Thursday, June 23, 2022

Not a Second Class Right

NYSRPA v. Bruen has come down, 6-3 to the good side. First, and most importantly, the concept of the right to keep and bear arms, in public, including concealed, as a constitutionally protected individual right, is affirmed.

The racist New York Sullivan act, and the "special need" and other such burdens on carry permits are no longer presumed to be constitutional. Very explicitly the written opinions state that licensing is allowed, but only non-discretionary "shall issue" licensing, that does not unduly burden the free exercise of the right to keep and bear arms.

It also makes clear and explicit that, in context of Heller, MacDonald etc... elements required for such... Sales of firearms, ammunition, the ability to practice shooting etc... Cannot be unduly restricted 

It's going to take further litigation... a hell of a lot of it... but on this basis, GCA '68 and NFA '34 cannot stand as written either. Nor can any ban of any firearm or other weapon in common usage or ownership.

No "assault weapon" bans, no magazine bans... none of it. It's done. 

Basically, all restrictive gun control of any kind, is done...


....After probably another 20 years of law suits, but DONE nonetheless. 

Thomas authored the majority opinion, and clearly imposed a MUCH MORE THAN strict standard of scrutiny:

"The constitutional right to bear arms in public for self-defense is not 'a second-class right, subject to an entirely different body of rules than the other Bill of Rights guarantees. We know of no other constitutional right that an individual may exercise only after demonstrating to government officers some special need. 

That is not how the First Amendment works when it comes to unpopular speech or the free exercise of religion. It is not how the Sixth Amendment works when it comes to a defendant’s right to confront the witnesses against him. And it is not how the Second Amendment works when it comes to public carry for selfdefense".

Friday, June 17, 2022

Cool Spray

The contents of this picture, are about to give us a HUGE quality of life improvement... Much as the new AC did for our indoor life, the $60 or so worth of tubing and fittings, is going to improve our outdoor life.

Two of our household members prefer to spend a lot of their time on the back porch... But when it gets above 100 degrees out there, which it is during daylight hours for something like 7-8 months out of the year, that gets very difficult.

For me,  I'd absolutely prefer to spend a lot more time out on the porch as well... For one thing, that's my main hobby and project workspace, and most of my tools and workbenches live out there... But my endocrine issues mean I have very poor body temperature regulation... Or often, basically none... And I just can't spend much time out there when it's much over 80-85 or so, and basically none at all when it's over 90 or so. 

That means I basically can't go out on the porch at all, 20-24 hours a day, from May or June through September or even October, and daylight hours most days from late March or April through late October... even some days in November. 

... Rather a big limitation for me... It's basically half of our socialization and recreation space, and I basically can't use it at all for more than half the year, or barely use it for another quarter of the year... I don't think I've been out onto the porch at all except momentarily, since... March? Maybe April? 

It's only mid June, and we have already seen over 113 official temps in our neighborhood, and observed as high as 117... We're probably going to hit over 120 observed, and at least 117 official, in July and August. 

And of course, we'd ALL like to enjoy our outdoor time more, which means getting the temperature out on the porch below 100, and preferably below 90, or even 85.

Now, outdoor evaporative mist cooling has been around forever... hell, it was invented before modern air conditioning... but full EVAP mist cooling systems used to be rather expensive. Hundreds, or even thousands of dollars for large outdoor areas. And with the older big hole mister nozzles, you didn't get all that fine a mist, which was less efficient at evaporation, and the nozzles would crust up with minerals very quickly and be hard to maintain etc...

In the last 15 years, prices for misting systems have PLUMMETED to almost nothing. The complete setup for two different misting circuits as pictured there cost less than $60. The hookup hose, hose manifold and hose fittings together cost more than that; and gross, the whole system end to end cost maybe $100. And mister nozzles are now EDM machined, to optimize their spray pattern so they evaporate more efficiently, while using less water, and crudding up less. In fact, I can replace every mister nozzle in both loops for about $30, and about an hours worth of work. 

Our back porch is about 32x16... Which should be completely covered on the outer two sides by the bigger coil of tubing and bag of mister nozzles, spaced about 2 feet apart (the manufacturer says ideal spacing varies from 20-40" depending on encironment. 

The smaller coil of tubing and bag of nozzles, is to convert our large harbor freight outdoor fan, into a directed "swamp cooler" style, fan driven evaporative cooler, on a 30-8sh  foot tether (we also got a high flow 4 way hose manifold and heavy duty high flow hookup hose, to use as a water "switch", so we don't have to shut it off at the outdoor standpipe, or shut it off to use our garden hose in the yard etc...)... and one thing we definitely have at this house is GREAT water pressure, so I'm not worried about feeding that many nozzles off a single garden standpipe. 

Even without the fan driven evap cooler, we should get a minimum of 20 degrees felt cooling effect on all but the humid monsoon days... And on very dry, very hot days (we've seen as low as 2% relative humidity this year so far)... The days we need it the most ... we may be able to get anywhere from 25-30f degrees of felt cooling effect, just from the ambient mist... Meaning we may be able to get 110-115f ambient to feel like 85f or even 80f... 

Maybe, with the ambient mist system, AND with the big industrial fan cooler going together, under ideal conditions, on the hottest and driest days, we may even see as much as 35-40f degrees of felt cooling... The charts say it's well within possibility, but I'm certainly not expecting quite that much.... But it would be very nice to get an ambient observed of say, 115-120f, to feel like 85f or 90f...And 30-35f (about 20c maximum) should be practically feasible within the limits of the system, given our uniquely suited climate for that system.

Hell... According to the charts, on a 120 degree day, with under 4% relative humidity, with enough airflow and enough misting,  in theory we could see a maximum of 60f felt temperature reduction... But that's theoretical chart performance... And that wouldn't actually be pleasant for that matter. It would get uncomfortably muggy somewhere around 45f of felt cooling.

Cherry Picking Extreme Anomalies to Lie with Numbers for Gun Control

Recently, you may have heard gun control activists saying that "guns kill more people than cars in this country", which is simply and flatly false.

Or rather, it is a deliberate manipulation of statistics, and insanely specific and historically unique cherry picking, to blatantly lie about reality. 

The proper way to deal with these types of long term trends, is with a 20 or even 30 year moving average... Most categories of stats like these use 20 year most of the time, so I'll use the 20 year moving averages here to illustrate...

On average, over the last 20 years, appx. 40-45,0000 people die in automobile related fatalities in the U.S. annually (the 20 years prior to that, it was more like 50,000). On average over the past 20 years appx. 35,000- 40,000 people die of gunshot wounds in the U.S. every year (and up until 2017 that moving average was much closer to 35,000, but we have seen a significant increase in both violent crime, and suicide, since either 2016 or 2017 depending on which analysis of which dataset etc...). 

...(Notably, BOTH had been consistently and significantly going down since between 1991 and 1994 depending on how you count which datasets etc...)... 

Of firearms related deaths, on average, appx. 55% to 60% of deaths by firearms, are intentionally self inflicted...Suicides... and of the remaining 40% appx. 60% are one criminal shooting another criminal; meaning appx 85% of all firearms related deaths have nothing to do with either crimes against the innocent, or with accidents. And only appx. 1-3% of firearms deaths are accidental depending on the year (most years it's barely over 1% but the error bars here are a little higher because of statistical methodologies and dataset variability). 

Yes, sadly, most years, about half the rest... 7-8%... are in fact innocent victims of violent criminal strangers or acquaintances. Even more sadly, in most years, the other half...again 7%-8% of the total... are some kind of domestic violence, or otherwise homicide by a friend or family member not otherwise involved in a separate criminal act. 

... HOWEVER... There IS a scanty thin film of justification covering their lies... And gun control advocates ALWAYS lie... 

There is only one year in all of U.S. history that the absolute number of motor vehicle related fatalities were exceeded by the absolute number of firearms related fatalities... 2020 (though depending on exactly how you calculate them and which dataset you use, the RATES per capita crossed each other in 2017, 2019, and 2020). 

You know... 2020... The year where most people were locked down most of the year, and severely limited travel the rest of the year... Total non-commercial trips taken, total non-commercial passenger miles travelled, total trips, and total vehicle miles driven, all fell between 30% and 50% for that one year... Meaning total fatal accidents were way down (though the rate per mile was up slightly). 

While, at the same time, amidst a significant increase in both violent crime and suicide beginning in 2016 or 2017; we experienced the largest single year surge of violent crime in American history (even worse than 1968, 1986, or 1991). This, as most major urban areas experienced massive waves of rioting, looting, and other violent crime during "protests"; and while many democratic controlled city governments instituted essentially non-enforcement policies, against much urban crime. Finally, at the same time a massive wave of pandemic related suicides was also happening.

This ended up resulting in a single year increase of appx. 20% of violent crime overall (maybe as much as 30% depending on how you count violent crime), and a single year increase of almost 30% in firearms related violent crime. 

This combination of a massive anomalous violent crime increase, and a massive anomalous suicide increase; resulted in overall firearms related deaths increasing by about 17% in one year. 

... and even then, firearms related deaths were only just barely greater than vehicle related deaths... 

We don't yet have the official final numbers for 2021 (prelims typically come out in February, but the final official numbers typically come out around the end of q3 to as late as middle of q4), but all indications are that violent crime is still up, while road usage is still down; but both are far closer to the average of the last 20 years, than the FRIKKEN PLAGUE YEAR.

Monday, June 06, 2022

Circumventing the Peter Principle

"if a team runs itself for six months while you search for a manager, you don't need to look outside, you need to promote from within"

Well, yes... 

..."But I don't want to be a manager"...

..."But I've seen too many teams ruined by promoting a competent worker to a management role they didn't want, or couldn't do properly"...

Again, yes... It's a well understood phenomenon, called "The Peter Principle"; commonly stated as:

"In any organization, an employee will be promoted to their level of incompetence"

It's one of the biggest problems in organizational management... 

...(And you should definitely read the book by the way)... 

Which is why when you're faced with a situation as presented above, you need to do one of two things:

1. Flatten the hierarchy... remove the level of management in question as unnecessary and counterproductive... Assign administrative and project management support to the team so they can focus on what they're good at, and have the higher level management take on the remaining responsibilities the previous layer of management that are actually not just necessary, but critical. Specifically, 

A. setting missions and goals for the team, in alignment with the organizations missions and goals, and effectively iterate and adjust them to optimize performance
B. Obtaining and distributing the resources necessary for the team to accomplish their tasks, goals, and missions
C. Advocating for and representing the team within the rest of the organization
D. Most importantly other than point A... manage and improve both the professional development, and the morale of the team members individually, and the team as a whole

2. If flattening the hierarchy won't work, for whatever reason, then find someone internally who has the aptitude and desire and is trainable to manage others, and then ACTUALLY DEVELOP their leadership and management skills and abilities.

The reasons managers get paid more... Or at least it SHOULD be and is intended to be... because their skills, abilities, aptitudes etc... are more rare than those with purely functional or technical skills; and even more rare than that, because they willingly accept responsibility for the actions, and the development, of others.

That second part is the big hangup... lots of great functional, operational, or technical people, either don't want, or honestly cant, accept that responsibility over others, and still be functional at the level they need to be. They don't want the risk and stress, or their core character causes it to be TOO MUCH risk and stress for them to be able to handle, without it hurting or harming them. 

Please not, that doesn't make someone who wants the responsibility superior, or someone who can't handle that responsibility inferior... Just different, and not suitable for management or leadership. 

But, so long as someone has the constitution, and innate character elements necessary, at the very least the skills of both management and leadership can be trained, and gained, and improved with experience; making for a competent and functional manager, even if they don't have a particular talent or aptitude for it.

... It takes natural talent and aptitude, as well as the various necessary character elements, AND all of the support and training and development,  and resources; to become a good or great manager or leader... Or anything more than functional and competent... And importantly, to became any kind of actual leader, not just a manager. 

To do that, they need professional development, and support from higher management and leadership; and they need to have realistic expectations set, with appropriate missions and goals and metrics, and the resources necessary to achieve them.

The problem, is that so often, none of that actually happens.

Just Go See it... For Goose

I just left the house for the first time since March... 

...And for the first time to watch a movie in theaters, since my birthday in 2019 (April 27th)... More than THREE FRIKKEN years... In the same IMAX theater, and half a row to the left of where we watched "Avengers Endgame"... 

... To go watch "Top Gun: Maverick"... 

And let me tell you, ladies and gentlemen, it was well worth the wait.

That was the best military aviation film ever made... Period. 

Yes, it was better than the original.

It was prettier, it was more moving; it pushed more buttons harder, but in a good way; it had a better story... 

Hell, the only real complaint I have with the movie, (not technical nitpicks I have as a pilot or aerospace engineer. It's good enough that those don't really matter), is that it's too short. It should have been 30 or 40 minutes longer... At 2hrs 10min, they could have even added 50 minutes, and punched it out to 3 hours flat; which just would have made it a better film, with more time for the character development of the team (I think a bunch more non-flying content was filmed, and then cut, to tighten the film up), and more room for the flying action scenes to breathe (something the original actually did VERY well).

As it was, Maverick was a super tight, densely packed, hardcore military aviation popcorn movie.

If there was a 3hr extended cut, I would go and watch it again, right now. 

Yes, there were technical niggles... lots of them (including some very big ones for a pilot or engineer). Of course there were...SO WHAT... it's a movie not a flight simulator... They don't matter... at all. The movie is just that damn well done, and just that damn fun, and just that damn moving. 

Oh, and if during or after watching the movie, your wife, girlfriend, or other female in your party says something like "why can't men just say 'I love you"... Tell her all three of them did... Like four times total... It's not their fault she doesn't speak dude... 😜

Go see it... See it in IMAX if you can... Feel the thunder in your chest...

It's what Goose would have wanted.

Saturday, June 04, 2022

Strict Scrutiny

It's now June... New York's state Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen was argued in November. 

Traditionally, cases argued early in the October to October US Supreme Court term, have their decisions released by late June. 

It is largely expected that we are going to see something like a 6-3 majority in favor of more clearly defining the 2nd Amendment, as ...PROPERLY... protecting the individual right to keep and and bear arms, both inside and outside the home (and in all but certain specially protected places, such as inside court houses and police stations); for all lawful purposes; and applying either strict scrutiny, or at least a heightened and very restrictive interpretation of intermediate scrutiny.

In fact we may even see a 6-1-2 split, with Kagan (Kagan is known to be an occasional recreational shotgunner, and is thought to largely agree with Scalias interpretation of the second amendment, just allowing for some more or more restrictive gun control under a fairly strict rational basis or a looser intermediate scrutiny standard... Hell, we may even see 5-2-2 or 5-1-1-2, with Roberts and Kagan joining in concurrence, or Roberts writing a separate concurrence as well) siding with the majority but issuing a separate opinion, allowing for more and stricter gun control, with a less strict standard of judicial review than the majority opinion, or applying a narrower scope than the majority decision, or both.

...(Or at least within the scope of the NYSRPA v. Bruens issues under review. They may write their decision to broadly apply to any type of restriction on the second amendment, or they may limit that scope to simply carry laws, requiring separate litigation under whatever standard of security is promulgated, to deal with other types of gun control)... 

We know that at least Thomas, Gorsuch, Kavanagh, and Coney-Barrett, are all in favor of strict scrutiny on the second amendment generally, and that Alito has indicated that he supports either strict scrutiny or a very scrupulous intermediate scrutiny standard on the second. If a four justice bloc wrote the majority opinion in favor of strict scrutiny, he would likely sign on to that opinion, for an outright majority opinion imposing strict scrutiny on the second (or at least within the scope of review of that decision anyway, whatever that scope may be)... 

This could mean that ANY law or regulation... federal, state, or local... burdening, restricting, or limiting that right; would be automatically presumed to be unconstitutional by default; unless it affirmatively and clearly passed a very strict constitutional test. 

 In the case of strict scrutiny, such test requiring that any such restriction, burden, or limit imposed on that right:

1. Effectively serve a highly compelling, overwhelming, or critical, state interest or interests

2. Such interests; and any restrictions, limits, or burdens on the right in serving such interests; be as specifically and narrowly defined and tailored as reasonably possible

3. In order to effectively serve such interests, without unduly limiting, restricting, or burdening the right; outside of such narrowly and strictly tailored and defined compelling interests

...And that...

4. Such compelling interest cannot be effectively served in any other way, impacting, limiting, or burdening the right, less than the method in question.

5. The burden of proof is on the state, to show the elements above.

Meaning that we may be as little as a week or two away from invalidating most gun control measures, in the 11 states now implementing significant gun control laws. 

... Or at least starting the process of doing so, since those 11 states are likely all going to fight every step of the way until the supreme court decides just exactly how far the states, and the federal government, can go; in restricting the second amendment.

We would also be a few weeks from preventing most of what Democrats are trying to force through right now in terms of gun control. 

If we are able to get a strict scrutiny, or heightened intermediate scrutiny standard of judicial review put in place then... That's the whole ballgame, though it will certainly take many years of additional litigation to get there. 

I would expect that federally, the national firearms act of 1934, and the gun control act of 1968, will need to be revised significantly at the very least, if not repealed entirely and replaced with something much more rational and less restrictive. 

Simply put, there is no compelling state interest served in heavily and burdonsomely restricting short barreled rifles and shotguns, firearms sound suppressors or silencers, or "any other weapons", such as novelty firearms, firearms that do not look like firearms, or firearms that don't meet conventional categories or definitions. Millions of these items have legally and commonly been in civilian non law enforcement hands for 88 years, with less than a dozen violent crimes commited using them. There is nothing that makes such items specially dangerous, or more likely to be used in crime, or any other factor that even COULD present a compelling government interest in restricting them. 

Similarly, no compelling state interest is served by banning firearms sales across state lines between private citizens and licensed dealers, and requiring a dealer to dealer transfer, then a separate dealer to end user transfer. Any federally licensed firearms dealer should be able to sell any firearm, legal in any state, to anyone allowed to own such a firearm in their home state.... Even if neither party are in their home state at the time of sale or transfer, so long as they meet the laws and requirements of the state in which the sale occurred, the state of residence of the end purchased, and the state in which the federal license holder has their listed primary location of business (including federal and state background checks as may be required).

... I personally think that should apply to private sales a well, but there's good arguments that the states could make that private citizens may not know, and follow, the laws and requirements of other states etc... etc... 

Also, I think there's very good arguments that no compelling state interest is served in entirely banning the production of new fully automatic weapons for civilian sale (as the ATF has done by deliberately misinterpreting the law since 1986); as there are hundreds of thousands of fully automatic weapons in civilian non law enforcement hands, with literally less than a dozen crimes having been committed using those lawfully owned weapons since 1934.  

On the state level, I think that strict scrutiny, and most forms of intermediate scrutiny, would invalidate any type of notional "assault weapons ban", or other categorical or type ban on commonly used firearms; any state "list of approved firearms" as is implemented in Massachusetts and California; and any "permit to purchase" system, requiring a special permit issued by the state or local government to purchase or own every individual firearm. Though it wouldn't necessarily invalidate or prevent any state level firearms registration or database, so long as such registration is not otherwise restrictive or burdensome. 

Further (and addressed specifically in this case), even with just intermediate scrutiny, all states will likely eventually be required to implement a "shall issue", or otherwise less restrictive carry law, and permit system (if they require permits at all. 39 states now have "shall issue" permit system, and only 11 have more restrictive permitting.  However, 25 of those 39 states now have permitless carry for all citizens age 21 or over, and not otherwise prohibited from possessing firearms... and within the year it may be as many as 29. The only reason those 25 states have permit systems, is so that they can have carry permit reciprocity with other states that require permits, or require them for citizens of other states; or for carry in places that would otherwise be restricted... Also, many states allow carry permit holders to skip additional background checks when purchasing firearms, as having a valid permit already proves one is not prohibited from possessing or purchasing firearms, and has passed a background check ). 

Such a "shall issue" carry permit system, meaning that permits to carry must be issued to anyone meeting requirements, on payment of a reasonable fee, without any requirement that a state official approve the permit, or that the permit applicant show any special need or reason to obtain a permit. 

Such requirements meaning, they be a citizen or lawful permanent resident 21 or more years of age, not otherwise prohibited from owning or possessing firearms, able to pass an FBI background check, and in some states presenting documentation of meeting a training requirement not considered unduly burdensome, to a reasonable person (something like, a class requiring no more than 2 days or instruction, with a reasonable test of demonstrated safety and proficiency, and costing no more than $300 including the permit fee).

Which, as I said, is currently the law in 39 states... And in all 39 of those states, it's been proven that carry permit holders actually commit crimes with their lawfully owned and carried firearms, LESS THAN POLICE DO.

Simply put... Gun control is entirely irrational, and frankly silly and stupid; and in most ways, will finally be recognized as unconstitutional, very soon.  

So yeah... here's hoping for strict scrutiny...