Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Gorsuch First Vote Does Not Disappoint

Daniel Greenfield, aka Sultan Knish, has written an excellent piece on the first vote of Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court.  The case involved a serial killer and rapist who was scheduled to die by execution in Arkansas.  However, the ACLU decided to take up the case of this monster, again, in hopes of keeping him alive.  Apparently the stupidity defense did not work with Gorsuch. You can find Greenfield's excellent article at the Politichicks Blog in an article entitled Good VS Evil In The Supreme Court.  Greenfield:

The left loved Ledell Lee as it loves all its monsters. The ACLU and Innocence Project filing tenderly dwells on Lee’s victimhood. We are told that he repeated eight grade and his mother smoked when she was pregnant. But despite Lee’s supposed retardation, he was cunning enough to scout houses, contrive a pretext for finding out if women were home alone and then raping and murdering them. Despite his time in special education, he managed to conduct a rape and murder spree for three years.
The pro-crime lobby would have us believe that Ledell Lee is smart enough to rape and kill, but too stupid to die.
The stupidity defense has become the new insanity defense. Every killer on death row is suddenly diagnosed with lead poisoning, fetal alcohol syndrome and mental retardation. Once you hear an ACLU lawyer argue that his murderer is too stupid to die, you know that he’s guilty as hell.
Greenfield goes on to make the point that this was a major reason we needed him on the Supreme Court, and thus was a major, perhaps primary reason for voting for Trump:
The case of Ledell Lee showed us again what was at stake in the Gorsuch battle. Legal debates sometimes seem abstract. And yet they are as real as a teenage girl being dragged out of her sister’s home into the woods, a woman being strangled behind a school and a housewife being beaten to death with the tool that her husband gave her to protect her.
The left is a pro-crime lobby. Behind the empty theater of its sham feminism and pink rallies, it is on the side of the rapists and the murderers. It is on the side of Ledell Lee and all the other monsters like him.
“If the six of you had been in that conversation, you would have come away not saying, oh these are some thugs or superpredators that I can’t relate to,” Obama smugly boasted. The left prides itself on relating to “superpredators”. It empathizes with Ledell Lee and not his victims.
That’s what Obama’s justices did. That’s what anyone else he appointed would have done.
Gorsuch’s successful appointment to the Supreme Court won justice for the women whom Ledell Lee raped and murdered. Over the objections of the pro-crime Sotomayor, Kagan, Ginsburg and Breyer.
If Trump gets another shot at appointing a Supreme Court Justice, and it will change the balance of the Court, expect all hell to break loose. The Left plays for keeps.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Why Carry Concealed

Kevin Mickalowski, editor of Concealed Carry Magazine, has the scoop on why we should be carrying concealed at Firearm Retention Starts With Concealment.

 I understand the argument that people need to see others they respect carrying a gun in order to desensitize them to the gun culture. But, for the actual purpose of carrying a gun, self defense, I do not see desensitizing others being more important than avoiding a fight I do not have to get into.  Everyone is ultimately responsible for his or her own life, save those children who do not have the strength or the wits yet to know what to do.  It is for them, I carry, not to protect the general public.  While, sure, the fact that a place may have a concealed carrier is no doubt a factor in making a criminal attack less likely, protecting others than myself and my loved ones is not my job.

Therefore, I have always advocated for concealed carry.  Mickalowski makes the arguments why it is the best way.  I agree with him.  It is nobody's business if I am carrying or not, including, I might add, the State.  I have a right to choose the most efficient tools at my disposal, to defend myself and my loved ones.  So I am in favor of what is known as Constitutional Carry, where your license to carry a weapon, concealed or otherwise, is the Second Amendment.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

The Progressive Monoculture. Diversity for me, but not for thee.

For those who may like my amateur radio posts, there will be more coming.  Meanwhile, let me direct you to Fay Voshell's excellent post at the American Thinker today entitled The Left's Progressive Pilgrimage, in which she makes the point that the Left in America is attempting to create a monoculture of ideas that do not allow any diversity at all. Everything that goes against the Leftist's ideal must be purged. It reminds me of the lawns of many of the leftists I know, where only one type of grass, a grass that doesn't grow here naturally, is allowed to remain.
Some may recall St. Andrew Cuomo, who in a secular interpretation of St. Patricks’ expulsion of snakes from Ireland, attempted an exorcism of people who were pro-life and pro-gun from the sacred soil of New York. If he had been able to put his threat into action as did kings of old, Cuomo, who considers himself Catholic even though he is almost violently pro-abortion, may have imitated Louis XIV’s revocation of the Edict of Nantes, effectively sentencing conservative and religious New Yorkers to exile or worse.
At the same time the newly established holy sites of progressivism are being promoted with an assiduity similar to priests’ promotion of the Christian ceremony of the stations of the cross, progressives continue their campaign to rid the South of anti-progressive graven images.
All this would be worthy of comment for sure, but Voshell raises the specter of eventual banishment and exile, if we are lucky, or worse, death and destruction of Christian and Jewish populations, since these must be seen as weeds in the progressive monoculture. It has always been the same, whether in the Soviet Union, or Communist China, in Pol Pot's Cambodia, or in Communist Cuba. It is also true of ISIS, where Christian populations have been decimated after destruction of monasteries and church buildings.

Like the last Crusades, which were a defense against Islamic invasion, not as the Islamists claim, Christian aggression, we may have to become again the Church Militant, quite literally, if we are to pass on His teachings.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

John Lott hits a home run

Real Clear Policy has an article by John Lott dated May 3, 2017 in which Mr. Lott makes the case that murder isn't a nationwide problem  Instead, it tends to be concentrated in a few very urban, and very dangerous places in the United States.  You can read Mr. Lott's article here.

The point of the article, and the point of John Lott's body of work has been that the problem is not guns, but rather the bad intents of some people.  The existence of guns does not in any way change people with bad intentions.  They would just as easily use knives, fire place pokers, crow bars, or indeed any tool they could to inflict harm on their fellow human beings and attempt to intimidate and humiliate them for power and profit.  Guns just make the task easier.  But guns also make the task of self defense easier for the citizen that would otherwise be preyed upon.

Tellingly, the national press, who advocate for gun control tend to live in these large urban areas, and tend to see the rest of the country as being like the areas in which they live.  Thus, while thinking of themselves as open minded citizens of the world, they are in fact more parochial that the people living in the much denigrated fly over country.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

More Adventures in Amateur Radio

Ham radio is interesting in that you can continuously tune a ham radio as opposed to channelized tuning on your typical AM/FM radios.  You can tune as closely as 1 Hertz at a time if you want.  A couple of the receive functions deliberately shift the received signal a few Hertz from the the transmit frequency for better reading of the signal.

Ham radio also has a number of different modes on which you can both receive and transmit within the legal limits allowed by the Federal Communications Commission.  Of course there are the usual Amplitude Modulation and Frequency Modulation (AM and FM).  But there is also Single Side-band Suppressed Carrier (SSB).   Continuous Wave (CW) uses Morse Code to transmit and receive information using very small band widths of as little as 500 Hz.  There is Radio Teletype, and a variety of digital modes. each seemingly the flavor of the month, though PACTOR and PSK31 have lasted.

Most voice is carried on what is known as SSB, where either the upper side-band, of the lower side-band is the only thing transmitted.  SSB is related to AM, in that the first SSB signals were generated as AM signals and then one of the side-bands and the carrier were filtered out.  An AM signal occupies as much as 6 KHz of bandwidth.  In the crowded ham bands, that is a lot of space.  Single Side-Band on the other hand occupies 2,4 KHz of space.  But for simplicity we can round that up to 3.0 KHz of bandwidth.  So, for any band width of the radio spectrum, you could have two SSB conversations going at the same time, or one AM conversation.

Besides occupying less bandwidth, the SSB transmissions uses the power available more efficiently.  The carrier frequency of an AM signal occupies as much as half of  the power consumed, but carries no information.  Only the two side-bands, each a mirror image of the other, carry useful information.  So, if one of the side bands and the carrier can be filtered out, the remaining side-band can carry the full power of output final amplifier of the transmitter.  If what you are trying to do is send a signal as far as it can go, with as much power as you can muster and have it carry the information as efficiently as possible, SSB or CW are your traditional modes.  The various digital modes require additional equipment,  But for basic operation at power levels of, say, 100 watts (yes, the power consumed by a single incandescent light bulb) CW and SSB are your workhorse modes.

Of course my transceiver, the Yaesu FT-450D has built in CW, SSB (LSB and USB) AM and FM modes. I am familiar with FM from my days as a Technician, and indeed I still enjoy getting on the FM repeaters and having a good "ragchew" with a new friend. FM is naturally quiet. But FM occupies 15 KHz, and so is confined to the 10m, 6m, 2m and above bands. Most of my contacts have been using either USB or LBS. But the AM world is also interesting. AM occupies little slices of each of the bands. Most activity on 80 meters, for instance. is in the vicinity of 3.885 MHz, or as the AMers call it, 3885 kilo cycles (kc). On the old tube radios that I remember, the bands were denoted in kc. It was not until I was in high school that the term Hertz replaced cycles referring to the frequency of waves. And while SSB may be transmitted at 100 watts, you have to turn down the power of an AM signal to perhaps 20 to 25 watts. But what you hear sounds more natural, less tinny, if you will. It sounds mellower. Most AMers use reconditioned "boat anchors," or old transmitters and receivers built in the 1930s through the 1950s. Names like Hallicrafters, National, Collins, and Heathkit, among others occupy the world of the AMers.  There is a different quality to audio that comes out of tubes and audio that comes out of solid state.  It is evocative of a slower paced time and it tends to be more local, though on 20 meters you can have world wide contacts.

As an interesting side note, because AM takes up 6 kc, you need to tune to 3 kc away from a band edge.  So, if your band edge is 4.000MHz, you need to tune 3 Kc down, or 3.997 MHz.  and on the other end, if the band edge is say at 3.800 MHz, you need to tune up 3, or 3.803 MHz.  For SSB, on the 80 meters band, typical custom calls for using the LSB.  So, again for the lower edge, you would tune up 3, or to 3.803 MHZ.  But you could tune all the way to the 4.000 MHz band edge because only the lower side band is transmitted.  The frequency you tune to is not the frequency of the side band, but the original, now suppressed carrier.  So, SSB also gives you 3 extra KHz of band width to play with.

If you can, get with a ham friend some time and listen to AM on the air, as well as SSB, and see if you don't notice the difference.