Making prop rapiers

April 22, 2018 at 3:19 pm (Theater)

For an upcoming play, I made some prop rapiers for about $5 each.

You will need

  • Fiberglass poles – either driveway markers, or bike flag poles
  • Drill & bit the size of the poles
  • 2×2 lumber – cheap is fine
  • Plastic bowls
  • Aluminum tape – the kind without writing

The plastic bowls I got came 4 in a pack for $1 ad DollarTree

 

Using 2×2 lumber, cut several inches longer than you will need, and drill a hole 5 or 6 inches deep.  The exact depth doesn’t matter.  I’m drilling on my lathe, but you can just as easily drill by hand.

Shape the hilt.  Again, I’m using my lathe, but use what you have.  Make sure to keep the end with the hole flat.

Drill a hole in your bowls.  If they’re brittle like mine, then you may want to melt the hole instead of drilling.

Paint the bowls, and the hilts

Cut the fiberglass poles to length.  Make sure you measure the finished length after putting on the hilt.

Apply the aluminum tape to the fiberglass poles.  The trick to this is to use double-stick tape, or a circle of masking tape to hold the aluminum tape face down.  Peel the adhesive from the back of the aluminum tape and then carefully roll the pole across the tape.  Make sure to cut the tape length so that the part of the pole in the hilt is not covered.

Epoxy the pole and bowl into the hilt, and let it dry.

Complete!

If you want to make them look older, dry-brush on some light brown or rust colored paint.

Advertisements

Permalink Leave a Comment

Sitting at home on a Sunday

April 22, 2018 at 9:30 am (Religion)

I’m sitting at home on Sunday, as I have for the last five Sundays after I had to leave my Church.

 

The decision was hard, but a long time coming.  I’ve seen the church heading in the wrong direction for over 2 years now, and the final straw was their decision to show the ‘Jesus Chainsaw Massacre‘.  This was just the last in a long line of decisions that demonstrate to me poor discernment.

 

Easter:

For several years, the Good Friday service had a large cross at the front of the sanctuary.  Everyone would put their name on an index card, walk to the front, and nail it to the cross.  All the cards and nails were removed for the Easter Sunday service.  This was the most powerful imagery I’ve ever witnessed showing that Jesus took our sins upon Himself, and released us from them by His resurrection.  This was replaced with ‘stations’ with the torture implements similar to what would have been used for Crucifixion.  The message detailed each of the implements, described how it was used, and the damage it would inflict.  While technically accurate, the focus shift from spiritual to physical matters is disturbing.

 

Applause:

At one point, a few people started applauding after the special music or soloist.  While not ‘wrong’ per se, the music is to glorify God and aid the congregation in worship and reverence.  The appropriate Baptist response is ‘Amen’ or similar.  Applause shifts the focus to the  performer and performance. (John 12:43).  Someone obviously mentioned something to the pastor about it.  The next Sunday, during the service from the pulpit, he spent some time explaining how applause was some people’s way of showing approval, and that especially if those people weren’t from our Church they may not know any different.  Three weeks later, there were no ‘Amen’s’, just applause.

 

Music:

I have some very firm views on congregational singing.  It should be doctrinally correct and relatable to all.  Standard hymns *usually* meet the criteria, modern music not so much.  An example of an appropriate modern song would be ‘Redeemed’ by Big Daddy Weave.  The content is most definitely biblical and any adult Christian can easily relate.

An unusual example of a song that may be appropriate depending on the congregation would be ‘The Heart of Worship’.  It is a song of confession and repentance for turning worship into a performance.  Probably not appropriate for a congregation where the majority wouldn’t be guilty of that offense..

At the opposite end of the spectrum, is ‘Days of Elijah’, which is doctrinally wrong.  David wanted to build a temple, but God refused (1 Chronicles 22:8).  Moses brought the Law (condemnation), not righteousness (Romans 3:19).

Or also ‘My God’s Not Dead (like a lion)’.  While Jesus is called the ‘Lion of the tribe of Judah’, he doesn’t roar (Rev 5:5).  We are warned about a ‘roaring lion’, the devil (1 Peter 5:8).

In the middle, is mostly just ‘cotton-candy’ songs.  They have a sweet flavor for a short time, but provides nothing lasting.  Many of these are just ‘word salad’ using a concordance.  A musical example of ‘modern literature‘, where the words themselves aren’t important and the reader (or singer in this case) invests them with whatever meaning they like.  That’s why the new-agey ‘one’ replaces references to God or Jesus.  Often these songs will include a line or two from one of the old hymns.  If I’m being charitable, the purpose of that plagiarism is to seed the feeling for the rest of the song.

Again, someone must have mentioned something about the music to the pastor, because the 3rd Sunday that we sang ‘Days of Elijah’ he diverged onto repetition in songs (Days of Elija has a passage that repeats ‘There is no God like Jehova’  16 times in a row), how many times phrases are repeated in Psalms, and how that wasn’t what Matthew 6:7 is about.

 

Discipline:

Our church, like many others, is VERY pro-life.  We support a local crisis-pregnancy center, have an annual ‘baby bottle’ drive, etc.  When one of the church members posted online about the wonderful time they had at a pro-choice women’s march, nothing was done.  One of our teens would regularly post racially divisive material, also without consequence.  Either of these would be less troubling if those individuals also didn’t link to the church website.

 

Focus:

As with Easter, there was a changing focus in the messages as well.  The focus became more ‘be welcoming and non-judgmental’.  While true, Church is for feeding the flock, and Evangelism is for winning the lost.  You can’t win the lost without first showing them how God views their sin.  The ‘Love the sinner, but hate the sin’ is OK as far as it goes, but the goal is to show the sinner his sin and need for a savior.  Failing to do that is just enabling their behavior.

Other messages put a very strong emphasis on unity, and how all Christians should be united with each other.   How, why, and under what circumstances wasn’t specific, just unity

The invitations (altar calls) became less frequent, then non-existant.  The carpeted stairs at the front were covered with a stage extension, removing the ‘altar’ completely.

 

Bible:

Over the last several years, the church has been shifting away from the King James bible.  See my other posts on my thoughts on that.  It started in the Sunday school and youth groups, finally progressing to the readings during the service (but not the sermon itself).  When I mentioned it to the assistant pastor, I was aggressively accused of believing in ‘progressive revelation’.  I responded with my issue with the source documents.  Nothing was resolved, and it wasn’t mentioned again.

 

Dialogue:

Or more specifically the lack thereof.  Someone mentioned the applause to the pastor, but there was never a discussion.  A proclamation from the pulpit during service killed any discussion.  Someone mentioned the music to the pastor, and again no discussion.  Another proclamation from the pulpit, again no discussion.

As a Baptist church, the congregation typically votes on larger issues, budget, missionaries, etc.  That also changed over the last several years.  The deacons or financial officer would give a report (also increasingly infrequently), but there was again no discussion or vote.

Overall, the feeling that I got was that the church was changing, the decision had been made, and any attempt at discussion was viewed as a hindrance.

Rather than spread dissention, I talked to the pastor, which resulted in me leaving the church.  My concerns were called ‘petty’, and my view of Divine Preservation (which SHOULD be a Baptist doctrine) was called a ‘cult’.

 

 

Permalink Leave a Comment

Setting up Xbox Live to work with FreeBSD, PF & Verizon FIOS

April 20, 2015 at 3:47 pm (Computers)

It took me a bit of digging across several sites, but I now have our Xbox connected to XboxLive properly.

My network is a little more complicated than most, as I have a DMZ zone between my ‘inside’ network and the internet.  Basically, inside devices connect through my FreeBSD gateway/firewall to the DMZ side of the FIOS router, and then out to the internet.  All internet traffic prior was routed through from a single internal address to a single DMZ address on the firewall, then out to the internet through the FIOS router.

The steps that I took are:

  • Set the FIOS router’s DHCP addressing to a narrower range than the default (0-254) – I used 100-254.  This will allow you to assign static IPs below 100.
  • Pick an address for the Xbox on the DMZ side, and set it as static on the FIOS router – XboX_DMZ
  • Add the XboX port forwarding rules to the XboX_DMZ address.
  • Add a second IP address to the DMZ interface on the FreeBSD gateway (in the rc.conf file)
    • ifconfig_xl0_alias0=”inet 10.0.0.2 netmask 0xffffffff”
      • Note that you have to use the “netmask 0xffffffff”, it won’t work with 255.255.255.255
  • Add a line to the PF rules file – the first sets the internal and external addresses, the second sets a bi-directional one-to-one NAT mapping for the Xbox
    • Xbox360 = “192.168.0.245”       # Internal Xbox Address
      Xbox360_ext = “10.0.0.2”        # External Xbox address for bi-nat
    • binat on $ext_if from $Xbox360 to any -> $Xbox360_ext

You may need to configure some additional PF rules, depending on how strict your packet filtering is.  The Xbox needs to use TCP port 3074 and UDP ports 88 and 3074.

Resources that I used to figure this out, and may be helpful for you are:

Permalink 1 Comment

Why I Won’t Join A Union

July 31, 2009 at 2:36 pm (Family Life, Politics)

I was recently invited (again) to join the union at work.  When I declined, I was asked why.  Since my answers were so intelligent and well articulated (yeah, right), the union member asked if I would mind putting it in writing.  Here’s what I gave them:

I will not join the guild for the following reasons.

Principles:
The ‘service’ that the union provides is a monopoly.  A monopoly is a bad thing, when applied to the provider of goods (Standard Oil), and services (AT&T), but it is equally bad when applied to collective bargaining.

The advantages provided by a union are an inverted bell curve, with the unskilled at one end and the obsolete at the other.  Both are afforded protections that are disproportionate to their value.

Dues for membership are based on salary, with members that earn more paying a larger share.  The lowest paid employees are charged the least, while they enjoy benefits that are significantly more than they could expect doing the same work for a non-union shop.  The membership dues should be a flat fee regardless of salary.  Or to be completely fair, inverse to salary, charging more to those who benefit the most.

In the name of ‘fairness’, the wages of less valuable employees are artificially inflated, while simultaneously lowering the pay of more valuable employees.  It is immediately recognized as wasteful and wrong when the company pays more for an item from one vendor, when the same item is available for less from a different one.  The same principle applies to salaries.

The ‘fairness’ of the wages also tends to drive the most skilled (and most valuable) employees out. It wouldn’t be ‘fair’ for some employees to receive merit pay or bonuses while others didn’t, so people who are highly skilled can get more somewhere else.

Experiences:
My first experience with the union at <company> was during the orientation.  While I oppose unions on principle, I attended with an open mind.  That was short lived, because I had a few questions and wanted to see how a guild meeting worked.  The short answer was that the meetings were open to members only, and that I could go if I joined.  If I didn’t like what I saw at the meeting, I was still a dues paying member until the opt-out period next year.  I believe the exact words I used at that time were ‘pig in a poke’.

Twice, I have seen employees leave <company> for greener pastures simply because their salaries could not exceed the union-agreed scale.  I have been personally told by my manager that I would have received a merit pay bonus because of my performance during the virus crisis in 04, but that they did not give them out any more because the union had filed grievances every time one was put forward.  I was given a few days off with pay instead.

I had some experience with AFSCME prior to coming to <company>, and my experience with AFSCME was no better.  On several occasions, I saw first hand how damaging unions can be.  When dealing with people, there will always be an occasional ‘bad apple‘.  Most people are conscientious workers and respectful co-workers.  In a non-union shop, the ‘bad apples’ are quickly removed.  When one of the ‘bad apples‘ turns up in a union shop, it is usually difficult to remove them.  The process varies, but it inevitably wastes the time of everyone involved, and pushes more work onto the coworkers of the ‘bad apple’ while they exhaust their levels of arbitration.  If the arbitration is successful in keeping the employees job, morale in their unit will suffer.  After all, if THEY can get away with it, why can’t everyone?  One of the extreme examples of that occurred at <company>.  Our unit (bargaining unit employees only, btw) had a ‘good riddance’ party when he was finally paid enough to leave.  The cake was bitter-sweet, because that was money that could easily have been put to better use in profit sharing.

One fo the frequent reasons given for why we need to be part of the collective (union) is that employees would be mistreated if they didn’t.  They claim that weekends, sick leave and vacations, as well as bathrooms are all a product of union efforts.  While that may be true in the strictly literal sense, much more has been gained by the skill of individual workers.  There were examples of this during the dot-com boom, where companies that couldn’t afford the extreme salaries demanded got creative with their benefits.  Movie nights in company conference rooms, guaranteed work-from-home, game rooms, and gourmet cafeterias were not uncommon.  While most of those companies failed in the crash, some survived – as did their benefits.  The Google campus is a prime example.

A skilled worker will ALWAYS be able to negotiate a benefits package that better suits them than the ‘one size fits none’ type that the unions negotiate.

Permalink 1 Comment

There Ought to be a Law

June 11, 2009 at 2:50 pm (Guns)

A reportedly insane (by his sister) 88 year old man shot and killed a security guard at the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC this afternoon.

Maybe a law to keep people from having loaded rifles would have helped – or not.

Or maybe if a convicted felon (he once tried to kidnap the Federal Reserve board) were prohibited from owning guns – but wait, they are.

Is there any way to prevent this kind of incident?

Sure, but that’s not a price I’m willing to pay.  All that would be required would be to find all the crazy, hateful people, and lock them up (or dispose of them in other ways).  The Chinese have occasional success with it, and the Nazi’s that he idolized were quite good at it as well.  That’s a case of the cure being worse than the disease.

So, what does this unfortunate incident show?

Crazy people, especially hateful ones, will do crazy and hateful things – up to and including killing people.  Laws to prevent them from doing so just aren’t effective, since they aren’t interested in following them.

In this case, the best possible thing happened.   An armed man at the scene prevented him from injuring or killing a whole lot more people.  It is obvious that his intention was to cause as much death & destruction as possible.  This differs from other ‘active shooter’ incidents in that the gun used to stop him was already at the scene.  If it hadn’t been, the police would have taken at least minutes to respond.   It’s uncomfortable to think about the amount of damage that he could have done in those minutes as the only armed person among thousands of unarmed people.  There is an appropriate quote at the Holocaust Museum’s website, ‘At that time, a gun and a million dollars, the gun was worth more than a million dollars.’

All you need to do is compare the outcome of the Virginia Tech and the Binghamton Immigrant Center with the ones at New Life Church and the Holocaust Museum.  The difference is clear.

What if he had picked a different place, one without armed guards?

Some place like a shopping center, school, library, swimming pool, or mall?  We’ve already seen examples of those.  The shooter will kill and continue to do so until they are confronted.  If the gun used to confront him has to be brought from somewhere else by a police officer, then the casualty list is long.  If it’s already there, then the list is shorter.

But why were all the other people unarmed?  Because THEY aren’t crazy, and followed the law.  So the effect of the laws exclusively keep NON-CRIMINALS disarmed.

Why didn’t the laws work?

But they did.  And do, just not the way they were intended.  The laws were 100% effective at keeping HONEST, LAW ABIDING people from breaking the laws.  In short, people that weren’t inclined to be violent were prevented from having defensive tools, while the violent, crazy man didn’t bother obeying the law.

What can be done?

If we aren’t going to eliminate or isolate all the violent crazy people, including potential ones, then incidents like these will continue.  You can’t legislate sanity.  The only practical thing is to minimize the damage caused by them.  And the best way to do that is to make sure that as many non-crazy people as possible have the means to stop an attack as soon as it starts.  Since it isn’t possible for everyone to have an armed escort, the next best thing would be to be your own armed escort.  Remember that the guard that stopped the Holocaust Memorial shooter wasn’t a cop, but an employee of a private security firm.  The Holocaust Memorial delegated the job of protecting them to the security firm.  Each indivicual has the right to defend themselves, and hiring a bodyguard for that purpose is merely delegating that job to someone else.  It’s a common misconception that the police are there for that purpose, but numerous court rulings, including one from the Supreme Court show otherwise.  The police have a general responsibility to the public as a whole, not to any individual.

Your safety is entirely your responsibility.  I’d suggest that you act accordingly.

Permalink Leave a Comment

Analysis of 20/20’s ‘If You Only Had A Gun’

April 14, 2009 at 9:07 pm (Guns)

20/20 recently aired a show called ‘If You Only Had A Gun’.  If you’re interested in watching it, it is available in two parts on Youtube.  Part 1, and Part 2.

The segment shows the predictable results of what ‘would’ happen if a minimally trained student were in posession of a gun when a mass shooter stormed into their classroom.  Underwhelming, to say the least.

The ‘armed’ students were supplied with a firearm and holster that they were completely unfamiliar with.  The segment didn’t say, but I would be surprised if they actually drew their handgun from the holster more than three times.

It is my opinion that this ‘test’ was specifically configured to yield the results that it did for the following reasons:

  • The ‘cover’ garment supplied, an extra-long t-shirt was specifically chosen to make the firearm more difficult to remove from the holster.
  • The student was equipped with necessary, but restrictive safety gear – helmet, neck guard, and most importantly, cumbersome gloves.  At least two of the students appeared to be having trouble deploying their firearm because of their gloves.
  • The ‘armed’ student was always placed in the same seat in the room.  The shooter shot the instructor, then immediately turned on the armed student, regardless of if they had presented the firearm or not.  Historically, active shooters shot the people closest to them first.

While this type of ‘scenario’ will be used to show that the ‘best’ response is to run or hide, they failed to take several things into account.

  • The 20/20 scenario ONLY has any meaning if it occurs in the first classroom where a shooting occurs.  Many VA Tech students had enough time to try to barricade their classrooms.  In that situation, the results would be very different.
  • The shooter doesn’t know where an armed student will be sitting, or even if there is an armed student at all.  The armed student, given the extra second or two that the chaos in the room would provide, would have had much better results.
  • No mention is made that even by unsuccessfully engaging the shooter, the armed student would have enabled several other students to escape uninjured.

My offer to 20/20, give me those students for ONE hour, let them choose their own seat, and have the shooter engage all the students in the room.  I’ll guarantee significantly better results.  Especially compared to a trial where there are NO armed students.

For anyone interested in practicing for ‘real life’ situations, IDPA or USPSA matches are a great way to do it.

Permalink 1 Comment

Squib Loads

April 5, 2009 at 5:25 pm (Guns)

As with any tool, firearms are occasionally subject to malfunctions.  Some are mechanical problems, some can be attributed to operator error, while others are directly the fault of the ammunition.  Good maintenance goes a long way in preventing mechanical problems, and modern firearms are extremely reliable.

Even so, it is important to know how the gun you are shooting feels normally.  Anything abnormal should immediately be checked.  Heavier or lighter recoil than normal, a different sound, or even smell, can indicate a problem.  Ignoring the first sign that something unusual has occurred can have catastrophic consequences.

Read the rest of this entry »

Permalink Leave a Comment

Novice Shooters

March 29, 2009 at 2:20 am (Guns)

Two of my wife’s friends were interested in going to the range, so we scheduled it for early this afternoon.

The first had taken the NRA Basic Pistol course a few years ago, and hadn’t been shooting since.  She was excited, and hopes to get a suitable defensive gun and concealed carry permit in the near future.

The  other had only fired one shot from her former husband’s rifle, which left her bruised for a week.  She wanted to go, but is VERY nervous around guns.  She was expecting to fire a few shots, not like it, and retreat to the ‘safety’ of the car while we finished shooting.

I gave them about 10 minutes of safety & basics before we headed out.  It consisted of the NRA’s three rules, and basics on grip, stance, trigger control, and sight alignment.  I took an old broken Marksman bb pistol that I’ve painted red to use as a training aid.

The first remembered most of her prior training, but wasn’t clear on if she should be using the Weaver or Iscocoles stance.  I spent a few minutes with each of them and we worked out a comfortable two-handed stance for both.  This led to a discussion on the drive to the range about stances, which I explained are a very personal matter.  Physiology and strength play a large part, and very few people use a textbook one.

Since these were novice shooters, I went over my other two rules.  If something is wrong, I’ll tap their shoulder, at which point they are to remove their finger from the trigger guard.  This allows me to correct errors without them removing their grip or sights while they are still occurring.  My other is that if anything unexpected or troubling happens, the gun is to be laid down on the bench pointing downrange.  As these are novice shooters, any malfunctions they experience are beyond their ability, so I correct them at that point.

Once at the range, after a brief wait for a lane, we finally got down to shooting.  The least experienced goes first.  As I always do, the first magazine is only loaded with one round so that the gun is empty in case they don’t manage the recoil well or (gasp) turn around.  The next two magazines are loaded with two each, and if they are comfortable we then move up to five.

From then on, we shoot 5 magazines of five rounds between target changes.  I stand behind them and reload so they have a fresh magazine by the time they’ve run the last one dry.  I also keep an eye out to correct any problems they have as soon as they appear.  It’s easy to avoid bad habbits if you never get into the habit in the first place.

Both of the new shooters ended up firing about 75 rounds, with groupings about 8 to 10 inches from 30 feet.

Then my wife wanted to shoot her .45.  Apparently two Marines who were firing in the lane next to ours had made some comment about the ‘wimpy’ .22 that we were using.  They were shooting a .40 glock or sig at the 20 foot line, and patterning like a short-barreled shotgun.  (Grouping at that distance shouldn’t be measured in feet, guys.)   So she sends her special VisiShot target out to the 30 foot line and proceeds to put 20 rounds in an 8 inch group.  We change targets, and she’s not quite done showing off yet, so she fires two more magazines one-handed.  Her friends, and the Marines were suitably impressed.  As was I, because she’s really only been shooting for about three months.

On the plus side for the day, two novices have a bit more experience.  A person who ‘didn’t like guns’ had a really good time shooting, and my wife’s flinch with her .45 seems to be gone.  The only downside was that of the 100 rounds of .45 that we shot, I only brought home 80 spent cases to reload.

Permalink Leave a Comment

Not-so-HOT lanes

March 10, 2009 at 7:36 pm (Family Life, Politics)

I commute to DC daily, so I’m interested in anything that will have an impact on my commute.  Currently, I’m a SLUG, but occasionally take the VRE or bus.

Virginia has been talking about converting the existing HOV lanes, which only busses and cars with 3 or more passengers can use, to HOT lanes which would be open to anyone with enough cash to pay the toll.

Official information can be found at virginiahotlanes.com and www.vamegaprojects.com.

The entire process seems to have been done in a less than open and honest manner, to the point that the Prince William County board of Supervisors passed a resolution requesting that VDOT or the contractor appear before them.  It’s gotten so heated that the slug-lines forum was invaded by a troll that turned out to be Shirley Ybarra, a lobbyist and former VA Secretary of Transportation.

I have problems with anyone messing with my commute, so I wrote the following letter to my two state representatives about it.

To: Sen. Charles Colgan
district29@senate.virginia.gov

To: Del. Jeff Frederick
DelJFrederick@house.virginia.gov

I am writing to you as a commuter from Northern Virginia who is concerned about the impact that the proposed HOT lanes on Interstate 95 and 395 will have.

Any additional capacity on 395 section of HOV lanes would only cause more delays.  The bridges into the District and streets surrounding them are already at or above capacity.  Additional cars arriving at these choke points will not help things.

According to an article in the Free Lance Star (http://fredericksburg.com/News/FLS/2009/022009/02102009/444886) the re-striping of the lanes near the pentagon would result in lanes that are extremely narrow, and dangerous for busses to travel in at speed.  This is already an area of congestion, and would only get worse with narrower lanes.

An article in TheNewspaper (http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/24/2458.asp) said that Transurban/Fluor are expecting a level of revenue, and if any other road improvements are made that adversely affect it, Virginia would have to reimburse them for it.  This clause makes a lot of sense for them, but not for Virginia.  It would have the undesired effect of increasing the cost of necessary road improvements or halting them entirely.  Any improvements that Virginia would make to the roads near the HOT lanes, especially improvements in traffic flow, would cause fewer drivers to pay for the HOT lanes.  This would trigger the payment for their decreased revenue, effectively punishing success.

An article in the Washington Post (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/07/19/AR2008071901651_pf.html) revealed that Virginia would have to pay Transurban/Fluor if the non-paying vehicles in the HOT lanes exceeded 25%.  Assuming that busses and carpools currently using the HOV lanes would remain, I have not seen any proposals for improvements that would increase the carrying capacity of the HOV/HOT lanes by 300%, which would be required to keep Virginia from paying.

Relinquishing control of the existing HOV lanes would also cause problems, because the State Police would no longer be allowed to open the lanes for all traffic in the event of an accident.  It would also extend the rush hours because the extra capacity would not become available at a set time.

I think that a much more sensible alternative would be to change the HOV-3 to HOV-4 requiring four passengers in each car, removing the exemption for hybrid vehicles, and building additional commuter parking spaces in Prince William County and south.  Every space in the main commuter lots in Prince William County is filled daily, with many people parking along the sides of roads or other unauthorized areas.  Every parking space built removes a car from the road.

The costs are quite troubling as well.  The total cost of the project is expected to be over $1.6 Billion.  Transubran/Fluor are only contributing $349 Million to it.  And for that, they get a guarantee that 75% of the traffic will be paying, the completely unregulated tolls are geared to maximize their profits, there is no fixed buyout price should Virginia decide to take posession of the roads again, and their monopoly will outlive children born before it starts.  Perhaps that is best explained by the illegal $177,000 donations that Transurban/Fluor has made to the Governor and legislators.

Other people have written about it as well:

Permalink Leave a Comment

Tennessee Paper Publishes Concealed Handgun Permit List

March 4, 2009 at 10:15 pm (Guns, Politics)

Well, another newspaper has decided it would be a good idea to provide a searchable database of all the concealed handgun permit holders in their state.  This time it’s the ‘Comercial Appeal’ in Tennessee.  They try to justify it at http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2009/feb/15/inside-the-newsroom-case-for-gun-permit-listings/ (No links for them, sorry)

The list can be found at http://www.commercialappeal.com/data/gunpermits/ (No, I’m not linking it, copy & paste it if you want)

Feel free to express your displeasure with their decision to make the data available by calling them at 8OO 444 6397 or by their online feedback form at http://www.commercialappeal.com/feedback/

If you do, please be polite.  No sense ranting at them, it will just perpetuate the stereotype.

Permalink Leave a Comment

Next page »