Sunday, February 14, 2021

Valentines Day 2021

 Well, what with the weather and all, opportunities to go out and pick up flowers and/or candy that Mrs. Drang would actually approve of have been slim, so...

And an alternate version of that:

Saturday, February 13, 2021

We seem to be out of scary names for winter storms

As of 1100 this morning.

As of about 2200 last night.

This is fairly typical of snow storms here in the low lands, low. A mere dusting, sufficient to terrify Californians.

As of about 1100 this morning.

You might get the impression from the fact that I blog about weather like this that it happens a lot.

That would be a "Man bites dog" news report.

Somebody insisted on 'sploring the backyard, but soon repented.

Friday, February 5, 2021

Read All About It!

 This is all over MeWe and Gab already, but on the of chance you haven't sen it, Time Magazine just published what amounts to a SuperVillain Monologue that details how the presidential election of 2020 was rigged. 

Oh, wait. How the Presidential Election of 2020 was fortified to ensure that Democracy was saved

The Secret History of the Shadow Campaign That Saved the 2020 Election

Interestingly, that's the way the title on the web page reads, but the tab calls it "The Secret Bipartisan Campaign..."

There was a conspiracy unfolding behind the scenes, one that both curtailed the protests and coordinated the resistance from CEOs. Both surprises were the result of an informal alliance between left-wing activists and business titans. The pact was formalized in a terse, little-noticed joint statement of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and AFL-CIO published on Election Day. Both sides would come to see it as a sort of implicit bargain–inspired by the summer’s massive, sometimes destructive racial-justice protests–in which the forces of labor came together with the forces of capital to keep the peace and oppose Trump’s assault on democracy.

The handshake between business and labor was just one component of a vast, cross-partisan campaign to protect the election–an extraordinary shadow effort dedicated not to winning the vote but to ensuring it would be free and fair, credible and uncorrupted. For more than a year, a loosely organized coalition of operatives scrambled to shore up America’s institutions as they came under simultaneous attack from a remorseless pandemic and an autocratically inclined President. Though much of this activity took place on the left, it was separate from the Biden campaign and crossed ideological lines, with crucial contributions by nonpartisan and conservative actors. The scenario the shadow campaigners were desperate to stop was not a Trump victory. It was an election so calamitous that no result could be discerned at all, a failure of the central act of democratic self-governance that has been a hallmark of America since its founding.

Their work touched every aspect of the election. They got states to change voting systems and laws and helped secure hundreds of millions in public and private funding. They fended off voter-suppression lawsuits, recruited armies of poll workers and got millions of people to vote by mail for the first time. They successfully pressured social media companies to take a harder line against disinformation and used data-driven strategies to fight viral smears. They executed national public-awareness campaigns that helped Americans understand how the vote count would unfold over days or weeks, preventing Trump’s conspiracy theories and false claims of victory from getting more traction. After Election Day, they monitored every pressure point to ensure that Trump could not overturn the result. “The untold story of the election is the thousands of people of both parties who accomplished the triumph of American democracy at its very foundation,” says Norm Eisen, a prominent lawyer and former Obama Administration official who recruited Republicans and Democrats to the board of the Voter Protection Program.

But's was okay, because Trump did it first by saying mail-in ballots were insecure. 

Monday, January 18, 2021

FCC Reminder


Amateur & Personal Radio Users Reminded Not to Use Radios in Crimes

  • Full Title: Warning: Amateur and Personal Radio Services Licensees and Operators May Not Use Radio Equipment to Commit or Facilitate Criminal Acts
  • Document Type(s): Public Notice
  • Bureau(s): Enforcement

The FCC Enforcement Bureau issued today an advisory to remind licensees and operators in the Amateur and Personal Radio Services that they may not use radio equipment to commit or facilitate crimes.

  • DA/FCC #: DA-21-73

The ARRL has posted the full text here

To clarify: The Personal Radio Service includes the cheap blister-pack FRS radios you can buy on the end cap at Wally World, the slightly more expensive and maybe slightly higher quality GMRS radios you have to actually look for. FRS radios require no license, GMRS radios do, but its a blanket; you, as owner, buy a license and it covers all the units you own, and whoever you allow to use one.

The Amateur Radio Service is, well, amateur radio operators. You have to take a test to get the license. As such, any licensed ham KNOWS you can't use any of these devices in the commission of a crime. 

So why now? Well, one might suggest that this is too little to late.

For about 10 years now you have been able to buy extremely cheap, Chicom made, handheld radios on Amazon. And when I say "extremely cheap", I mean that they cost a little more than that blister-pack pair of FRS radios. 

Also, while they transmit on the frequency you program in, they signal is very "dirty", with what are technically referred to as "spurious transmissions" or "spatter." In fact, bench testing indicates that most of these Chicom units, sometimes called "Kaodungs"as a mocking form of the names of many of these. (They're Chinese. They come from the same factories, made by the same slave labor, sold with different brand names. Or aliases, take your pick)

They are also problematic because they come off the boat able to transmit on many bands which it is illegal to transmit on in the USA without the appropriate licensing. And I am not talking about amateur bands, either. No, I'm talking about bands that are reserved for commercial or government or public safety use. Bands that you can get severe fines or jail time for transmitting on. 

Now, for decades it has been generally accepted that amateur radio operators will acquire radios that operate on any mode or frequency range and modify them to operate where they have operating privileges. And it is not illegal to own a radio you don't have the license to transmit on, as long as... you don't transmit.

And it is legal to use any communications means at hand if life safety is at risk. (Although there's a story about a ham who called for help on a public safety frequency, and got the help and arrested for "interfering with public safety" or some-such, so use with caution.)

ARRL has tested these "Kaodung" units, and like I said above, they have very messy, very bad signals. In fact, they probably do not meet Federal standards for use. Uncle Sam has been trying to stop the influx, to no avail. 

Sometime in the last few months I heard that antifa was using these things to coordinate their mostly peaceful protests. 

I almost titled this post "Too little, too late."

(See also my post "Hammy Stuff" from October 2018.)

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Thought For The Day

“Once men turned their thinking over to machines in the hope that this would set them free. But that only permitted other men with machines to enslave them.” 
Frank Herbert, Dune

I have been wondering if the Butlerian Jihad is going to begin earlier, and look different, than Herbert thought... 

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Whatever it was... wasn't a coup. 

Not even an attempted coup.

Mises Wire: The Capitol Riot Wasn’t a Coup. It Wasn't Even Close.

What Is a Coup?

A gang of disorganized, powerless mechanics, janitors, and insurance agents running through the Capitol isn’t a coup. And if it was a coup attempt, it was so far from anything that might hope to succeed as a coup that it should not be taken seriously as such.

So how do we know a coup when we see one?

In their article “Global Instances of Coups from 1950 to 2010: A New Dataset,” authors Jonathan M. Powell and Clayton L. Thyne provide a definition:

A coup attempt includes illegal and overt attempts by the military or other elites within the state apparatus to unseat the sitting executive.

There are two key components of this definition. The first is that it is illegal. Powell and Thyne note that this “illegal” qualifier is important to include "because it differentiates coups from political pressure, which is common whenever people have freedom to organize."

In other words, protests, or threats of protest don’t count as coups. Neither do legal efforts such as a vote of no confidence or an impeachment. 

But an even more critical aspect of Powell and Thyne’s definition is that it requires the involvement of elites.

Saturday, January 9, 2021

A Boot, Stomping On A Human Face..

 So Twitter has initiated a purge against President Trump and anyone that doesn't want to see him die in  fire. 

Many of whom have jumped to the Twitter rival, Parler. 

Which is hosted on Amazon Web Services.

Which is shutting it down until Parler starts censoring speech in accordance with the wishes of the technocratic oligarchs. 

Who constitute a kakocracy.

So, fine, here we go to Gab. Which hosts it's own content.