Democracy Dies in Derpness


WaPo has published an extremely inaccurate opinion piece about the recent Virginia Beach shooting and suppressors for firearms. In her essay, Juliette Kayyem makes the ridiculously false claim that “a suppressed gunshot can sound like a chair scraping on the floor.” It appears that she’s seen too many Hollywood movies in which the sound of suppressed gunfire on films’ soundtracks were special effects added during postproduction and recordings of real gunfire and that she has little (on no) experience with real world suppressed firearms.

(BTW, based on my experience being involved in the development of theatre sound equipment when I was VP of Engineering at JBL, I doubt that many theatre sound systems can reproduce the sound of gunfire as loud as the actual muzzle blast without being damaged.)

When Hiram Percy Maxim began marketing exhaust quieting devices for internal combustion engines and firearms over a hundred years ago, his brand name for them was Silencer. That name stuck as a generic term in Europe for engines and worldwide for firearms. In North America, we call them mufflers on engines. The generic technical term of art for them is suppressors.

A suppressor is what we engineers call an acoustical low-pass filter. It permits exhaust gas to flow through (in the case of firearm suppressor to provide thrust for the bullet) but tends to reduce the level of high-frequency components in the impulse of the exhaust. If a suppressor worked “perfectly,” there would be nothing in the exhaust except a steady, non-varying flow of exhaust gas, but in order to become more effective at low frequencies, the suppressor must become larger to allow it to attenuate longer wavelength sounds.

An unmuffled engine on a lawn mower is roughly as loud as a series of gunshots, and the size of a lawn mower muffler is roughly the same as a suppressor that can be handled on the muzzle of a firearm. The Gentle Reader should not be surprised that suppressed firearms are typically about as loud as lawn mowers. My lawn mower is noticeable louder than a chair scraping across the floor.

While I’m on the Pro-Second-Amendment side of the gun control debate, I do recognize that there are reasonable points to be made on both sides of the gun control debate. Thus, neither side should have to resort to provably false claims.

Truth is a stronger foundation than a lie.

Democracy Dies in Derpness.

Nevada, Murphy’s Law, and Unintended Consequences


It looks as if Nevada may become the 15th state to give away its right under Article !!, Section 1, Clause 2 of the Constitution to determine how its electors would vote for President. NPR is reporting the likelihood of the Nevada joining the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact as if it were a good thing.

The Compact would become active if states with at least 270 electoral votes join. If that happens, the participating states would give their electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote. Gentle Reader, suppose enough states join. Now, suppose Donald Trump wins a majority of the popular vote.

Would that be a good thing?

Today’s Talking Point


The Alabama Legislature has passed a bill that would put significant restrictions on abortion if it becomes law. The bill contains, get ready for today’s talking point, “no exceptions for rape or incest.” That phrase appears in the headlines in stories about the bill from the Washington Post and CBS News; the lack of such exceptions figures in stories from the AP, Reuters, and other sources. The real problem that Progressives have with the bill is that it outlaws abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detectable. It seems that they’re trying to use the lack of exceptions for the rare instance of rape and incest as a way painting the bill’s supports as out-of-the-mainstream extremists. We’re also beginning to see stories about Rowe v. Wade being in danger of reversal by the Supreme Court.  I expect to hear the tip jars rattling at various presidential campaigns quite soon.

I’m not in favor of rape or incest but I believe it’s a good thing that we no longer treat rape as a capital crime and hang the perpetrators. I also believe that we shouldn’t kill either of the victims of a rape, so I’ve never understood why it makes sense to allow killing a child because he or she was conceived during a rape. I feel the same way about killing a child conceived incestuously.

We’ve Got a Little List


Roger Kimball has a piece over at American Greatness about the criminal referrals being made by Congressman Nunes to the Department of Justice. There are eight referrals which may involve upwards of twenty persons. Five are for specific crimes such as lying to Congress or leaking classified information. Three are more open-ended: Conspiracy to lie to the FISA court, manipulation of intelligence for partisan political ends, and what Nunes calls “global leaks” of highly sensitive information (such as the contents of telephone calls between President Trump and foreign leaders). Who had access to such information?
Who used it illegally?

But who do you think makes the list? Were I a modern-day Koko, my little list would include former CIA Director John Brennan, an implacable enemy of the president and a good candidate for the title of fons et origo of the Trump-Russia investigation.

It would include the FBI’s Peter Strzok, Andrew McCabe, and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former acting attorney general Sally Yates, Bruce Ohr and his wife Nellie who (unbelievably) actually worked for Fusion GPS.

That other James, the oleaginous James Comey, former Director of the FBI, would certainly be on the list, as would several people in the Obama Administration: the aforementioned Susan Rice, for example, and former U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power, who, like Rice, did a lot of unmasking in her final months in office.

There are others—quite a few others, in fact, as anyone who has been keeping up with the reporting on this unfolding scandal knows well.

Read the whole thing.

Sticking with allusions to The Mikado, let’s hope that Attorney General Barr channels the title character.

My object all sublime
I shall achieve in time—
To let the punishment fit the crime,
The punishment fit the crime …

Stay tuned.