Sunday, December 9, 2018

A Most Curious Dichotomy

Over the course of the "me too" movement more and more of the supposed leading lights of the entertainment and media conglomerates have been exposed as people of dubious character and devoid of any morality, sexual or otherwise.

Meanwhile  we are subjected to "moral" judgement from these same people and the institutions that have protected them for years if not decades. Can you hear me Mr. Moonves? Mr. Lauer? CBS, NBC? Yet we are expected to ignore this contradiction and tell ourselves that a predatory personal morality is irrelevant to an individual's political position.

Such is the nature of 21st century theater of the absurd. Don't examine the facts and reach your own conclusions. Just listen and obey. If you don't, you are a homophobe or a racist or what ever is the pejorative du jur.  And they wonder what so many people simply loath them.

Monday, October 15, 2018

It's As Simply As It Gets. Do You Understand Now?

Their attitude has always been we all must submit and conform or die.  Now they have become so desperate that the mask of civility has come off.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

More Adventures, This Time From Library/Hobby Room.

Our only son, and boat loads of our cash, went to Clemson University. So this year in celebratory combination of his birthday and the anniversary of his graduation I decided to build him a model of the USS Clemson.

In reality of course this ship had no real connection to either the university or the town of Clemson SC. The only exception being that a local resident rescued the ship's bell before she went to the breakers after the Second World war. In reality she was named for a young Navy Ensign who was killed during the Mexican American War. But the coincidence of name is enough of an excuse for me to build, modify and detail out another model ship.

As she would have appeared coming out of the mothball fleet in 1939.

The ship actually had a varied and interesting career. Completed too late to see service in WW I she was sent into the reserve fleet and later was mothballed after less than a year of active duty.

With war looming in both Europe and Asia she was recalled from the mothball fleet, refitted and recommissioned as fast auxiliary seaplane tender AVD-4. In this capacity she supported air craft scouting operations on both sides of the Panama Canal, mostly to the South and working out of the Galapagos Islands.

Revel Models produced the original molds for this kit and it was marketed under the name of several ship's of both the Clemson and Wickes classes of destroyers.

Revel was not known for highly detailed ship models and this one is no exception. To make it a presentation piece was going to require more than just glue and paint.

After the battle of Midway the Japanese threat to the Canal was considered greatly reduced. The Clemson was then returned to her orinal hull number and designation as a destroyer. She was transferred to the Atlantic fleet and saw extensive convoy escort duty earning several battle stars and a Presidential Unit Citation.

Examining the model and instructions it was clear that the first thing that would be required would be to replace all the railings with photo etched brass parts. A set in the appropriate 1/240 scale was found a Tom's Model Works and also included ship's ladders that we not provided in proper  numbers in the origional kit.

Forward deck railing.
Note the drilled out gun muzzle.

Early 1944 saw her again in the yards and again refitted and redesignated. This time as a fast auxillary troop transport APD-31, capable of carrying a third of battalion of Marines. Transfered to the Pacific she earned yet more battle stars in operations around Palau and the Philippines.

Other details were added after examination of photographs of the Clemson and other ships in her class.

Note the faring added to the forward funnel, service ladders on the funnels, the open deck hatch on the midships gun deck and the added life rafts amidships.

Boat cradles and inboard support posts were added to the lifeboat launching rails. Open weave fabric was used on all the life rafts to simulate the netting used.
All these additional parts and details were made from brass sheet, stock plastic and fabric. All the rigging was done with .015" dia. Wire. The display base made from pine board in my shop. The drydock timbers were also made from pine scrap pieces. The display case itself is made from .060" thick clear polycarbonate sheet and edged with 3/16" extruded plastic angle and small pieces of flat sheet reenforcing the corners. Small details are yet to be added such as flags and painted on rust streaks in the appropriate places. There will also need to be some paint touch up as is revealed to be needed in close up photographs. I am also considering adding a mirror to the back panel of the display case so that both the port and starboard sides can be examined.

As the war in the Pacific closed in on the Japanese home islands the Clemson once again back in the shipyard for yet another refit and redesignation that would see her returned to her origional duty as DD-186. The Navy was planning for the invasion of Japan and no doubt felt that more destroyers would be needed to protect the carrier taskforces and the the invasion force troop transports. The Atom Bomb ended the war before this last refit was completed.  She was soon decomissioned and stuck from the Navy registry of ships. Sold for scrap before the end of 1945, she no doubt found her way into the automobiles, refrigerators and razor blades of the postwar boom economy.

Some would say that that was an ignominious end for a noble ship. Others would argue that it was symbolic of what she, the crews who sailed in her and so many other ships were fighting for in the first place.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

More Adventures From The Backyard Workshop

So who doesn't like swords?

The shorter of the two is double edged and made from 2" x 1/4" 4140 cold drawn carbon steel flat bar. the

The guard is made from a piece of 316L stainless steel 2" schedule 40 seamless pipe. This was cut in half longitudinally. There is a piece of 1/4" cold drawn carbon steel square bar welded into the bottom with 309 stainless filler wire.

This allowed the previously shaped and sharpened blade to be full penetration welded to the square bar using high strength E80S-B2 vanadium steel filler wire. Short intermittent sequence welds we're used and allowed to cool thoroughly before the next sequence was applied. This sequencing prevented the blade material from heating up to the point where the temper would have been lost.

The Handle is made of two pieces. The main portion is made from 1" cold drawn 12L14 carbon steel hexagonal bar. The pommel is 1-1/4" 420 stainless steel round bar. These two were welded with 309 stainless steel filler wire. This assembly was then carefully tacked and welded to the to the outer side of the pipe section in order to maintain axial alignment with the blade.

The balance point is about 1-1/4" from the base of the blade so it can wielded with either one or two hands.

The longer blade is single edged and again made from cold drawn 4140 cold drawn carbon steel. This time 1" x 3/8" flat bar was used. The guard is made from four separate pieces of 1018 cold drawn 1" x 1/4" flat bar. The edge joints were deeply v-grooved, corner and lap joints were full fillet welded. The blade was then full penetration welded to the guard with the same method as above. The handle is made from 13/16" 4140 cold drawn round bar and 1" 420 stainless steel round bar.

Still yet to be made are display boards for hanging them on the wall. These were made for display but the 4140 quenched and tempered takes a wicked sharp edge!

Friday, August 10, 2018

I Didn't Ask For Verification But...Voltaire Is Dead.

In my last post I discussed the, deserved I feel, demise of long time pundit Bernard Goldberg by his own hand, by employing a questionable character to operate his comment areas and allowing him to use the same Alinskyite tactics as the left. His favorite being labeling people as racist, giving them strikes and then banning them.

Today, as a new post was put up, there was a new addition to the comment area. Individuals now are required to " verify" their email address before being allowed to post. This is of course an open assault on both individual privacy and the important concept of anonymous political commentary, especially when dealing with those more concerned with the maintenance authority and influence than with either the truth or honest debate. It is a long standing concept, without which the American revolution could not have been undertaken, never mind succeed.

Voltaire said, "I disagree with what you say, but I will defend unto death your right to say it."

These concepts are already dead in much of Western Europe and are rapidly dieing in American discourse. If we allow this to continue the great American experiment will succumb to fascism. Not the phony fascism of leftist delusions and accusations against the President, but very real fascism. All the horrors envisioned by the leftists will come true. But it won't be Trump who creates them. It will be by the growing coalition of the establishment left and the globalist neocons.

They are already exposing themselves in many ways and not just in the corrupt banning of information sources they don't like. The recent statements of Bill Kristol are more than adaquate proof. That acorn didn't fall far from the tree. His father was an infamous Trotskyite and now that the left is openly endorsing Trotskyite "Democratic Socialism" he is simply returning to his family roots.

This isn't taking the first step on a slippery slope. That step was taken long ago. This is stepping to the edge of a cliff. This is the 21st century equivalent of book burning.   Sadly for us all this is not the first batch of fascist to burn books. That history shows that it doesn't end well is meaningless to them.  As German philosopher and poet  Heinrich Heine noted in 1820, "Where they burn books they will end burning human beings." What was a visionary warning in 1820 is still visionary today.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Bernie Goldberg Buys His Own Demise.

At one point in time, many years ago, I had a certain amount of respect for Bernie Goldberg and his exposes on media bias. He was one of them, he ought to know right?

He was of course ostracized by these very same media outlets and his primary public outlet became a weekly appearance on Bill O'Reilly's now defunked (for good reason) "No Spin Zone".

This has apparently left him with little exposure beyond social media platforms and his own web page.

Sadly, for whatever reason his has chosen to employ a nasty little fascist, who shall remain nameless for now, to monitor the comments on his site.

Maybe it's old age or maybe Bernie is in reality is just as nasty, bigoted and biased as the leftist media moguls who pushed him out. The actions of his resident attack dog and his denials if his corrupt Alinskyite tactics would seem to indicate that he is.

Poor Bernie has long since revealed himself as what is often referred to as a cuck or neverTrumper. He doesn't like the Democrats per se but he can't divorce himself from the insider game of establishment politics and punditry. He just can't bring himself to see that both political establishments lie with impunity and both are doing everything they can to destroy the United States as a soverign nation and drag us into some would be globalist coalition. To that end he was of course a Jeb Bush supporter.

Bush and the rest of the party establishment all failed miserably in the face of the Trump juggernaut and the pissed off American voters.

So now having lost the election Bernie and his attack dog have reduced themselves to using the EXACT SAME METHODS as the leftists in attacking anyone who would dare question there failed judgement. Lie about them, belittle and mock them. Call them racists, call them mentally unstable, whatever it takes to try and drive them off. Do anything and everything EXCEPT engage in honest debate. When that fails they of course resort to that oldest standby by of would be petty tyrants, they ban them from expressing their opinion on their outlets.

This is of course the same thing that was done to Bernie but that unfair treatment apparently has not provided any enlightenment.

Small wonder then that Bernie has not found a new perch on any TV outlet and his hiring of an individual of very limited education and intellect to run his web site.

Well Bernie your methods and hiring of a pernicious coward and ignoramus to run your operation will only accelerate your passing into oblivion on the internet. Censorship and 21st century book burning is a sure prescription for failure. Maybe you've earned it. If it also drags your little attack dog into that hole it's a good thing. Let me throw in the first shovel of dirt.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

The Decent Into Madness.

The number of other events that could be inserted into or at the beginning or end of this list is numerous and exhaustive. The point being that they all represent a decent on an increasingly steep glide path. Please feel free to make suggested additions in the comment section.

010. Trump isn't a serious candidate. This is just one of his publicity stunts.
020. "Do it! I will write a check right now!"
030. Trump will never win New Hampshire.
040. Trump will never win South Carolina. Bush will stop him.
050. Trump will never win the Republican nomination. Rubio will stop him...Cruz will stop him...Kasich will stop him.
060. It's going to be a brokered convention. Romney will stop him.
070. Trump won the nomination but he will be the weakest Republican candidate against Hillary.
080. "We'll know that's not going to happen!" Smirk, smirk, laugh, laugh.
090. "Lump then all together in a basket of deplorables."

100. "Donald Trump has carried Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan. He is the President Elect."
110. Not satisfied with the results of the agreed to rules, Democrats appeal to try to create unfaithful electors.
120. Failing that Democrats try to challenge the legitimacy of Electoral votes on the floor of the House.
130. Anti Trump protestors riot in DC on inauguration day.
140. The never ending Hillary blames everybody but herself pity party road tour begins. No closing date yet set.
150. First and foremost Hillary blames the Russians and James Comey for her loss.
160. Recognizing a lying weasel when he sees one. Trump fires Comey.
170. Democrats begin to cheer Comey's firing but then decide it's more important to simply oppose anything and everything that Trump does.
180. Comey illegally steals then leaks government documents to instigate the appointment of his BFF to investigate "Russian Collusion."
190. "Russia, Russia, Russia" becomes the first Leftist and media mantra.
200. Two years of investigation and still not a single scrap of evidence of "collusion" by anyone in the Trump Campaign.
210. Stormy Daniels is suddenly not happy with the NDA she signed and the $130,000 she got for a one night stand with Trump a decade ago.
220. After beating that drum for six months all that is revealed is that Stormy is a gold digging washed up hooker.
230. Maxine Waters constant screeching of "Impeach 45" becomes a call to publicly accost members of the Administration.
240. This quickly becomes physical assaults of Trump supporters.

The Demonrats are trapped in a "zugzwang". A German chess term meaning that any move you can make will only make your position worse. The best move is to make no move at all. Let the tenor of the commentary soften for a while before something really violent happens. Something worse than the attempted assassinations of Republican Congressman and a Senator.

But they can't do that. The disease had taken firm root. Everything Trump says or does has to be reacted to as if it were even more apocalyptic in nature than what he did in the previous week or day.

Trump is winning, just like he said he would. The Dems impotentcy in stopping him becomes more apparent every day.  They are scared, frustrated and enraged. So enraged that they no longer think in rational forms, there every move becomes more extreme than the last one.

The primary victory of this "Democratic Socialist" in New York and the DNC chair saying "she is the future of the party" is going to hurt more than it helps the Dumbocrats. 

She is the perfect manifestation of the naive "Gimme Dat", spoiled brat, political hack. For whatever reason Republicans can meme way better than Democrats.  Imagine just her face with a big D logo and "the future of the party" next to a scrolling list of communist demands straight from the Democratic Socialist own website. Hopefully the RNC is hiring some young, imaginative,  tech savvy conservatives to do this sort of thing.

Should the Demonrats fail to secure control of one or both of the houses of Congress or worse their position weakens even further, their decent into madness will only accelerate. They have so convinced themselves that their perspective on issues and people is so enlightened, do elevated above the common man that they are also convincing themselves that their view must be imposed by force if necessary "for the good of all". 

That many Americans who normally vote Democrat recognise this madness for what it is and are either voting Trump/Republican or not voting at all spells doom for the Democrats as presently configured. 

A small shift in the normally monolithic black/Latino vote will crush them. Trump asked them in 2016 "What have you got to lose?" Enough delivered in the Rust Belt so now he is delivering to them on jobs, and raises/bonuses, tax cuts and deregulation. All those things that directly effect individual prosperity. And prosperity is very, very popular, especially in the privacy of the voting booth.

Don't be surprised if the "Blue Wave" becomes just a Ty-D-Bol flush. But hey watching the Demonrat's party split in two might be fun. Maybe they can say "Hey America, we're not as communist as those guys over there." Yeah that'll work.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

The Great Schism To Come.

Hey let me say right up front that I might be completely full of it here or history may well prove me wrong. But some how I doubt that I am the first to entertain the thoughs I am preparing to present. So fair reader, judge for yourself. Examine the hypothesis in it's own light and the light of what you yourself have certain knowledge of. Make your own decisions. Praise, condemn, interweave or be the formulator of another idea...but don't be ambivilent or uncertain.

There has got to be a split, but it becomes more clear at least to me that BOTH parties are faceing the same crisis of division. The Democrats over extreamist points of view, ie communists challenging the Democrat establishment that will become increasingly incompatible the the main stream Democrats.

As to the Republicans they are still dealing with the Never Trumpers neocons who are rapidly losing influence and the dedicated and yes sometimes fanatical supporters of President Trump.

So what then is really preventing the Never Trumpers from abandoning the President and the "allegedly" moderate Democrats abandoning and discrediting the extremeist elements and expelling them from the party only to try and defuse the growing populism in both Trump and the extremist communist. Then joining together to form a new party of national unity.

The thaughts are of course if that they can purge the out of the closet communist from the Democrat party and the Trumpite nationalists from the RINO neocon Republican party. I think they are mistaken however. Yes the Young blood that is moving into those positions held by those of the Vietnam war era is far more radical. As such they will be much more impulsive and egar and willing to fly under the banner of the Democratic Socialists and say to hell with the Democrat Party.

There are no doubt plenty of Trump supporters who would gladly cast off the likes of Paul Ryan Jeff Flake and Mitch McConnell among others and they should. But I think there is a greater percentage of Trump supporters who will negotiate with the party to secure greater control over Congress.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Another Project From The Back Yard. Rev 1. (New material about material and construction.)

Having been born into the Episcopal Church oh so many years ago I was early in life instilled with a respect and reverence for the 1928 Book of Common Prayer. That and being of English ancestry also brought me a love of antiques.

Close to thirty years ago I joined a newly formed church attached to the Anglican Catholic Church, primarily because they adheared to the old Liturgy that the Episcopal Church has abandoned. While there I completed the call to service bell I mentioned in an earlier post.

Shortly after one of my fellow parishioners asked me to restore an old Sacramental Tabernacle she had found. It was in terrible shape after decades of the worst kind of neglect. Rust was eating at the wrought iron frame and some of the sheet metal back panels were rusted through. Parts of the brass outer panels were deeply pitted and corroded.

I harbored no illusions that it was going to be anything but a daunting task.

The front door panel
after some preliminary

I started with disassemly and preliminary primer painting to try and stop the rust. Then as the old the saying goes life happened while on my way to do other things.

It has remained under cover in my storage building for all these years.

Once I neared the final stages of my latest bell I knew this was an obligation that had to be completed.

In the intervening years some clever soul created the metal impregnated nylon rotary brush. I had been doing much of the fine detail work with stainless steel brushes and lots of elbow grease.

These new brushes accelerated the process greatly when it came to removing the remaining laquer rust and corrusion. There was still fine cleaning to do in those places a power brush could not reach but I saw my path becoming much shorter.

Next came lots of masking tape before I could paint the iron frame. This came out quite well.

Once this was completed I had to wait several days for this to completely dry before I could mask the new paint so that the newly cleaned and polished brass with clear enamel paint.

Clear enameled panels.

The backs of each of these brass panels has a sheet metal back cover that is soft soldered to the brass to form a pocket. I suspect, from the remenants I found in them, they contained some sort of cloth covered paper board.

I decided to not go that route and opted for 1/8" thick hard board panels that I painted a rich Royal flat red color. Once these were thoroughly dry and fitted into place reassembly could commence.

During the course of doing this restoration I came to a few conclusions based on research, examination of building techniques used and the nature of some of the materials it contains.

My first guess is that the number 1076 found on the back of the top front piece is either simply aa foundry mark and unrelated to any date of manufacture or was put their to deceive. Some things are just to perfect. Secondly the frame is no doubt unheatreated high carbon wrought iron. It is very hard, rigid and immalleable. An attempt to drill a couple of small holes revealed a fine brittle grain structure that is guaranteed to break dill bits at a prodigious rate. That idea came to a dead stop right there.

Spark testing confirmed with a grinder that both the frame and the back panels were high carbon materials. These kinds of hard carbon filled materials and the crude soldering technique used both point to age. Short of sacrificing a small piece, which I wasn't about to do, to determine alloy and possible age, that age could be anywhere from the 11th/12th century to late 18th/mid 19th century.

Other elements point to the latter rather than the former. Firstly the use of a brass piano hinge on the front door and a smaller steel one on the back panel. The fact that the brass hinge appears to have been soldered in place as the back panels raises the date question. Also the catch that hold the door in place when closed is a small coil spring loaded ball that falls into a recess in a tab on the back of the door. Certainly no such technology before the later period mentioned. Thirdly the existing screw threads both into the brass and the iron all confirm to UNC 6-32 and the two existing nuts certainly appeared to be old but not that old. Really old ones would have been square not hexagonal.

As to the brass castings. They are clearly done with the very old and traditional sand casting method. The surface finish of many of the flat areas around the perimeter and other areas have, at first glance, a hammered finish. Close examination however reveals that these marks are part of the origional patterns used to make the casting molds.

My conclusion is that the origional design my have been 11th/12th century. Or it could be entirely fantastical and imaginative of some late 18th early 19th century craftsman.

Whatever the case, if I do say so myself, the final results of the restoration are quite stunning. I'm looking forward to seeing it in place in the Church Sanctuary and used in the Holy Eucharist.

All glory be to God!!

Saturday, June 9, 2018

A Hero In The Family.

I recently received this newspaper clipping from Macon County Tennessee from 1944. It concerns my 1st cousin, Pfc. Jasper T. Smith.

Jay as he was known was the eldest son of my mother's oldest Sister. As my mother was the youngest of ten children, her oldest sister was married and having children of her own by the time she was born.

Although Jay was technically her nephew they were so close in age that they we're in the same classes in school and grew up as virtual brother and sister.

I grew up hearing stories about him from my mother and members of her family but never knew the full circumstances of his death.

Given the time frame of the action we're he was killed I was expecting to find records of his being intered at the American Cemetery in Normandy but they have nothing under his name listed. I can only assume then that he lies under one of those crosses marked. "Here Rests In Honered Glory, A Comrade In Arms. Know But To God".

A truly selfless act in
the defense of others.

There are far to many of these
crosses scattered across the
American Cemetaries in
Europe and the Pacific.

We're these the luckey ones? Tens of thousands more have no graves. Lost to the vast depths of the oceans, impenetrable jungles or blown to pieces such that there was nothing to recover. May none of them ever be forgotten.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Finishing Up A Major Project.

I promised to post more pictures once I got close to finished on my bell project.

This where we left off.

Next came constructing  a table.

Living in the NC Piedmont finding even a
small level patch can be a task unto itself.

Unable to find a brass plater willing to take on my project I opted for a good
automotive paint job in gloss black with clear coat.

All that remains is to fashion a decorative fenial for the top.

Friday, May 18, 2018

So Here We Go Again. Part 1.

Another Tragedy In Texas.

Another young man has gone of the rails and slaughtered his fellow students.

There are still lots of facts to be determined but here is my bet.

This kid complained to his parents and or the school counciler. Then then dispatched him into the hands of a psychologist or psychiatrist who then proceeded to pump his young and still not fully formed mind full of psycotropic drugs.

He then went home and either continued or started smoking weed to further compensate for his sense of inadaquacy.

He then sank deeper into psychosis, the Dr. then upped the meds and made things worse. The perfect recipe for a decent into chaos.

But rather than lay the blame at the feet of Dr. and the drug companies that agressivly market these powerful drugs, the NRA and the 2nd amendment will be immediately assessed by the media and the SJW army as the only party to be blamed.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Speaking Ill Of The Living

They say don't speak ill of the dead so I'm going to get this off my chest while John McCain is still among us and before Charon drags him, kicking and screaming onto the ferryman's barge that will carry him across the River Styx.

John McCain may have served his country honorably in VN. But that does not grant him a pass on his subsequent behavior in the realm of politics. Perhaps his origional intent was to continue serving the nation but sadly he breathed deep the poisonous swamp gas of DC and all to quickly and it seems eagerly, succumbed to its lure of power.

Does the ferryman await John McCain?
For his sake I hope not. Still, Megan McCain might
want to make sure he has at least two coins in his
pocket, if not on his eyes, before they close the lid
on his casket. The story is Charon doesn't like it
when he is not paid for his services.
He soon revealed himself as a thin skinned, self-centered, egotistical obstructionist jerk. Being an obstructionist for sake of being an obstructionist became his Hallmark. Having become a full fleged swamp rat he is oblivious to the rank hypocrisies his actions have revealed. What he and much of the media calls being a maverick, most others, either publicly or privately call be a plain, old fashioned asshole.  

Ever since he lost the election in 2008 and especially sinces his diagnoisis, he has doubled up on his dose of the jerk wad pills. As if he felt he was no less entitled to the office of Predident as Hillary Clinton still feels she is.

I can't be sure if his disparaging Sarah Palin at this late date is just more of his inherent bitterness coming out or his glioblastoma removing the last of his verbal inhibitions. Gov. Palin being on the ticket was the only thing that allowed me and many others, to hold our nose tightly and vote for him. I am sure that graciousness has never been his strong suit.

W gives McCain a final salute on
behalf of all the swamp rats.
The other thing I am sure of is that the Clintons, the Obama's, the Bush clan and all the rest of the globalist, neocon elites, of both parties, will be at his funeral shedding buckets of crocodile tears all for public consumption, and secretly wishing they could spit on his grave. 

Will he ask Jesus for the redemption of his soul in his last days or even hours? For his sake I hope so but I have my doubts. More likely, from what we have seen of late, is that he would rather go out doing his version of Captain Ahab. Muttering, if not yelling, at Donald Trump and all his enemies, both real and perceived, "To the last, I grapple with thee; From Hell's heart, I stab at thee; For Hate's sake, I spit my last breath at thee."

My feeling is he is gone, morally, figuratively and soon literally. Let us speak of him no more, because nobody but nobody will be addressing any future events with the prefaced question of "What would John McCain do?"

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Stirring The Debate.

How many wars against Israel do the Palestinians and by extension the Arabs have to lose before they will except that Israel and the Israelis are not going anywhere? Each succeeding war or infatada has only made their plight worse than before and hardened the resolve of the Israelis.

Let's be clear it is the Arabs that declared war against Israel in 1947 not the other way around. Although the Arabs feel they can tacticly lose repeated wars and still triumph in the end, the Israelis implicitly understand that they cannot lose even one. To think that if they were to lose, that the Arabs would not commit another horrific genocide is to deny history and their own declared intent. One virtual constant of history is that people who wage war against their neighbors and lose is that they lose territory as well. The shifting map of Europe over the centuries is ample proof of that. Who among us would propose that the Germans have a "right of return" to those territories east of the Oder river that now comprise nearly a third of Poland? It absurd on its face.

Israel withdrew in stages from Sinai in exchange for a lasting peace with Egypt. A peace that has survived even the assassination of Anwar Sadat. They withdrew from Gaza on the promise of peace. It wasn't the Israeli that betrayed that promise.

Are there bad actors among the IDF? Undoubtably. Just as there are undoubtably bad actors among Hamas and the Palistinian Authority. War does terribly things to people. Often instilling an incredible indifference to human life that those not involved can not begin to fathom. This war is no different than any other, filled with atrocities on both sides. The kind of things that can burn scars into people's souls that can never be forgotten.

My father had nightmares about things he encountered in the Philippines until he died. If he had had the strength he would have cursed the Japanese with his dying breath. I've known veterans of Viet Nam who feel the same way about their experiences. So who's to say if some of those IDF soldiers filmed shooting at Palestinian children hadn't seen a relative or friend blown to pieces in a suicide bombing? We can't possibly know. There is no excuse for the slaughter of innocents by either side. But to the best of my knowledge the Israelis do not systematically teach their children the kind of hatred and asperations to martyrdom that can be seen on Palistinian television every day.

Is there any solution to this terrible war or the seemingly endlesness of man's cruelty to man? I can only suggest that that can and will only happen when the Palistinians and by extension, the Arabs and Muslims in general, except Israel's right to exist and seriously mean it. Only then will it be possible to negotiate any change of status for Jerusalem or the withdrawal of Jewish settlements from the West Bank.

Or perhaps it can't be solved by man alone and will only be resolved when Christ himself returns and shakes the Mount of Olives.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

A Change Of Tactics, Not A Change Of Attitude.

There are many things indeed in the political realm that make me weary. One of the worst is the notion that the conditions in Gaza are the responsibility of the Israelis. Why are the Palestinians not responsible for themselves or if not them directly what not their fellow Arab and Muslim neighbors? History would tell us that this latest allegedly peaceful protest entitled the "March for Return" is not a change in attitude but rather just a temporary change in tactics.

The Gulf States both Sunni and Shia make billions and billions of dollars every year from the sale of oil. But what funds they do funnel into Gaza and the West Bank goes largely into political operations, arms purchases and the straight up corruption of those in power with very little if any actually getting down to ground level for needed infrastructure and social services. For that they are sent with their hands out to the rest of the world saying "Oh look at how poor and deprived we are. You must feed and cloth and house us."

Anyone who thinks that given the opportunity the Arabs would not enter into another paroxysm of genocide again against the Jews is either naive, a fool or a flat out liar. It's been Muslim policy since Mohamad sent his army to slaughter the Jews of Medina for the offense of ridiculing him. It has shown little abatement since.

But rather than dwell on 1400 year old history let's concentrate on the more recent past. In the late 1930s the British expelled the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem for stirring up violence against the then very small Jewish popjlation of Palestine. He went to Damascus and then after the fall of France made his way through Vichey to Berlin where he entered into well documented discussions on how to exterminate their common enemy, the Jews. Hitler provided him with a large estate outside Berlin (seized from murdered Jews) where he remained throughout the war. In exchange for this hospitality he made shortwave radio broadcast to the Arab world extolling the virtues of the Nazis and calling for them to join in an alliance against the dcadent West and the Jews in particular. He personally went to Nazi occupied Yogoslavia and recruited Muslim troops that became the dreaded 13th Waffen SS Division that became notorious for hunting down and murdering Jews all across the Balkans.

After the war when the British blocked attempts to have the Mufti tried for war crimes at Nuremberg he went to Egypt and joined the nacent Muslim Brotherhood and injected his virulent hate into that organization.

Then came 1947 and the partition of Palestine. This became the first opportunity to create a free and independent Palestinian state. They rejected the UN offer, in no small part because of the Grand Mufti. They choose a war of extermination instead, determined to finish what Hitler had started. They failed.

In the wake of that failure it was not the Israelis who confined the Palestinians to the refugee camps. It was their Arab brothers in Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. For nearly twenty years there after these same Arab states, especially Eqypt and Jordan had every opportunity to create an independent Palistinian state in Gaza and The West Bank. They made no such effort. It wasn't even discussed. What the world got instead was hate and threats and preparations for war from the U.A.R. and more failed attempts to destroy Israel.

When the Israelis withdrew from Gaza they left behind considerable amounts of economic infrastructure both agricultural and industrial. The Gazan's reaction was destroy the greenhouses and truck farms. Rather than use the industrial infrastructure to build farm equipment or exportable goods they converted them to building arms and converting needed construction equipment into rocket launchers.

In the 70 years since their independence the Israelis have become famous for making the desert bloom and becoming not just agriculturally self-sufficient but exporters of food to the world, much of which they give to the Palestinians along with free emergency medical care.

The only thing stopping the Palestinians from providing for themselves is their hatred, their arrogance, their ignorance and their political leaders who care more for destroying Israel and killing Jews than they do for providing for the welfare of their people.

He Gazans are suffering all right but their afflictions have been put upon them by their own leaders and their Arab brothers who have manipulated their plight for their own purposes for seven decades.  Frankly I don't see that changing any to soon. Certainly not if history is any acceptable guide.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Back Into The Backyard Workshop.

Some three decades ago I was finishing up a ten year stint at a large valve manufacturer and my employer made a gift to me of a surplus 8" x 16" sch. 80 pipe reducer along with an 8" sch. 80 pipe end cap. My intent at the time was to weld them together and make a large bell. This was something I had done a few times before on a smaller scale.

4" x 8" hanging on  simple angle bracket.
This 4" x 8" sch. 80 bell presently hangs on the side of my work shop. It is in need of some sanding and a new coat of paint but that will have to wait until other things are finished.

I also did a larger 6" x 12" sch. 40 that was donated to the church I was attending at the time and is used as the call to service bell. But as the old saying goes, life is what happens when you're planning to do other things and these parts languished in my storage building until last year when this project finally began.

The first step of course was to sit down at the computer and come up with a working design that I fully expected to refine as the job progressed. I decided early on that this was going to be a highly finished piece with pivot arms and a counterweight as is often seen with steeple bells.

One thing I do not have in my shop is a welder. Otherwise I would have done the welding myself. Fortunately I have a neighbor down the block who is a welding instructor at the local community college and I was able to persuade him to do the welding for me.

The tedious grinding and polishing begins.
The first step after I got the weldment back was to begin the grinding and polishing of the raw and welded forgings to a smooth clean finish. I started with an 80 grit hard disk and a soft touch to blend in the weld and remove all the remaining mill coating and scale. This alone was a two day process. I then progressed to an 80 grit soft disk to get down to where the smaller in perfections and pits in the surface were revealed.

Lots of fine detail work.
These places and the surface scratches left by the grinding wheels were then chased out with both a random orbit and a vibrating hand sander. I had to take special care to also remove the areas surrounding these pits at the same time so as not to create flat spots that would stand out on the finished surface.

The finished
polished surface.
This became an almost never-ending process of chasing smaller and smaller imperfections and scratches. I finally opted with mounting the bell onto a 4" x 4" post attached to my work bench. This made manipulating the bell much easier and allowed me to reflect light off of it from different directions making seeing where more work was needed easier as well.

It was now time to move on to what I call the counterweight pivot block assembly.

Counterweight assembly
before attaching pivot arms.
This was made from 4" x 4" fence post timbers with 1/4" steel plates sandwiched between them.  These plates provide added weight and stiffness to the assembly.

Sandwich plates with several
coats of self-etching primer paint.
There are two 3/8-16 x 5-1/2" long hex head bolts holding the long top plate to the long timber. Six long pieces of 3/8-16 all thread were then used to hold the completed sub-assembly together.

This assembly will be revisited after other other structures are completed.

This final assembly required careful fitting and
squaring up using half a dozen clamps.
Next came the mounting frame assembly. This consists of two A-frame sub assemblies, two runner sub assemblies that tie them together and an X-frame sub assembly. This X-frame will minimize any racking caused by the 110+ pounds of bell and counterweight swinging back and forth.

This assembly was made from standard 2" x 4"s, 1" boards cut to various widths along with two pieces of 3/8" plywood cut into matching octagons holding the X-frame together. All these pieces were assembled with wood glue and deck screws. All the openings and gaps were filled with plastic wood. The finished sub-assemblies and final assembly were sanded smooth with 80 grit then 100 and finally 120 grit sandpaper.

Aluminum pillow blocks
with bronze sleeves.
1" spherical bearings are used to mount the bell/counterweight assembly. This eliminates any minor misalignment issues with the pivot shafts.

Clapper ball with loop and
Bell mounting 3/4" eye bolt.
The clapper for ringing the bell is made from a 1-7/8" forged steel ball bearing. This is welded to a piece of 3/8" round bar that hooks through an eye bolt inside the top of the bell. The small eye welded to the bottom end is so the bell can be rung softly without rocking the whole assembly.

Initial fit up for alignment and balance checking.
Initial fit up was completed to check alignment and balance before staining, applying multiple coats of Spar Varnish to the frame and counterweight and clear enamel to the bell.

The as designed center of gravity came in right on target at just under one inch below the centerline of the pivot shafts. The bell swings with ease and very little effort.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Is Social Justice Begining To Contaminate Tech And Engineering Schools?

The was an interesting rant today on the Ace of Spades website The question was, were major universities going to have to become split between the "liberal arts" departments and the math, science and engineering schools. It was Ace's position that he was more concerned that so called Social Justice was going contaminate the hard science fields.

I felt compelled to comment that I thought it had already happened and with frightening consequences. Namely this brand new, "revolutionary design" pedestrian bridge in Miami Florida that collapsed killing six innocent people.

Bridge failure do happen. Usually they come about because of
accumulated stress and corrosion over extended periods of time.
Failures coming even before completion however are very rare.
The investigation will no doubt be on going but two salient facts have come out. Firstly that this bridge was designed by an "all female," team of engineers. I have not the slightest doubt that at some point this bunch allowed "estetic appearance" to take precedence over sound engineering practice, design standards and margins of safety.

I'm sure that FEA analysis was done but I'm also sure that there was some critical element that was designed to the bottom end of required safety margins which was then exaserbated by a manufacturing error or an "as built" condition being at the very bottom end or below the design tolerances that some "engineer" signed off on as an "exceptable variance" or both.

Secondly it has now become noted that someone reportedrepor there were already cracks in the structure before it was moved into position over this six lane highway. The obvious question is, was this defect reported to Quality Control and documented? If no, whose decision was it ignore the verbal report? If yes, where is the report? Who signed off on the reported defects again as an "acceptable variance"? If it was excepted, was quality control pressured to do so by either the engineering manager, the erection manager or the city's or university's civil engineer in order to maintain schedule and budget? Additionally were their bonuses involved for anyone for maintaining schedule and budget?

Sister Jane or Sister Joan screwed up, badly.
Was it the lack of adult, read male supervision?
Bottom line is that in the end this disaster will be revealed as multiple engineering minimums, design tolerance stack-up failures and minor deviations combining to equal more than the sum of their parts. I also think that it's very possible that this group of all female engineers became something of a coffee clatch and BFFs that allowed personal relationships to out consider critical and dispassionate analysis of the work as it is being performed.

Heaven forbid that "Sister Joan" might hurt "Sister Jane's" feeling by criticising her work as sub-standard or unnecessarily minimalist.

But hey what do I know? I'm just a retired design engineer. When working in teams tearing each other's work apart is an important part of the process. It wasn't personal. It was just the best way to produce the best product. Why was this designed as a long single span made from reinforced concrete? Was single span a design requirement? Was fabricated steal beam design considered? If it is was why was it rejected? Was dual beam with central support considered? Was it rejected? If so why?
If the answers to any of this is visual estetics or "that's what the "art director" wanted, this is going to be ugly. I'm sure the wrongful death or injury lawyers are lining up, calling the victims and their families.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Just When you Thought They Couldn't Go Any Lower

How long until the screams for
summary justice become manifest
as real executions?
Do you want to see the very real and frightining
evidence of just how far the left has sunk the nation into moral depravity and blood lust? Just look at the video of the way members of the audience shouted "Murderer!" and "Burn her!" at the NRA's Dana Loesch during CNN's town hall meeting yesterday. What made it even more repugnant was that the so called moderator, Jake Tapper, sat there in silence and let it continue.

Why don't we just go ahead and revert to the 15th century and the kind of mass hysteria that drove the Spanish Inquisition or the Salem Witch Trials? Because if we don't want to debate issues and have rational discussions that's the direction we're headed. We have the righteous indignation. All that's missing are the scarlet robes of the Grand Inquisitor and the charges of heresy.

Jake Tapper takes on his new role
as judge, jury and executioner.
It's not Christianity or conservativism or nationalism or American traditionalism or even the 2nd Amendment that has brought us to these depths. It's the left's moral relativism and consistent and constant dismissing and disparaging of those very values that has done it. It They increasingly put on the robes of moral superiority and hold themselves in judgement over any and all who would dare disagree with them. And these people have the gaul to call themselves progressives.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Black Exploitation Goes Big Budget.

What, did Cat Woman have a sex change operation? If Hollywierd and the MSM were portraying "Black Panther" as just another semi-benign super hero movie nobody would really care how it does at the box office or be searching for some important inner meaning. Except they're not and the same old crowd of manipulators are playing it up as something truly new and special. Groundbreaking as a buzzword is getting worn out at breakneck speed.

So right on cue the SJW crowd and accompanying "woke" idiots are buying into this latest con game hook, line and sinker. I can think of no better example of what happens when an entire  generation is deliberately brought up without any critical thinking skills or sense of historical precedents.

Quite simply if one were to change the characters to Europeans and the name to "White Panther", the political left, the SJWs and the news media would all be tripping over themselves trying to invent new synonyms for Nazis, the Klan, xenophobia and anything or anyone that they could remotely conflate as racist. Beyond that anyone questioning the greatness or wisdom of this movie can only possibly be motivated in doing so by their inherent racism,

But meanwhile the white and Jew producers etc. will pocket millions of dollars from the urban ghetto crowd selling their food stamps to buy tickets. (Will anyone be keeping stats on any increase in the numbers of counterfeit tickets or muggings in the vicinity of theaters showing the movie?)

There will soon of course be a whole series of follow ups, Black Panther II, Black Panther III etc. and loads of low budget knock offs intended to do nothing but siphon even more money out of the black population. As P.T. Barnum said, "There's a sucker born every minute." The Democrats core demographic base.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Do We Have A Brutus?

I've been stealing again. This time from the  What can I say I'm a sucker for a well constructed historical parallel.

For most people, the name “Brutus” brings to mind the Roman politician, who took a leading role in the assassination of Julius Caesar. Because the winners write the history books, he is also remembered as a villain, the guy who murdered the great man and sent the Roman Republic careening toward authoritarian rule. That’s probably not fair to Brutus or the other members of the Optimate faction. Julius Caesar was no friend of the Republic, despite being the leader of the Populis faction, but that’s how it goes with history.
There is another Brutus, one who is relevant to our age. Lucius Junius Brutus is remembered as the founder of the Roman Republic. Until the fifth century BC, Rome was ruled by a series of kings. According to Livy, The son of Tarquinius Superbus raped a noblewoman named Lucretia, who was a relation to Brutus. There was already great discontent with the behavior of the king and Brutus had many other grievances, but this was the tipping point. Brutus led the revolt against the king and established the Republic.
The story itself is worth relating. After she had been raped, Lucretia summoned Brutus, her father, Lucius Tarquinius Collatinus and Publius Valerius Poplicola, whose name the Founders would use when promoting the Constitution. After she told them what had happened and how she had been dishonored, she committed suicide by stabbing herself with a dagger. Brutus pulled the dagger from her chest, held it up and immediately shouted for the overthrow of the Tarquins. The revolution started at that moment.
Hidden in that story, which is most likely apocryphal, is the logic of republican virtue and republican morality. Free men fight and die for their honor, for their liberty and for their posterity. It is a form of rule based on a set of ideals, rather than a practical arrangement among men. A king is a pragmatic compromise that works now. A dictatorial committee is just the best way to establish order in the moment. A republic assumes men are not angels, but it assumes each generation will generate enough virtuous men to maintain it.
Our first Brutus is remember as an example of that republican virtue, not because he established it, but because he sacrificed for it. Brutus became the first consul of Rome. During his consulship the royal family tried to subvert the republic in order to regain the throne. This is remembered as the Tarquinian conspiracy. Among the conspirators were two of Brutus’ sons, who were sentenced to death. Brutus gained great respect among his peers for stoically watching as the sentence was carried out.
We are a long way from those times, but we have similar challenges. The emerging conspiracy among career political appointees and intelligence officials, a conspiracy to overthrow the orderly functioning of the republic, is not a lot different from what the Romans faced 25 centuries ago. It’s not very different from what faced them five centuries after the founding of the Republic. In the former case, a Brutus was able to rise to the challenge. In the latter, another Brutus was not able to answer the call.
In the current crisis, there are some similarities to both events. Those plotting against republican order are doing so claiming Trump is an authoritarian. They see his very existence as proof of some hidden conspiracy to overthrow democracy and install Trump as the 12th invisible Hitler, returned to usher in the Fourth Reich. That sounds ridiculous, but not unlike the plotters against Caesar, the people scheming to get Trump, justify their actions, not on merit, but against what they imagine Trump is secretly plotting.
Those defending the plotters believe it too. Like the conspirators, they have no choice but to believe it. They are calling the release of the memo a constitutional crisis, implying a grab for power by Trump. They have to go down this path, turning everything on its head, otherwise they are the villains. They need to see themselves as the white hats and they need the public to see them as that too. The men who assassinated Julius Caesar justified murder, by imagining themselves as the defenders of Rome for the same reason.
On the other hand, we have Trump, maybe the last man in the Imperial Capital, who still believes in the old ideal of America. Trump is a true civic nationalist. He is the first president in many generations to truly sacrifice in order to serve in office. He’s a man of old weird America. He even sounds like where he comes from, which is no longer typical of a member of the political class. He came into office believing that his victory would be enough to convince the political class to go along with his reform program.
On the other other hand, Trump is the guy tasked by history to impose order on a chaotic American political world. Much in the same way Julius Caesar was faced with a choice between obeying the rules and permitting chaos, Trump is faced with the choice of letting things go on as usual or imposing the rule of law. If he yields to the will of the Senate, so to speak, he risks undermining the constitutional order. If he goes against the political class and business as usual, he risks war with the old guard and all that comes with it.
Trump is both the tribune of the people and the defender of the prevailing order. He is in a strange position, in that he is pushing for the sorts of reforms popular with the Populis faction and tasked with defending the order that makes it possible for the Optimate faction to exist. He is Lucius Junius Brutus, overthrowing the current order, but he is also Marcus Junius Brutus, motivated by a desire to defend the old order. It’s like the confluence of two rivers of Western history. Time will tell if we have the Brutus to save the republic.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Friday, February 2, 2018

And Now it Begins In Earnest.

Comey and the Democrats apparently would have us forget that the FISA court requires the presentation of exculpatory evidence as well as evidence of probable cause when seeking a warrant. The FBI and DOJ clearly had exculpatory material that would raise serious questions about credibility of the sources of the material being presented. The deliberate exclusion from the  FBI/DOJ affidavits represents perpetrating a fraud on the court and is a serious felony. This is precisely what the Democrat have been trying to hide from the American public. More importantly the publication of this memo is only going to be the first of many revelations to come. It is impossible to minimize the seriousness of these abuses.

Nancy Pelosi's inner self will
be on full display for all to see.
While the apoplectic rage of the left will no doubt erupt anew, not that it ever stops, The President and his lawyers are laying their plans as we speak.

At soonest he is going to make his move after the Superbowl. You can bet that his lawyers are going to make sure they have their evidence and legal precedents lined up before they present their case to the public, the Congress and the courts. They probably have been working on the briefs for some time already.

Given the near parallel natures between the FISA court and the Supreme Court, I would not be surprised if the Administration takes it's case directly to the Supreme Court citing both the need to curtail the politicization of government agencies and to re-establish the public's confidence in how our investigative and judicial processes work.

We all have to hope that the Supreme Court sides with the rule of law over political agendas. If they don't we can either lower the curtain on our 400 year experiment in self governance and or prepare for another civil war.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

How Is It Possible That The Democrats are This Stupid?

I just can't understand it. The Democrats aren't really this stupid are they? The do know that teleVISION is a visual medium right? I mean good grief every political consultant in the country and beyond knows that people key on visual perceptions much more strongly than verbal ones. Just dig up Richard Nixon and ask him how that televised debate worked out.

Seriously did nobody tell Nancy beforehand that looking like you were choking on her own bile was not a good image? Could they not figure out, especially after this year's NFL season, that sitting on their hands while the President talks about respecting our nation's flag is a visual that will be used against them? It was like the entire broadcast was a custom made opportunity for Republican video tape editors.

If all those optics weren't bad enough we then got the spectacle of the newest Kennedy iconography presenting the so-called "Democratic Response". Firstly nobody in their right mind thinks Droolin' Joe Kennedy wrote that awful speech.

Maybe Droolin' Joe Kennedy has his own
special kind of substance abuse problem.
Seriously at first look all I could think of was Bevis getting wasted on paint thinner. Beyond that, after lecturing us for a year or more about "toxic, white male privilege" I don't think they could picked anyone who is more of an elite, toxic, white privileged male. Just what is it about being a Kennedy that entitles you to a seat in Congress from Massachusetts or Rhode Island? Who's brilliant idea was it to pose a Kennedy in front of an apparently non functioning automobile? Beyond the hood being up the only thing missing was an empty liquor bottle, a dead body and a discarded neck brace. I'm sure I could find a rusted out old Buick for the next go round.

I can only conclude at this point that either the Democrats have gone completely brain dead or the Republicans have a mole deeply embedded on the DNC strategic planning group. Either way, it's working out brilliantly...for the Republicans.

And Yes It Still Stinks.

Nobody really expects the political operative careerists at the FBI or the DOJ to just give up and go away without a very nasty fight. As the scandle gets deeper and deeper it's now looking like Andrew McCabe is being set up as the fall guy, or more like the public is being set  up to accept him as the fall guy so that the rest of the bad actors can escape with their positions, power and pensions intact so as to continue to wage behind the scenes warfare against the President.

Andy McCabe performs his
 expected duty.
I have no doubt that McCabe has been told to fall on his sword in exchange for escaping prosecution and a fat numbered bank account somewhere untraceable.
I also don't doubt that he sat in the back of the car somewhere mumbling like Marlon Brando about "I could'a been a contender. I could'a been somebody!" But then they handed him a bank pass book and a picture of his family. As a Mexican drug Lord would put it, he has a choice"La plata or la plomo". Silver or lead?

But we can dream can't we?

Evidence that yesterday two separate highly placed individuals at the FBI were quoted as saying they had found "no factual inaccuracies" in the House Intelligence Committee memo. Today we get a report that the Director is taking the exact opposite position. What must be understood is not that one or the other is lying of telling the truth but that probably both are engaged in a deliberate attempt to create confusion in order slow any further investigation and hide the real truth, whatever it may be.

Never underestimate the bureaucracy's capacity for duplicity.  This ugliness and crisis is far from over.