Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Stupid Criminal Tricks - Running From The Law Doesn't Workout Well.

Running from the law tends to go badly.

Three fine upstanding fellows decided to burglarize a gun store, and while making their getaway managed to crash and kill themselves while being pursued by the police. This is an overall savings to the justice system and does prevent recidivism rather nicely.

The Detroit Free Press: 3 die after police chase, crash following gun shop burglary

Now, maybe they ran because their crime took place on the west side of the state, where they take stealing firearms rather more seriously than in say, Wayne County (Detroit), here on the east side of the state.

After all, had then done it in Wayne County and stole say $30,000 worth of firearm from a gun shop, they would have gotten . . . . probation.

Yep, one of my clients had his gun store burglarized with 30k in firearms taken, one of which showed u in a murder in Florida a week later and the perpetrators, who while they hid their faces from the cameras inside the store missed the video camera and thus were identified as frequent guests of the Wayne County criminal justice system, were caught with some of the merchandise when arrested, and still ended up only getting probation. So much for Wayne County being tough on gun crime.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

That Groundhog Saw His Shadow Yesterday

The same place where the picture of the groundhog was taken as seen today:

Roads are a mess, all iced over and slippery, and traffic is at a crawl.

How did we skip spring, summer and fall and head right back into Winter?

On the upside, power is restored, the house is now up from 58 degrees back to 68 degrees, and the sump pump is working under its own power so we don't need to bail by hand anymore.

Anyone have any opinions on whole-house generator systems?

Monday, April 16, 2018

Visitors Of An Animalian Kind

With the power out it has been pretty quiet around the area.

So quiet that the local wildlife have decided to take a closer look.

This baby deer came right up to the window to nibble on some shrubbery.

When she saw us watching her from the window she was a little surprised and backed up and then headed on her way.

Then we had a meterologically adept animal come by, and unfortunately he's been seeing his shadow quite a lot lately, especially considering it was snowing again today.

Yes, we had a groundhog perambulate around the backyard and come by the windows before he merrily wandered off into the woods . . . . and snow started falling yet again.

Temperatures are forecast to hit freezing again tonight, and we'll likely see snow in the morning.

That Was Not A Fun Way To Spend A Sunday

Last year the power was out for a week in March due to a windstorm.

Now it looks like we're going to be out for awhile as well due to yesterday's ice storm.

The Detroit News: Mich. Monday: Drizzly and 259K without power

The key difference between last year's outage and this one is rain.

Lots of rain.

Lots of rain and very sodden ground.

Yes, with no power, the sump pump pit was filling up at a ridiculous rate. We could only keep pace bailing it out by hand and we easily drained over 1,000 gallons (200 full 5 gallon buckets, and we did more than that) from the pit.

All day, and all night.

During the day the minions were helpful assistants while Tash was out working.

During the night, Tash and I did 2-hour shifts each bailing the pit and then getting a two hour nap and then up again.

It finally slowed down to where we could get ahead of the water coming in it at around 2 am this morning, and we were then only having to empty it every five minutes or so and it's now about a 10 minute fill time now.

More rain and even snow is in the forecast, along with possibly freezing temperatures tonight and no real estimate to when they will restore power yet but some people seem to think it will be back on by Tuesday at 8 pm.

This doth suck, and it sure was a lousy way to spend a day and night.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Ice, Ice, Baby

So, this 15th of April, we are allegedly well into spring.

It seems that nobody informed Winter of this seasonal change.

Ice and snow cover the ground, making it a slippery mess, freezing rain is falling as we speak.

Good thing I looked at the weather ahead of time and decided this weekend would not be a good time to fly.

If Winter would please go away, it would be appreciated as it has seriously worn out its welcome.

And we just lost power, likely due to trees covered in ice falling on power lines. Great.

Guess what doesn’t work without power? One hint - it’s raining heavily still. Yes, you guessed it, the sump pump. A battery backup unit for it just moved to the top of the list. When you’re bailing the sump pump pit constantly and having emptied over a 200 gallons worth of five gallon buckets and the water level is still not going down, you know it’s a whole lot of wet out. Today’s work out comes in a five gallon bucket.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

The Brits Stoop To Associating Cookie Monster With Crime And Cowardice

In the place Where Great Britain used to be, there's a current push to ban knives, because someone might very well hurt themselves, and the Brits are going through a spot of "knife violence" with London overtaking New York in murders. Just like gun control, it's a wrong-headed focus on the tool rather than the criminal, continues the obsession of blaming crime on inanimate objects, and will likely give much the same results.

But, in their quest for a fully disarmed citizenry, the Essex police have stooped so low as to defame Cookie Monster and associate him with knives, violence, and cowardice.

To depict Cookie Monster in a picture under the title "Only Cowards Carry" depicts him as a craven coward associated with criminals that use knives, including Swiss army knives (yes, really), screwdrivers, and broken bottles is a most base insult.

Silly Brits, C is for cookie, not coward.

Snowbirds' Tribute To Lost Thunderbirds Pilot

Major Stephen Del Bagno, Thunderbirds #4, was killed in a crash on April 4 during a training flight.

The Royal Canadian Air Force Snowbirds flew a tribute missing man formation for him on April 10:

A very classy and respectful move from an allied air force aerial demonstration team.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

The UN: From Hope, To Tragedy, To Farce, To Tragedy, To Farce Yet Again

The UN is often a self-parody of itself, doing things that you just can't make up if you tried. It has beclowned itself yet again this week.

UN Watch: Syria to chair UN disarmament forum on chemical & nuclear weapons; watchdog calls on US & EU to walk out

No, you really can't make this stuff up, they really just did that on Monday, right after Syria used chemical weapons against its own population yet again. Of Course, Syria had been appointed to the UNESCO Human Rights committee in 2013 as it was killing its own citizens wholesale so the current appointment merely follows the trend.

It's the stuff of farce. The country in the news today for the most recent use of chemical weapons (and sought to build nuclear weapons in the recent past and was found in breach of the non-proliferation treaty, if not currently) has been named as the chair of the UN's disarmament forum on chemical and nuclear weapons.

Yes, the organization that named Iran to the UN's Women's rights committee as Iran was violating women's rights wholesale, has now named Syria, the most famous current user of banned chemical weapons to chair the committee on disarmament of chemical weapons.

One wonders if the members of the UN completely lack any sense of self-awareness or shame, or for that matter why anyone should take anything the UN and the UN General Assembly does seriously ever again, if you ever took it seriously before.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

More Canadian Statue Shark Jumping - Halifax Removes The Statue Of Its Founder

Canada seems to be the new hotspot for historical statue revisionism.

Halifax actually removed the statue of Lord Edward Cornwalis, the founder of the City of Halifax in 1749. The city of Halifax had errected a statue of him in the 1931, where it remained in Edward Cornwallis Park until this year.

Yes, they actually removed the statue of the founder of the the city.

This was done at the behest of various Native American and Black groups because Lord Cornwallis wasn't very nice to the MikMak population, nor the African population. There were slaves in Halifax after all. There was also the small matter of a war he fought in with the MicMacs, when the Micmacs took the side of the French against the British. Cornwallis and the British won that series of wars and the French and Micmacs lost.

Apparently the main reason the Micmacs are against him is he ordered the scalping of Micmacs during the war, and they're proposing some Micmac figure replaces him at the park. Remember its not like he just ordered people out to take scalps, the Micmacs were at war with the British during the time.

The decision comes after increasing controversy over Cornwallis's so-called scalping proclamation that offered a cash bounty to anyone who killed a Mi'kmaw person.

One should note this proclamation was made during a war between the British and the Micmacs brought on by Micmac raids on British settlements and after multiple battles between the British, French and MicMacs.

Rebecca Moore, a Mi'kmaw and a member of Pictou Landing First Nation, helped organize protests against the Cornwallis statue. She said removing it is an "awesome" step toward reconciliation.

An "expert panel" of Micmacs was to be formed apparently to better enforce historical "reconciliation" and have a statue of some Micmac of note replace Cornwallis, but the #MeToo movement put the brakes on that, at least partially, when one of the MicMacs Chiefs nominated for the panel turned out to be

Wilbert Marshall, the chief of Potlotek First Nation. Some councillors refused to accept Marshall's appointment because he was convicted in 2008 of sexually assaulting a 20-year-old woman.

When you're outraged about a historical event where you lost a war a couple hundred years ago and wish to rewrite history to blot out the victors, but think to nominate a rapist to your truth and reconciliation commission, your SJWness lacks any sense of priorities.

However, there seems to be no remorse on the part of the SJW MicMacs for their rather extensive role in the wholesale elimination of the Beothuk people that occurred around the same time, and indeed there is now a new revisionist historical view that the MicMacs "dindu nothing" against the Beothuks and it was all the white man's fault.

Has The Take Down The Statue Craze Jumped The Shark?

I'd suggest if not, then it's pretty darn close, with the leftists demanding the removal of the statue of yet another evil white male racist imperialist . . . . .

Gandhi.

Yes, that Gandhi.

African student body in Ottawa calls to remove statue of ‘anti-black’ Gandhi

I'll note the statue was only installed in 2011 at Carleton university in Ottawa, to much praise. After all, back in 2011, Gandhi was seen as an anti-imperialist, peace-loving, user of non-violence to achieve his goals, and with the statue highlighting the important ties between Canada and India.

How times change in seven short years.

Now the left, which used to accuse the right of failing to have any concept of nuance, have decided that Gandhi's flaws, and yes they are indeed considerable, overshadow any of his accomplishments and make him statua non grata on Carleton university grounds. They're most concerned that Gandhi advocated the South African government of the time to classify Indians as higher than Blacks on the apartheid social scale, which the South African government of the time indeed agreed to and in fact did.

Yes, Carleton University is colloquially known in Canada as "Last Chance U", and for good reason, and the losers of the left get admitted there if they can't make it anywhere else. Too bad they don't want to give Gandhi a chance.

Monday, April 09, 2018

Ok, Who is Holding A Global Warming Conference Today?

Some joker out there must be holding one today, because it's snowing now, and heavily.

Practically the middle of April and we're getting a snowstorm coming down hard enough to reduce visibility and make driving hazardous.

Winter really needs to end.

Ready Player One - The Movie

On Saturday afternoon we went to see Ready Player One, in 3D of course.

While drawing on the book and following the story generally, the movie doesn't quite follow it chapter and verse and often departs from it in many interesting ways.

The contest itself is very different, with an opening scene in the movie that is completely different from how the contest works in the book, most likely to save time and compress the book into a length suitable for the movie. From the start you realize the film will not be faithful to the book, and you just have to go with it preserving the general idea and character names and basic plot line and then majorly adapting it to fit the visual format of the movie screen.

Characters tend to do different things than they did in the book, sometimes very major deviations. When you know character X did something important in the book and instead all of a sudden it is character Y is doing something almost the same but not quite it's a bit jarring. This happens quite a bit. However, the characters in many ways are true to the spirit of the book and would meet your expectations in imagining what they looked like from reading the book, its just their actions that appear off.

There's an entire dramatic episode in the film that does not occur in the book at all, again done in order to dramatically reveal something important that took many pages and encounters in the book for the characters to figure out.

Disappointingly, the band Rush isn't featured at all, and the band had a major part to play in the story.

Lots of things are rather compressed or ignored and that hurts the flavor of the book but makes the movie move along.

The ending seems pretty rushed and a bit contrived and again did not happen in the book, for pretty good reason, considering the villain does something very un-villain like that spoils his overly evil role up to that point.

The villain does it for no particular reason and could easily have continued his villany but stops without word or explanation. It was almost as if the screen writers backed themselves into a corner to have a dramatic ending and then decided to leap their way out of the corner without so much as an explanation.

The screen writers also toned down the 80s lore of the hunt, probably to draw in more millenials and such to the theaters who would likely not get the references in the book, but instead would enjoy the Spielberg effects. It was made much less of a cerebral riddle and problem-solving hunt as depicted in the book and more of an action scavenger hunt that would, given the nature of the imaginary world, have been solved years before the time depicted in the movie so that does detract from it somewhat.

The effects were quite cool throughout, and of course they needed to telescope the book severely to fit it in, and as it was the movie was over two hours. But, time went by rather quickly, but like I said, it felt like it built up to a rather rushed ending (without Rush mind you).

You really don't need to have read Ready Player One to see the movie, and if you didn't like the book due to the 80s references you may end up liking the move as it is quite different from the book.

Tash gave it a 6, I'd give it a solid 7. Not a movie I would pay to see again in theaters, but I would watch it when it comes out again on Netflix.

In The Place Where Great Britain Used To Be, Yet Again

Facing a knife (murders in London have now exceeded New York City) and acid-attack crime wave, Brtiain's government decided they must do something.

The something now includes banning buying knives online or having "offensive weapons" in your home, complete with new powers for police to search homes for such weapons.

The Mirror: Tough new offensive weapons laws ban keeping so much as a knuckle duster in your home

Tough new laws against offensive weapons will make it illegal to keep so much as a knuckle duster in your home.

In a crackdown to be announced by Home Secretary Amber Rudd on Monday, police will get powers to search, seize and prosecute anyone caught with weapons including zombie knives.

At present cops can act only if they find weapons being carried on the streets.

Ms Rudd’s new Serious Violence Strategy, to combat the recent spate of disfiguring attacks, will also mean a minimum of six months jail for a second offence of possessing acid.

The new “two strikes and you’re out” law will bring corrosive liquids in line with knives.

And police will be told to use stop and search powers to find acids.

Shopkeepers will be banned from selling dangerous cleaning products to people under 18 and, for the first time, a licence will be required to buy sulphuric acid.

Ms Rudd said: “To tackle violent crime effectively, robust legislation and powerful law enforcement must be in place. Stop and search is a vital policing tool and officers will have the Government’s full support to use these powers.”

No one will be able to buy knives online and have them delivered to their homes.

And of course, even more firearms bans, why, because why not, it's the United Kingdom:

Gun clubs will no longer be able to use rapid fire rifles which will be banned outright.

Bump stocks, which increase the rate of fire and have been used in US shootings, will also be forbidden.

And of course just as there is not only no Second nor Fourth Amendment in Britain, there is no First Amendment to prevent government restraints on speech and imprisonment for speech - so there must be more restrictions, for your own good, of course:

Ms Rudd will also target any social media which glorifies violence and demand providers remove gang material including music and videos.

And progressives would see us become just like Great Britain with controls on ordinary citizens' choice of weapons, speech, and the elimination of security from expansive searches in return for a police department that ignores crime unless "committed" by an ordinary decent citizen.

Sunday, April 08, 2018

Flying - A Good Flight To Bad Axe

In my continuing quest to build hours and cross-country time, I had a nice flight planned to Bad Axe. Skies were supposed to be clear up to 12,000 per the weather briefing. Not so much. There was a pretty much broken layer between 3,000-3,500 the whole way there and back so it was a relatively low level flight the whole way.

I had booked N8570F but for some reason they moved me to N1869H.

N1869H has received a new paint job and new Garmin heading and attitude indicators, getting rid of its rather unreliable vacuum system. Pretty cool new stuff.

Unfortunately, she would not start.

So I had to move my stuff to N8570F and of course it started with no problems.

A good and smooth takeoff and I was on my way.

On the way to Bad Axe there was still a fair bit of snow on the ground as I flew north.

You know Bad Axe is near when you can see the many windmills and the Lake Huron in the distance.

A nice landing on Runway 35 with a bit of a crosswind from 330 at 9 kts. Then taxi back on taxiway Alpha to the start of the runway, takeoff and head back to Pontiac.

On the way back, I overflew Lapeer Airport.

It's a nice airport to fly into, but I did not have the time to stop so I simply flew over and took a picture.

Then it was back to Pontiac and per the tower entering a right base and doing a very nice landing again on Runway 27R with winds from 300 at 12.

I averaged around 120-130 kts per hour during the trip using full rental power as I had to make up the time lost that was involved in switching planes and doing two full preflights, and it was a nice quiet and relaxing time flying.

1.8 Hours and 2 landings.

Thursday, April 05, 2018

In The Place Where Great Britain Used To Be

Sky News: Pensioner held on suspicion of murdering 'burglar' pictured

Yes, a 78-year old managed to kill one of at least a pair of armed home invaders who broke into his home is now being held on suspicion of committing murder.

Reportedly, the home invaders, armed with screwdrivers, backed the man into his kitchen where at least one of them found out you shouldn't bring a screwdriver to a knife fight.

In most civilized countries, a 78-year-old facing and successfully fighting off two armed home invaders would be praised.

Unfortunately, this occurred in the United Kingdom, where permissible acts of self defense are now reduced to lying down and thinking of England.

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Mother Nature Has Been Hitting The Sauce Yet Again

This morning:

Yep, a snow fall in April.

This does happen in Michigan pretty regularly, and it always causes one to be rather taken aback. After all, we just had the snow all finally melt away, Winter is ending, and now this.

Today is low IFR conditions with complete overcast and 50 mile an hour winds that can be felt even while driving on the highway, and blowing snow from the sky.

Spring is sure taking its sweet time getting here. That, or Winter is giving Spring a miss and going to straight on to Summer.

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Youtube Shooter Identified?

Reports are coming in stating that the shooter was a woman and this was likely a domestic dispute brought to work.

Not so fast.

You simply can't assume her gender like that. After all, his is YouTube/Google.

This may instead very well be the first murder ever committed by a Dragonkin or perhaps even a Unicorn.

Good thing it took place in a gun-free zone,and therefore is in-possible.

Update: Shooter is identified as a hot, crazy Iranian, Muslim, Vegan probably a devotee of Crossfit. It was not a "domestic situation" but apparently she was angry over her YouTube channel being demonetized and hated the company. No news on how she self-identified yet. She wounded three and only killed herself.

Scenes From Court Today - "No. You Can't Be A Little Bit Attorney"

So I'm in court to represent my client on a traffic ticket. While waiting first to discuss the matter with the prosecutor at the pretrial conference and then to put the arrangement on the record I get to observe some cases.

First, a lady is arguing with the prosecutor over her ticket. Since she was caught on LIDAR, her claim that she wasn't speeding probably won't go very well and there's some related issues as well. He offers her a reduction from 4 points to one point and getting rid of the other charge. She wants to see the dash-cam footage of her being pulled over. He notes she should have asked for that before, as today is the day of the hearing if it is not resolved. He nicely explains how the hearing will likely go not in her favor and she can take the deal as offered or have the hearing. She keeps arguing and he says fine, we'll go ahead with a hearing on it. Not exactly smart on her part.

Then, after I acept a rather nice deal on behalf of my client, I get to wait in the courtroom.

First up, a case is being adjourned as the court-appointed lawyer is withdrawing due to "communication breakdown wit the client". I.E. in this case the client isn't listening to the attorney at all. But it gets better.

The lady indicates she dosn't want another court appointed attorney, she wants her father to represent her.

"Is her father an attorney?", the judge asks.

"He's an attorney but not on paper" she replies.

The judge asks if he is or isn't, for just like being pregnant, you can't be a little bit attorney.

She finally admits the father is not an attorney. Not that anyone really thought otherwise.

The Father then asks to talk and he then tries to start arguing the case. The judge kindly explains that he can’t be her attorney as he isn't actually an attorney, and now is not the time to discuss case as it is a motion hearing. He states the case will be a jury trial if she doesn't resolve it so he can't hear factual arguments right now. Father doesn't get it and he wants to keep arguing. Judge kindly tells him no, grants the appointed attorney's motion to withdraw and says the lady really needs an actual attorney, either at her own cost, or a court-appointed defense attorney. Fun to watch.

Next up is yet another winner. Charged with with driving while on a suspended license and possessing drug paraphanelia. Fellow had been charged with driving while suspended by the same judge in 2008, and here he is in front of him again for the same thing. In the meantime, he's had a multitude of tickets and his driving record is littered with unpaid fines and offenses. tickets. But he keeps driving anyways. The judge carefully explains using very small words that a suspended license means you cannot drive. I don't think the lesson sunk in.

Next up is yet another driver, a lady, who has been zipping along on a suspended license with over $1,000 in unpaid tickets. She similarly gets the "What part of suspended license and you may not drive do you not understand?" lecture.

Yet another driver caught driving on a suspended license is next. Again it's not his first rodeo, and again the judge has to explain that a suspended license means you cannot drive.

Some people don’t learn. And they’re still out there driving, badly.

Monday, April 02, 2018

Kinda Missing The Plot

From Small Dead Animals: Manitoba's NDP (New Democratic party - Canada's socialist political party that typically comes in third behind the Liberals and Conservatives, decided to tweet a wish of a Happy Passover to Jewish Manitobans.

With a picture of two ladies with a loaf of challah bread. Yes, really.

Considering the rules of Passover are pretty specific and pretty well known that you can't have challah bread, or any other leavened bread for that matter (amongst other things) during the eight days of Passover, and instead have to eat Matzah (unleavened bread) this is a bit of a faux pas.

Anyways, have a Happy Passover thos those who celebrate it, and a Happy Easter to those who celebrate it.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Tax And Spend, And Spend Even More

Over at Bayou Renaissance Man, Peter posts about the record revenues government is taking in.

As the economy improves under Trump, more taxes follow even at lower rates as economic activity picks up.

The increase in taxes collected, however, still can't keep up with the increase in spending and past spending at the federal, state and local levels for which the debt is coming due.

For example, in Michigan for the past twenty years roads have been underfunded and ignored, and the bills are coming due.

In Michigan in 2015 there was an increase of 20% more for vehicle registrations and 7.3 cents per gallon more in state gas taxes under the promise that it would be to fund road repair.

In reality, not so much.

Even with that tax increase, currently only 19% of roads in the Metro area are considered to be in good condition.

Why? Well part of the money was immediately diverted from road funding for other projects, and a goodly sum of it has been going not to repair roads but to pay down the over a billion dollars in debt for road repair done by bond sales in the Engler and Granholm eras, more than eight years ago, for which the repairs that were done back then are now in need of repairs themselves.

The solution being proffered to fix the situation? Of course, it's to increase taxes for road funding even more. They promise to use it all to fix the roads this time, and of course you can believe them this time.

So Far, No One Is Blaming The Machete

The Detroit Free Press: Feds: Detroiter stabbed a woman to death, did 20 years, then kidnapped child using machete

An ex-con who did 20 years in prison for stabbing a woman to death is headed back to prison, this time for kidnapping a toddler in the middle of the night using a machete — a crime he allegedly bragged about.

If we just had common-sense machete laws, these things couldn't happen, right?

Does This Constitute Hunting Stupid Over Bait?

Kudos to the Gladwin County Sheriff's Department for a clever use of social media to snare a really dumb criminal.

The Detroit Free Press: Authorities use social media bait to arrest suspect who made shooting threat

So our stupid criminal of the day, after getting a PPO issued against him decides to fully validate the granting of the PPO by his making a threat to shoot up the courthouse.

So what does the Sheriff's office do? They posted on social media that he should come to the Sheriff's office and file a complaint about the PPO.

And sure enough, he did, and was promptly arrested.

Nicely done.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Yet Again, PPOs Are Just Pieces Of Paper Only

And a piece of paper offers scant protection from scum bent on killing their former domestic partners.

The Detroit Free Press: Woman killed at Jo-Ann Fabrics had protection order against ex-boyfriend

As is typical in these cases, the PPO did not help.

Rachel Renee Duncan feared weeks ago that a former boyfriend could show up at her work and possibly kill her.

On Monday, police said, he did just that, murdering the 25-year-old fabric store employee inside the Jo-Ann Fabrics at 3750 W. Saginaw St. before turning the gun on himself.

It's a pity he didn't just off himself and instead had to involve an innocent in his worthlessness.

A PPO may help turn away the average gormless stalker schmuck that just doesn't comprehend that no means no.

It does nothing against people who have made actual threats of bodily harm against you and are bent on carrying them out. In such a case, the PPO is only helpful in documenting the threats to show you have a reasonable fear that they will do you bodily harm when they show up and you have to defend yourself. Failing, after getting a PPO, to have an adequate means of defending yourself from a known threat when they do show up is of no help.

Update: Just as Spikessib points out in the comment, the gun was not legally owned by him. Not only due to his not being allowed to have a firearm due to the PPO (this is most likely the case, the PPO form in Michigan has a checkbox prohibiting firearm possession that a judge pretty much always checks in such a situation, but it is unknown if that happened here) but the police have confirmed he was not the legal owner of the pistol used, and they're trying to figure out where he got it from. Oh, and he had been in a mental institution for a week after being detained by police, but had not been involuntarily committed nor apparently determined to be a threat to himself or others during his stay there. Lansing State Journal: Police: Shooter in murder-suicide at Jo-Ann Fabrics didn't own gun legally.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Apparently A Supreme Court Justice's Oath To Uphold And Defend The Constitution Has An Expiry Date

At least when it comes to the Second Amendment.

The oath taken when a justice is sworn in states:

“I, _________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”

The Detroit News: Retired justice urges repeal of Second Amendment

Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens is calling for the repeal of the Second Amendment to allow for significant gun control legislation.

The 97-year-old Stevens says in an essay on The New York Times website that repeal would weaken the National Rifle Association’s ability to “block constructive gun control legislation.”

Stevens says the decision in that case, District of Columbia v. Heller, “has provided the N.R.A. with a propaganda weapon of immense power.” Stevens retired from the court in 2010, after more than 35 years.

Stevens was on the losing end of a 2008 ruling in which the high court held that the Second Amendment gives individuals the right to own a gun for self-defense. He had previously called for changing the Second Amendment to permit gun control.

We could put it down to a 97-year old going senile, or instead that the foolish progressive dream of gun bans, and resultant control of the populace to enforce their progressive program does not diminish with age.

Update: Upon further thought and consideration, my opinion in this post was rather overstating the case. Mea Cupla. Please disregard the above portion before the quote from the Detroit News article and We could put it down to a 97-year old going senile, or instead that the foolish progressive dream of gun bans, and resultant control of the populace to enforce their progressive program does not diminish with age. . I do stand by that as an accurate opinion at least. Thanks much.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Flying: Today's Flight To KADG And Back

It was a fun flight today. Not a cloud in the sky, nice and sunny with a bit of wind.
I had planned a flight to KADG, Lenawee County Airport south of Ann Arbor. Weather brief indicated it would be a nice day with winds, that while gusting, would be right down the pipe at both 090 for KPTK and 050 for KADG. This seemed nice and I headed to the airport.

I did the preflight for Archer N8570F and got permission to taxi down to Runway 9L. The run-up area was rather crowded but everyine did their run-ups and then lined up to get onto 9L.

After quite a wait at the hold short line for 9L, I finally got clearance to enter the runway and takeoff to the Southwest. It was quite a busy time at the airport.

Since I was on my own, I had brought out the Go Pro, a new audio cable and a new suction cup and was eager to see how it would work. I had it attached to the passenger side window out of the way.

Not a bad capture of the takeoff:




Of course, after about 9 minutes of flying, the new suction cup detached itself from the window and the Go pro dropped nicely. No damage done but I wasn't going to futz around replacing it while flying. But, it was not a bad try for the first attempt, it's got a good audio feed, and I'll put the Go Pro up a little higher next time.

After the takeoff, a Cirrus was crossing over and above me going from 9R to the left and I was wanting to go to the right as advised by the tower. I didn't see him until he began his turn, so I stayed at my altitude until I saw him and all was well and we both went our separate ways with plenty of separation.

Then on the way to KADG, I hit some very light chop and the plane bounced around for a bit.

Made it to KADG with no problems, staying outside of Detroit's class B airspace and avoiding Ann Arbor's Class D.   By then KADG had quite a crosswind, not the wind right down the pipe for Runway 5 as forecast and was a definite pain, but it worked out ok with a heavy crosswind landing.

I then headed back to Pontiac and it was on the busy side again.

Of course,  the winds had shifted from 090 and moved to 110 and were gusting 11-16 knots. I was cleared first to 9R and told to  call and report a 2 mile right base. Once I hit two miles I was then told to switch to 9L, which was nice and convenient, and was cleared land.  And what a landing it was.  Simply a perfect crosswind landing and went from flying to rolling in a single smooth moment as the wheels touched down in sequence which was darn nice.

I then contacted ground and took the plane back to DCT and parked it and that was that.
1.6 hours of cross-country time and 2 landings.

March For Our Lies

Over at Sultan Knish, there's a very thorough look at the forces behind the so called "student-led" March for Our Lives push: Who Runs March For Our lives?

Interestingly enough, checking the Delaware Corporations filings, you can see that within 7 days of the Parkland shooting, on February 21 the March for Our Lives Foundation, the March For Our Lives Action Fund (Per Sultan Knish donations are funneled to a company in California) were incorporated. The March for our Lives Lodging LLC soon followed on March 2 (you have to wonder what that one is for exactly - providing hotel space for activists perhaps?), and were all setup as Delaware companies.

If you think a bunch of teenagers set these up, that quickly, there's a lovely bridge in Brooklyn up for sale with a special deal just for you. On top of that there was a very, very quick 501(c)4 filing with the IRS to allow donations without disclosing the identifies of the donors. Kids did not set these up.

Professionals setup the Delaware corps and did the IRS elections, not your average teen that just learned to stop eating Tide Pods.

It's astroturfing from the Bloomberg and Friends through and through with the kids as a front.

If you think this was a sudden spur of the moment teenage-led attack on our rights you're wrong - it's a professionally planned, professionally propagandized, professionally organized, and professionally funded effort and needs to be answered accordingly.

Friday, March 23, 2018

And Another Mass Shooting In France

Yet another Islamist attack, which is clearly un-possible as mass shootings only occur in the USA, or so we're told.

The Detroit News: Police storm French market; kill suspect, 3 dead

Perpetrator is yet another known wolf, and is being claimed by ISIS as one of theirs and had made a demand for the release of Salah Abdeslam, the surviving assailant of the Nov. 13, 2015 terrorist attacks.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Some People's Tinfoil Hats Are On Just A Little Too Tight

The Detroit Free Press ran a rather interesting opinion piece. Interesting not so much for any factual content but more for its rather over-the-top "Trump Is Like A Fascist Hitler" approach. No, it's not an ironic humor piece. The author is desperately serious, or seriously desperate.

The piece is from an author who purports to be a lecturer of history at Wayne State university, no less. Methinks she didn't actually learn history, but instead picked up a weird feminist intersectional insanity, delivered with an earnest straight face.

The Detroit Free Press: Understanding Donald Trump in a modern post-Hitler world | Guest column

Yep, she badly needs to have you understand Trump in a post-Hitler world. The problem is quite simply that in reality Trump isn't Hitler, and it's a rather disgraceful comparison and besmirches the memory of those who were you know actually killed and harmed by Hitler to try to make some weird claim that Trump is just like him. Newsflash: We're all living in a post-Hitler world, and thankfully have been doing so for over 73 years. After 73 years anyone who doesn't know we're in a post-hitler word needs to be flunked fromt heir history class.

When Donald Trump was elected 45th president of the United States, the fear was real and justified.

Sigh, what an opening, really? In reality it was less fear and more a giant tantrum that Hillary didn't win.

Historical analogies to the dawn of Nazi Germany were made everywhere, and questions about Germany in the 1930s came at historians from many unexpected places. In my case, graduate students in the English department at my university asked me to join a teach-in on fascism, where I was supposed to talk about “fascism in America” and draw historical parallels between Trump’s America and Hitler’s Germany.
Thus is because English majors at Wayne State really know history and can see obvious paralells. No wait, they really, really don't.

Still, I had to acknowledge that this time the comparisons and analogies drawn between Trump and Hitler were different. For one, there was the frequency and the urgency with which they were being made — and I’m not just talking about the comment sections.

Ah, so if enough people are delusional enough to believe in the comparison, a historian should not explain the clear differences but should instead jump right in, neh?

On November 18, 2016, Irish Labour Party Senator Aodhán Ó Riordáin remarked that “America has just elected a fascist;” a couple of months earlier; shortly after Trump was elected, the British historian Jane Caplan brilliantly wrote about how the whole repertoire of the “fascisms of interwar Europe” seemed to have returned.” Most notable was Timothy Snyder’s bestselling pamphlet, "On Tyranny," which tried to summarize how we can preserve our democratic freedoms under a Trump presidency.

The Labor party is hardy a hot bed of realism, and as always, the dark night of Fascism keeps falling upon America, but somehow keeps landing in Europe.

Snyder had no doubt that the latter were in jeopardy. In an interview with Salon in May 2017, he warned that within a year, it was “pretty much inevitable” that Trump and his administration will try to stage a coup against democratic rule similar to the way the Nazis had used the Reichstag fire of February 1933 to justify taking full control of the German government.

So much for that prediction. No Coup for you, oh pamphleteer. Heck, no concentration camps have been setup, Gay marriage is still intact, women are not constrianed to be barefoot and in the kitchen, the government is fully dysfunctional much as it ever was, AntiFa Communist types are still allowed to commit acts of mob violence, and the trains still don't run on time. Worst Hitler evar.

As much as I share the noble concern of Timothy Snyder and others for the survival of American democracy, it is worth pointing out that, despite some striking similarities, there are also many similarly striking differences between America under Trump and Germany under Hitler – such as the fact that Germany did not have a strong democratic tradition in 1933, and that Trump’s following didn’t have a paramilitary wing comparable to the infamous SA that helped Hitler get into power.

Noble concern, please tell me that's the polite Wayne State euphemism for mass hysteria, oh it isn't? She serious? Well, thank goodness that at least she can find some minor differences between Hitler and Trump's rise to power. I'm surprised that she didn't point out the similarity that they were both elected to power and both were white males, cause that's just proof they're complete doppelgangers man, totally.

After parroting all the Trump is Hitler canards, nodding sagely wiht the purveyors of such hysteria, and stating its a noble valid fear, she tries to dance away from it a little bit.

There is also the “Hitler factor” itself: the very fact that we all already know about Hitler, whose inhuman and ultimately disastrous policies completely discredited Nazism. After all, one of Hitler’s biggest advantages was the fact that he represented something new, whose consequences most people were unable to anticipate. Hitler’s initial success was tied to just how much people inside and outside of Germany underestimated him, largely because they kept seeing him through the prism of their own past. His ascendancy to power marked, in effect, a “zero hour” of sorts. There was no precedent

No precedent of such a similar ascendancy to power? Really? Anybody have any examples of previous dictators from the past invading their neighbors and trying to take over the world and kill those they disagree with? Maybe we should ask a historian, 'cause this one seems to lack historical knowledge and is in over her head.

That brings me to my ultimate concern: While I believe in studying the past for the benefit of better understanding the present, I also strongly believe in the potential of human creativity – both for good and for bad. Fascism was the political innovation of the 20th Century. Don’t we risk overlooking and misinterpreting the new challenges represented by the Trump phenomenon if we keep looking at it almost entirely through the prism of our past? Apropos our past: Isn’t it interesting that Trump’s political rise has led many uneasy observers to look back into Germany’s past, but much less so towards that of the US – as if the ugliness of the current political moment can best be historically explained by looking away from home?

Ah, an appeal to mass idiocy. If it is interesting that multiple progressive idiots think Trump is Hitler then there must be something to it. But wait, she's now decided not to look to Europe but proclaims that we need to find something bad in America's past just like Trump to explain him.

And then the whole thing ends not with a bang, but with a "Quit focusing on Europe, America is bad too!" whimper:

Donald Trump is, however, clearly made in America. He is a symptom of a society that, as a whole, values economic success more than public service, that places entertainment (and I include cable news in that category) above responsible journalism, and that cherishes its nationalistic rituals of swearing oaths and raising flags more deeply than knowing where and why American soldiers are currently risking their lives.

The point is that this is a moment not just to look at Europe’s past: A societal reckoning with the history of the United States is long overdue. Carpe diem.

Sadly, she completely fails to give an American historical example to explain Trump Fascism. Mainly because Trump isn't an actual fascist, and because bringing up FDR would hurt her dear liberal heart. (You know, lock up citizens in camps on the basis of their race, commandeer the economy, adopt a Bismarckian socialist system, threaten the judiciary when it disagrees with him . . .Ah wait, Trump hasn't done any of that yet.). Ah well, no American history points for you.

The point actually is instead of going along with the Trump is Hitler delusion of the progressive left, it would have been far more useful for a so called senior lecturer of history to instead of playing up such nonsense is to note why such a delusion is plainly wrong. Instead we find her playing up the Trump is Hitler fears and then segueing into we must look at the bad history of bad America but then she can't give you any pertinent examples that carp her diem.

An Ominous and overdue societal reckoning indeed, or not as the case may be.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Speaking Of Mid Air Collisions . . . .

The below picture is what happens when a Daddy Cirrus SR22 loves a Mommy Cirrus SR20 very much:

Picture from @wjxt4/Twitter and Flying Magazine.

No, in 9 months there won't be a Cirrus Vision Jet created.

Nobody was killed or seriously injured during the crash that happened last week and the SR20 had a pilot and flight instructor on board and the SR22 that landed on top of them was allegedly flown by Rob Meier, a former player with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

That's a nice million dollar plus accident right there, and another reason to spend more time looking outside the airplane and to be careful out there.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

OCBA's Firearms Law Seminar

Today, I attended the Oakland County Bar Association's Firearms Law Seminar.

A very short lunch 'n' learn, it was hosted by the OCBA and featured a Police Lieutenant and an ATF agent.

Lieutenant Stout of the West Bloomfield Township Police Department started off the seminar. Lt. Stout is an NRA instructor and member, as well as the WBPD's firearms instructor and head of the Road Patrol Division as well as being the former head of the SRT team.

It turns out he is very much in favor of civilian gun ownership and concealed carry. He noted there's only 1 police officer for every 300 Americans so we can't all have one at our beck and call. He stated that in West Bloomfield, a township of 60,000 people on a typical night there might be only 5-6 officers working on a night shift so he said realistically people need to be active participants in their own rescue from criminals, even as West Bloomfield is statistically an extremely safe place to live, much of that I might add due to a rather excellent police force.

He gave a very quick overview due to time over use of force and some very basics of Michigan's CPL laws.

He noted most violations on the part of concealed carriers are alcohol related offenses, typically consuming alcohol and then being stopped driving while having your concealed pistol in the vehicle. In short, if you're going to drink, and as .02 is the limit, you need to lock up your gun unloaded in a wrapper in the trunk.

While I know this stuff and teach it, it's always good to hear it from another perspective and he had a few elements in his presentation that I will happily adopt as they were quite effective.

In addition, I found out that WBPD does have classes where they let civilians shoot using the CAPS simulator system and I'm going to sign up for that. They're one of few departments that let civilians use the simulator so it should be interesting.

Next up was a now former ATFE agent who is with another government agency who went over some of the ATF issues. He indicated there are 5,000 ATF employees and some are pro civilian gun ownership, some are anti civilian gun ownership and many are whatever the current administration wants them to be.

He noted he was consulted for a court case where after a person bought a shotgun and then committed suicide the decdent's family sued the dealer on the grounds the dealer was negligent because the clerk was only 18 years old and that's against the GCA. Quick note - it's not. There is no minimum age for dealer or their clerk to be able to sell a firearm, but ATFE recommends no younger than 12 as they reckon 12 is a sufficient age to be able to testify under oath. In short a ridiculous case that was eventually dismissed.

Funnily enough, he did mix-up antiques and Curio and Relics, basically he was stating a C&R was anything before 1898, and I kinda politely pointed out the mix up.

He did give some very good tips on dealing with an ATFE dealer licensing hearing, which may come in handy.

Overall a very good if very quick presentation with some useful things learned.

AOPA Flying Safety Seminar

Yesterday after work, I met up with Peter and we drove to Ypsilanti to attend an AOPA Safety Seminar.

This one was certainly valuable. Titled Collision Course: Avoiding Airborne Traffic it went into the causes and methods of avoidance of inflight collisions - the lack of avoidance of which can really wreck your day.

Taught again by Andy Miller, a presenter with an excellent and dynamic friendly manner it was to a capacity crowd of 200 in the room. Interestingly, we were some of the youngest people there and really brought the average age down - this doesn't bode well for aviation.

As it turns out, most collisions are in clear weather, in the summer and on weekends - Why? Because that's when most people are flying and the skies are crowded around airports and other choke points such as practice areas or particularly scenic areas. The big sky really isn't.

One of the biggest problems is that pilots aren't looking outside the airplane enough. 80% outside, 20% inside is a good number but most people don't even come close.

Learning about physiology of vision, we got to see the Troxler effect in action.

Give it a try, it's kinda cool:

In short, don't focus on just one area of space, keep your eyes moving scanning sectors of the sky.

Best habits for radio calls in pilot controlled airspace were also gone over.

We also went over right of way as well as how technology is both hurting by making us look inside more, and helping through ADS/B and the TIS-B traffic notifications.

AOPA's Air Safety Institute definitely puts on some good programs, and if you fly, attending those hosted in your area to keep up to date nd keep learning is a great idea. They're free and well worth your time, and they give you Wings credit which is a good thing for your pilot file.

Monday, March 19, 2018

The Left's Use Of The Term Woke

Woke sounds awfully like its German original: Deutscheland Erwache.

Whether national socialists or international socialists, they all declare they want to be woke.

It also tends to be directed in the same manner and lead to much the same result, as seen by Democrat DC Councilman's Trayon White's latest woke statement:

D.C. Council member Trayon White Sr. (D-Ward 8) posted the video to his official Facebook page at 7:21 a.m. as snow flurries were hitting the nation’s capital. The video, shot through the windshield of a car driving west on Interstate 695 through downtown Washington, shows snowy skies while White narrates.

“Man, it just started snowing out of nowhere this morning, man. Y’all better pay attention to this climate control, man, this climate manipulation,” he says. “And D.C. keep talking about, ‘We a resilient city.’ And that’s a model based off the Rothschilds controlling the climate to create natural disasters they can pay for to own the cities, man. Be careful.”

Woke Antisemitism is a feature, not a bug, for the progressive left.

Sunday Funday

Sunday was a continuation of Tash's birthday weekend.

The weather decided to cooperate and while its was a bit cold, it was sunny.

So we headed to Cantoro's Italian market for some shopping and then had a picnic in a park with the groceries for lunch.

Then on to an Escape Room in Novi for a family activity. We had originally planned to do this Saturday but there was a mixup at the Escape Room with the booking, and they fixed it by having us come back yesterday right when they opened. Kudos to them for fixing the problem and making it right.

We did the School of Magic room which was quite cool. Less logic and more puzzle/object finding and interactions with various objects to trip magnetic sensors that did various things, it was a lot of fun. Instead of being one room, it had multiple rooms and doors you had to figure out how to get through by solving various puzzles that would unlock the doors and sealed containers.

We escaped in 47 minutes, 13 minutes to spare. While not a record, we did beat some family friends who had done it with their family by a comfortable margin (they escaped at 55 minutes) so we did have bragging rights. Quite a fun and clever setup that was very enjoyable and the kids loved the "Hogwarts-not really Hogwarts we're not copyright infringing, no not us, uh uh"-type theme.

These escape rooms are quite the popular pursuit and quite the fun activity.

Then we dropped the kids off at a friend's house and then we went out to dinner with some of Tash's friends. After that her birthday weekend came to an end. A very nice time indeed and she enjoyed it immensely.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Happy Birthday Tash!

Today is not only Yom St. Patrick, with a wish of a happy St. Patrick's day to all.

It is also Tash's 45th birthday.

So, last night while she was sleeping I made her a cherry cheesecake from scratch so we could continue the tradition of waking up to a cherry cheesecake for a birthday breakfast.

It was a big hit, with all and came out very nice if I say so myself - very easy to make recipe and it presents nicely.

Then on to presents from the kids and me to her.

I surprised her with something from Tiffany's - a necklace with an aquamarine stone as the centerpiece since it is her birthstone. Guys, a quick tip - a gift from Tiffany's is always a good choice. She loved it, and since it had previously received the kids' stamp of approval before I bought it, it was a surefire hit.

Then we headed out to have a nice birthday and do soem fun things, and as we were out and about we went to a bakery, named Nothing Bundt Cakes, to pickup some freshly made small bundt cakes for dessert after dinner. A sample at time of purchase proved them to be fantastic.

The day ended at a nice Chinese restaurant and now we're home about to have the mini bundt cakes.

It was declared a very successful birthday.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Ouch. Taxes Doth Really, Really, Suck.

Well I have finished the 2017 taxes.

In terms of household expenses, Taxes are the largest single expense we've got, by far, and that's not even throwing in Michigan's 6% sales tax into the mix.

We also unfortunately screwed up our withholding, as Tash did better than she expected and had withheld for, by a lot compared to last year, and so we will be writing a whopping big check to the IRS this year. Big as in "OMG how the hell are we gonna pay this?" huge.

Next in second place comes Medical expenses when you add the insurance premium and deductible and then rest not even covered by insurance and its a flipping lot of money. Thanks a lot Obama, you schmuck.

Only in third place comes the house as an expense.

In short, it was a pretty damn horrific tax return. Could have bought a very decent Piper Warrior with the Fed and state income taxes we paid this year.

And you wonder why it's so hard to get ahead.

Instead of withholding over the year, they shuld really make everyone write one check on April 15. I daresay you'd have a much louder call for a smaller, less wasteful, and more efficient government then. Oh, and hold national elections on April 16.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

No Honor Among Gun Thugs

Criminals apparently tend to trade weapons, whether to upgrade, match their next weapon to suit their next criminal act, or to get evidence of a crime out of their hands.

The problem of course becomes: When you meet another criminal with a gun and you arrange to trade, what's to stop the other criminal from simply shooting you and taking your gun?

Apparently, not much.

The Detroit News: Teen, 17, charged in double murder over gun swap

The headline is, as usual, rather misleading and suggests a legal meetup reminiscent of a gun show. Not so much.

Police believe that around 2 p.m. on the 1600 block of Buena Vista — south of Davison, west of the John C. Lodge Freeway — the suspects and the victims were meeting up to swap guns: the victims' one gun for the suspects' two guns, police said.

Instead, police say the suspects robbed the victims and then opened fire on them. Blinco died at the scene. Trotter died at the hospital.

Suspect Pritchett was arraigned on Feb. 28 and ordered to be held without bond at Wayne County Jail as his case is decided. McNair was arraigned Wednesday and also ordered to be held without bond, and is at Wayne County Jail.

The guns involved have not been recovered.

It certainly seems like the victims didn't figure out that the offer to trade their one gun for the other thugs' two guns, which would appear to be a strange offer to make, wasn't a good deal until it was too late.

Possibly The Ugliest Colored Car Of 2018 Spotted

Driving along I saw this new BMW with a dealer plate, apparently being test driven.

The picture doesn't really do the color its proper justice.

The color is well, it's a puke-looking yellow-green, resembling nasal discharge from a bacterial infection more than anything else that comes to mind. Not sure what they were thinking in letting it see the light of day on what I presume to be a rather high-end machine.

I'd reckon that BMW gives this color the descriptive name of "Snotzi".

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Flying Flight Review

So I had the ground portion for the flight review and then some flying today after work.

For 1.7 hours I got some ground in GPS and some review of charts and airspace which I aced. After all it hasn't been all that long from the check-ride. Since I knew what was going on I got to at least discuss some of the IFR questions I've been coming across so it wasn't a complete waste of time, but only nearly so.

Thence skyward. I did the preflight on the Warrior and off we went for some pattern. Low level windshear and a headwind of 16-20 knots coming from 300-260 made it interesting. Using Runway 27R it didn't take a lot of crosswind correction and I did 3 nice patterns and one short field and two regular landings as the wind shear was kinda sketchy at times, dropping 5-10 knots in airspeed at the drop of a hat, so i had to come in with a bit more airspeed.

Then the instructor got ut of the plane and I did 4 patterns and landings.

With the cold air and no weight, the Piper Warrior took off like a homesick angel. It's a sweet handling little plane.

With no one else on board and the strong headwind, I was consistently landing the plane and getting off at the Whiskey taxiway, which is pretty darn short, even as I was landing with a normal approach. Twenty knot headwinds will do that nicely. I suspect a short field landing procedure would have had me stopped at Romeo.

Fun, and I'm now qualified again to rent their aircraft, just need to fly there more regularly (in maximum 2 hour rental periods, which absolutely sucks) as I search for a good flight club for this summer.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Wondering When We'll See A Women's March For This, If Ever

Where are the Marches for Women for the women and girls of Rotherham, Rochdale and Telford?

You know, actual victims in a very real War on Women.

Thousands of women abused, including multiple rapes, beatings, and murder, with the powers that be covering it up as the perpetrators were from a politically correct protected class, namely gangs of Muslims in the UK. The police and other enlightened public officials did nothing for fear of being though racist or through class snobbery that the lower class girls simply had it coming to them. Hell, in some cases they returned the victims to their abusers to be raped and beaten yet again.

Reading this stuff makes feminists' overblown ridiculous fears of a "Handmaid's Tale" scenario under President Trump at its worst seem like a flipping vacation paradise. But this isn't some dystopian fantasy, it has been all too real.

Trump just by being elected gets marches all over the world with women putting on pink hats and protesting him because he wasn't Hillary and their unfounded fears that he's going to turn back the clock on women's rights, or something.

One would think feminists would be outraged at this decades long series of serious crimes and cover-ups. Hell, anyone with half a conscience should be shocked and outraged by this scandal.

What an opportunity for Women to protest against real violence against women.

Yet where are the marches and protests against this enabling of this insanity?

Crickets.

Monday, March 12, 2018

No Surprise There - All Michigan Democrat Gubernatorial Candidates Are Anti-Gun

While Gretchen Whitmer failed to attend a Democrat candidate debate in Bloomfield Hills this weekend, the others did and all were unanimously for gun bans and used the standard emotive conflating tropes so beloved of the Democrats on this topic.

The Detroit Free Press: Bloomfield Hills students host forum for Democratic candidates for governor

Yep, students who up until recently were having to be warned by Democrats not to eat Tide Pods are now being looked at by the Democrats as an emotive source of feels and knowledge for gun control policy.

All three candidates at the forum – former Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer was unable to attend to forum – said they believed that stricter gun controls are needed and teachers should not be armed in schools.

“I would not allow guns in education institutions and religious places. I will not allow teachers to carry guns,” said Thanedar, a retired businessman from Ann Arbor.. “I would ban all automatic and semi-automatic weapons. Those are guns that no one needs.”

El-Sayed, the former director of the Detroit Health Department, said his thoughts on gun reform have crystallized since his first daughter was born earlier this year.

“I never want to be in the circumstance where I get a text that someone has come into her school with a gun,” he said. “’Guns of war should never be on peaceful streets.”

[Let's note here for a minute that Mr. El-Sayeds head of the Detroit Health Department is from the peaceful streets...of Detroit.]

And Cobbs, a former Detroit Police officer and retired businessman from Farmington Hills, said he wouldn’t support or sign legislation in Lansing that would allow people to buy or carry weapons without a permit.

Standard Democrat tropes and showing pretty clearly that they emote well but don't even understand what they're talking about technically (an AR-15 is not a "Guns of war" and is not an issue weapon in any military). But yes, Democrat candidates have now stated they're all for more gun control, not allowing teachers to be armed to protect their student, and for banning semi-automatic firearms in Michigan.

This year's gubernatorial election is going to have consequences for firearms rights in Michigan.

Monday, March 05, 2018

Orange Isn't The New Black At The Oscars

Well it looks like Everytown's attempt to get all the stars to wear orange flags for gun bans at the Oscars fizzled. Lots of coverage that stars and starlets would be wearing orange pins for gun bans, but looking at the crowd at the opening, in the end it looks like not many if any did.

Even Jimmy Kimmel hosting the event wasn't wearing one. When even Jimmy Kimmel won't jump on board an emoting display to push for gun bans with no real substance then well....

It looks like the highest rated actors they could get to wear them were Lin Manuel-Miranda and Keala Settle. I know, you're asking "Manuel-Miranda and Settle Who?" Yeah, Me too, not exactly names on everyone's lips, those.

Speaking of #MeToo, it looks like the women of Hollywood weren't distracted by this new orange-aid shinyness to give up their black Times Up pins - after all Hollywood starlets are far more likely to be sexually assaulted or required to put out to get their career by the "men" (I use the term "men" loosely in this case - any man who sexually assaults a woman is no man) of Hollywood then they are to face "gun violence".

Sunday, March 04, 2018

Sunday Funday - To The Hogwarts Homecoming

I took Leah up to lake Orion and Canterbury Village where they were hosting the Hogwarts Homecoming.

A very Harry Potter themed event, it was hosted in a castle, no less.

We met up with a number of her friends and their parents and proceeded to see what there was to see and do.

First the kids had to take a seat and be sorted into their houses, and each got a nice oin with the house name and colors to wear.

Next we went to the "classroom" there were various activities like potions, charms, magical creatures and a detention with Dolores Umbridge.

Each one had its own activity such as making a "potion", a monster book of monsters, or in the case of Umbridge, a magical quill.

There was a also a Lego display where you could build your own Potter Lego Figure and some large built kits were shown off.

The Hogwarts Great Hall, as well as a lego train track with the Hogwarts Express complete with flying car on it.

A huge Pyramid display- really nicely done but not very Hogwart-related.

There was also a search for horcruxes where you had to wander the village and find them using the (relatively easy) clues provided.

Hufflepuff's cup was hidden in the cider mill shop:

The kids found all the horcruxes and each got a Hogwarts pin as a prize.

There was also buterbeer - Faygo Cream Soda topped with whip cream and butterscotch syrup. Seeing the Faygo bottle did take away some of the magic but it was refreshing after all that running around.

The kids all declared that they had had a very good time.

Saturday, March 03, 2018

Flying - It's A Little Early For A Biennial Flight Review, No?

One would think it is a bit early considering I've been licensed since August of 2017 and March 2018 - August 2017 is much less than 2 years,by oh, 18 months or so.

Well, not so much for DCT.

Unfortunately I did not fly there in December, January or February, so according to their policy I had to do a full frakin' flight review to be able to solo in their planes. YGTBSM.

So I got to take an instrucotr up and head to the practice area and it was basically a checkride - I did slow flight, power off and power on stalls, steep turns (which were actually pretty damn good for once, yay me!), turns around a point, s turns across a road and an engine out emergency practice and then some pattern.

I did ok but my crosswind landings could use a little work, what with the wind being about 10 knots from 040 and we were using Runaway 9L. The airport was busy as heck and they went to dual towers for the two runways - lots and lots of traffic there and in the practice area.

On the upside this was in their newer Piper Warrior II,

It's a sweet little plane and handled very nicely. Only annoyance is the tachometer is digital and in a hard to find spot low on the dash and hard to see in sunlight, but other than that its rather nice.

Would you believe I have to do a ground session to be qualified to fly solo with them and complete the flight review? Sheesh.

On the upside it moves the next biennial out two years from when this one ends, but that's not much of an upside.

I may need to start looking for a flying club as they're getting ridiculously busy and only allowing rentals in 2 hour blocks which doesn't give much in the way of cross country trip time. The only exception is one Piper Arrow and I'm not checked out or endorsed for a high performance airplane yet.

However, it was still a very nice day for a flight and I had a nice time with 1.4 pilot in command time and two landings.

Friday, March 02, 2018

Unpossible - Shooting At Dorm At Central Michigan University

The Detroit News: Police hunt for shooter who killed 2 at CMU

Two people were killed in an on-campus shooting at Central Michigan University Friday morning, and the university remains on lockdown as police seek the suspect, a 19-year-old man.

They also said the suspect is still at large and urge everyone on campus to take shelter. The campus has been locked down since the incident occurred at 8:30 a.m. Friday in Campbell Hall, a student dorm.

Apparently this seems to be a family-related domestic dispute that happened to take place at a college dormitory during Spring Break pickup time.

However, this entire scenario is simply impossible: By law, the carrying of guns is banned from dormitories at colleges in Michigan so the whole thing could not have happened.

Or, is it just that criminals don't obey gun control laws?

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

So What Do You Get For Attacking A Girlfriend And Grabbing A Deputy's Gun At A School?

Three days in jail and Probation.

Yes, really.

The Detroit News: Oxford High student gets probation for attacking girl

Garrett Brodeur, 18, attacked the 16-year-old girl in a school lunch room on Oct. 3, 2017, and while attempting to hit her, slugged two teachers who intervened.

He was held in a school office and resisted arrest from an Oakland County Sheriff’s deputy and attempted to pull the officer’s handgun from its holster, causing the weapon to discharge.

So we're talking about the uncontested commission of multiple assaults, multiple felonies, and misdemeanor domestic violence and he gets probation.

Nice to see we're taking violence at school seriously.

But, according to the methodology of Bloomberg's Everytown For Gun Safety Group, this will get propagandized as a "School Shooting" as the gun went off even as no one was injured and this incident will be used to push for more gun banning efforts.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

You Know You're In Ann Arbor When...

On Saturday arriving for the Ron White show we headed to a nice Korean BBQ restaurant, Tomukun, which was fabulous to say the least. It had a 45 minute wait, but we were early so that was fine.

So we wandered around and across the road was a used bookstore, which emitted an irresistible siren's call.

Lovely place, full to the ceiling with books.

You knew you were in Ann Arbor when you passed this section by:

Yep, forget about just a political theory section, in Ann Arbor you need one section designated for Marxism and one for Anarchism. It's not called "The People's Republic of Ann Arbor" for no reason.

Perusing around the shelves I found the following books of interest:

Into the Jaws of Death: British Military Blunders 1879-1900

That one is Mr. Garibaldi's fault. After his excellent article on British military blunders in the Boer War, this one just leapt off the shelf into my hand. It should be a good read.

Then in the classical studies section this bargain popped into view. For $7.50 I could not say no:

Josephus: The Historian and His Society

One of the great ancient historians, Titus Flavius Josephus was a Jewish leader captured by the Romans in the First Jewish Revolt who found favor with the Emperors Vespasian and Titus (hence his Roman appellation) and became a noted historian of the time. His work on the Jewish War is an excellent recounting fo the war by someone who was there and his other works siuch as The Antiquities of The Jews, a history of the Jewish people up to the Jewish Revolt is similarly very well done.

Josephus is certainly an interesting fellow and this book on his life and way as an historiographer should make for good reading.

Interestingly enough, the section in the Antiquities of The Jews dealing with Jesus, while some references exist in all texts, the section that claims to recount his crucifixion and resurrection, the Testimonium Flavianum, was most likely added in the fourth century AD, and 3 references to Jesus were added long after the events in the 9th Century in Russia by a Slavonic monk.

Yes, the Russians were inserting false news into the mainstream long before Twitter and Facebook.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

That Was A Lot Of Laughs

Just got back from tonight's date night.

Tash and I went out to Ann Arbor to catch Ron White live on his 2018 tour.

To say he was hilarious would be an understatement.

Certainly it is a show for mature audiences only, with a rather crude humor style with f-bombs and adult situations brought up throughout, but damn, it was hilarious.

I haven't laughed that hard non-stop for a long time.

Heckuva good show, all new material, very cool to see him live, and the show rocked.

I certainly needed the laughs and got 'em. If you get a chance to catch the show, it's well worth it.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Yes, Trying To Buy Little Pieces Of Metal Can Get You A Felony, Stupid.

In this case a reality show star just got a sharp burst of reality.

If you're in a TL,DR kind of mood it boils down to this: If perchance you want to hire a machinist to make some NFA items for you, don't.

The Detroit News: Reality show star from Mich. charged with gun crimes.

Apparently he is/was a star in Meet The Putmans, and yeah I hadn't heard of the show either until now.

The case against Putman dates to November. That’s when he entered a machine shop in nearby Elkton and asked the owner to duplicate a metal part, according to federal court records.

The owner was suspicious that the metal item was a firearm component. Putman asked to have 10 copies of the part produced and the owner quoted an $800 price, according to Stephen Ross, special agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Later, the owner learned that the part was similar to a component used to convert an AR-15 into a fully automatic assault rifle.

The owner contacted ATF agents after Putman left the shop.

It sounds like Putman tried to get the guy to manufacture a Drop In Auto Sear or a Lightning Link. Either of which, combined with other required parts, can convert an AR-15 into a full auto firearm covered under the National Firearms Act.

Possession of an unregistered DIAS or Lightning Link comes complete with a 10-year felony for possession of such when you're caught, as Putman is finding out to his dismay.

So, don't violate NFA laws, and don't involve others in your attempt to violate NFA laws.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Let's Start With No.

The Detroit News: Gun control advocates rally at Michigan Capitol

More than 100 gun control advocates rallied Thursday at the Michigan Capitol, urging the state’s Republican-led Legislature to enact new “common sense” regulations after a teen gunman last week killed 17 people at a Florida high school.

Common sense in this case includes things that are already the law, and banning stuff they don't understand because it scares them rather than concrete steps to stop mentally ill persons from committing these acts and making it harder for schools to be attacked. Banning stuff is easy - actually trying to solve the problem is hard.

Let's put it into perspective:

There are currently at least 6 million AR-15 type firearms in circulation in the United States. Probably many more than that, and the call to ban them will only increase this number.

If we take very school and terrorist shooting where an AR15 gets used in a mass shooting we have 7 incidents - Newtown, Connecticut a school shooting by someone mentally ill and known to be so before the fact; Aurora, Colo. a theater attack by someone mentally ill and known to be so before the fact; Santa Monica a college shooting by a mentally ill person and known to be so before the fact including by police who had informed him he was not eligible to purchase a firearm and San Bernardino, Calif. an ISIS terrorist attack; Orlando, Florida an ISIS terrorist attack; Las Vegas Nevada which is still being investigated and motive not understood or known but likely due to some mental issues; and Parkland where another mentally ill individual well known to police is committing a shooting.

So, that's five attacks and we'll generously increase this from 5 to say 24 AR-15s as the Nevada nutcase brought a lot with him, regardless of whether they were actually used or not.

24 out of 6 million is 0.0004% of all AR-15s out there being used in a mass shooting. That's almost a rounding error in statistical terms.

If the only purpose of an AAR15 is to kill, as claimed by the gun banners, it is clearly not doing the job they claim it was designed to do.

So for the acts of 5 people, two driven by terrorist sympathies and the rest by mental illness, we want to ban something legally owned by millions who have hurt no one.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

So, About Those 18 "School Shootings" So Far In 2018

So with the bodies still warm in Florida after the latest shooting by someone with known issues, we're again seeing a call for gun control and banning firearms instead of something useful like a proposal for armed guards at school or serious interventions for people who make credible threats of violence and have mental health issuess

Interestingly, I'm seeing the Everytown for Gun Safety claim of there being "18 school shootings so far in 2018" being parroted all over social media.

But when you drill down into the statistics, they're not what most people would think to be actual school shootings.

Instead, Everytown cunningly defines a school shooting as: "The organization defines a school shooting as "any time a firearm discharges a live round inside a school building or on a school campus or grounds." Talk about moving the goalposts on the term.

A pretty good list is found here with descriptions - King 5 News.

You'll note that darn few of the Everytown list are actual "School Shootings" in the classic sense where someone shoots up a school.

At least one is a police officer's negligent discharge when a student was able to trigger it in the officer's holster.

Two are suicides in the parking lot apparently after school hours.

One is drive-by shooting.

One was a pellet gun breaking a school bus window apparently with no one on the bus.

Most occur outside the school building and are the result of fights whether between students actually attending the school or people just happening to be close by.

Most led to no deaths and nine of the Everytown school shootings had no injuries at all.

In other words, Everytown is badly misleading people when they claim there's been a mass of school shootings this year, but then again, you knew that already. The problem of course is the uninformed do not realize this is a confabulated statistic and are panicking thinking this is a massive problem that requires drastic gun-banning solutions.