Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Tab Clearing

Item of the first:  the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has ruined my joke.

Back in January, the FWC released information that they were hiring Irula snake hunters from India to help hunt down the Burmese pythons in the Everglades.  
Irula natives from India accompanied by hunting dogs and Everglades Park officials have caught 13 pythons in eight days, including a female snake measuring 16 feet long.

“Since the Irula have been so successful in their homeland at removing pythons, we are hoping they can teach Floridians some of these skills,” explained Kristen Sommers, leader of the FWC’s Wildlife Impact Management Section.
Lame joke:
“The FWC has hired Irula python hunters from India to go out in the 'glades and hunt pythons."


“A spokespython today delivered the message, "The Indians were delicious. Please send more" ”
On a more serious note, the problem with Burmese pythons in the state is big and serious.  The state has had bounty hunts and other things to try to encourage eliminating the species, but the pythons seem entrenched and are even expanding their area.  In November, one was found more than a mile offshore in Miami's Biscayne Bay.  It looks like the pythons have won.  Another few non-winters like this one has been, and they'll probably be well-established up here in Central Florida.  They've already been verified north of here near Georgia's Okefenokee swamp.  Which has nothing to do with this story

Item of the second:  Want to predict the odds on which of Trump's appointees the Democrats will fight the most?  John Lott of the Crime Prevention Research Center says his research shows it will be the ones who are most persuasive and might corrupt the liberals around them.
Tracking federal judge appointments over the past four decades, I have found that confirmations took much longer for graduates of top-10 law schools who served on their school’s law reviews. In fact, it took 65 percent longer compared with graduates who neither went to top law schools nor did particularly well there. Among nominations from the Carter through the George W. Bush administrations, confirmations took about 160 percent longer for the top students at top law schools who further distinguished themselves with clerkships on the Supreme Court.

We find the same phenomenon in jury selection, where lawyers often disfavor intelligent candidates or ones who make a living by persuading others. The concern is that these people will have a strong influence on their fellow jurors.
Likewise, Democratic senators don’t want a conservative Supreme Court Justice, even one who is somewhat closer to their views, who will be effective at persuading his colleagues.

Justices or lower-court federal judges can also exert influence by writing powerfully-worded decisions that are more likely to be cited in future rulings. Here, the evidence of “dumbing down” is striking. According to my analysis, federal judges faced 60 percent longer confirmation processes if their opinions once they are confirmed were cited 20 percent more often than those of their peers. Senators turn out to be very good at predicting how influential judges will be, and looking directly at citations is an even better measure of influence than where someone went to law school. . . .
So the fight over Gorsuch isn't that they don't like him and it isn't that he's going to change the court - the seat was held by Antonin Scalia.  The fight is that they think he might be effective in balancing the court toward his originalist views.

Item of the third:  credit where credit is might be due. 

I've groused here about the Taurus Millennium recall a few times, most recently in December, and how I've been without my PT145 since August of '15.   This may be premature congratulations, but last Wednesday as I was having a lunchtime cup of tea, the phone rang and Caller ID said Taurus International.  The nice young lady verified who I was and informed me a new replacement for my pistol is in the works, and I should have it "in 2-3 weeks".  I was given a choice of a few models, and settled for a PT111.  She said they did not have a .45 pistol to offer, and my choice was essentially this one in 9mm or a PT140 in 40S&W.  While I have both calibers, I've been listening to Michael Bane long enough to hear him say .40S&W is in decline as a caliber and likely to become a niche round. 

While it ain't over until till I have metal in my hands, for the first time since around the end of 2015, I'm thinking I might get something back for the gun I sent to Taurus.  I'll let you know.
A map of areas in the US with climate similar enough the Burmese Python's native range to allow the species to get established.  I was rather surprised at how far north it goes on both coasts.  Apparently tracks back to a San Francisco Chronicle article, but I found it here.


  1. I see no possibility of eliminating the pythons using conventional techniques. The Florida fish and game is wasting their time and money. I think that there will be ongoing negative effects from these pythons and we will simply have to accept it forever. I liken this to the ongoing negative effects of the decision to allow Muslim immigration. That is I see no way getting rid of them and we will simply have to accept the negative effects of that decision forever. After all what's the big deal in an occasional nightclub massacre or driving 18 wheelers through crowds?

  2. The only way that map is factual is if Global Warming. I am a native of eastern Ky. and live in the Ohio River Valley in one of those yellow dots. We had nights that were -10Deg.F winter before last with FEET of snow. It is not uncommon to have weeks with daytime temps in the teens. Not even taking into account the fact that there is no isolated "wild land" left in Ky. that is not overrun with hunters and houses.---Ray

    1. I kinda got that feeling, but they had another map that said, "with global warming, by 2100". It extended farther north.

  3. Does Python taste like chicken???

    Seriously, if, as many believe, mankind is just another critter...then our helping species spread across the contents is all part of mother natures plans. :-)

  4. I wouldn't mind sneaking a few of those pythons into the Bay Area. There are still some wetlands there where a lot of Yuppies (am I dating myself?) go to bird watch, look for snail darters, and howl at the moon. Northern California - north of the Bay area - has coyotes and mountain lions to help keep the number of Yuppies down by eating some of the joggers, why shouldn't the Bay Area have its own predators to handle that job?

    Has Fish and Wildlife figured out what those pythons are eating? I can't imagine Florida has that many deer left, it must be things like nutria, raccoon, opossum, or whatever lives in the same area. I feel certain they could learn to like the "wildlife" in the Bay Area, although they might gag on the transgender fare.

    I have to disagree with Mr. Bane. While I have always been a fan of carrying a .45 ACP, I know many current and retired cops - and their spouses (like my diminutive wife) - who prefer the forty, especially now that more effective bullets are being produced. This whole "return to the 9mm" fad - especially at the FBI - is because the "smaller statured" agents they are hiring and training can't be bothered to spend the time and effort training with a larger caliber, so they shoot the lower recoil 9mm better.

    I believe a lot of civilians prefer 9mm because of the reduced cost compared to the .40 and .45., but I know quite a few who love their .40s in Glock, Sig, and S&W. 10mm has always been considered a "niche" round, but it has recently become a good deal more common than it used to be, especially for hunting small and medium sized game, including deer. I wouldn't give up on the .40 just yet - but if you do and you just want to just give yours away or sell it cheap, folks, let me know. I've got several thousand .40 components, (and more than that in commercial ammo) and I'd be glad to give your forty a good home ;-)

  5. There is no answer to the best gun question or the best caliber question. It is a confused mix of facts and bias. I agree that the .40 or the 10mm is a more powerful bullet than the 9mm. But what is missing from the equation is which caliber has the most bullets available. I am about to get out of my easy chair and drive to Walmart and they have 9mm and NO .40 or 10mm and I don't think they ever have had it. Why pick a caliber that represents 0.5% of the bullets made for retail sale??? Do you believe that if you were shot with a 9mm dead center mass you are going to continue kicking ass? Really? Are you gonna look down and say "boy, I'm sure glad that wasn't a .40"? Give me a break. Either way you are toast.