Thursday, April 02, 2020

So, Did We Have Coronavirus Before Coronavirus Was Cool?

Just got a message from Abby's pediatrician that when the antibody test for Covid-19 is available, she'd like Abby to come in and get tested for the presence of the antibody.

You see, Abby in December came down with a flu-like illness that threw her for a complete loop lasting almost 2 weeks. It was diagnosed as an upper respiratory infection, and was not influenza as the influenza test at the time came back negative. Apparently her high fever, cough, and shortness of breath are consistent with a case of coronavirus.

Leah got hit with it as well and was sick, but not as badly as Abby, and both Tash and I also popped fevers, coughs, and were feeling lousy then as well.

Since Abby goes to a pretty international school, and, get this, she has and sits together with a friend who had actually traveled to Wuhan to visit family. Her friend came back from that trip with quite a cough in December, all before this had made the news.

I'd say the chances are pretty fair to middling that we've already been exposed and had this thing.

Be interesting to see what an antibody test will show.

Wednesday, April 01, 2020

Not An April Fools Day Post - Chilean Commie Catches Comeuppance

It turns out Commies don't like to actually live under Communism (unless, of course they're among the nomenklatura).

Who knew?

Babalú Blog: COVID-19 strands Chilean leftist and Castro regime supporter in socialist Cuba, pleads for help to escape

From Cuba, Chilean actress Carolina Cox called on her government to get her off the island where she has been stranded after flights out were canceled due to the spreading of COVID-19 all over the island.

“This is a center for infections, foreigners are constantly coming and going, there’s a plague of rats, this is a closed-down hotel,” complained the actress in a video posted on social media.

. . .

“It’s super distressing being in a country where there’s shortages of soap, toilet paper, our accounts are blocked because of the blocks on Cuba, connecting to the internet is very difficult, our credit cards don’t work [,,,] There’s people who need medicine, among us are kids, elderly, families,” she explained.

The actress, who has been an activist promoting the protests against the government of Sebastian Piñera [of Chile] these past months and has declared herself a support of leftist regimes int he region, finished her message with a demand that her government do something about getting her back to Chile.

I hear Chile, in response to her demand, offered her a helicopter ride . . . . .

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Success: Smoked Brisket For Dinner

Total Cook Time: 10 hours, 4 minutes, including an annoying stall that required the use of the Texas Crutch (ye olde aluminum foil) to get through. Thence, 1 hour to rest.

After the rest, some slices were made and served and it came out great.

Pronounced perfectly tender, flavorful with excellent but not overwhelming smokiness, and served with some asparagus, and mac & cheese.

Did not require any BBQ sauce but it could be added if desired.

Now, I may need to make some social-distancing-approved meat-packs for some friends and neighbors.

Working From Home, So Might As Well Getting My Smoking On For Dinner

Since I'm working from home, I might as well do some food smoking since I can be here to give it the attention that it requires.

This one will require quite a bit of attention. Luckily, I can see the smoker from my home office.

Today's smoking item: Brisket. Or as they called it in Texas - BBQ.

I got a nice packer brisket from Costco yesterday and seasoned it last night with my homemade brisket rub.

It then sat out this morning for a couple hours to come up to temperature before having it ready to be placed in the smoker.

I then got the fire built and placed some locally sourced apple and hickory wood in the smoker.

And she's off and the cook has begun. We will see how this goes.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Stupid Criminals - Coronavirus Edition: It's A Miracle He Didn't Get His Butt Kicked For Doing That

The Detroit Free Press: Michigan man charged with touching carts, claiming he has coronavirus

A Michigan man was arrested after grabbing shopping carts at a grocery store and claiming he had the coronavirus.

Jonathan David-Asher Miracle, 26, also kissed the window of a police car Friday, the Genesee County prosecutor's office said.

Miracle was charged with malicious destruction of police property and falsely threatening people with a harmful substance.

It really is a miracle no one straightened Mr. Miracle out with a steel pipe or administered a dosage of high-velocity trans-cortical plumbum therapy after that threatening display of stupidity.

Governor Half-Whit Gets Some Things Right

One might even hope if she keeps this up that she'll be right half the time.

To be fair, while I've highlighted her many recent major screw-ups and lies, it's only fair I praise her when she makes good decisions.

Finally she has made some worthy of praise:

The Detroit News: Whitmer relaxes medical practice rules to provide help to fight virus

This is the right call to make. Letting doctors who are licensed in any US state practice here only makes sense, as does expanding what nurses, PAs and other medical professionals can do will only help.

Allowing drug manufacturers and wholesalers to ship from out of state right to the hospitals and distributors in Michigan rather than through some Michigan regulatory required intermediary, is also the right thing to do here. I will add this should have not even been an issue nor require emergency powers to fix in the first place and should not be reinstated after this emergency passes. Good call.

Next up, another good decision, yet again raising a question as to why this could not have been fixed before an emergency existed:

WXYZ7: Gov. Whitmer signs order allowing pharmacists to dispense emergency refills of prescriptions

Governor Whitmer signed an executive order Wednesday easing restrictions on pharmacists and increasing access to prescriptions for Michiganders.

Executive Order 2020-25 will allow pharmacists to dispense emergency refills of prescriptions for up to 60 days’ worth of supply for patients and require insurers to cover these emergency refills during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Again this is both the right call, and never should have been restricted in the first place.

Two right calls in a row governor. Keep it up and your TDS down and you may do all right.

Governor Half-Whit: That Anti-Trump Claim I Made? It's False, So I Never Said It.

Compare and Contrast:

March 27: Whitmer: Feds told vendors not to send medical supplies to Michigan

Whitmer said Friday on WWJ 950AM. "What I've gotten back is that vendors with whom we had contracts are now being told not to send stuff here to Michigan. It's really concerning."

Whitmer didn't say who has told vendors to stop sending medical supplies to the state, but strongly implied the order came from President Donald Trump's administration.

Today: The Detroit Free Press: Michigan death toll ticks up as Whitmer says more aid needed

Whitmer also sought to clarify Sunday that she did not claim Trump was punishing Michigan by telling vendors to redirect needed coronavirus supplies away from the state.

Who ya gonna believe? Governor Half-Whit or your lying eyes?

She got called on her false claim, and instead of admitting she was wrong did the standard Dem tactic of claiming she never said it.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Governor Half-Whit: What? You Expect ME To Walk and Chew Gum At The Same Time?

Governor Whitmer first castigated Trump and the feds for not providing emergency aid to Michigan.

Thence it was kindly pointed out to her that she had yet to make the required request for such aid. She then finally did so.

Fox2News: Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer submits disaster declaration request to Pres. Trump

When asked why she didn't do so prior to castigaitng the feds for failign to respond to an unmade request, she answered:

Whitmer announced the disaster declaration request a day after the Detroit Free Press reported FEMA said she had yet to request one for the state. A major disaster declaration increases funding from the federal government and brings other federal assistance from FEMA.

Whitmer explained that she waited to request the major disaster declaration because she wanted to make sure the request was done right. She also said Michigan's request was done based on what other states have received, which she said was not enough for those states to fight the virus.

"We wrote ours in a way that learned from other states," Whitmer said.

In other words, she had to copy the work of others to do it effectively. But wait, there's more:

The second reason for the delay in request, Whitmer said, is that her administration said it was more important Michigan residents stop communicating the disease.

"We know that our actions to get people in Michigan to stop communication of this disease amongst each other is the highest priority and that's where we spent our energy. The best thing we can do is mitigate spread through interaction and that's why we spent all our energies in that part first," Whitmer said.

In other words our Governor has admitted she is unable to delegate and multitask. Are you really telling me that the executive branch of our state under Gov. Whitmer is unable to issue a Stay Home order and apply for federal disaster relief funds at the same time?

Much better for her to play gotcha games and attack Trump rather than effectively do things on behalf of the people of her state. Gets her better press and the adoration of the Twitterati.

I'd say she's trying out for the attack dog Vice President slot on Biden's (or whoever the Dems get around to replacing him) team (as Biden was for Obama). But, she's brought a new twist on it - attacking Trump and then going poor me, "I'm just a woman governor asking nicely for help" when she gets called on it.

Remember how she claimed she had no aspirations other than being governor of Michigan - don't expect that promise to last.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Governor Half-Whit Backs Down On Threatening Physicians And Pharmacists

The Governor's Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Bureau, which was threatening license action against any doctor or pharmacist who prescribed hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine with disciplinary action has now backed down.

They've issued a correspondence walking back that threat and claiming they meant it just for enforcement action against anyone with the intent to stockpile the drugs.

After all, who ya gonna believe? Their clarification or your lyin' eyes?

This walks back and tries to memory-hole the first and main part of their threat which was threatening action against anyone "Prescribing hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine without further proof of efficacy for treating COVID-19".

They have now dropped that threat and now state that

"LARA appreciates the essential role of our prescribers and dispensers and recognizes their ability to make proper clinical decisions including following responsible prescribing and dispensing practices to combat drug hoarding and prevent unnecessary shortages."

Nice of them to cease that stupid and counterproductive threat.

Methinks the outrage brought on by the Detroit News article had something to do with it. That, and with Whitmer being touted as Biden's possible VP, it's likely someone told her going full Trump-Derangement Syndrome at the cost of possible lives lost wasn't a good look. It's already bad enough that she was claiming the Feds weren't providing disaster relief when she had overlooked doing the disaster declaration until two days ago.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Benefit Of Working From Home - Smoked Ribs For Dinner

Since I was working from home today anyways, I decided to multitask.

Might as well prepare dinner while doing the work.

So I put together my special rub from its component spices and got things together.

I used locally sourced wood as usual, apple this time.

Started up the smoker and put the ribs on:

Get the smoker started and back to work. Just come back on occasion to add more wood and water to the mix.

4 hours on the smoker and the ribs were fall-off-the-bone tender.

Tasted great, and I'm well on my way to getting my quarantine 15.

After dinner, a nice long walk with the dog, and after I finish my taxes, the week will come to an end.

Michigan's Gov: What's The Point Of Government Power If You Can't Be Arbitrary With It?

Gov. Whitmer's shutdown order was open to lots of interpretation as to what's both an essential service and what is considered an outdoor recreational activity exempt from the shut down. Some of her decisions as to what should or should not be shut down are becoming rather head-scratching as to the whys and wherefores.

One would think that golf, a game that can easily be played with the players maintaining a six foot distance from each other, would be a no-brainer to be kept open. Especially as golf is rather big in Michigan and good for the economy to have some activity, and its good for people to get outside and enjoy themselves a bit in these tense times, right?

Not so much:

The Detroit Free Press: Whitmer: No golf, can returns; laundromats OK in shutdown

Gotta love arbitrary and nonsensical closing orders.

Maybe she just doesn't like golf.

Personally I think golf is a waste of a perfectly good rifle range, but I don't begrudge others their recreational activities of choice.

On top of that, she has threatened any physician who dares prescribe Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine) and a Z-Pak (azithromycin) to treat Coronavirus with action against their license and telling pharmacists not to fill such prescriptions.

The Detroit News: Opinion: Michigan’s doctors fight coronavirus, and governor's office

Another arbitrary denial, likely resulting from untreated TDS. Since Plaquenil and Z-Pak seem like a promising treatment, its a darn shame our governor has taken them off the table for people in this state. The governor is improperly substituting her judgment over that of medical professionals for no reason other than politics and people will suffer for it.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

The Imperial College Coronavirus Apocalypse: It's Only A Model...Shh

It now appears that the doomsday model by The Imperial College London of the Wuhan Flu is off.

How far off? By over a factor of 20. Daily Wire: Epidemiologist Behind Highly-Cited Coronavirus Model Drastically Revises Model Also see the article in New Scientist

Ferguson’s model projected 2.2 million dead people in the United States and 500,000 in the U.K. from COVID-19 if no action were taken to slow the virus and blunt its curve.

However, after just one day of ordered lockdowns in the U.K., Ferguson is presenting drastically downgraded estimates, revealing that far more people likely have the virus than his team figured. Now, the epidemiologist predicts, hospitals will be just fine taking on COVID-19 patients and estimates 20,000 or far fewer people will die from the virus itself or from its agitation of other ailments, as reported by New Scientist Wednesday.

That's one Heckuva over-estimate.

The revised model is certainly good news, assuming it proves to be valid, especially as the 18+ months of lockdown in the original paper is apparently being revised downward drastically as the new model suggests the virus should subside in about a two to three weeks.

In short, the Wuhan Flu is still bad, no question. A lot of people are still going to die, but it's not the disaster that had been forecast. It's likely will be about another excessively bad flu season and a half worth on top of an already bad flu season, which is no joke.

New Scientist article mentioned in the Daily Wire quoting the corrections by Ferguson is here.

Coronavirus Protection Instructions For Elastigirl

Just in case you haven't seen this before, The Detroit News has some helpful tips on good hygiene in the current crisis: Map: Tracking Michigan's coronavirus cases

Some are obvious and you should be doing them already, but the juxtaposition of these two steps seem a tad contradictory:


Replace handshakes with elbow bumps
Stay at least 6 feet away from others when in a public setting

Unless you're Gumby or Elastigirl, how are you managing an elbow bump with others while staying six feet away?

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Your Phone Is Indeed Tracking You

If you thought your phone wasn't keeping tabs on you, along comes some info showing how your data tracking you gets used:

The Detroit Free Press: Your data says you’re home, Michigan. You get an 'A' for social distancing

Michigan, you get an ‘A’ for social distancing. You can thank data from your phone.

Data gleaned from mobile phones shows Michiganders are staying home amid concerns for the novel coronavirus pandemic, according to location data and analytics firm Unacast, based in Norway and New York.

The company announced its “Social Distancing Scoreboard” on Tuesday, assigning states and counties a letter grade for their change in average distance traveled. It was first reported by The Washington Post.

Michigan got its “A” for an about 45% decrease in distance traveled, though not all counties can tout their own success.

Interesting gthe info that can be aggregated from phone activity.

Mind you, distance traveled isn't a perfect approximation for social distancing, so I wonder if the data the companhy is gleaning can also note the distance between different phones.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Shut Down Day 1 - Quiet But Not Deserted Out There

Last night our cell phones all went off with the loud emergency warning notice that Shelter in place had been ordered. So Shelter in Place it is, but Shelter in Place does not really mean what you think it means.

Overall though, while there's less activity out and about, but by no means are people all just staying indoors.

Jett and I met 5 dogs (and their owners) walking him this morning.

I'm beginning to think that dogs manipulated the Chinese into this outbreak so they could both spend more time with their owners/packs, and get back at the Chinese for eating dogs.

This theory bears investigation.

I worked from home until the later afternoon, then went to the office to get the mail and got a few things done there. Had the entire floor of the building to myself, so I definitely was maintaining social distance.

Thence to the post office as some court-related matters still have a tight deadline and had to go out by certified mail. Clerk had an N95 mask and gloves on and they had hand sanitizer and marks on the floor six feet apart. Since no one else was there it was not a big deal. Apparently a lot of people had been coming in to buy stamps during the day.

The Costco parking lot by the Post Office was rather busy.

Traffic was however nice and light and aside from idiots in the left lane going 10 under the speed limit in spots, all was well. Certainly got home in record time and areas where I would have been waiting awhile to turn due to traffic were no factor.

Overall, activity is down from yesterday but certainly not out.

Monday, March 23, 2020

After Stating She Won't, Whitmer Goes Ahead And Shuts The State Down

Up until today, Michigan's Governor stated she wasn't going to put the state into a shelter in place lock down.

That changed this morning: The Detroit News: Whitmer issues stay-at-home order through April 13; 15 deaths, 1,300 cases

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued Monday a "Stay Home, Stay Safe" executive order requiring Michigan businesses to suspend in-person operations from 12:01 a.m. Tuesday through April 13 to help stem the spread of the novel coronavirus.

3 more weeks of this? There's not going to be much of a state economy left.

The Governor in giving this kind of order is panicking and that's not good, especially as both treatments and actual statistics are coming on line that this is not much beyond a flu in terms of a death rate and not worth destroying our economy over it.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

More Shooty Stuff At The Range Today.

Leah shot "her" S&W .22 compact with silencer as its her preferred firearm. She also shot the Beretta 81 as it is both fashionable and more powerful as it knocks down steel plates, unlike the .22.

I also let her shoot my new-to-me James Bond gun. She's been watching the Bond movies recently given the downtime, and got to where Bond in Tomorrow Never Dies, (in the guise of Pierce Brosnan, Tash's favorite Bond) upgraded to the Walther P99.

These are Spanish Civil Guard P99 turn-ins from Classic Firearms and their condition, while stated as Very Good to Excellent, vary a bit farther than that.

The first one I ordered, in the proclaimed Very Good to Excellent condition came with every steel part rusted - every pin, the extractor, the bolt face, you name it. Considering it came in a clear plastic bag, it's not like they could have missed all that rust when they packed it for shipping.

That was rather unsatisfactory.

On the upside, Classic Firearms was good about returning it, especially once they viewed the pictures of the rust, and I got this one in exchange.

This one, while clearly never cleaned by the officer who carried it on duty, as it was all gunked up and dirty, cleaned up rather nicely and this was its first time out to range after picking it up on Friday. It certainly has a most politically incorrect serial number.

Aside from the unfortunate serial number, that serial group has the later upgrades - mainly the longer paddles for easier mag changes, which is a nice plus. The Rusted one was an FAC serial numbered gun with the short paddles and you can really tell the difference between them on sight, with the longer paddles being a lot more usable without having to switch your grip.

I and Leah together ran 100 rounds through it - 50 Federal 124 NATO, and 50 Winchester 147 HPs, with zero failures. It feels great in the hand, trigger is great, and its a darn nice firearm to carry and shoot both. Glock 19 sized with a 15 round magazine, and its neat Anti-Stress trigger, it'll make a nice carry firearm.

Leah liked shooting it as well.

After shooting the P99, I then set her up with the S&W M&P 15-22 and she had a great time with it. The .22 from a rifle, unlike from a compact pistol, will knock down the steel plates and she had a ball running it. Lots of smiles doing 25 rounds of rapid fire and hitting her targets with each of those rapid shots.

I also brought out the Golani.

Turns out I got a good one. 100 rounds through and it ran like a top, decent groupings, and excellent functioning with no problems at all.

I'm rather pleased with it.

A darn good time at the range. After a couple hours she was getting a bit cold so we packed it in and headed home.

IWI Masada Rounds 1401-1700

Went to the outdoor range with Leah today. Traffic was pretty light and while there were a couple other people at the range facility, we had a range all to ourselves. Our favorite one with the steel plate rack, chickies and target stands.

It was 36 degrees so jackets and gloves were still needed.

Since we were at the outdoor range I could exercise the Masada a bit more than just from a stall as at the indoor range.

I used a new Vedder holster as Vedder carries models for the Masada and with the chosen optics cut it fit like a glove.

Good for both AWB and IWB carry, the holster was very comfortable, retained the pistol well and fit perfectly. I'm rather happy with it and it was made and shipped quickly, came with a nice pouch for storage, and Vedder certainkly makes a darn good line of holsters.

I did draws from the holster and cleaned the plate rack with the Masada.

A lack of practice certainly showed,but in time from concealment (under a sweatshirt with a winter jacket also getting pushed out of the way) I was getting consistent sub-six second runs with a clean shoot of all 6 plates. I need more practice to get to where I was but not bad. I also shot some poppers and chuckies and had a good time shooting it. Leah also liked shooting it with the SRO.

250 rounds of Federal Black Back 9mm and 50 rounds of Winchester 147 gr hollow point all ran with no failures of any kind.

That's 1,700 rounds so far through the IWI Masada with zero failures of any kind.

How Stupid Can The Media Be?

On second thought let's not answer that.

Combine Trump Derangement Syndrome, a push to keep Coronavirus panic going, and a lack of understanding of medicine and you get garbage like this, from Bloomberg no less:

Bloomberg: Virus Drug Touted by Trump, Musk Can Kill With Just Two Gram Dose

Yep, Bloomberg news (owned by known Trump-hater and failed Democrat Presidential candidate - surpise!) is hawking this stupidity, now also picked up by MSN.

The drug touted by the U.S. President Donald Trump as a possible line of treatment against the coronavirus comes with severe warnings in China and can kill in dosages as little as two grams.

China, where the deadly pathogen first emerged in December, recommended the decades-old malaria drug chloroquine to treat infected patients in guidelines issued in February after seeing encouraging results in clinical trials. But within days, it cautioned doctors and health officials about the drug’s lethal side effects and rolled back its usage.

This came after local media reported that a Wuhan Institute of Virology study found that the drug can kill an adult just dosed at twice the daily amount recommended for treatment, which is one gram.

So taking 200% of the proper dosage a medicine can kill you? A medicine when taken in the proper dosage is an effective treatment but misuse can be potentially fatal? Hardly news. Heck, anything to make Trump look bad, right?

Sheesh.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Helping Others To Mask Up

With the shortage of masks, Tash, being an avid quilter was contacted to help a local senior home as they needed some masks.

The masks are not medical grade, and certainly not N95s, but the request was based on the concept that they needed the masks now, on the principle that something is better than nothing.

So with fabric pattern in hand and having fabric from her quilting stock to spare she's been making masks.

She made them and dropped them off.

Then some of her friends wanted some, so she made them some, and now she's making more and dropping them off at the Little Free Library Box by our local school for people who want them.

The masks can be sanitized, washed, and reused.

Something useful to do while so many things are closed.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Coronavirus Update: Friends' Virus Recovery, But Online School Doesn't Count

First the good news: Our friends who were diagnosed with the Chinese Flu are doing fine. Fevers are gone, no further symptoms they feel good and they're stuck in quarantine for a other week. Aside frrm boredom and three young kids bouncing off the walls, they're all good.

We did some shopping for them at Kroger and did another supply drop on their porch today.

In short, this is not the black plague, for the majority of people it's a flu-like viral infection.

Kroger was very busy as with most other stores and the malls closed, people have nothing to do but shop for groceries. Lots of people in surgical masks and gloves. Very long lines.

Kroger did restock and there's a lot more food there than there was on March 16.

Still, they were out of eggs, very low to no on pasta, and almost out of milk, but there was plenty of proteins and fruits and veggies, even as the shelves are sparser than they were pre-Corona. There was however a lot of Corona beer available and for sale.

In more important news, Michigan's Department of Ed may cause my kids to stop being pro-Democrat:

The Detroit Free Press: Michigan Department of Education won't count online learning toward yearly requirement

In other words or if the linked article is TL/DR, all the online work and assignments they've been doing for the past week won't count for teaching hours. This means extending the school year and summer school.

On the upside, Gov. Whitmer is at least stepping back from the panic abyss and stating she is not going to order a shelter in place. Smart move on her part and glad she's being reasonable and not giving into the panicking crowd. There's no need for SiP at this point, at all, it's the right call and glad she made it, at least so far.

If the case fatality rate based on better data we're now getting, keeps dropping as it is, and likely will be close to or the same as a regular influenza season, we're going to realize this was one heckuva overreaction.

Good practice for a real serious viral outbreak, but the harm to the economy from this panic ove3r what is basically a second round of the annual influenza season albeit with a new virus doing it is going to hurt for a long time.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

All of 3 People Have Died In Michigan From Complications Due To Covid19

The Detroit News: COVID-19 death toll in Michigan rises to 3

This kind of "death toll" would under other circumstances be referred to as just a typical weekend in Detroit.

Merkel Calls For A War-Time Level Of Unity Amongst The German Volk

From Reuters: Merkel tells Germans: Fighting virus demands war-time solidarity

In response to the proclamation, the Poles replied: "Nie tym razem, Suka!", and put their military on alert.

France surrendered preemptively.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

St. Patrick's Day Silence And Have We Overreacted?

For Natasha's Birthday we ordered out from Smoke Street BBQ up in Milford. A decent drive from home, but we were told the BBQ is well worth it.

Downtown Milford, which should have been hopping at 7pm on St. Patrick's Day was dead. Parking, which normally is hard, was not a problem.

Smoke Street BBQ had all their chairs up on their tables and had all of two take-out orders waiting for pickup with our being one of them.

We gave them a 33% tip on the order but you can tell they were hurting badly due to this closure. It was indeed good BBQ and if you're in the area, they are doing takeout.

A client of mine with a restaurant is losing $1,000 per day as this closure goes on. Yet, his Landlord will still expect the rent come April 1.

Anyone think if Congress passes this pork-laded "all businesses must give employees 14 days sick pay law" that any restaurants will be able to afford to do so? Even if they get reimbursed or credited for it next year at tax time it will be too late.

I think we've overreacted, and badly. Had this been Ebola or similar this may have made sense. But its essentially shaping up to be slightly deadlier than the normal influenza where 30,000 Americans have died from it this year, or the Swine Flu epidemic where over 13,000 Americans died in that one, and we didn't have the economic disruption with those that we're having now.

China's health care and hygiene is subpar as is Iran's, which explains their larger losses to the COVID virus, that and they're likely knocking off dissidents under the cover of COVID.

What about Italy you ask?

Well, it turns out that Italy has always been an outlier for excessive influenza deaths compared to other first world nations and the excessive death rate has been noted to be occurring since 2013, due to a high number of elderly people living there and quality socialized medicine. In short, more Italians die from flu and more would logically be expected to die from a virus that attacks in a similar modality to the flu, and they are indeed doing so.

Given the results of the Diamond Princess cruise ship infection, I think we've done gone panicked and wrecked our economy over what appears to be not more than a highly contagious flu-like disease. We're panicking and not thinking through the damage including the deaths that will be caused by this overreaction.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

On Drunk Driving, The Law, And Insufficient Optimism

I'm not being retained in a case because I'm apparently insufficiently optimistic. Either that, or the silly bint can't pay the retainer.

The story:

Our hapless stupid criminal of the day relays it thusly:

She was driving home from a family gathering at night, was "almost" home and was pulled over and then charged with operating while intoxicated after blowing a .12.

Of course, she did this in the 48th District. She also did this with police that know exactly what they're doing so they tend to produce solid cases when it comes to drunk drivers.

The 48th pretty much has a set policy that if you're caught drinking and driving within said district, you will do some jail time.

Since I live in the 48th District, I personally approve of such penalties to get the point across, considering I really don't want drunk drivers motoring along where I live, and .12 is nothing to sneeze at.

She seems to not be taking this seriously and acts like it's no big and just bad luck the officer caught her.

That attitude is really going to get her far.

Did I mention she has 13, yes 13 previous moving violations in the past 7 years, with the last one reduced from a 3 point to a 1 point offense last Friday, but this is her first criminal offense?

I then relate what will likely happen - jail - and some level of license restriction, and given how she described it, it appears to be a valid stop and failing seeing something in discovery we're going to need to try and plead it down as much as possible and do damage control.

I name a pretty reasonable retainer fee and that I will work hard to get her the best deal possible but there is a strong likelihood of some amount of jail time here.

She first asks if she can do the retainer on a payment plan. No, that's really not how it works.

She then asks if I can't just turn it into a civil infraction and make it all go away, since it's her first offense.

I state that is highly unlikely to the point of not happening period. 48th District judges will not accept that kind of resolution for a drunk driving offense, prosecutors there also don't agree to that, with her driving record, good luck wirth even trying for it. If she happened to pull the judge I suspect she did, since she doesn't have her notice to appear handy, it's really not happening and jail in fact will happen, period.

She then states that I'm not being optimistic enough for her and she's a nurse and she needs to be able to drive for work and shouldn't be going to jail.

I state I'm being realistic and refuse to promise what cannot be delivered. I note we will work hard to reduce it to an operating while impaired charge. OWI has a lesser license restrictions that would still let her drive to work and has a lesser fine and jail time, but warn her again that jail is likely based on how much she blew and where she did it.

She starts arguing and talking over me in a very entitled way about how I'm not optimistic enough and should be working to make it all go away for her and should be acceptiong a payment plan for the retainer, cause it ain' her fault an she wuz almos' home, so no big deal, right?

I state I deal in reality, not fantasy, and that she may want to consult another lawyer if that's how she wants to go.

Yep, not getting retained on that one.

Happy Birthday To Tash!

Someone turned 47 this morning.

That required the traditional homemade cherry cheesecake that I made form scratch last night:

It certainly was a weird day to celebrate her birthday.

With empty shelves in stores, restriction on travel and going places, and with our furnace out (Furnace died Sunday night, part should be here Wednesday), it was giving her flashbacks of life in the Soviet Union.

On the upside, coffee and cheesecake and her normal optimistic self made for a very happy birthday morning.

Monday, March 16, 2020

The Bare Shelf Meme Is Real!

Went to Kroger this evening, as I had to buy some ingredients for the traditional birthday breakfast of cherry cheesecake as someone has a birthday tomorrow.

Kroger looked like a hurricane had torn through it. Some people were walking around looking a bit shell-shocked, and a few people said they'd never seen anything like this.

No eggs, almost no sugar, no brown sugar, a few things of flour remaining, a few cans here and there, but the shelves were picked almost clean. Baking goods were thin, with only two blocks of cream cheese remaining both organic with the Philadelphia and Kroger brands gone with some Neufchatel cheese blocks there but Neufchatel does not belong in a cheesecake so i bought the two remaining organic cream cheese blocks.

The meat aisles were empty.

There was bottled water and even some toilet paper but it was rationed and I didn't need either of those items so I left them for others. All the meat shelves were empty except:

Yep, Even West Bloomfield, when offered to starve or eat Vegan would rather see you in hell.

Finally Got A Golani

Just picked this rifle up locally and added it to my collection.

It's the Golani, Century Arms' semi-auto build of the famed Israeli Galil. I've been wanting a classic Galil-type rifle for a long time now.

The Galil is an improved variant of the basic Kalashnikov design, with many Israeli enhancements for shoot-ability and reliability.

A solid ring surrounds the front sight and there's a flip up tritium sight for night time shooting (no tritium with the rifle sadly).

The rear sight is the ring type with a flip-able rear aperture for different distances and also a flip up tritium sight (again no tritium included but the sight is still there.

Makes shooting a lot more accurate and easy than the standard Kalashnikov sights.

On the left side of the rifle by the pistol grip is a switch for the safety which moves the lever you typically find on the right side of a Kalashnikov rifle. Makes taking it on and off safe very easy indeed without having to reach over for the lever.

The charging handle is turned upward with a knurled knob for easy charging of the rifle with either hand.

The Galil has a side-folding tubular stock that is very nice and locks up solidly and feels good against the shoulder. With the stock folded it makes for a nice compact package.

Someone put a Midwest industries railed hand-guard on the front and a different pistol grip, while the install is solid and it does look nice and is certainly adds some functionality by making the rifle ready for a red dot or similar, I'll likely order the more correct handguard and pistol grip types for it soon to make it look more authentic.

A nice bonus was it came with 6 steel 35-round Israeli Galil magazines, most in what look to be unused condition. The mags are hard to find which made this a nice acquisition.

To enhance the current look, I immediately put an Israeli sling on it.

I've shot a real Galil, the Galilon version in Israel some 25 years ago, and this one is about as close as you can get to it so far without SBR'ing it.

Looks like it hasn't been shot much if at all and I'm looking forward to taking it to the range.

Coronavirus And The Courts - The Which Was Easy Is Becoming Hard

Oakland County Probate Court as of today is no longer accepting in person filings.

Now, instead of filing a matter in person, having it issued right there at that moment and then being able to serve it on interested parties that day, we now have to file it via mail, wait for the court to mail back the issued notices and go from there.

That's going to seriously slow things down, including some very time sensitive activities.

They are likely going to a fax-based system. I'll note the Oakland County Probate Court's last short-lived attempt at an e-filing program went down in computer-generated flames, so I suspect they won't be jumping on the circuit court's e-filing program (which actually functions quite well) any time soon.

This is going to pose some definite hassles and legal problems for clients, the courts, and lawyers as well.

In short, if you have a pressing legal matter, don't wait to the last minute to see your attorney. For example if the statute of limitations runs out on Day X, seeing an attorney on Day X (please don't do this even in normal times either - it causes massive problems) and hoping they can get your matter filed that day will likely not be possible.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Flying - A Beautiful Day For A Flight Review

Every two years as a pilot, you have to (there's some exceptions, but you might as well do it) have a flight review with an instructor to make sure you're still a safe pilot, know the rules etc.

So this morning I headed out to Pontiac airport to get it done.

The club has some flight instructors and I had arranged with one, Joe, to have the review done.

We met at the hangar and did some ground review, touching on airspace, general aviation security and various other regulations and requirements for legal flying. He had also requested that I plan flight to KTVC and he liked how I did the flight planning. I'm happy to say I passed the ground part easily and learned some useful new stuff on the way.

On to the flying part.

I did my normal preflight and run up and we took off and headed to the northeast.

Once there, he had me do some power off and power on stalls. The power on stalls required the yoke held all the way back to finally get it to stall. This cold air gives some great performance but tends to make it hard to do a power on stall as the plane just doesn't want to stall until you get to a crazy nose-high angle of attack.

I did excellent recoveries for all the stalls and Joe was happy.

Then on to steep turns and he showed me a neat trick: Begin the turn, add a bit of power and two full rolls of trim and then the Archer will fly itself through the steep turn. Yep, I could be hands off the controls in a perfect 45-degree steep turn, no fuss, no muss.

That was fun.

Then back to Pontiac for some landings.

Wind was gusting a 7-12 knots out of 10-70 degrees or so, and as such we would be landing on Runway 9L. Of course I'm used to the 27R side so the sight picture was a tad different. The pattern was also packed and it was hard to get a word in edgewise on the radio.

First landing was fine, then into the pattern for more.

On the second landing we did a go-round as a huge gust caught me right as I flared so a go round it was. Joe was planning to give me a go round anyways and this one just happened to be required.

Next couple landings were decent as was the final and fourth one.

I've done better landings but they were serviceable and I could use the plane again, and Juvat's Navy instructor pilot would have liked the last two. Landings in gust crosswinds is something I can work on and improve anyways.

I officially passed my flight review, and am good to go on that score and legal to fly for the next two years.

That's 1.5 and 4 landings.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Coronavirus: Costco Content Report

Driving by Costco yesterday it was a complete zoo.

Today, we had an appointment at their tire center as one of Tash's tires wasn't holding pressure.

On a very positive note, Costco really stands by their tire sales and fixed the problem no fuss, no muss, and no charge. I do recommend them if you're buying a set of tires, prices are good and they do stand by their warranty.

We had time to wait while they worked on the car, so we did a bit of shopping and picked up some staples and extras.

It seems the panic buying has ebbed by a lot as it really wasn't busy at all at 4pm. If anything it was less packed than a typical Saturday.

While there was no rice, nor interestingly any eggs today, nor the elusive TP, and very little bread, there was still lots of food there of all sorts. I think everyone had been panic shopped out.

Most other staples are still there, just clearly lower in quantity than before, but still available. Plenty of foodstuffs and other necessities. For example, the stack of breakfast cereal boxes that usually reach up to head-height were now at waist level, but tons were still available.

So either the panic buying is ebbing as people have already gotten enough to the point they believe they can get themselves through, or its the calm before the storm.

Customers were all well behaved, everybody calm, no one running around like a chicken with their head cut off, and there were rotisserie chickens to be had.

Again, there was very good hygiene on Costco employees' part with gloves on at the door, and wiping down cart handles.

Overall it looks like panic is subsiding, at least for now, and that's a good thing.

I hear, however, that Costco going to subdivide the 24 bottles of Corona into sixpacks, as no one want to pickup a case of Corona right now.

Coronavirus Comes To Town

Well, COVID19 sure spread rather quickly, and is now hitting close to home.

One of our friend's entire family just got diagnosed with coronavirus.

Basically, they got it as one of the teachers at their school was one of the couple persons who had contact with one of the cases that had traveled internationally and was then tested and diagnosed in Oakland County with it, and the teacher gave it unknowingly to at least some of the kids in his class.

Well, their kid got it and brought it home and they all have it.

This virus certainly is not just very contagious, it's extremely contagious.

So they may have been just a tad late in closing the schools if they were trying to stop the spread, or they may have been able to head off further spread from other schools, we'll see.

Luckily, we had not seen them recently and not at all after their contact so no risk of spread to us there at least.

Basically, our friends describe having the coronavirus as being achy and fevery and tired, but basically just like other flus they have had before. They're in good spirits and doing fine.

They're on home quarantine for now. We left a supply drop for them on their porch today.

Friday, March 13, 2020

Courts And The Coronavirus

This morning arrived at Court for a matter. Went through security and then everyone was required and used hand sanitizer. Again, not a bad idea to practice good hygiene and make it required in any case.

So far so good.

Still no local cases reported, but now 3 more in the county being presumptively infected due to travel.

Then down to the prosecutor's office to discuss the matter, as does everyone else.

Interestingly, there's now an second desk between you and the prosecutor for additional space. Not a bad idea.

But there's a little flaw on the anti-community spread plan - everyone handled and used the same pen when signing the plea sheets.

Oops. Head Desk, and you can use either of the two desks as you may choose.

Well, at least they're trying.

I, on the other hand, had brought my own pen, and was complimented on doing so.

How about a hand sanitizer sheet to wipe the pen between users?

Rumors are they may shut down the courts in the county completely except for emergency hearings and criminal sentencing, which would suck hard and pose some serious issues especially for clients with pending hearings on things that are not considered emergencies but are darn important to them.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Coronavirus Theater Or Epic Fail?

So the kids' schools will be closed tomorrow and Monday due to coronavirus planning.

However, to prevent the kids from panicking they decided to do a presentation to the Middle School kids about the coronavirus to allay their fears.

How did they do the presentation?

By packing them in grade by grade at a time, 150+ kids at a time, cheek by jowl, into one room, to listen to a presentation about the coronovirus.

Head desk.

Community spread, you're doing it wrong.

Luckily, there's still not a single person in that school or even area with diagnosed Coronovirus and still only one in thew whole county, and not near here.

Sheesh.

Downside: Panic - Upside: Everyone's Personal Hygiene Will Improve

Well, extracurricular activities at school including volleyball and forensics are now cancelled die to Corona-panic.

Lots of other gatherings are cancelled as well.

People are going on big time panic-buying sprees which is not a good thing at all.

Lots of disruptions are occurring due to this current panic.

Kids are all off school tomorrow as teachers have a conference to decide on remote teaching.

The Federal District Courthouse just passed a local rule barring anyone who in the last 14 days has traveled to China, South Korea, Italy or Iran or has been in contact with someone who has, and anyone with flu-like symptoms from entering, which will cause lots of hearing rescheduling I expect. Not to mention 14 days would be cutting it a tad close given the estimate incubation period is, yep, 14 days. I would have thought they woukd have done 20 days for a safety buffer.

Our local state district court is now requiring hands to be sanitized before going through building security. This is not a bad idea.

I expect that the sickness rate from all communicable diseases and dirt-related sources will likely drop due to people practicing better hygiene. So there's that, which is nice.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Well, That Explains This Morning's Panic Buyers

The Detroit News: Michigan coronavirus cases confirmed in Oakland, Wayne counties

The only upside is I've noticed people being a lot more attentive to their hygiene and washing their hands more often, which is a welcome development and hopefully will become a long-term habit for people even after the panic subsides.

Costco Covid Report - TP Panic Persists

So this morning I stopped by Costco for gas and some staples.

It was about the busiest I've seen it at 10 am when they open - very long lines.

A lot of people buying a lot of bottled water and large quantities of stuff.

Worryingly, there was no rice to be found at all, which was darn strange.

Other staples were there and in plenty except for one basic item:

Yes toilet paper is still out of stock and the shelves are bare.

Methinks the TP hoarders are getting this particular disaster preparation wrong, and like tulip bulb buyers are fixedly going after the wrong item.

After all, its really the wrong item to lose your S#!t over. If you catch Covid19, the virus may just make you feel like S#!t, but it doesn't make you explosively have to S#!t.

Settle down people, this is not worth panicking over.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

IWI Masada Rounds 1151-1400

So after voting I felt a need to be clean.

What better way to wash off the funk of participating in a Democrat primary than with cleansing fire?

To the range I went.

It would be a quick visit as much to do today, so I had much to shoot and all of a half hour to do it in.

The results of first 17 round magazine fired rapidly at 50 feet

Between the Masada's good ergonomics, nice trigger, and the Trijicon SRO, it's darn hard to miss the target.

I had recently purchased some more IWI Masada magazines at Gunbuyer.com as they seem to have the best price on them at under $26 a pop, which is not bad for a quality steel magazine.

I had 8 loaded mags with me that I emptied in very short order.

Again, visible smoke was seen rising from the barrel after shooting all 8 fully loaded mags in quick succession.

I then reloaded the magazines and kept firing - two handed, weak hand only, and strong hand only.

I also did presentations from low ready as the local range does not allow holsters - I need to go to the outdoor range to get that working, which will be soon now the weather is clearing up. The SRO's dot is rather quick to pickup and firing failure to stop drills rapidly with good hits was very easy.

The Masada and the SRO are a very effective combination.

I fired all 250 rounds from that Federal 9mm Black Pack through the Masada rather quickly and there were no failures of any kind to report, the Masada just kept chugging right along even as it looked like this:

It's certainly getting dirty, but that hasn't impaired the functionality in any way, and its still very enjoyable to shoot.

Democrat 'Til November?

Well, Michigan's primary was today.

Polls close in a few minutes and we'll see if Bernie stays competitive in the Democrats highly woke and diverse race between an elderly white cognitively-challenged ol' codger and a elderly white communist ol' codger.

I did my contribution to add to the mix, but feel rather dirty and need to take a shower as a result.

Timing, While Not Everything, is Pretty Damn Important

On today's legal soap opera: Like sands through the hourglass, these are the statutes of limitations.

Yep another hapless potential client lost to the sands of bad timing, on their part. Even better, I told him in writing of the time limit - twice!

Our potential but not retained client had his concealed pistol license denied.

The denial is due to the CPL clerk misreading the disqualifying statutes and thinking something he did fits the definition, which it actually dies not. In short this is a very winnable case and the denial can be fixed because -

There's an appeals process for a denial, and the appeal must be filed within 21 days from the denial or it is lost.

Remember the 21 day part, it's kinda important.

When he first called, he was 60 days past his denial. As such, do not pass go, do not file appeal, as 60 is greater than 21, you're over 21 days, no point paying me to tell you you've lost, you've lost.

I explain this to him and reiterate the importance of appealing within 21 days of the denial, and tell him to apply again to get denied again if they deny for the same reason so we can appeal a fresh denial.

He agrees to do so and I send him a retainer letter and he states he will apply and retain me then. He doesn't sign or return the retainer, nor pay the rather modest retainer amount, and as such I assume he doesn't want me to fix this problem for him.

He just called me today. He last applied in January and was duly denied on January 31, 2020.

While you may have been told there would be no math in this post dear readers, all of you (I hope) instinctively know without even looking at a calendar, nor counting on your fingers, nor on your phones, that there are more than 21 days between any day in January and March 10.

Counting days is apparently very hard. Sheesh.

Monday, March 09, 2020

False Spring Hath Sprung

Today was a lovely day for early March.

Temperatures reached a high of 60 degrees, which is all sorts of unusual and highly welcome after the 30s last week.

Spring fever struck both kids and the dog as all three went gallivanting around outside sans coats, which while usual for the dog, has not been the case for the kids for months and it showed.

A light spot of warm rain is falling now.

This is all just a sucker play on Mother Nature's part, there's going to be at least one more snowfall and a cold snap before we hit true spring.

As Predicted, Regional Water Department Siphons Off Suburbs' Funds For Detroiters

Regional - a term floated by many in the southeastern Michigan area, is a euphemism for having the suburb counties pay for Detroit's financial losses caused by corruption and malfeasance.

And so it is with the The Great Lakes Water Authority, our Regional water department borne out of Detroit's bankruptcy and incompetence.

As predicted, The GLWA, formerly the DWSD, is now going to siphon money from the suburbs to subsidize Detoiters.

The Detroit Free Press: Detroit to get $1.2M to help households pay past-due water bills, aid conservation education

The Great Lakes Water Authority is transferring more than $1.6 million to Detroit and Flint for conservation education and to help customers pay past-due water bills.

Board members transferred the Water Residential Assistance Program funding from uncommitted 2019 bill assistance funds from Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties.

Yep, using suburban ratepayers funds for Detroiters who either can't or more truthfully prefer not to pay for their own water. Regionalism at its best. Interesting that they were open this about it, I expect that 1.6 million to be just the beginning, and given how they've been charging the suburbs more for water than Detroit from the start its really not surprising that they're now openly diverting money from the suburbs to the city.

In another example of how regionalism works in this area, the Detroit Institute of Arts is looking to continue their regional millage - and renew it where Oakland and Macomb pay twice the amount of Wayne County where the DIA is located:

If approved, the renewal will draw about $13.6 million from Oakland County taxpayers annually, $5.8 million from Macomb County residents and $8.5 million from Wayne County taxpayers.

Expect more calls for Regionalism as they push for a regional transit system with Oakland and Macomb counties footing the bill for transit in Detroit.

Thursday, March 05, 2020

Early Voting Blues, Now With Do-Overs

Michigan's Democrat-inspired early voting is not only causing headaches, it's letting Democrats have free voting do-overs.

The Detroit News: State: Voters spoil 8,000-plus ballots as Democratic field shrinks

In short, you can vote early, then change your mind for any reason and spoil your ballot up until the day before the election and get a do-over.

I'd certainly hope that as part of any do-over they have to first retrieve and destroy your prior ballot, otherwise you're opening the door to letting people vote twice - a potential problem and opportunity for hi-jinx in a primary, a disaster in a general election, and if there's a less than reputable clerk running things (looking at you Wayne County) there's a real nice opening for fraud here.

Of course, this all takes time and money, and under the guise of making voting easier its actually creating opportunities for fraud and for letting people change their minds and their votes, which really shouldn't be permitted.

On the upside it's interesting to see the Democrat powers that be acknowledge they're left with a couple lousy candidates:

Grebner had no doubt Biden would snap up most of the spoiled ballots.

"What I see is a very distinct phenomenon," he said. "All over liberal class America, all we care about is beating Trump and we see Biden as a not very good vessel for our hopes. But we see Bernie as an absolute screaming horror.”

While an understatement, that's pretty much what you got in the candidate pool there Dems.

Wednesday, March 04, 2020

Just A Bit Of Panic Buying Going On

Went to Costco today for some normal shopping.

Both bottled water and toilet paper were notably absent which was pretty darn abnormal.

The last time the water was gone from Costco was back in 2017 when the water system was down for the area due to a major main breakage.

Not sure the fixation is on stocking up on toilet paper. I would have expected a run on french toast making supplies and cold/flu medications.

The problem of course is if everyone starts panicking bad things will happen which will cause more panic and become a rather unfortunate feedback loop that we don't really need.

While Michigan allegedly still has no confirmed cases of Covid19 infected persons, it's likely just a matter of time until that changes. This is especially so as they've made Detroit Airport a location for enhanced screening of passengers from China. Given government's efficiency so far in testing and the just about absolute likelihood of their releasing infected people by mistake, this is not a matter of if but when. Since people are already panic buying toilet paper and water now, I'd hate to see how they react when a confirmed case gets announced here.

Anyone Else Getting A Crazy Amount Of Fake Social Security Robocalls Today?

Over 12 calls today, all from different phone numbers, and all with the same stupid and laughably inept fake robo-voiced message:

This message is from Social Security Administration the nature of this phone call is to inform you about some legal enforcement actions filed on your social security number we have got an order to suspend your social at very right moment because we have found many suspicious activities on your social number so before we go ahead and suspend it kindly call us back on our number which is 805-060-9715 extension I repeat 805-609-7150 dot Thank you.

Never-mind the many grammatical errors, but the SSA does not "suspend" your social Security number, nor do they ever call you over the phone with a computer voice to tell you they're doing so.

Sheesh. Does anyone actually fall for this one?

So much for the do not call list.

Tuesday, March 03, 2020

Well That Sucks: ATF Decides Michigan CPLs No Longer Qualify For NICS Exemption

Concealed Pistol License holders in Michigan have been used to being exempt from NICS checks when purchasing firearms.

That ends today: PUBLIC SAFETY ADVISORY TO ALL MICHIGAN FEDERAL FIREARMS LICENSEES

In spite of this specific statutory requirement, ATF recently received information from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division Audit Unit that Michigan CPLs have been, and continue to be issued to certain applicants without a determination by Michigan officials as to whether the applicant is prohibited under Federal law from possessing or transporting firearms . Specifically, ATF learned that CPLs were and continue to be issued to applicants who were likely prohibited due to a conviction for a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence (18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(9)), and to habitual marijuana users (18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(3)). Although possession and use of marijuana is not unlawful under Michigan law, marijuana remains a "controlled substance" under Federal law, and those using marijuana are prohibited from possessing or transporting a firearm pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(3).

The ATF Open Letter issued to All Michigan Federal Firearms Licensees on March 24, 2006 is rescinded as of the date of this letter because, as explained above, a valid Michigan CPL is no longer a NICS alternative under 18 U.S.C. § 922(t).

All Michigan FFLs are required to conduct a NICS background check prior to the transfer of a firearm to a non-licensee, even if that individual possesses a valid, unexpired CPL.

Well, that certainly sucks.

Fourteen years of that quite useful exemption is now gone.

I suspect the focus here is likely on Medical Marijuana card holders and now recreational pot users getting CPLs, especially with the recent legalization of marijuana.

Basically, Michigan needs to work on stopping issuing them to prohibited persons, assuming Michigan actually is issuing them to prohibited persons and this ATF determination is not an overreaction based on the supposed issuance to "likely prohibited" persons due to marijuana being legalized at the state level.

Monday, March 02, 2020

So, Have You Been Pitched To Invest In Detroit Real Estate Lately?

Unfortunately, my client from Ohio was so pitched and sadly did decide to invest.

A very sophisticated pitch, promising how to go about using your IRA funds to invest in Detroit area real estate to get a better return than the market.

Targeted at seniors with money - hence using funds from their IRAs to do the investments, and of course directed to those not from Michigan.

A very slick marketing pitch and glossy materials, a promise of a first place mortgage for their investment funds on property the pitcher will be rehabbing and flipping and a promise of a minimum 7% return.

The Bat Rastards knew their con well.

Any bets where this is going?

Yep, you guessed it, my clients got a mortgage all right - along with a lot of other investors on the same property.

The same property already being secured by an actual mortgage the scammers already got from a real financial institution which they and their shell company promptly defaulted on, taking their victim's money with them and leaving all of their victims with nothing but low-priority mortgages about to be wiped out by the bona-fide first place unpaid mortgage who was also ripped off by the scammers but at least have a first place mortgage on the home to try and recover on their loan.

Yep, these Bat Rastards are ripping off seniors' retirement savings.

Now to add insult to injury, my clients are pulled into a lawsuit by the actual mortgage co seeking to foreclose on the property for their not being paid on the real mortgage and to wipe out their lower priority mortgages.

This is not going to be pretty, and it's highly unlikely my clients will see any of their money back.

We will be getting law enforcement involved as its pretty clear fraud, but often times that unfortunately won't amount to much or law enforcement can't be bothered with somewhat complex financial scams.

So, if you're getting pitched to invest in real estate, especially in flipping houses outside of your immediate area (and even inside it for that matter), be very careful. If it sounds too good to be true, especially if it guarantees an income stream, then it most likely is too good to be true and you better go over it very carefully before deciding to invest even a penny.

Friday, February 28, 2020

A Piece Of History Now In Hand

A delivery from across the Atlantic washed up on my door last night:

The Brexit 50 pence coin, dated the day of Brexit had arrived.

Peace, Prosperity and Friendship with All Nations.

A fitting proclamation for the restoration of British sovereignty.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Snow Day!

Another snow day was declared today at 6:23 am, unfortunately after Abby had already gotten up and ready for school at 6am.

Even with that late announcement, there was still much rejoicing.

Breakfast choice of the day is old-fashioned oatmeal from scratch.

Snow clearance from the Driveway of Doom™ continues apace, and I will have it completed timely and we will be to work on time.

On the upside, it's nice to get all the snow in one continuous storm rather than the annoying and typical daily 1/4" that is just a slippery mess that has to be cleared before the driveway can be safely used.

The real reason for the snow day today? Remember how I said it was very wet and heavy snow yesterday? Well, that wet snow has turned to solid ice under a layer of fresh snow, making the roads an icy, slide-y mess. Lots of fun.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Snowstorm Season

We're finally getting a decent winter storm.

Last night they decided to schedule a school snow day for today, which the ids certainly appreciated as there's been a distinct lack of snow days this winter season until now.

In the morning there was less than a quarter inch dusting of snow on the ground.

Well, it wasn't the morning they were worried about, but the afternoon school let-out. Turns out they got that part right.

It's been coming down steadily since 2pm. Roads have been a complete mess.

Lots of wet snow, so the snow blower doesn't blow, it just sucks.

I've done the driveway thrice by shovel already to keep up, and its still coming down at a good clip.

We may indeed hit the forecast 7-inch snowmageddon.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Yes, it's True - Old NFO Really Does Know Everybody!

Today I had a client I'm representing in a civil dispute up from Florida to participate in a court-ordered mediation to try and resolve the dispute short of continued litigation.

Mediation, is as the name suggests, facilitated by a mediator and after the parties initially meet and go over the dispute, we start having the mediator do some shuttle diplomacy with proposals to resolve it. In short, it's a way to let the parties try to resolve their differences and craft their own destiny.

This leads to some time to chat as the other side debates and thinks about our proposal, and then refuses it, or issues a counter or what-not.

Proposals turns into a back and forth negotiated number for settlement, which leads to time to talk while waiting for the next number to come by as the other side needs to figure out their next move.

My client is an Annapolis Grad, former surface warfare type and engineer and we're busy chatting about all sorts of stuff and his many interesting adventures.

So I decide to go for the Old NFO test: "Hey, do you know Old NFO {actual name}?"

His eyes get kinda wide and he goes "How the F do you know Old NFO {actual name}?"

So I explain how I know him and he says how he knows him, and yep, he really, really does.

Yep, they know each other quite well, although he notes he hasn't talked with Old NFO in a while, but we both have Old NFO's phone number in our phones.

Quite a small world out there.

Heck, it's like 3 degrees of Old NFO, which is much cooler than 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon.

So Old NFO, Brian out of Florida says "Hi".

How Many You Say?

This looks like its got the potential to get sporty, and not in a good way.

The Detroit Free Press: 325 Michiganders monitored for coronavirus as nation preps for 'likely' spread

How the heck did we get 350 potential cases in Michigan?

I may need to check in with my financial advisor

Monday, February 24, 2020

Wayne County: Where Certain Anti-Gay Racists and Racial Supremacists And Segregationists Are Celebratred

I was told that celebrating out and out racists and racial supremacists and segregationists, as well celebrating anti-gay people was a bad thing [Quick note to readers: In fact, it is].

Indeed, I was under the rather strong impression that it is rather bad for governments to praise such individuals and groups that promote hate.

Detroit, Wayne County and multiple local governments from Wayne County have decided otherwise.

In short, out and out racism, anti-gay bigotry is just fine so long as it comes from the head of the Nation of Islam:

The Detroit Free Press: Louis Farrakhan says billionaires 'paying off' black preachers, politicians

In attendance was the mayors of Eastpointe, Inkster, and Muskegon Heights, said Nuri Muhammad of the Nation of Islam, introducing them before Farrakhan's speech.

The chief of staff of Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones read a resolution in support of the group: "Almost 700,000 Detroiters are with you ... love the Nation of Islam."

Wayne County honored the Nation of Islam's newspaper, The Final Call, with a resolution that was featured in the convention program.

Apparently, promotion of racism, anti-homosexual, segregationist, and supremacist advocacy is all just fine and worty of praise when it comes from an African-American Muslim.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Saturday 4N6

4N6 being the way Forensics is oft referred to by the participants. Saves space and makes for shorter URLs for accessing schematics and tabulation results.

Yesterday the competition was held at MSU. This made for a long day.

This was especially so as Abby returned from her winter break school Civil Rights History trip to Atlanta and various cities in Alabama at Detroit Metro Airport on Friday at Midnight.

So I picked her up then, then got to Okemos at 1:30 am, checked into a hotel and got a few hours sleep starting at 2am before getting to the tournament at Wells Hall at MSU at 7 am. The question is should I have been charged for a night's stay by the hotel considering we were only there during the morning from 2 am to 6:40 am? The things you think of on a lack of sleep.

Tired or not, Abby gamely pushed on, and I gamely judged the rounds I was assigned. I also helped a first time judge with the process for their first tournament and helped answer questions on scoring, judge preparations, etc. Scary that I actually am regarded as knowing what I'm doing enough to be training another judge and making sure they have their stuff ready to go.

But yet again, someone in judge scheduling hates me.

The tournament was held in Wells Hall with a secondary site at Berkey Hall. Check in and all main ops were in Wells. The MSU organizers assured us it wasn't too far away.

Well, "not too far" is a relative term. It's a solid 15 minute walk away, and wouldn't you know it, my judging schedule had me first in Berkey and then immediately back to Wells Hall. Why this always happens, I don't know. I need to figure out who to bribe or beg forgiveness for unintentionally slighting in scheduling office to get them to stop running me around from building to building for these tournaments.

It was bracingly cold, and I only had a sweater on as Abby didn't have a winter coat with her coming straight from Atlanta, so I had given her my winter coat. Suck it up and walk faster, right?

So I judged those two first rounds, impromptu and storytelling, and I was on standby for the third and not needed, and was scheduled to do extemporaneous for the semi finals.

Impromptu was interesting. The quote competitors received and for which they had to give a 5 minute speech with 1 minute or so of preparation after seeing the quote was from a famous MSU alumni. (All sections used MSU alumni quotes, never the same quote in a different section).

4 out of six competitors missed the main point of the quote. 2 competitors got it.

One of the two was an exchange student from Korea, competing in forensics for the first time, nervous as hell, and competing in her second language, and she got it. Talk about guts - you're in a foreign country, in a language you're not fully comfortable with, and you're competing by getting up to give a speech in that language based on analyzing a quote you just received and you have about one minute to develop. In short, she did amazing and made an excellent personal speech, not a canned response as many competitors do, but based on applying the quote to her own life. That kid should go far in life.

Since Abby's school placed 3 competitors in extemporaneous, and thus had competitors in both semi final sections, I was pulled off judging that category, as you can never judge your own school, which makes a lot of sense. I spent the time talking with some other judges that also had been unassigned those rounds and it was some decent conversation.

Then I wasn't scheduled for finals as all judging assignment except for Duo had come out. I was going to just take it easy and either find a place to nap or go watch a performance when one of the organizers asked if I could judge Dramatic Interpretation finals as they had just lost a judge for it and needed one stat. While I was tired, I was qualified to do it having not judged DI this tournament, had no competitors from my school in the finals, and they needed someone to step in, so I did it.

Glad I did.

The performances were amazing. Fantastic to see how really good these kids can be. Awesome and moving performances, great interpretation of the materials and really hard to say absolutely who was best as the performers really gave it their all.

In a not unusual result, the judges in finals were not in lockstep. It turns out the performer I chose as 1st had been first in all of his previous rounds and semis - he was just that good, and he did take first place at the tournament and deserved it. But, the other judges put him in 2nd and third respectively.

I matched my second choice with the judge that put my number one in third, and matched my third place with the judge that had put him second. Interestingly enough, while we all had different rankings for the fourth, fifth and sixth place all of use had the same performers ranked 4, 5, or 6 by all three of us. Since you're not allowed to discuss the performances with the other judges, it's neat to look over the final rankings when they come out and see how you differ.

Abby made it to Semis but missed making it to finals. Not a bad performance for having about 4 hours of sleep and coming off a week of travel with lack of sleep while having fun and learning, and no time to practice her performance. Proud of her for committing to show up regardless and compete. She refused to let her team down and was there with them the whole day and celebrated a lot of her teammates placing in finals in their respective divisions.

We got home at 8:30 pm, ate dinner, and both passed out at about 9:30 last night after another full day of competition.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Endorsement For Bloomberg Or Endorsement For Hire?

One may indeed question the timing:

The Detroit Free Press: Report: Michael Bloomberg hired Warren Evans' wife before endorsement

It's an amazing coincidence of timing, I'm sure - right after his wife is hired by the Bloomberg campaign, Wayne County Executive Warren Evans comes out and endorses Bloomberg for President.

Quid Pro Quo anyone?

Why does the endorsement matter? Wayne County, which contains Detroit, is the Democrat's main stronghold in Michigan, and Evan's endorsement matters.

On the upside, Bloomberg clearly has clearly established that he's got the corruption chops to run as a Democrat.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

That May Be Yours, But It's A Mine

Amazing what you can buy on the Internet these days.

The Detroit News: Bloomfield Township man finds out novelty land mine could have been real

After receiving what he thought was an inert gag landmine, the buyer got an email from the company that sold it that it may instead be live.

Whether the item or the email or both was the gag is an open question. The State Police secured it and likely in a preventative manner blew it up. No reports as to whether it was actually a live mine, but in any case, it's no longer his.