Tuesday, 19 November 2013

07:18 – Hmmm. I just read an article on the front page of our morning paper. The new chief of police is asking for $10,000 in taxpayer money to fund a gun buyback. He plans to pay $150 for each “assault rifle”, $100 for each “handgun”, and $75 for each rifle or shotgun. But I have a cunning plan. I’m going to talk to Barbara about us doing a free-market gun buyback. We’ll pay 50% more than the city is paying for firearms in the first and third categories. (We won’t be able to buy pistols, because even private transactions for pistols require applying to the sheriff’s department for a “pistol permit”.) The city program doesn’t mention ammunition, but we could offer to buy that, too. Hmmm.


13:44 – Rats! I hate it when I come across a neologism that I should have coined myself. Oh, well, there’s nothing for it but to steal it, file off the serial number, and start using it myself. This one is from a book I’m currently reading. The author is Toni Dwiggins, and the title is Badwater, one of a series of forensic geology mysteries. Oh, yeah. The neologism is “onageristic estimate”.

26 thoughts on “Tuesday, 19 November 2013”

  1. Ya gotta love the MSM. The tornadoes in the US Midwest are all over the news here – it’s global warming. Of course, no mention of the fact that there are tornadoes in the Midwest every bloody year, and that this season is nothing special.

    It was the same thing with the California wildfires over the summer. There are wildfires every year, and there are always idiots who build their houses where they shouldn’t. Nonetheless, the news blamed the fires on “global warming” or “climate change”, depending on the day of the week.

    The latest is claiming that mudslides in the Alps are coming from thawing permafrost. It’s the same thing, though: There are mudslides every year, no one is reporting any increase in the frequency of the things, so…why is this now AGW? How do the journalist report this stuff with a straight face, in the same news program where they report the unusually early opening of all the major ski areas?

  2. “The new chief of police is asking for $10,000 in taxpayer money to fund a gun buyback.”

    They had something like that in LA, after Sandy Hook I think. Mostly people turned in duds, and kept the good ones.

  3. Same with bushfires in Australia. They’re the fault of Global Warming ™ too. Never mind that we’ve had them back to the dawn of recorded history, including some bad ones 100 or so years ago. In 1967 we had some bad ones in Tasmania, which is as far south as you can get and still be in Australia.

  4. They had something like that in LA, after Sandy Hook I think. Mostly people turned in duds, and kept the good ones.

    Well, we wouldn’t buy the junk. We’d tell those folks to sell them to the PD.

  5. How do the journalist report this stuff with a straight face, in the same news program where they report the unusually early opening of all the major ski areas?

    They’re Journalism majors who got through college without even the most basic understanding of science. Also they’re largely reading what someone else wrote for them. For example, the KTVU report on the Asiana plane crash where they actually reported that one of the pilots was Some Ting Wong.

  6. Well, Some Ting WAS!

    I’m always surprised when they spell “science” right, and then I remember they must have spell check enabled.

  7. I’ve heard of people (well, small groups) beginning to do what you are talking about. Many ignorant people will decide they’re tired of storing deceased Grandpa’s firearm collection, and will turn in firearms worth hundreds to thousands of dollars (that Holland and Holland double, for instance, or the Beretta Silver Pigeon, or even just an M1) to be crushed (or cherry-picked by the cops for their private profit, of course). The gun-surrender alternatives get them to see them first, and make better (although not necessarily good) offers for anything worth significantly more than the turn-in price.

    I’ve even heard of some of them generating goodwill for the significantly valuable firearms by simply telling people the book value, and how to get a few bids on them.

  8. My mother’s father died 16 years before I was born. He collected firearms. When he died, the family vultures swooped in and stole them, leaving my mom and grandmother gunless. It makes me ill to think what they would be worth now. I mean, just as one example, he had an early model Thompson SMG. He had scores and scores of pistols, rifles, and shotguns, all looted. My mom thought he had a BAR, but couldn’t remember for sure. An original Colt Peacemaker in pristine condition. An original pre-Civil War Volcanic repeating rifle (the first Smith & Wesson). And so on. My mom said he collected mostly rare and unusual pieces, so my guess is that his collection today would be worth something way up in the millions.

  9. We won’t be able to buy pistols, because even private transactions for pistols require applying to the sheriff’s department for a “pistol permit”.

    What? That is private commerce, how can they stop that? Is this just your county or the entire state?

    Seriously, this whole gun regulation thing is so unconstitutional. There are major violations of our rights here.

    Actually, I am thinking about getting a CHL here in the Great State of Texas. I carry in my truck everywhere and apparently 43? other states respect the Texas CHL.

    In fact, Texas has open carry of long guns and our new governor apparent wants to have open carry of pistols for CHL holders. I am all for this as I am thinking that a S&W 629 five inch is a great open carry pistol.

  10. That is a truly awful horror story about the looted firearms, Bob; I know you’ve mentioned it before, but damn, it also makes me ill to think of it. We didn’t have guns around the house when we were growing up but if memory serves, my dad had once owned a Colt Woodsman .22 but that has long disappeared into the void. My first experience with firearms was boot camp in TX. And never looked back.

    On the sports tee-vee broadcast thang; if there is ever a reasonable way to subscribe here to MLB and the NFL games in a given year I would look into it, but am not going out of my way for it or paying exorbitant sums. It’s hahd to justify sitting in front of those things for three to four hours a crack when there is a ton of chit to do around this house and job-wise, assuming that ever comes to pass. On the other hand, when would I watch? One game a week during each season, so no big deal.

    35 here today and overcast with a good breeze, but the wind gusts seem to have died down. I am seeing snow flurries again outside the window. Mrs. OFD made it out to Denver OK and will be home again Saturday and then gone on Monday for a stupid one-day gig in Mordor with her employer. Then we have about two days to maniacally get stuff ready here for T-Day, mainly the mop-up ops from what I do this week and the food prep. MIL and daughter coming so I will be outnumbered again, per usual.

    But I have control of the electric knife and the guns.

  11. Well, their last hope is that the Supreme Court rules for them, and there’s no guarantee SCOTUS will even agree to hear them. Let’s hope it does kill broadcast TV. I’d like nothing better than to see all local TV stations go bankrupt and free up all that spectrum for doing something that’s actually useful.

  12. I am guessing that if a station decides to stop broadcasting OTA then it would need to release their spectrum back to the public. And of course, we are talking Fox and CBS here, major stations in all their markets. And NBC and ABC also.

  13. onageristic

    I don’t care about the derivation. Onanism was always disapproved.

    Did you ever read up on it?
    Onan got clobbered not because he wanked off, but because he used birth control. Birth control which would be perfectly okay by the book for even the Roman Catholic church. Birth control which worked, only just and only sometimes; but still more effective than none. It wasn’t even the birth control that was a problem, but the fact that he HAD TO (required by the book – if they even had writing at that stage), get his sister-in-law pregnant, and the poor pansy-whipped boy wasn’t allowed to do what the elders insisted he do. Incidentally, his Dad used ( or thought he did) a prostitute who was a priestess of another deity, and they produced one of Jesus’ ancestors.

  14. Onageristic estimate isn’t new – I first heard it about 27 years ago when I started working with a group of VERY bright people where reading the dictionary was considered good fun. In fact I taught the phrase to my daughter not all that long ago.

  15. They had something like that in LA, after Sandy Hook I think. Mostly people turned in duds, and kept the good ones.

    Exactly. No one is bringing in the .45 ACP semi-automatic pistol with the serial number filed off. Instead they bring in their grandpa’s .38 revolver that hasn’t been fired (or cleaned/oiled) in 20+ years.

  16. Not necessarily. I’ve seen images of guns collected in buy-back programs and there are many I’d like to have. Sure, you get a lot of junkers, but I’ve seen stuff like M1 Garands, Model 12 and 870 shotguns, pistols by Colt, S&W, and Ruger, Mini-14’s, SKS’s, and so on.

    Speaking of SKS’s, I could kick myself. Years ago, I saw an ad in the Sunday paper for SKSs from, IIRC, Walmart at $39 each with a case of 1,000 7.62×39 ball rounds for another $39. I fully intended to go buy a dozen of each, but I never got around to it.

  17. I like Bob’s idea, though; I wonder if the cops would interfere. I guess it depends on the attitudes in a state or town; far as I know there’s never been a cop buy-back deal up here.

    And I see that a second fully functional all -metal handgun has been made in a 3D printer.

  18. “different onager”

    I know that. I know what a wild… uhmm, donkey is; and also even the rock-thrower that kicks like one. However, how many even half-assed (hah!) chances do you get to tell the truth about Onanism?

  19. Speaking of which, we were just watching a BBC series called London Hospital. One patient, a woman in her 30’s, is diagnosed with “hysteria”, which the doctor attributes to her not having orgasms. So he whips out a vibrator. All true. The vibrator was actually the first small electric appliance. Doctors desperately needed it because they got so tired (literally) of manually masturbating their female patients. And it took too long. Before long, the vibrator was one of the most popular items in the Sears catalog.

  20. About “hysteria”, you might enjoy the 2011 film of the same name, with Maggie Gyllenhaal. It’s about the invention of the first electric-powered massager, for exactly the reasons you mention.

    Gun buybacks. Two tactics – sell junk, pot-metal, broken and hardware-shop pipe “guns” to the authorities for money. Buy decent guns for cash from people who would otherwise surrender them for destruction.

    Where I live, there was an “amnesty” for handing in unregestered firearms in 2006. Most of the surrendered guns were turned in by deceased hunters’ terrified widows, who would have been perfectly entitled to sell them to a dealer for full value, had they only known. Many pieces were simply spirited away and resold, or added to private collections. Only the useless scrap was actually sent to the steel furnaces – there was a press photo of the minister responsible in front of the “haul”, and it was clear to anyone in the know that the “firearms” in the background were mostly old airguns and rusted-out .22s of no practical use.

  21. “People have showed up at a buyback and did what you suggested with mixed results.”

    I’m not sure about buying back used vibrators.

    OOOH, guns.

  22. I am guessing that if a station decides to stop broadcasting OTA then it would need to release their spectrum back to the public.

    Pretty close. Actually the radio spectrum is allocated by the FCC, so when one releases it, it goes back to the FCC bureaucracy, not really ‘the public’. It is fiction that airwaves are a public trust; the FCC has been wholly ineffective in regulating them in the ‘public interest’; what they regulate them to benefit are the huge conglomerates and various big business interests. Here’s a quick example. Both HD radio and RDS service (the thing that allows your car radio to tell you what song is playing and what station you are listening to) are licensed technologies. A station has to buy the equipment, pay a huge upfront fee for a ‘license’ (in the sense that Windows is licensed) to use it, and then pay regular fees to the manufacturer/license-holder, based on how much gross income the station hauls in. Imagine if Howard Armstrong had “licensed” FM radio and every station had to pay a regular fee to use it, and you had to pay one to receive it (and you DO pay a one-time fee when you buy HD radio or RDS capable receivers). That may be a good European idea but it is an anathema to the American Way, as are copyrights, patents, and trademarks. The FCC should be damned to hell for ever allowing such a thing. But then hell is a completely imaginary concept, so I suppose there should be a more relevant punishment before they hit complete oblivion.

    Obtaining a broadcast license was fairly easy in the early days—you applied for one, and the biggest obstacle was financing the equipment, which even for a small radio station, used to run into today’s equivalent of a couple $100,000 or more. Now the equipment is cheap, being silicon and computer-based—everything except the tower and antenna can be had for under $40,000 (and well under that if you are only building one very simple studio). Antennas are around $35k (more for TV) and tower construction of one stick is about $80k not including the land purchase/rent. But these days you can rent towers starting at close to $1k/mo, depending on height.

    Now in everyday operations, if something goes wrong with your transmitting equipment, you have 14 days to correct it. If it takes longer, FCC approval is required for a “temporary authority” adjustment to power, being off-air, or whatever. If you decide not to broadcast any longer, then the FCC requires the license-holder to write “Cancelled” across the license, and send it back to the FCC. That spectrum space is thus returned to the FCC to do whatever they want with that allocation.

    I have known situations where a station went dark for 2 years or more, never returned the license, and eventually sold the allocation to someone else. Being a business-oriented outfit, the FCC did not balk at that, but went ahead and approved the transfer.

    On the other hand, WKNR in Dearborn, Michigan, a 5kw AM station on 1310khz became completely unprofitable and was given by the owners to a religious outfit. The former farm land that the towers occupied had become worth multi-millions. First thing the religious outfit did was to raze the towers and sell that land to a developer for a new giant mall. They thought they could keep the license and resurrect it somewhere else, but that allocation has been erased from the FCC database, and anybody wanting to occupy that frequency would have to apply from scratch. Hardly any AM station outside of 50kw stations in the big cities (NY, Chicago, Philly, Boston, LA) are financially viable these days, so the chance that someone would apply for that frequency in Detroit is virtually non-existent. (Amazingly, that frequency in Indianapolis—which is a gospel station—no longer has to protect WKNR and could likely now up their power to 50kw and shove it north with directional antennas, and really sock it out. But, I am told, the Indy station is barely hanging on and certainly could not afford the hoops and equipment necessary to increase power after WKNR’s demise.)

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