A3, SIZE=84
2009/03/20 15:24:09:031 Information 126.96.36.199 Sending dead peer detection request.
2009/03/20 15:24:09:156 Information 188.8.131.52 ISAKMP RECV: EXCH=ISA INFO, ICOOK=0x7F929B126DA22A86, RCOOK=0x72D53A4C55B602BD, MSGID=0x63C6BC53, SIZE=168
2009/03/20 15:24:09:156 Warning 184.108.40.206 Received an unencrypted packet but encryption keys have already been established.
2009/03/20 15:24:09:156 Error 220.127.116.11 Failed to decrypt buffer.
2009/03/20 15:24:09:156 Information
2009/03/20 15:24:13:531 Information 18.104.22.168 ISAKMP SEND: NAT KEEP ALIVE
2009/03/20 15:24:14:031 Information 22.214.171.124 ISAKMP SEND: NAT KEEP ALIVE
2009/03/20 15:24:14:031 Information