A Record Black Friday

While Black Friday went well here at Hogewash! with a near record number of clicks on links to Amazon (thank you), gun dealers did especially well that day. The FBI reports that a record number of Black Friday background checks were made on the National Instant Criminal; Background Check System (NICS) for firearm purchases.

There were 214,913 checks, up 5.5 percent from the previous record set in 2017 and up 10 percent from 2022. Black Friday, 2023, was the third-busiest day in NICS history.

Not every NICS check is for a firearm purchase, but the number of them is a good gauge of gun sales.

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day

For many years, the IRS filings from Brett Kimberlin’s Justice Through Music Project showed a lawyer named Jeffery Cohen as Executive Director. This post about Dread Pirate #BrettKimberlin’s Boss’ Day Job ran eleven years ago today. A SWATting threat was posted in its comment section.

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Court records show an email address for a Jeffrey R. Cohen who has the same street address as Justice Through Music Project. That email address is associated with the law firm of Millen, White, Zellano & Branigan. The firm’s web site gives this information about Mr. Cohen:

Our entertainment practice focuses on music, film and television. Because of our intellectual property expertise, we understand not only the finer points of contract terms but also the significance of the intellectual property issues at hand. Jeff Cohen heads this practice group. Jeff owns Sumerian Records and is a partner in an entertainment management company Outerloop Management.

Here are links about Sumerian Records and Outerloop Management.

Hmmmm.

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Bill Schmalfeldt spent the next several years unsuccessfully trying to prove that he wasn’t the source of the SWATting threat.

The Real Minimum Wage is Zero

Whenever the feds or a state raise the minimum wage, it effectively outlaws employing workers who do not provide enough economic worth to justify the higher wage. Those workers are laid off and either become unemployed or move into the off-the-box economy.

Democrat Congresscritter Barbara Lee, who is running for Dianne Feinstein’s senate seat, has come out in favor of a $50/hour minimum wage.

According to the Office of Personnel Management, the average pay for a federal civil servant works out to about $40.82/hour, so Lee is suggesting a 22.5% raise for the average bureaucrat. (Federal workers in pay grades GS14 Step 3 and higher already make more than $50/hour.)

But back to the real economy …

Pretend you own Burger King franchise. How much would you have to charge for a Whopper if you were pay every employee $50/hour (that works out to $104,000/year)? How many would you have to layoff to stay in business? Could you afford to have even one employee?

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day

While I was reviewing one of the archived versions of the breitbartunmasked dot com, I noticed this post from nine years ago today.The weedhire dot com website is gone and the domain registration is for sale.

Although he left the wholesale side of the marijuana trade in the over 40 years ago, it appears that The Deadbeat Pusher Kimberlin has maintained an keen interest in the industry.

Working on Labor Day

I often say that I’ve retired twice, but that’s not strictly accurate. I did retire from working as a contractor at Goddard Space Flight Center when I was 65-1/2. Mrs. Hoge was going back to graduate school to study for a degree in Landscape Architecture, and I had just rapped up my deliverables for an x-ray astronomy project, so I decided to “retire” from going to work each day. Six months later, the new company that had taken over the electrical engineering support contract at Goddard asked me to come back. The University of Maryland campus is just a few miles from Goddard, so I could share the commute with Connie. I  decided to accept their offer.

After Connie’s cancer diagnosis in 2015, I retired again to focus on caring for her, but when she went into remission and returned to her graduate studies, I accepted another offer of work at Goddard. I’m still working there.

While I did retire from Goddard twice, I never quit working. I’ve done freelance technical work in the areas of audio, power systems, and rf (radio) for over 50 years, and I’m still at it. In fact, I’ve been working on an audio project today.

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day

In 2017, Brett Kimberlin renamed his 501(c)(4) not-for-profit from Velvet Revolution US to Protect Our Elections/EMPR Inc. Since then, the IRS has revoked POE/EMPR’s tax-exempt status.

I occasionally check with the State of Maryland about the status of Kimberlin’s corporate entities. I found this just after 4pm yesterday.

Hmmm.

One Less Beer to Cry Into

Anchor Brewing Company is a regional craft brewery on Potrero Hill in San Francisco, California. Founded in 1896, the brewery has undergone several changes in location and ownership throughout its history. It’s one of the last remaining producers of steam beer made by fermenting lager yeast at a warmer than normal temperature.

After 127 years, the company has given up. Brewing has stopped, and the finished beer on hand will packaged and sold. The company’s employees have been given 60 days notice and the company will be liquidated (an ironic term to use for closing a brewery).

Anchor was one of, if not the, original craft breweries, but it seems that too many of the kind of people who buy such beers have left San Francisco.

When Woke Backfires

I have no idea who at Hecker & Koch thought it would be a good idea to go woke by tweeting support for Miller Lite’s descent into woke advertising, but it didn’t take long for the company to figure out how poorly that was received by their customers.I am pleased by their response.

BTW, I own a couple of HK pistols. With the exception of one of my .22 target pistols, my P7 is the most accurate handgun I own.

You Keep Using That Word

Experts. The media keep trying to bolster patently false claims by prefacing them with the phrase “Experts say …”

For example, CNN cites “experts” as saying that crime has been “overstated” as the reason retailers are closing stores in blue cities.

expert noun /ˈek.spɝːt/ a person with a high level of knowledge or skill relating to a particular subject or activity.

It seems that the particular activity in which such experts have a high level of skill is twisting facts to fit The Narrative. There doesn’t seem to be much difference between the goals of Newsspeak and Newspeak.

It’s a beautiful thing, the destruction of words. Of course the great wastage is in the verbs and adjectives, but there are hundreds of nouns that can be got rid of as well. It isn’t only the synonyms; there are also the antonyms. After all, what justification is there for a word which is simply the opposite of some other word? A word contains its opposite in itself. Take “good”, for instance. If you have a word like “good”, what need is there for a word like “bad”? “Ungood” will do just as well–better, because it’s an exact opposite, which the other is not. Or again, if you want a stronger version of “good”, what sense is there in having a whole string of vague useless words like “excellent” and “splendid” and all the rest of them? “Plusgood” covers the meaning, or “doubleplusgood” if you want something stronger still. Of course we use those forms already. but in the final version of Newspeak there’ll be nothing else. In the end the whole notion of goodness and badness will be covered by only six words—in reality, only one word. Don’t you see the beauty of that, Winston?

Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it. Every concept that can ever be needed, will be expressed by exactly one word, with its meaning rigidly defined and all its subsidiary meanings rubbed out and forgotten.

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day

Brett Kimberlin has a habit of letting his corporate filings slide. For example, the IRS revoked the 501(c)(4) status of his Protect Our Elections/EMPR Inc not-for-profit because of a failure to file required forms. For a while, POE/EMPR was also not in good standing with the State of Maryland because of missing paperwork.

In 2011, Kimberlin chartered a Maryland corporation called Ac Up Enterprises Inc to “provide entertainment services to musicians.” For a while, that company was also not in good standing with the State of Maryland because past due paperwork. However, the Secretary of State shows that this year’s filing came in on time.At one time, Act Up Enterprises had a website, but it’s been gone for several years. AFAICT, Act Up only ever had one musician it promoted. Her website was ranked #11,025,473 around 9 pm ET last night.

I’m Not Making This Up, You Know

Twitter has tagged this morning’s astronomy post as “sensitive” …… even though they have removed the tags from several earlier astronomy posts.When I responded to their survey, I pointed out the lack of transparency in their appeal process. The only response I’ve received was the notification shown above. Because they have continued tagging (eg., this morning’s post), the process is either still random or out of control. In no case can it be considered “fair” yet.

A Busy Day

Blogging has been light for the past couple of weeks as I’ve been hustling to clean up some odds and ends of a work project on top of the usual year end business. Today will be consumed with hand making some custom electrical parts for a test fixture.

I’m looking forward to using some of the six weeks of time off I’ve accrued during the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day.

No “Safe Space” for a Pro-Life Lawyer

Robyn Keller was a successful lawyer, a retired partner with the power firm Hogan Lovells. She described how she was fired in a piece published by the Wall Street Journal.

After the Supreme Court issued its Dobbs decision overturning Roe v. Wade in June, global law firm Hogan Lovells organized an online conference call for female employees. As a retired equity partner still actively serving clients, I was invited to participate in what was billed as a “safe space” for women at the firm to discuss the decision. It might have been a safe space for some, but it wasn’t safe for me.

After she express a reasoned support for the Dobbs decision, she was attacked as a racist.

Someone made a formal complaint to the firm. Later that day, Hogan Lovells suspended my contracts, cut off my contact with clients, removed me from email and document systems, and emailed all U.S. personnel saying that a forum participant had made “anti-Black comments” and was suspended pending an investigation. The firm also released a statement to the legal website Above the Law bemoaning the devastating impact my views had on participants in the forum—most of whom were lawyers participating in a call convened expressly for the purpose of discussing a controversial legal and political topic. Someone leaked my name to the press.

She filed her own complaint which the firm had investigated by an outside law firm. Her firing stuck.

[M]y contracts with the firm were terminated, and other firms, wary of the publicity, blackballed me—all after an unblemished 44-year career.

The response of the rabidly anti-Dobbs participants on the call wasn’t surprising. What was shocking, at least to me, was how eagerly Hogan Lovells kowtowed to a woke faction inside its workforce. Several women on the call—as well as male lawyers at the firm—contacted me later to offer private support for my right to express my views. Those former colleagues must now realize that they are in a hostile work environment. If this could happen to me, anyone who expresses a disfavored opinion—even on a matter of law—can expect the same treatment: immediate cancellation without concern for client interests, due process or fairness.

Hogan Lovells is the law firm providing pro bono representation to Brett Kimberlin in his latest attempt overturn his Speedway Bombing convictions.