Teenagers are NOT being locked up for trick-or-treating in Hampton Roads

This has to be one of the more insidious things to hit my news feeds lately: outrage over ordinances that exist in Hampton Roads that set a legal age limit at 13 years-old for trick-or-treating on Halloween. And what’s all the more infuriating is EVERY place discussing these laws implying these laws are a recent incarnation.

They aren’t.

The laws have been around since the late 1960s. And they were enacted after there were several crimes that occurred on Halloween night by teenagers who weren’t simply begging for candy.

I grew up in Virginia Beach. If I remember correctly, the last year I went trick-or-treating was 6th grade, 11 years old. It was the same with most of my neighbors as well. In general kids stop going out trick-or-treating once they reach middle school, and it’s generally rare that kids continue doing so at that point. And it is generally accepted among parents that middle school is the appropriate cut-off.

But in all the time the laws have been in place in Hampton Roads – again, it’s been almost 50 years these laws have existed – how many have actually been arrested just for violating that law? It’s so few we might as well say none. Residents aren’t turning in teenagers who trick-or-treat, and most kids stop going out on beggar’s night before they reach the age cut-off.

And the number of teens actually out trick-or-treating is so low the police generally ignore them unless problems arise. In which case they’ll intervene. This is similar to the laws regarding lemonade stands in which police and the city generally ignore the fact they exist, in violation of standing laws and ordinances, unless someone complains or other concerns come up.

That’s why you’ve probably not seen this story picked up by the mainstream media. I’ve not seen one mainstream media outlet actually discuss this. Because a simple fact check would reveal the laws are long-standing and not recent developments. And virtually no one in the affected cities has actually called for their repeal. Since virtually no one has been arrested just for violating those laws, and very few people become subject to them.

So why do these laws stipulate jail time and fines for teens actually charged with violating the law? For the same reason most petty offenses also stipulate jail time: in case there are accompanying charges that warrant a greater detention. Police have discretion over whether to actually arrest teens who are caught – and that’s so rare an occurrence we can say it virtually never happens – and the Courts have discretion over how to sentence any teens who are convicted or plead guilty.

This whole backlash about these laws ignores the fact they have been around for 50 years, and the residents of those cities don’t care these laws exist. Beyond that, it ignores the fact the law rarely is enforced, because it very, very rarely needs to be enforced.

It’s making a volcano out of an ant hill, and then flipping its lid like Mount St. Helens did in 1980. Which seems to be par for the course when it comes to the Internet.

Blackmail scam

There are some tell-tale signs that an e-mail is a phishing or scam attempt. I’ve received “Your account has been compromised” e-mails bearing the hallmark of… Bank of America and American Express. I’ve never been customers of either. So whenever I see those, I just forward them off to their respective security contacts and delete them.

But one e-mail I received this morning was… rather interesting. Based on my research, this isn’t anything new. It’s a modified version of e-mails that have been circulating for a while. And given how much e-mail I have to filter through every day – even after the spam filter gets ahold of it – I’ve gotten my share of scam e-mails over the years. If it’s a phishing attempt, I forward it off to the relevant company.

In this instance, I’m posting the scam attempt publicly, to let the search engines pick up on it. And it appears to have been recycled (Reddit post, Democratic Underground post), just with a different Bitcoin address.

I guess you’re wondering why you’re receiving this email right?

It would be highly beneficial to your privacy if you didn’t ignore it.

I have placed a Malware on an adult website (…P…0…r…n site) and as you visited and watched the video your device has been affected, placing a spyware on your machine. Which has recorded you both with webcam and screen capture while you had your “fun Time” allowing me to see exactly what you see.

This has also affected your smartphone via an exploit. So do not think for one minute you can circumvent this by reinstalling your OS. You have already been recorded.

After that my malware collected all your messengers, emails and social networks contacts.

I guess this isn’t good news right?
But don’t worry too much, there’s a way we can fix this privacy issue. All i require is a Bitcoin payment of £ 850 which i think is a fair price considering the circumstances.

The address to make the payment is: 333vDCcYipberH4wKgMnXppaBeauRPoNH7

If you don’t understand bitcoin, go on youtube and search for “how to buy bitcoin” or google for “localbitcoins”, its pretty easy to do it.

You have only 48 hours after reading this e-mail to send payment (Be warned i know when you have opened and read this email, i have placed a pixel image inside it. Which enables me to know when you have opened the messaged on exactly what day and time)

If you decide to ignore this email, i will have no choice but to forward the video to all the collected contacts you have on your email account, as well as post on your social media accounts, and send as a personal message to all Facebook contacts. and of course make the video publicly available on internet, via you-tube and adult websites. considering your reputation, i highly doubt you want to be exposed to your family/friends/coworkers during this current time.

You can actually go to the police, but these people will not likely do anything, the most significant stuff they can do is lock my wallet and you will deprive other people from the opportunity to pay me. So think twice before doing foolish things.

If i receive payment all the material will be destroyed and you will never hear from me again. If i do not get my funds for virtually any reason, such as the inability to send cash to a blacklisted wallet – your reputation is going to be wrecked. So make it fast.

Do not try to make contact with me because am using a victim email that was hacked and exposed.

If you don’t believe and want proof just reply to this email with “PROOF” and i will send your video to 5 of your contacts via email, and post on your Facebook wall. In which you will be able to remove it once, not forever.

Here are some resources talking about this scam:

And it’s apparently been picked up by the mainstream media as well. Just search for “blackmail e-mail scam” or something like that and you’ll find it.

Revisiting Amethyst – More color testing

Recall in the previous article on this that I’d purchased touch-up paint, specifically Mopar Deep Amethyst Pearl, which was a paint used on Dodge Neons and some other cars for a brief period of time. Not long after the paint arrived, I also bought Rust-Oleum Self-Etching Primer and another aluminum panel, along with mineral spirits for “proper” surface preparation.

The touch-up paint is lacquer-based. This is only a color test. I won’t be using it for actually painting the 750D.

So since this is about a color test, how does the color look?

The shade of purple is about spot on to what I wanted – ignore the lighter areas as I was spraying onto this inside a small Amazon shipping box. The pearl, however, isn’t as prominent as I would like. So after I was sure the lacquer paint had (nearly) completely cured, overnight, I went over it with the Rust-Oleum Frosted Pearl clear coat.

My wife wasn’t really fond of this outcome. And I can understand as the frosted color and pearl make it look a little… too pearly. But she thought it too dark. And part of that could be the fact the automotive self-etching primer I used is dark green – according to Rust-Oleum.

So redo with white primer? Not yet.

Krylon Metallic Shimmer with Rust-Oleum Universal Clear Gloss

The Candy Purple specifically – no. 3928.

Yes, Krylon also has a clear coat, but I already had the Rust-Oleum can. The only issue is the Krylon paint is not a paint+primer, meaning I needed to use primer under it. So I went with Rust-Oleum again and the 2x White Primer. The 24-hour wait between primer and paint is the only downside given the temperature has not been as warm as previously.

This met her approval. The color, not the quality of this test paint job.

So the question that you may be considering: why did I not do this in the first place? This particular Krylon paint is only available at craft stores in my area. Home Depot doesn’t carry Krylon in spray cans, only Rust-Oleum. And Lowe’s doesn’t have the Metallic Shimmer lineup. Wal-Mart carries both Rust-Oleum and Krylon, but I don’t recall seeing the Metallic Shimmer there, as of this article going live.

Michael’s is the only place in KC I could find this before considering ordering it in through Amazon. And I don’t exactly go to Michael’s much.

Though I would recommend checking out Wal-Mart first for spray cans since they have much lower prices compared to Lowe’s and Home Depot.

* * * * *

So now to convince my wife to be without her system for a week. And figure out what to do with the rest of the paint I’ve bought for the color testing. Perhaps custom paint several of the panels in my rack, or the rack frame?

I’m not painting the entire chassis purple either. Only the outer panels, though I will paint both the inside and outside of those panels. Perhaps excluding the front fascia – not sure yet. I might repaint it gloss black with the pearl clear coat. The inside of the chassis, motherboard tray, etc, will be white pearl – likely white paint with the frosted pearl. This mix should have it looking like white quartz and amethyst. And the white internal will blend well with her white mainboard.

This should also brighten the system quite a bit, especially with the white LEDs on the fans and adding additional white LED lighting to replace the UV cathodes.

And there’s also still the plan of replacing the tubing with copper tubing that is also painted to match the chassis. Though keeping the clear pump housing and reservoir.

Understand Kavanaugh’s response to the allegations

Now that the nomination is through the Senate Judiciary Committee, let’s look back a moment at the allegations themselves and how they were being made. For context we’re talking about an allegation that is not provable. Despite Ford’s assertion that she is 100% certain it was Kavanaugh who attacked her, it is still nothing but an assertion. No evidence exists. No evidence is possible.

But to those who were decrying Kavanaugh’s emotional state during his rebuttal, I’ve got to wonder if you’ve ever had to push back against false accusations. I have. Not of sexual misconduct, mind you, but of a more… frustrating nature, against which defending yourself is utterly impossible.

During my junior year of high school, there were various rumors floating about various people. I never really heard of any except one, but one aspect of these rumors did hit my ears: I had allegedly been the one making them. Some context first. My junior year of high school, I was the new kid on the block, so to speak. I’d just moved to Fairfield, Iowa, and was an unknown to everyone. There was one young woman who introduced herself to me on the first day, and I was introduced into her circle of friends.

A few weeks later was when things turned south as she accused me of spreading a rumor that we were sleeping together. Mind you, at this time I hadn’t yet turned 16. Over the next several weeks, more rumors emerged, and I was tagged as the one spreading them. One of them turned into a threat to my life. I lost friends, hanging out with a small group of outcasts at lunch, and otherwise kept to myself.

One afternoon in, I want to say, March, the guy who had threatened to kill me drove up next to me as I was walking home. I’d heard a rumor was going around, and that I was allegedly spreading it, that I’d slept with this guy’s girlfriend. His girlfriend was in the passenger seat, he rolled down the passenger side window and yelled at me something along the lines of “I’m still going to kill you. Don’t think I forgot.” I didn’t respond to him. He drove off and I continued walking home.

Here’s an idea of where I was mentally: nowhere. The rumors and accusations I’d been spreading them had taken such a toll on my psyche that I just didn’t care anymore. To the point where I attempted suicide by riding my bike into traffic at an intersection across US-34, the main road in Fairfield, to end the torment.

Despite any attempt, there was no way I could clear my name. No way I could set the record straight. The student body was pretty much against me because I was the new kid in town. They had no reason to believe me and every reason to believe those they’d known for years.

Somehow most of that situation cleared up my senior year, and it was a hell of a lot more peaceful compared to my junior year. But that still doesn’t erase the anguish I experienced. I don’t think I ever filled my parents in on what was going on either. So to my mother, if you’re reading this, I’m sorry, and hopefully this helps explain some of the difficulties I’ve caused during that year.

Now let’s take the allegations against Kavanaugh. I’ve written previously how feminism has elevated claims of rape to be beyond reproach, to where the claim is to be believed without question. Allegation = conviction. No wavering, or you’re a sexist, rape apologist, and possibly a rapist yourself. So how can you defend yourself against an allegation when everyone has already presumed you’re guilty?

The frustration of such an attempt is what Kavanaugh displayed at the Senate hearing on Thursday. I could feel his pain. Because I know his pain. Because I’ve experienced his pain. A lot of people have not.

Which is why I put forward a thought experiment to a friend of mine yesterday. With the hope of putting into her what he was going through. For context, the friend has two daughters. One is about 21, the other is 12. And while I originally used her daughter’s names, I’ve changed them here:

Let’s fast forward about 10 years.

Lianna, your oldest, starts publicly stating all kinds of allegations against you, allegations she’s somehow become convinced must be true. Stating that you were neglectful and abusive as a mother. Everyone sides with her and against you. These are allegations that not only have not been demonstrated to be true, but can never be shown to be true. Regardless, you start losing friends, and everyone starts wondering if the same has also been happening to Hannah.

You, Hannah, and your husband state the allegations are, without doubt, false. Yet it’s becoming clear that, regardless of how much you try to defend yourself, everyone has sided with Lianna and against you. They’ve believed her because she “knows” the allegations are true, despite never proving them and never being able to prove them.

The more you try to defend yourself against them, the more irate you become. Everyone now starts taking your anger and emotions at the accusations as additional evidence the allegations are true, because if you’re becoming that angry and emotional now, how angry were you getting when you were raising Lianna and Hannah? Clearly that anger means the allegations have merit, meaning you were an abusive mother.

Again all of this despite the fact that not a lick of evidence has been produced *demonstrating* the allegations. All that exists are assertions. You know they’re false. Hannah and your husband know they are false. Yet, again, most everyone who hears of the allegations sides with Lianna and against you.

Again, to emphasize, I’m not saying this will happen. It’s a purely hypothetical scenario to outline the incredulousness of what’s happening with Judge Kavanaugh, though this happens to other men as well. But hopefully it’ll give you a little insight into how Kavanaugh was responding to these allegations during his testimony yesterday.

The disgusting responses Democrats have had to Kavanaugh are rather telling. First they say “Wow, these allegations are egregious and ‘credible’. Clearly he is not suited for the Supreme Court.” And now it’s “Wow, look at how angry and emotional he’s getting. Clearly he is not suited for the Supreme Court”.

Hopefully in reading this, you’ll understand a little why he got emotional and angry at the Senate Judiciary Committee.

I’m hiring?

And continuing on my previous trend of posting solicitations I receive in my e-mail, here’s one I received a few days ago that was obviously a blind solicitation – meaning they didn’t look at my website as they claim:

Hi Kenneth,

I see your company has some Software Engineering openings to fill. I may be wrong, but I would guess that despite your best recruiting efforts, you either cannot find smart developers fast enough, or they are too expensive, or both.

Could we send you some resumes? We are the #1 talent-based employer in Latin America. Our employees are not only super smart (we hire only from the Top 1% of applicants), but they also are fluent in English and work in the same time zone as you do.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Thanks,
Adam Harris
Sales Executive

Direct: [REDACTED]
Address: [REDACTED]
Email: [REDACTED]  |  Website: [REDACTED]

So my reply was pretty direct and succinct:

Really? This is news to me. Care to tell me where you saw such a listing showing I’m looking for engineers?

Why just delete the e-mail when you can give them a snarky response first?

Presume Brett Kavanaugh is innocent

Two things are definitely true about the accusation against Brett Kavanaugh:

  1. It is impossible to know if the allegation is true, and
  2. Democrats don’t care, as they’ve presumed it to be true

To the Democrats, the allegation is enough. Someone came forward with a 36 year-old allegation that is allegedly “credible”. I’d call it incredulous, personally, since, again, the claim is unprovable. That means it is, by default, not credible. Since a claim’s provability has a lot do say about its credibility.

Kavanaugh has, of course, vehemently denied the allegations, maintaining not just his innocence, but demanding the presumption thereof. And it seems few are granting him that benefit. Someone came forward and accused him of a crime, so Republicans should… throw him under the bus, claim Democrats.

There’s a reason the Republicans haven’t done that: to avoid setting a precedent. Dirty tactics are not beneath Democrats. We’ve seen that time and again, along with the tantrums they’ll throw when the Republicans spoon-feed them their own medicine. So why should this be any different.

If this tactic is allowed to succeed, it will have a chilling effect unlike anything you’ve ever seen. Letting an unprovable “credible” allegation torpedo any nomination, not just a Supreme Court nomination, sets a dangerous precedent. And it’s one that, you know, Republicans will try in the future.

This is little more than a “Hail Mary” play by Democrats. They’ve tried numerous ploys to stop the confirmation hearings, all of which have thus far failed. And they’re desperate to stop his confirmation because of a threat narrative that has grown up around him, derived from the threat narrative manufactured about Trump. So this is a “Hail Mary”. Democrats are demanding the Senate refuse to confirm Kavanaugh because…. of a 36 year-old, unprovable allegation.

It very well may have happened. But the presumption of innocence demands that evidence be presented proving the allegations. And as evidence at this juncture is now forever impossible to be brought forward, so it seems, Kavanaugh is entitled to be presumed innocent.

After all, Democrats would demand the same of any Democrat nominee against a Republican attempt at the same the Democrats are currently doing.

Revisiting Amethyst – A different look

In building Amethyst, transitioning the build from a green themed system called Absinthe, there were two places I used 16mm OD PETG tubing. First was in front of the pump housing, and the second was in the U-turn from the graphics card to the CPU.

One thing about Absinthe and Amethyst that stand out are the PrimoChill Revolver fittings. Specifically how tall they are. They really stand out. And even the EK fittings I used for the 16mm tubing are quite tall, leaving not much visible for the U-turn.

The dye has also been fading. As in I need to keep adding dye or the purple color eventually drops out of the coolant and it becomes a somewhat UV-reactive clear. In doing some reading, the PETG tubing is the likely issue.

Finding acrylic locally

So the solution is to switch to acrylic. But given the price of acrylic tubing branded by one of the big-name water cooling companies, I decided to try local. Would it be more cost-effective buying from a plastics producer or distributor and cutting out the retailers?

In the Kansas City metro is Regal Plastic. I initially tried e-mailing them for a quote on their 5/8″ OD tubing, but there were some missteps in that communication. So I just called in instead and was able to arrange delivery.

Now I didn’t entirely “cut out the middleman”, since Regal is not actually a manufacturer. Instead they source the plastic and distribute it.

And it was more expensive than similar tubing through Performance-PCs. They charged me about 2.19 USD/ft for 8ft of tubing, plus a 7.50 USD processing fee and 11.75 USD for freight (probably would’ve been cheaper having them send it to me). Regal actually gave me shy of 10ft of tubing – they looked like leftovers they bought back from someone – so it worked out a little better, about 1.75 USD/ft.

What they gave me was also not in the least what I expected. The tubing just really needed to be cleaned and polished, so I decided against using it for Amethyst and set it aside. I may still use it, but likely not for this project.

Another option

Naming a build “Amethyst” implies a deep amethyst purple. Siberian amethyst.

So finding the right color is a major limitation. I thought I’d found it with the purple dye, but not quite. So instead of purple coolant, I decided to go with something a little flashier.

Custom paint.

Only one problem… and it’s the same problem with lighting: finding the right color. Spaz Stix has a color (both aerosol and air) called Amethyst Purple Pearl. Other “candy purple” paints I’ve seen also appear to be close to what I’ve been wanting. There are numerous ways to look at this.

For example courtesy of this video:

I learned about the Rust-Oleum lineup of Universal spray paints. At first I didn’t think purple was an option here, until I visited Michael’s website. More on that in a moment. There is also a pearl clear coat. Half the problem is, again, finding the right shade of purple.

Testing different paint options

Here’s the list of what I tested. All of this was tested on an aluminum panel. Didn’t pay attention to surface preparation, which wouldn’t make a significant difference in the color test.

Base: Rust-Oleum Universal Gloss Black (2 coats)
Color: Spaz Stix Amethyst Purple Pearl

This was probably as good as it was going to get with the Spaz Stix paint. I had a second panel painted with the Black Stainless Steel as the base coat, and the effect wasn’t much less pronounced.

But this isn’t amethyst. This is a sparkly purple. Okay technically it can be amethyst, but this isn’t the color my wife and I are looking for.

Now had I dug a little more through Rust-Oleum’s lineup, I would’ve discovered their Gloss Purple paint and saved myself from buying the Spaz Stix. Home Depot carries the 2x Gloss Purple while Michael’s carries the Universal Gloss Purple. The latter isn’t listed on Rust-Oleum’s website, oddly enough. The former is also a little less expensive, about 4 USD. The Universal lineup will cost about 6 USD at Home Depot, 9 USD at Michael’s. But Michael’s also carries the Frosted Pearl Topcoat, whereas Home Depot carries it online only.

I did two color tests on this: one with a gloss black base coat, and one without. Both tests were, again, on an aluminum sheet. Wasn’t all that concerned about surface prep here.

Base: Rust-Oleum Universal Gloss Black (2 coats)
Color: Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch Gloss Grape (2 coats)
Top: Rust-Oleum Universal Frosted Pearl Topcoat (2 coats)

This isn’t nearly the color I’m going for. It certainly is a deeper purple than the Spaz Stix “amethyst”, much closer to the indigo shade I’m looking for, but not quite there. Adding a black base coat didn’t affect the outcome.

Either way, this is as close as I can get going with off-the-shelf spray paint. At least without going custom mixed paint and using something like the Preval system to apply it or, God forbid, brushing it on manually.

Other options

There was one “last resort” option I discovered. I call it “last resort” as it’s $50 for a 12oz can: Alsa Candy Purple “Killer Can”. But that is the color I want. At $50 a can, with the potential of multiple cans being required, I’m not willing to spend that much unless it’s, as described, my last resort.

I did discover a less expensive option. Deep Amethyst Pearl spray paint from Mopar, part no. 04886266AA. Mopar is the parts company behind Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA). That part number is not listed on the official Mopar website, meaning it’s likely not available through one of the local dealers.

Deep Amethyst Pearl was an option on three Chrysler body styles: PL, JA, and JX. PL is the 1995 to 2005 Dodge Neon, a very discriminating selection with which I found several color-matching automotive paint makers with that option available. Including one, courtesy of MNPCTech, called ScratchWizard:

And at about 29 USD for a 12oz can for just the paint, it was a better value. And they sell complete kits with primer and clear coat if you don’t want to go with something off the shelf.

Next steps

This isn’t the end of the color tests as I haven’t yet settled on the final color. I really like how the candy purple looks from Alsa, but I don’t want to spend 50 USD on one can of paint. Unfortunately smaller options don’t appear available. I could contact them for a color sample, so we’ll see.

But I’m currently leaning toward the Deep Amethyst Purple from prior Chrylser vehicles. Rather than order a can through ScratchWizard, I’ve ordered a can of the Mopar-brand Deep Amethyst Pearl paint from the supplier linked above. I’ll post the next color test along with the plan of action.

Now I live in an apartment, meaning time in the year is running out for actually doing the paint spray. My other problem, living in an apartment, is setting up for spraying the case. This will require a booth, or something similar, so I’m looking at both DIY and off-the-shelf options. Push comes to shove, I’ll get quotes around town to see if any of the body shops can help me out. In fact, I may just do that in the end, after settling on the specific color.

I do also intend to go with the wider tubing. But with the change to spray painting the chassis, I’m actually considering going with custom sprayed tubing to match.

So that’s it for now.

Paid product or service promotions

I have a business degree. With that came studies in sales and advertising. Part of this involves knowing whether a certain venue will reach your target audience.

A good example of this came four months ago, when I received a solicitation from a small company that makes holsters. I’ve posted two holster reviews (here and here) – likely how they found me – along with being a Second Amendment advocate, so their offer to send me a holster to try out and review is perfectly acceptable. (Ultimately I declined as none of what they had interested me.)

But then there’s this solicitation I received earlier this week, reproduced below:

Hi Kenneth,

I just read Observations? ? ?from an apartment somewhere in Kansas City, I’ve shown it to some colleagues and we think a collaboration between us could work well. I represent a digital marketing agency currently working with a leading home interiors company who operate in the same marketplace as Houzz and Made.com. We would like to feature a unique piece of content on your site on behalf of our client. For the privilege, we’d be happy to pay you somewhere in the region of $65.

Let me know your thoughts.

Best wishes,
Claire

Now there’s a telltale sign that this is an initially-blind e-mail solicitation. Any guesses? It’s the ??? placeholder for the ellipses in the blog title – this is a telltale sign of a character conversion error when my contact information and site name was put into their database. So I know right away they didn’t actually look at the site. For one, this post is #665. And while a heavy amount of my content deals with projects I’ve decided to showcase, and talking about technology, most of the content here is political.

Beyond that, the site is called “Observations from an apartment somewhere in Kansas City”. So posting paid content wouldn’t really fit with the site’s title since I wouldn’t be posting my point of view on something. Beyond that, they offered content regarding… interior decorating. I’ve never written here about interior decorating! Ever!

I really wish companies would do some research before sending out solicitations. I mean, is that really a lot to ask? This was my reply:

Ms Robertson,

With all due respect, I’m not interested in paid content on my blog, as it would defeat the purpose of the site’s title, for one. And given the view statistics for my blog, I’m sure your clients would prefer placing it elsewhere with more exposure. Especially since I can tell you didn’t actually read any of my website or otherwise you’d know that 1. it’s only a personal blog that 2. has a heavy amount of political content that your clients may also find an unsavory place for their content.

Thanks for your inquiry, but, taking your clients’ best interests into consideration, I decline.

There really is no reason for anyone to be talking to me about paid content. This blog gets… about 100 views on a good day, a few hundred on a really good day. A lot of what I discuss is very niche or very disagreeable or both. But that someone would solicit paid content to me for a topic I’ve never discussed on this blog is just…. bizarre.

Now if you want me to review something in line with what I’ve already discussed on this blog, then I’m open to ideas – e.g. the small holster maker mentioned earlier. If you want honest feedback about your product, I can give it – e.g. Black Rifle Coffee’s AK-47 espresso. But before contacting me about product placements or reviews, at least search the site to determine if it’s something I’ve already discussed. I mean that’s just… common sense.

Robert Reich and annulling a presidency

I’ve really got to wonder what is in Robert Reich’s coffee:

Suppose, just suppose, Robert Mueller finds overwhelming and indisputable evidence that Trump conspired with Putin to rig the 2016 election, and the rigging determined the election’s outcome.

Basically what you’re saying here is evidence that Trump “conspired with Putin” to convince the electorate in the right States to vote for Trump to attain the requisite number of Electoral Votes. The fact that Democrats talk about the 2016 election as if it was a machine, and that voters are just cogs in that machine, automatons incapable of making their own decisions, speaks volumes.

Putin didn’t get Trump elected. Russia didn’t get Trump elected.

Voters did.

The votes were cast, counted, and certified. Electoral Votes cast, counted, and certified. Trump was declared the winner in a joint session of the House and Senate. He was sworn in as President.

He was legitimately elected. Accept that and move on.

In other words, Trump’s presidency is not authorized under the United States Constitution.

Again, Trump is the legitimate President of the United States.

Accept that and move on.

The only response to an unconstitutional presidency is to annul it.

There is no such thing as an unconstitutional presidency, and there is no remedy in the Constitution even remotely like annulment.

The Constitution does not specifically provide for annulment of an unconstitutional presidency. But read as a whole, the Constitution leads to the logical conclusion that annulment is the appropriate remedy for one.

Which is about like saying that impeaching and removing the President means, in short, a clean slate. That removing the President via impeachment, or any of his officers, removes everyone. Nope.

Again there is nothing in the Constitution that even alludes to this being a possible remedy.

After all, the Supreme Court declares legislation that doesn’t comport with the Constitution to be null and void, as if it had never been passed.

It would logically follow that the Court could declare all legislation and executive actions of a presidency unauthorized by the Constitution to be null and void, as if Trump had never been elected. (Clearly, any Trump appointee to the Court would have to recuse himself from any such decision.)

Now you’re really reaching. Again, Trump is the duly elected, legitimate President of the United States. Accept that and move on.

The Constitution also gives Congress and the states the power to amend the Constitution, thereby annulling or altering whatever provisions came before. Here, too, it would logically follow that Congress and the states could, through amendment, annul a presidency they determine to be unconstitutional.

It gives only the States that power. Congress can only propose Amendments. The States must ratify them. And do you honestly think 38 States will band together to pass an Amendment that effectively nullifies an entire Presidency and every action that President has taken?

Let’s grant the motion for a moment. Let’s say the States actually did that. For one, what’s to stop them from doing that where a Presidency actually was, without dispute, legitimate. Imagine the chaos that would result. Court appointments nullified as a result, and the decisions in which those appointments participated would be nullified as well. That would wreak havoc with our current judicial precedent at all levels.

And all of that chaos for what?

Mr Reich, you have completely lost your mind at this point. Your judgment is so clouded by your hatred of President Trump that you are now no longer thinking rationally. To even propose “nullification” as even a possible “remedy” to Trump being elected shows this. To even consider, for a moment, that such might even be possible, the ramifications of which be damned, shows this.

As they say on the Internet, go home, Mr Reich, you’re drunk.

The Constitution calls only for removing a President via impeachment and does not include the power to annul a presidency, or anyone’s term in any office of the United States. The reason is simple: to annul anyone’s such term means you’d have to painstakingly go through and act as if every thing that person ever did in the capacity of that office was never done. There is no sane way that can occur.

Again, Donald J. Trump was legitimately elected and sworn in as the 45th President of the United States.

Accept that and move on.

Stop blaming the tariffs

From Case Labs’ website:

Text for those with accessibility technologies:

We are very sad to announce that CaseLabs and its parent company will be closing permanently. We have been forced into bankruptcy and liquidation. The tariffs have played a major role raising prices by almost 80% (partly due to associated shortages), which cut deeply into our margins. The default of a large account added greatly to the problem. It hit us at the worst possible time. We reached out for a possible deal that would allow us to continue on and persevere through these difficult times, but in the end, it didn’t happen.

We are doing our best to ship as many orders as we can, but we won’t be able to ship them all. Parts orders should all ship, but we won’t be able to fulfill the full backlog of case orders. We are so incredibly sorry this is happening. Our user community has been very devoted to us and it’s awful to think that we have let any of you down. There are over 20,000 of you out there and we are very grateful for all the support we have received over the years. It was a great journey that we took together and we’re thankful that we got that chance.

We understand that there will likely be a great deal of understandable anger over this and we sincerely apologize. We looked at every option we had. This is certainly not what we envisioned. Some things were just out of our control. We thought we had a way to move forward, but it failed and we disabled the website from taking any more orders.

It was a privilege to serve you and we are so very sorry things turned out this way.

This has been picked up by the mainstream media for obvious reasons: they are blaming the Trump tariffs for their closure.

The only tariff that really significantly affected CaseLabs is that on aluminum. Which only went in place in March 2018. While tariffs certainly are NOT a good thing for the economy, it’s a stretch to blame them for bringing down CaseLabs.

The “default of a large account” is the part few pay attention to. And for CaseLabs to blame the tariffs for their woes is beyond the pale, since they’re looking to shift the blame for their closure to the White House and away from their business practices. And many have taken the bait.

They were already insolvent. The tariffs only sealed their fate.

For the tariffs to cause their closure in the equivalent of one fiscal quarter means they were already in the red. Deep in the red. The large account going into default robbed them of the revenue they needed to keep going. To be “forced” into liquidation – Chapter 7 bankruptcy – means they and their creditors do not foresee CaseLabs (and their parent company) ever having the revenue to recover their losses and pay on their liabilities. Which were already mounting and already getting them in trouble with their creditors (likely long) before the tariffs were enacted.

Even without the tariffs, that large account going into default likely would’ve taken them under anyway, especially if it was a customer who went into bankruptcy. Probably not in August 2018, but they likely would not have survived the year – or barely made it into 2019 – without additional revenue or funding to make up the shortfall.

CaseLabs made great computer chassis, with a massive amount of customization options. But it is not proper to lay even the majority of blame on the tariffs. They were already in trouble before the tariffs were enacted. Being forced into Chapter 7 liquidation, bypassing Chapter 11 reorganization, shows this. That they weren’t able to work out a deal with their creditors also shows this.

But everyone wants to blame the tariffs because that’s convenient and… Trump enacted them.