Friday, February 28, 2014

Good Gun Bills Moving In Michigan

SB610, the lifting of the SBS and SBR ban, has passed out of the House Judiciary Committee and headed to the House Floor. Apparently there was an amendment to the bill so it will ave to go back to the Senate after passing the House but it is still moving.

This is a real improvement in Michigan law and lets Michiganians join about 40mother states that do not ban possession of SBRs and SBSs as long as you comply with Federal law.

In addition to the SBR/SBS legalization, there is a packet of bills to reaffirm that firearm records are confidential, not FOIAble, and only available to peace officers for proper purposes and disclosures in violation of the law would be a misdemeanor and a second violation will be a felony. Excellent.

Michigan's Supreme Court has already held that Concealed Pistol License Information is not subject to FOIA, but it is nice to see this both reinforced and expanded by statute to all firearms records along with some real teeth for violations.

Two very good proposed laws indeed, and it is worth politely contacting your Representative and asking them to support and vote for passage of both these reforms.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

It's Always In The Last Place You Look

Hidden fortress found under Alcatraz

Previously thought to have been destroyed, it turns out that the Civil War era fortress was instead buried under the prison.

From The Detroit Free Press:

A surprising find under what used to be America’s most notorious prison: Texas A&M researchers using ground-penetrating radar have discovered the remains of an old military fortress long believed to have been completely destroyed, reports the BBC.

. . .

The radar has revealed old fortifications along with buried magazine buildings and tunnels dating from long before the main prison building was erected in 1915.

Yet another neat find, and an excavation of the prison's parade ground should turn up some interesting parts of the fortress.

Meanwhile, it looks like another lost fort, Fort Caroline, thought to have been in Florida may instead have been in Georgia all this time.

Some people lose their keys, but it takes a country to lose entire forts....

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

But, But, He's An Expert!

A cautionary tale of what happens when a scientist steps outside of his specialty to pontificate.

The Detroit Free Press: Can giant walls protect the U.S. from tornadoes?

Sounds like a great idea right? But in a word, no.

One scientist thinks we can protect parts of the central United States from ferocious tornadoes by building several gigantic walls across Tornado Alley:

“If we build three east-west great walls in the American Midwest .... one in North Dakota, one along the border between Kansas and Oklahoma to the east, and the third one in south Texas and Louisiana, we will diminish the tornado threats in the Tornado Alley forever,” according to physicist Rongjia Tao of Temple University.

The walls would need to be about 1,000 feet high and 150 feet wide, he said. Tao is presenting his research next week at the annual meeting of the American Physical Society in Denver.

Apparently there's a fair bit of healthy skepticism regarding this plan:

Naysayers abound. Aside from the cost of $60 billion per 100 miles (according to Tao’s estimates) and huge engineering challenges, “it wouldn’t work,” tornado researcher Harold Brooks of the National Severe Storms Laboratory in Norman, Okla., said in an e-mail.

Brooks said that China has deadly tornadoes despite the east-west mountain ranges there. In addition, he said, tornadoes still occur in parts of Oklahoma, Arkansas and Missouri despite the presence there of smaller east-west mountain ranges similar in size to Tao’s proposed walls.

“If his hypothesis was true, we’d already have the thing he wants to build naturally,” Brooks said.

“This is essentially a case of a physicist, who may be very good in his sub-discipline, talking about a subject about which he is abysmally ignorant,” Brooks said.

Another expert, meteorologist Mike Smith of AccuWeather Enterprise Solutions, also called the theory “nonsense.”

Global warmists that similarly think they have all the simple answers, take note.

A further reason beyond those given in the article as to why this will never work: Even if it could work, we can't even build a comparatively small wall across our southern border.

Anyone really think we would be able to build a series of 1,000 foot high, 150 foot thick walls stretching for hundreds of miles? The environmental impact stage alone would take decades and the cost overruns would push this into the trillions.

The Mysterious Mummies Of The Tarim Basin Reveal the World's Oldest Examples Of Cheese

The Tarim Basin Mummies, located in China, have already turned a lot of what was thought to be known about Bronze Age Chinese history and cultural transmissions on its head when it turned out that the mummies were not ethnic Chinese but instead Western Eurasians. The mummies have just revealed another interesting revelation.

An examination of their tombs has produced examples of the world's oldest cheese, apparently produced using by the kefir method and dating back to 1650-1450 BC

The Detroit Free Press: Great Gouda! World's oldest cheese found - on mummies

The combination of dry desert air and salty soil prevented decay to an extraordinary degree. The remains and grave goods were freeze-dried, preserving the light-brown hair and strangely non-Asian facial features of the dead along with their felt hats, wool capes and leather boots. Analysis of the plant seeds and animal tissues in the tombs showed the burials date to 1450 to 1650 BC.

Some of the bodies had oddly shaped crumbs on their necks and chests. By analyzing the proteins and fats in these clumps, Shevchenko and his colleagues determined that they're definitely cheese, not butter or milk. It's not clear why people were buried with bits of cheese on their bodies, Shevchenko says, though perhaps it was food for the afterlife.

The analysis also showed the mummies' cheese was made by combining milk with a "starter," a mix of bacteria and yeast. This technique is still used today to make kefir, a sour, slightly effervescent dairy beverage, and kefir cheese, similar to cottage cheese.

The Tarim Mummies continue to provide interesting revelations about trade, innovation and migration in the ancient world.

Monday, February 24, 2014

There's This Plane That's The King Of CAS, So Of Course The Air Force And DOD Want To Get Rid Of It

The Detroit Free Press: Military spending cuts could affect A-10 aircraft fleet at Selfridge

Yes, they want to retire the most effective ground-support aircraft we've got, and replace it with the unproven F-35 "one-bird-for-all-missions-master-of-none". The not yet ready for prime time F-35, I might add.

Between the excellent payload capacity, loiter time, ability to go low-and-slow and that monster 30 mm Gatling gun, The A-10 is close air support personified.

And they want to get rid of it because CAS isn't a very sexy mission and instead have F-35 jets do it.

Now the F-35 has less loiter time and also costs about ten times as much per aircraft (around $13 million per A-10 compared to $133 million per F-35 aircraft and the cost keeps rising), and we likely won't be able to afford enough of them for the F-35 to be available to perform all the missions for which it is tasked.

You'd think they'd want to keep the A-10s in place at least until the F-35 is a proven quantity and is shown to do the CAS role better than the A-10. As if.

Does anyone really think getting rid of the A-10 is a good idea at this juncture?

Saturday, February 22, 2014

2 DGUs Reported In Detroit And A Threat Made Against The Police Chief All In The Same Week

Two serious defensive firearm uses in Detroit this week. In both cases, the bad guys were driven off and no good people were killed, and one bad guy's life of crime has been permanently ended.

The Detroit News: Detroit homeowner kills 1 intruder, wounds another

Two men who broke into a southwest Detroit house early Saturday morning encountered an armed homeowner who opened fire, killing one of the intruders and wounding the other.

The incident is the second this week involving a homeowner who used a firearm to fend off intruders.

. . .

“After two men broke into the home, one of the suspects attempted to hit the homeowner with a tire-iron,” Johnson said. “A struggle ensued, and the homeowner managed to shoot both of them.”

A 21-year-old man was pronounced dead at the scene of a gunshot wound to the chest, Johnson said. The second suspect, ran away.

On Monday, a woman made national news after she fired at three teens, ages 14, 14 and 15, who broke into her northwest side home. The teens were quickly arrested and charged with home invasion.

Two DGUs in one week, both positively reported. In Detroit.

And Chief Craig gets my continued kudos for sticking to his support of armed civilians:

Craig has repeatedly stressed his belief that the city’s crime rate would be lowered if more responsible citizens were armed, because criminals would think twice about attacking them.

“I’ve said it many times: Good Americans with guns can help deter crime,” Craig said.

I really like this Police Chief. Unlike his predecessor Detroit PD chiefs, he's neither involved in affairs with his subordinates, ignoring laws, nor slavishly toeing the Democrat party line on firearms while breaking firearms laws.

So yes, I think finally Detroit has an effective and first-rate no-BS Police Chief.

He's also actually enforcing the laws and making a serious effort going after serious criminals, again unlike his predecessors.

So much so, a drug dealer has threatened him personally:

The Detroit News: FBI investigates death threat against Detroit Police chief

Craig believes the man who made the threat is upset because police are costing him money by ramping up the number of drug-house raids they conduct.

“We’re raiding, on average, 35 dope houses a week, and we’ve done five large-scale sweeps, and it’s putting a serious crimp in the dope dealers’ money,” Craig said. “What I take from this is, what we’re doing is working. This guy actually did me a favor, because he let me know we’re making a difference by going after these dope dealers.”

That's a big mistake threatening a quality Police Chief like Craig, a very big mistake indeed. Hopefully, they catch this stupid guy quick and put him away for a good long time.

Aww, UAW Being A Sore Loser

In fine Democrat/Union fashion, if you don't get the result you want, the UAW wants to throw the results out and try again until it does.

The Detroit Free Press: UAW asks labor board for new vote at Volkswagen

The sole reason for the appeal lacks comes down to "Oh Noes, Republicans were against it - publicly!"

Citing public statements by Republican U.S. Sen. Bob Corker and other Tennessee politicians, the UAW asked the National Labor Relations Board to set aside the results and conduct a new election.

. . .

“Senator Corker’s conduct was shameful and undertaken with utter disregard for the rights of the citizens of Tennessee and surrounding states that work at Volkswagen Chattanooga,” the union said in a 58-page document filed Friday. “It is a more than adequate basis for sustaining these objections.”

Wow, so a Republican says its a bad idea for the Union to get its claws into VW and points out there may be consequences and that's disregarding worker's rights? What the UAW thinks the VW workers are too dumb to evaluate the situation for themselves and vote in their own best interest?

Of course, President Obama coming out publicly in favor of the vote is not to be remarked upon as interference.

Man up UAW, you held a vote and lost, suck it up and maybe do a little introspection on how you've become less about the workers and more about self-aggrandizement and promotion for you and the Democrat party.

Apparently while there's no crying in baseball, there is when the UAW loses elections.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

You Mayan Be A Viking....

If you think the end of the world takes place this Sunday, February 22.

The Detroit Free Press Headline: Viking calendar predicts the world will end Saturday

Actually, it doesn't really, nor is it a calendar. They're conflating the Mayan calendar with the misreading of a Viking legend about the end of the world.

The ragnar will be röking on Saturday when, according to some, the Viking calendar predicts the end of the world.

Nordic folklore has it that after three freezing winters, when there have been no summers in between, the world will come to an end.

Notice how it's Nordic Folklore and not a calendar! Ah well, the Freep never let a few facts get in the way of a headline or false cross-cultural comparison before.

The past two summers have been cold and wet, so declaring that Ragnarök (otherwise known as the Twilight of the Gods) is upon us is a subjective call.

No kidding it's subjective there sportsfans, that's not three freezing winters with no summer in between. That's a few mild-ish winters with low average summers, so no it don't count.

Arguably, this is the first freezing winter as its markedly colder than previous, thanks to that other great cross-cultural mythos, Global Warming.

So, I can happily confidentially predict that the world will not end Sunday due to a Viking Doomsday Calendar, as there's no such thing.

You may keep on ragnorockin' in the free world as usual, and normal pillaging will resume on Monday as scheduled.

Come On Now

It was sunny yesterday and with clean dry roads along with a slight snow melt.  This brought with it hope that this constant drudgery of snow shovelling and messed-up roads might come to an end.

They were predicting rain today.

Instead we got:

This is not rain.
We got snow, and a lot of it.  Even better than just a snow storm alone with it reducing visibility, we also got a nice layer of ice under the snow to really make driving a pleasure.  Lots of cars in ditches and slow moving traffic today.

Really truly sick of winter at this point.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Back From The 2014 Daddy Daughter Dance

Tonight was the annual Daddy Daughter dance, held at a local country club through the Township's Parks and Rec program.

It's a very special night for them where they get to be all dressed up and go out on the town.

Before we left, I presented them each with a corsage for the occasion.

The night is very well done with excellent organization, white tablecloths, great food and good music.

First we checked in and got a photo taken to memorialize the event, and it came out great and will be an excellent keepsake, and nice to compare it to the picture from two years ago.

Then we headed to the buffet line and had some excellent food - various salads. mac and cheese, vegetables, chicken and prime rib.  Then there was jello, chocolate mousse, and cake for dessert.

With the food digested, we hit the dance floor and they got to dance to the latest popular songs along with some that are more popular with the dads.

After dancing, they needed to take a break, and to supplement their strength with Shirley Temples. These were ordered from the bar, with each of them happy to have a properly sophisticated kid's drink.

Then back to the dance floor we went until it was time to go.  On the way out, each kid got a box of chocolates and a little stuffed animal which was a very nice touch.

They had a great time with smiles all around, and are now fast asleep with school awaiting them tomorrow.

They're growing up, but still young enough to have a fun time dancing with their old man and they've created a fresh batch of good memories to save for later.

Oy Puppy 2 - Jett Loses His Jett Pack

It wasn't enough that Jett just got the shave job from hell.

Yesterday, the day came when Jett was scheduled to be taken to the vet and get tutored.

We're going where? To Do What?

The surgery went well, and now his Jett pack is gone.

What the hell kind of tutoring was that? I'm sore and not any smarter! How could you let them do this to me?

At least he doesn't need to wear the Cone of Shame. He's been handling it pretty well and been in a good mood. He's receiving lots of treats.

I still can't believe you let them do this to me, and no, I will not wear that cone!
 However, I couldn't do much to object.

Not only is it the proper thing to do and the appropriate time for it, but Tash warned me that if I objected too strenuously, she was looking into a 2-for-1 special.

Yikes. Better him than me.

Yeah Aaron, if you and Murphy's Law are ever late coming back from the range or trip together again, she told me she's going to arrange that 2-for-1 special for you both.....

Michigan Bill to Overturn SBR and SBS Ban Heads To The State House

I blogger preciously about the Michigan Senate passing bill SB610 to overturn Michigan's ban on its law-abiding citizens possessing short-barreled shotguns and rifles.

Now the passed Senate bill has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee and is set to be heard by the committee on Thursday February 20th.

If your rep is on the committee, a politely worked email, or even better a phone call in favor of this bill would be a good idea.

Representatives on the committee are listed here.

It's certainly time for Michigan to join the majority of states that do not ban their law-abiding citizens from having such handy, not to mention already federally regulated, firearms.

It's From The Associated Press, So Let's Play Name That Party

The Detroit News: Former U.S. Rep. Melvin Jay Reynolds arrested in Zimbabwe

He's been arrested for pornography and immigration offenses, no less.

Reynolds, 62, was arrested Monday by police detectives and immigration officials at a Harare hotel, according to the state-controlled newspaper, The Herald.

He brought several Zimbabwean models and other women to his hotel room where he took photographs and videos, the newspaper reported.

As Reynolds was being escorted to a government vehicle he demanded that officials give him his mobile phone and laptop computer, according to The Herald, whose reporter arrived at the hotel as the arrest was taking place.

Reynolds complained that he was not expecting such treatment when he had brought investors to the country, according to the newspaper. He said he had been to Zimbabwe 17 times and had called for U.S. sanctions to be dropped against President Robert Mugabe and his top associates.

The difference between of course is that former rep Reynolds and Mugabe and associates is that Reynolds is only doing a few Zimbabweans at a time, while Mugabe & Co are doing the entire country.

Of course, this being the Associated Press, it's not until the sixth paragraph that we get a scant mention of his party affiliation and of his prior serious legal troubles:

This is the latest of several legal problems for Reynolds, an Illinois Democrat, who once was a Rhodes scholar. Reynolds resigned from his congressional seat in 1995 after he was convicted of 12 counts of statutory rape, obstruction of justice and solicitation of child pornography. While in prison he was also convicted of bank and campaign fraud. He was in jail until his sentence was commuted by President Bill Clinton in Jan. 2001.

How nice of Bill Clinton to have given a 12-time statutory rapist and child pornography solicitor, and fellow Democrat of course, a pass. Most people would let scum like that rot in jail.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Dearbon Democrat Caught Ducking Taxes

Representative Rashida Tlaib has been mentioned on this blog before, and she's now making an appearance for some tax problems, namely having two principal residence exemptions.

You're only supposed to have one.

Of course, she blames not herself as much as the

“broken” property tax system that allowed her and her husband to double-claim principal residences in both cities, lowering their annual tax bill on the rental house in Dearborn by 18 mills and shortchanging the Dearborn School District by about $350 annually.

As reported in The Detroit news: Tlaib blames 'broken' system for failure to pay Dearborn school taxes

This is rather nonsense, when you buy a house as a primary residence you have to affirmatively file a primary residence exemption and you're supposed to file the removal of the old one from your prior residence. This isn't unknown to home-buyers and Tlaib as both an attorney and politician knew or should have known this. It's not rocket science, and the instructions on the exemption form are very clear.

For 5 years she saved about $1,750 in taxes having her rental listed as a primary residence.

Democrat politicians and taxes just don't seem to go well together in the Detroit area.

After all, taxes are for the little people, not for Detroit-area Democrat politicians.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Oy, Puppy!

We took Jett to the vet because he had a case of Doggie pink eye, even after being treated with antibiotics some crud has lingered in his left eye. It turns out the muscle that controls his inner eyelid isn't well developed so it doesn't stay tight so gunk builds up. We've been cleaning it and trying to fatten him up so that some more fat and muscle might help pull it into place, but he's a rather measured eater and won't overeat no matter what we do. We needed to have the hair around his eye trimmed.

Jett loves to play in the snow and get snowy wet. See snowy wet Jett.

Jett then gets very matted hair, See matted Jett.

Jett today gets a groomers appointment.

If you regularly read this blog, you know what happens next......

Wait for it.....

Wait for it.....

Wait for it.....

See shaved Jett!

I never knew an Airedoodle could be converted into a Greyhound with a set of clippers!

Sigh. Somehow it's better than the last grooming appointment. At least he doesn't look like Gollum now.

Well, on the bright side there certainly isn't any hair around his left eye to irritate it now.

The poor pup actually growled at his reflection in the window thinking it was some strange dog outside.

I think some extra treats are in order.

The Guns Of February

Sunny and 20 degrees, about as good a February weather forecast for outdoor shooting that you can get in Michigan.

And so, to the range I did go.

I went with my friend Manuel to the outdoor range where I'm a member.

Manuel had just purchased a Tavor with an 18" barrel with a Trijicon ACOG mounted on it, and he needed to take it out and try it alongside mine, and get it zeroed in.

We shot the Tavors side by side at 25 yards and hit our targets nicely.

I think that makes us Tavorishes.

Both Tavors, as expected, functioned perfectly.

At close range, the Aimpoint Pro gave a faster sight picture, especially when we practiced snap shots, but the ACOG shines at longer range with its magnification. We each appreciated each other's Tavor and the different optics on them.

After shooting the Tavors, we pulled out our carry pistols. My S&W M&P 40c and his Glock 27.

I also pulled out my new-to-me but clearly used 40 M&P full size.

This was a police trade in with night sights, and the pistol arrived with a lot of slide wear and it was pretty gunked up. It was so gunked up that the magazine release would not drop the magazine when pressed but it only moved down a bit. The gunk seemed to have been coffee and doughnuts stuck in the internals. Some judicious cleaning and oiling and it is as good as new and the mag drops freely, the grip is no longer sticky and the suspiciously-looking-like-coffee stain on the metal part of the takedown tool is now gone.

After shooting the compact, the full size was much easier to handle, even though the full size is not that much bigger than the compact, it fits the hand just a tad better and is more controllable.

A little bit more grip goes a long way, and I could clear the plate rack a lot faster, not to mention make consistent head-shots out to 25 yards on USPSA targets. I may just follow Tam's lead and just start carrying a full size M&P. We'll have to try it out and see how it fits, or I may end up rotating it with the compact depending on wardrobe requirements.

Manuel's Glock 27 had a Crimson Trace laser grip on it, which unfortunately in all the bright sunlight and snow was not useful as the dot was completely washed out. The laser still is a valuable tool for use at night and in dark areas, but don't expect it to perform in bright light with reflective snow for a fore- and backdrop.

His Glock also had an interesting custom safety installed:

The safety was a bit problematic - if you weren't careful while firing you could unintentionally activate it, so you had to take care with your grip.

The Glock 27 was decent, especially how he has it setup with the 13 round magazines from the Glock 23 with magazine sleeves on them, but I'm finding I'm shooting better with the M&P.

We also did some weak-hand only shooting, which showed that yes, I need to do more weak hand shooting.

Then we headed out to the 100 yard range, breaking a path though thigh-deep snow to get there.

We shot the Tavors again and shot my 300 Blackout AR15.

The Tavors had no problem ringing the steel plates at 100 yards, as did the 300 Blackout AR15.

That's another 120 rounds through my Tavor with no stoppages or issues to date.

The hours passed and our hands were starting to get pretty cold by the time we were done shooting. So we cleaned up, packed up, and headed home.

A darn good range trip.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Obama Tends To Back The Losing Team

The Detroit News: Aide: Obama endorses UAW bid to organize VW plant

So Obama lets it out that he heavily backs unionizing VW in Tenessee to try and use his influence to push for unionization there, because the UAW has done such good things for the US auto industry, like turning one of the Big three into a Dutch corp or dragging another into bankruptcy. Perhaps and more likely it's just all the good things the UAW has done for the Democrats.

The result just now in the Detroit Free Press: VW workers in Tennessee stun UAW, reject union by 712-626 margin

Ah the famous Obama reverse-Midas touch in action yet again.

The UAW suffered a devastating defeat at Volkswagen’s plant here as workers rejected union representation by a 712-626 margin.

The defeat, which came despite Volkswagen’s neutrality, tarnishes UAW President Bob King’s legacy and could make it next to impossible for the union to extend its reach beyond domestic automakers.

. . .

Even President Barack Obama weighed in Friday, taking aim at Tennessee Republican leaders, including U.S. Sen. Bob Corker and Gov. Bill Haslam, who he said “are more concerned about German shareholders than American workers.”

You know, there's a fine and fitting German word for what I'm feeling at the moment. . . . . Schadenfreude. Sweet, sweet schadenfreude.

Hell Hath Frozen Over - 9th Circuit Strikes Down Discretionary 'Good Cause" Requirement For Firearm Carry

Certainly, it's another sign of the impending apocalypse, or that the latest cold snap caused by Global Warming freezing over the netherworld, if you believe in that kind of thing.

In a rather impressively well-written opinion, a panel of the the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has struck down the discretionary and indeed discriminatory "Good Cause" standard that was in place in San Diego County whereby law abiding citizens were denied concealed carry permits. Under that standard you either had to make an appropriate campaign donation, be "connected", orpractically be already dead from a prior attack before they would issue you a carry permit.

The opinion rightly concludes:

San Diego County's "Good Cause" permitting requirements impermissibly infringes on the Second Amendment right to bear arms in lawful self-defense.

If you had told me a few years back that in 2014 the 9th Circuit would have issued an opinion affirming both the individual rights aspect of the Second Amendment and striking down the typical California government discriminatory approach to issuing carry permits I would have laughed in disbelief.

Nice to see the 9th recognizing and upholding an inalienable human right.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

One Very Snazzy Olympic Commercial

Sometimes a commercial can have multiple messages.

Norway's Olympics commercial is an outstanding case in point, and is awesome to boot:

Well played Norway, well played.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

More Michigan Democrat-Run Cities Running Out Of Other People's Money

A few more Michigan local governments are running out of other people's money. Now it's Highland Park's and Royal Oak Township's turn to face possible emergency management.

The Detroit News: Two Metro Detroit communities push back against state intervention

I've noted the odd case of Royal Oak Township before. Indeed the township has been in a tailspin since before 2009. A half mile township with some of the highest tax rates in the state that has taxed itself out of existence causing businesses to flee while paying its bureaucrats very well indeed. Of course, having many of the bureaucrats involved in corruption didn't help much either.

Now it seems that the state will take some action but the Royal Oak Township response seems to be a rather unacceptable excuse:

officials from the tiny half-square-mile township nestled along Eight Mile between Oak Park and Ferndale did not dispute their state review team’s findings, but blamed the township’s shrinking tax base and decisions by past officials for its financial woes.

In other words, we're not viable, but its not our fault that even with some ridiculously high tax rates and special assessments for police services, still can't even pay the bill for police protection.

It's long past time that Royal Oak Township closed up and was absorbed by a neighboring city. The problem is, will any city nearby actually want to take on the costs of recovering this wreck and shining example of decades of Democrat one-party misrule?

Counties Reluctant To Take Opaque Detroit Water Deal

Two articles show Oakland and Macomb Counties fail to be taken in by the latest Detroit offer regarding its Water and Sewer Department:

The Detroit Free Press: Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson on Detroit water deal: 'We're probably going to walk'

The Detroit News: Detroit water deal not close, Oakland County says

Since the opening demand from the city for the Counties to pay $200 million a year to lease the system from Detroit, their latest offer is now down to $47 million per year for 40 years. This seems less a reflection of its actual value than an admitted attempt by Detroit's EFM to get a steady flow of cash heading to the bankrupt city.

Unfortunate, the City and EFM have yet to provide the suburban counties current financials or reports on the state of the system. I expect lots of expensive differed maintenance will be revealed as the Water department since the days of Coleman Young has been run as a source of a slush fun and featherbedding for Democrat politicians in the city at the suburbs' expense. Think pig in a poke.

After all, the recent massive water line breaks causing two foot high floods on some main streets in Detroit hardly boost confidence in the state of the system.

Any suburban official crazy enough to enter into a lease on a system without knowledge of its current state and maintenance requirements would be insane. Oh, Wayne County Exec Ficano is all in favor of the deal, which certainly tells you something.

It tells you Oakland and Macomb County should run, not walk from this latest offer before they and their taxpayers get taken for a very expensive ride.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Pay Attention Class, We Can only Show You This Once . . . . Al Qaeda Scores Own Goal In Iraq Suicide Bomber Training Class

Call it a premature explosion, call it exploding with happiness, call it finding out what that button does.

Any way you name it, a bunch of members of Al Qaeda in Iraq just managed to blow themselves up real good.

Fox News (Associated Press): Militants accidentally set off own car bomb at training camp in Iraq, leaving 21 dead

Notice how the AP labels people making car bombs and suicide vests designed to go off in crowded civilian areas "militants". Even that linguistic bias supporting the enemy can't take away from the happy gist of the story:

Militants accidentally set off their own car bomb Monday at a training camp in the countryside north of Baghdad, leaving 21 dead and resulting in two dozen arrests, Iraqi officials said.

. . . .

A police officer said the militants were attending a lesson on making car bombs and explosive belts when a glitch set off one of the devices.

The officer said security forces rushed to the area after hearing the sound of the explosion. They arrested 12 wounded suspected militants plus another 10 trying to flee the area.

Security forces found seven car bombs, several explosive belts and roadside bombs after searching two houses and a garage in the orchard, he said.

Oh those wacky Iraqis, always going out with a bang.

Apparently Jeff Dunham was just slightly ahead of his time with Ahmed the Dead Terrorist:

I Do So Appreciate Brownells

Waiting for me when I got home was a nice small and well packed box from Brownells.

Inside, the order date on the enclosed invoice read 12/31/2012. Yes, 12/31/2012.

Contained in the box were 6 new S&W M&P standard capacity magazines. The back-order for them had finally come through after over a year due to the panic buying over Obama's Great-Gun-Control-Push-That-Failed.

It's been awhile, but Brownells dutifully kept the back-order in place and never jacked up the prices unlike some other vendors - I'm looking at you, Lower Than Dirt.

Brownells even called back in August 2013 when my back-ordered PMags were ready to ship with a status update on the entire order. Most of the status update consisted of we don't have x yet but we hope to get x in soon, but it was some great customer service all around to actually call and let people know some of their order was ready and they weren't being forgotten.

Brownells, as usual, delivered the product as soon as it was available with their standard excellence and efficiency, and no, they're not payin' me to say that.

They've now got me as a loyal customer for life and they certainly do right by their customers.

If you haven't ordered from them before, I highly recommend them based on not only their great selection but their outstanding customer service.

Situation Desperate But Not Serious - Obama Admin's Terrorist Policy Just Droning Along

Obama and his policies regarding drones operations in foreign countries against US Citizens has managed to boomerang nicely and illustrate the trouble with treating foreign terrorism overseas as a law enforcement problem.

The Detroit News: American citizen possibly targeted for U.S. drone attack

An American citizen who is a member of al-Qaida is actively planning attacks against Americans overseas, U.S. officials say, and the Obama administration is wrestling with whether to kill him with a drone strike and how to do so legally under its new stricter targeting policy issued last year.

The CIA drones watching him cannot strike because he’s a U.S. citizen and the Justice Department must build a case against him, a task it hasn’t completed.

Four U.S. officials said the American suspected terrorist is in a country that refuses U.S. military action on its soil and that has proved unable to go after him. And President Barack Obama’s new policy says American suspected terrorists overseas can only be killed by the military, not the CIA, creating a policy conundrum for the White House.

Quite the catch 22 - and adding to the fun you'll see as you read the article that currently, only the military by law may try to capture him, but by law the military isn't allowed to go capture him. Yet the CIA drone may lawfully fly there, but can't shoot because that would be unlawful.

So, this fellow is responsible for the deaths of Americans overseas but can't be touched because there hasn't been a domestic law enforcement case made against him, a case that can't be prosecuted as he can't be brought to justice in the US due to his current remote location that would require US troops to have to land and try to capture him, and thus we can't let the CIA go after him, and the military can't touch him because he's not in a conflict zone where they could act.

In other words, a terrorist with American citizenship located outside America may plot and kill Americans with impunity under this policy, and all drones can do is circle around and watch as he does so.

That's quite the policy, and it's an example of the inherent insanity in treating foreign terrorism as a law enforcement problem that can be defeated by pretty platitudes and policies.

One Of My Admin Appellate Hearings In Detroit Slips Into The Twilight Zone

So a couple weeks ago I attended an administrative agency hearing held in Detroit.

My client was appealing a decision by an administrative agency, and the other side had the burden of proof in the matter - in other words, they had to prove the basis for the decision.

This should be a pretty straight-forward matter. Quite simply, my client's acts just don't arise legally to the level where the other side could even possibly win.

So I'm all prepared and ready to go with my opening statement, line of questions for my client and potential opposing witnesses etc.

The other side doesn't even show up for the hearing.

In short, they're not there, they have the burden, this is a slam dunk - we win, victory is mine, client does a happy dance, etc.

Not so fast.

The administrative law judge ushers us into the room, starts reading some preliminaries, notes the other side isn't present, and then starts tearing into my client.

WTF? Not so much as a by-your-leave, not letting me even go on record or make an opening statement. In my opening, I had planned to lay out explicitly the cases that state the other side has the burden of proof and how based on the evidence they can't achieve it even if they were present, and now that they're not here it should be real simple.

Instead of giving me an opening he really gets going. In fact it seems right off the bat he's acting as if he's the other side - very aggressive and hostile questioning of the client, discounting all the basis we raised for the appeal, misconstruing the record in favor of the other side and then questioning her based on his misconstrual of facts, and not even letting me get a much of word in edgewise.

Did I just walk into a Twilight Zone episode or something?

Then it gets even better, he starts pontificating at length including going into a passionate statement that while some counselors think that they can reform gay people into becoming straight or straight people into gays, that just can't happen.

Double WTF?!?

Just so you know, the case has nothing to do with counseling, or gay people, or weird theories in any way, shape or form, and is so unrelated substance wise to what he just said that we have absolutely no clue what he's going on about.

I then try to get some statements and questions to my client in to preserve the record on appeal. I can see this slam dunk case going pear shaped and coming up as a feature in the show "Judges Gone Wild".

He keeps shutting me down as I keep trying to get some questions and answers on the record to preserve our position. Meanwhile, I'm praying the recorder in the room is actually working and saving all his statements for our appeal of his decision.

Amazingly, after over an hour of his diatribes, he then says, "The other party isn't even here and they have the burden of proof, why are we even doing this?"

Before I can even get out "I don't know judge, why? Considering I could have pointed that out if you let me speak for a complete second without cutting me off", he gruffly states he'll have a written opinion out shortly, and don't even ask when it will be ready.

Ok then.

My client and I walk out of the room rather dumbfounded. I state that really, that's not how these hearings usually occur. We're both quite concerned the judge is going to ignore both the law and the facts and I let her know we've got a solid appeal to a real judge if he goes as far sideways as he seems to be going.

I just received the written decision today. His decision quotes the two cases I was going to cite in my opening, briefly mentions the fractions of statements and questions to my client I managed to get into the record as favorable to our position, and it states that as the other side wasn't there, my client's testimony is uncontested and we won.

Yay me. That was one surreal experience to get to the right result.

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Prosecutor's Office Declines To Press Charges, Clears Detroit Officer In Backyard Dirty Dancing Shooting

Back in July 2012, I noted in regards to the Adaisha Miller shooting, that dirty dancing, floppy holsters and feeling a cop, rather than copping a feel are a bad mix.

The story then was that she was hugging him low from behind and squeezing him around the waist when the firearm carried by him off-duty in a floppy nylon IWB holster went off, probably from her inadvertently squeezing the trigger.

The investigation is now complete and the Wayne County Prosecutors Office is declining to press any charges against the officer.

The Detroit News: Detroit officer cleared in backyard shooting death

There's not a lot of information at the linked article as to what the results of the investigation were, other than that there was insufficient evidence for any charges. Most likely the investigation showed the evidence matched the story given at the time and that the shooting was a result of Ms. Miller's unintentional trigger manipulation resulting in her shooting herself with the officer's firearm.

It would be helpful if the report indicated that the investigation revealed the incident was indeed as originally reported, with the victim dirty dancing with the officer, grabbing him about the waist and accidentally firing his firearm. The story seems to match the July ballistics evidence that the shot hit her in the chest traveling downward, suggesting she was behind him and at or below waist level.

Regardless, it's a warning not to carry in a floppy holster where the trigger can be reached by another party regardless of whether they're dirty dancing, joking around, copping a feel or actually assaulting the firearm carrier.

I'd suggest at the very least carrying using a MIC Holster or the Vanguard 2 Holster. I think after wearing it consistently for months now the Vanguard 2 is even better than the MIC. But either will do if you're looking for a minimalist holster - and both of these are quite inexpensive and both cover the trigger completely, preventing a squeeze-off incident or other accidental discharges. Beyond those, there's tons of other solid quality holsters out there, whether from Raven Concealment, Blade Tech, Galco and many others. Even a simple and inexpensive Fobus holster would have prevented this incident.

Don't put a quality gun in a crappy floppy nylon holster and call it good to go. It's not, and you or others may pay the price as a result.

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Global Warming, My Frostbite!

Here's the latest in Michigan Global Warming news:

Bitter, cold temperatures settle in across Michigan

Bitter cold temps cover 79% of Great Lakes in ice

Yeah, that Global Warming theory is working out real well.

Reality is dousing it with a bucket of cold snow.

Clicking on that link takes you to post where you'll graphically see that even as the IMF Chief tries to scaremonger the ever-coming threat of Global Warming, none of 73 of the global warming climate models match the actual observed temperature. None of them. All of them are instead way too high predicting warming that is not happening.

The IMF, IPCC, Obama and assorted other progressives want to throw our economy and indeed the industrialized world's economy into an even greater tailspin based on such shoddy "science". Or instead of calling it shoddy science, should we say instead it's based on shoddy progressive policy preferences pretending to be science?

Go check out the Hockey Schtick blog. It's worth your while as you huddle to keep warm this winter under all this global warming.

Thursday, February 06, 2014

What Do You Get When You Combine An Ignorance Of History, Etymology, An Agenda, And A Left-Wing Bias?

A Journalist.

The fail on this is rather strong indeed.

Gawker: The GOP Just Named its Hot New Innovation Lab After a Nazi Pistol

The Republican National Committee today excitedly announced the launch of a new startup lab to bring techies and creatives together, Silicon Valley-style, to get Republicans elected. Oh, and they named it for a Nazi gun, a type of ammo, and a philosophy that puts war before peace.

Actually no, no they didn't. To claim they did is to ignore history, etymology and common sense.

You see the reporter is rather ignorant of history, Latin, and firearms nomenclature and uses this ignorance to tar Republicans with an ideology and outcome far more associated with the Left.

Really, most Americans, until Mr. Weinstein of Gawker, did not go around calling the Pistole 08, or P.08, invented by Luger "Parabellums".

Instead most everyone called them Lugers, and still do. Indeed many person just call every German pistol a Luger, including the Walther P-38, which is not a Luger.

Weinstein confabulates the origin of the term Parabellum and tries to tie it to the Nazis.

Look, Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus, known to us these days as Vegetius, coined the phrase para bellum in his work De Re Militari, which was written around 430-435 AD, or a solid 1500 years before the Nazis came to power.

Clearly, Vegetius was just a Nazi before his time.

Furthermore, Vegetius' philosphy, expressed as Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum - If you wish for peace, prepare for war. However, it did not place war before peace but instead advocated that without a strong and capable military, a nation would be at risk of attack from its opponents. It's pretty clear Weinstein has never actually read Vegetius before egregiously slandering the greatest extant military manual from ancient times as "a philosophy that puts war before peace".

Much later then Vegetius writing, the parabellum cartridge was developed in Germany, so at least he's geographically closer. But, they did it in 1902, again predating the Nazi era, though by not quite so considerable an amount. The Luger pistol itself was invented in 1908, again predating the Nazis rather nicely. To call it a Nazi cartridge and pistol is quite the stretch and a gross inaccuracy,

Of course, you know who uses the 9mm Parabellum today - The US Armed Forces. Therefore according to Weinstein the US Army would be . . . . ?

Contra Weinstein, the term "parabellum" has no "Hitlerite baggage", at least not outside his fevered imagination anyways.

In other words, Mr. Weinstein is stretching and confabulating the truth, and stretching it rather badly to try and score cheap political points.

I certainly hope Mr. Weinstein doesn't drive a Volkswagen, as after all that car company was actually created by, you know, the Nazis. Not that if he ever owned or ever drove one would make Mr. Weinstein a Nazi supporter or anything...

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Sochi Rough Time They're Having With A Putin Village

Instead of a Potemkin village, Sochi may bring us the term Putin village.

Instead of a fake village built to impress, a Putin Village seems to be a shambles of unreadiness after spending over $51 Billion to make ready for the Olympics.

Fox News: Sochi squalor: Journalists report hotel horror stories as Russians scramble to finish construction

Yep, horror of horrors, the hotel rooms for the media are still unfinished and unready.

While there is a certain schadenfreude in watching the media sports softies sadly report on how they have to rough it as they're accommodations aren't yet ready, it does raise some questions as to whether Sochi under Putin can handle the games adequately both structurally and security-wise.

Putin's Russia is trying to portray itself as a world power hosting these Olympics, rather than a third world power with nukes that is otherwise falling apart around the periphery beyond Moscow.

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Coming Soon: A Tempting Trigger Treat For The Tavor

As reported by The Firearm Blog, at the SHOT show, three manufacturers announced they are coming out with improved replacement Tavor trigger packs.

I really don't mind the trigger on my Tavor, and Murphy's Law didn't have any complaints either.

But, the thought of a 4.5 lb Tavor trigger pack, that you can simply swap into place, no fuss, no muss, is a darn tempting improvement indeed.

Stupid Firefighter Trainee Causes His Dreams To Go Up In Smoke

and land in prison too.

The Detroit Free Press: Michigan firefighter trainee set apartment blaze so he could battle fire

The fail in this case truly burns.

A former DeWitt Township Fire Department trainee will spend the next five to 35 years in prison for setting fire to an apartment building so he could battle the blaze. The fire destroyed the building and displaced about two dozen residents. Matthew Thomas Landfair, 36, admitted to setting the fire in July at the Alana Woods apartment complex where he lived because he wanted to make a fire run.

So he could fail even harder, he decided to set his fire by a natural gas line - what could possibly go wrong?

Landfair, who joined the Fire Department in late 2012, ignited wood mulch piled around a natural gas line about 3 a.m., Clinton County Prosecutor Charles Sherman said during the sentencing hearing.

The fire burned through the line and ignited the gas, creating a blowtorch effect, he said.

Landfair then drove away, presumably to the firehouse so he could come back and fight the fire.

As Vodkapundit often says, "You know you're not supposed to do that, right?"

Monday, February 03, 2014

It's Nineteen Degrees Out And I Feel Fine

It's nineteen degrees and sunny today.

Anyone else feel like it's so warm that they want to put on a T-shirt and shorts while walking outside?

Compared to the -20 degrees we've been getting lately, this almost feels positively tropical.

Interesting Archaeological Discovery May Support Chronology For Existence Of King Solomon

An inscription found on a large fragment of an ancient jug of wine may help support the existence of the biblical kingdom of King Solomon.

How does it support it? Well, it is the earliest Hebrew inscription found in Jerusalem - 3,000 years old and that pushes back the existence of the Hebrews in the Holy Land to at least the time of King Solomon. One interpretation of the inscription is that it says "inferior wine" followed by a year of reign marker of either 20 or 30.

Fox News: Message decoded, again: 3,000-year-old text may prove biblical tale of King Solomon

Finding Hebrew writing in Jerusalem dating back to that period is a very important discovery, as there is otherwise little else than the Bible itself to attest to the existence of the Solomonic kingdom.

Hopefully, further excavations will reveal more interesting finds and history can continue to be revised as more facts are found and the proffered explanation for the inscription be confirmed.

Detroit Police Chief Maintains Pro-CPL Stance

Detroit's new Police Chief, unlike many other large-city chiefs, has gone on the record supporting civilian gun ownership and concealed carry.

In fact, he's reiterated his support for it yet again.

The Detroit News: Detroit police chief defends stance on backing citizens carrying guns

He just gave a great public response to an anti-gunner with hysterics recently, and his excellent response is worth reading over at the article.

Thanks Chief. You may not be able to solve all of Detroit's massive crime problems given the resources and problems you've been dealt, but your rational and sensible approach in favor of civilian gun ownership and concealed carry is highly refreshing.

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Detroit Has Gone To The Dogs (And Cats)

The Detroit News: 7,500 stray dogs, 18,000 cats roam Detroit streets, MSU researcher says

Understand that the study is based on a survey the researcher sent to animal shelters in Detroit.

Other studies suggest there may be as many as 50,000 stray dogs roaming Detroit.

No one really knows the actual amount.

Saturday, February 01, 2014

Don't Drink N' Drone - At Least Not Yet

The killjoys at the FAA are at it again:

The Detroit News: FAA grounds drone beer delivery to ice fishermen

A Wisconsin beermaker wants drones to help anglers remotely replenish their stocks of beer. But the government is saying no.

For now.

The Federal Aviation Administration informed Lakemaid Beer that it currently prohibits small businesses from using drones shortly after the brewer posted video of a test run last week on Lake Waconia, located in Minnesota west of the Twin Cities.

Using drones for spying, good. Using them for something as crass as delivering refreshments to fishermen - bad.

The regulations are slipping farther and farther beyond the technological capabilities of the day.

A Supposed Bargain For Detroit's DWSD Pig In A Poke?

Detroit's EFM, Kevyn Orr, has recently come down in his asking price for the suburbs to "lease" the Detroit Water a Sewer Department.

Previously,he was pushing them to pay $9 Billion for a lease on the water department.

He's now down to offering the lease for $1 Billion.

The deal would still keep the city the titular owner of the water department and the suburbs would pay $47 million a year in lease payments and in return get equal spots on the Water Board to oversee operations.

The Detroit Free Press: Suburban leaders cautious on regional water authority proposal

No kidding they're cautious. The EFM a few months back tried to take them for nine times the current offer, and the current offer doesn't disclose all the details of what really needs to be done to fix and maintain the water department after its been used as a political slush fund and featherbedding unit of the corrupt Detroit administrations for years.

Even at a better price, Orr is still trying to offer it as a Pig In a Poke:

Oakland and Macomb counties have been demanding updated financial details from the city on the department’s operations, as well as engineering studies that would outline expected maintenance and repair costs. Without that information, it’s impossible to agree to a lease payment, Hackel said.

In a regular deal, the financials would be provided up front to the prospective buyer would know what they're getting into. That they're not being given this information suggests that Orr wants to sell the DWSD off to them before the reality of the situation is shown and the cat is out of the bag.

The suburban executives are darn right to be cautious and insist on full disclosure before proceeding, especially given Detroit's duplicitous track record.

My bet is the financials reveal a shambles, display there's tons of outstanding required deferred maintenance, and that if the suburbs accept the latest offer, We're going to be hosed.