Giffords Unveils Gun Violence Memorial In Los Angeles

H/T Bearing Arms.

Another thing that being shot was to transform Gabby in to a  anti-Second Amendment liar.

Gabby Giffords was a member of the House of Representatives before a mentally unstable man with a fixation on her tried to kill her and shot a bunch of other people as well. It was a horrible incident that changed Giffords.

 

We can all get that.

But while Giffords would often try to portray herself as pro-gun before the incident, now she’s gone full-on anti-Second Amendment type. She formed a group named after herself and has worked to pass new gun control laws throughout the nation.

And part of her strategy is to trigger emotions, which is all her latest stunt is designed to do.

Fighting is something former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords of Arizona has been doing since she suffered a severe brain injury after being shot in the head while publicly speaking to her constituents in 2011.

At Exposition Park Tuesday, she unveiled a new memorial to bring awareness to the thousands of lives lost to gun violence every year. The display of well over 3,400 vases with white flowers represents a Californian who lost their life to gun violence in 2020.

The former Congresswoman made the stop in California as part of a national tour featuring a gun violence memorial installation from state to state.

She unveiled a memorial at the National Mall in Washington earlier this year, which displays 40,000 flowers in remembrance of those killed by guns in the U.S. each year.

Of course, Giffords won’t mention that two-thirds of those “killed by guns” are suicides, meaning they took their own lives by their own choices.

But that doesn’t really help the narrative. If folks found out that homicides were much, much lower than that, they’d likely be less inclined to support gun control, so Giffords just doesn’t mention that part out loud.

The annoying thing is, though, that this kind of thing works on some people. They see this display and it somehow makes it feel more personal. Gun control can’t win based on the facts, so it has to win based on emotion, and the anti-Second Amendment types are great at playing with emotions.

What the gun rights side needs to do is counter this with an installation of our own. One with something marking each defensive gun use that takes place in the United States each and every year.

Let people see just how many more times guns are used to defend life than to take it. Make an impact with just how much the Second Amendment matters when it comes to things like personal safety. Make it clear that guns aren’t just something criminals use, but that millions more ordinary Americans protect themselves than the handful of criminals who misuse firearms.

Do that and make it stick and see just how fast Giffords has to find a new tactic to elicit an emotional response.

Make no mistake, things like this do sway people. Maybe not a ton, but enough that we would do well to remember that and to work to counteract it.

Unless you want to eventually find yourself disarmed, that is.

The Rich History of a Favorite Dessert

H/T Cheesecake.com.

My favorite cheese cake is cherry followed by strawberry cheese cake.

Cheesecake is a beloved dessert around the world. While many assume that it has its origins in New York, it actually dates back much further. Let’s go back over 4,000 years to ancient Greece! Sit back, grab a creamy slice of cheesecake and learn all about this dessert’s rich history.

Cheesecake Travels the Globe

The first “cheese cake” may have been created on the Greek island of Samos. Physical anthropologists excavated cheese molds there which were dated circa 2,000 B.C. Cheese and cheese products had most likely been around for thousands of years before this, but earlier than this goes into prehistory (that period in human history before the invention of writing) so we will never really know. In Greece, cheesecake was considered to be a good source of energy, and there is evidence that it was served to athletes during the first Olympic games in 776 B.C. Greek brides and grooms were also known to use cheesecake as a wedding cake. The simple ingredients of flour, wheat, honey and cheese were formed into a cake and baked – a far cry from the more complicated recipes available today!

The writer Athenaeus is credited for writing the first Greek cheesecake recipe in 230 A.D. (By this time, the Greeks had been serving cheesecake for over 2,000 years but this is the oldest known surviving Greek recipe!) It was also pretty basic – pound the cheese until it is smooth and pasty – mix the pounded cheese in a brass pan with honey and spring wheat flour – heat the cheese cake “in one mass” – allow to cool then serve.

When the Romans conquered Greece, the cheesecake recipe was just one spoil of war. They modified it including crushed cheese and eggs. These ingredients were baked under a hot brick and it was served warm. Occasionally, the Romans would put the cheese filling in a pastry. The Romans called their cheese cake “libuma” and they served it on special occasions. Marcus Cato, a Roman politician in the first century B.C., is credited as recording the oldest known Roman cheesecake recipe.

As the Romans expanded their empire, they brought cheesecake recipes to the Europeans. Great Britain and Eastern Europe began experimenting with ways to put their own unique spin on cheesecake. In each country of Europe, the recipes started taking on different cultural shapes, using ingredients native to each region. In 1545, the first cookbook was printed. It described the cheesecake as a flour-based sweet food. Even Henry VIII’s chef did his part to shape the cheesecake recipe. Apparently, his chef cut up cheese into very small pieces and soaked those pieces in milk for three hours. Then, he strained the mixture and added eggs, butter and sugar.

It was not until the 18th century, however, that cheesecake would start to look like something we recognize in the United States today. Around this time, Europeans began to use beaten eggs instead of yeast to make their breads and cakes rise. Removing the overpowering yeast flavor made cheesecake taste more like a dessert treat. When Europeans immigrated to America, some brought their cheesecake recipes along.

Adding Signature Ingredient

Cream cheese was an American addition to the cake, and it has since become a staple ingredient in the United States. In 1872, a New York dairy farmer was attempting to replicate the French cheese Neufchatel. Instead, he accidentally discovered a process which resulted in the creation of cream cheese. Three years later, cream cheese was packaged in foil and distributed to local stores under the Philadelphia Cream Cheese brand. The Philadelphia Cream Cheese brand was purchased in 1903 by the Phoenix Cheese Company, and then it was purchased in 1928 by the Kraft Cheese Company. Kraft continues to make this very same delicious Philadelphia Cream Cheese that we are all familiar with today.

New York Style Cheesecake

Of course, no story of cheesecake is complete without delving into the origins of the New York style cheesecake. The Classic New York style cheesecake is served with just the cake – no fruit, chocolate or caramel is served on the top or on the side. This famously smooth-tasting cake gets its signature flavor from extra egg yolks in the cream cheese cake mix.

By the 1900s, New Yorkers were in love with this dessert. Virtually every restaurant had its own version of cheesecake on their menu. New Yorkers have vied for bragging rights for having the original recipe ever since. Even though he is best known for his signature sandwiches, Arnold Reuben (1883-1970) is generally credited for creating the New York Style cheesecake. Reuben was born in Germany and he came to America when he was young. The story goes that Reuben was invited to a dinner party where the hostess served a cheese pie. Allegedly, he was so intrigued by this dish that he experimented with the recipe until he came up with the beloved NY Style cheesecake.

More Variations in America

New York is not the only place in America that puts its own spin on cheesecakes. In Chicago, sour cream is added to the recipe to keep it creamy. Meanwhile, Philadelphia cheesecake is known for being lighter and creamier than New York style cheesecake and it can be served with fruit or chocolate toppings. In St. Louis, they enjoy a gooey butter cake, which has an additional layer of cake topping on the cheesecake filling.

Cheesecake Around the World

Each region of the world also has its own take on the best way to make the dessert. Italians use ricotta cheese, while the Greeks use mizithra or feta. Germans prefer cottage cheese, while the Japanese use a combination of cornstarch and egg whites. There are specialty cheesecakes that include blue cheese, seafood, spicy chilies and even tofu! In spite of all the variations, the popular dessert’s main ingredients – cheese, wheat and a sweetener –remain the same.

No matter how you slice it, cheesecake is truly a dessert that has stood the test of time. From its earliest recorded beginnings on Samos over 4,000 years ago to its current iconic status around the world this creamy cake remains a favorite for sweet tooths of all ages.

Smith & Wesson Issues Safety Recall For M&P12 Shotguns

H/T American Rifleman.

Let’s spread the word about this recall by Smith and Wesson.

On Monday, Oct. 18, 2021, Smith & Wesson issued a safety recall on its new pump-action, bullpup, M&P12 shotgun. The company decided to issue the safety recall after it received two reports of cracked barrels on the M&P12 in the field. As a result of these findings, Smith & Wesson is implementing this safety recall on all M&P12 shotguns manufactured prior to Oct. 15, 2021. The company is doing so in order find and fix any other M&P12 shoguns which might also have barrel anomalies or conditions, to ensure the safety, function and performance of the shotguns for customers.

In light of these issues and due to the two field reports, Smith & Wesson asks that all current owners of M&P12 shoguns stop using them immediately. Smith & Wesson also asks that all current M&P12 shotgun owners contact the company via phone at (833) 957-3476, or by email at MPshotgunrecall@smith-wesson.com for instructions as well as a prepaid shipping label to return their shotgun to the company for safety inspection.

The M&P12 was first announced in August 2021 and is the first firearm of its type to be introduced into the Smith & Wesson M&P product category. Chambered for 12-gauge, the unique bullpup-style design of the M&P12 uses two two separate feeding tubes, which are fed through an opening at the bottom of the lower receiver behind the grip and trigger. There are also several other features and accessory capabilities with the M&P12 design, which were covered in greater detail by American Rifleman in a news release.

For more information on the Smith & Wesson M&P12 bullpup shotgun or for the safety recall concerning it, visit smith-wesson.com.  

California Goes After Gun Shows

H/T Americas 1st Freedom.

Now he has won the recall vote Comrade Newsom thinks he can go full speed ahead with his anti-gun agenda.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) recently signed legislation targeting law-abiding citizens, specifically gun shows, while doing nothing to address the rise in violent crime we’ve seen over the past year.

The bill, S.B. 264, “prohibits officers, employees, operators, lessees, or licensees of the 32nd District Agricultural Association from entering into any agreement to allow for the sale of any firearm, firearm parts, or ammunition on property that comprise the [Orange County] Fair and Event Center, or properties in Orange County and Costa Mesa that are owned, leased, operated, or occupied by the District,” as reported by the NRA Institute for Legislative Action (ILA).

Transfers of firearms at gun shows in California must be processed through a licensed dealer, and are subject to a background check. For that matter, all transfers of firearms in California—whether at a gun show, a gun store, or between private citizens—are subject to the same requirement. In reality, this is just another blatant action that restricts the exercise of Second Amendment rights by cynical politicians who wish to portray gun shows as yet another bogeyman that must be eliminated.

“This imposes a one-size-fits-all restriction to prevent officials from deciding how to use venues. In addition, this prevents businesses from renting taxpayer-funded venues for lawful activities,” wrote NRA-ILA.

Of course, none of this actually addresses the real cause of violent crime that has surged in the past year. Gun shows, it should be said, are not the cause of violent crime, but none of that matters to the likes of Newsom and politicians of his ilk.

According to John Lott, president of the Crime Prevention Research Center, “Multiple surveys done of criminals find that virtually no criminals obtain their guns from gun shows. In 1991 and 1997, only 0.6% and 0.7% of criminals obtained guns from gun shows. [A] 2016 survey conducted during the Obama administration found that number was still only 0.8%.”

Despite the fact that a statistically insignificant number of firearms obtained at a gun show are used in crime, FBI data shows that 2020 saw more than a 5% increase in violent crime—with the homicide rate rising nearly 30%–as riots plagued the nation and anti-law-enforcement rhetoric abounded. Predictably, guns have been blamed by the Biden administration, and the recent action from Newsom is just another offshoot of this misguided and dishonest train of thought.

It’s no wonder that over 21 million background checks were conducted for the sale of a firearm last year, with more than 8 million of those estimated to be for first-time gun owners. Second Amendment-supporting Americans know gun shows are not to blame for crime—violent criminals are—but that hasn’t stopped politicians like Newsom from deceptively labeling and targeting them anyway.

 

 

 

 

9 Delicious Facts About Oysters

H/T Mental Floss.

Raw oysters either you love them or hate them.

I personally enjoy smoked oysters.

Some people think oysters are slimy and taste far too salty. For others, they’re a delicacy. Oysters may provoke a love-hate response, but they also have impressive ecological properties, and the leftover shells have been used in some surprising ways. Here are 9 fascinating facts about the bivalve.

1. OYSTERS HAVE BEEN AROUND SINCE THE TRIASSIC PERIOD.

Oysters first appeared over 200 million years ago, when the earliest dinosaurs roamed Pangaea. Evidence of human oyster consumption dates back to about 164,000 years ago, according to a 2007 paper in Nature describing human ancestors’ first modern behaviors. A 2013 study found that Stone Age people in Denmark ate so many oysters that piles of the discarded shells show a marked decrease in the bivalves’ size over the years.

2. IN THE VICTORIAN ERA, OYSTERS WERE THE FOOD OF THE POOR, NOT THE RICH.

Pickled oysters were liberally consumed by London’s poor. They were sold as bar snacks and by stalls on street corners, and for those who couldn’t afford beef or mutton, oysters made up the protein in soups and stews. Oyster pie was also a popular dish with the lower classes.

3. A SCOTTISH ESTUARY ONCE HELD THE WORLD’S LARGEST NATIVE OYSTER BED.

The oyster-free Firth of Forth, ScotlandGEORGECLERK/ISTOCK VIA GETTY IMAGES

Covering more than 150 square kilometers (about 58 square miles), the oyster bed of the Firth of Forth on Scotland’s east coast, near Edinburgh, was a veritable gold mine of shellfish. Historians estimate that 30 million oysters could be harvested from it annually in the 1700s, to be sold in London and Europe. Sadly, over-harvesting meant that the oyster bounty from the Firth of Forth couldn’t last. By the late 19th century the beds were badly depleted, and only around 1200 oysters were harvested per year. Today there are no native oysters in the Forth.

4. DISCARDED OYSTER SHELLS WERE USED TO BUILD CITIES.

Speaking of Edinburgh, remnants of oyster shells found in walls have offered clues to Edinburgh’s culinary past. Residents of the Scottish capital reportedly put away 100,000 oysters daily during the 17th century, and walls containing oyster shells were uncovered during work on tenement buildings in the city. The shells, which appear to have been used as a filler between stone and brick, most likely came from a tavern located in the basement of the building, as oyster shells were typically left to pile up on floors.

5. A CONTAMINATED OYSTER KILLED THE DEAN OF WINCHESTER CATHEDRAL.

Oysters glean nutrients from seawater as it passes through their gills. They can filter more than 50 gallons of water a day, leaving a cleaner environment. But oysters can also be contaminated by substances in the water, and they developed a dangerous reputation in early 20th century England thanks to increasing water pollution. In 1902, the Dean of Winchester attended a mayoral banquet where oysters were served. The shellfish had been harvested from the Hampshire village of Emsworth, where a sewage spill had occurred, and the dean and several other guests died of enteric fever following the dinner. The food poisoning scandal devastated the oyster trade in Emsworth, leaving many jobless.

6. BALTIMORE OYSTER PACKERS INVENTED A KNIFE CALLED THE “CHESAPEAKE STABBER.”

The Baltimore area came to dominate the American oyster industry in the 19th century, with 90 percent of the country’s oyster packing industry—more than 100 companies—located in the Maryland city. Whole oysters were shipped by railroad from Baltimore to inland cities on ice. Later, canning extended the oysters’ shelf life and allowed them to be shipped greater distances cheaply. The packers developed a particular kind of oyster knife known as the Chesapeake stabber, with a straight, sharp, thin blade meant to separate the shells through the oyster’s lip. Today’s champion shuckers still use the Chesapeake stabber in their trade.

7. A LOCAL ESCARGOT SHORTAGE LED TO A CLASSIC OYSTER DISH.

Oysters (not snails) RockefellerSBOSSERT/ISTOCK VIA GETTY IMAGES

In 1889, a snail shortage drove the son of the founder of the famed New Orleans restaurant Antoine’s to get creative with an appetizer. He substituted oysters for snails, and Oysters Rockefeller was born. In this dish, instead of being served raw, the oysters are baked in the half shell along with spinach, butter, breadcrumbs, and herbs. Why “Rockefeller”? The story goes that a patron commented that the oysters tasted as rich as their namesake.

8. OYSTER SHELLS ARE RECYCLED TO HELP BUFFER COASTLINES FROM CLIMATE CHANGE.

The Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana launched an oyster shell recycling program in 2014, the first such initiative in the state. The shells are returned to the water to restore oyster reefs, which protect shorelines from erosion and storms. The oysters’ rough, ridged shells provide extra surface area to absorb wave energy better than dykes and levees; plus, the reefs provide a place for baby oysters to anchor themselves. The program has collected more than 4000 tons of shells so far.

In New York City, the Billion Oyster Project is restoring 100 million oysters to New York Harbor to mitigate the effects of storm surges. Organizers hope that the oyster beds will reduce flooding and provide a cleaner environment (through their filter feeding) for other species.

9. THE JURY’S STILL OUT ON WHETHER OYSTERS ARE APHRODISIACS.

Oysters are particularly rich in zinc—which is known to be vital for sexual function in men—and have been thought of as aphrodisiacs for centuries. (Not to mention their resemblance to female genitalia.) Renowned seductor Giacomo Casanova supposedly ate multiple oysters for breakfast daily, suggesting he viewed the mollusks as “the nectar of the gods.” These days, scientists remain unconvinced that there is a clear relationship between oysters and libido.

MAKING TIRES BLACK, INSTEAD OF THE NATURAL WHITE COLOR OF RUBBER, PRODUCES A MUCH STRONGER AND LONGER LASTING TIRE

H/T Today I Found Out.

A bit of tire history.

Today I found out making tires black, instead of the natural white color of rubber, produces a much stronger and longer lasting tire.

Originally rubber tires were white, which is the natural color of rubber.  In the early 1900s, Binney & Smith began selling their carbon black chemicals to Goodrich Tire Company, as it was found that the use of carbon black in rubber manufacturing significantly increased certain desirable qualities for rubber meant to be turned into tires.  (Binney & Smith would later switch to making school products, and, eventually, re-name their company after their most popular product, Crayola Crayons.)

In any event, carbon black works as a reinforcing filler in rubber, which increases the durability and strength of the rubber.  Specifically, adding about 50% by weight of carbon black increases the road-wear abrasion of the produced tire by as much as 100 fold and improves the tensile strength of the tire by as much as 1008%.  For the uninitiated, the tensile strength is the amount of force needed to pull something to its breaking or bursting point.

Adding carbon black also helps conduct heat away from certain hot spots on the tire; specifically, in the tread and belt areas, which can get particularly hot at times while driving.  This reduces thermal damage on the tire, further extending its lifespan.

From a purely cosmetic standpoint, black tires are also much easier to keep looking clean, which also makes them desirable over natural white rubber tires.  However, in modern times, white wall tires or fully white tires are sometimes thought as more luxurious, particularly on classic cars.  However, when fully black tires first came out, they were considered the more desirable tire for their prestige and tended to only be found on high end luxury cars.

Carbon black itself is simply nearly pure elemental carbon in colloidal particle form.  It is classically made by simply charring any organic material.  Examples of this are Ivory Black, made by charring ivory or bones, and Lamp Black, made from the soot of oil lamps. Carbon black for industrial use today is typically produced as Furnace Black and Thermal Black.  Furnace Black is produced using heavy aromatic oils.  Thermal Black is produced using natural gas, generally methane, injected into a very hot furnace where, in the absence of much air, carbon black and hydrogen are produced.

Bonus Facts:

  • Rather than using carbon black in shoes, the more common additive to the rubber is fumed silica, which has similar reinforcing properties as carbon black, but leaves the rubber white.  The downside of using silica-based additives on automotive tires is that they have much worse abrasion wear properties than tires with carbon black.  However, they do offer better handling on wet surfaces and have a lower rolling loss, which increases fuel efficiency.  Because of this, there are some tires that are starting to be made with silica-based additives, instead of carbon black, but this is still relatively rare.
  • Around 70% of all carbon black pigment used in the word today is used for tires.  Another 20% goes into belts, hoses, and other such rubber items.  Most of the remaining 10% go into black coatings for items, as well as inks and toner in printing.
  • Carbon black is not the same thing as activated carbon or soot.  Carbon black has a much higher surface area to volume ratio than soot and also has much less polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon in it.
  • Despite research indicating carbon black may be a carcinogen, it is used in certain food coloring.
  • Binney & Smith, which later became Crayola, is not only credited for making tires black, instead of white, but also is the company that originally created the red paint color that is now traditional on barns, which was a red oxide pigment.
  • No one knows exactly where the word “tire” derives from.  The leading theories are that it either derives from “attire” or from “to tie”.  The earliest tires were simply bands of iron or other metal.  The application of the metal band on the wooden wheels was accomplished by heating the metal tire, then placing it over the wooden wheel.  Next, they would douse it in cold water, which would cause the metal to rapidly contract and secure itself to the wheel, with the outer ring “tying” the wheel together, hence the proposed “tie” origin.
  • Binney & Smith’s “carbon gas blacks” earned them a gold medal in chemical and pharmaceutical arts.  The company was originally founded in 1864 and produced types of Charcoal and Lamp blacks.
  • The first practical pneumatic tire was developed by John Boyd Dunlop, who was originally a veterinarian.  He created the tire to help his son who suffered from headaches when riding his bike.  The rubber tire made for a much smoother ride for him on rough roads than wooden wheels.
  • Around 1 billion tires are made annually.
  • The earliest available carbon black product used for commercial purposes was “lamp black”, produced by the Chinese over 3500 years ago.  However, these early forms of carbon black were relatively impure compared to modern carbon black.

A Brief History of the Rubber Band

H/T Gizmodo.com.

The rubber band has a very interesting history.

Cheap, reliable, and strong, the rubber band is one of the world’s most ubiquitous products. It holds papers together, prevents long hair from falling in a face, acts as a reminder around a wrist, is a playful weapon in a pinch, and provides a way to easily castrating baby male livestock… While rubber itself has been around for centuries, rubber bands were only officially patented less than two centuries ago. Here now is a brief history of the humble, yet incredibly useful, rubber band.

It has only recently been discovered that Mesoamerican peoples (which includes Aztecs, Olmecs, and Mayans) were making rubber (though they didn’t call it this) three thousand years ago. Mixing milky-white sap known as latex from the indigenous Hevea brasiliensis trees (later called Para rubber trees) with juices from the morning glory vines, they could create a solid that was, surprisingly, quite sturdy. The civilizations used this ancient rubber for a variety of purposes, from sandals to balls to jewelry. In fact, while Charles Goodyear is generally credited with the invention of vulcanized rubber (a more durable and non-sticky rubber compound via the addition of sulfur and heat), it seems that the Aztecs were simply varying the ingredient proportions (between the latex and the morning glory juice) to create different variations in strength.

When Spanish explorers arrived in South America in the 16th century, they discovered for themselves the many uses of this elastic, malleable sap. When the French explorer Charles de la Condamine “discovered” it in the 1740s, he called it “caoutchouc”, a French word, but a variation on the South American word for latex. In attempting to figure out what it was exactly, Condamine came to a wrong conclusion – he thought it was condensed resinous oil. The name “rubber” was only attributed to this latex material when, in 1770, the famed British chemist Joseph Priestley (who also discovered oxygen) noted that the material rubbed pencil marks right off paper, thereby inventing the eraser and giving the “rubbing material” a name. By the end of the 18th century, the material was forever known as “rubber.”

In 1819, Englishmen Thomas Hancock was in the stagecoach business with his brothers when he attempted to figure out better ways to keep his customers dry while traveling. He turned to rubber to develop elastic and waterproof suspenders, gloves, shoes, and socks. He was so enamored with the material that he began to mass produce it, but he soon realized he was generating massive amounts of wasted rubber in the process. So, Hancock developed his “Pickling machine” (later called a masticator) to rip up the leftover rubber into shreds. He, then, mashed the malleable rubber together, creating a new solid mass, and put it into molds to design whatever he wanted. One of his first designs were bands made out of rubber, though he never marketed or sold them, not realizing the practically of rubber bands. Plus, vulcanization hadn’t been discovered yet (which we will discuss in a moment), so the bands would soften considerably on hot days and harden on cold days. In short, these rubber bands simply weren’t very practical at this stage of the game, in terms of many of the types of things rubber bands would later be used for. Hancock didn’t patented his machine or the shreds of rubber it produced, instead hoping to keep the manufacturing process completely secret. This would end up being a rather large mistake.

In 1833, while in jail for failure to pay debts, Charles Goodyear began experimenting with India rubber. Within a few years, and after he got out of jail, Goodyear discovered his vulcanization process. Teaming with chemist Nathaniel Hayward, who had been experimenting with mixing rubber with sulfur, Goodyear developed a process of combining rubber with a certain amount of sulfur and heating it up to a certain point; the resulting material became hard, elastic, non-sticky, and relatively strong. A few years later, in 1844, he had perfected his process and was taking out patents in America for this process of vulcanization of rubber. He then traveled to England to patent his process oversees, but ran into a fairly large problem – Thomas Hancock had already patented the nearly identical process in 1843.

There seems to be conflicting reports on whether Hancock had developed the vulcanization process independently of Goodyear or if, as many claim, that he had acquired a sample of Goodyear vulcanized rubber and developed a slight variation on the process. Either way, Hancock’s patent stopped Goodyear from being able to patent his process in England. The ensuing patent battle dragged on for about a decade, with Goodyear eventually coming to England and watching in person as a judge proclaimed that, even if Hancock had acquired a sample prior to developing his own process for this type of rubber, as seems to have been the case, there was no way he could have figured out how to reproduce it simply by examining it. However, famed English inventor Alexander Parkes claimed that Hancock had once told him that running a series of experiments on the samples from Goodyear had allowed him to deduce Goodyear’s, at the time, unpatented vulcanization process.

But in the end, in the 1850s the courts sided with Hancock and granted him the patent, rather than Goodyear, quite literally costing Goodyear a fortune; had they decided otherwise, Goodyear would have been entitled to significant royalties from Thomas Hancock and fellow rubber pioneer Stephen Moulton.

Though he had a right to be bitter over the ruling, Goodyear chose to look at it thusly, “In reflecting upon the past, as relates to these branches of industry, the writer is not disposed to repine, and say that he has planted, and others have gathered the fruits. The advantages of a career in life should not be estimated exclusively by the standard of dollars and cents, as is too often done. Man has just cause for regret when he sows and no one reaps.”

Goodyear, though eventually receiving the credit he deserved, died in 1860 shortly after collapsing upon learning of his daughter’s death, leaving his family approximately two hundred thousand dollars in debt (about $5 million today).

The patent dispute with Goodyear also had a profound, ultimately negative, effect on Hancock as well. As he was entangled in the time-consuming mess for years, others began to reap the benefits on Hancock not patenting his masticator process nor patenting the seemingly useless bands that they created. Specifically, in 1845, Stephen Perry, working for Messers Perry and Co, Rubber Manufacturers of London, filed a patent for “Improvements in Springs to be applied to Girths, Belts, and Bandages, and Improvements in the Manufacture of Elastic Bands.” He had discovered a use for those rubber bands – holding papers together. In the patent itself, Perry distances himself and his invention from the ongoing vulcanized rubber dispute by saying,

“We make no claim to the preparation of the india rubber herein mentioned, our invention consisting of springs of such preparation of india rubber applied to the articles herein mentioned, and also of the peculiar forms of elastic bands made from such manufacture of india rubber.”

While the rubber band was invented and patented in the 19th century, at this point it was mostly used in factories and warehouses, rather than in the common household. This changed thanks to William Spencer of Alliance, Ohio. The story goes, according the Cincinnati Examiner, that in 1923, Spencer noticed the pages of the Akron Beacon Journal, his local newspaper, were constantly being blown across his and his neighbors’ lawns. So, he came up with a solution for this. As an employee of the Pennsylvania Railroad, he knew where to acquire spare rubber pieces and discarded inner tubes – The Goodyear Rubber Company also located in Akron. He cut these pieces into circular strips and began to wrap the newspapers with these bands. They worked so well that the Akron Beacon Journal bought Spencer’s rubbers bands to do the deed themselves. He then proceeded to sell his rubber bands to office supply, paper goods, and twine stores across the region, all the while continuing to work at Pennsylvania Railroad (for more than a decade more) while he built his business up.

Spencer also opened the first rubber band factory in Alliance and, then, in 1944 the second one in Hot Springs, Arkansas. In 1957, he designed and patented the Alliance rubber band, which ultimately set the world rubber band standard. Today, Alliance Rubber is the number one rubber band manufacturer in the world, churning out more than 14 million pounds of rubber bands per year.

So, next time you are shooting a friend with this little elastic device, you can thank the Mayans, Charles de la Condamine, Thomas Hancock, Charles Goodyear, and William Spencer for the simple, yet amazingly useful rubber band.

Warnock Spends Big On Personal Security While Pushing Gun Control

H/T Bearing Arms.

Another question that needs to be asked is where did Warnock get the kind of money he is spending hiring private security on what a U.S. Senator makes?

Georgia Senator Raphael Warnock has long been a believer in criminalizing the right to keep and bear arms. Back in 2014, years before officially entered politics, the reverend was lobbying against removing restrictions on the right to carry, and he’s been a reliable supporter for gun control since he took office in 2020. In fact earlier this year he called for “reasonable gun control” after the shootings in Atlanta-area spas, though he was vague about specifics.

We need reasonable gun reform in our country,” he said without specifying what measures he would like to see passed. “This, this shooter was able to kill all of these folks the same day he purchased a firearm.”

“I think that suggests a distortion in values when you can buy a gun and create this much carnage and violence on the same day, but if you want to exercise your right to vote as an American citizen, the same legislature that should be focused on this is busy erecting barriers to that constitutional right,” he said in reference to ongoing efforts by Republicans in the state to restrict absentee ballots.

The suspect in these cases passed a background check before purchasing the gun that he used in the killings. The “distortion in values” that Warnock is talking about has nothing to do with buying a gun and creating carnage on the same day. It’s about creating carnage. Would Warnock have been relieved had the accused killer actually purchased his handgun several months before his rampage? Of course not. He would have complained about “high capacity” magazines or the need for some other gun control law, but he would have still ignored the actual individual responsible for the crimes in favor of calling for new restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms.

But while Warnock believes that you being able to protect yourself with a firearm is a bad thing, he apparently has a very different idea when it comes to  armed, private security.

Federal Election Commission filings released last Friday show that Warnock’s campaign paid $603,161 between October 2020 and September 2021 to Executive Protection Agencies, an Atlanta-based private security detail company. The company, according to its website, provides executive protection that comes with a “keen eye with a thorough knowledge of the venue through threat assessment” for its clients.

In the third quarter alone, Warnock spent $159,791 on personal security. By comparison, “Squad” members, including Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Cori Bush of Missouri, spent a fraction on personal security when compared to Warnock. Combined, the four representatives spent almost $100,000 collectively on security over the past three months.

A spokesperson for Warnock did not immediately respond to a FOX Business request for comment.

Now I don’t really have an issue with Warnock paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in order to be protected by guys with guns. If he believes he needs that level of security and his campaign can afford it, he has every right to surround himself with a phalanx of armed guards.

My issue is Warnock’s double standard. Most of us, after all, can’t afford to pay six figures every three months in order to hire a team of bodyguards to stand watch while we’re out in public. Our personal security is just that; personal. It’s up to us to protect ourselves and our loved ones, and outsourcing the job to a professional just isn’t an option.

On some level, I have do doubt that Warnock understands that. I just don’t think he cares. Maybe he justifies his hypocrisy by telling himself that he’s a public official with special security concerns, unlike the average citizen who merely has to be worried about becoming the victim of a carjacker, armed robber, rapist, or home invader. Perhaps he’s convinced himself that it really isn’t hypocritical at all to surround himself with armed protection while trying to make it harder for the average citizen to protect herself with a firearm. Or maybe he’s simply embraced the idea that he’s special enough to deserve protection, while the average citizen should simply depend on police to keep criminals at bay.

No matter what lie Warnock’s told himself to justify his double standard, the fact remains that the Georgia Democrat is working to make it harder for you to protect yourself while paying big money to ensure that he himself is defended by armed security. I expect that Georgia gun owners will have plenty to say about that next year when Warnock is up for election to a full six-year term, particularly if he decides to make “commonsense gun reforms” a focus of his campaign.

 

One Traitor GOP Senator Has Already Declared He Won’t Support Trump in 2024

H/T Town Hall.

This move by Senator Bill Cassidy(RINO-LA) could very well spell the end of his career in the Senate.

Is this a smart move, senator? You represent a reliably Republican state—and you’re not going to support Donald Trump should he become the 2024 nominee? That sounds like idiocy. That sounds like tempting fate concerning a primary challenge. Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) has already put all his chips on the table on this one, declaring he’s decidedly not on the MAGA train. That’s fine—his state sure as hell will be, though (via The Hill):

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) said he will not vote for former President Trump if he wages a bid for the presidency in 2024.

Cassidy, during an interview with “Axios on HBO” that aired on Sunday, also doubled down on his prediction that Trump will not be the GOP nominee if he decides to run again in the next cycle.

The Republican senator told Axios’s Mike Allen “I don’t know that” when discussing the likelihood that Trump will win the GOP nomination in 2024 if he launches a third campaign for the White House.

[…]

When pressed on whether Trump could lose the nomination in 2024, Cassidy said “if you want to win the presidency, and hopefully that’s what voters are thinking about, I think he might.”

“But it’s clear you ain’t voting for him,” Allen said to Cassidy.

“I’m not,” the Republican senator responded.

Bill, where have you been? Not only do Republicans want Trump to run again, but the lion’s share wants the man to remain a top figure in shaping the party’s future. Trump took over the party. Tired of losing, the base looked for something different. They got it. It clinched an upset win in 2016—and if it weren’t for a pandemic caused by Anthony Fauci’s reckless NIH grants to a Chinese virology lab in Wuhan—Trump would have easily secured a second term. I wouldn’t bet anything against Trump—ever. Cassidy thinks otherwise, but there’s time. Maybe he can change his mind. Then again, the man did vote to impeach the president during the second effort. The irony is that declarations like Cassidy’s are what could lead to Trump running again.

Gun Control’s Racist Roots Exposed in Supreme Court Brief

H/T AmmoLand.

Understanding the racist roots of gun control should help the Supreme Court that gun control is a failure.

U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- As the Nov, 3 date for oral arguments in the case of New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen looms, Reason magazine is highlighting one of the many amicus briefs filed in support of the case, not only because it comes from “a coalition of public defense lawyer organizations,” but because it cuts to the bone of racial and ethnic discrimination at the root of New York’s firearm licensing requirements.

The 35-page brief, which may be read here, comes from the Black Attorneys of Legal Aid, the Bronx Defenders, and Brooklyn Defender Services, and more than a half-dozen New York county public defender offices. They waste no time getting to the point.

 

Arguing the state’s licensing requirements are unconstitutional, the brief observes, “They allow New York to deny Second Amendment rights to thousands of people, and to instead police and criminalize them for exercising those rights. Such a policy is the type that ‘the enshrinement of constitutional rights necessarily takes . . . off the table’,” quoting the 2008 Heller ruling.

Writing at Reason, Senior Editor Damon Root observes, “It’s possible that such arguments will resonate with Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the Court’s leading critic of over-policing and related law enforcement abuses. As the public defenders make abundantly clear in their brief, a Supreme Court decision against New York’s gun control scheme would be a victory not only for the Second Amendment but for criminal justice reform too.”

The brief includes accounts of people whose lives have been turned upside down because of heavy-handed and narrow-minded enforcement of the state’s gun laws.

The importance of this case cannot be overstated. In an article at The Trace—a pro-gun control news organ—Jennifer Mascia quotes law professor Adam Winkler, University of California, Los Angeles, who explains, “This is one of the great questions: Does the Second Amendment extend outside the home, and if so, what kind of permitting is allowed for concealed carry?”

Perhaps Alan Gottlieb, founder and executive vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation, already answered that question some weeks ago when he announced SAF has filed its own amicus brief, which is joined by the  New Jersey Second Amendment Society, Buckeye Firearms Foundation, Connecticut Citizens Defense League, Illinois State Rifle Association, Florida Carry, Inc., Grass Roots North Carolina, Louisiana Shooting Association, Tennessee Firearms Association, Maryland Shall Issue, Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus, Sportsmen’s Association for Firearms Education, and Virginia Citizens Defense League.

“A right limited to someone’s home is no right at all,” Gottlieb stated, “and the court now has an opportunity to make that abundantly clear, settling an important constitutional issue once and for all.”

He pointed to the language of the Second Amendment, which clearly states the people not only have a right to “keep” arms, but to “bear” them, and that certainly must extend “beyond the confines of one’s home.”

The NYSR&PA case has brought together an interesting combination of supporters, making it impossible for the gun prohibition lobby or the radical left to pigeonhole this coalition as merely a bunch of right-wing groups.

And The Trace is careful to hedge about the potential outcomes of the case, offering different scenarios.

The story quotes Prof. Eric Ruben at the Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law, who explained that a broad ruling, striking down discretionary “may issue” permitting schemes, “would say that modern-day gun problems are irrelevant when trying to decide whether or not a law is constitutional.”

The Trace believes it is “unlikely” the high court will simply uphold New York’s law, a notion that would make no sense, because if the court had that intention, it would not likely have taken the case at all, but simply declined review and allow the New York law to remain in place.

A rights-affirmative ruling would jeopardize similar gun control laws in seven other states, everyone seems to agree. But as Winkler told The Trace, “Most of the states are not going to simply just say, ‘The Supreme Court struck down a similar law, let’s just give up on our concealed carry policies. So they’re going to force people to file lawsuits. I imagine those states are likely to fight until the bitter end.”

Such is the stubborn nature of the gun control mindset. Anti-gunners never acknowledge their gun control schemes have failed, despite mounting evidence to the contrary. Instead, they simply push for more restrictions.

It is not likely the court will hand down a ruling until late next June. Traditionally, the court holds its most controversial decisions until the final days of its session. This one is guaranteed to be controversial.