Monday, March 31, 2014

Did Government Motors Get A Government Blind Eye? The Curious Case of NHTSA And It's Slowdown Of The GM Ignition Recall

The recall of GM's Chevy Cobalt and other compacts is very much in the news. An interesting story that is developing is how slowly the government acted and how it waited to take action in regards to this serious fault at Government General Motors:

The Detroit Free Press: Government's safety agency missed clues to Cobalt issues

Missed clues seems to be quite the understatement.

For years, the U.S. government’s auto safety watchdog sent form letters to worried owners of the Chevrolet Cobalt and other General Motors small cars, saying it didn’t have enough information about problems with unexpected stalling to establish a trend or open an investigation.

The data tell a different story.

An Associated Press review of complaints to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that over a nine-year period, 164 drivers reported that their 2005-2007 Chevrolet Cobalts stalled without warning. That was far more than any of the car’s competitors from the same model years, except for the Toyota Corolla, which was recalled after a government investigation in 2010.

Stalling was one sign of the ignition switch failure that led GM last month to recall 1.6 million Cobalts and other compact cars, including the Saturn Ion, Pontiac G5 and Chevrolet HHR. Another 971,000 cars from model years 2008-2011 were recalled late Friday to find faulty replacement switches, bringing the total to about 2.6 million.

It gets even more interesting:

The government opened an investigation into the Corolla in late 2009, which led to the 2010 recall of nearly 1.3 million cars to replace faulty engine control modules that could make the cars stall without warning.

The agency investigated the Toyota complaints even though there were no reports of deaths or injuries related to the stalls. By contrast, it had already learned about deadly crashes in the Cobalt.

NHTSA did go full-bore enforcement on Toyota, when there had been no reports of injuries or deaths, but was curiously slow to act with GM after deaths had already been reported.

Was this uneven enforcement perhaps due to a massive bureaucratic oversight?

Or instead, was it a happy coincidence that while there was swift enforcement against Toyota, a major competitor of GM, GM had just been bailed out and essentially owned by the US Government and certainly didn't need any negative news about its vehicles at the time these faults were being heavily reported?

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Beating On the Germans - A Coin Of Probus

It's been quite awhile since I did an ancient coin post.

Next in the series is a coin of the Roman Emperor Probus.

Marcus Aurelius Probus was emperor of Rome from 276-282 AD. As typical for many of the later Roman emperors, he wasn't born in Rome but instead in the city of Sirmium a city in Roman Pannonia, located in what is northern Serbia and the current city of Sremska Mitrovica is located right on top of it. So much on top of it in fact that right beneath the city center is the only known unexcavated Roman hippodrome, a huge building 150 meters wide by 450 meters in length. Unexcavated to this day as they'd have to rip up much of the existing city center to get to it. Sirmium was a very important roman city and made some major cultural contributions to Roman life and indeed nine emperors were born there and many others born near or were proclaimed emperor there.

An emperor in this period needed to display military prowess, and there was no better way to show those abilities than beating back a Germanic tribe or two from the Roman Empire's limes.

The reverse: Victoria Germ. Two captives seated at the foot of a trophy. RAA in exerge.

The Obverse: Probus P F AVG. The emperor's radiate and cuirassed bust facing right.

Sear 3375.

While the coin proclaimed victory over the Germans, and Probus did win many battles against them, the reality of the overall strategic situation was quite different. Under Probus, while there were considerable military victories, the Romans began withdrawing from their fortifications along the Limes Germaicus and abandoned the Agri Decumates area of the Roman province of Germania Superior and retreated to move defensible positions along the Rhine and the Danube rivers.

Probus also worked on revitalizing the Roman economy but came to an early end. In 282 AD at Sirmium, the town of his birth, he was murdered by a bunch of mutinous soldiers who were angry at having been ordered to do construction on public works rather than military duties.

Inflation in the Roman Empire in this period has reduced the Antoninianus to a silver-washed piece of bronze. On this coin, while it weighs 3.92 grams, you can see the bronze coin through the areas where the silver plating has worn away over time and the weight is bronze not silver.

There's also an interesting factoid about some of the coins of Probus. He, or his mint-masters, liked to throw single letters of the word AEQVITI, or equity, on coins.

In the case of this coin, there's an added A found in the mint-mark. The RA of the mark stands for Rome (R), first workshop (A), so we know this coin was minted at Rome itself. The extra A is for the beginning of the word AEQVITI.

Interestingly enough these extra initials only appear on coins struck at the Rome or Ticium mints (mint-mark XXI) and none of the other mints operating during that period. Get enough coins of Probus from Rome and Ticium, and you can gather the extra letters, which are often found in the legend or on the field of the coin and spell AEQVITI at your leisure and feel very equitable while doing so. Why these two mints put that code in the series of coins is unexplained as is why it was limited to only those two mints and what the point was of adding them to the series of coins.

A nice coin commemorating a Roman victory while holding part of a hidden codeword and thereby presenting an interesting lost mystery to history.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Jett's Training Day

Jett's been getting an education.

As part of being a good canine, he's learning all the basic commands: come, sit, down, place, heel and others.

Today was his first large group lesson.

Kind of intimidating with about 20 dogs in attendance, but he fit right in and did real well and paid attention throughout.

He held his place even when other dogs were deliberately walked close by, and remained in a heel when his turn to take a circle around the other dogs came. You could see the wheels turning as he responded to stimuli from all the dogs, owners, and our commands.

After the lesson, some of the dogs left and then there was free play time. He really had a blast and made some new friends. As part of the lesson, he also responded well to a recall while playing in the pack.

Good puppy and good times indeed.

Friday, March 28, 2014

The Underpants Gnome Theory Of Some Michigan "Pro-Gun" Activists

One wonders if they really are pro-gun as their plan seems to guarantee an opposite result:

Step 1. Vote and work to elect known anti-gun Democrat Mark Schauer for Governor on the theory that a Republican House and Senate will be somehow motivated to send pro-gun legislation to him that he will veto, and then the Republicans and a few renegade Democrats will team up to override the veto. And the example of this ever happening in real life is when? Oh yeah, never.

Step 2. .......

Step 3. Pro-gun nirvana?!?

Oh, that plan will work out real well.

Seriously, these guys need to stay off my side. Many of them seem to be of the "I couldn't get everything I want so I'll take my ball and go home and complain" school of politics.

Heck, they're not even happy that Snyder passed SB610 and legalized SBS and SBRs, which is pretty darn pro-gun when you think about it, and a darn good start after quite a few disappointments with the governor to date.

They also have apparently short memories, not remembering that it was Republican Governor Engler that signed shall-issue into law (admittedly reticently, and under a lot of pressure I might add from pro-gun activists that didn't take the ball and go home after earlier disappointments from Engler, but with the pressure on, Engler did do it). They also forget that we haven't seen a lot of pro-gun moves from Democrat governors in this state, not to mention Schauer has a rock-solid rabid anti-gun pedigree. They also don't understand how politics works.

Even better, one rather rude proponent of the scheme in the comments flatly declared that he was already carrying a short-barreled shotgun for self defense -- legal or not -- and that Michigan's ban was a "bogus law". Ooooh, how tough. Turns out it was a Bond Arms Derringer which is not an short-barreled shotgun (I guarantee he still doesn't know why it isn't). But he thought it was such and bragged on the Internet of all places of how he thought he was breaking a law. That's smart right there, as is relying on a Bond Arms Derringer for personal protection.

I'm halfway figuring he's a Democrat troll 'cause no one can be quite that patently over the top, but he may just be for real. In which case again, he, like the rest of the Keyboard Kommando Krybaby Korps needs to stay off our side.

Considering they're loudly planning to elect anti-gun Democrats, I daresay they already are on the other side.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Michigan Ban On SBR And SBS Possession Lifted! Governor Signs Reform Bill Into Law!

Governor Snyder has signed SB 610, making it now legal for law-abiding Michiganians to own short-barreled rifles and short-barreled shotguns so long as they comply with federal law.

He signed it at 9:10 pm yesterday, making it law 2014 PA 63.

Another great step forward for Pro-Second Amendment supporters here in Michigan.

As I've said before, if you had asked me if we'd get SBS and SBR reform in blue-state Michigan a few short years ago I'd have laughed at the suggestion.

Thanks to all of you who contacted your representatives and asked them to support the bill.

Another victory for civil rights in this great state.

Oh, Look! The Freep Is Carrying Free Ads For Obamacare!

Well it's as close as you can come to free advertising for the Obamacare train-wreck as you can get - a feature by "guest writer" to the Detroit Free Press - none other than the US Secretary of Health and Human services herself - Kathleen Sebelius.

The Detroit Free Press: Kathleen Sebelius: Time running out to enroll in Affordable Care Act

To call it a rah-rah puff piece would be an insult to rah-rah puff pieces.

Maybe the Freep got a waiver from Obamacare in return for running this piece of dreck.

Hard to claim the mantle of media objectivity when you run administration propaganda as a feature from a guest writer.

No Judge, They Didn't Mean That When They Sang "Can I Get A Witness?"

Wayne County Judge McCree removed for an affair with a plaintiff on one of his cases with some of the action taking place in his courtroom chambers.

Yes, he really got a witness, on a case he was presiding on, in his chambers. Not exactly an impartial display of justice when you're busy banging one of the parties in the case for six months, and unlike what you may see on TV, judges are not allowed to do that.

The Detroit News: Wayne Circuit Judge McCree removed from bench

Note when reading the article that Wayne County voters, of which Detroiters are the majority, may just reelect him to the bench. The Supreme Court, realizing the real possibility of that occurring, ruled that if he's reelected he's automatically suspended from office for six years without pay.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

No, You Weren't Being Profiled When You Got Pulled Over, You Were Just Being Plain Stupid

Had a potential client, along with his mom, come in and tell his story of woe.

He gets pulled over and busted for possession of a certain green leafy substance.

His mom flatly and righteously declared that he was only pulled over 'cause he was Driving While Black.

All righty then.

So I begin to discuss the facts and learn the following:

The stop took place at night on December 31st, on a highway. Keep in mind that's New Year's eve.

The police car apparently came up, went ahead of him, and dropped back to then pull him over.

Asking further questions as to why the officer did that, she says, "well one of the headlights wasn't working". I point out that's a perfectly valid reason for a stop.

He then quickly pipes up that the cop wouldn't be able to tell that the headlight was broken.

"Why would that be?", I ask.

'Cause both headlights were working because he was driving with his high-beams kept on, on a major highway, at night, on New Year's Frickin' eve!

I explain that's a valid reason for a stop and to forget about challenging it on racial profiling grounds. They don't seem to like that response, what a surprise.

Then they state the leafy substance wasn't his but that it likely belonged to either her ex-boyfriend; their nephew with a medical marijuana card that she knows is driving suspended, but she lets him drive the car anyway; or her friend who is often a passenger in the car and has been know to smoke in it.

I ask if any of the above want to come forward and testify that the kid didn't know they had hidden the weed in the car. She states none of them would do that.

I then explain the concept of constructive possession and how if no one else is going to step up, it's on the kid, and a plea bargain is in order here.

They don't like that either, nor do they like the idea that they may, gasp, have to pay a reasonable amount for legal services and expect me to magically make it go away on the extremely cheap.

Well, No.

I wasn't retained, they're not my clients, none of the facts related in this tale are outside of the police report, and I suggested they ask for a court-appointed attorney who will likely tell them the same thing I just did assuming they don't want to actually hire an attorney to represent them.

Good luck with that.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Why Thank You So Bloody Much Obamacare

Just received my Health Insurance Co's bill for this month.

The bill jumped 23%.

Why? Well, the premium didn't change but all sorts of new Obamacare ACA and related taxes and fees listed below did, including retroactive taxes:

Other ACA fees $43.36

Retroactivity Other ACA fees $65.04

Federal and State Taxes and Fees PHIC $16.03

Retroactivity Federal and State Taxes and Fees PHIC $.88

Retroactive Adjustments $38.50

Sadly I certainly did not receive any retroactive benefits.

Some of the fees hidden under the line ACA fees include paying for other taxes for Obamacare including:

An Annual Fee on Health Insurance Carriers; the Transitional Reinsurance Program; the Risk Adjustment Admin Fee; the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Fee; and the Marketplace User Fee which is used to fund the operations of the Health Insurance Marketplaces.

In other words, my plan is becoming a 23% less affordable in order to subsidize affordable care for others and for supporting a broken marketplace I don't use.

Thanks oh so very much.

Here's to hoping the Obama true believers got hit with these fees as well and that shakes them out of their love fest with Obamacare.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Don't Let Your Mouth Write Checks That Your Body Can't Cash

Otherwise known as: Don't go around starting fights, 'cause it doesn't end well.

This video (with some rather NSFW language and violence) is a pretty good example of why you don't go around mouthing off and picking fights.

Amazingly enough, the aggressor in this video is actually trying to pick a fight with someone larger and tougher looking than he is.

Sumdood certainly graphically suffered from bad target selection.

I always figured that if I'm going to get attacked it's going to be by someone bigger, tougher, and meaner than I am, but this one turns that equation on its head a bit.

Note how the big dude being attacked keeps correctly backing off and trying to avoid the fight, and not fighting until Sumdood makes his move, and then he lets him have it.

It's both an educational and entertaining video where the idiot gets his comeuppance.

I hope he learns not to go around picking fights anymore after that one.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Just Wait A Muppet - Muppets Most Wanted Movie Review

Just got back from taking the kids to The Muppets Most Wanted Movie. This outing was a reward to Abby for getting excellent MEAP (Michigan Educational Assessment Program - standardized testing for students in Michigan) scores. She did darn good in every area tested, and such diligence should be rewarded.

It's the Muppets, so you know its good clean family fun. Lots of good humor that the kids caught and even though the opening was a little scary for Leah, she warmed up to it, and the popcorn didn't hurt.

What I wasn't expecting was the sheer number of hilarious adult-aimed in-jokes that sailed right over the kids' heads to reach my funny bone.

There were even references and homages to other movies - scenes from a gulag reverse escape (yes, reverse, just go with it) that came straight out of the film The Way Back, but with a hilarious twist.

Tina Fey does a good job with her part, Ricky Gervais played his role to perfection, and the sheer number of stars who make a cameo appearance is too large to list.

The one head-scratcher in the movie was the Russian Gulag guards were all carrying Enfield #4 MK1s. I guess the production company didn't care to at least get some Mosin-Nagants or perhaps they thought the far more correct AK-74s would look too scary, or something.

In short, it's a couple hours of good clean family fun that even the parents, and most especially those parents raised on the Muppet Show, will enjoy profusely and not have to suffer through like other kid-intended movies.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Michigan: The Year Of The Pothole

Some years get the cool names like Year of The Dragon or Year of The Horse. This year Michigan gets the decidedly uncool Year of the Pothole.

Roads around here are more pothole than asphalt, and on one road I've traveled on about half of the right hand lane has crumbled into the side of the road.

Plenty of friends with flat tires and bent rims due to the damage, and it's sure not being fixed with any haste, speed nor competence. Now that the snow and ice are pretty much off the roads (except for the snow shower this morning - thanks so much Mr. Gore! - you'd think we could drive at normal speeds once again. Well, due to all the potgoles we sure as heck can't as people decide to slow to 5 mph whenever they see one or even stop dead when reaching a semi-submerged pothole field where there used to be a road.

I don't know if road commissions and various state politicians are just waiting for the situation to deteriorate more so that they can demand more money from the state to fix the roads or what.

Meanwhile, I'm not the only one noticing the execrable shape our states' roads are in:

The Detroit News: Michigan's potholes are scaring off investors

Considering we've got some of the worst roads in the US, it's well past time some effort went into fixing them, an effort beyond mere patching and flimsy repairs done only so that more road crews can fix the same piece of road next year in a lifetime-employment scheme for asphalt contractors.

I would not be against the state's proclaimed $1 billion dollar surplus going towards road repair and improvement. I support it if we knew that the money would be used well with resulting excellent roads that lasted and didn't need massive repairs in five years and the money wasn't wasted.

That's a big if.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

SB 610: The SBR and SBS Reform Bill Passes The House And Senate, On To The Governor

SB 610, the bill to legalize Michigan citizens' possession and legal acquisition of short-barreled shotguns and rifles has passed the House, passed concurrence with the Senate and is on its way to Governor Snyder for his signature.

A very politely worded call or electronically submitted opinion to the Governor's office is in order.

If you're from outside Michigan and your state allows SBRs and SBSs, you can help too. Send an email politely pointing out that your state allows law-abiding citizens to possess SBRs and SBSs and there's been no serious criminal activity with such lawfully possessed firearms in your state and you expect that Michiganians can handle themselves similarly.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Oakland County To Detroit's EFM: No To THE DWSD Pig-In-A-Poke

Okaland County has formally announced they won't be the sucker in the regionalization of Detroit Water and Sewer Department.

Regionalization in this context appears to mean let Detroit reap the benefits of both its past use of the DWSD for corruption to enrich its politicians and for a future benefit of annual lease payments and the suburbs get stuck with all the costs such as deferred maintenance and pensions.

Thankfully the head of Oakland County, Brooks Patterson said no.

The Detroit News: Detroit area water authority talks hit cutoff

The whole article is worth reading to see the games Detroit is playing in this DWSD leasing arrangement. The games include not disclosing the financials; nor the actual expected and differed maintenance amounts for work that needs to be done on the system; putting the counties on the hook for pensions for personnel; and most especially for the extra 700 workers Detroit had already have stated aren't needed to run the system but will only be retired in 2022.

In other words, Detroit wants the surrounding counties to pay for all the undone maintenance that's not been performed for years while Detroit ran the system, and on top of that to pay 700 excess workers to go sit in a playroom and collect checks for the next 8 years - nice work if you've already got it.

I'm glad Patterson is keeping Oakland County far away from this mess and not being the sucker at the table.

Detroit's Democrats have ran out of their people's money and now they're trying to find another source of other people's money, and fast before the whole house of cards completely caves in.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Democrats Doling Out Dollars Didn't Drive Development

Who'da thunk it?

Who could possibly have known that Democrats Granholm and Obama's push to pick winners and fund battery development in Michigan to show they were doing something while pushing a green agenda and enriching their donors would have led to wasted money, few jobs developed, and a lot of the technology that was developed being scooped up by the Chinese for pennies on the dollar?

Well, we this was a story back in 2012 with A123s demise, but it takes the in the tank Freep two more years to write about it.

The Detroit Free Press: Michigan battery companies fall short of job claims

A quick summary: billions of dollars wasted, few real jobs actually created, lots of ribbon cuttings to make Democrats look like they were doing something and an impressive make-work failure to make any work.

The massive surge of Michigan tax credits and federal stimulus dollars that charged up the state’s nascent battery industry five years ago failed to generate the thousands of jobs that were promised.

Today, Michigan has only a few hundred battery workers in four plants — despite $861 million in Obama administration stimulus grants and $543 million in Michigan tax credits awarded by former Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s administration in 2009.

Since the Freep doesn't like to do math and would hate for us to be underwhelmed by exactly how few "a few hundred" workers would be, let's be charitable and say 900.

With a total of 1.4 billion in taxpayer money laid, out that's $1,560,000 per job on the optimistic side, and it's likely an even more lopsided result than that.

Former Michigan Governor Granholm, of course, regrets nothing.

Granholm still doesn’t regard Michigan’s incentives for battery makers as wasted money.

“Just because the jobs haven’t happened ‘yet,’ it doesn’t mean that cracking the code to vehicle batteries was the wrong strategy,” said Granholm, who is teaching at the University of California, Berkeley

When you're playing games with taxpayer's money, it means never having to say you're sorry.

Another Excellent CPL Class

Yesterday I had the opportunity to teach another excellent Michigan CPL class.

The class had six students, all of them part of a group of friends or the adult kids of the friends, so everyone knew each other.

It was a fun bunch with lots of good-natured ribbing and joking in between class sections.

It was also a very serious bunch who all listened attentively, asked good questions, and took the class extremely seriously.

For the written exam, I had the highest percentage of perfect scores with only one student missing a perfect score by one question and he knew what he had missed picked up on it immediately.

The range portion was a solid three hours going through all the class shooting exercises. Quite a few shooters improved quite markedly after some pointers regarding grip, stance and aiming fundamentals.

The whole class was a solid 10 hours with a working lunch.

Darn good class, and there's now a bunch of competent and trained people ready to start their CPL applications.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

He's Gonna Need A Bigger Tinfoil Hat

One of The Detroit News' more far-left progressive columnists decided to hit one far out into murkiest left field today regarding the Detroit Waters and Sewage Department.

As you may or may not know, the DWSD was a hotbed of featherbedding and corruption and acted as a political slush fund for the Democrat powers-that-be in Detroit and has been suffering from neglected and deferred maintenance as the monies were diverted into Democrat politicians' preferred projects and pockets, which often amounted to the same thing.

The Emergency Financial Manager of Detroit, Kevyn Orr, has been busy trying to pull a fast one on the suburbs to have them pay big money for the original Detroit pig-in-a-poke.

Now Orr, instead of giving the suburbs the actual financials for the DWSD, is threatening to take his ball and go home by stating he's going to either privatize operations or sell the DWSD to a private vendor outright.

"Aha!" writes lefty opinion writter Rev. Robert Smith, that must have been the real plan all along!

Rev. Robert Smith: News flash: Kevyn Orr wants to sell the Detroit Water Department

Was that not the plan all the time? Come on, let’s not play games or pretend this is something that can’t be avoided.

We all know that Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr came to carry out the Republican plan to take over any and everything that gave Detroit and Detroiters clout.

Yep, Mr. Smith has gone the full leftard, and you really never want to go the full leftard. Then again, this isn't anythign especially new coming from Mr. Smith.

here has been a battle for the water department going on for 40 years. It was one of the jewels that beloved Mayor Coleman A. Young was hated for holding onto by the L. Brooks Patterson-types in the suburbs.

After Orr, there will be no more fighting for the jewels of Detroit.

We all will be Michiganians, and our claim will be the fact that we live in Michigan. Detroit will be only a byword heard every once and a while as we enjoy the state park we call Belle Isle and drink the water owned by millionaires.

Orr may be the executor, but the people who planned this takeover have been around for a long time.

Now that's quite the hilarious conspiracy theory.

After all, it was Detroiters that ran the city and the DWSD into debt through corruption and neglect. It was Detroiters that turned their jewels into paste by neglecting and dumping trash on them and otherwise failing to keep them in good condition.

I don't know if Smith just shared some of Cushingberry's stash, or if his current tinfoil hat shank a bit or what, but to spin such a silly whale of a conspiracy theory, he's gonna need a bigger tinfoil hat than what he's already got.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

You Know, The Bad Guys In Atlas Shrugged Were Not Written To Be Emulated....

But for today's Progressives, they seem to be a how-to guide.

As noted by Transterrestrial Musings the latest advocates of revising the Federal Dietary Guidelines are pushing for a vegetarian diet.

They seem to be taking a page straight out of Emma “Ma” Chalmers in Atlas Shrugged.

It's not the only policy where life is imitating Rand.

Spring So Close, And Yet So Far

Yesterday, grass could be seen for the first time in months, snow was melting, roads and driveway were clear and dry, the sun was shining and the promise of spring was in the air.

Then today:

Over four inches of snow this morning and it's still coming down.

Thanks to the plow I got stuck in my driveway, then even after shovelling my way clear and with all wheel drive engaged, I then got stuck on our street. This required shoveling to restore mobility. This was a clear portent that it was time to work from home via my virtual office setup -- Yay technology!

Then the fun of trying to get the car back up the Driveway of Doom™. No dice, even in AWD with a running start. Instead of up, the car started going sideways towards the ditch, which was not pleasant.

I then had to shovel even more the heavy wet snow and try again, throw a ton of salt down, and try again even as it kept snowing. Eventually I made it back up.

Quite the workout and the day hadn't even begun.

There's supposed to be 8 inches arriving today, so we're in shovelling distance of breaking the snow record set back in 1880.

Winter sucks.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Stop! Hammertime! 82-Year-Old Nails Home Invader

It happily keeps getting tougher for home invaders to ply their trade in Detroit.

After the past few weeks where 5 home invaders were shot, the latest home invader apparently looked like a nail to the 82-year-old resident of the home he tried to invade.

And quite properly, he got hammered for his temerity to break into another person's home.

The Detroit Free Press: 82-year-old Detroiter uses hammer to fend off home invader

In the living room, officers found a 33-year-old man with blood dripping from his head.

Johnson [Director of Media Relations for the DPD] said the man had kicked in a rear window of the house. Once inside, he encountered the 82-year-old man, who hit him on the head with a hammer.

The suspect was treated at the scene for his injury and arrested for home invasion.

Nicely done, that's how about 50 more years of life experience and a decent swing gets you one up on the intruder.

The older man was defending himself and therefore is not expected to face charges, Johnson said.

Gee, you think? That it even needs to be said shows the Detroit mentality still has a ways to improve, but it's getting there.

Good on an 82-year-old for teaching a home invading whippersnapper why you don't break into other people's homes.

The Mummy Votes: Pontiac Woman Who Died in 2008 Apparently Voted In 2010

Being a mummy does cut down on your social life, but it apparently doesn't stop you from casting a ballot.

The interesting story of a lady dead for 6 years, only now discovered in her garage after her auto-payments for her mortgage ran out. She had died in 2008 but somehow cast a ballot in the 2010 election in the Democrat-dominated and run city of Pontiac.

There are no records extant as to whether she voted for Imhotep or just the run-of-the-mill Democrat candidate for governor.

The Detroit Free Press: New mystery in Pontiac: How could mummified body vote in 2010?

It's an interesting article and the whole story is a cautionary example of what can happen if you have your life set on automatic - it can take quite a while for people to realize you're no longer animate.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Detroiters Don't Know S__ From Shinola

Yet another entry in the continuing tale entitled "Why Detroit Can't Have Nice Things".

The Detroit News: One of Shinola's Detroit clocks vandalized shortly after unveiling

When Shinola, the city’s new watch and bicycle maker, unveiled four new, 13-foot tall clocks as thank-you gifts to Detroit, some gave the installations a month before they’d either be swiped by scrappers or sprayed with graffiti.

How about hours? A clock at Cass and West Canfield was defaced sometime Friday, according to Shinola CEO Stephen Bock. The markings didn’t last long, though. The graffiti was removed the same day, officials said.

Nice things can't even last a few hours before some knuckle-head in Detroit decides to graffiti it up, much like a dog lifting his leg over a hydrant, but without the excuse that the dog is a dog doing what dogs do.

Pathetic, but that's Detroit for you.

Saturday, March 08, 2014

Snapping 'n Sharing Selfies Snares Stupid Scoundrel

There's something to be said for the value of social media in assisting the law apprehending stupid criminals.

This is especially so when the stupid criminal's repeated Facebook postings led the cops right to his door.

The Detroit News: Brooklyn, N.Y., man arrested in 3 Michigan bank robberies after Facebook posting

On Thursday, an investigator learned from a Oakland County Sheriff’s sergeant that a Facebook page for Bahler showed pictures of him with what appeared to be the weapon and clothes matching those worn in the robberies.

Investigators determined Bahler appeared to be the same man in the surveillance photos, and the gun was the same brandished in the third crime, the complaint said.

The digital trail didn’t end there: his Facebook page also featured a picture of a house in Pontiac he claimed he had just bought.

On Friday, the FBI and Oakland County Sheriff’s Office staked out the address. When Bahler left in a vehicle, he was stopped. Inside a duffle bag at his feet was the black submachine gun, the criminal complaint said.

Bahler was arrested without incident and admitted to all three bank robberies; a search of his residence revealed some of the clothing worn, authorities said.

Looking at the photo, it appears Bahler used a semi-auto Uzi with a 16 inch barrel in his crimes:

This is not a submachine gun, and the barrel length is the big tip-off here.

Here's an example of a semi-auto Uzi:

Looks like a match as compared to a full auto variant:

Of course, he might have illegally converted it, which given how dumb he's acted to date is quite unlikely. He can take his picture and post it on Facebook, but I suspect obtaining a set of auto parts and then performing the serious machining and modification of the semi-auto to make them fit is beyond his ken. Be interesting to see what firearms charges, if any, get thrown at him in addition to the three bank robberies.

Well, his next Facebook selfie will be in a prison jumpsuit.

Dog Day Saturday Morning

It's been a rough week, so just pull up a chair and relax.

Friday, March 07, 2014

Obamacare Helping Make Sure Small Business Stays Small

Small Businesses, as claimed by politicians of all stripes, help drive America. Indeed Obama himself lauded them as as “the lifeblood of our economy".

So the Obama administration, courtesy of Obamacare, is driving them into the ground with increased costs and administratrivia.

The Detroit News: Small business already sick of Obamacare

Read the whole article, but here's the rub: To keep offering the same health plan to their employees that they were offering before Obamacare would cost American Gear & Engineering Inc an additional $107,000 per year.

For a small business, an additional $107K is not an affordable added expense to bear and be able to keep in business, especially in this economy.

As Emerson says:

“That’s a helluva change. I’ve got some guys out in the shop whose wives have serious health conditions. How do any of us get ahead? How do you get motivated to come to work? How do I get motivated to come to work?”

Motivation will likely be in the form of an IRS audit after daring to speak out about this unaffordable Obamacare train wreck.

I've Heard Of House Hoarders, But Car Hoarders?

A rather strange sight was seen in the parking lot this morning at work:

Notice how low to the ground the car is due to all the weight of the crap piled inside. Driving it with a complete lack of visibility out of the sides and rear must be a treat coupled with the lowered clearance.

The car noticeably stank even in these freezing temperatures, but at least there were no visible bodies in all that rubbish.

Both the person driving the car and the car itself certainly need a serious intervention.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Home Invasions In Detroit Are Becoming Costlier For Criminals

In recent weeks, in separate incidents, 5 home invaders have assumed room temperature after being shot by homeowners.

The Detroit News: Detroit man shoots at intruders, killing one in latest home invasion

Another would-be burglar was fatally shot Thursday by a homeowner — at least the fifth such incident in recent weeks.

Thursday’s shooting happened at about 12:30 p.m. when two men allegedly broke into a home on the 8200 block of Penrod on the city’s west side, Detroit Police Third Deputy Chief Rodney Johnson said.

“The homeowner was able to retrieve his weapon, and fired off one shot, hitting one of the burglars,” Johnson said. “He ran away and collapsed in the driveway. The other burglar was able to escape.”

There's clearly been a sea-change in policy in the Detroit police department. Here's what the Third Deputy Chief said about the incident:

It's a message to the criminals: stop coming into people’s homes unannounced and uninvited," Johnson said.

Truer words were never spoken in Detroit.

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

When Canada Was A Nuclear Power

A post by the esteemed Vodkapundit on the Genie missile sure brings back some history.

Many people don't realize this, but for a brief period, our peaceful neighbor to the north was a nuclear power.

Yes, the Canucks had nukes.

Canada had CF-101 Voodoo Interceptors equipped with nuclear-tipped Genie rockets, not to mention nuclear-tipped BOMARC missiles and 16 nukes for the Honest John system deployed in Germany. Funnily enough the first airplane model I ever built as a kid was a CF-101 with a Genie missile slung on it.

Wisely, to prevent the Canadians from using these weapons to take over the world, because otherwise only the facts that it was hockey night and Canada already had a lock on the world's supply of Labatt's was holding them back, the US maintained control of the warheads. So while the US kept the launch codes, they were in Canada under a joint control arrangement. Had push come to shove, they would have been fully released to Canadian Forces users for deployment. Thankfully that never happened.

It wasn't exactly secret that the weapons were there and Canada had them, but it certainly wasn't well known or talked about.

I remember the shocked looks among the bien pensant in Toronto who loved to claim that Canada was a peaceful nuclear-weapon free nation that only used nuclear energy for peaceful purposes -- unlike those warmongers to the sout -- when in 1984 the Voodoos were retired and it was mentioned the nuclear tipped Genies were being retired with them.

"We're retiring what?!?"


Another Instance Of Educational Zero Tolerance Follies

Apparently, merely pointing fingers in a manner reminiscent of pointing a gun can get a 10 year old suspended from school these days.

The Detroit News: Ohio student, 10, points finger like gun, is suspended

A central Ohio principal says she suspended a 10-year-old boy from school for three days for pretending his finger was a gun and pointing it at another student’s head.

Yet another example of zero tolerance equaling zero sense and leading to absurd results. A three day suspension for using a hand as a handgun? Wow. No point just telling the kid not to do it and move on right? That would make too much sense. Instead let's deprive him of three days of school just to show that it can be done. Who knows how long you're suspended if you actually hit another kid. Sheesh.

The kid was just playing as kids do, but you better be careful kid, that'll show you not to play and it'll go on your permanent record!

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Is That More Global Warming I See Before Me?

About three inches plus of fresh global warming arrived last night, making for the 20th snowfall this season that deposited more than 2 inches and that's not counting the multiple snowfalls of 1 inch or less that we've had. Gettign real tired of shoveling here, that's for sure.

If we get only 10 more inches before winter ends, we'll beat the record set in 1880.

The Detroit News: Expert: Detroit's second snowiest winter unlikely to surpass record

Metro Detroit’s worst winter since 1950 continues to grind away as another 3 to 4.5 inches of snow fell Saturday night, and the National Weather Service forecasts more frigid days and snow this week.

This winter is already the second snowiest recorded for the Detroit region in its history, but it will likely not match or surpass the all-time snowiest winter of 93.6 inches set in 1880-81, said Dan Thompson, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in White Lake Township. This season’s total stands at 83.7 inches after Saturday’s snow, according to the Weather Service.

According to the article, Detroit had the most extreme winter weather of any city in the country this year, and the harshest winter in 64 years. Isn't that just great? But at least it confirms our feeling that this has indeed been a winter of suck.

Obama To Ukraine: CrimeA River

Obama just issued a sternly worded note of concern to all the goings on in Ukraine. That and a $1.50 may buy the Ukrainians some cold comfort.

History may not repeat but it sure is rhyming here, and not in our geopolitical favor.

We have an area with an ethnic population with kinship and identification to a neighbor rather than to their fellow countrymen, armed men swarming about, and outside military intervention set to separate the region from its nation-state.

Yep, the precedent set with Kosovo separating from Serbia kinda fits the current situation nicely, and remember, a Democrat predecessor to Obama was firmly on Kossovo's side back then in separating it from Serbia.

Awfully hard to insist on territorial integrity for the Ukraine when but a few short years ago the precedent was for the opposite result.

Multiply that by the fact that there is no effective means for the US or the EU to protect the Ukraine from Russia grabbing back the historically Russian Crimea, which is populated by a majority of ethnic Russians.

In other words, mildly worded warnings and platitudes are the most you can expect from Obama at this point. Especially as he's busy cutting our military to focus on further transforming the US domestically and preventing the US from acting in its interests abroad, it's not likely he's going to push for a grand Eastern European vacation.

Even if he wanted to do so, it wouldn't be a good idea.

As Michael Z. Williamson said recently on Facebook: "Please DO NOT tell the President we have a Light Brigade.".