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Nostrum Damus SASS #110702

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  1. In February 2016, the average price of a gallon of gasoline, all grades, all formulations, was $1.87 according to the US Energy Information Administration. In May 2019, it was $2.94 according to the USEIA, a rise of 57%. What happened from February 2016 to May 2019? (Hypothetical question.) You all need to get a grip on reality, and learn some facts before pointing fingers. In the United States, unlike in Russia, the President has very little real influence over the price of gasoline. What happened since January 2020 is as much Biden's doing as the 57% rise was Trump's, which is to say, not much by either. Moreover, the price was $3.10 a gallon when Obama was elected and on its way to an all-time high of $4.11 a few months later, and was $1.87 when Trump was elected. So, by your logic, you voted Democrat in 2016, right?
  2. Look at the chart of gasoline prices every single year and you will see the very same trend. Lowest prices in the winter, highest prices in the summer. Many factors, not so simple to explain the finer fluctuations. Companies bet billions on it, spend millions on some very fancy economists and computer power to get it right. But fundamentally, American demand for gasoline drives American gasoline price at the pump. It is called capitalism.
  3. Highly taxed, sure, but only 43 cents more than here in Texas, where I paid $2.57 on Wednesday. In California, every single other aspect of distribution also costs more: trucking expenses, regulatory compliance, gas station rent or property taxes, employee wages, state franchise tax, lots of other stuff I can't think of off the top of my head, everything. All of that raises the price per gallon another dollar, at least.
  4. Seriously, raccoons are WILD animals. What about the word "WILD" do people not understand? And among the furry critters we are most likely to come across, raccoons are the second most likely to carry rabies (behind only bats), whether they are actually sick or not. Why would anyone invite a raccoon into the house?
  5. It would be refreshing once in a while for people to investigate cause and effect instead of blowing hot air about this politician or that one, regardless of which way the hot air blows. Remember Hurricane IDA? Remember Hurricane SEASON? Remember LABOR DAY? Hurricane IDA was expected to lead to a five- to 15-cent per gallon rise in retail gasoline prices, and did worse than that. A major hurricane disrupts gasoline refining and distribution for days, weeks, or sometimes months, and IDA did just that. In fact, IDA was forecast to result in new peak retail gasoline prices for 2021. The worst-case scenario was several weeks of power outages at refineries -- and it happened. And right on IDA's heels, TS NICOLAS dumped a ton of additional water on coastal Texas and Louisiana refineries. Moreover, gasoline demand traditionally peaks in the United States around Labor Day, so Hurricane Season combines with traditional annually recurring peak demand to create "a perfect storm" of highest demand and supply disruption. Prices at the pump will drop as fall and winter come on, demand drops, and refinery operations get back to normal -- it happens every single year in the absence of some external geopolitical shock. Of course there are other external factors such as changes in federal and state fuel tax rates, and inflation generally, but these factors are typically gradual and more difficult to notice in the short term. If you REALLY want to give yourself a headache and complain about prices, think about the fact that BNSF restricted and at times stopped taking loaded trains from Port Los Angeles/Long Beach to Chicago (the main US distribution hub for inbound international freight) more than two months ago due to lack of capacity at the Chicago terminal. There are more cargo ships now at the anchorage waiting to be offloaded than at any time in history, and it is getting worse every day. The US has failed to invest in the infrastructure required to support The American Way of Life, so everything will get more expensive. There is no free lunch.
  6. I tamed a rabid coon that was stumbling across the yard in front of our cabin in the woods in the middle of the day. I think it was a "9mm tamer."
  7. It is also easy to understand why there are so many Covid-19 cases today, when half the population of America is vaccinated. Think about it for just a second or two: there are much more contagious variants today than there were a year ago. If a virus is ten times more transmissible, the number of infections will be much higher even if the vaccine provides perfect protection because it still has half the population (i.e., the unvaccinated) in which to spread. What's harder to understand is why some folks can't understand this simple arithmetic.
  8. I don't remember this debate about other vaccines that we routinely accept as a matter of civic responsibility as well as good science. According to a report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), unvaccinated individuals are 11 times more likely to die from Covid-19 than those who are fully inoculated. The study, published in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (I bet THAT's some fun reading!) on September 10, also found vaccinated individuals were almost five times less likely to get infected with the virus and ten times less likely to end up hospitalized due to complications from the virus. It just seems odd to me that so many people would rather take higher risks of getting infected, and ending up hospitalized, and of dying than get the vaccine. I know of six people in my universe of friends of friends and family who died of Covid-19, all before the vaccines were readily available, and none since then. From my limited perspective, it seems to be working. Condolences to anyone who has lost a loved one, and apologies to anyone offended by this.
  9. OK, I decided. I asked a friend and he said "brass should be polished." Then I showed him the tarnished carbine. He said "uh, well, that looks pretty nice -- leave it alone." That was my inclination, too. Thanks for all of the good comments and votes.
  10. This voting isn't turning out to be as decisive as I thought it could be -- in either direction! I'll just leave it alone for the time being, at least until the first time a pard looks at my Yellow Boy on the loading table and says "don't you think you ought to do something about all that patina?"
  11. I love that collector word for surface oxidation, "patina." Or years of doing absolutely nothing. A fancy name for tarnish. Not saying I don't like a good patina as much as the next pard ... just sayin' ... it's a good word.
  12. Hmmm. Chroming is definitely verboten, that's just another form of Bubba's work, and so is nickel plating for that matter, in my view. Polishing brass, not so much, at least in my opinion -- nothin' but chemically cleaning the original metal back to its actual original condition. You can even switch back and forth between the tarnished look and polished look, if you like -- you can change your mind -- all of your polishing effort is reversible, all by itself!
  13. But your vote has to be discounted because you are USN Ret. and probably can't help yourself from polishing brass when you see tarnish.
  14. For those who use rifles with brass receivers, do you keep them polished bright or let them tarnish? If inclined to reply, vote "POLISH" or "TARNISH" and if you vote POLISH and feel extra ambitious, say how often. Just got a 2002 Uberti 1866 Yellow Boy carbine that looks ok with its tarnished brass receiver, but it might polish up real shiny and pretty without much effort. Wondering what others do.
  15. Correct. The kinetic energy of the projectile, without consideration of what's inside. You need that kind of energy to throw 2700 pounds nearly 20 miles, the maximum range of those guns.
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