I saw this business card (name and contact info cropped) and had a little chuckle:
I hear this business gets accused of being homophonic quite often.
The Detroit News: Orr strips absent Pugh of pay, powers
Orr stripped Pugh’s powers and $76,000-a-year salary one day after the highest-ranking councilman failed to meet a deadline to return to work and allegations surfaced of an “inappropriate relationship” with a 17-year-old student he once mentored.
This is the same council president brought in to save Detroit's finances but who let his own condo go into foreclosure. Detroit's voters sure can pick 'em.
Now if Orr will similarly strip the remaining city council clowns of their positions and pay and use the $10.7 million dollars budgeted to the council for things actually needed by the city, Detroit might get a bit further back on track.
While it seems Orr had a policy of "keeping your enemies close" and used kid-gloves with the council to keep them from trying to openly thwart him at every turn, the time for the kid-gloves treament for this clowncil to end is blindingly obvious to all.
Just barely out of bankruptcy itself, thanks to an extraordinary government bailout and rule changing on its behalf, GM is now being asked to save.....the French?
The Detroit News: Peugeot rescue too risky for GM
After 203 years in control, the Peugeot family appears to be angling for General Motors Co. to come to the rescue of its ailing French automaker, PSA Peugeot Citroën.
Descendants of Jean-Pierre and Jean-Frédéric Peugeot, who founded the industrial concern in 1810 as a steel foundry, are prepared to cede control of their money-losing automaker in exchange for another cash infusion from GM, Reuters reported Thursday, citing “sources.” PSA also pursued talks with its Chinese partner, Dongfeng Motor Corp., but is renewing an interest in a bailout from Detroit.
GM shouldn’t, unless the new brass atop the Renaissance Center is eager to repeat the mistakes of its predecessors. You’ll recall that GM alums Jack Smith and Rick Wagoner, among others, were the brains behind a web of global alliances connecting GM to second-tier players Isuzu, Suzuki and Subaru of Japan, culminating in the Fiat SpA folly that cost $2 billion in cash to exit.
It’s all gone now, unwound in a desperate attempt over much of the past decade to rationalize the company, better manage resources and focus limited executive attention on core GM business at home and abroad before bankruptcy forced an even starker restructuring. With $15 billion in losses over the past dozen years in Europe, can GM profit by doubling down on Europe’s sickest volume automaker?
Remember, GM just might do it as an opportunity to lose even more money, which appeals to GM's fabled culture: GM loses money on every car, but they make it up in volume.
GM already has a $1 Billion investment in Peugot.
Hopefully GM's execs have now learned when to cut their losses and not throw good money after bad.
Remember the old joke about Heaven and Hell?
Hell is Where:
The British are the chefs
The Swiss are the lovers
The French are the car makers
The Italians make everything run on time
And the Germans are the police
Further investment in a dying French automaker would be one helluva decision.
President of the Detroit City Council Charles Pugh had just announced, via a memo that he was taking a leave of absence for health reasons from the City Council.
Now we might just know why:
a Southfield attorney says he is preparing a lawsuit against the one-time broadcaster for alleged inappropriate activity involving a youth, including “disturbing” text messages.
Sounds like Pugh is accused of one of the few things that can get a Democrat shamed from office - being caught with a live boy or a dead girl, and in this case it's allegedly a boy.
The Detroit Public Schools confirmed that the mother of a recent high school graduate student at the Frederick Douglass Academy for Boys made a complaint against Pugh in early June, alleging the council president gave her son gifts of clothing, a cell phone and cash without her knowledge....We’re alleging Mr. Pugh engaged in inappropriate behavior with our client [attorney for the boy's mother] Land said at a news conference
It's not called a clowncil for nothing folks, and again yet another Detroit official may be sunk by their own text messages.
But Ware and Land held an inch-thick stack of photocopies of what they said were text messages and phone calls made by Pugh to the boy. They would not show the text messages in detail, but Ware said: “They’re bad. They’re disturbing.”
So Pugh is alleged to have done to an individual Detroiter what he and the rest of the city clowncil have been doing collectively to the entire City of Detroit.
That's Detroit for you.
Like rats abandoning a sinking ship, Detroit's City Council members are rapidly heading for the exit as the city flounders in default and decay.
First, Kwame Kenyatta resigned, and good riddance.
Next, the President of the City Council Charles Pugh under some very strange circumstances just took a 4 week medical leave of absence with pay after - something not provided for in the City's charter, and for which he's being told by the EFM Orr to either show up and do his job or resign.
Now, President Pro Tem of the City Council Gary Brown, is resigning from the council to go work for the EFM's office as the city's chief compliance officer and make $250,000 per year.
Whether Orr is crazy to bring in a city clowncil member, one of those who created the mess that caused the city to fall out of compliance, as his chief compliance officer is open to question.
Is he crazy like a fox trying to get Brown in to get buy-in and further support from the city, or did he just let a fox into the chicken coop?
Or is this just Democrat city politics as usual where the connected end up with high paying jobs no matter what?
Stay tuned as things continue to get shaken up and shake out in the City of Detroit.
For those of us who didn't realize that Michigan was affected by the Voting Rights Act, and was under the misconception that the VRA applied to the south and not this most northern of northern states, think again.
Until Tuesday, the small charter township [Buena Vista Township] in Saginaw County was one of just two Michigan jurisdictions included in the list of states and counties across the U.S. that were required to get federal approval for any kind of change in election procedures or practices under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, an attempt to remove poll tests or other obstacles to minorities reaching the ballot booth.
I certainly didn't know about these two Michigan townships being under VRA monitoring, and I doubt most Americans knew about it as well.
Interestingly, both Buena Vista Township and Clyde Township were under VRA supervision but ironically, no one at the Department of Justice overseeing the enforcement of the VRA can explain nor remember why they were included under the VRA preclearance requirements in the first place:
Buena Vista and Clyde townships became covered jurisdictions in the mid-1970s. Although they were included at a time when the law had been changed to take into consideration foreign-language ballots and different percentages of minority turnout and registration, no one in the Justice Department could explain what exactly had led to their inclusion. Most of Buena Vista Township’s population is black; Clyde Township is 33% Hispanic.
Buena Vista Township happens to have a school board that punked the State of Michigan for $580,000 in funding by failing to report it was no longer running a program that was receiving the money for years. As a result the board is on the brink of being removed by the state for its malfeasance.
Some in Buena Vista apparently were hoping the VRA would stop the school board from being eliminated:
But in Buena Vista Township, with a population of 8,842, the impact could be even more immediate. Legislation under consideration in Lansing could allow for dissolution of the township’s troubled school district. Some of the district’s supporters have openly wondered whether the Voting Rights Act protection would require approval from the U.S. Department of Justice before such a dissolution would be allowed, because the district has an elected school board. If so, they could have possibly used the act to block the school dissolution legislation.
Now at least the VRA won't stand in the way of reforming or eliminating a corrupt and wayward school board.
It's not just Detroit's city government, nor the corrupt county government for which Detroit is the seat, the rot and incompetence has similarly infested the Detroit District court.
The 36th District court, just like the city and county, is over-budget, inefficient, and stuffed with lots of featherbedding jobs with fat pensions while service and the administration of justice suffers.
Every lawyer I know hates going there due to both the waste of time to get anything done, and the expectation that the court will lose a document or even an entire file, which is met just about every time you go there or file with the court.
In one of the many long-suffering cases I had there, not only did they fail to process the proof of service for three months, leading to them dismissing the case for lack of service, but even after that was corrected they then took an additional six months to enter a default judgment after service was made - apparently the default application was sitting on the judge's desk somewhere and they'd eventually get around to it. Most other courts in Michigan by comparison will get a default application entered the same day it is filed or at most a week. The client was most unimpressed with the combined nine month delay in what was a very simple matter and the level of incompetence shown was only explicable in five words: "Forget it client, it's Detroit."
On another occasion, it took three hours to be heard on a traffic stop matter for a client, who had the misfortune of being stopped in Detroit, which was dismissed on a double technicality - not only did the officer leave the courtroom after two hours when we were finally heard in hour three, but the court had also lost the traffic ticket itself. It then took an additional hour to get a copy of the dismissal of the case, as you simply do not leave the court without written evidence the case was dismissed, for very obvious reasons.
The court is quite simply too big, too badly disorganized and too badly run to serve the city.
Change can't come soon enough to the worst-run court in Michigan, and The Michigan Supreme Court is finally stepping in:
The Detroit News: Detroit's 36th District Court faces big reforms
Talbot, who was appointed last month by the Michigan Supreme Court to oversee operations at the troubled court, said his plans include streamlining the way traffic tickets are processed. He said he will introduce an e-ticket system in which tickets are electronically transmitted from the police car to the courthouse. Under the current system, most officers write paper tickets, which are delivered to the courthouse.
Well, that may just end the easy string of technical dismissals based on the court consistently losing tickets.
Layoffs of unionized workers are likely and could include as many as 81 people, Talbot warned. Barring layoffs, union employees could face 10 percent pay cuts, he added.
Forty-nine non-union employees have already taken wage cuts and other benefit concessions, including changes to their health care plans and 13 unpaid holidays.
Talbot was assigned to the court after the National Center for State Courts found the 36th District Court was plagued by financial mismanagement, a backlogged docket and bloated payroll. Its report concluded the court was run by administrators unable or unwilling to change.
The court is $4.5 million over its $31 million budget and the report said the court has failed to collect on $279 million in driving tickets, ordinance violations and misdemeanor fines.
“They never followed the budget,” Talbot said of the court, which houses 31 judges and handles misdemeanors, traffic offenses and violations of city ordinances. “They didn’t seem to care.”
When you leave $279 million in unpaid tickets out there, yet run 4.5 million over your budget, the solution should have been quite simple to anyone with the competence to do some very basic math.
Competence in the Detroit District Court has, however, always been in short supply.
The Detroit News: Lenders take it on the chin in Orr's plan
Emergency Financial Manager Orr just declared that bond holders with limited and unlimited general obligation debt were now unsecured lenders with the debt not backed by the full faith and credit of the city. In other words, from what was a historically safe loan made to a city backed by its power to tax and obligation to pay the lenders back, the lender now holds a piece of paper they'll be lucky to get pennies on the dollar for.
This is known as changing the terms of the loan after you've already received the money.
The reason for this change - well, according to Orr, the lenders should have known better than to lend money to the City of Detroit, promises and contracts for repayment be damned.
“If you lent money to an insolvent city that has been going insolvent as openly and notoriously as possible since 2000, and you don't have a security interest, then you are an unsecured creditor,” he told The Bond Buyer in a recent interview. “This has been building for decades and decades. They understood the risk.”
This reminds me of a similar situation where a good faith lender gets taken to the cleaners by his debtors.
Yep, same thing, just delivered a tad more politely.
Given his statement, where exactly does Orr think he will find a lender for the City now?
This turns the rules of municipal lending on their head, and expect that the bond markets are going to react and start reconsidering their loans to all troubled municipal debtors as a result and not consider Detroit to be an isolated case.
If you hold any municipal bond funds, it is likely time or well past time to get the heck out, as this "safe investment" now unequivocally isn't.
The Detroit Free Press, long a left-wing haven of anti-concealed carry and pro-gun control editorials, opinions, and slanted news coverage, just published a most welcome editorial indeed:
The Detroit Free Press: James G. Hill: Why I carry: Having a firearm is like having insurance
In a great article, Free Press Politics Editor James G. Hill recounts an incident where he avoided a mugging in Detroit by carrying a firearm where, as is typical, no shots were fired.
He presents the carrying of firearms by civilians in a very positive way, highlighting the responsibilities and training involved as well as the appropriate mindset. Likening having the gun to having insurance, he relates how it saved him from being mugged one night. Quite unlike the typical reportage we've come to know from the Freep regarding good guys with guns. Go read the whole thing.
Kudos to Mr. Hill for such a positive, accurate, and well-written editorial on what to the Freep is normally a deliberately ignored, taboo, and off-limits subject.
Much like a British policeman may say "Stop, or I'll say Stop again", Obama's verbal dictates to other nations regarding the affaire Snowden are being met with the same result:
The Detroit Free Press: Obama to Russia: Turn over Snowden
Of course he made the same demand to Hoing kong, which promptly ignored it.
Edward Snowden's global fight could have major diplomatic ramifications.
The Obama administration is asking Russia to turn over Snowden, who has been charged with espionage in connection with news leaks of National Security Agency surveillance programs -- the same request Obama's team made of China and Hong Kong, which still allowed Snowden to depart to Russia on Sunday.
Turn him over, or we'll demand you turn him over again:
Hayden added: "We expect the Russian Government to look at all options available to expel Mr. Snowden back to the U.S. to face justice for the crimes with which he is charged."
I'm sure they'll look into their options in their own sweet time. Trying to bluff someone when he knows you're not holding any cards is quite the waste of time.
Throughout the weekend, Obama administration officials suggested there would be diplomatic consequences for nations that protect Snowden. "We are disappointed by the decision of the authorities in Hong Kong to permit Mr. Snowden to flee despite the legally valid U.S. request to arrest him for purposes of his extradition under the U.S.-Hong Kong Surrender Agreement," Hayden said. She added: "We have registered our strong objections to the authorities in Hong Kong as well as to the Chinese government through diplomatic channels and noted that such behavior is detrimental to U.S.-Hong Kong and U.S.-China bilateral relations."
In reality, Snowden's liberty is now a tool which America's adversaries are using to illustrate America's, and the Obama administration's, soft-power powerlessness in the face of their intransigence.
That Obama and his State Department have yet to learn that even when the light-bringer and his subordinates are the ones making them, you do not go around making chest-thumping tough-guy demands when you have no potential to back them up, and no chance they will be heeded. Soft-power, loud talk and lofty rhetoric have their limitations.
Snowden is now being used to embarrass the Obama administration and show the United State's weakness. This embarrassment is only possible due to his administration making strident public demands that Snowden be extradited to the US, or Obama will demand he be extradited again.
Do take a look at the picture that accompanies the article of Putin and Obama staring at each other. One of them has a credible tough guy stare, and the other guy isd hoping to bluff his way through. Go ahead and guess which is which.
|Additional volleys followed|
|Parley at the Abatis|
|Don't worry, the redcoats win this war in the end|
Obama and the gang of Eight's Amnesty plan under the guise of Immigration reform is about to run right into upping the costs of Obamacare.
After all, what could go wrong with normalizing 11 million illegals and then trying to put them into Obamacare?
The Detroit News: Some immigrants excluded from health care overhaul
The headline should add (For Now) to the end of the title, for as with anything in this immigration legalization debauchery, its likely to not last as Mickey Kaus illustrates how the American people are being sold a bill of goods on this "reform" bill - legalization and millions of new Democrat voters and welfare and tax credit recipients today and border security maybe, someday, sometime.....
What the GOP members on the Gang of Eight are thinking is quite the mystery - perhaps its they illogically think that while they'll have a net loss of GOP voters with legalization, they'll make it up on volume?
Also, notice how the headline and article dances around the fact the issue is illegal immigrants and access to Obamacare, not immigrants per se:
But many immigrants will have to wait more than a decade to qualify for health care benefits under the proposed immigration overhaul being debated by Congress, ensuring a huge swath of people will remain uninsured as the centerpiece of Obama’s health care law launches next year.
Don't expect that restriction to last for long. Like many other promises in this bill, it seems quite illusory and will be subject to further "reform".
The politics behind the bill offer little solace to immigrant families struggling with growing medical bills.
Isabel Castillo came to the U.S. illegally with her parents when she was a child. She’s now 28 and has not gone for an annual physical exam since 2007. Every pain triggers debate over whether it’s worth a medical visit or not.
“You are like, ‘God, should I go, should I wait? The bill is going to be so high,’” Castillo said. “You just wait until you can’t tolerate the pain anymore and then you go to the emergency room.”
There is a solution for this illegal and many others with similar sob stories recounted in the article - after all the Left touts the greatness of Mexico's universal health care coverage - she can go back to Mexico for treatment and its a win-win for everyone!
Between Obamacare, Obama-Gang-of-8-Amnesty and a very shaky economy, it's going to get ugly with a high likelihood of irreparable harm.
It's not a sign of a robust recovery when markets drop at the merest hint the Fed may reduce its stimulus and ZIRp interest rate policy.
The Detroit Free Press: Susan Tompor: Markets having worst day of year
Today investors saw a flashback to the down days of cheese and crackers. After 3 p.m., the Dow was down about 313 points or 2.13% and trading at 14,798.25 points. It looks like the worst day for 2013 so far.
This week, the Federal Reserve’s open market committee made no changes to interest rates or monetary policy. But the Fed gave a hint that the economy is looking stronger.
One key phrase in the Fed’s statement: “Labor market conditions have shown further improvement in recent months.”
Another key Fed phrase: “The downside risks to the outlook for the economy and the labor market have diminished since the fall.”
Yes, better days. But some say that Wall Street is now worried about the Fed engaging in a quick, more restrictive monetary policy ahead.
Something tells me we're in for one helluva ride, and this is even before the full effects of Obamacare roil and roll the economy and markets even more.
It seems the main purpose of Jimmy Hoffa these days is to let the FBI run around Michigan and practice digging holes with heavy machinery.
The Detroit News: FBI calls off Hoffa dig, says no evidence found
Oakland Township — After stretching into a third day, the search for the body of missing Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa ended Wednesday morning in a rural field in northern Oakland County.
FBI investigators said no evidence of the body was found after combing a one-acre site near the intersection of Buell and Adams roads with 40 agents and they were going to break down their search site.
Following a tip from an aging mobster that Hoffa was buried in a shallow grave in a field here, agents had been armed with a search warrant, shovels and an earth mover since Monday. It was the latest unfruitful dig by the FBI since Hoffa disappeared from outside a Bloomfield Township restaurant in 1975.
Methinks the mob is having fun by sending the FBI on wild goose chases at taxpayer expense. Taking 40 agents of their regular jobs, presumably fighting crime -- including organized crime, to go running around digging holes is quite the coup.
All of those are very nice, but not nearly as cool nor technically challenging as this one.
This may very well be the first Cave Diving Flash Mob:
The real difference between them: Unlike Cheney, Obama can't hit crap with a shotgun. This could be because he holds it very strangely with his left hand on the trigger when he's a right hander. No wonder he can't hit squat.
The Detroit Free Press: Obama on NSA program: Don't compare me to Cheney
President Obama is defending National Security Agency surveillance programs, and disputing the notion that he is following in the footsteps of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.
In a PBS interview with Charlie Rose, Obama said efforts to track terrorists through phone and Internet surveillance have safeguards to prevent abusing the civil liberties of innocent Americans. Obama cited both congressional and judicial oversight.
When Rose asked, "should this be transparent in some way?," Obama responded: "It is transparent. That's why we set up the FISA court."
Critics note that this court -- created through the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act -- issues rulings in secret.
Yeah, parse that for a second - he's claiming its transparent although the results and rulings are secret. And you thought Bush mangled the English language?
On civil liberties, surveillance, military adventurism, and all those things the left excoriated Bush and Cheney for - well, Obama is Bush and Cheney's third term and far, far worse.
So Far, Libert's expedition has found timbers sticking up in Lake Michigan that may indeed prove to be the masts from the Griffin.
Whatever it may prove to be, its looking more and more like a shipwreck, but it's deeper than they anticipated.
The Detroit Free Press: Remote Michigan village abuzz over shipwreck search
Divers this weekend opened a pit at the base of a wooden beam that juts nearly 11 feet from the lake bottom, believing it could be a section of the vessel, the rest presumably entombed in mud. They picked up the pace Monday with more powerful equipment after a weekend of probing showed that whatever is buried is deeper than sonar readings indicated.
U.S. and French experts insist it is too early to say whether there’s a shipwreck — let alone the Griffin. But anticipation is building at the prospect of solving a maritime puzzle that’s more than three centuries old.
Stay tuned, as it looks like they're going to keep on digging until they can prove or disprove that this is the wreck of the Griffin.
Over this weekend, the Sitemeter (the replacement one, after the first one decided to flat-line) just hit 100,000 visitors.
While that's less than many blogs get in a month, if not a week, I treasure all of your visits and hope you find something that meets and merits your interest here.
Thank you all for your readership, comments and emails.
All of which are much appreciated.
Father's Day started off nicely meeting a few fathers and not-yet-fathers at Union loake for a serious dive. The plan: We split into two groups. Group A with scooters heads out 18 minutes before those of us without and scouts a new location and picks up some other items previously placed, to move the scuba tank boat (memorably named because it has a scuba tank on the bow) to a new location farther out on the line, planned to be in 50-60 feet of water. Group B by fins enters 18 minutes after, kicks to the Scuba Tank Boat (STB) and awaits Group A's return.
It was rather hot out so we got in our gear and decided to just hang in the water until it was time to go.
We started our dive as scheduled and headed to the STB and awaited Group A.
Visibility wasn't all that great with quite a bit of particulate in the water.
On the way to the STB, we saw this interesting pattern in the lake bed:
While it looks like an underwater alien crop circle, it is caused by crayfish skittering along the bottom - which they do backwards and rather quickly. Interesting to see such a large pattern.
Then we arrived at the STB:
We had a while to wait so we swam around a bit then did an ascent practice to conserve breathing gas consumption as we waited for them. In very simple terms, the shallower you are, the less pressure there is and as a result you use less gas with every breath you take from your tanks.
Group A then arrived and we got to the process of trying to lift the boat. Unfortunately we only had one 500 lb lift bag and the boat did not want to cooperate.
While it started to move a smidge when the bag was inflated, it wasn't enough to break suction from the mud and get it going. After trying for a bit we called it and headed back.
Considering the amount of time spent at depth, Group A had to do some mandatory deco stops and we stayed along with them doing the same. Group A had brought along deco bottles (Aluminum 40 cubic foot tanks) filled with 100% O2. I switched to my deco bottle of 50/50 (50% oxygen, 50% everything else, mainly nitrogen) along with them to both use it up as its time for it to be visually inspected, and to just get a theoretically more effective series of safety stops rather than just using air after such a long working dive. We did a stop at 20 feet for 5 minutes and a stop at 10 for five minutes follow by a slow ascent to 5 feet and after hanging around at five feet for a minute or two, to the surface. Then we got out of the water and headed to the local watering hole to chat and enjoy the rest of the morning.
Bottom temp was in the mid 50s, my dive time was 78 minutes, max depth 47 feet.
Next on the agenda some family time and some good steaks to be grilled for a fine Father's Day dinner.
Happy Father's Day!
Either EFM Kevyn Orr is trying to pull off the bluff of the century over Detroit's creditors, or the City is truly screwed - or both,
In a surprise, Orr announced the city is temporarily stopping debt payments, including a $39 million bill due Friday to conserve dwindling city cash.
“We are tapped out,” Orr said.
In a brief meeting with reporters after the meeting, Orr said the session went well and is intended to provide a clear path of the city’s course of action moving forward.
"If we are able to restructure and get a deal in place, then we start paying on the new regime," Orr told reporters. "We can't continue paying with the debt service we have going forward."
In blunt language, Orr highlighted the root cause of the city’s decades-long path to insolvency and blamed the crisis on financial mismanagement that, if unchecked, will have the city spending 60 cents of every tax dollar on legacy costs such as retiree pensions and health care.
“Detroit’s road to recovery begins today,” Orr said. “Financial mismanagement, a shrinking population, a dwindling tax base and other factors over the past 45 years have brought Detroit to the brink of financial and operational ruin.”
And despite earlier fears, Orr did not propose selling beloved city assets such as the Detroit Institute of Arts’ collection or Belle Isle.
The plan calls for shared sacrifice among the city’s creditors, many of whom are being offered less than 10 cents on the dollar. Some unsecured creditors will get less than 10 cents on the dollar for about $2.3 billion in claims that Detroit will soon stop making payments on unsecured debt to save as much as $25 million per month in cash, which will be spent, instead, on essential city services. Employees and vendors will continue to be paid.
The failure to pay the $39 million is one helluva massive default by the city, as is the plan to stop paying to unsecured creditors $254 million each month. Detroit's creditors are paying for the decades-long financial mismanagement of the city's corrupt Democrat leadership. Failure to pay bond holders is a very serious act of default. Indeed, the rating agencies just downgraded the city's bonds to CC which is about as bad as it gets, leaving only grades C and D remaining.
Current and future unsecured creditors - i.e. the city's vendors will have no incentive to continue to do work or provide supplies to the city under these circumstances as they will likely never be paid or at best take a 90% loss on every sale made. That can't bode well for the city's operational stability.
Expect this situation to go downhill fast as this blue state model city's unraveling picks up speed.
Apparently the legal wrangles have been worked out or at least set aside for now and explorer Steve Libert is off to the site where he believes La Salle's famous lost ship, La Griffon / The Griffin, lies in the Great Lakes.
The Detroit News: Expedition hopes to find La Salle's long lost ship
Best of luck to Mr. Libert and crew that the expedition will be a success, and that he has indeed found the ship that has been missing for the longest period of time on the Great Lakes. If so he's on the cusp of one of the greatest maritime historical discoveries in North America.
In Rochelle Riley's editorial, we see everything that's wrong about the attitude of the credentialed (but not educated) class of bien pensants that run the mainstream media media and for that matter the Democrat party, but I repeat myself.
You see, to Ms. Riley it's not just that he leaked secret documents and the existence of the spying program, it's not just that he dared do it while Obama was in charge which is bad enough (had he done it under Bush we would have expected her adulation), but it's that he's a member of the great unwashed - By Jove, he didn't even graduate high school, much less college! Tut-tut!
So as much as I want my first questions to deal with policies of domestic spying and to what extent the government should be allowed to intrude into the lives of its citizens to keep the country safe, my first question actually is: How did a high school dropout (who later earned his GED) become a security guard and then an IT officer who had access to the kind of information whose release leads to congressional investigations and allegations of treason?
Here Ms. Riley falls for the bien pensant delusion that one must be credentialed in order to be smart and capable of doing things, not to mention daring to enter into technical areas where he might rub shoulders with his betters.
An awful lot of technical training can be self-taught through hands on experience, taking technical classes, reading and by coaching from capable co-workers and mentors. You don't need a college degree to do an awful lot of very important work with it. While a classical college education (though few colleges now offer such) is indeed a mind-opening experience that can expose you to a great deal of information and how to analyze and problem solve, its not the sole way to receive such skills. Through a solid work ethic and effort you can indeed acquire all the needed skills to have a very nice career in the IT field.
I have no idea if Mr. Snowden is a "genius" or indeed even "smart", but I certainly don't discount his skills nor look down on him due his lack of a couple formal pieces of paper and that he received a GED rather than a regular high school graduation.
Note to Ms. Riley: This bloke with a GED just pulled the lid off of a top secret Obama spy program on the American people. His acts may darn well be wrong, they may indeed be treasonous, but they are not to be discounted just because he lacks a college degree.
If you're gonna be dumb, try not to have even dumber friends along for the ride:
The Detroit Free Press: Passenger curses cops, gets driver arrested in Waterford
A Waterford man can thank his buddy for a drunken driving arrest, according to the Waterford Township Police.
Officers were conducting a traffic stop at Highland and Pontiac Lake roads at 12:08 a.m. Saturday when Benjamin Boston Jonas, 34, drove past, his passenger screaming obscenities out the window.
“We got a drunk driver off the streets because a passenger decided to yell at the cops,” Waterford Township Police Sgt. Chester Bartle said today.
If you're gonna be stupid enough to drive drunk, compounding your stupidity by driving with a dumb drunk passenger isn't going to help you get away with it.
Something tells me Mr. Jonas is going to be reevaluating both his drinking habits and his choice of friends.
Mike Duggan, the only white contender, and indeed forerunner for mayor just ordered removed from the Detroit mayoral ballot by Wayne County Circuit Court.
The Detroit Free Press: Judge orders Mike Duggan off Detroit mayoral ballot
The case was filed by a long-short (and black) contender for mayor, Tom Barrow, and "labor activist" as described in the article Robert Davis. Do note that Robert Davis is currently being charged with multiple felonies for allegedly stealing $125,000 from the Highland Park School District when he was on the school board there - apparently being an accused felon who goes around filing stupid lawsuits makes one an activist. Too bad the Freep saw fit to fail to mention this tidbit of news.
Sadly, the court agreed with their argument that Duggan had not been a resident for one year before he filed for mayor, rather than considering the qualifying period as being a resident for a one year period before the filing deadline. Thus, while the filing deadline was May 14, Duggan filed for mayor on April 2, rather than waiting until after April 16 when he would have been a resident of Detroit for one year (he moved there April 16) and the whole claim wouldn't have been even arguable. So he was kicked off the Democrat primary ballot for mayor, which is to say he's off the ballot for mayor period for bad timing. He will probably appeal this decision.
Considering that Duggan is the most capable of all the contenders for mayor, and likely Detroit's last, best, hope for competent government, this ruling is yet another nail in Detroit's coffin.
Even as he announced that Detroit is insolvent he instructed creditors that they couldn't bring phones or recording devices to their initial meeting with him.
The Detroit Free Press: Orr to Detroit creditors: Don't bring phones to meeting on Friday
Methinks some ugly back-room deals that Orr doesn't want to get out in public are about to go down.
A letter from Kevyn Orr, the city of Detroit’s emergency manager, tells the city’s creditors to come without cell phones, cameras or recording devices to a Friday meeting to discuss his restructuring plan for the city, the Free Press has learned.
In a letter dated June 6 from Cleveland-based law firm Jones Day, creditors are also told that no group, company or institution is allowed to send more than two representatives and that “proof of identification and affiliation is required.”
According to the letter, from Dan Moss at Jones Day, Orr wants to discuss his restructuring plan for the city with creditors at a Friday meeting that starts at 10 a.m. at the Westin Hotel at Detroit Metropolitan Airport.
Well, at least they'll be meeting at a very nice hotel, one that is likely quite inconvenient for protesters to access.
The facts however are clear that Detroit is indeed insolvent and either going to go bankrupt or Or will try and get the City's creditors to take some neck-level haircuts.
Orr said the city spends more money than it takes in and is insolvent because it continues to borrow money to pay its bills.
The end result of unchecked corrupt Democrat Detroit certainly isn't pretty, and it's likely is going to become a whole lot uglier.
Schram writes perhaps one of the moist incredible whitewashes (if one may use the term) of President Obama's laundry-list of scandals ever in " the op-ed What you missed during the scandals."
Lately, it’s as if misdeeds by the bunglers who gave us those Benghazi talking points, Internal Revenue Service political abuses and FBI seizures of journalists’ communications are all that matters in President Barack Obama’s second term.
We’ve become so caught up in the scandal soaps that we often miss major news that affects us all. (Unless we catch a glimpse of it on those little news ribbons that move slowly across the bottoms of our screens beneath the chatterers and yappers.)
According to Schram, we should apparently ignore all of these scandals, attribute them all to "bunglers", and then concentrate on what he considers to be Obama's legacy. he then goes thorough the economy, which he claims is doing better under Obama, on China's espionage with no mention of the recent NSA scandal, he claims that Medicare is doing better because of Obamacare (yes, you can get back up off the floor after that whopper), and the current uprising in Syria. He then states:
These are the stories that will shape the real legacy of the Obama presidency – and our destiny.
Basically Schram, is defending Obama from his multitude of scandals, not by defending him substantively, but by pulling the op-ed equivalent of yelling "Look! Squirrel!".
Yet another of the by now numerous examples of the media being so fully invested and in the tank for this administration that they can't address these abuses of power for what they are but instead simply wish to brush them under the rug on behalf of Obama. While protecting their ideal president, they're trashing any hope of preserving their reputations.
This is a real simple recipe that makes a wicked easy and tasty roast chicken.
1. Preheat your oven to 425, or I find the convection setting at 410 works best if you've got one.
2. Wash the chicken, pat it dry, remember to remove that giblet package in the the body cavity.
3. Take powdered garlic and really shake a lot into the body cavity, then folow it with kosher salt and black pepper.
4. Then drop in a large amount of thyme into the cavity.
5. Next cut a lemon in half and insert it into the body cavity. You're done prepping the inside.
Now for the outside:
6. Melt two tablespoons of butter and brush it over the outside of the chicken. Leave the breast side up.
7. Then shake on a lot more powdered garlic on the breast side, followed by black pepper and kosher salt.
8. Then spread some olive oil onto the bottom of a roasting pan and put the chicken breast side down into the pan.
9. Then put the chicken into a roasting pan breast side down and then brush the side facing up with melted butter and then douse this side now facing up with garlic powder, black pepper and kosher salt.
10. Insert chicken into the oven, set your timer for 90 minutes and go off and do something else for 90 minutes. Easy, right? If you're the nervous type, you may check it from time to time, but remember, a watched chicken never roasts.
11. Come back 90 minutes later, remove chicken from oven, make sure its fully cooked and juices run clear. Slice and serve immediately.
It comes out nice and juicy with a crisp skin. Perfect.
It doesn't get much easier than this for a great roast chicken.
The Great Lakes ore freighter SS Henry B Smith, one of the 12 ships on the Great Lakes that sank, and one of those that went missing in the Great Storm of 1913, has most likely just been discovered.
Just a few months shy of 100 years after it sank with all hands in a monstrous November storm, it appears that the freighter Henry B. Smith — one of the most sought-after lost wrecks of Lake Superior — has been found.
The wreck is in 535 feet of water, which similar to the depth of the Edmund Fitzgerald and out of reach of most divers.
Video of the wreck can be viewed on the Duluth Tribune's page. The wreck is deep enough and the water is cold enough that zebra mussels aren't attached to the hull and seems to have been kept in a great state of preservation. Very cool, the ship apparently wanted to wait for the 100th year since its disappearance to be found. Quite an impressive and timely find by Jerry Eliason and his team.
I was invited on Wednesday to tag along to Portage Quarry for some practice dives.
So we got up early loaded up the dive truck and headed to Ohio.
Surface temp was in the sixties and bottom temp hit 50.
Keith brought his scooter along.
I do want one.
First, we headed to the Hansa HFB 320 Jet sunk in the quarry:
The fuselage is carefully marked Portage Quarry Air Force:
The right engine nacelle at the rear of the plane.
The entry door behind the cockpit - a tight fit in doubles but we managed to get in.
Rear close-up of the engine nacelle.
And the pilot, still strapped in and trapped in his watery grave:
Just kidding, but that dummy does cause a double-take when you first see him inside the plane. We thoroughly explored every bit of the aircraft and then decided to swim off and around to see whaht else we could see. Turns out it wasn't much.
The visibility below 18 feet was pretty terrible and there was a very strong thermocline, the area where the cool water and warm water meet was actually visible with a fog-like haze hanging in the water. First time I've seen it that thick.
Swimming through was like navigating in fog - your dive buddies would disappear in a few feet of distance.
We then had a surface interval and Keith showed me how to work the dive reel and the protocol for doing proper tie offs and tension twists. I then spent some time practicing with the reel on land and am a lot better as a result. Thanks Keith.
So we suited up and for Dive 237 we headed to the Portage Quarry Silo to meet and feed the fish.
Of course we had to check ourselves out in the mirror at the silo and I did a decent self-portrait:
In the silo, its rather dark but still plenty of light, and we practiced getting in and out of all the entry holes. Here's Tim in the silo:
Then it was time to meet the fish at the top of the silo:
Keith and Tim had brought the secret to causing a fish feeding frenzy - cans of Cheese Wiz!
Who knew that fish go crazy for artificial pressurized cheese product?
More and more fish kept arriving, demanding cheese wiz:
That was fun, I need to remember to bring some Cheese Wiz next time.
For Dive 238 Wes decided to sit it out and Tim and I decided to get scooter towed by Keith across the quarry to see the car pile.
Basically Keith Drove the scooter, I was behind him holding his legs and Time was behind me holding mine. Not as easy as it sounds. Ever played crack-the-whip? Well, Keith would turn in one direction, Tim's body would be the other way and I'd be twisted until I was almost halfway up and halfway down - not comfortable at all. Eventually the tension got to be enough that either Tim let go of me or I let go of Keith and we had to stop and get back in line and start again.
We made it to the other side but the viz was so bad we couldn't see the car pile and ended up following a cable that seemed to go on forever as we fruitlessly searched for the pile we knew was there. Then, after we had had enough of the lousy viz and unsuccessful search, it was a very long underwater swim back to our entry point.
Dive 238 was quite the workout.
It was a great day diving with a great bunch of people.
Just when you thought Detroit's incompetence couldn't get much worse they reveal this:
11,300 untested rape kits, 25 years worth were found after sitting forgotten in storage in a Detroit Police Storage facility in 2009. To make matters worse, only 569 have since been tested after being re-discovered 4 years ago ostensibly due to lack of funds.
This is one of the many reasons Detroit's crime clearance rate sucks.
The Detroit Free Press; $4M sought to test old rape kits found in Detroit
Armed with a $1.5-million federal grant to the Michigan State Police, officials said roughly 1,600 of the backlogged kits already have been submitted for testing, and 569 of those have actually been tested. The testing resulted in 136 “hits,” or identifiable suspects, including suspects from 11 states. Of those 136 hits, 32 serial rapists — people who have committed more than one rape — already have been identified.
That number is especially tragic, Worthy said, because if the kits had been tested in a timely manner, many rapes could have been prevented. One of the hits came back for a man who had been prosecuted for raping seven women, Worthy said.
When a Detroit or Democrat politician says you don't need a gun, and not to worry the police will protect you and catch the criminals, do be sure to laugh in their face.
Dive 235 was a great practice dive in Union Lake.
I met Chad at the Union Lake Boat dock and decided it was time I learned how to use a dive reel properly. So we headed out under our dive flag as a few boats were about but it was overall a pretty calm morning for Union Lake.
Dive reels are used for laying lines for navigating in wrecks and caves as you always need a clear lined path back to open water whenever you go into an overhead environment. If you silt out and you have no line when you're deep in a wreck or cave, you chances of getting out drop rather dramatically.
Of course you also want to ensure you don't tangle yourself in the line or make a mess of it while using the reel.
Chad showed me the procedure on how to do some tie offs underwater and I was rather clumsy at first, but I'm getting better and have a new skill to practice.
While doing the reel work we saw just a ton of bass swimming around that were attracted by our lights and probably for a fish laugh-break watching me manipulate the line underwater, which is a lot harder than it looks like when other do it.
Now, I've at least got a clue as to how to properly use the reel, and with practice I'm going to get even better.
Surface water temp was a balmy 60 degrees and at 30 feet it was 50 degrees. 50 degrees is cold but not terrible compared to the temps we've been in during the winter ice dives.
We had a nice 50 minute dive ending with a nice slow ascent holding our depth for stops at 20, 15, 10 and finally 5 feet. My buoyancy control is getting very good indeed. Great dive.
Michigan Arab solidarity only goes so far, and now there's a breaking sexual harassment scandal involving Imad Hamad. Yes that Imad Hamad - Detroit News Michiganian of the Year for 2002 (Boy can the DN pick em huh?), suspected member of the PFLP terrorist group and supporter of Hezbollah and Hamas. Yes that Imad Hamad.
The Detroit Free Press: Lawmaker accuses civil-rights advocate Imad Hamad of sexually harassing her
Hilariously enough, the AADC webpage honoring Hamad points to this Detroit News page that happens to currently feature this story: State Rep. Tlaib accuses Arab-American leader of sexual harassment. Oops, I bet they fix that quickly. Until that fix, go forth and enjoy the irony.
And, according to the articles it is not just one woman coming forward with these allegations, but many.
Apparently sexual harassment isn't a form of discrimination opposed by the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.
Then again under Islam, women are at quite a lower status than men, so he may have considered these alleged acts acceptable especially among his peers.
Ah, the fabled land of Dearbornistan, where the rules and norms of behavior are apparently quite different from the rest of America.
Drinking, Driving and Whoopie just doesn't mix:
The Detroit Free Press: Police: New Mexico man driving drunk while having sex crashes
A New Mexico man faces multiple charges after police say he was having sex with a woman while driving drunk and crashed, ejecting the woman from the vehicle.
The Albuquerque Journal reports 25-year-old Luis Briones was found with one shoe on and his shorts on inside-out Monday night after he wrecked his Ford Explorer in Albuquerque.
Police say Briones' female passenger was found naked outside the SUV after being ejected. She had deep cuts to her face and head.
Amazingly they both seem to have survived this bout of flirtin' with disaster ending up shaken rather than stirred.
Briones, the cad, rather than gallantly ending the date, apparently tried to flee the scene and leave his prematurely ejected passenger behind without as much as a thank you:
Authorities allege Briones tried to drive away after the crash and leave his passenger behind, but a witness grabbed his keys from the ignition. He also allegedly tried to hide from responding officers behind a cactus.
Drunk, dumb and with your shorts inside-out is no way to drive through life son.