Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Shit storm

Isn't it odd that Florida's number of COVID cases was low until right after it was announced that the 2020 Republican National Convention would be in Jacksonville. Nope. Coincidence.

This entire shitstorm of COVID, the riots, and everything else is being orchestrated and used to influence the election. This is the big play. Expect voter fraud, dead people voting, and more irregularities than you have ever seen before, on top of a backdrop of escalating violence.


Monday, July 13, 2020

Legitimate Questions

Teachers all over are being told that we have to teach the kids face to face when school restarts in two weeks. OK. I'm cool with that. However, I do have some questions:

1 What happens if I test positive? Am I required to stay home for two weeks? If so, is it without pay? Or is it considered an on the job injury, and would I be eligible for workers' comp?

2 Same with medical expenses. Who pays? Me? My health insurance, or workers' comp?

3 Since masks are not required of students, what happens if a kid comes in sick? Can I refuse to allow him in my classroom until he tests negative?

4 Considering the answers to 1,2, and 3: Then does that mean I can continue to come in as well, rather than have to burn my own sick leave?

5 If I test positive, a contact tracer will ask me a bunch of invasive questions about where I go, who I talk to, and other personal details. Am I required to answer? What happens if I don't?

I am sure there are many more, and these are questions that no one yet seems to have answers for.

Quiet Sun

The number of sunspots is a great indicator of solar output. That is, the more sunspots there are, the higher the sun's energy output. This has effects on cosmic rays reaching Earth, the Earth's climate, and even how well radio communications work. Let's take a look (courtesy of Spaceweather.com) at the number of sunspot free days over the last few years:

2020 total: 145 days (74%)
2019 total: 281 days (77%)
2018 total: 221 days (61%)
2017 total: 104 days (28%)
2016 total: 32 days (9%)
2015 total: 0 days (0%)
2014 total: 1 day (<1 p="">2013 total: 0 days (0%)
2012 total: 0 days (0%)
2011 total: 2 days (<1 p="">2010 total: 51 days (14%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)
2008 total: 268 days (73%)
2007 total: 152 days (42%)
2006 total: 70 days (19%)


You can see that solar activity is cyclical, and you can see that we have been sunspot free for the majority of the time for the past three years. The last solar minimum (2008-2009) only lasted for two, with a seven year gap to the current one.

Solar cycles are normally 11 years long, but can last as long as 14 years. The current cycle began on January 4, 2008. The maximum sunspot number for this cycle was the lowest since cycles 12-15 (1878-1923, also known as the Dalton Minimum). So far this year, the Sun has been blank 76% of the time, a rate surpassed only once before in the Space Age. Last year, 2019, the Sun was blank 77% of the time. Two consecutive years of record-setting spotlessness adds up to a very deep solar minimum.

Long periods of low solar output are followed by colder weather on Earth

Crazy

For years, I have used the following to illustrate the insanity of the transgender position:

Let's say that I believe myself to be a gorilla. No matter how strongly I believe it, I am still not a gorilla.
Let's say that I take pills to make myself grow more hair to look more like a gorilla. I am still not a gorilla.
If I hire a surgeon to perform an operation to make myself look more like a gorilla, I am still not a gorilla.
If I get a million people to say that I can be whatever I identify myself as, and declare than I am a gorilla, I am still not a gorilla.
If I were to believe myself to be a gorilla and took the steps above, people would say I am crazy.
This is going to sound like a parody, but sadly, it isn't. The social media platform Twitch now has a man who identifies as both a woman and a deer, and this nutcase is now a moderator: in charge of censoring the users of the platform for not having a diverse enough opinion.


Sunday, July 12, 2020

Gun range and LGS report

Two days ago, I posted about shortages. To be honest, thanks to ammo shortages, I had not set foot in my LGS for about three weeks. I got called by some new shooters who wanted to take me up on my offer of a free shooting session, so we went. In return, they took us to dinner.

We started off with some .22 through a S&W M&P22. Then we moved to a suppressed 9mm, then unsuppressed. In all, I used up 100 rounds of 9mm, 50 rounds of .380, and 100 rounds of .22. I need to get some decent priced 9mm soon, or range trips in the near future will be made with .22.

Before we went shooting, they had to fill out the waivers, so I used that time to look over the gun shop.

The place was packed. Far busier than normal. There are 40 lanes, and most of them were full. Members went right in, there was a wait for non-members. We saw a large number of customers in the store who were looking for their first gun.  A Florida CCW class had just let out, and there were a few students still hanging out, looking at various handguns. In all, if you include the range, there were about 200 customers in the store. The place was packed.

The training schedule for July and August was up. There were 18 courses on the schedule for the rest of the month of July, and every one of them was booked. The schedule looks like this:
4 classes of "Intro to Handguns" and 2 classes of "Ladies Only Intro to Handguns" all full
6 classes of "First Shots" all full
5 classes of Florida CCW all full
1 "Youth Intro to Firearms" also full

It seems that the new shooters aren't just buying- they are buying and getting educated. Awesome. I welcome all new shooters into the culture. I mean ALL. The more popular shooting is, the harder it is to ban guns.

Guns are back in stock. The gun cabinets were well stocked, and to the credit of the LGS, the prices were pretty close to normal. Ammo is a bit hit or miss. Limits on most ammo were still one box per person, with a few exceptions:
5.56mm is back in stock in a big way. They were selling it by the box or by the case. Same with shotgun, except slugs, which are still limited.

The hunting calibers seemed to be well stocked, as was revolver ammo. There was plenty of .38, .44, and .357 magnum. For handguns, it was hit or miss. Oddly enough, there was plenty of .45ACP. There was some .40 S&W, but there were only 5 or 6 boxes of expensive 9mm. 

The ammo situation is improving, but I don't see us getting back to normal levels for months.

Science!!!

I recently got into a discussion about mask usage with someone I know. She insists that I am a science denier because I have pointed out that there is no evidence that cloth masks do anything to prevent COVID transmission.

This person is a screaming lefty who believes in gun ownership. But only for hunting. If it isn't useful for hunting, it should be illegal, as far as she is concerned.

Today, my wife showed me this person's FB post from this morning. Let's just say that I am not taking advice about science from anyone who believes in this nonsense.


Blue Wall of Silence

In comments to my post on the protesters having a point about good cops who stay silent are not good cops, it was pointed out that the numbers aren't valid. Perhaps not, but the point is that the "blue wall of silence" makes the good cops into bad ones. Let me offer an example to you:

A female highway Patrol Trooper pulled over a Miami PD officer who was speeding to his off duty job in his cruiser. He was travelling more than 120 miles per hour while weaving through traffic.This incident caused the Sun-Sentinel to do an entire series of articles, where it was revealed that dozens of South Florida cops were routinely speeding off duty, reaching speeds of over 100 miles an hour. Other cops simply looked the other way. I guess they are all "good cops."

She arrested him and was harassed for months because of it. 88 law enforcement officers from 25 jurisdictions illegally accessed her personal information more than 200 times, violating her privacy, and then used that information to leave notes on her car, and once they even left human feces on the hood of her car. She was harassed in a nationwide attempt by "good cops" to make an example of her, so other cops would know what happens when you cross the "blue wall of silence." (Seriously, read the comments from the cops at that last link. That is the attitude of supposed "good cops.")

She  wound up leaving law enforcement and had to move more than 600 miles away, and still they are stalking her. There were still police officers doing it in 2017, six years later.

As a paramedic, I got to see first hand what "professional courtesy" means. You didn't think that cops put those "blue line" stickers on their cars just for the hell of it, did you? These protests have gotten out of hand, but that is what happens when you don't police your own. Cops need to fix this, or it will get worse.

Cops hard to come by in St Petersburg

St Petersburg police have just announced that they will no longer respond to "non violent" calls, but will instead send social workers. Calls that police will no longer respond to:

  • Disorderly intoxication
  • Drug overdose
  • Intoxicated person
  • Mental health crisis
  • Suicide crisis
  • Mental Health Transport
  • Disorderly juvenile/truancy
  • Disorderly Juvenile at Elementary Schools
  • Panhandling
  • Homeless complaints
  • Neighborhood dispute
As a paramedic, I have seen every one of those go south. I would hazard to guess that these go bad far more often than cops do. 

By definition, a suicide crisis is a violent call. They are threatening, or at least contemplating, violence against themselves. Since a suicidal person is willing to harm themselves, they frequently have no qualms about taking others with them. Sure, there are suicidal people who are looking for attention, and ones who are only going to take pills. Before you get there, how do you know which one you are getting?

Anything involving intoxication will be handled by social workers? Have you ever tried to reason with a drunk? With a person who is on meth? They can't be reasoned with.

Overdose? As a medic, I am not going to an overdose call without police to secure the scene.

This is a shit sandwich that is going to get people killed at much higher rates than the handful of police misconduct that happens in a year.

Saturday, July 11, 2020

They aren't completely wrong

The crowds demanding that the police be defunded are not COMPLETELY wrong. That is what makes these protests so effective and why they resonate with so many people. This sign actually makes a good point:

Most cops are good and do their best. With that being said, if a cop knows that other cops are doing stuff like threatening to frame people for crimes that they didn't commit, taking cover behind women and children during a gunfight, or other illegal or immoral acts, yet doesn't speak up (or worse actively covers for them) then they are not good cops either. A cop is found DUI, and police deliberately screw up the arrest so that the drunk cop gets away with it. The cops who did that are bad cops. 

Then there is Officer Harless and the city that supported him when he threatened to kill two people who were legally carrying concealed weapons.

Or how about the cops who provide their own probable cause to conduct a search by calling the police tip line from their own cell phone?

Police: You need to clean up your ranks. Speak up. Stop defending the bad cops. Clean your own house. The nation depends on it.


Blogiversary

Today is the anniversary of the first post of this blog, July 11, 2007. In the 4,749 days since then, I have posted 2,561 times. So much has happened since that first post. The entire Obama administration came and went. This blog has seen me through three Presidents, 3 careers, four address changes,  two wives, a bankruptcy, the birth of two grandchildren, and more changes than I care to think about.

Personally, my life has seen a lot of changes. Married and then divorced, and then married again. Employed, retired, then employed again. I declared bankruptcy and then became a millionaire.
In 2008 I got married.
In 2009 the bottom dropped out of the housing market, my pay was cut by 30% and, faced with a depreciating asset, I declared bankruptcy with the intent of giving the house back to the bank.
In 2010 My bankruptcy was discharged. The mortgage bank was caught lying to the court with regard to my bankruptcy. They were forced to pay me nearly $10,000. Then they were caught forging mortgage paperwork in my case and several dozen others. Their lawyer was disbarred and they had to pay me more than $25,000 in damages.
In 2011 My wife announced to me (during the week of my birthday, no less) that she wanted a divorce. That divorce became final in June. I retired from my career as a firemedic and began school to be a physician assistant.
In 2012 I decided to leave school, moved back to Florida, and began teaching adult education while remaining mostly retired.
In 2014, I met my current wife. I also applied for my teacher's license and became a high school science teacher.
In 2018, I finally got paid for a job I did for the Feds six years before and I was able to pay off my house, all of my bills, and put a sizable amount in savings.

When this blog began, if you had told me that 13 years later I would no longer be a firefighter and would instead be teaching high school science, I would have called you crazy. Thirteen years is ancient for a blog, and while mine is not as widely read as some, I write mostly to keep me happy and give me a place to get out the things that I would like to say. The fact that some people care to read them is a humbling bonus.

Thank you to each and every one of you who read my ramblings.