Saturday, January 29, 2011

Detroit Free Press' Editorial on CCW Reform Misfires

The Detroit Free Press, one of the loudest voices against Michigan's concealed carry reform in 2000 continues its opposition to any reform that might improve the bill for the carrying public.

Editorial: Leave gun carrying limits where they are

Even in the best of times, efforts to allow concealed weapons in places where they are now banned in Michigan, such as schools, churches, arenas and bars, would be misguided, and the reason for doing so flawed. Government can -- and in some cases should -- restrict certain legal rights.

[Senator Mike] Green suggests, wrongly, that carrying concealed weapons is a constitutional right that shouldn't be infringed. His bill would make it legal for the holder of a concealed handgun license to carry the weapon in practically any public place except federal buildings and courts.

At least the Freep editorials are intellectually honest to admit the CCW reform hasn't been the "Wild West" violent disaster they predicted:
It's fair to note that proponents of strict gun control predicted a surge of gun violence when the Michigan law broadening the use of concealed weapons was passed a decade ago. That didn't happen.
Its mighty nice of them to admit to the facts, but too bad they didn't admit they were one of the more strenuous "proponents of strict gun control" making that prediction.

As with that wrong-headed prediction, they are similarly wrong in opposing this common-sense reform.
And the First Amendment doesn't permit people to yell "fire" in a crowded theater, or shout on other people's lawns at 3 a.m. Carrying a concealed weapon in Michigan is a right that legislators have every reason to restrict when it threatens to impinge on others' rights.
Bad analogy on the Freep's part. You are allowed to yell "fire" in a crowded theater, especially when there is a fire. Further the Freep doesn't in anyway address how letting people carry concealed firearms "threatens to impinge on others' rights", it states this as a given when there is not a shred of fact to support the proposition.
Enabling people to carry guns into a bar, where alcohol impairs judgment and heightens emotions -- or into arenas, schools or churches -- just isn't smart. This is not the wild west.
Again with the "wild west", the false canard that refuses to fly away. Not to mention any reason for the Freep's dubious assertion that carrying into arenas, schools or churches isn't smart. Indeed, recent history begs to differ on the utility of concealed carry holders having their firearms available in such places.

Once again the Freep editors allow emotions to get in the way of facts while they push their anti-gun agenda.

Support Senator Green and SB 58 and help continue the reform of Michigan's CCW laws.

Obama's results when being tested aren't looking too good

Remember this?

Joe Biden may have been off by some months but now Obama's foreign policy crises seems to come thick and fast to this inexperienced president - and have brought on a consistent record of failures - backing a leftist dictator in Honduras, standing idly by while Iran kills protesters and develops a nuclear weapons program, watching Turkey slouch towards an Islamist anti-western regime, and now we watch both Lebanon falling to Hezballah and Egypt tipping into unfriendly hands.

Obama's focus on reshaping the US economy at home and abandoning American exceptionalism and superpower status abroad in return for realpolitik have left a power vacuum our adversaries are only too happy to fill.

Jimmy Carter's blundering and mixed signals led to Iran's fall to the Mullahs and it seems that Obama's mixed messages and dithering may let Egypt fall to the Muslim Brotherhood.

So far I'd say in foreign affairs our nation's community organizer has been tried, tested, and found wanting.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Stopping Pirates East-Asian Style

The Detroit News: Two raids stop Somali pirates

In a example of how it should be done, both the South Koreans and Malaysians showed how to effectively deal with pirates that attack ships sailing under their nation's flags:

South Korean commandos raided a cargo ship in the Arabian Sea before dawn Friday, killing eight Somali pirates and capturing five as they rescued all 21 crew members.

Their success came on the same day that Malaysia's navy rescued a chemical tanker and its 23 crew members from Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden. No one in the rescue team or the ship's crew was injured and seven pirates were apprehended.

The EU of course wouldn't dream of doing such a thing, its so un-European, after all somebody could get a boo-boo:
The European Union's naval force refuses to raid hijacked ships out of concern for safety of hostages
Expect to see fewer piracy incidents involving South Korean and Malaysian shipping and more directed toward the EUnuchs.

Don't have your car lights on without your engine running in winter

At Abby's extra-curricular activity after school today I was chatting with some of the other parents while Leah played quietly by herself and conversed with a mom that was there.

It's a snowy, somewhat cold night, traffic sucks and the roads are slippery and treacherous.

Just as the class was about to end, a mom came in saying her car wouldn't start.

I and a couple other dads there start asking her what its doing.

"It just clicks when I turn the key, it wont start but the lights are on."

As it turns out, she was sitting in the car with the radio and lights going with the engine off for most of the hour. Ooops. We predict that her battery drained below the necessary starting voltage due to the cold and accessory use without running the engine.

So I gallantly offered to help and I and another dad went to see what we could do. I had my jumper cables in my Jeep but there was a van to either side of her car in the parking lot and a tallish concrete island in front of her that ran in front of the row.

No problem.

We measure it out and then I take my Jeep and with a bit of a running start up onto the island I go. The front wheels easily climb up and then there was suficient distance for the cables to reach and work. We hook up the cables, her car starts and mission accomplished. I think she's now learned not to run her battery down, no harm done and everyone's happy.

My only regret is that before starting to climb up the concrete island I forgot to yell --

"Hey, y'all watch this".

Monday, January 24, 2011

Whisky in a can? Oh heck no!

Instapundit makes a links to a story with he catchy headline WHISKY IN A POP-TOP CAN.

This is very, very wrong.

Silly South Americans, everyone knows Whisky's in the jar.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Bin Laden threatens France, French change alert status to Surrender

Bin Laden demands France withdraw from Afghanistan

The French response:

France and the international community should begin withdrawing troops from Afghanistan in the coming months to help push the country towards democracy, according to a senior French official.

I guess we won't have an accordion to go hunting with anymore.....

Friday, January 21, 2011

Wish I'd said that......

A perfectly sublime remark by "GavInTucson" found in the comments section of the New York Post's editorial on the meeting between President Hu Jintao and President Obama:

Am I the only one that finds it ironic that the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize winner is holding a State dinner for the man that imprisoned the 2010 winner?


Sistahs doing it for themselves

The Detroit News: Detroit women get no help in arrest of alleged car thief

alleged car thief got more than he bargained for when three women yanked him out of the vehicle he was trying to steal, held him down and made a citizen's arrest.

But when the women repeatedly called Detroit Police, they said nobody responded, so they decided to walk the man to the nearby Central District police station. On the way, they said they encountered a Detroit police officer — who they claim refused to take the man into custody.
It took a Wayne State University Officer to show up to take the thief into custody.

This just shows you don't get between three ladies (ages 38, 40 and 63) and their 2006 Sebring.

It also shows that the Detroit's finest are not doing a very good job of protecting and serving their constituents, leaving them to fend for themselves.

Kudos to the Wayne State Officer for stepping in an effecting the arrest.

As for the Detroit officer who refused to assist:

Recommended Reading: Got Monsters? Get Monster Hunter International.

Just finished reading both Monster Hunter International and its first (of hopefully many more) sequel, Monster Hunter Vendetta.

If you're looking for two excellent reads and like thrillers with guns, monsters, interesting twists in the plot, humor and pretty cool characters, all written by an author that can tell a good story, you can't lose with these.

Heck, the hero of these tomes uses a short-barrel, fully-auto Saiga-12 shotgun complete with a drum magazine to battle the hordes of the undead and the H.P. Lovecraftian horrors that await within the books' pages.

What could be better recreational fiction reading than that?

The only ones that could possibly be opposed to these books with their heaps of made-really-dead undead would be the UCLU -the Undead Civil Liberties Union (UCLU members are referred to as Ucluless), and they ain't talking. Groaning and moaning a bit, but talking, no.

Plus the author, Larry Correia, being a three-gun competitor gets his firearms facts right, and he can write very compelling prose. He also has a blog - Monster Hunter Nation, now linked from here.

So my advice is buy the books, then pick a day when you don't have anything pressing to do, because its very, very, hard to put these books down once you get started, and enjoy the ride.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Wisconsin on the road to CCW Reform, old tired arguements in opposition resurface

Reuters via Yahoo: Wisconsin expected to expand gun owner rights

Wisconsin, one of two states in the nation that prohibits citizens from carrying a concealed weapon, is expected to reverse this law during the upcoming state legislative session, according to a local newspaper.

Only Illinois and Wisconsin forbid carrying concealed weapons. A Republican was elected governor and Republicans won majorities in both houses of the Wisconsin legislature in November, bringing many more supporters of gun rights to the state government.

"You're going to see a concealed carry bill pass the Legislature, I have no doubt," Chris Danou, a Democratic legislator from Trempealeau, Wisconsin, told the LaCrosse Tribune newspaper. "The question is what kind of bill it's going to be."

Of course, the antis are in full frothing flower against it:
That's troubling to Jeri Bonavia, executive director of Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort, which opposes any legislation to allow concealed carry on the grounds it will lead to increased danger for individuals and the public.

"We really don't believe that more people carrying guns in public is beneficial in any way," she told the newspaper. "In fact, we think it's harmful."

Note the operative words - "We really don't believe", "We think" - no facts, just feelings, nothing but feelings, the same nonsensical opposition to firearms carry reform that's been made by the antis invariably in every state that has passed such legislation.

Expect the antis to proclaim that Wisconsin will turn into the Wild West and there will be blood in the streets if ccw reform passes.

Amazing how these arguments are made every time yet never come true. You'd think they'd give up using the same tired emotional driven argument devoid of facts, but they never do.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Aside from it being a day without school for the kids nor postal delivery, MLK Jr. day justly celebrates the life of an important American.

Dr. King was, without a doubt, a force for good in America by moving, along with many others, the Civil Rights struggle forward and helping to right some glaring injustices in America and to increase liberty for all.

That King had personal foibles that detractors may point out does not take away from his heroism or achievement, in fact they point more to his greatness in accomplishment in spite of his flaws. In America you don't have to be perfect to be a hero and your results matter, not minor mistakes you make on your path.

As a nation and as individuals, we're certainly much better off due to his heroism, good work and sacrifice, and we're all freer as a result.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Oh, Dude, Where's My Car?

The Detroit News: Posh BMW stolen outside Detroit hotel

Two thieves drove off with a BMW 7 Series car brought to the city for the North American International Auto Show Wednesday night when a handler left the pricey auto alone briefly.

It was stolen about 7:15 p.m. on Michigan Avenue near Washington Boulevard outside the Westin Book Cadillac hotel, Detroit Police Sgt. Eren Stephens said.

The 2011 BMW 7 Series car sells for more than $90,000, according to BMW's website.
The handler is toast. How it didn't occur to him that he's in downtown Detroit. Fer crying out loud you don't leave a used banged-up Chevy Cobalt running unwatched in Detorit, much less a top-notch BMW luxury car.

According to the Detroit Free Press, the value is not $90 grand, it is $140,000. I sure hope they've got stupidity insurance on the vehicle.

Let's put this in perspective, at $140,000 that's more than the value of my suburb-of-Detroit house at the moment thanks to the real estate crash. I also will note that my house is not movable property left unattended with the motor running.

The following juxtaposed facts raised in the article add an extra touch of irony to the situation:
We’re still looking for the vehicle,” Detroit Police spokeswoman Sgt. Eren Stephens said today.


The car is equipped with BMW Assist, which locates stolen cars.
Go figure.

On the upside, this is certainly publicity for BMW during the Detroit autoshow and it certainly shows that the Series 7 really can zoom off and make a clean getaway.

For the conspiracy-theoried types among you, this theft might be the opening volley in the UAW's new push to Unionize Foreign-Owned autoworkers -

"Psst, Hey, BMW, Unionize or the car gets it".

Quite unlikely but weirder stuff has happended in Detroit.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

In Court: (Mortgage) Recording Games People Play

I was in court on a motion and was unfortunately not up first so I had some time to sit and observe some motions that preceded mine, and sure enough one caught my attention.

A case had been initiated by an individual, without a lawyer of course, to compel the Registrar of Deeds to record a document in his chain of title. The Registrar refused and for good reason.

You see, the fellow was facing foreclosure and had gone online and bought himself a stop foreclosure kit, apparently for the tidy sum of $549.

These kits are full of legalistic mumbo-jumbo that sounds good, and if you don't know any better and are facing foreclosure might find a claim that their problem can be magically ended appealing. Often times the teasers online string bits of the Uniform Commercial Code out of context at the reader, maybe mention a charitable trust or two, throw in some "Notary Affidavits" and they claim you can stop foreclosure by filing a few documents in your chain of title.

It doesn't work.

This fellow was trying to file an "Affidavit of Obligation".

Sounds all official-like eh?

Problem is, there's no such document recognized as a recordable document in Michigan, even better was what it said and what he was trying to do with it.

You see, our intrepid fellow had filed out this sworn and notarized affidavit claiming he was worth 5 million dollars and had a primary secured lien on his house as collateral of his personal worth.

There's a few problems with this approach.

One, of course, is that it is laughable on its face and perjury to make such a false claim.

Two, Michigan is a race-notice recording state so his later filed lien is not going to take priority over the earlier filed mortgage liens so the mortgage doesn't go awayand this doesn't stop the foreclosure process but only messes up the chain of title causing further expense to unravel.

Three, if you're worth 5 million bucks, why don't you just pay off the mortgage?

The Registrar refused to accept it, and the judge agreed and dismissed the fellow's lawsuit. The fellow then claimed the mortgages on his property were "toxic". Yeah, that'll show em.  After busting his credibility on his "affidavit" the judge didn't find his last-minute claim of toxicity too believable (or even judicially recognizable).

Unfortunately this kind of activity at most delays the inevitable foreclosure and at worst exposes the poor sap filing these documents to contempt of court and other nasty problems that arise from filing false documents.

Foreclosure is not a good place to be, but perjuring yourself or trying to hang on by grabbing onto untenable and ridiculous quasi-legal theories will not help. Muttering incantations of "Uniform Commercial Code, Affidavit of Obligation, Notary, Toxic" three times fast just doesn't do it.

Don't let yourself be conned into throwing good money after bad by those selling these schemes or stop foreclosure services, especially when they demand your money up front.

As the Comptroller of Currency Department bulletin OCC Consumer Tips for Avoiding Mortgage Modification Scams and Foreclosure Rescue Scams advises, be cautious when dealing with these too good to be true claims. The OCC bulletin has a lot of good advice and is well worth reading.

You're better off dealing with your lender and trying to work things out than paying for an illusion that will only end up costing you. Don't transfer your title to someone else's trust or to someone that claims transferring the title will relieve you of having to pay the mortgage. It won't. You bought the house (or tapped a lot of equity from it) with the funds from the mortgage and owe the money on that mortgage. You know it, the bank knows it, the scammer knows it.

Don't be fooled.

Eventually some poor homeowner following these scammers is going to wind up in contempt of court and possibly jail for following these scammers' advice. The scammers won't be in the cell with them but instead busy counting their money and laughing at the sucker that was fleeced.

Don't be one of them.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Ground Zero Mosque Imam to Visit Detroit "Moderates"

Imam Rauf, the proclaimed moderate Imam behind the planned Ground Zero mosque, more politically correctly (but much less catchily) known as "an Islamic center in New York City near the World Trade Center"

The Detroit News: Imam behind N.Y. Islamic center coming to Detroit

He's coming to meet "moderate Muslims" at the ISNA the Islamic Society of North America.

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf will deliver the keynote address in Detroit on Jan. 15 to the so-called "Diversity Forum Banquet" of the Islamic Society of North America.

You know the ISNA of course, moderates to the core. Moderates who were named by the US Government as unindicted co-conspirators in the Holy Land Foundation Terrorism funding case. The same ISNA that has a load of connections to extremists and more extremists and has massive Saudi Wahhabi funding.

Now what's a nice "moderate" Imam doing hanging out with a bunch of extremists like that?

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Canadian Heroes Volume 4 No 6 Starring Leon Panzer

Published for December 44/January 45. Here's the first story in the comic that tells Great Uncle Leon's story. He got top billing.

The rest of the comic is also interesting. Directed to Canadian kids during the Second World War, it is a very interesting exhibit of that time period with some very interesting advertisements and stories. I'll post them at a later time.

The Further Story of Flying Officer Leon Panzer and the Crew of Halifax LW583 QO-L

My original post about my Grand-Uncle, Leon Panzer brought me in contact with some very interesting and helpful people around the world, and I thank them for the further details they've provided about the night the Halifax was shot down by Hauptmann Adolf Breves (an ace with 17 victories) of the Luftwaffe.

First, I was emailed by Mr. John Mellor, the son of Flight Engineer Philip Mellor who was part of the crew of the Halifax bomber the night it was shot down and he sadly did not survive the downing of the aircraft.

From Mr. Mellor I received a copy of a letter sent by Leon Panzer's sister, reproduced below, regarding the events of Leon's flight, shoot down, escape, capture and escape again.
Letter from Anne Goldenberg to Mrs. Mellor re Philip Mellor and Leon Panzer
I also received some pictures of the memorial the Belgians put up in the city of Wevelgem, where the plane was shot down.

The pilot, Flying Officer Tommy Martin managed to avoid the farm houses in the area when the Halifax bomber was shot down and crashed into a field, but sadly he, Flight Engineer Mellor and Pilot Officer Cannings, the wireless operator/gunner did not survive the downing of the aircraft.

I also received an email from Mr. Etienne Vanackere, a historian and resident of Wevelgem, where the plane crashed. He enclosed some additional pictures of the memorial.

On visiting Aunt Bayla, she showed me a large envelope where she had some mementos of her husband's military service and allowed me to copy the contents.

Here's the program from his graduation ceremony from Navigator School on June 25, 1943:

Aunt Bayla also told me a story about the escape during the visit.

As I related before, he was betrayed by an infromer in the belgian underground to the Gestapo, and he and five American airmen POWs escaped from a boxcar when their train was bombed. It turns out that he entered Brussels as the Germans were pulling out and the British had passed by, so he and his mates were the first free allied forces to enter the city and they were considered to be the Liberators of Brussels. Apparently a British General arriving soon after into the city was a bit peeved to see Leon and his buddies already being feted. It probably didn't help that Leon apparently asked him what took him so long to get there.

In the envelope were also some copies of newspaper clippings about his escape:

The Globe and Mail. October 13, 1944

Great Aunt Bayla and Great Uncle Leon were married in 1945 on his return from the war.

Next Post: The comic book featuring Leon Panzer's exploits.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Happy New Year 2011

I just got back from Toronto after spending some time with a celebrating New Years with the folks.

It was a good time tempered by the fact that my Dad spent the entire week pretty much confined to bed, doubled over in pain due to intense and continuous back pain that had flared up without any warning or immediate cause. He had spent the prior two weeks also in bed due to the pain and we went on Thursday night (via medical transport with some very nice paramedics as he couldn't sit or get into a car) for his MRI scheduled at 12:15 am at the hospital (yes, not the afternoon, we're talking 0 dark fifteen, as there's one heck of a lineup in Toronto for the few available MRI machines. The scan procedure was done by 1 am and we then went home.

We found out Friday the results - he has a bulged disc that is pressing on a nerve and causing the pain. We'll have to wait on the 'speedy' Canadian health-care system to see when he can see a specialist and get an opening for what will most likely be an operation. On the upside, he's in great spirits, and this being the time of Festivus, I could finally take him at feats of strength.

We spent a fair bit of time together, chatting and watching The Pacific
that I had brought him as a gift.

The Pacific is a fantastic mini-series and does for the Marines in the Pacific Theater of World War 2 what Band of Brothers
did for the 101st Airborne in the European Theater of Operations. Highly, Highly recommended.

We also spent the time watching some of NHL and World Junior Hockey games, including Canada's loss yesterday to Sweden 6-5 by a shootout which was an exciting game but one Canada should have won.

We also had a chance to visit Great Aunt Bayla (my Great Aunt and my kids Great-Great Aunt, 95 years old and still sharp as a tack), Leon Panzer's widow, and I will be posting some great stuff as a result of that visit shortly.

I then spent New Year's with Tash's family with the traditional Russian feast, and on waking and sobering up we headed home. Traffic was light, the border crossing pleasant and uncrowded and we made good time, hopefully a good omen for a pleasant 2011 to come.

So a Happy and Healthy 2011 to all.