Assault Rifle?

Identify the assault rifle:
Below are photos of different weapons, hunting rifle, match rifle, … which is the assault rifle?

No. 1

No. 2M1A_2

No. 3


No. 4

No. 5


Answer: They are all different configurations of the same rifle, Springfield M1A.

  1. Standard (hunting) version
  2. Match (competitive) version
  3. Enhance match version
  4. Close quarter tactical version
  5. Tactical version

According to Diane Feinstein’s proposed “S.150 – Assault Weapons Ban of 2013” 3 & 4 would be banned “Assault Weapons”:

“The term ‘semiautomatic assault weapon’ means any of the following, regardless of country of manufacture or caliber of ammunition accepted:

(A) A semiautomatic rifle that has the capacity to accept a detachable magazine and any 1 of the following:

“(i) A pistol grip.”

while the other three, which are functionally the same would not.  All of the features Ms. Feinstein uses to define an assault weapon are cosmetic, not functional.

Ms. Feinstein did include one almost functional characteristic: “A semiautomatic rifle that has a fixed magazine with the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds”.  But the problem is any magazine fed weapon can be retrofitted with a larger magazine.  To achieve her desire to limit the capacity to 10 rounds it would have to be a “smart weapon” that counts rounds and requires a magazine change after 11 rounds are fired (1 chambered and 10 in magazine).

I expect Ms. Feinstein’s is using Rahm Emanuel’s advice:

“You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.”

to re-introduce her 2013 bill as S.1916 – A bill to prohibit the possession or transfer of certain firearm accessories, and for other purposes.


Why you should lie when answering security questions

Clark Howard had this recommendation from Adam Levin, founder of CyberScout, an identity management and data security services company.

Many financial institutions use security questions as an extra layer of security. You may be prompted to answer them if you forget your password and need to reset it.

Here’s the problem: Hackers may be able to gain access to your account just by guessing!

Answers to common questions like “What’s your mother’s maiden name?,” “What’s the name of your favorite pet?,” and “What street did you grow up on?” can often be found online — perhaps even on Facebook and Twitter.

“There’s so much information out there about us through social media or information that could be phished, that it’s too easy for someone to get a hold of those kind of facts that could be answers to security questions,” Levin said.

That’s why Levin suggests that you never tell the truth when you set answers to your security questions. You should lie.

When I chatted with Clark about my conversation with Levin, he agreed. He said you want to make sure that your answers can’t be researched or guessed.

For example, you could use a pet’s birthday instead of a human’s birthday because that information isn’t public record.

Although many websites have moved to stronger authentication methods, you probably have at least one account that uses security questions. Go ahead and update the answers from your account’s settings or security page now.

Answering security questions with lies may not stop a hacker in every case, but it does put up another roadblock.

Levin told me that criminals pay about $30 for a complete identity dossier on the black market, so the information obtained in the Equifax hack could potentially be worth billions of dollars.

However, if you set up barriers to make things harder for the scammers, they may just move on to the next victim.

Recap: 5 things you can do to protect your identity

  1. Set up free credit monitoring with Credit Karma
  2. Freeze your credit with Equifax, Experian and TransUnion
  3. Update the answers to security challenge questions
  4. Create strong passwords and set up two-factor authentication
  5. Monitor your financial accounts daily for suspicious activity


Domestic Terrorism – Charlottesville, Virginia

18 U.S. Code § 2331 – Definitions

(5) the term “domestic terrorism” means activities that —

(A) involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State;

(B) appear to be intended—

(i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;
(ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or
(iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and

(C) occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States.

There is much press coverage of POTUS’s response to the incidents centered on the fact that:

  1. he hasn’t labeled the running down of pedestrians  terrorism,
  2. condemned the racism aspect of the Unite-The-Right rally to protest the removal of the Robert E. Lee Sculpture in Emancipation Park nor the Friday night march on University of Virginia.
  3. or the clashes with the anti-fa and other counter-protestors.

I use the term incidents to cover:
1) The Friday night tiki-torch parade
2) T
he Saturday Unite-the-Right Rally
3) The violent clashes between Unite-the-Right and Anti-fa protesters (Friday & Saturday)
4) The running down of pedestrians using a car

This map, from Vox, show the sites of the various incidents.

Credit: Javier Zarracina/Vox

Friday & Saturday Clashes

Friday Night

Vox reports:

A group of some 100 white nationalists marched on the University of Virginia campus in Charlottesville, VA, Friday night carrying tiki torches and chanting Nazi slogans including “Sieg heil” and “blood and soil” and giving the Nazi salute.

The march was a prelude to a larger planned “Unite the Right” rally on Saturday to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee in a park in Charlottesville. Leaders of the “alt-right” are scheduled to speak before an audience of hundreds of right-wing activists.

At one point during Friday night’s rally, a brawl broke out when demonstrators — nearly all white men — surrounded a small group of counterprotesters who were peacefully surrounding a statue of Thomas Jefferson at the center of campus. Counterprotesters reported being hit with pepper spray by marchers; according to the Washington Post, one counterprotester also used a “chemical spray” against marchers. “They completely surrounded us and wouldn’t let us out,” local activist Emily Gorcenski told the Guardian.

I believe, based on the lack of police presence at the Jefferson Statue, that his was an unsanctioned march.  Police arrived after the altercation started, based on one report.

A more detailed timeline an map of march from Nameless Field (~9:00 PM)  to Thomas Jefferson Statue on UVA campus (~9:10), normally a 10 minute walk:

Base on several article I believe the major clashes involved verbal altercations and pepper spray being used vice physical attacks with sticks or punching.  I could find no reports of hospitalization or images of ambulances on scene.  Likewise no reports of arrest.

The iconic picture that saturated the internet:

Nothing will strike fear in the hearts of far left more than white guys marching with backyard Tiki Torches.

Aside to the planners of his march, you need a new image consultant, backyard Tiki Torches ARE NOT manly or fearsome.  Can you envision the classic Frankenstein Torch-Wielding Mob with backyard Tiki Torches?


I guess you could have done worst, paper cups with candles or sparklers.

Since there were no arrest, there is no prima facie case that this was domestic terrorism. Certainly the elements:

(B) appear to be intended—

(i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;

The counter-protestors surrounded at the campus Robert E. Lee statue certainly felt intimidated.


But it was not more intimidating than situations that have occurred at other protest.

C) occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States.

were present, but it would be difficult, if not impossible to show:

(A) involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State;
(B-ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or
(B-iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and

Therefore I conclude that the Friday night march was not Domestic Terrorism.

Were the marchers an amalgamation of racist groups?  yes.

Are their views contrary to mainstream American values? yes.

Do they have the right to free speech? yes, just like fringe groups on the left of the political spectrum who hold anarchist views that are also contrary to mainstream American values.

Are all who oppose the removal of statuary of civil war figures racist?  No, some of us see it as a form of revisionist history.  Remember, Arlington National Cemetery was Robert E. Lee’s home, and other civil war related national monuments such as Ft. Sumter which is the site of southern victory in the first battle of the civil war.

If the basis for removal of the statuary is slave ownership, then the scope is larger than the civil war era figures.   Do we go into public cemeteries and remove Civil War related icons?   The other argument I have heard is these were traitors, in which case we certainly need to remove the Benedict Arnold Monument in Stillwater, New York.  Do we expand it to all racism and remove all statues of those involved in the Indian wars?

That said, as a states right advocate I also believe local government have authority over public lands in their jurisdictions, if they legally decide to remove edifices from public land, that is their prerogative.

I have noticed on FB that the revisionist history belief appears to be my generation (possibly of southerner heritage), while the hateful edifice/triators belief appears to be the following generation.   Not a scientific poll.

Saturday Rally

It should be noted that the Unite-The-Right organization had a permit to rally in protest a City decision to remove the Robert E. Lee statue.  The legality of the removal is under court review.

The City attempted to relocate the rally, but the relocation was appealed by the ACLU and district Judge Glen Conrad agreed, ruling that “Kessler has shown that he will likely prove that the decision to revoke his permit was based on the content of his speech.”

The two sides, I will identify them as Unite-The-Right and Anti-fa, are an amalgamation of groups/factions, and in my opinion there are elements of both that are looking for or expecting violent confrontation, note headgear and sticks on both sides. 


That said, there were reports of clashes, both sides claiming to having been attacked.  There was enough violence that the police to declare the rally an unlawful gathering at 11:36 AM and Virginia Governor declared a State of Emergency at 11:38 AM Saturday Morning.  There were reports of minor injuries on both sides, but no reporting of hospital admissions as a result of the skirmishes.


To the best of my knowledge, only three arrest were made.  All those arrested were from outside the area:

  1. Troy Dunigan, 21, of Chattanooga, Tenn., was charged with disorderly conduct,
  2. Jacob L. Smith, 21, of Louisa, Va., was charged with misdemeanor assault and battery,
  3. James M. O’Brien, 44, of Gainesville, Fla., was charged with carrying a concealed weapon.  The Tampa Tribune reports:

[O’Brien said his arrest was] not related to the rally, called “Unite the Right” by its organizers. He said he was given a misdemeanor citation and sent on his way for an incident in which police thought he was breaking into his own car after he lost his car keys. A photo of the citation provided by O’Brien had an issuance time of 6:38 p.m., hours after the demonstration.

“I voluntarily disclosed the weapon and was issued a misdemeanor citation,” O’Brien said. “I do not know why the State Police have stated what they did.”

O’Brien has a blog which indicated that he was at the rally, earlier in the day.  The “blog espousing white nationalist beliefs and encouraging violence against the political left.”

If we eliminate Mr. O’Brien from the list we have two arrested for violence.  Given the state of emergency declaration and law enforcement presence either the violence was not a pervasive as being reported or law enforcement was lax in making arrest.

It should also be noted that there was zero property damage Friday night or Saturday morning.

My view on this being Domestic Terrorism is the same a Friday nights march.

There is no prima facie case that this was domestic terrorism. Certainly the elements:

(B) appear to be intended—

(i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;

(ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or

(C) occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States.

were present, but it would be difficult, if not impossible to show:

(A) involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State;


(B-iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and

Therefore I conclude that the Saturday Rally was not Domestic Terrorism.

Were the marchers an amalgamation of racist groups?  yes.

Were there elements on both sides that were prepared for and spoiling for a confrontation? Yes.

Are their views contrary to mainstream American values? yes.

Do they have the right to free speech? yes, just like fringe groups on the left of the political spectrum who hold anarchist views that are also contrary to mainstream American values.

Are all who oppose the removal of statuary of civil war figures racist?  No

Saturday Car Runs Down Pedestrian

CNN provided this summary of events, [times added]:

  • Counterprotesters met white nationalists and other right-wing groups at the site of Saturday’s “Unite the Right” event hours before the rally was set to start.
  • Clashes broke out, and police began to disperse crowds.
  • Local officials declared the rally an “unlawful assembly,” and the governor declared a state of emergency [11:38 AM].
  • About two hours later [1:13 PM], a gray Dodge Challenger rammed into a crowd of counterprotesters walking down a street in downtown Charlottesville.
  • The driver slammed the car in reverse and fled the scene backward. The suspected driver was arrested later that afternoon.

There is certainly a prima facie case that the car driven into the crowd of counter-protesters following the cancellation, via a declaration of unlawful assembly, of the Unite-the-Right rally was an act of Domestic Terrorism.  The elements, acts dangerous to human life, violation of the criminal laws, and intimidate or coerce a civilian population, all appear to be present and the act appears to be intentional, which distinguish it from a tragic accident.

Trump’s Tweets

Friday, August 11th

In my review of @realDonaldTrump I found no Charlottesville related tweets.

Saturday, August 12th

Prior to 11:38 State of Emergency Declaration

In my review of @realDonaldTrump I found no Charlottesville related tweets.

Between 11:38 and 1:13 Auto Running Down of Pedestrians

In my review of @realDonaldTrump I found no Charlottesville related tweets.

After 1:13 Auto Running Down of Pedestrians

Tweet at 1:23, 10 minutes after Auto Plows into counterprotesters.

[Link to Video]

Tweet at 2:19, 2 hrs. 6 min. after auto plows into counterprotesters

[Video Link]

Tweet @ 2:49, 2 hrs. 36 min. after auto plows into counterprotesters

[Video Link]

Tweets @ 3:50 & 4:25

Whitehouse Press Release

Monday, August 14 @12:38 PM

I just met with FBI Director Christopher Wray and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.  The Department of Justice has opened a civil rights investigation into the deadly car attack that killed one innocent American and wounded 20 others.  To anyone who acted criminally in this weekend’s racist violence, you will be held fully accountable.  Justice will be delivered.

As I said on Saturday, we condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence.  It has no place in America.

And as I have said many times before:  No matter the color of our skin, we all live under the same laws, we all salute the same great flag, and we are all made by the same almighty God.  We must love each other, show affection for each other, and unite together in condemnation of hatred, bigotry, and violence.  We must rediscover the bonds of love and loyalty that bring us together as Americans.

Racism is evil.  And those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans.

We are a nation founded on the truth that all of us are created equal.  We are equal in the eyes of our Creator.  We are equal under the law.  And we are equal under our Constitution.  Those who spread violence in the name of bigotry strike at the very core of America.

Two days ago, a young American woman, Heather Heyer, was tragically killed.  Her death fills us with grief, and we send her family our thoughts, our prayers, and our love.

We also mourn the two Virginia state troopers who died in service to their community, their commonwealth, and their country.  Troopers Jay Cullen and Burke Bates exemplify the very best of America, and our hearts go out to their families, their friends, and every member of American law enforcement.

These three fallen Americans embody the goodness and decency of our nation.  In times such as these, America has always shown its true character:  responding to hate with love, division with unity, and violence with an unwavering resolve for justice.

As a candidate, I promised to restore law and order to our country, and our federal law enforcement agencies are following through on that pledge.  We will spare no resource in fighting so that every American child can grow up free from violence and fear.  We will defend and protect the sacred rights of all Americans, and we will work together so that every citizen in this blessed land is free to follow their dreams in their hearts, and to express the love and joy in their souls.

What Would Have Happened

What if the news organizations had agreed to cover the Unite-The-Right Rally with one pool news van and the counterprotesters had boycotted the rally.

My speculation a 60 second report on the nightly news and page 3 in the daily newspaper.



Tracking Down The North Korean Threat To Guam.

A ranking US senator (Lindsey Graham) said the US should launch a preemptive strike on North Korea

If you Google – “North Korea” +Guam – you will get 42 M results.  The “Top Stories”

The first 20 results:


It wasn’t until the 18th & 20th result that any direct reference to the North Korean threat appeared.

CNBC (18 above):

North Korea said on Wednesday it is “carefully examining” a plan to strike the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam with missiles, just hours after U.S. President Donald Trump told the North that any threat to the United States would be met with “fire and fury”.

A spokesman for the Korean People’s Army, in a statement carried by the North’s state-run KCNA news agency, said the strike plan will be “put into practice in a multi-current and consecutive way any moment” once leader Kim Jong Un makes a decision.

In another statement citing a different military spokesman, North Korea also said it could carry out a pre-emptive operation if the United States showed signs of provocation.


New York Magazine (20 above):

First of all, let’s be clear that North Korea is not threatening to nuke Guam. What the regime has said it is doing is preparing a plan (which it now claims will be ready within days) to launch a series of Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missiles over Japanese territory and into the sea 30 to 40 kilometers off the coast of Guam (just outside its territorial waters but well within its exclusive economic zone) in an “enveloping fire.” Such a launch would not do any damage to U.S. citizens or military assets, but would demonstrate that the island is within range of the Hwasong-12, which Pyongyang claims is capable of delivering a nuclear payload. That might well cause panic among the U.S. public — a psychological warfare win for North Korea.


The hyperlink (within days) in the New York Magazine story actually leads to a CNN report that has specific details.

The intermediate-range missiles would be fired east and over Japan before landing around 30 to 40 kilometers (18 to 25 miles) off the coast of the tiny island if the plan is implemented, according to state-run KCNA. Guam is more than 3,000 kilometers from North Korea

After more research I found this Telegraph (UK) article:

The statement from North Korean General Kim Rak Gyom said North Korea would produce a plan to fire four Hwasong-12 rockets more then 2,000 miles over Japan to “hit the waters 30 to 40 km away from Guam”.

The plan would be presented to leader Kim Jong-un who would make a decision on whether to proceed. The statement added: “We will keep closely watching the speech and behavior of the US.”

Wikipedia provides this bio for General Gyom:

Lt. Gen. Kim Rak-gyom is the head of North Korea’s Strategic Rocket Forces. Along with Ju Kyu-chang, he was elected to the Workers Party of Korea’s Central Military Commission in April 2012.   Wikipedia

So the actual threat is:

North Korea’s missile command will develop a plan to test fire four unarmed ICBMs downrange to land in international waters near Guam.

I can almost guarantee that the US has contingence plan in place targeting strategic targets in North Korea, with both conventional and nuclear weapons.  How is it that this North Korean “plan” has brought us to the brink of a preemptive strike?



Answer – Which one is a Bouv.

Gypsy (left) and Konna (right)

This picture was posted on a Bouvier FB site, with the caption Which one is a Bouv.

It may have been a trick question.

It could be two bouvs, two Black Russians or one each.

Good Luck.

Gypsy (left) is a 120 lb, female Black Russian Terrier, Konna (right) is a 90 lb (slight) male Black Russian Terrier.


Repeal and Replacement of the ACA (Obama Care) mean repeal of the FULL 974 pages of the ACA and its associated regulations and creation of a NEW nationwide INDIVIDUAL HEALTH INSURANCE MARKETPLACE.

It does not mean nibbling around the edges using budget reconciliation.   Republicans, you and your Think Tanks have had seven year to draft and agree upon  a bill to repeal the full Affordable Care Act and draft a bill creating  a replacement.  In that time you have produced zilch.

The American people want an nationwide individual health insurance marketplace that provide the same level of coverage, deductibles, copays and at cost similar to the Federal Employee Health Benefit program, which was your health insurance program at the time the ACA was enacted.

Let’s also take a look at the health care that you avail yourself to via The Office of Attending Physician, U.S. Congress.  All American’s would love to have access to an urgent care health facility for $611 per year premium, no deductible, no copay.

In addition to an Individual Health Insurance Marketplace, which cover pre-existing conditions, based on community rating vice medical underwriting, with no hidden subsidies to the insurers.  It appears that the majority of American’s want:

  1. Medicaid expansion – This should be a stand alone bill.  It should be FULLY paid for each year, it can not add to the deficit.  If you can not  find cuts to existing programs to fund Medicaid Expansion you MUST raise taxes to cover it.
  2. A new welfare program to subsidize individuals with income above the Medicaid threshold, via means testing, covering at the low end; premiums, copay and deductibles and from there via a sliding scale of support up to the income threshold.  As with Medicaid Expansion this should be a standalone bill and  MUST be FULLY funded each year out of revenues, not via borrowing.  The payments to insurers should be via vouchers or payment cards, ala SNAP, not the tax code.

It also appears that funding of opioid treatment, related law enforcement and regulations is a priority, for a portion of the population.  These should be three independent bills, again fully funded out of current revenue, even it that means increased taxes.  The American people are not children who must be shielded from the reality of the cost and impacts of government programs.

Palm Beach Estate Sale

The Property

The Abe Goldman estate, Maison de L’Amitie, a six acre property with 475 feet of beachfront, located a 515 North County Road, in Palm Beach County was bought at a bankruptcy auction in 2004 by The Trump Organization.

Credit Palm Beach Daily News
Credit Palm Beach Daily News
Credits Palm Beach Daily News

The purchase price was reportedly $41.35 M.  Bankruptcy sale prices are typically 25% – 50% of Fair Market Value.

The Trump Organization renovated the property and sold it in 2008.  The carrying cost for the property, in taxes alone were steep, the year before he sold it, the property’s tax bill totaled $980,033

The Sale

The property was bought for a reported $95 M, $30 M less than the $125M asking price, by County Road Property LLC, represented by Robert Brody, the buyer’s lawyer, a West Palm Beach Attorney.  The property was listed by Lawrence Moens, and the buyers agent was Carol Digges of Brown Harris Stevens.  Mr. Moens was the third agent to list the property [1], after Dolly Lenz and Cristina Condon.  Ms. Lenz reportedly brought in a $90 M offer that was rejected.  She is quoted as saying “If you didn’t target the Russian billionaires then you shouldn’t be in business. That’s the obvious group.” (ibid).

Trump paid all closing costs and brokerage commissions, including $665,000 in documentary stamps, sources say.

The ownership of County Road Properties is disputed [2].  In June 2008 [Dmitry]Rybolovlev confirmed he was behind the buying entity, County Road Property LLC. “This acquisition is simply an investment in real estate by one of the companies in which I have an interest,” Rybolovlev said through a spokesman for Uralkali, his fertilizer company. Rybolovlev added that he didn’t plan to live in the United States.”  He later, in a divorce motion denied ownership “Mr. Rybolovlev has not purchased or managed any real estate in Florida for investment purposes, either directly or indirectly,” according to a motion recently filed in Elena’ case.

The Current Status

After years of vacancy, under the management of David A. Lifson, of Crowe Horwath LLC,  the property was condemned and demolished [3].  County Road Properties LLC recently subdivided the property and is selling  it as three parcels, one has sold for $34 M.


Credit Google Earth


Trump bought it for $6.6 million per acre in 2004, Trump sold it for $15.2 million per acre, with improvements, in 2008, and now (Nov 2016) County Road Properties  sold part of it for $12.6 million per acre as unimproved land. [4] 

The Purported Buyer

The New York Times in 2012 reported:

 Trusts linked to Mr. Rybolovlev and his eldest daughter, Ekaterina, 22, spent more than $180 million in the past four years to acquire a mansion in Palm Beach, Fla., and a penthouse at 15 Central Park West in New York.
The Manhattan apartment, previously owned by the wife of the former Citigroup chairman Sanford I. Weill, stands empty with nary a lamp in it, said Tetiana Bersheda, Mr. Rybolovlev’s lawyer. His daughter, who bought it in February through a trust set up by her father for her and her heirs, plans to stay in the 6,744-square-foot residence later this year while finishing up her degree at Harvard University Extension School. “With the permission of the trustees,” Ms. Bersheda said, “she is planning to do some light decoration.”

The Florida house, with its 475 feet of frontage on the Atlantic Ocean, was in “unlivable” condition when Donald Trump sold it, Ms. Bersheda said. Only Ekaterina has been back since the purchase for a few days early last year, when she spoke to a developer about demolishing and rebuilding. She stayed in the pool house.

It turns out that the trustees overseeing the Florida house decided not to do anything with the property after Elena Rybolovleva, 45, made a claim on the property after filing for divorce.

Blumberg reports on his art investments:

Dmitry Rybolovlev sold three works for an estimated $100 million loss and stands to lose even more in upcoming auctions.

Rybolovlev—whose fortune totals about $9.8 billion according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index—invested about $2 billion in 38 works, from Leonardo da Vinci to Pablo Picasso. They were procured privately by Swiss art dealer Yves Bouvier, better known for creating a network of tax-free art storage warehouses in Singapore and Luxembourg.

Rybolovlev was among new buyers from Russia, China and other emerging economies who drove an unprecedented expansion of the art market in the past decade. Booming wealth created a network of collectors hungry for trophies by top modern and contemporary Western artists and willing to pay almost anything. Between 2003—the year Rybolovlev met Bouvier—and 2014, global sales more than tripled to $68 billion.

Since then, the market has contracted, and some of the art world’s most expensive pieces have been resold for less than their purchase price, mired in lawsuits and investigations.