Saturday, September 29, 2012

Dive 223 A Long Swim With A Cool New Torch

Today Rob and I headed to Union Lake in the early afternoon to get a dive in.

We suited up and hit the water. Surface temperature of the water was 68 degrees, but the bottom when we got out to 40 feet was 51 degrees.

I headed out carrying the flag, and a camera.

As you can see, the visibility was not all that great, Rob is only arms-length away in this picture.

Visibility is still not great but much improved from what it was.

So we kicked out and found the line from shore rather quickly and headed out to the boats. At the photo copier boat (so named as , believe it or not, there's a photocopier in the stern of the boat).

At the boat we had a chance to compare my new LED canister light with Rob's 21 Watt HID.

My new canister light is a LightForMe TEK ONE, and it quite simply rocks. It's so hip, it's square. A single large LED light, it gives off a square light pattern rather than a traditional circular pattern. The light is bright and really cuts through the particulate in the water like a hot knife through butter. I bought it from Tec Dive Gear, and the service was simply phenomenal - they answered all my questions and got me the light fast and with no problems. If you're planning to buy a serious dive light, give them a call.

At the photocopier boat we needed to decide which line to take out:

We took the line less traveled.

And in taking the route less traveled, we found, the legendary lost colony of Golf Balls! This place is Union Lake's own mysterious Stonehenge-like site. How the golf balls came to be placed here, and what the formation means is all a mystery and still unexplained by any expert who has taken a swing at the question. It is likely that ancient golfers trudged along and played this course before it flooded and became Union Lake and left these balls here for some reason yet unfathomed.

Another ball a few feet away sat apart as a guardian of the rest of the colony.

We then headed back to the photocopier boat after pondering the mysteries.

See, I told you there was a photocopier there on the boat, but the copies it makes these days are rather grainy and soggy.

There was also a fish hanging around the photocopier boat.

We also passed by a crayfish surrounded by zebra mussels.

Leaving the crayfish we headed into the weeds as we began to ascend.

As we ascended, we had to vent the air from our drysuits as it expanded. Air expands as pressure is reduced which occurs when you ascend. To prevent this expanding air from lifting you up uncontrolled to the surface you ahve to get it out of the drysuit. The air comes out via the drysuit cuff dump when the arm is raised above the rest of the suit.

Yep, sometimes, you just gotta vent.

We then were almost at the end of the dive, and the gauge tells the tale, a 68 minute dive.

It was a great dive, celebrated by some adult beverages at a local bar once we had exited the lake and packed away our dive gear.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Hoffa Hunt Hops In A Hole

The Detroit Free Press: No evidence of a body found in Roseville driveway in search for Jimmy Hoffa

About every six years or so in recent times, the greater Detroit Area is home to a Hoffa Hunt, as yet another person claims to know the location from a now dead confidant.

Jimmy Hoffa the Teamster Union boss who disappeared in 1975 after heading off to meet some interesting people has never been found, and it looks like that's not about to change.

No evidence has been found of a body from samples taken this morning from a Roseville driveway in a search for Jimmy Hoffa's remains. The 4-inch core sample pulled out from six feet under a concrete slab was just a combination of clay and mud, Police Chief James Berlin. Results from analysis of that core sample and one more are expected back from Michigan State University on Monday, he said.


Berlin said the owner of the home around the time of Hoffa’s disappearance in the 1970s was a bookmaker with ties to members of Detroit-area organized crime, the alleged prime suspects in Hoffa’s disappearance.

Back in 2006 about $250,000 was spent digging up a farm in Milford based on the allegation that Hoffas was buried there. Now in 2012, they're checking under a Roseville driveway.

I'd suspect it is quite unlikely that Hoffa is under the driveway, but that just allows mystery fans to continue to speculate as to where he may have ended up, allowing the Greater Detroit Area Hoffa Hunt to continue.

Update (10/3/12): No evidence of Hoffa, nor the remains of any other individual was found.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Massachusetts Man To Be Inducted As A Case Vignette For Hoplophobia In The DSM VI?

If not, he darn well should be.

Hoplophobia is yet to be recognized by the American Psychiatric Association and did not make it to be included as a disorder in the upcoming DSM V. Hopefully by the time DSM VI comes out, it will be recognized for the mental disorder that it truly is and some treatment response might be available for these poor souls.

After all, the APA is introducing all sorts of nice trendy disorders and removing politically incorrect disorders, so it may as well add what appears to be a true debilitating phobia.

The Case Vignette might look something like this: As reported by the Boston Herald Alberto Pina of Roxbury, Massachusetts was

fishing on a pier near Carson Beach thought he had caught a big one he could brag to his buddies about when his fishing pole began to arc. But what Alberto Pina, 37, of Roxbury reeled in was “upsetting and scary,” he said.

“I reeled in a gun,” Pina said, still hyperventilating as he described his catch more than an hour later. “Yesterday I caught a 27-inch bluefish. Today? A gun.” Pina had his 3-year-old son with him when he went to the pier Sunday afternoon to “burn some energy.” “My son was riding his scooter as I fished,” he said. Then he pulled up his big catch. “To pull something like that out of the water is extremely dangerous. I didn’t want my son to see something like that, but he did. Horrible,” Pina said. “When I pulled it up, I dropped it over at the pier. I didn’t dare to touch it.” Boston police spokeswoman Nicole Grant said Pina called 911 at 6:11 p.m., reporting that he “was fishing and caught a gun on his hook.”

Have Massachusetts men devolved to such blubbering piles of goo that they hyperventilate and almost pass out at the sight of a barnacle-encrusted gun? If that's not the sign of a severe psychiatric disorder, a stunning fainting fear of an inanimate object, then I'd be hard pressed to find a better example.

“I reeled in a gun,” Pina said, still hyperventilating as he described his catch more than an hour later. “Yesterday I caught a 27-inch bluefish. Today? A gun.” Pina had his 3-year-old son with him when he went to the pier Sunday afternoon to “burn some energy.” “My son was riding his scooter as I fished,” he said. Then he pulled up his big catch. “To pull something like that out of the water is extremely dangerous. I didn’t want my son to see something like that, but he did. Horrible,” Pina said. “When I pulled it up, I dropped it over at the pier. I didn’t dare to touch it.” Boston police spokeswoman Nicole Grant said Pina called 911 at 6:11 p.m., reporting that he “was fishing and caught a gun on his hook.”

He thought a barnacle encrusted gun was so horrible he didn't even want his son to see it and then he thought it was horrible that his son did see it? That's some severe mental deficiency there.

He's also so ignorant and afraid of firearms he can't even tell a handgun from a rifle:

“No dinner tonight,” Pina said. “I came here for some striper, not a rifle.”

Good thing you didn't catch a rifle then.

To think that Massachusetts men have been reduced to this.

Clearly Mr. Pina is going to need years and years of therapy to deal with this debilitating experience. Perhaps a supervised trip to a shooting range to see firearms in a safe environment might help, but I wouldn't suggest such an exposure to guns so early on in his recovery. His treatment will clearly need to be structured over time to gently help him deal with his irrational fear.

Sadly the APA won't think of Hoplophobia as a mental disorder crying out for treatment.

But the APA should think of it - a bold new approach to dealing with hoplophobia that could help thousands and bring us out of the dark ages. Maybe Psychiatrists should test these assumptions and deal with hoplophobia analytically, through experimentation and a "scientific method". Maybe this scientific method could be extended to other fields of learning: the natural sciences, art, architecture, navigation. Perhaps the APA could lead the way to a new age, an age of rebirth, a Renaissance!


Mr. Pina put on your big-boy pants, man up, grow a pair and quit acting like a flipping wuss. It's an inanimate object fer crying out loud.

Oh, and Mr. Pina, if you can't find your big-boy pants by yourself, I'd suggest this man as your therapist:

Monday, September 24, 2012

Home Again

Made it home safe and sound in just under 9 hours.

5 States, 520 Miles each way.

Now to unpack and prepare for the rest of the week and a shower to wash off the road.

Blogging of this weekend's events will resume in a bit.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

West Virginia Blogshoot Report

Saturday bright and early we rolled out of the Lair and headed to the range.

The blogshoot was organized not just as a meet-n-greet-n-shoot, but also to raise money for a worthy cause:

After paying the range fees, we kicked in our donations to the Wounded Warrior Project. Then the range staff held a safety briefing and we got to the shooting.

20 bloggers and blog commenters attended.

It is certainly fun to meet bloggers and blog commenters that you only know from their blog personas. Some are exactly as you pictured them, some quite different.

I met Old NFO in person, and he graciously let me try his FN SCAR. We were shooting at 400 yards and with the gun and ACOG scope mounted on it I was hitting the steel very easily indeed. Awesome gun.

He then even more graciously assisted me in sighting in the new ACOG I had mounted on my AR-15 and in a few shots with his help I was hitting steel cosnsistently at 400 yards. A true gentleman and I've aded him to my blogroll accordingly.

I also met Keads in person, and much as is revealed in his writing, he is also a true gentleman. Not only did he shoot, he also volunteered as a spotter for other shooters on the 400 yard line.

Proud Hillbilly was there, and it was good to put a face to a name and to see my old M1 Carbine being used so well.

I also met AZ.mrmacs, a gregarious and humorous fellow who brought some wonderful toys to the range - an MSAR and a FAL:

Murphy's Law has a great and more detailed report of the shoot. After all, I'm busily typing this on his computer -- but he gets to use my pictures so its a fair trade. Some other great writeups of the event include New Jovian Thunderbolt's account, My Muse shanked me, with an excellent video of my UZI in action, In Search of the Tempestuous Sea, Keads, and Old NFO's, of course.

We raised $1,100.00 for a very worthy cause, and had fun and met some new friends doing so.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Off To The Blogshoot

Off to the blogshoot this morning.

Thanks to Abby for the motivational picture, complete with ear protection:

After shoot report to follow.

Friday, September 21, 2012

West Virginia Flying Fun

The weather was beautiful and clear so Murphy's Law said "Let's Go Flying!"

We drove out to Martinsburg and prepped his aircraft for flight:

Unlike most flights, on this one the pilot and passenger were flying armed.

We saw some C-5 Galaxies including one take off before we were set to go:

Then we took to the air. He flew and I snapped pictures.

ML pointed out various towns and sights, including a fly-over of Harper's Ferry:

We passed over the CSX rail yard and saw the old turntable:

We overflew the Antietam National Battlefield:

I snapped some decent pictures of Burnside's bridge:

The bridge, where troops under General Burnside were trying to force a crossing for several hours, was the site of much fierce fighting with the Confederates dominating the crossing point. Had the Union troops but known that there were other shallow routes possible to cross Antietam Creek that were not under such withering fire.

We then flew over the Sideling Hill cut and you could really see from the air the geological mountain layers revealed by the cut.

Murphy's Law delighted in showing me how well his Skyhawk handles steep banks as well as stalls. At all times, I managed to avoid screaming like a little girl. (Hey Keads - He flies like he drives!)

He also let me fly the plane - "Here, you fly it". Again, I managed to avoid screaming like a little girl.

In fact, I really enjoyed flying the plane. Uh oh, yet another possible hobby in my future...

We had a great time and headed back to the airport, landing safely. We then got to watch another C-5 depart the field:

A most excellent way to spend a Friday, and a great flying experience. Murphy's Law also has an excellent description of today's aerial activities.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

I have arrived......

After 9 hours, I have safely arrived in West Virginia. Let the fun begin.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A Detroit DGU With An Ambiguous Headline

Another instance, in this case rather dramatic, of a Concealed Pistol Licensee defending themselves from attack occurred last night in Detroit.

However the Detroit Free Press headline reads: Police: Detroit man shot back at would-be robbers, killed teen , which gives quite a different impression than the facts.

The headline is quite ambiguous and makes it sound like the man shot at the robbers and ended up killing a teen instead now doesn't it?

The facts as related in the article tell the tale:

A 17-year-old youth was fatally shot Saturday night when he and three other youths began shooting at a 50-year-old man sitting in his car at a Detroit shopping center and the man fired back, police said.

The 50-year-old, who had a permit to possess a handgun, fired at the youths as they approached to rob him, Detroit Police Sgt. Alan Quinn said.

More details of the incident are reported in the article.

So the facts as known at the time the headline was written show that the teen was one of the robbers shooting at the CPL carrier who was seated in his vehicle. From the reported facts, it seems to be unambiguously a good defensive firearm use and pretty crystal clear act of self-defense.

The headline should not have been written in such a potentially misleading manner. Obviously the Freep is still not comfortable with the idea of Michigan citizens defending themselves when being shot at by criminals.

Update (9/25): It looks like The Freep agrees the headline was misleading. it now reads: 17-year-old dies after shooting at 50-year-old man.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

I Hope That Someone Gets My Message In A Bottle

An example of better late than never:

Foxnews: 98-year-old message in bottle sets world record

It was scooped up from the sea after 98 years, and now officials say a message in a bottle discovered in Scotland has set a world record.

Fisherman Andrew Leaper found the bottle-- released in 1914 -- in his nets in April while sailing east of the Shetland Islands, which lie off Scotland's northern coast.

Guinness World Records confirmed Thursday the find is the oldest message in a bottle ever recovered, beating a previous record by five years.

I'd hate to be stuck on a deserted island awaiting relief if I was depending on that current. Then again, the quality any bottle and stopper that can take the beating the sea offers for 98 years and remain intact is certainly to be admired.

Inside each bottle, a postcard asks the finder to record details of the discovery and promises a reward of a sixpence. Unfortunately for Leaper, the coin no longer exists.

While the six pence is no longer in circulation, we can calculate what Mr. Leaper should be paid.

The purchasing power of a six pence from 1914 will buy, depending on the analysis you use, either 1 pound 87 pence using the retail price index or 7 pounds, 38 pence in terms of comparable average earnings based on 2010 data.

And there already is a song written that is suitable for the occasion:

Monday, September 17, 2012

Happy Rosh Hashanah 5773

Happy Rosh Hashanah 2012, the Jewish New Year 5773.

The first day of the Jewish New Year begins tomorrow.

Unlike a typical New Year celebrations, it is less a boisterous celebration and more a somber and introspective, one where repentance for wrongdoing in the past year is sought in prayer and good deeds.

But it's also a happy occasion, marked by eating apples dipped in honey to mark the hopes of having a sweet year to come.

One of the most distinctive acts of Rosh Hashanah is the blowing of the Shofar:

Shana Tova Umetukah (A Good and Sweet Year) to all of my readers!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

An American Arab Jihadi In Chicago

The Detroit Free Press: FBI arrests teen trying to blow up Chicago bar

A man in the Chicago suburbs was using an account to distribute chatter about violent jihad and the killing of Americans.

Two undercover agents reached out and began to talk to him online. In May, they introduced him to another agent who claimed to be a terrorist living in New York.

The operation ended Friday night, an affidavit describing it says, when the man was arrested and accused of trying to detonate what he believed was a car bomb outside of a Chicago bar. Prosecutors said an undercover agent gave Adel Daoud, a U.S. citizen from the Chicago suburb of Hillside, a phony car bomb and watched him press the trigger.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Chicago, which announced the arrest Saturday, said the device was harmless and the public was never at risk. Daoud, 18, is due to make an appearance in federal court Monday morning on charges of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and attempting to damage and destroy a building with an explosive.


After he settled on a downtown bar, he conducted surveillance on it by using Google Street View and visiting the area in person to take photographs, the affidavit said. The document does not identify the bar, but says he told the agent it was also a concert venue by a liquor store.

"It's a bar, it's a liquor store, it's a concert. All in one bundle," the document quotes him as saying. It said he noted the bar would be filled with the "evilest people ... kuffars." Kuffar is the Arabic term for non-believer.

Remember kids, it is not entrapment when you jump right in and try to trigger what you believe to be a car bomb so you can go off and kill kuffars in the name of Allah.

Sure enough, he apparently received outside help and inspiration:

The affidavit said Daoud was active in jihadist Internet forums and was accessing articles written by Anwar al-Awlaki, the U.S.-born radical cleric who became a key figure in the Yemen-based al-Qaeda offshoot known as al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

At least Daoud can't blame this attempt on a movie snippet - he had been planning this attack for months.

Good job on the part of the FBI catching this guy.

Zen And The Art Of Carry Gun Maintenance

Last night I decided it was time to do some preventative maintenance on my Kahr PM9.

Even though I haven't shot it in a few months, I felt it was time to give it some TLC, considering it is a continual choice as a carry piece.

So I disassembled it and gave it a cleaning. Even having cleaned it well after its last range outing, some fouling still emerged from the barrel after a brush was run through it.

The real fun part was the magazines, or more particularly the 7 round magazine that I would carry as the spare mag in my pocket while the 6 rounder was in the pistol.

The 6 round mag was very clean. The 7 rounder, not so much.

In taking it apart, it was apparent that every bit of lint in a one mile area had decided to occupy my magazine.

The lint was actually below the top round , on the lower rounds in the magazine and lots had worked its way under the magazine follower and well within the mag body.

Cleaning with a dry Soft Tip Brush got rid of the lint and each round was wiped down with a dry cloth. I really recommend using this kind of brush for cleaning small magazines. The brushes easily fit and do a great job getting all the lint and gunk out of the magazine body.

Magazine reassembled, it was then reloaded and no gritty sounds occurred during the loading process. I lubed the frame rails and barrel hood and reassembled the Kahr and then wiped down the outside of the firearm with some CLP to help protect the metal.

Even if you don't shoot your carry gun on every outing, its a good idea to do some maintenance and ensure it is still clean and lubricated.

Don't forget that pocket carry spare magazine - it will most likely be even dirtier than the gun!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Made It To C Class!

Well, the results of the 2012 Michigan Sectional USPSA Match are in.

I came in second in Production among the D class shooters. That's not saying much really and I sure could have done better. Then again, in looking at the scores and the list of shooters, an having watched some of them shoot, I can say that there were some very, very impressive competitors there.

But, I'm happy to say that I didn't come in last, so that's something at least.

However, with the improvements I've made this year I am now no longer a D class shooter.

As of September 13 when the latest classification calculation was made, I'm now a C class shooter. Time to step up my shooting to the next level.


Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Curious Case Of The Fraudulent Felonius Filmmaker

The alleged filmmaker of the Youtube clip that was used by the Islamists as a pretext to attack US Embassies in Libya and Egypt has been identified.

As suspected, he's not an Israeli Jew but instead a convicted felon with the name of Nakoula Basseley Nakoula.

Apparently he now proclaims that he is a Coptic Christian. Whether that is yet a further lie from this felonious fellow, who is already convicted of federal bank fraud charges, should be interesting to find out, and the chance of this being an Islamist-coordinated act should not be ruled out. Or it could very well be that an Anti-Semitic Copt tried to libel the Jews for his actions.

The Detroit Free Press: US identifies anti-Muslim filmmaker

Federal authorities identified a Southern California man who is on federal probation for financial crimes as the key figure behind an anti-Muslim film that has spawned mob violence against American embassies across the Mideast, a U.S. law enforcement official told The Associated Press on Thursday.

There was no sign of Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, 55, at his family's home Thursday in Cerritos outside Los Angeles, as details slowly began to emerge about his checkered past, his connections among southern California's right-wing Christian organizations and his central role in the production of the film.

Excerpts from the movie, which the filmmaker said was called "Innocence of Muslims," enraged Islamic protesters in Egypt, Libya and Yemen over its portrayal of the prophet Muhammad.


Much about the film remains a mystery, including who financed it. Several actors have come forward and claimed they were duped about their roles, and that incendiary language was dubbed over their lines.

The permit to shoot the film, normally a public document, is being withheld at the "request of federal authorities, who have cited public safety concerns," according to Ryan Alsop, assistant chief executive office for Los Angeles County. He did not elaborate. Such permits normally contain little more than logistical information.

Questions remained about whether Nakoula's filmmaking and Internet distribution activities might have violated his federal probation and send him back to prison.

Lots of questions, and hopefully this international idiot of infamy is fully investigated.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Islamists And The Impotence Of The Weak Horse President

The whole President Obama the weak horse thing is getting pretty tiring.

We see Islamists paying attention to such weakness, attacking embassies in Egypt and raising the Al-Qaeda flag on the Embassy walls.

And in Libya we see Islamists killing the US Ambassador and three other Americans there in a planned attack on 9/11 with a pretext of a movie that most likely none of the participants have even seen, and was likely created by an agent provocateur falsely claiming to be an Israeli Jew.

Under a Republican President, an Aircraft Carrier or two would be steaming towards these places with a demand that the perpetrators be handed over or consequences would be severe, and bombs damn well would fall.

Heck, under a Republican President one would only hope that invaders scaling an embassy's walls would be met with force.

But with Obama, the first thing from the State Department is apologies for hurt Muslim feelings. An apology quickly walked back and disavowed once caught by angry Americans.

Unless there is strong and swift retaliation for these attacks, these scum will be further emboldened. Anyone really expect Obama to act beyond empty platitudes that those responsible should be brought to justice - as if this was a simple criminal problem and the US could really find, issue arrest warrants then arrest and try the terrorists responsible for these acts?

Again, Obama appears the weak horse, and Americans will suffer because of it.

Magical Anti-Gun Thinking From Bill Maxwell.

The Detroit News: Commentary: Guns don't belong on campus

Bill Maxwell, who, being an adjunct teaching English at St. Petersberg College, seems to have a severe dose of both magical thinking and hoplophobia that only the finest of lefty academics can acquire.

On two occasions during my career as a college professor, I feared for my safety when students confronted me about their final grades.

Because of the gun violence on our campuses and in other public spaces today, I think more and more about those confrontations.

Think upon this Mr. Maxwell - could such shootings possibly occur and rack up so many victims due to the lack of law-abiding people being allowed to carry firearms to protect themselves in such places?

In the first instance in Chicago, a young male student said to me that I would not "get away" with the grade I had given him. Even though I was in my 20s, athletic and a former Marine, I never again relaxed on campus.

When you read the rest of his emotion laden editorial you wonder why he should have been in any fear. After all, Chicago bans handguns, obviously bans concealed carry of aforesaid banned handguns, and the unnamed college in Chicago no doubt had a solidly written anti-weapons and violence policy. Printed. On Paper.

The second confrontation occurred in Fort Lauderdale, when a female student brought her father to my office to argue her case for a higher grade. The father became so angry and threatening that I telephoned security to escort him and his daughter from my office.

I teach writing as an adjunct at St. Petersburg College. I vowed that if Florida passed the concealed firearms law, I would not teach on another Florida campus. I still hold that vow. I refuse to stand in front of a classroom if students have the legal right to carry firearms. And I refuse to expose my students to the potential danger of concealed firearms in their presence.

Um, Mr. Maxwell? Florida has had shall issue CCW since 1987 and you're still teaching as an adjunct, yes? How ever have you managed to get to and from campus safely all these years?

Now 35 states have campus concealed-carry laws. The University of Colorado is the latest to join this gun-toting madness.

Instead of being hostages to the bullying of lawmakers obsessed with guns and paralyzed by their fear of the National Rifle Association, our colleges should be beacons of moral clarity and learning. They need to follow the findings of scholars and the observations and conclusions of physicians who treat the victims of gun violence, who are trying to develop a science-based, workable approach to dealing with the carnage.

So far Mr. Maxwell, the scholars using a science-based approach rather than your emotion-laden, fact-bereft screed seem to have a point that allowing law-abiding citizens to carry concealed firearms either has no effect on the overall crime rate or a positive effect. Think upon that for a moment.

Experts and scholars at our universities should lead this cause and not run away from it out of fear of political reprisals. And they should convince lawmakers that guns do not belong at our institutions of higher learning.

Political reprisals for being anti-gun at a university? Ahem. As If. When, Mr. Maxwell did a professor in the dominant leftist ideological environment that is the US College campus ever suffer political reprisals for their anti-NRA and anti-Second Amendment opinions?

I'm sure Mr. Maxwell would feel far safer at Virginia Tech, The Appalachian School of Law, and Oikos University -- all institutions of higher learning with no lawful carrying on campus, and strong anti-weapons and anti-violence policies. Printed. On Paper.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

It's Tough Being An Al-Qaeda #2

Yet another Al Qaeda #2 man has gone to his just desserts, apparently via drone-fired missile.

The Detroit News: Al-Qaida's No. 2 in Yemen killed in airstrike

An airstrike killed al-Qaida's No. 2 leader in Yemen along with five others traveling with him in one car on Monday, senior Yemeni Defense Ministry officials reported. If confirmed, Saeed al-Shihri's death would be a major blow to the militant group.

The officials said the missile that killed al-Shihri, a Saudi national, was believed to have been fired by a U.S. operated drone, but that couldn't immediately be confirmed. The U.S. doesn't usually comment on such attacks although it has used drones in the past to go after al-Qaida members in Yemen.

That makes at least 30 Al Qaeda #2s zapped. Not exactly a job with a lot of longevity or viable prospects for promotion, nor chances to collect on the pension plan.

The most recently appointed Al Qaeda #1, Ayman al-Zawahiri, reminiscing on the losses of this slew of #2s allegedly tearfully stated while furtively scanning the sky:

"Yes, they blow up so fast, don't they?"

Monday, September 10, 2012

West Bloomfield Officer Down

The Detroit News Suspected gunman in officer's death had just gotten divorced, faced eviction

I won't say much about the scumbag killer, who is apparently still holed up in his house after his cowardly assault and ambush. He killed Officer O'Rourke who had been coming to help him, responding to the call that there was a suicidal occupant in the house.

Instead, let's talk about the officer:

Described as "a model police officer and a good family man," O'Rourke was a Fenton resident who went to Wayne County Regional Police Training Center at Schoolcraft College and became an officer in 2000. He grew up in Hartland.

He was 39, a father of four kids. Darn.

I think, but am not sure, that Officer O'Rorke may have been the second responding officer in the Kia hitting the RAV incident as he looks familiar. If so, he was an observant and courteous officer with a professional demeanor.

West Bloomfield just lost a credit to our community.

RIP Officer Patrick O’Rourke, and thank you for your service.

9/11 Memorial Mega Cost Overuns

The Detroit Free Press: World Trade Center memorial is magnificent -- but at a steep price

It is 11 years since the terrorist attack that destroyed the Twin Towers, the memorial is yet to be complete and the annual budget threatens to take over all of the National Park Services funds and is heading for a billion dollar price tag when you take construction and operating costs into account.

the National Sept. 11 Memorial and Museum at the World Trade Center is an awesome spectacle that moved and inspired some 4.5 million visitors in its first year.

But all that eye-welling magnificence comes with a jaw-dropping price tag. The foundation that runs the memorial estimates that once the roughly $700 million project is complete, the memorial and museum will together cost $60 million a year to operate

The article helps put that cost in perspective:

By comparison, the National Park Service budgeted $8.4 million this year to operate and maintain Gettysburg National Military Park and $3.6 million for the monument that includes the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor. Running Arlington National Cemetery, which has more than 14,000 graves and receives 4 million visitors a year, costs $45 million annually.

Security at the site is budgeted to cost 12 million per year - that's a lot of employees touching visitor's junk. In fact, such junk inspections are likely:

The foundation plans to spend at least a fifth of its operating budget, or around $12 million per year, on private security because of terrorism fears. Visitors to the memorial plaza pass through airport-like security, and armed guards patrol the grounds.

The fountains themselves cost $4-5 million per year to operate. 2 fountains - $4 to $5 million. Per year.

But fear not, the foundation in the face of such extravagant cost overruns is seeking government subsidies:

In addition, the foundation and several elected officials have proposed that the American public pick up one-third of the operating costs.

So far, Congress has balked. A bill proposed by Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, that would have had the National Park Service contribute $20 million per year ran into opposition from Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., who noted that the federal government had already spent $300 million on the project.

Not that the government purse is endless, but you would have thought $300 million would have tided them over for awhile. Further subsidies would have to come from elsewhere than the National Parks Budget or our national parks will be reduced to this one memorial:

A National Park Service official, William Shaddox, testified at a hearing that $20 million is more than the agency can afford, and larger than the entire annual appropriation for nearly 99 percent of the parks in its system.

The New York Memorial isn't the only memorial facing cost overruns. The Flight 93 Memorial is also becoming quite a costly monument.

A year after the dedication of the Flight 93 National Memorial near Shanksville, Pa., the project remains short of its goal and is the only one of the three major tributes to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks that isn't fully funded.

When the memorial was dedicated on Sept. 10, 2011, it was $10 million short of completion. A May fund-raiser in Washington and other donations, from schoolchildren to corporations, have raised $5 million, allowing construction to proceed on the second phase.

But another $5 million is needed to finish one of the signature elements: a 93-foot tower with 40 chimes representing the passengers and crew who died.

Yes the terrorist attack on 9/11 and those who died in them should not be forgotten. But, the delays, incompetence and cost overruns are getting ridiculous, and the victims and heroes of that day deserve better.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

At The USPSA 2012 Michigan Sectional

So I attended and Competed in my First USPSA Sectional Match today.

This was my first major USPSA match. The match was held at the Livingston Gun Club in Brighton.

Robert came along to shoot the match. We both had preregistered so we showed up at 7:45 having stopped for coffee on the way, got signed in, squaded up and dressed for success.

The match was fun and challenging - p stages of fun and confounding shooting problems - drop turners, swingers and popover targets galore, as well as tricky target locations that could cause you to pass them by without seeing them unless your carefully paid attention tot he shooting angles.

As is typical for Livingston, the range staff - this time composed solely of certified USPSA range officers, as it was a championship match, and fellow shooters were great. Everybody had a great attitude and as usual were helpful with tips for shooting the more difficult courses of fire.

For quite a few of the courses of fire, the shooters kept the score as reported by the ROs and as usual I volunteered and did a lot of score-keeping.

I had one serious miss - dashing past a target and failing to engage it or even recognize it was there on one of the courses of fire that had many an interesting angle. It was a great run, but spoiled badly by the missed target and the dreaded failure to engage (FTE) penalty.

As luck would have it, I was spared the horror of the miss and FTE as the score-keeper that relieved me during my run failed to record my time. They then ran another shooter before they caught the error and I got to re-shoot the stage.

I made darn certain to engage that target and whacked it definitively with two A-zone hits. My recorded score for that stage was thus redeemed.

There were a lot of very good shooters at the match including a few masters and a grand master. I learned a lot and did pretty good -- though probably not my best shooting ever. I had a great time, and met some very nice people.

So I'm now waiting patiently for the scores to be posted as the stats master has 82 shooters to diligently process. While he is a magician with the stats, he's not a miracle worker so I expect it will be a few days before he's done.

In short, I'm hoping to escape being in last place, so we'll see how I do in a few days.

Friday, September 07, 2012

Pro Se Games People Play

While researching a matter, I came across the charming Michigan Court of Appeals unpublished case of Sharp v. Department of Corrections.

From the Case and from OTIS, it is apparent that M. Sharp is in prison on multiple counts of assault with intent to commit murder and is sentenced in 1988 to about 30 to 110 years in prison with his earliest release date in 2018 and his latest in 2078 (this is strange as 110 years should be 2098 - maybe its the new math or a long-term criminal discount).

In other words, the man has a considerable amount of time on his hands.

And lo, he uses that time to file a pro se complaint alleging the Department of Corrections owes him more than (insert Dr. Evil voice here) 19 Billion Dollars.

How did he get to such a princely sum you msy ask?

[Sharp]filed a complaint alleging that defendant Department of Corrections owed him more than $19 billion pursuant to a “Private Agreement” under which defendant became indebted to plaintiff at a rate of $1 million per day for every day that plaintiff remained wrongfully imprisoned. Plaintiff alleged that he sent the “Private Agreement” to the prison warden by certified mail, but that neither the warden nor any other agent of defendant responded. By its terms, the document was “self-executing” and would become effective if defendant allowed a five-day period to expire without responding. Plaintiff claimed that defendant was liable to him under the terms of the “Private Agreement,” as either an express contract or an account stated.

This is what happens when you let people read the Uniform Commercial Code without any context.

Unsurprisingly, the Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of his complaint.

The trial court properly concluded that plaintiff failed to plead facts sufficient to establish mutuality of agreement. A contract requires mutual assent or a meeting of the minds on all the essential terms. Kloian v Domino’s Pizza, LLC, 273 Mich App 449, 453; 733 NW2d 766 (2006); Burkhardt v Bailey, 260 Mich App 636, 655; 680 NW2d 453 (2004). The document that plaintiff mailed to warden Kurt Jones, demanding payment of $1 million for every day that plaintiff remained incarcerated, constituted, at best, an unaccepted offer. “An offer is a unilateral declaration of intention, and is not a contract. . . . A contract is made when both parties have executed or accepted it, and not before. . . . Mere discussions and negotiation, including unaccepted offers, cannot be a substitute for the formal requirements of a contract.” Kamalnath v Mercy Mem Hosp Corp, 194 Mich App 543, 549; 487 NW2d 499 (1992) (citations omitted). As plaintiff admitted in his complaint, Jones and defendant failed to respond in any way to plaintiff’s unsolicited correspondence; accordingly, there was no acceptance, no mutuality of agreement, and no contract.

Plaintiff cites various provisions of the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) in support of his contention that a valid contract exists. However, Article 2 of the UCC applies solely to transactions in goods, MCL 440.2102; Neibarger v Universal Cooperatives, Inc, 439 Mich 512, 536-537; 486 NW2d 612 (1992); DaimlerChrysler Corp v Wesco Distribution, Inc, 281 Mich App 240, 245; 760 NW2d 828 (2008), and is therefore inapplicable to plaintiff’s Private Agreement.

He also lost on his account stated claim as again, there had never been any agreement or any mutual dealings of a monetary nature.

Using the UCC and Account Stated - You're Doing It Wrong.

In short the whole "If you don't respond you owe me millions" scheme just doesn't work.

The only way he could have made his case even more thrilling and legally sophisticated would have been to claim he was an indigenous Moor and that Moorish law should apply.

One wishes the Court of Appeals could not just affirm the dismissal but also tack on additional sentencing time or bar him from filing further complaints for wasting court resources, filing a frivolous complaint, and being a dunce.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Arab Caught With Explosives And Buying Grenades In West Bloomfield "It's Just A Hobby".

From JewintheD:Jewish Lawyer Claims Alaa Qasawa Of West Bloomfield Was Collecting Explosives As A Hobby

Relatives of a West Bloomfield Township man were tearful Thursday as the father of four appeared in federal court on allegations he attempted to illegally obtain and manufacture explosive materials.

Alaa Manuel Qasawa was arrested Wednesday after the FBI raided his home and the Tubby’s sub shop he owns in Lake Orion.

U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Laurie Michelson scheduled a detention hearing for 1 p.m. Monday. Until then, Qasawa will remain in the custody of U.S. Marshals.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin Mulcahy told Michelson that more than 100 items were taken from Qasawa’s home, including computer evidence, when the search warrant was executed Wednesday.

A criminal complaint unsealed Thursday charges Qasawa with violating federal laws by seeking to obtain stolen explosive material — including fuses and grenades — and manufacture the materials without a license.

In a federal affidavit, FBI Special Agent Jeffrey Jacobs alleged a “cooperating witness” spoke with Qasawa, a self-described collector, on various occasions between Aug. 3 and Aug. 23.

Mitch Ribitwer, an attorney repressing Qasawa, said his client is a collector who makes replicas and has “no evil intent.”

“It’s a hobby,” Ribitwer said Thursday, adding Qasawa’s wife of 21 years is “distraught, upset and concerned.”

However, as the Oakland Press reports, it certainly looks like Mr. Qasawa was trying to manufacture live grenades, and quite a few of them:

Agents concluded from the calls that Qasawa already possessed explosives, including an M228 — which is a pyrotechnic delay igniting fuse used in conjunction with an M69 grenade body — and was in need of blasting caps without holes, or he was attempting to build a fully functional M228 fuse assembly.

On Aug. 23, the witness made another FBI-monitored call to Qasawa, letting him know the shipment was ready but that the witness wanted to make sure the items being sent were correct. The witness offered to sell Qasawa an entire grenade assembly, which are illegal to sell to the public.

Qasawa agreed to pay $25 for the assembly. Qasawa also asked for blasting caps to go with the M228 fuse. The witness said they were hard to get. They discussed how the grenade would be handled and shipped. Qasawa asked if the witness could get four or five a month, and the witness said he would try.

The FBI said they concluded Qasawa — who is not licensed to have explosives by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives or the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office — is attempting to manufacture explosive devices.

Court officials with the Eastern District Court in Detroit expected Qasawa would be arraigned this week.

Four or five live grenades per month is quite a hobby habit, now isn't it? It will certainly be interesting to see how this particular case develops.

59 Year-Old Woman Prevents Car Jacking In Detroit

The Detroit Free Press actually decently covers a case of self-defense with a firearm in Detroit:

59-year-old woman pulls gun on two men who approached her with weapon

According to Detroit police, the 59-year-old woman was stopped at 3 p.m. Monday at a traffic light at Santa Rosa and West Seven Mile Road when a 2002 red Ford Taurus bumped her vehicle. When the woman got out to inspect the damage, she was approached by the two young men — one with a weapon.

Police said the woman, who has a concealed pistol license, pulled out a weapon. The men then ran back to their car and drove away. The woman was not injured.

Pretty much a perfect demonstration of a CPL-holder properly defending themselves with a firearm.

Amazingly for the antis and indeed contrary to the Freep's own dire predictions before CPL shall-issue reform was passed, there was no "blood in the streets", nor was there a "Wild West" - just a lady who was able to protect herself from what would likely have been a very dangerous if not deadly situation.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Democrats Suddenly Recover God, Jerusalem Into Their Platform

The Democrats, for the first time in the history of their party, neglected to mention God in their party platform. They had no problem inserting that abortion should be available on demand even to those who can't afford it (ie taxpayer funded, which should make pro-life Democrats heads spin), but deleted any religious reference.

The Detroit Free Press: Democrats scramble to tweak planks on Jerusalem, God as convention's 2nd night begins

Democrats sought to tamp down a pair of controversies as they gaveled open the second night of their convention Wednesday, inserting the word “God” into their platform and restating support for Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Both had been omitted from the original draft...

One would think it was an inadvertent mistake, after all, forgetting those two points could happen to anybody, really. However, the removal of those references seems to not have been so accidental, especially given the challenge of getting reference to the God and support for Jerusalem as Israel's capital back into their platform.

The language was adopted as amendments to the party platform as the first order of Wednesday’s business, but not without controversy. It took three attempts to pass the language regarding Jerusalem and a subjective decision by the convention chairman, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, to decide the change had the required support of two-thirds of the delegates. To many listeners, the voice vote seemed at least evenly divided.

If that doesn't make the Jewish Democrat supporters situp and take notice not much will. Three attempts and the final one likely a push is quite revealing of the Democrat delegates, representing the entire Party's actual feelings on the matter. Perhaps those Jews will realize that while they haven't left the Democrat party, their party sure as heck is leaving them.

Indeed those chosen deletions are quite revealing to the American public as a whole - the Democrats are turning their back on American traditions that have served America well in both the domestic and foreign relations spheres.

Wow. Debbie Schlussel has the video of the Democrat clown show where they amended their platform to put mention of God and of recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital back into their platform.

It's also a decidedly Democrat demonstration that it is not who votes that matters, but who counts the vote that truly matters.

Former Rep Stupak Discovers Obama's Promises Come With An Expiration Date

And the promise he received just expired.

Via Right Michigan.

Former Democrat Rep Stupak, who lost his Congressional seat over his grand deal with Obama for Stupak's vital vote needed to pass Obama care, just found out that the promise Obama gave for that vote has now expired.

I believe when confronted by Stupak's umbrage, Obama may have replied - "I am altering the deal, pray I don't alter it further." That is if he deigned to reply to it at all. After all, a con man has no sympathy for such an easy mark.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

School's In From Summer

Originally Posted To Facebook by the Indomitable and Indefatigable Mr. George Takei

This morning I got up, made the coffee, fed the kids and walked them along with Natasha to school for their first day.

Both of them were very excited.

Leah is making the leap to First Grade and Abby is now in Third Grade - the top grade in the school.

They both determinedly insisted on wearing their own backpacks on the way, each pack heavily loaded down with all their required supplies for the year. With looks of steely determination they marched, looking like troops ready to go over-the-top on their way to school.

Leah immediately found a friend from kindergarten on the way to her classroom and they held hands, talked and walked excitedly as only little kids can as they headed for the classroom.

We walked them both to their classrooms and dropped Leah off first and helped her get situated, and then did the same for Abby. They both met their teachers, unloaded their packs and got their desks ready and then started their activities after a quick hug goodbye.

They're both growing up strong and smart with their very own personalities and dreams.

It's our job as parents to help them get to their dreams. Some days you just wish it wasn't going by quite so fast.

Monday, September 03, 2012

What Media Bias?

Borepatch comments on the phenomenon of the media conveniently overlooking any blemished history, faux pas, or outright lie by a Democrat while pouncing and "fact-checking" on the slightest misstep or even a non-misstatement made by Republicans that can be spun by the media as a misstatement.

This is part of the continuing mainstream media model of politics.

The media will soon shamefacedly correct its giving a complete pass and lack of vetting of Democrats by working over and coming up with every misstep, misstatement and error committed by the Republicans twice as hard.

This is called, in mass media parlance, "Fairness".

After all, 0% vetting and scrutiny plus 200% vetting and scrutiny averages out to 100% fair and objective mass media coverage.

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Yet Another Reason Why You Can't Get A Decent Bagel In Berlin

Yahoo News: Rabbi beating sparks fury in Germany

The brutal daylight beating of a rabbi in front of his six-year-old daughter sparked furious condemnation in Germany Thursday, with some Jewish groups saying they feared a rise in anti-Semitic behaviour.

However, it is not the native Germans doing the attacks, at least not this time around:

The attack on the 53-year-old by four youths, thought to be Arabs, left him hospitalised and the Jewish community outraged, already up in arms over a court ruling in western Germany that outlaws religious circumcision. One youth smashed the rabbi in the face several times after asking him if he was Jewish, apparently because he was wearing a traditional head covering, police said. The assailants fled, but not before aiming death threats at the young girl, according to authorities, who have launched an investigation into the Tuesday attack.

Unfortunately such attacks against Jews in Germany by Muslims is hardly a rare occurrence:

Berlin rabbi Andreas Nachama told AFP that Germany had seen over the past few years "a rising hostility towards Jews due to the conflict in the Middle East."

"Verbal attacks against Jews have increased," said Gideon Joffe, head of the Jewish Community of Berlin, in an interview with local daily Tagesspiegel.

Meanwhile, the rector of the Abraham Geiger College in Berlin, an academic seminary for rabbis, warned his students against wearing the yarmulke, or traditional Jewish head covering.

"If you are no longer seen as a Jewish person, you are safer," Walter Homolka told Friday's edition of the Berliner Morgenpost daily.

I'd like to think American Jews' reactions in the face of similar attacks would be markedly different in both tone and measure.

After all, the last time German Jews decided to meekly weather things out thinking it can't get much worse as they kept proclaiming they were good Germans really didn't help much.

A pity Germany is finding such difficulties culturally assimilating such Muslim immigrants. Tom Kratman, Please Call Your Office, it's your forecasted storm rolling in on line 1.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Credulous Libs and Photoshop

So this pic is currently making the rounds of the leftward section of the Internet showing the Republican Convention debt clock and the "We Built It" sign.

Usually its accompanied by a smug "Ha! Ha! Those Republicans are so dumb".

The problem with that oh-so-smart smugness is that the photo is a fake, a Photoshop.

The trouble is that it fits the Left's preconceptions so well, they fell for it in droves, including the media with an example being the Future Journalism Project.

Future Journalism Project properly apologized for falling for the hoax, but it is clear their preconceptions allowed them to be suckered by it. After all, it fits their world view so well that they didn't even bother to check its validity. Hopefully they'll be more careful in the future.

Expect further fakery along these lines this campaign season, especially for such to be virally picked up when such fakery endorses the left's view of the way things are or should be.