Friday, August 31, 2012

NY Judge Issues Himself A CCW, A Bang And A Censure Ensues

One of the many problems with the discretionary May-Issue Concealed Carry Permit systems prevalent in many states is the corruption or indeed the appearance of corruption inherent in such a system.

With a few people in power having essentially absolute discretion over whether other law abiding person may receive carry permits, corruption is rather inevitable whether it be issuance of permits to movie stars, big campaign contributors, or good ol' buddies of those with the discretion to issue the permits.

One judge's actions illustrate the problem with the system:

ABA Journal: NY Judge Rapped for Approving His Own Concealed Carry Permit, Accidental Gun Discharge in Chambers

A New York judge who has been threatened several times during his nearly 20 years on the bench decided he wanted to get a concealed-carry permit and take a loaded firearm into the Tioga County courthouse at which he worked.

However, although there was no rule against having a gun in chambers, Judge Vincent Sgueglia should not have approved his own concealed-carry permit, the state Commission on Judicial Conduct said in an opinion earlier this month.

So here we have a person with the discretion to issue, he's facing a threat so he decides, in his own discretion, to issue himself a carry permit. Rather understandable, I'm sure he's issued permits to ordinary civilians dealing with threats (perhaps or perhaps not - after all NY is rather stingy with issuing permits). He's used to using his discretion to issues so he issued it to himself.

Of course, he should have had a fellow judge issue it for him via the good ol' buddy system as above rather than doing it himself and no one would have even blinked in New York.

He likely would have gotten away with it had he not had a serious lapse in safety:

an accidental discharge of a revolver in chambers in 2010, as Sgueglia was trying to repair a faulty mechanism that cocked the .38-caliber Smith and Wesson and rotated the cylinder.

The judge, who is now 70, stopped bringing a loaded gun into the courthouse after the accidental discharge incident. He plans to retire at the end of 2012.

Once again, don't play with it if you're carrying it.

Don't try to "fix" a loaded firearm.

Respectfully, I also don't see how a "defective mechanism" could cock the hammer on a S&W revolver all by itself. More than likely, he inadvertently or deliberately cocked it and was trying to lower the hammer down on a loaded chamber and slipped, causing the hammer to fire off the round. Otherwise, something even stranger happened and the reporting of the incident is sadly typical for firearms reporting.

So a bad combination of a May-Issue regime that allows for this sort of unnecessary corruption and an avoidable accident brings a censure to someone who is most likely an otherwise perfectly upstanding and honorable judge.

Certainly it is past time for New York to move away from the corrupt may-issue regime to the far more honest shall-issue option. Unfortunately given NY politics, such reform is likely far off into the future.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Text Not Pics Of Yer Hoo-Hah, Lest They Arise In Discovery To Embarrass Thee

Just a quick word to those who need it, and I expect my regular readers don't, being smarter than the average smartphone user, but for those who stumble upon this blog:

Look - taking naked pictures of yourself, or closeups of certain, shall we say, private parts of yourself, or parts of yourself meshed with parts of others, and then texting them to your friend with benefits so they can remember the moment is just not a good idea.

Taking video of the intimate moment and sending it on is an even worse idea (Look, when someone says they want to take a video of you in a compromising position and promise not to show it to anyone else and that no one else will never, ever see it - they're lying. Trust me on this.)

More worse still is to send such things to someone who you then become entangled with in a lawsuit that anyone outside the two of you could have seen coming a mile away.

Its an even worse idea when you also have multiple statements and admissions relative to the case in your texts, making all the texts discoverable.

This then forces your attorney to have to go through these texts and look for discoverable and relevant evidence, thus being exposed to things they really don't want to see while they discover the other side admitting to all sorts of legally significant things in the texts.

Ick. Eww. Yuck. I now need brain floss, and probably brain bleach.

Thankfully, in this case both idiots are way above the age of consent so we don't have a really serious problem with the texts. They're bad enough as is.

So please, practice safe text.

Your attorneys and your later self image when you get over how stupid you were will thank you.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

An Extra Dry Drysuit Dive

No joy in Muddville for me tonight.

I arrived at Spring Mill Pond, all set up to dive and having just had my tanks filled at my friendly Local Dive Shop (LDS).

I geared up, got into my undergarments and drysuit and went through all the steps to be ready to dive by the car:

attach light to belt; remove light top from battery canister; turn and insert light top into battery canister so the light top is active and ensure its sealed; Get compass and computer on; check each regulator is firmly threaded into the tanks and hasn't backed out; turn on right post; make sure center valve is full open; turn on left post.....and drat.

The left regulator started immediately very heavily free-flowing. So I try to adjust it and it doesn't improve. Give it a good smack and nothing.

This is the same reg that free-flowed on my last dive so I figured it would settle down. It didn't. I borrowed a wrench and took it off the hose and tried to tighten down the internal adjustment - no luck still free-flowing.

Fortunately there was quite a bunch of divers at Spring Mill Pond tonight and one of them was a regulator technician. I figured he'd have it figured out in no time flat. No such luck. Apparently its got something interesting going on and I'll need to take it into the shop and have it worked on, so no diving for me tonight.

Even thought my primary regulator was working, going in with a dead backup is a great way of having Murphy come calling and terminally wrecking your dive plan, so I wasn't going to get wet tonight.

On the upside, apparently the visibility was absolutely trashed tonight so I didn't miss much. Just as well it chose to act up during a minor training dive rather than on a charter on the Great Lakes.

Monday, August 27, 2012

A Fun Day At The Range

Yesterday I took Abby and my 14 year-old Niece Eluti who is visiting from Toronto to the range for a bit of shooting.

I started them both out with the M&P 15-22 and they both had a blast shooting it and hitting paper plates at relatively close range.

The M&P is still just a touch big for Abby but she is having fun and being safe, which is all that matters at this point. She also learned how to properly load the magazine for it, which saved time as they could each load a magazine while the other was firing.

The M&P had only a couple misfeeds but otherwise was excellent and is a great, accurate, and fun practice gun to have if you shoot AR-15s.

I also had them shoot the Ruger Mark II and they enjoyed that, but Abby feels it is still too heavy for her to comfortably hold.

Indeed, they enjoyed these two guns so much that they kept shooting until all the .22LR was gone. Now I need to restock.

Meanwhile, in the pauses when they were both not shooting, I worked on shooting with my Glock 17. I spent some time knocking down steel plates on the plate rack and doing FAST drills. I let Eluti try it and she found that hitting the plates was quite a bit harder than it looked.

I was using the free SureFire shot timer for the iPhone and it generally worked pretty well, but often would not pickup every shot even after being calibrated. It will do for now until I buy a real timer. One nice feature of the SureFire app, you can email your times and shot history to yourself which is a cool way to keep track of your progress. in be

I also let Eluti try the Glock and she had fun shooting it.

We finished up and then headed home after an excellent day.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Lose $150,000 On Every Home You Sell, Make It Up In Volume

That seems to be Detroit Work's plan, but of course its with taxpayer's money, so real world economic reality is to be ignored.

Derek Horride always wanted to own his own home in the historic Boston Edison area, a neighborhood that has felt the brunt of the city's economic troubles with many dilapidated structures.

But Horride, 27, a nurse who works overnight with spinal cord injury patients, never could have imagined owning a fully restored historic home with $260,000 in improvements as part of Mayor Dave Bing's Detroit Works Project to revitalize the city. "Growing up and seeing these homes and professionals — hardworking people that lived in these homes — I always dreamed that I would live in one of these homes myself," said Horride, after touring his three-story, five-bedroom home with a new wooden deck, stained hardwood floors and two car-garage. "So to be able to purchase one … is a wonderful opportunity. I'm just fortunate to be able to take advantage."


Wallace said the land bank's appraised value of Horride's house was about $110,000, and that's about what his mortgage will cost.

In other words, it cost the City at least $260,000, if not more, to obtain the house and renovate it. They then sold it via a mortgage for $110,000. Good for Mr. Horride, not so good for the average taxpayer in Detroit and points beyond.

Bing said he's proud that his signature program that has invested $5.5 million to help keep Boston Edison from crumbling is helping to allow Horride to move into a renovated home.

With $5.5 million to draw on, at this rate they'll be able to fix up all of 21 houses in Detroit. Mr. Drop, please meet Mr. Bucket.

The city is, of course, using taxpayer money on the program, including Federal funds, to give others these deals on houses.

The qualifications to get such a house are, shall we say, a bit subprime:

Applicants looking to purchases homes like the ones being renovated in Boston Edison must have an average credit score of 620 or better, eight hours of homebuyer's education and income at or below 120 percent average median income.

The average median income in Detroit is $26,098, that makes the payment on a 30 year fixed mortgage of $110,000 about $540 per month, or 25% of monthly income -- but the deal specifies they'll give mortgages to people below the median income.

What could possibly go wrong?

Some Fun Reading: Tom Kratman's Countdown: H Hour

The third in the Countdown series, Countdown: H Hour is an excellent read that's hard to put down.

Set in the disutopian not-too-distant-future, it continues the story of the Regiment begun in the first Countdown book.

Instead of regimental level battles and strategy, the focus of the book is on a small unit and then a composite combined arms team level force of about battalion strength. The action takes place simultaneously as that in the second book, Countdown: M Day, with interesting consequences.

As usual for Col. Kratman, the military organization and action scenes are tightly narrated and highly believable, with lots of things that go boom. He has no hesitation killing off characters, even very likable characters, should the plot demand. He also has no difficulty having the antagonists think and act in realistic ways that cause real trouble for his protagonists, and things never go quite as planned.

Self-depreciating and self-referential at times, Col. Kratman brings in the occasional references to himself as a "hack science fiction author", and his prior mil/sci-fi book, A Desert Called Peace features in quite an interesting way.

Col. Kratman has a solid knowledge of history, military operations, and current world affairs, along with very little tolerance for today's empty-headed "tranzis" - progressive transnationals, and it shows throughout the book.

As always it is the little details he throws in are what make the book a joy to read:

For example, just as an aside, we learn in dialogue that a certain tranzi finds her theory of human relations doesn't match reality and is killed in the Greater Chicago Ipad-9 riots. Think about it, a fuzzy minded intellectual dying in the Greater Chicago Ipad-9 riots.....

Not to mention the appearance of the Emperor Mongo, and characters with quips and actions that suit the moment very well, as well as the handiness of having a functional sociopath on hand.

Col. Kratman, as usual, ends with an afterword that almost makes you wish he had a regular column somewhere - He combines erudite political analysis and opinion that certainly makes you think.

Oh, and anti-Americans should remember this cautionary notice from the book:

"Americans. We will cross a frozen river to kill you. In your sleep. On Christmas."

Yeah, it is that kind of book.

In short, Countdown: H Hour is a definite recommended read and a worthy continuation of the Countdown series. Expect lots of quality dialogue, interesting situations and lots of shooty and stuff-that-go-boom goodness. Be sure to read the preceding books first to gain the highest enjoyment from the tale.

Luckily for us readers, the last few pages leave open the probability that another book in the series will come out, and that there will be more of the well-thought out scenarios we've come to enjoy from the series.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Detroit Water, Featherbedding, and Corruption Department

The current proposal for dealing with the sewer that the Detroit Water Department has become is to cut 80% of the current employees as surplus to effectively running the department.

The Detroit News: Detroit Water dept. may cut staff 80%

The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department could slash more than 80 percent of its staff over the next five years in a drastic overhaul to cut costs and reduce customers' rate increases.

A consultant hired by the Board of Water Commissioners presented its plan Wednesday with suggested job cuts that even shocked department leaders, who argue change is needed because of soaring personnel and infrastructure costs.

If adopted, the department would go from having 1,978 employees to 374 over the next five years. Another 361 employees would still work for the department but would be outsourced through other companies, according to the proposal. Officials estimate it would save about $139 million a year in personnel costs. Most jobs would be cut through attrition, but officials said layoffs are possible.

The Water department has been under scrutiny for the corruption endemic in the Kwame years, with the head of the water Depratment at the time, Victor Mercado, being indicted for racketeering and extortion, for participating in rigging millions in bids for Water department contracts.

The Union of course is outraged that such cuts might be proposed.

How bad is it? There are 257 different classifications for Detroit Water and Sewer employees. Vodkapundit notes that one of the union employees is classified as a horseshoer - even though the Department has no horses.

Think of the Detroit Water Department as a place for the Detroit and Wayne County politicians (all Democrat, natch) to secure cushy jobs for friends and family and exorbitant bids for their campaign contributors.

Even better, the Department isn't supported solely by Detroit but the Dems got a twofer as they could soak the less Democrat-dominated Suburbs and sucker them into paying yearly double-digit rate increases to cover the overhead of the political corruption they had wrought.

Sweet isn't it, having outsiders, many of them not Democrats, pay for the corruption and upkeep of the patronage, bribery and corruption needed for the Democrat stranglehold on Detroit and Wayne County to be maintained?

If the changes aren't adopted it is forecast that suburb water rates will have to increase on the order of 16-20%.

Just wait until there is an audit of the City of Detroit and its other departments - the results will likely be far, far worse. I half expect they'll find employees classified as buggy-whip makers.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Canadian Money Maker Makes Multiculturalism Missteps

Fosetti links to an interesting news story.

It appears that placing a female scientist on the back of the new Canadian $100 polymer bill is being found to be both objectionable and racist.

Bank of Canada bans image of Asian woman from $100 bill

The Bank of Canada purged the image of an Asian-looking woman from its new $100 banknotes after focus groups raised questions about her ethnicity.

The original image intended for the reverse of the plastic polymer banknotes, which began circulating last November, showed an Asian-looking woman scientist peering into a microscope.

The image, alongside a bottle of insulin, was meant to celebrate Canada’s medical innovations.

But eight focus groups consulted about the proposed images for the new $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 banknote series were especially critical of the choice of an Asian for the largest denomination.

“Some have concerns that the researcher appears to be Asian,” says a 2009 report commissioned by the bank from The Strategic Counsel, obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act.

“Some believe that it presents a stereotype of Asians excelling in technology and/or the sciences. Others feel that an Asian should not be the only ethnicity represented on the banknotes. Other ethnicities should also be shown.”

A few even said the yellow-brown colour of the $100 banknote reinforced the perception the woman was Asian, and “racialized” the note.

But even removing the image and de-ethnic-contenting (if there is such a word) the image is causing a problem:

The Bank of Canada apparently took seriously … racist comments and feedback from the focus groups and withdrew the image,” said May Lui, interim executive director of the group’s Toronto chapter.

“That was upsetting simply because of the history and longevity of Chinese-Canadians in this country.”

Lui demanded the bank “acknowledge their error in caving to the racist feedback.”

Victor Wong, the group’s national executive director, called on the bank to amend its policy of not depicting visible minorities.

“You’re erasing all of us,” he said from Toronto. “Your default then is an image with Caucasian features.”

When you play racial politics and choose imagery for diversity's sake rather than for merit, you're going to offend someone.

Look, let's assume the bottle is indeed insulin as described. Instead of a composite fictionalized female with objectionable Asian or objectionable non-Asian features chosen for the sake of fashionable multiculturalism, how about they put an actual Canadian hero actually involved with the creation of insulin - Dr. Frederick Banting on the bill?

How the heck did they miss that opportunity?

After all, Dr. Banting has saved or made livable millions of lives and will go on to save millions in the future. The composite multicultural character, not so much.

Of course, Dr. Banting was one of those now dead old white males the multiculturalists are now trying to get away from, but at least it would be both historically accurate and a celebration of a true Canadian hero rather than a composite drawn by committee to celebrate the diversity of the easily offended.

The Blogshoot Of The West Virginians

Murphy's Law is hosting a Blogshoot on September 22 not only as a blogger get together, but also for the worthy cause of fund-raising for the Wounded Warrior Project.

Having cleared my schedule with my lovely and understanding better half, I'm in.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Weird News Links Roundup

Links are all from the Detroit News.

Autopsy: Death of handcuffed man in Ark. a suicide

Searched, handcuffed, with hands behind his back in a patrol car, and he still manages to shoot himself in the head.

Drug charges dropped because of too much evidence

Remember kids, when you commit a crime, go big on the documentation! It also helps if you flee to a country that refuses extradition to the USA....

Elusive snakes in Kansas soon may live in $500,000 home

Rare snakes that no one has even seen in the area, and whose habitat might be disturbed by sewer lines are going to be placed on 11 acres of snake McMansions. So, will the snake housing bubble pop?

Life Imitates Art Or That Name Meth So Much To You

When your name is the same as a fictional and popular meth manufacturer on TV, maybe manufacturing meth isn't that smart a lifestyle choice.

Heck, who'd ever suspect?

The Detroit News: Real-life Walter White sought on meth charge

A man who shares the same name with television's most noted meth dealer is wanted by authorities in Alabama for allegedly violating his probation for a past meth conviction.

Not sure if his name alone constitutes probable cause, but in this case it might as well.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

At The Renaissance Fair

Today the weather was perfect for a visit to the Michigan Renaissance Festival. If you're near Michigan and you've never gone, you owe yourself a trip.

So the family, including my niece visiting from Toronto, hopped in the car and headed to Holly, Michigan.

Thankfully, they not only take cash but renaissance plastic:

Much of the fun in going to the Ren Fest is people watching. Lots of people dressed in period (or period as they imagine it was) costume, be they actually workers at the fair or just visiting:

And it wouldn't be the Ren Faire without the jousting:

There was plenty of live entertainment, including the incredible Tartanic:

The also gave perhaps the first ever demonstration of belly dancing to bagpipes:

They put on a great and fun show and have a really awesome sound whether live or on one of their albums.

We wrapped up the day with the kids watching a puppet show that was quite hilarious.

The puppeteer came out early and warmed up the crowd and could really play to the kids:

He then put on a show that had the kids completely immersed and interacting with the puppets. The kids loved it.

Then tired and with the money all spent on turkey legs, cheesecake-on-a-stick and waxed hands for the kids we headed home.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Old Ironsides To Sail Again

The USS Constitution is going to sail the seas again, 200 years to the day it defeated the HMS Guerriere.

The Detroit News: World's oldest commissioned warship to sail again

The world's oldest commissioned warship will sail under its own power for just the second time in more than a century to commemorate the battle that won it the nickname "Old Ironsides."

The USS Constitution, which was first launched in 1797, will be tugged from its berth in Boston Harbor on Sunday to the main deepwater pathway into the harbor. It will then set out to open seas for a 10-minute cruise.

The short trip marks the day two centuries ago when the Constitution bested the British frigate HMS Guerriere in a fierce battle during the War of 1812. It follows a three-year restoration project and is the first time the Constitution has been to sea on its own since its 200th birthday in 1997.

Before that, it hadn't sailed under its own power since 1881. The Constitution is periodically tugged into the harbor for historical display.

In addition to the USS Constitution, other historic ships will be participating in the bicentennial commemoration of the War of 1812, including some that will visit Michigan and Detroit. The USS Niagara, Oliver Hazard Perry's flagship in the Battle of lake Erie will visit Detroit, along with some modern warships and coastguard vessels from September 4-10.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

It Was Indeed A Great USPSA Match

The Match Results are up for the August match and I had my best results ever - 10th place out of 25 in Production, with a percentage score that if I remained consistent and shot to that level in each and every match would jump me up to B Class.

Realistically, the consistency is a problem and I likely won't do this well in every match in the future. But, if I keep practicing and doing this well then making B Class next year is a real possibility and earning a C class this year might just be achieved.

I also shot a clean classifier with all hits in the A zone on 6 targets in 14 seconds and a mandatory reload.

Time to think positive and practice more.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

MARSOC 1911s Not All They're Cracked Up To Be?

Say Uncle links to a report that during testing 4 of the Colt MARSOC 1911s had serious cracks develop after 12,000 rounds. It appears, but it is not absolutely clear from the report, that 4 of the 5 pistols live fire tested had such frame cracks.

While this is likely and hopefully just a bad batch and not a design failure of the MARSOC pistol itself, it is interesting and popcorn-worthy to read the reactions to the news:

1911 fans: 1911 is Thor's own hammer. There must be something wrong with the test, its a 19-by-god-11 and it even has 11 in the name so it is awesome to the eleventy power! Anyways Marines won't shoot 12k rounds through it, so its not a real issue and if you dare criticize or point out issues with the pistol then you are criticizing Marines, and deserve to be beaten for your un-American impertinence. Besides, It's a 1911, it's awesome and its only a secondary weapon and 12,000 rounds before a major crack is no big deal. Didn't we already say it's a 1911!

Glock fans: They shoulda bought Glocks.

S&W fans: They shoulda bought M&Ps.

H&K fans: Sollten Sie gekauft haben H&Ks! Dumkopfs!

Look, partisan preferences of your favorite pistol aside, all pistols are mechanical devices created by humans. Therefore there will always be a probability that any pistol may be less than perfect, may break before its expected service life is met, or may be from a bad batch made while the frame maker was getting over a weekend bender.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Dive 222 - Late Night At Union Lake

After the match yesterday I got a call from Chad to go diving.

At 9 pm, Keith, Chad and I met up at Union Lake. Chad had brought along his scooter with a Go-Pro miounted video camera and we decided to give it a try. The lake visibility had beene xpected to be lousy and we were not disappointed.

Visibility was about 3 feet and it felt like diving through soup. Most of the time I could only see Chad and Keith by the glow of their lights even when I was but a few feet away from them. Without the lights it was pitch black.

Night time brought out quite a number of very large crayfish and some mud puppies, as well as a few large fish hiding in the weeds along with a lot of small fry so there was quite a lot to see.

We did valve drills and it went pretty well. During my valve drill, when I turned my left post back on, the backup regulator around my neck, tied to that valve started to free-flow a lot. Think lots of bubble and breathing gas draining from the tanks at a pretty good clip. So I shut it down and reopened the valve and it did it again. I then shut it down, purged the regulator, gave it a good whack. I then re-opened the valve for the third time and this time it functioned normally without any free-flow.

After that, we dove around the copy machine boat (so named because, yes, there is indeed a photocopier in the stern). Then we headed back to shore.

A nice dive indeed, with the temperature at 25 feet a comfortable 73 degrees.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

A Great USPSA Match

Today I met up with Rob and we headed to the regularly scheduled USPSA match.

Due to the exceptionally large turn out, they quickly threw together another stage so we had seven stages rather than the standard 6 to shoot. While that made for a late start and a long day, it added to the fun quite nicely.

Overall, I had a very good match. This was tempered by the realization that I have a long way to go to improve. While for example my time of 42 seconds on a given stage put me in a respectable place (I think, as the standings aren't out yet), the Master-class shooter on our squad did the same stage in 12 seconds. Even while he was shooting limited and I was shooting production, obviously I have a lot of room to improve and grow.

The Master-class shooter is a good guy and very helpful and free in giving tips and techniques for improvement which is always appreciated.

On the upside, I had just replaced my standard Glock magazine release with the Glock factory extended magazine release. The replacement was very, very easy, taking only about 5 minutes. The factory extended release is only slightly extended from the factory release, but it makes releasing the magazine much easier and more positive, and for $2.69 you can't beat the upgrade, not to mention it keeps it Production classification legal. It worked great and my magazine changes are a lot cleaner as a result.

I did well on the classifier, hitting the A-zone on all 6 targets with turn start, shoot once and a mag change, shoot again in about 14 seconds.

Darn good match as usual, and I can see that I am making some real improvement.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

GSSF Match Results

The preliminary results for the 2012 GSSF match I attended are now posted.

As I suspected, I did much better than last year.

Last year in the Civilian Category I was 44 out of 68 competitors with a total time of 156.34

This year I'm 18 out of 83 competitors with a total time of 113.66 - 42.68 seconds faster overall.

In the Competition category, Last year I was 30 out of 56 competitors with a total time of 111.83.

This year, I'm 15 out of 53 with a total time of 91.97 - 19.86 seconds faster.

It's nice to see some real measurable improvement. I guess all that missing I'm doing at the USPSA matches is paying off.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Can You Spare A Dime For A Cool $1.6 Million?

The Detroit News: 1873 dime sells for a pretty penny: $1.6 million

The rare coin was minted in Carson City, Nev., during a one-day run of dimes.

"Generally speaking, in the coin auction business, you might get a couple of people fighting each other" as they bid, he said Friday. "On this one, we had four or five buyers over a million dollars. We had a fair amount of buyers pursuing it."

The 1873-CC "No Arrows" Liberty Seated dime was auctioned Thursday night. It's part of the Battle Born Collection, which contained one of every coin struck in Carson City before the mint there closed in 1893.

Well, that's at least one dime that has more than kept its value against inflation.

If you Can't Keep Guns Out Of Jail, What Chance Gun Control?

Jail, perhaps one of the most, if not the most regulated, screened, controlled and "secure" locations ever. Inmates are, of course, prohibited from possessing weapons, much less firearms.

The Detroit News: Wayne County Jail on lockdown after gun discovered

The discovery of a weapon Friday morning at the Wayne County Jail has caused a lockdown.

"Due to our jail protocol, a weapon was recovered in an area of Division I this morning," said Paula Bridges, press director for the Office of the Wayne County Sheriff. "It is a matter the sheriff takes extremely seriously.

"An investigation is under way to determine how it got there. Beyond that, I have no further comment."

If you can't even keep firearms out of the hands of inmates in jail, then so much for any chance of effective gun control in the real world.

Attorney Arrested For Legally Having A Firearm In A Connecticut Theater

Findlaw: Attorney Arrested for Bringing Gun to 'Dark Knight' Movie Theater

Connecticut law does not have a blanket prohibition on permit holders carrying concealed firearms in movie theaters.

The article raises quite a few questions about the constitutionality of the search - the police according to the article ordered everyone in the theater to put their hands up and then allegedly frisked everyone within the theater.

In the lawyer's arrest for bringing a gun to a movie theater, Sung-Ho Hwang had tucked a pistol into his waistband near the small of his back, police said. Hwang showed up with the gun at a screening of "The Dark Knight Rises" about 10 p.m. Tuesday, and theater managers called police.

Officers entered the theater and ordered patrons to put their hands in the air as they were patted down for weapons, the Associated Press reports.

But Hwang allegedly refused, and was taken into custody by force. He faces charges of breaching the peace and interfering with police.

Barring one heck of an exigent circumstance, it's a little hard to picture how such an order was lawful, not to mention this was a blanket search that more than likely violated the 4th Amendment and that he had a right to not consent to such a search.

Mr. Hwang may just have a decent lawsuit against the theater and the police in this instance especially if he's correct that there was no notice that the theater management prohibited firearms in the theater, and I daresay he knows it:

Those charges are baseless, Hwang told reporters. "There is no posting at [the theater] that states that weapons are not permitted," he said, according to The Hartford Courant. "As far as the law is concerned, I have a right to carry there."

Even better, the Mayor of New Haven is allegedly blaming Hwang, not to mention admitting that what Mr. Hwang did is legal:

At a news conference Wednesday, Hwang told reporters he did nothing wrong. But New Haven's mayor questioned Hwang's judgment. "Sometimes just because something is legal doesn't make it right," he said, according to the Post.

This case should be interesting to watch.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Happy Birthday To Me

Today, I hit 40. We'll see if 40 hits back.

The birthday started off quite nicely: My kids woke me up and each gave me a sweet hand-written birthday card that they had carefully colored and to which they ah applied many cute stickers.

They then assisted their mother in making me breakfast which was tasty and much appreciated.

I then went to the doctor's office before going to work as I finally got an appointment to get my hand checked after the car accident. The doc is pretty sure I broke a bone in my hand so I'm getting an x-ray tomorrow to find out for sure.

Then, it was off to work and dealing with various meetings, regularities, idiocies, and emergencies of a normal work day.

Now I'm going to head home, relax and celebrate my birthday with the wife and kids and have a nice relaxing evening.

Not a bad start to the 40s.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Dive 221 Orchard Lake And The Last Dive Of My 30s

So tonight I dove Orchard Lake with Keith, Chad, Jeremy and Maki.

I hadn't dove Orchard Lake for quite awhile. It's a long swim out from the shore until it gets any deeper than 3 feet. Finally it started to get deeper and we headed down the bowl like slope.

We ran a reel so we would be able to find our route back up. We continued down until I hit 99 feet deep and then we turned the dive.

Darn good dive, and the last dive of my 30s as I hit 40 years tomorrow.

A Federal Security Guard Walks An IED Into A Secure Building....

Should be the opener to a joke, but it's not, it's Detroit: Report faults handling of IED at Detroit federal building

A new report harshly criticizes the handling of an improvised explosive device found outside a federal building in Detroit in 2011 that was brought inside and not detected as an explosive for three weeks.

Inspector Clouseau, you've been replaced in the incompetence department by a new gold standard. Yes, the IED sat in the building for three whole weeks and was stored under a desk.

The Department of Homeland Security's inspector general issued a 37-page report criticizing the handling of the package — which was stored under a desk near a security checkpoint at the Patrick V. McNamara Federal Building in Detroit. The building is home to many federal agencies, including the FBI.

The report also criticized the training, hiring practices and oversight of security guards at the Detroit federal building. It found other breaches of protocol in the handling of the suspicious package.

Even better, the guard is also a Sargent in the Detroit Police Department.

The guard who brought the package in should not have been working because the Federal Protective Service had not sought a "suitability investigation for the guard until April 2011" — and the last one had expired in March 2010 approximatelya year before he brought the IED into the building.

The Federal Protective Service is soliciting a new contract for guard services in Michigan. Since July 2011, the contract for Michigan guard services has been on three-month installments.

"The breaches were the result of poor judgment by the guard, not systemic problems within DECO. FPS also bears some responsibility," the report found.

The guard who brought the safe into the building was also a sergeant with the Detroit Police Department.

Read the whole article as it describes the entire amazingly incompetent and downright dangerous string of events. Luckily for all involved, the IED maker was as incompetent as they were.

Good to know that federal government installations are in the best of hands, it just gives you that warm fuzzy feeling, now doesn't it?.

Unofficial Local Primary Roundup

Pete Hoekstra won the Republican nomination to face off against Debbie "Spenditnow" Stabenow for the US Senate contest.

Gary Peters wins District 14, beating Hansen Clarke and the other challengers. He received a far higher vote total from the Oakland County area of the district than in Wayne County. Hansen Clarke received far more from Wayne than Oakland, and indeed if the other challengers weren't present he might have won. Since I'm doomed to have a Democrat, it might as well be the reasonably honest and effective Peters as the other options were much worse.

Unfortunately, John Conyers won his primary, beating the challengers there.

It looks like the DIA tax passed in all three counties. Now to see if we all got snookered by this tax or not.

In State District 40, Republican Michael McCready beat his competition by a few hundred votes in a very divided and competitive field. Sadly he beat my preference, David Wolkinson by 307 votes.

Oakland County passed the SMART transit millage renewal, and L. Brooks Patterson quite handily beat his challenger to stay County Executive 90% to 10%.

In West Bloomfield, the rather drama-causing Michelle Ureste beat challenger John Warshay by 215 votes (46% to 43%, thanks to the appearance of Robert Egren on the ballot who siphoned off 900 votes). Since there is no Republican challenger in the general election, we're in for more twisty drama with Ureste.

West Bloomfield also passed the Parks and Rec millage renewal and expansion to restore funding to previous levels.

And that's the local primary results.

Democrats And Electile Dysfunction

I may have to take back my assumption that Democrats aren't as dumb as a bag of rocks.

At the local library, which was also serving as two different polling precincts, I happened to overhear a young man and his lady friend talking while I was browsing the stacks.

The young man couldn't get it as to why he couldn't vote straight ticket Democrat in the primary.

Think about that for a moment -- Straight. Ticket. Democrat. In. The. Primary.

He also complained that it wasn't fair that he couldn't also vote for some Republicans as well, because, after all, they were listed on the same ballot.

His lady friend then struggled to explain why he couldn't and he really wasn't getting it.

With much restraint, I managed to avoid yelling over the shelf "In the youth section there's a Schoolhouse Rock: Election Collection DVD that explains how primaries work - go check it out for crying out loud.

Wow. Now I can see how people like that may be confused if they're asked if they're a US citizen. Then again, I'd be amazed if he can even color in between the lines in the ballot circles.

Oh, and his vote counts as much as yours.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

2012 Primary Day Voting

So Today is the Primaries plus multiple millage requests.

I voted this morning and while there was no lineup to vote there was a pretty steady flow.

Amazingly, I was able to check the box on the application for a ballot that I was a US citizen without any confusion whatsoever. Who would have thunk it?

Of course, this primary season involves much gnashing of racial teeth. With the loss of population in Detroit, two of Detroit's Congressional districts are being gerrymandered to remain majority-minority districts but they now snake their way into the suburbs, including where I live, dooming me to a Democrat Congressman forever. Just when my area is beginning to think a Democrat isn't the way to go, we get this.

This means that the Majority-Minority districts are swallowing up other Democrat districts which could mean the incumbent (White) congressman in those districts is facing off against the Black congressman and the White reps might just even win.

Much racial disharmony ensues, as reported in the Detroit News: Metro Detroit may lose black U.S. reps.

Voters in Metro Detroit will determine Tuesday whether Michigan will lose black representation in the U.S. House of Representatives for the first time in nearly five decades.

U.S. Rep. Hansen Clarke, a biracial freshman belonging to black and Asian congressional caucuses, faces a challenge in the 14th Congressional District from U.S. Rep. Gary Peters, a white Bloomfield Township resident who is backed by major labor unions as well as Detroit elected officials and black pastors.

Michigan is losing one congressional seat due to redistricting, forcing the two into a faceoff.

And in the new 13th District, U.S. Rep. John Conyers, the longest serving African-American member of Congress, is running against four challengers, with polls suggesting his closest competition is Glenn Anderson, a state senator from Westland who is white.

Clarke and Conyers are running in Michigan's only majority-minority districts under the 1965 Voting Rights Act that protects minority political participation. If a white candidate wins in a VRA district, "it would definitely be an anomaly in American politics," said Devin McCarthy of voter reform think tank FairVote.

A Peters and Anderson victory would be pretty remarkable but in my opinion good for Michigan. Peters is already an effective congressman (if I'm now doomed to a Democrat Congressman, I might as well hope for a decent and effective one) and it is well past time for the divisive Conyers to go.

In addition, there's also various millage requests on the ballot including one rather contentious on for Oakland County to pay property taxes to support the Detroit Institute of Arts.

The results of this primary should be quite interesting indeed.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Much ToDo About Nothing iOS developer is threatening to sue Android devs for using the word ‘ToDo’

A developer that creates apps for Apple’s (AAPL) iOS platform has threatened to sue an Android app maker for using the word “ToDo.” Appigo has sent a letter to an Android developer regarding his Star Trek ToDo Agenda app. In the letter, Appigo notes that it owns the trademark for the word “ToDo” and the developer’s use of the word is “likely to cause customer confusion to our existing and potential customers.” The problem with all this, as David Ruddock of Android Police points out, is that Appigo’s trademark happens to be for the Spanish word “Todo,” and not a fanciful respelling of the phrase “to-do.” Ruddock explains that “had Appigo claimed ToDo [was] a fanciful respelling of To-Do, it would almost certainly not have received principle registration for its trademark until it had established sufficient secondary meaning.”

Yep, looking at Appigo's trademark registration, they did indeed trademark the word TODO (in all caps) with a statement that "The English translation of "TODO" in the mark is "ALL" or "EVERYTHING"."

Ooops, you really gotta hate cease-and-desist letters based on flimsy or in this case untenable legal support.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Michigan 2012 GSSF Match Report

This year I again attended the GSSF match in Brighton Michigan.

I'm happy to report that I did much better than last year and I'm quite pleased with my overall performance.

In addition to shooting, I also volunteered to help setup and RO at the match and had a good time (if really hot and humid) doing so.

It was a darn good time. I arrived early way before the match start and then after assisting with more of the setup acted as a floating RO, mainly keeping an eye on the off-line activity. Since a lot of GSSF-ers are very new shooters, they typically don't understand that a designated "Safe area" is only for handling unloaded firearms and no ammunition can be out and being fondled. So I would politely request that they remove the ammo from the area and that they could load on any of the other open tables. Similarly, I had to keep people from opening up their boxes and pulling out their guns in the "no-gun handling" areas. Everybody took it well and as usual if you're polite others will act polite as well.

Of course there was the days designated "that guy" present - an older fellow, newer Glock shooter and was accompanied by an experienced competitior that really should have kept him under better supervision. I had requested "that guy" clear the ammo off the safe area at the 5 to Glock range and he did. But sure enough about 50 minutes later I'm at the Glock'M range and that guy goes yet again to the marked Safe Area table (each safe area table has a huge sign in red letters "SAFE AREA") and starts loading ammo with his gun out on the table, again. Sheesh.

One bit of fun while shooting the match was that I would float as an RO to each range as I waited to shoot - helping paste, score keep, or run the timer as needed and spell the assigned RO's there, run and get more targets etc. Lots of fun. I would then shoot my course of fire and head off to the next event.

I was very happy with my Glock The Plates times this year. Unlike the fiasco last year, not a plate was left standing in all 8 runs (I shot 2 divisions). Three of the 6 runs were sub-six seconds for all 6 plates down, with the quickest being 5.16 which I'm quite happy with.

The Glock'M and 5 to Glock were similarly very good - decent times, no misses on any target and only a few D hits with the majority of shots in the A zone. While I certainly didn't set the world on fire and I'm sure I did not win the match, I was quite satisfied with my improved performance.

Once I was done with my course of fire I was assigned to RO one of the Glock'M ranges and was either score keep or timer for the afternoon.

A truly excellent match.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

With Twitter You Can Take Stupid To Olympic Levels

Oh for the good old days when stupid people saying stupid things didn't get 15 minutes of fame for being stupid.

The Detroit Free Press: Twitter rants aimed at Olympics diver lead to teen's arrest

The list of Olympic-related Twitter transgressions turned potentially criminal Tuesday when police arrested a 17-year-old boy for allegedly making malicious comments following a frenetic exchange of rants against British diver Tom Daley after he fell short of medaling.

Dorset police confirmed that the teenager was arrested at about 2 a.m. Tuesday at a guesthouse in Weymouth. He was charged with suspicion of malicious communications.

Prior to Twitter, the drunken rants and arguments of stupid people probably didn't leave the local pub or their basement. Now the idiots post them on Twitter and people think they're being serious leading to arrests for saying stupid things that previously would have passed without notice.

Even Olympians are taking to Twitter to expose their own stupidity:

The arrest comes hours after the Swiss Olympic Committee expelled soccer player for his offensive comment after Switzerland's 2-1 loss to South Korea.

"Translated from French, Morganella's tweet said he wanted to beat up South Koreans, that they should "burn'' and they were a "bunch of mongoloids.'' Last week, a Greek triple jumper was expelled by Greek officials after she mocked African immigrants.

In other words this French-speaking Switzer guy got his butt whipped by the South Koreans - allegedly 2-1 is a real exciting and major defeat in soccer - so he mouths off as a sore loser. (As an aside to Morganella - those "bunch of mongoloids" kicked your ass in Soccer, so STFU you loser).

Had he kept this to himself, his teammates, or his drunken buddies it would have been one thing. Stupid, but still a limited display of stupid. But no, he had to broadcast stupid to the whole Internet and expose himself to disdain from the whole world and get expelled from the games.

Twitter - The proud sponsor of removing civility and self-restraint on immaturity, racism, and stupidity for the 2012 Olympic Games.