Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Some Of The Last Economic News Of 2014 - US Lost Billions On Auto Bailout

Depending on who you ask, the United States Treasury, meaning you the taxpayer, lost either $9.3 Billion (with a B) or $16.56 Billion, depending on how you do the accounting.  Under Government accounting rules it's the $16.56 number that counts but the administration is touting the $9.3 Billion dollar figure.

In Government-speak, losing $9-$16.5 billion in a transaction is a resounding success.

Monday, December 29, 2014

He Chose His Friends....Poorly

Hanging out with criminal elements can lead to bad ends, and on Christmas it ended a 16 year-old Detroiter's life.

The Detroit News: Funeral arrangements pending for teen shot on Christmas

The takewaway from the incident:
One of Bernard's friends, a 19 -year-old male is in custody for the shooting. The teen hasn't been arraigned at this time, said Moreno.
 . . .
Detroit police initially said the group was playing with a gun when it discharged. Culbert said she believes one of the friends might have been demonstrating how he used the gun, possibly to commit a crime, and accidently shot her son.
Now the 19 year old man is expected to be arraigned on charges of manslaughter, felony firearm and possession of a stolen firearm.

Don't act the thug, don't be a thug and don't hang around with thugs playing with guns like toys and your chance of dying in such an avoidable incident is highly reduced.  A sad waste of a life to what appears to be an act of completely avoidable stupidity.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

In LA It's Fun To Be An Illegal Alien

Unlike lawful immigrants and citizens in the same circumstance, you won't get your car impounded for driving without a license.

Fox News:  LAPD policy for impounding cars deemed lawful

A state court determined Friday that a Los Angeles Police Department policy that makes it easier for unlicensed drivers to keep their cars instead of having them impounded after police stops is lawful and can remain in place.

The policy has been supported by the city attorney and immigrant rights groups, who said the old impound policy was unfair to immigrants who cannot obtain a driver's license.
So it's good to be an illegal in LA - you'll be treated better and far moire favorably than others on the basis of you're being there illegally and illegally driving without a license.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Quick Movie Review: Into The Woods

Took the kids to see Into The Woods on Christmas Day.

To say it was a little darker than expected is a tad of an understatement.  Certainly the darkest Disney film I can remember seeing.

Think the full Brothers Grimm - including the part of the Cinderella story they don't usually tell to children.

But for that, it was quite an enjoyable mash-up of Grimm's fairy tales and amazingly enough, the musical aspects of it worked.

Dark, intense and oft-times humerous, it's worth seeing.  Leah handled it well so a mature 8-year-old can see it, even with some scary moments, and it seems enough of the adult-aimed messages and innuendo still thankfully went over both the kids' heads and they didn't pickup on it.

Also, Johnny Depp plays a very bad, bad wolf indeed.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas To You!

To my Christian friends and readers, may you have a very Merry Christmas today.

And have a thought for those Christians that face severe torment and trouble on this day:

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Detroit Chalks Up Another Drug Related Murder In A Big Way

Apparently not only does nothing good happens in Detroit after midnight, but if you're involved in the drug trade in any fashion it can go bad even earlier in the evening.

The Detroit News: Teen dead after man shoots at car in Detroit
According to police, four of the five victims lived in Grosse Pointe while the fifth lived in Detroit.
“At approximately 9:10 p.m., we received a call about four teenagers being shot in the area of Charlevoix and Philip,” said Deputy Chief Renee Hall in an interview to Fox 2 News.
“We found approximately 30 shell casings in that area... which is very desolate. The victims reported they were in that area attempting to find the brother of one of the victims.”
According to Hall, the survivors said they had pulled over to smoke some marijuana when a black man driving a tan Cadillac approached their vehicle.
Apparently police are currently questioning their story and don't think this was a random shooting or that they were just looking for someone's brother, but it's too early to tell.

It appears the shooter used a rifle and was firing very quickly and one witness claimed it was fully automatic, which if true is certainly double-plus illegal indeed.

In short stopping to smoke marijuana in a desolate part of Detroit is never a good idea nor is doing anything else drug-related in a crime-ridden area of a very crime-ridden city.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Flu Me Once

Feeling better today, no more fever is an improvement but I'm certainly still dragging along in low gear.

The important question I had during the fever was:  Who let this mule in, and why is it kicking me in the head?

Then there was a profound fever-fueled realization:  You shouldn't believe atoms! They make up everything!

Yeah, it seemed a lot more profound at the time.

These thoughts came to me while lying on the couch in the basement trying to sleep so I didn't spread the flu to the remaining uninfected people in the house.  So far it hasn't spread so the self-quarantine may have helped.

NyQuill, even the newer formula does help quite a bit but it wears off a bit earlier than I'd like.  An 8-hour formula would be much preferred for a full night's sleep.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Down With The Sickness

I blame Murphy's Law and figure I caught his virus through my computer.

Symptoms are awfully similar, or similarly awful.

More realistically it likely came from Leah as children are lovable little disease vectors. She brought it home from school and it hit her Sunday afternoon hard, was delirious for a bit and finally snapped back enough to be fever-free for 24 hours and able to go to school today.

I woke up with the suggestion of it and after trooping into work this morning by noon I decided it had gotten the better of me and I headed home.

On the upside, being unable to stand up lets me lie on the couch and watch Breaking Bad while I await my end.

On the downside, the show makes me really annoyed that the government removed the good stuff from Vick's NyQuil just to prevent a bunch of idiots from using it to make meth.  This hasn't stopped the appearance of meth but sure has put a dent in the effectiveness of Vick's for all the decent, law-abiding flu sufferers.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Medal of Honor Delayed For 96 Years May Be Awarded During Hannukah

Recognition of a great act of heroism long delayed may happen shortly.

From Fox News: A century after heroism, Jewish soldier may soon get posthumous Medal of Honor
Nearly a century ago, Sgt. William Shemin raced across a World War I battlefield three times to pull wounded comrades to safety. With all the senior leaders of the platoon wounded or killed, the 19-year-old survived a bullet to the head and led his unit to safety.
The heroism should have earned Shemin the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest service medal. But it didn't, perhaps because discrimination was rampant in the military — and he was Jewish.
Thanks to the efforts of his now 85-year-old daughter, Shemin is on the cusp of finally being honored with a medal, 41 years after his death.
The Senate on Friday passed the $585 billion defense bill. A small provision allows President Barack Obama to bestow the Medal of Honor to Shemin. The last hurdle is Obama's signature on the defense bill.
Should the bill be signed, it would certainly be fitting for the ceremony to take place during the celebration of Hanukkah, a holiday that commemorates an ancient Jewish military victory and the valor of the Jewish warrior.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Happy Hannukah!

On this, the first night of Hanukkah we gathered the family, lit the first of the Hanukkiah candles, said the prayers, and fried the latkas.

Then we exchanged gifts and we're about to make sufganiot.

Quite the enjoyable first night of Hannukah.

Anarcho-Tyranny And The Real War On Women

Borepatch has written may a time of the concept of anarcho-tyranny, the concept describing that normal citizens get the hammer dropped on them for minor violations, while serious criminals either get off lightly or are ignored.

Serious criminals whether by mistake, deliberate indifference, or racial preferences seem to be gettig overlooked quite a lot recently, especially when it comes to crimes against women.

One fine example is the case of the  terrorist import to Sydney, Australia. At the time of his terrorist attack, he was out on bond after 40+ cases of sexual assault and being implicated in the murder of his ex-wife. Yes, 40 sexual assault cases and murder and he was out a free man until he took over a Lindt chocolate shop in the name of Allah and killed people before the police revoked his bond, permanently.  It has yet to be explained exactly how and why someone can be charged with 40 cases of sexual assault and be released to walk free.

Or the case of Rotherham where police and council decided to cover-up 1,400 cases of child sexual exploitation by Muslims, including not charging those caught with their proverbial pants down,  for fear of being either labelled racist or daring to point out the problem of lack of assimilation of these immigrants and their failure to accept such British values as not raping children.

Now in Detroit we have a warrant backlog leading criminals to go free including both murderers and rapists.

The Detroit News: Detroit warrant backlog frees suspects

Many murderers and rapists were thus set free, and many went and did their crimes yet again, and again.  One example being reported being the case of Jamieson Kelley:
After his release from police custody, Kelley was charged with raping three more women in 2013 and 2014. He pleaded guilty in November to 15 charges of criminal sexual assault, among other charges, and was sentenced to between 22 1/2 and 50 years each for nine of the rape charges.
The failure to issue the warrants is being blamed on budget cuts, as so much of Wayne County's money has gone to corrupt politicians, political supporters in return for votes and feel-good projects rather than being used for essential services like prosecutors and crime-fighting.

Apparently women's safety sadly doesn't rate in the overall scheme of things these days.

A Veritable Rogues Gallery Of Character Witnesses For Embezzler Davis

If you're known by the company you keep, convicted felon Robert Davis should be doing hard time.

Robert Davis, as you may know, is a Detroit Democrat Union activist well known for filing multiple complaints in court any time the union is annoyed about something.  He's also well known for pleading guilty to stealing over $125,00 from the troubled and Democrat-run Highland Park School system.

Now be-clowning themselves with letters to the judge attesting to Davis' good character are such notable Democrat apparatchiks as Geoffrey Fieger, Wayne County Clerk Cathy Garret, and State Rep Philip Cavanagh. They're supporting his attorney's request that Davis  get home release and probation for admittedly stealing over a hundred grand from the poor minority children Democrats always claim to represent. Apparently represent means taking money for the kids and blowing it on personal spending sprees.

Reading the letters, one can clearly see there's no shame in their game, and they seem more upset that he got caught than anything else. 

Most politicians would hate to be associated with known felons, but these are showing quite intimate connections to Davis - including political and fundraising ties.

The Detroit News: Lawyer for Davis seeks probation, home confinement

One can only hope that Judge Tarnow will instead make the sentence appropriate to Davis' brazen theft and breach of the public trust.  Instead of the insane request for probation he should make him an example so that the Democrat Detroit Corruption train finally begins to come to a halt.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Thanks To Brigid

For Abby's birthday, Brigid of Home On The Range kindly gave her an e-copy of her book The Book of Barkley: Love and Life Through the Eyes of a Labrador Retriever to Abby as a birthday gift.

Since Abby loves reading, it's quite the perfect and thoughtful gift for her. Abby was amazed and thrilled to find out it had been given to her by the author.  It's also Abby's first e-book.

I expect she will highly enjoy it and it will do her good to gain knowledge and wisdom from a strong female role model like Brigid.

Thanks Brigid. Your kindness and thoughtfulness is highly appreciated by us.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Anti-Vaxers Causing Measles Outbreaks In Michigan

Some diseases you thought were gone are now making a comeback due to scientific illiterates who believe that vaccinations are bad for you, and due to officials who grant waivers to permit this stupidity:

The Detroit Free Press:  Measles outbreak: Michigan parents opt for vaccine waivers
Michigan has one of the highest rates of vaccination waivers in the U.S. when it comes to its youngest school kids — a ranking that public health officials noted with frustration this week as they battled at least two vaccine-preventable diseases in two northern Michigan counties.
Looking at the comments accompanying the article, it seems there's quite a crowd of anti-vaxing idiots out there including those who seem to think a diet of whole grains and unicorn farts will stop a vial infection.  Quick hint - it didn't stop it in the age before vaccines were prevalent and people were eating "pre-industrialized" whole food, and it sure won't stop it now.

That's causing us to experience live diseases that should be but a distant memory.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Barbara Boxer - Shocked, Simply Shocked To Find That ISIL Mistreats Women

CNS News: 'Disgusting': Sen. Boxer Shocked to Hear About ISIL's Sexual Abuse of Women
At a hearing on ISIL in Iraq and Syria on Tuesday, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) expressed shock and dismay about a news report detailing the terrorists' enslavement and sexual abuse of women and girls.
Boxer told a State Department human rights official that her staffers had just handed her "the most shocking article" -- in Q&A format -- describing the circumstances in which non-Muslim women and girls may be taken captive and raped by ISIL.
"This is disgusting stuff," Boxer told Tom Malinowski, an assistant secretary for democracy, human rights and labor at the State Department. She asked Malinowski to verify if the report was true. "If this is real, people need to understand this," she said.
"So, this kind of thing is absolutely real," Malinowski responded. "These things are happening. We have seen Daesh (ISIL) put out on its social media, on its Web site...these kinds of justifications before. It just shows the degree of depravity and just the baseness of the ideology that is at the heart of this..."
I'm simply shocked that it took her this long to be shocked.

Remember, she's a Senator and Chair of the frickin' Senate Foreign Relations Committee and so supposedly well informed on world affairs and on top of things like ISIL.  It's not like this is new information or anything.

Sadly, it appears she was far more focused on the domestic faux-war-on-women than the real one happening in the Levant.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

New York's Finest Do A Live Tueller Drill

In New York after a Black man goes into a synagogue, shouts "Kill the Jews" and stabs a rabbinical student in the head, leaving him in critical condition, which even in these benighted times should qualify as a hate crime. He then is confronted and then shot dead by police.

The Detroit News: Man fatally shot after stabbing at NYC synagogue

The attacker has a history of mental illness and had apparently been arrested 19 times since 1982. Funnily enough, again neither the Detroit News nor Detroit Free Press mentioned his race and you'd have to find the video to know as the text is silent.

There's a video of the encounter:

They certainly gave him plenty of chances and multiple loud verbal orders to drop the knife, and then the officers even backed away a few times.  But, when he advanced on an officer yet again with knife in hand they quite properly shot him to protect both the officers and the other innocents within reach.

Darn good shoot, the only real question is if they hesitated a bit too much before doing so.

The Very Wrong Way To Inform Police You Have A Gun

The Detroit Free Press: One dead after shooting involving Lansing Twp. officer
Tyrell Washington burst into his girlfriend's house and shouted, "They killed my man! They killed my homeboy!"
The man Washington was referring to, whose name and age were not released by police, was shot and killed in the first officer-involved shooting in the township in at least two decades, officials said.
But Washington – who said he was driving the vehicle pulled over by police – said his friend was killed while trying to show police he was carrying a firearm so police weren't surprised by it. Washington, 24, said his friend had his hands raised with the gun in the air, "Like, 'I got a gun on me.' He was showing them."
Washington said he saw his friend raise his hands, heard police yell twice to drop the weapon and then without delay heard, "Pop! Pop!" Then he saw his friend slump forward.
 Sure he was just doing it to show it to them. Any takers on the bet that the recently deceased "homeboy" lacked a CPL for the firearm?

Somehow I don't think the refrain of "Guns Up, Don't Shoot" will catch on any time soon.

Monday, December 08, 2014

His Brother Just Wasn't Lucky At All

Stupidity and a lack of gun safety training sadly strikes yet again.

The Detroit Free Press: Michigan boy, 16, accidentally kills brother, 21
Police say a 16-year-old boy accidentally shot and killed his 21-year-old brother with a handgun that he believed to be unloaded when he pointed it at the man.
Blackman-Leoni Department of Public Safety Deputy Director Jon Johnston tells the Jackson Citizen Patriot in an email that the younger brother went into his brother's room Saturday night and reportedly asked "Do you feel lucky?" before pulling the trigger.
This is why you should never believe a gun is unloaded.  It either is after you've positively checked, or its not, again after you've actually checked.  It's also why you never point a gun at someone else's head and do a bad Clint Eastwood imitation.

Assuming this isn't a made-up story to cover a murder of a brother, the lack of common sense involved in pointing a firearm at someone else's head and pulling the trigger makes it not an accident but a negligent homicide.

According to the report, the gun was not owned by either the parents nor the 21-year-old who was killed. As such,  it'll be an interesting question as to how the 16-year-old obtained the handgun.

Time to make gun safety training mandatory in schools.

After all, if it saves just one life by getting through to kids that you never point an "unloaded" gun at anyone or anything you don't mean to destroy, it could stop a lot of these stupid and life-altering "accidents".

Seriously? And You Want To Practice Law?

Instapundit points to this real head-scratcher coming out of the Columbia Law School:

Powerline:  Not a parody
Columbia Law School is permitting students claiming to be impaired due to the emotional impact of recent non-indictments in the Michael Brown and Eric Garner matters to postpone taking their final exams.
Columbia, allegedly a first-tier law school, apparently has some real special snowflakes that need to postpone taking their exams to deal with the trauma of the grand jury decisions regarding Michael Brown and Eric Garner.  Not that they're relatives or anything like that, just because they are "particularly, but not only, students of color".

Columbia has even arranged for a trauma specialist to be available for those who can't handle the results of the two grand jury decisions, one of which, in the case of the Brown decision, was by all evidence quite correct.

Look, if you can't handle the outcome of an unfavorable judicial decision of which you were not even a part of and then you become so traumatized that you can't write an exam, you have no business practicing law or even planning to do so.

What are you going to do when you're representing a real client?  Ask for a timeout when you get an adverse decision? State you're too traumatized to go to trial?  Ask for a trauma specialist when the court rules against your motion for summary disposition? Your client will be rather unimpressed, as will the court.

Quick note kids:  In real life, a judge will not give you a hall pass due to unrelated judicial results in another state or even another court that doesn't affect your case.

Sorry, but Columbia should move down a few tiers for this idiocy if this decision is indicative of the caliber of student that they have.

Update: via Legal Insurrection, this insanity has spread to the delicate flowers at Harvard Law School as well.

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Sunday At The Maccabeats Concert

This morning the kids got a special treat at religious school.

The Maccabeats, a Jewish a cappella group  (a cappella in this case means singing with your kippah on), were performing and the kids' classes got to attend the show.  I also watched the concert and the Maccabeats put on a great performance indeed.  There were about 600 people in the audience and they had everyone rockin',

Since Hannukah is coming, among their many songs they sang some Hanukkah songs including this one:

It was a great concert, and the range of sounds they could make without any instruments was impressive.  They taught the kids how to make mouth beat boxes and they had lots of the kids come up and do things and it was very entertaining.

They had some kids come up with some cups and did the cups song:

A great way to spend a Sunday morning.

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Stabbing Spree In A Gun Free Zone

Amtrak doesn't allow CPL holders to have firearms on its trains. So there were no CPL holders able stop Michael Williams of Saginaw, Michigan from stabbing four people on a train bound from Chicago to Port Huron. The attack occurred while the train was near Niles, Michigan.

Gun free zones score as criminal empowerment areas yet again.

The Detroit News: Man charged with attempted murder in Amtrak attack

No discussion as to any possible motive or the mental health (or lack of same) of the individual in question at this point. 

The attacker is black (which is not being highly reported and only his mugshot gives any clue to that in the article, and many other articles do not mention any racial description of the attacker).  It's been reported the victims are white but it's far to early to jump to any conclusions as to motivation or if that report is even accurate.

Thursday, December 04, 2014

The A-10 Survives To Fly Again, For Now

The A-10 escaped being cut in the latest defense budget only due to soem political maneuvering.

The Detroit News: Budget deal saves A-10 planes at Selfridge

The Air Force jut doesn't like the A-10, and wants it retired.

But there is as of the present no flying replacement that can do what it does in the close air support role, and there's no real reason why they can't keep flying in the current air operations environment.

Like a stopped clock being right twice a day, Senator Levin is right about preserving the A-10 and deserves kudos for him joining with Representative Miller and others in supporting its continued operations.

The $3.5 billion alleged to be saved from retiring the A-10 is a drop in the bucket compared to its CAS capabilities that are still being used well and effectively in combat today.


In addition to Universal, we also took the kids to Seaworld.

The day was quite cold with drizzling rain all morning, but it cleared up by early afternoon.

It had only just stopped raining when we saw the Killer Whale Show.

The Orcas could certainly catch air and make a splash.

We also saw the Dolphin show, and again these aquatic creatures showed some aerial acrobatics:

After the shows, we went and fed Dolphins and Stingrays, both by hand, and had a good time.

The dolphins approached to be fed with toothy grins:

And they said thanks for the fish, they actually squeaked and chatted through their blowholes and it was very neat indeed.

Feeding them was very cool, as I've never been that close to a dolphin before. 

They let themselves be patted and they appreciated the fish.

The rays were similarly eager to be fed, and with their mouths on their undersides, you had to place your hand at the bottom of the pool with the piece of fish poking out from your hand. They would come by and suck the fish out of your hand and then swim on, it felt like a vacuum cleaner.

The rays felt like wet mushrooms and were quite placid and relaxed with all the people around.

We saw all the various exhibits and aquatic animals and the kids learned a ton about marine creatures, and the theme park heavily stresses education throughout.

We also did a few rides and the kids loved the Shamu Express Roller Coaster and rode it about 10 times in a row.

Seaworld is a much smaller park than Universal and thanks to the nasty weather, it was easy to get into all the exhibits and rides that we could wish to go on.  The only downside was that the food was decidedly mediocre, especially compared to Universal. 

The kids had a whale of a time at Seaworld and I'd recommend going there if you're vacationing in Orlando.  It's worth it just for the opportunity to hand-feed dolphins, with the rest of the park being a cool bonus.

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Fixing More Of Michigan's Gun Laws

More incremental pro-gun owner improvements to Michigan's gun laws are on the way.

The House Judiciary Committee is set to vote on the package of state Senate-passed bills that fix Michigan's currently stupid airgun laws.

Under the current law, a pellet pistol or airsoft gun with pellets larger than .177 are considered firearms. At least one judge in Ann Arbor interpreted the law to mean that an airsoft gun was a  firearm under Michigan law so the potential for criminal justice system stupidity is very real indeed. 

The law as written and enforced opened airsoft owners and paintballers to potential criminal liability when transporting or carrying their markers and airsofts, and made purchasing pellet pistols quite a pain.

The law changes it to define firearms as one where a projectile is expelled by explosive not compressed air.

 In other words, they're putting the fire back in the definition of firearm.

Another bill, Senate Bill 789 is also up before the House Judiciary Committee and its a good one.

 It will get rid of the county gun board system and have CPLs issued by the County Clerks after background checks done by the Michigan State Police.  This makes the system a true shall-issue system with fewer delays so long as the person had no mental or criminal history that would prevent them with being issued the permit.

It also reduces the application fee to $90, improves the renewal process quite a bit, and is a good step forward in improving the permit issuing and renewal system.

There's also a bill up to allow active duty military to renew their permits by mail, which is a decent improvement for our active duty military personnel.

Now, with the election done and the state house and senate firmly in Republican hands, it would be an apt time to work on getting rid of the CPL pistol-free zone restrictions.