COVID winners: Sturm Ruger posts record-breaking profits

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The very last thing we need is more guns in circulation:

Another sharp increase in demand for firearms amid the COVID-19 pandemic and national political tension enabled Sturm, Ruger & Co. to post Wednesday a nearly fivefold hike in third-quarter net income to $24.75 million. The report was a near repeat of Ruger's second-quarter performance, which yielded a threefold profit hike to $18.6 million.

By comparison, net income a year ago was $4.82 million. The third-quarter 2020 profit was offset somewhat by Ruger paying $8.1 million in income taxes, up from $1.5 million a year ago.

That's nearly a six-fold increase in gun sales in one year. This likely has more to do with the social unrest attributed to police killings of black people than the virus itself, but don't write off the quarantine mentality completely. Curbing social interaction has a psychological toll we simply can't predict, but it's definitely not good. We talk about mass shootings in schools and other public venues as the major threat to American children. But 3 out of 4 of them are killed at home:

Thursday News: Democracy scores a victory

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SUPREME COURT RULES 5-3 TO NOT INTERVENE IN NC BALLOT DEADLINE EXTENSION: North Carolina voters will have more than a week for their ballots to reach election officials and still be counted after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to intervene Wednesday night. The new deadline for mail-in ballots to be received is Nov. 12, though ballots must still be postmarked on or before Nov. 3, Election Day. The previous deadline for ballots to be received by local boards was Nov. 6, as set by state lawmakers. The Supreme Court declined to overturn lower court rulings in a 5-3 decision. New Justice Amy Coney Barrett did not participate in the consideration or decision. The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals permitted the Nov. 12 deadline on Oct. 27.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article246660368.html

I woke up this morning

Waking up is never a sure thing for me. My family has a rich history of heart disease and every doctor I've had worries about my cholesterol.

Yesterday I had some kind of medical episode, not sure exactly what. Might have been a TIA or something similar. Might have been a panic attack, dehydration, who knows. My daughter called 911 and an ambulance came out to where we were on I40. I ended up not going to the ER, but am still a bit out of it. Life is short, that's for sure.

Notes from the Kakistocracy: Trump puts climate deniers in charge at NOAA

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Because real science is a pain in the ass, or something:

Mr. McLean had sent some of the new political appointees a message that asked them to acknowledge the agency’s scientific integrity policy, which prohibits manipulating research or presenting ideologically driven findings. The request prompted a sharp response from Dr. Noble. “Respectfully, by what authority are you sending this to me?” he wrote, according to a person who received a copy of the exchange after it was circulated within NOAA.

Replacing Mr. McLean, who remains at the agency, was Ryan Maue, a former researcher for the libertarian Cato Institute who has criticized climate scientists for what he has called unnecessarily dire predictions.

Just so you know how bad this is, Maue worked with an even crazier dude at Cato, who believes more atmospheric carbon is a good thing:

Wednesday News: Welcome aboard

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SOME 800,000 OF NC'S EARLY VOTERS THIS YEAR DID NOT VOTE IN 2016: More than 3.3 million people have either voted early in person or mailed in an absentee ballot. Nearly a quarter of them didn't vote in 2016, according to State Board of Elections figures. Of the 24 percent who are voting this time around after not voting in the last presidential election, most weren't even registered to vote in North Carolina back then. "We may be moving towards record turnout, which, you know, that’s what we’re in this for," Brinson Bell said. "We want to ensure that every voter has the ability to cast their vote, and if they’re turning out this year, that’s the best thing we could have happen." Early voting runs through 3 p.m. Saturday. But people have only until 5 p.m. Tuesday to request an absentee ballot if they don't want to or cannot get to a polling place either for early voting or on Election Day next week. The looming absentee deadline means it's too late to mail in a request, Brinson Bell said.
https://www.wral.com/nearly-quarter-of-state-s-early-voters-didn-t-cast-ballots-in-nc-in-2016/19355096/

Tuesday News: Mindless automatons

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TILLIS AND BURR GUSH OVER UNQUALIFIED SUPREME COURT JUSTICE: “I think Judge Amy Coney Barrett is going to go down in history as one of the great justices on the Supreme Court,” Tillis said in a seven-minute speech Monday on the Senate floor. “Judge Barrett has proven to be an exceptionally qualified and well-respected jurist. Throughout her distinguished career, she has demonstrated that she will faithfully serve as an impartial judge to defend the Constitution and rule of law,” Burr said in a statement after the vote. Barrett, a former law professor at the University of Notre Dame, has been an appellate court judge in the 7th U.S. Circuit since 2017, when she was nominated by Trump. Barrett is a mother of seven, including two adopted children from Haiti. In June, Burr and Tillis signed a brief asking the Supreme Court to revisit Roe v. Wade, the 1973 law that allowed women the right to seek an abortion nationwide.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article246726701.html

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