Saturday, July 7, 2018

A Wikiwander

You'll probably spot a pattern here...


Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Independence Day, 2018



Excerpt from a Letter from John Adams to Abigail Adams, 3 July 1776:
...(T)he Delay of this Declaration to this Time, has many great Advantages attending it. -- The Hopes of Reconciliation, which were fondly entertained by Multitudes of honest and well meaning tho weak and mistaken People, have been gradually and at last totally extinguished. -- Time has been given for the whole People, maturely to consider the great Question of Independence and to ripen their judgments, dissipate their Fears, and allure their Hopes, by discussing it in News Papers and Pamphletts, by debating it, in Assemblies, Conventions, Committees of Safety and Inspection, in Town and County Meetings, as well as in private Conversations, so that the whole People in every Colony of the 13, have now adopted it, as their own Act. -- This will cement the Union, and avoid those Heats and perhaps Convulsions which might have been occasioned, by such a Declaration Six Months ago. But the Day is past.

The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America.

I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.
You will think me transported with Enthusiasm but I am not. -- I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. -- Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will tryumph in that Days Transaction, even altho We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not.
(It is common knowledge that Adams felt that the 2nd, when the Declaration was voted on, would and should be observed as Independence Day. He was not reckoning, of course, that it would be dated the day it was first read publicly...)



(Yes, I run this about every year. When we were first dating, Mrs. Drang asked me what my favorite musical was. I told her 1776. Not sure what she expected...)

Every year The Powerline Blog runs this piece: The eternal meaning of Independence Day, centered around this excerpt from a speech Abraham Lincoln gave on July 10th 1858 as a rebuttal to one given by Stephen Douglas. Douglas, of course, was all for the Dred Scott decision and foursquare against abolition and equality for those who didn't look and/or talk like him:

Now, it happens that we meet together once every year, sometime about the 4th of July, for some reason or other. These 4th of July gatherings I suppose have their uses. If you will indulge me, I will state what I suppose to be some of them.

We are now a mighty nation, we are thirty—or about thirty millions of people, and we own and inhabit about one-fifteenth part of the dry land of the whole earth. We run our memory back over the pages of history for about eighty-two years and we discover that we were then a very small people in point of numbers, vastly inferior to what we are now, with a vastly less extent of country,—with vastly less of everything we deem desirable among men,—we look upon the change as exceedingly advantageous to us and to our posterity, and we fix upon something that happened away back, as in some way or other being connected with this rise of prosperity. We find a race of men living in that day whom we claim as our fathers and grandfathers; they were iron men, they fought for the principle that they were contending for; and we understood that by what they then did it has followed that the degree of prosperity that we now enjoy has come to us. 

We hold this annual celebration to remind ourselves of all the good done in this process of time of how it was done and who did it, and how we are historically connected with it; and we go from these meetings in better humor with ourselves—we feel more attached the one to the other, and more firmly bound to the country we inhabit. In every way we are better men in the age, and race, and country in which we live for these celebrations. 

But after we have done all this we have not yet reached the whole. There is something else connected with it. We have besides these men—descended by blood from our ancestors—among us perhaps half our people who are not descendants at all of these men, they are men who have come from Europe—German, Irish, French and Scandinavian—men that have come from Europe themselves, or whose ancestors have come hither and settled here, finding themselves our equals in all things. If they look back through this history to trace their connection with those days by blood, they find they have none, they cannot carry themselves back into that glorious epoch and make themselves feel that they are part of us, but when they look through that old Declaration of Independence they find that those old men say that “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,” and then they feel that that moral sentiment taught in that day evidences their relation to those men, that it is the father of all moral principle in them, and that they have a right to claim it as though they were blood of the blood, and flesh of the flesh of the men who wrote that Declaration [loud and long continued applause], and so they are. That is the electric cord in that Declaration that links the hearts of patriotic and liberty-loving men together, that will link those patriotic hearts as long as the love of freedom exists in the minds of men throughout the world. [Applause.]

Now, sirs, for the purpose of squaring things with this idea of “don’t care if slavery is voted up or voted down” [Douglas’s “popular sovereignty” position on the extension of slavery to the territories], for sustaining the Dred Scott decision [A voice—“Hit him again”], for holding that the Declaration of Independence did not mean anything at all, we have Judge Douglas giving his exposition of what the Declaration of Independence means, and we have him saying that the people of America are equal to the people of England. According to his construction, you Germans are not connected with it. Now I ask you in all soberness, if all these things, if indulged in, if ratified, if confirmed and endorsed, if taught to our children, and repeated to them, do not tend to rub out the sentiment of liberty in the country, and to transform this Government into a government of some other form. 

Those arguments that are made, that the inferior race are to be treated with as much allowance as they are capable of enjoying; that as much is to be done for them as their condition will allow. What are these arguments? They are the arguments that kings have made for enslaving the people in all ages of the world. You will find that all the arguments in favor of king-craft were of this class; they always bestrode the necks of the people, not that they wanted to do it, but because the people were better off for being ridden. 

That is their argument, and this argument of the Judge is the same old serpent that says you work and I eat, you toil and I will enjoy the fruits of it. Turn in whatever way you will—whether it come from the mouth of a King, an excuse for enslaving the people of his country, or from the mouth of men of one race as a reason for enslaving the men of another race, it is all the same old serpent, and I hold if that course of argumentation that is made for the purpose of convincing the public mind that we should not care about this, should be granted, it does not stop with the negro. I should like to know if taking this old Declaration of Independence, which declares that all men are equal upon principle and making exceptions to it where will it stop. If one man says it does not mean a negro, why not another say it does not mean some other man? If that declaration is not the truth, let us get the Statute book, in which we find it and tear it out! Who is so bold as to do it! [Voices—“me” “no one,” &c.] If it is not true let us tear it out! [cries of “no, no,”] let us stick to it then [cheers], let us stand firmly by it then. [Applause.]

IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776

IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America
When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.
New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton
Massachusetts:
John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry
Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery
Connecticut:
Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott
New York:
William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris
New Jersey:
Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark
Pennsylvania:
Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross
Delaware:
Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean
Maryland:
Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton
Virginia:
George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton
North Carolina:
William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn
South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton
Georgia:
Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Well, Hell. RIP, Harlan Ellison (EDIT)

Writer Harlan Ellison Dead At 84

Harlan Ellison Dead: Hollywood Reacts: “No One Quite Like Him” Stephen King Says | Deadline
Probably the truest thing King ever wrote...

 Harlan Ellison, one of science fiction’s most controversial authors, has died - The Verge
Ditto The Verge.

EDIT: Adding this link.  Goodbye To Harlan Ellison, 'America's Weird Uncle' : NPR Yes, its NPR. This one, I approve of.

I have no personal stories of Harlan Ellison. Never met him. Certainly never argued politics with him.

Things I remember hearing or reading, though...

I know he was Guest of Honor at a con thrown by the SF club at Eastern Michigan University before I joined, someone heard he would be in the general area visiting family, and got hold of his phone number, and called him in the middle of the night, when he was coherent enough to answer the hone and say "sure", but not coherent enough to say "No."

Or, famously, "Fuck you, pay me." (Typically, the GoH at a con gets their travel and room comped, but not even that always happens. I understand Heinlein always paid his own way. So far as I know, Ellison never actually demanded pay for a Con appearance, but I don't know.)

There was an essay where someone had referred to him  as a "gadfly"; ISTR that this was about the time I saw him referred to in a letter column in Analog magazine as "Harlan 'I Am All Mouth And Therefore I Scream' Ellison". Anyway, he refuted the "gadfly" claim, because gadflies are mere nuisances, not actually accomplishing anything.

There was a column in, ahem, a man's magazine IYKWIMAITYD in which he described his half-day of employment at Disney. Apparently, at lunch he was hanging with a bunch of other writers who had been brought in to "reimagine" Disney product, or something. He started in on "we should do Disney porn" and riffing on the roles of The Mouse, The Duck, The Big Stupid Dog, doing expert impressions of all their voices and really getting into it...

And Eisner was at the next table. So much for that job...

Ellison had beat out Larry Niven for a Hugo. later, Niven was sitting in the Author's Lounge, with some adult beverage in a brndy snifter, cooled with dry ice. So all the water is sublimating out in a cloud of steam. Ellison walks in, Niven holds the snifter out and says (slurs) "Harlan, ol' buddy, have a drink." Ellsion recoils and exclaims "Don't tell me this bastard doesn't hold a grudge!"

While I was attending the Defense Language Institute the first time, one of my classmates mentioned to me that "They've republished the collections of the TV criticism Harlan Ellison did for the LA Free Press." Yes, they had, The Glass Teat and The Other Glass Teat. I picked them up, and the articles I most remember are the ones he did on the "Junior Miss" pageant -- "Can you say 'child pornography'?" -- and the one about the time he appeared on one of the early Dating Game shows.

He claimed Barris had the tape burned, after he (Ellison) told the woman that they would spend their dream date down at the city dump, shooting rats with chrome plated 1911s...

I told Bill Quick that story, and he said "Harley's a commie, you know."

I said "Duh."

And, really, just re-reading TGT and TOGT, I have to wonder what Ellison thought of the state of political discourse today. He not only predicted AntiFa, Black Blok, the Occupy Movement, BLM, Maxine Waters, Peter Fonda, Cathy Griffin, the whole vile lot... He was calling for it!

I suppose it is possible that Harlan repented of these opinions, or his extreme statements of them, as he aged; he might have seen what he and his ilk had wrought and realized that maybe this would not work out so well after all...

Still, I look at his politics, and wonder if growing up Jewish in small-town Ohio was really so traumatic that calling for violence was a rational outcome. I dunno, I didn't grow up Jewish in small town Ohio.

So I while will try to remember the talent that was responsible for some of the most imaginative speculative fiction ever -- "'Repent, Harlequin', said the Ticktockman", "A Boy And His Dog", "I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream", not to mention the Star Trek episode "City On The Edge of Forever" and his contributions to Babylon 5, and I will continue to admire one who relentlessly refused to cave in to mainstream thought and convention just because it was convenient.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

WA: I1639 Update from SAF

Second Amendment Foundation:SAF, CCRKBA CONTEND I-1639 INVALID; ‘DOESN’T MEET LEGAL GUIDELINES’
BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation and Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms today raised serious new concerns about the validity of Initiative 1639, the gun control measure now gathering signatures, because petitions do not appear to meet state-mandated guidelines for having a “full, true, and correct copy of the proposed measure” printed on the back.
Having already raised the issue of readability as required by state law, the two organizations now believe that in its printed form on the back of each petition, I-1639 does not meet the “full, true and correct” requirement. SAF and CCRKBA examined the printed text on an official petition and discovered that language designated to be changed or removed is not “lined out,” nor are proposed new statutory additions underlined as they appear in the version submitted to the state and published on the Secretary of State’s website.

“We warned earlier this week that the tiny print on I-1639 petitions makes the document unreadable according to several people who have contacted us,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “If you look closely, which requires a magnifying glass, this new problem becomes obvious.

“We immediately advised our attorney about this,” he added. “He already reached out to the initiative sponsors about the readability issue, but they didn’t respond. If they are so careless about knowing what is, or is not, shown on their own petitions, how is anyone else supposed to know?

“They’re asking people to sign an initiative that is difficult, if not impossible to read,” Gottlieb observed. “And now we’ve discovered that even if people can read the fine print, it does not appear to be a ‘true and correct copy’ of the proposed measure as submitted to the state.

“What are voters supposed to think about this,” he wondered. “How are they supposed to know what they’re being asked to change? How can they tell the difference between what would become law, and what would be replaced? Are they simply expected to sign a document they can’t read and vote on a measure they don’t understand? That’s not democracy, that’s Trojan Horse politics.

“If these petitions, which are not compliant with state law, are turned in,” Gottlieb vowed, “our organizations will seek to have them invalidated by the court.”
SOS also weighed in: More legality issues with I-1639 gun control petitions
 

Friday, June 22, 2018

In Ham Radio News

Tomorrow is Amateur Radio Field Day.

In what may be a first, the 9-8-Double-Ought-3 Amateur Radio Club plans to operate for 24 hours. This is what happens when a member offers the facilities at his place of employment as the Field Day site; previously, it had been at a park or on school property, closed at dark and with no rest rooms, etc., available after hours, or on church property and we had to clear out before Sunday Services. We even got listed in the local fish wrap!

The fact that we'll be set up on the grounds of a funeral home is irrelevant.

It's actually a nice facility, shaded ground, and they'll leave what I call the "support room" open for rest rooms, hot and cold running water, refrigerators for the cook out. Our Emergency Communications team has been meeting in the "Share Life" center, which is larger than the training room we'd been meeting in at the local fire station, which we had to vacate as it is being renovated.  This also gives us access to a better Internet and multi-media suite, for training presentations.

I was told that, in addition to the local paper we were also listed in one of the Seattle news outlets, but I haven't been able to find it.

In other geek news:

From the "Be careful What You Wish For" Department, several years ago we entered a period of reduced solar activity. Hams have been kvetching about how reduced solar activity means reduced (or utterly crappy) propagation. So the news of a new solar storm should have them dacning in their shacks, right?

Not so much. eHam.net reports: Solar Storm Hits Earth: Four Times Size of Earth Disables Radio Technology:
Solar storm hits Earth - storm FOUR times size of Earth disables radio technology | Science | News | Express.co.uk

A HUGE solar flare which was released from a hole in the Sun’s atmosphere temporarily left some radio frequencies disabled, scientists have revealed, and the storm is only getting bigger....

According to the website Space Weather: “During the past 24 hours, sunspot AR2715 has almost quadrupled in size, growing two dark cores larger than Earth.

“The active region is now crackling with low-level solar flares.

“A pulse of extreme ultraviolet radiation from the flare briefly ionised the top of Earth's atmosphere above the Pacific Ocean, causing a shortwave radio brownout at frequencies below 10 MHz.

“People who might have noticed the disturbance include mariners and ham radio operators.”
eHam serves as a news aggregator for Amateur radio-related news items; it also links to this ARRL news release about coming updates to ARES:
06/21/2018
As part of upgrades to the ARES® program, ARRL will phase out traditional hard-copy report forms later this year in favor of an online system, ARES® Connecta new volunteer management, communication, and reporting system. The system, in beta testing since March in four ARRL sections with large ARES organizations, will allow ARES members to log information for ARRL Field Organization handling but does not change how ARES serves partner organizations. ARES training also is due for enhancement.
Paperless reporting is good, assuming the system works. You know, like in a disaster where the Internet may be down...

About that "enhanced training..."

Changes would encompass additional mandatory training to include ARRL Emergency Communications courses and the now-standard FEMA NIMS/ICS courses IS-100, 200, 700, 800, with IS-300 and 400 for higher levels. Other specialty training could include SKYWARN and agency-specific programs.
Training levels attained would dovetail with three new levels of ARES participation: Level One would be comprised of all entering the program with no training, while progressing through the ARRL emergency communications training and the FEMA Independent Study courses 100, 200, 700, and 800. Level Two would be attained upon successful completion of these courses, and would be considered the “Standard” level for ARES participants. Level Three would be attained upon completion of the advanced FEMA courses IS 300 and 400, which would qualify candidates for ARES leadership positions.
Level One participants would be able to fulfill most ARES duties, with a target of attaining Level Two in 1 year. Level Two, the standard participant level, would permit participant access to most incident sites and emergency operations centers (EOCs). Level Three would convey full access as granted by the authority having jurisdiction, plus qualification for ARES leadership.
Okay, fine.

But.

The "ARRL Emergency Communications courses" as they currently exist are a joke. They are online-only. As are the FEMA ICS classes required, and these are commonly acknowledged to be less than ideal as far as actually inculcating the knowledge. (Online training generally doesn't. Train, I mean, although it is handy for checking a block.)

As for the ARRL classes, you have to request to access them. (Fine.) Then they assign you a mentor -- and this is, notoriously, where the wheels come off. I have heard so many complaints about mentors being unavailable, unresponsive, or dismissive of attempts by their "mentees"* that I have concluded that, in this case at least, there's enough smoke to indicate that there's a three alarm dumpster fire and I won't bother.

 Which reminds me, I still need to post about the class I took last month, mentioned in my post I did not know that.


*Really a word: "Mentee." Merriam-Webster.com. Accessed June 22, 2018. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mentee.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

WA -- SAF, CCRKBA WARN I-1639 SPONSORS THAT ‘UNREADABLE’ PETITIONS VIOLATE LAW

The Second Amendment Foundation and Citizen's Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms send:
SAF, CCRKBA WARN I-1639 SPONSORS THAT ‘UNREADABLE’ PETITIONS VIOLATE LAW
BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation and Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms today warned sponsors of anti-gun Initiative 1639 via a demand letter that their campaign “is utilizing unreadable petitions in violation” of state law, and demanded that this be corrected to “conform to the legal requirements.”
Olympia attorney Shawn Newman, writing on behalf of the two Bellevue-based organizations, noted, “The petitions for I-1639 have the proposed measure printed on the back of the sheets in such fine print as to be unreadable… Use of fine print is unconscionable.”
State law mandates that initiative petitions “have a readable, full, true, and correct copy of the proposed measure printed on the reverse side of the petition,” Newman’s letter warns.
“In the short time that I-1639 petitions have been in circulation,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb, “SAF and CCRKBA have been contacted by several people who could not read the initiative language. I’ve always been warned to read the small print before signing anything. I-1639, as it appears on the back of each petition, is all small print. That should tell voters something about its content.”
According to Newman’s letter, “Obviously, due to the microscopic maze of fine print used by the initiative sponsors to disguise the actual language of the initiative on the back of their petitions, voters cannot be fully informed.” He cautioned I-1639 sponsors that having their paid signature gatherers tell voters to “read it online” is “no substitute for following the law.” Newman suggested reprinting the petitions, and contact voters who have already signed to allow them the opportunity to sign a readable copy of the measure.
“We would prefer that you become compliant with the law,” Newman wrote, “but if you choose to continue in this illegal manner, we will be forced to litigate this matter.”
Copies of the letter were sent to Secretary of State’s office, the Washington State Attorney General, and “many other interested parties to ensure that everyone has been notified of the fundamental problem with your petitions.”
The Second Amendment Foundation (www.saf.org) is the nation's oldest and largest tax-exempt education, research, publishing and legal action group focusing on the Constitutional right and heritage to privately own and possess firearms. Founded in 1974, The Foundation has grown to more than 650,000 members and supporters and conducts many programs designed to better inform the public about the consequences of gun control.
 (More after the jump...)

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Photography Bleg

Just unearthed a box full of photographs going back to the mid-70s.

The oldest photos are from my Colorado Outward Bound experience in... '75?

These were taken with a Kodak 110 pocket camera, and not only are the prints faded (no surprise there) but the negatives have all taken on a green hue, which is present in the photos when I scan them with the negative/slide scanner Mrs. Drang got me for Christmas a year or two ago. Some of the 35mm negatives I have also need some color correction.

I'm looking for a reasonably priced software package that will allow me to restore these to normal colors, i.e., blue sky, white snow, instead of both being shades of green. Bonuses for being able to just click a button and have it be done...

Thanks in advance.

June 14th...

...is the US Army's Birthday.

Also Flag Day.
Photo ©2010 & 2018 Mrs. Drang & The Cluemeter.
I hear it's also President Trump's birthday, although TBH I don't generally celebrate the birthday of folks I don't know personally. (Note it, sure, but celebrate, no.)

Here are a few pics I just dug out of the archive:

Team Spirit, 1986:
Photo ©1986 & 2018 DW Drang & The Cluemeter.
My Motley Crew for Team Spirit 1986. 3 KATUSAs and two round eyes, on a mountain for two weeks. Part of why I laugh when I hear people speak nostalgically about MREs, or act like ramyun* is a gourmet delight...
Photo ©1986 & 2018 DW Drang & The Cluemeter.
I wish I could remember this guy's name, he was a Ground Surveillance Radar operator augmenting my team. Good guy, despite the (mostly) good-natured rivalry between the "Electronic Grunts" and us SIGINT Geeks.
Photo ©1987 & 2018 DW Drang & The Cluemeter.
Here I am, a year or so later at Ft. Ord, the 7th Infantry Division (Light) "Fight Light, Freeze at Night!"(I can pinpoint this as to date because I am wearing OD green "jungle fatigue" trousers, still authorized for field wear at the time. They got destroyed at the National Training Center soon after this.)

Photo ©1987 & 2018 DW Drang & The Cluemeter.
My buddy, Steve W. If you recognize him, have him drop me a line.

Photo ©1987 & 2018 DW Drang & The Cluemeter.
IIRC, Steve M. (on the left) and Dave J. (on the right.) No, that's not a duffel bag full of poagie bait, it's the 50+ pound direction finding antenna.

If The Steves and Dave look like drowned rats in these, it's because it was raining non-stop. We were supposed to be dropped in an airmobile insertion, move cross-country, and then get picked up. Somewhere in there, the skies opened up and the pick up got cancelled, and we spend a miserable night under poncho hooches. (Actually, IIRC, it was one big hooch and we pulled the Heinlein Starship Troopers thing where we huddled together...)

Photo ©1987 & 2018 DW Drang & The Cluemeter.
This is my ruck. There are many like it, but this one was mine. PRC77 radio with KY57 crypto device, a week's worth of batteries, MREs and water, poncho and poncho liner, and one change of socks.

≈125 pounds.

Tactical Hipsters can speak of their "woobie" like it's some sort of security blanket, but I spent too many nights freezing under one to get all misty-eyed.

Photo ©1987 & 2018 DW Drang & The Cluemeter.
Airmobile insertion, waiting for the bird to pull pitch...
 
Photo ©1987 & 2018 DW Drang & The Cluemeter.
All the pics (except the one at the top, taken by Mrs. Drang), were taken on film, before consumer-priced digital cameras were even science fiction. The ones from Ft Ord were taken with a Vivitar pocket 35mm, that just fits in a 20 round M16 magazine pouch. I'm pretty sure the ones from Korea were taken with a Nikon SLR, otherwise I couldn't have gotten that time-delay group pic. No idea what lens either camera had/has.





*Ramyen -- or "namyun" -- is Korean, Ramen is Japanese...