Tuesday, December 12, 2017

An Example Of A Poorly Thought Out Vicitm Selection Procees

Today's Stupid Criminal decided to do a burglary. That by itself wouldn't normally be cause for a featured sport as a stupid criminal What he decided to burgle does.

He decided to burgle a gun store.

With the owner inside.

As can be expected in such circumstances, it didn't end well for him.

The Detroit Free Press: Burglary suspect held at gunpoint by Livonia firearm store owner

Unsurprisingly, the burglar, Jair Christian-Lee Miner, even at age 27 is no stranger to the criminal justice system, being out on parole at the time of his latest offense, with convictions for robbery, car jacking, and larceny of a person.

Deciding maybe he hasn't learned his lesson and that releasing him on parole probably wasn't the brightest idea, he will also be charged with being a habitual offender along with the felony breaking and entering charge.

Winter Is Here Allright

A couple inches during the day yesterday, followed by three inches overnight. Quite a bit of snow for early December.

So I get the snow blower out and it performs most admirably - the secret:" Prior to use I sprayed the interior and chute with a silicone spray and now the snow is not sticking and jamming the machine. Winning.

Of course, right after I get the driveway nice and clean and put down some sand for traction, it starts snowing yet again.

This is going to be a long Winter.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Trump Kicks Off An Actual Peace Process By Recognizing Jerusalem As Israel's Capital

Trump does come through on his promises, and recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital is an important step for eventual peace in the region. It's long past due that the US and the world recognized the obvious, that Jerusaelm is ISrael's capital and has been for years and it's not going to change.

Of course, Arabs are upset with the idea.

The Detroit News: Hundreds rally against Trump’s Jerusalem declaration

Hundreds of Metro Detroit Palestinians gathered in Hart Plaza Friday to rally against President Donald Trump’s declaration of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. ....

Trump said his recognition acknowledged the “obvious” that Jerusalem is the seat of Israel’s government despite its disputed status that’s one of the key elements in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The announcement on Wednesday also directed the State Department to begin the process of moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem as required by U.S. law.

“What’s the benefit (for the U.S.) coming in between the fight ... endangering the possibility of a peace settlement between Israel and Palestinians,” said Khalid Turaani, president of the American Muslim Leadership Council. “It’s stupid, but we’re not surprised.” . . .

During the two-hour demonstration, Detroit police said they helped escort the peaceful protestors, who chanted “from the river, to the sea, Palestine will be free,” as they marched from Hart Plaza to Campus Martius.

Note the chant "From the river to the sea - They mean the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, and looking at a map that's all of Israel, not the disputed "Palestinian" territories. Again its part of the Palestinian and Arab fantasy that they can make Israel go away and they'll destroy it eventually so they don't need to actually engage in a real peace negotiation.

Recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital is another important step in the peace process - it makes the Arabs deal with the reality that Israel isn't going away and Israel is not going to give up Jerusalem. There will still be an Israel "from the river to the sea" regardless of their rejectionist approach. The sooner they give up the fantasy of destroying Israel and massacring the Jews and move forward with acceptance of reality, the more likely peace talks will actually succeed. Trump just kick-started the peace process by this declaration that it won't be the standard game as usual and hit them with a cluebat of reality.

The sooner the Arabs start to negotiate in good faith and from reality rather than fantasy, the closer the prospect of an actual and lasting peace.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Statistically Insignificant Study On Firearms Is Insignificant

So according to a study, 3 million more guns purchased in a 5 month period after Newtown shooting have a correlation of 60 additional "accidental" deaths.

That's .002% of the 3 million firearms purchased leading to an accidental death, assuming that there even is a causative link between the two events.

That's so small as to be amazingly insignificant. Then add in the fact that there was already about 300 million plus firearms in circulation, the 3 million more would be the proverbial drop on the bucket.

Heck if you added 3 million more cars to the nations roads there would be far more fatalities. But that wouldn't help push the narrative for gun control.

But it got major headlines.

Washington Post: Surge in gun sales after Sandy Hook led to spike in accidental gun deaths, study says

Of course, The Washington Post and other outlets did not report the criticism of the study. Of course, the study's author pushes for more "stringent gun storage laws", rather than for gun safety training that would be an actual and effective solution to reduce accidental firearms-related deaths.

Saturday, December 09, 2017

First Snow Of Winter

Ah, the first winter’s day of snow.

The feeling of schadenfreude watching people in their cars slipping and sliding through intersections due to forgetting the basic laws of physics. Simultaneously having the feeling of concern as they’re slipping towards YOU.

People spinning out in a small amount of snow when panic braking as they don’t understand the concept of slick surfaces and increased braking distance. Your 4-wheel drive may help you go, but it doesn’t help you come to a quick stop, and momentum from a larger vehicle can indeed be momentous.

Drive safe out there, and put the darn phone down and focus on your driving, ok? You’re just not as good a driver in snow as you think.

The first snowfall of the season has happened and people have completely forgotten how to drive in it. It's a lovely wet and very slippery snowfall of about an inch, custom designed to mess up the roads nicely. The roads are indeed a mess with nary a snowplow in sight and getting to a meeting this morning was an experience.

Good thing this was on a weekend as having the first snowfall in a morning rush hour would have been extremely bad. Winter is officially here, and so is winter driving season.

Thursday, December 07, 2017

New Orleans Day 4 - The World War Two Museum

In the morning we took a trolley down to the Central Business District.

First we had brunch at Mother's, a New Orleans landmark with fantastic food and lines to match.

Then pleasantly full, we walked from the stop to the World War 2 museum.

As you enter the museum you see an LCVP (Landing Craft, Vehicle, Personnel) also known as a Higgins boat. It was the LVCPs that brought the first waves ashore at Normandy and other amphibious operations in 36 man loads.

Ascending up the stairs you come nose to nose with C-47 number 096.

Number 096 served in the three largest airborne operations of the war: Normandy, Market-Garden, and Varsity, and dropped supplies to the surrounded 101st Airborne at Bastogne. It later was operated by the Finnish Air force and Starred in the movie A Bridge To Far starring as itself in the airborne operations in Market-Garden. Acquired by the museum in 2006 she has both pride of place and a well deserved spot of honor.

Other aircraft on display in the musuem include

A Spitfire

A TBM Avenger

An SBD Dauntless

The mighty P-51 Mustang

An F4U Corsair

A B17 and B25, a P40 and a BF-109 rounded out the aircraft collection.

We did the Final Mission interactive exhibit - recounting the fatal last voyage of the USS Tang, a submarine sunk by her own torpedo while attacking a Japanese convoy.

On entering the exhibit, you're given a card and assigned a duty station.

The card comes complete with the picture of one of the crew of the Tang that did not survive the final voyage. Rather sobering, that.

On leaving the exhibit, you pass by a list of US World War 2 submarines still on eternal patrol.

Other exhibits included excellent ones on the Guadalcanal campaign and Operation Torch.

After 5 hours we had covered all of the exhibits, but not to worry, they're growing and adding more as we speak.

To say the National World War 2 Museum is a must-see when visiting New Orleans is an understatement.

Monday, December 04, 2017

New Orleans Day 3 - The Lights Are Calling

After the swamp, we rested and then prepared for further festivities.

First we met up with a friend of Murph's and went to Buffa's Bar and Restaurant where while they had some burgers, I had an alligator etouffe that was simply out of this world. An Abita Amber accompanied it for pure New Orleans perfection.

The bar also had important evacuation proceedures posted:

Then we headed off to the Celebration of The Oaks.

It was a glorious holiday light show with displays aplenty.

Being New Orleans, a Christmas display was simply not complete without a crawfish.

This was part of a catchy musical display The 12 Yats of Christmas. Certainly not a typical rendition. Yats sound like a bunch of New Yorkers who moved to New Orleans. That song will get seriously stuck in your head if you click that link. You have been warned.

 Other musically interactive ones drew onlookers like moths to a flame.

There was also a very nice Hanukkah lights display.

Mr. Bingle was also there:

There was also a huge toy train display that caught Murphy's intense interest. After all, who doesn't love toy trains?   Yep there had been some adult beverages involved on the way to the display.

 After thoroughly examining every display we headed of to the First and Last Stop bar for more drinks and came across a neat part of New Orleans culture.  Mardi Gras Indians.

The Monogram Hunters tribe were in the bar practicing for Mardi Gras.

Very cool to see and they were very, very good.   Quite a unique  look into a not very well known part of New Orleans culture.

That was one heckuva night,  Now off to this day's adventure.

New Orleans Day 3 - To The Swamp

A trip to the big easy isn't complete without a journey to the Barataria Preserve.

There is a ton of life forms out in the swamp to see.

But, you need to find them first.

Did you spot the gator?

It was a little 2-foot gator. The only one we would see as most seem to have hidden themselves away, mainly due to a variety of visitors making noise throughout the preserve boardwalks. The screaming kid in particular probably annoyed the gators to no end.

There was also a turtle encountered this visit.

Aside from squirrels, that was all the animal life seen this trip along the swamp's boardwalks.

A beautiful day to be out and about the natural areas near the Big Easy.

Sunday, December 03, 2017

New Orleans Day 2 - Part The Third - The Krewe of Krampus

As night fell it was time to head to another parade.

A newer event in New Orleans, the Krampus parade was small yet feisty.

It's not a parade without some drums.

Krapmus takes away the naughty children.

Krampus considered if this one was naughty or nice, or nicely naughty.

The parade was small enough that we watched it to the end, then zipped forward to get ahead of it and saw the entire thing again a little farther down the parade route.

Afterwards we went to Red's Chinese restaurant - Chinese food with a very New Orleans flair - the New Orleans culinary Holy Trinity of onion, bell peppers and celery was present in each dish and it was quite eclectic and very tasty. I had the dirty rice and it was excellent. Many drinks were also consumed there and then we hit the French Quarter for some bar hopping and more drinks were consumed.

Including a New Orleans favorite - a Hurricane.

Not bad, I must say and not as strong as I expected.

Then on our bar hopping we happened across a member of the Krewe of Krampus.

Even a Krampus needs a cold one after a hard night's paradin' and rounding up the naughty children.

That was a very full day indeed.

New Orleans Day 2 - Part 2 - To The Range We Go

Murph and DLG brought a lot of toys to the range.

The opportunity to fire this classic again was worth the visit alone.

Lots of fun.  It ran like a top, and was remarkably controllable and accurate when fired in short bursts.

I also got to try DLG's 1908 Hammerless -  a classic .380 pistol that shot as nice as the day it was made.

I also shot the Shield 45 - fits in a pocket easily enough, 7 shots of .45ACP and both very controllable and accurate and fits the hand like a glove.  Now I have the wants for one, drat.

A few other guns were shot and then after the range we said our goodbyes to DLG and headed off to our next stop.

New Orleans Day 2 - Part 1

The day began with a decent breakfast and as we walked we were feeling a bit Mulish.

Wait, that wasn't us, it was an actual mule offering carriage rides.

We saw some historic monuments:

We hit the Riverwalk and watched a freighter go under the bridge in the fog, and as the fog lifted we watched the Natchez head out onto the river.

And we visited the Storyville Museum, Storyville being the home of New Orleans brothels and the birth of jazz prior to World War One. The docent there was very well informed and told us the history of Storyville and Jazz in a most engaging manner. If You're in New Orleans, be sure to visit the museum and see the exhibits.

With the demands of culture satisfied, we continued wandering around the French Quarter until we met up with The Displaced Louisiana Guy.

A good guy indeed and it was great to meet him in person.

We had lunch and watched the Christmas Parade.

Yep, t-shirts, shorts, December, New Orleans.

The crew of Elvi, Elfin Elvis impersonators on scooters was interesting.

There were classic VW bugs in the parade as well.

A very nice parade with lots of local flavor.

Then on to our next stop, as it would be a full day.