Wednesday, October 31, 2012

To Be Fair, Obama Didn't Say "If You Like Your Hospital, You Can Keep Your Hospital"

Just announced, a $6.4 billion merger of two of the biggest hospital networks in Michigan - Henry Ford and Beaumont.

Why now? One word - Obamacare.

The Detroit Free Press: Obama's health care plan, cost savings drives merger of Beaumont, Henry Ford

Several long-term trends help explain why the merger of Henry Ford Health System and Beaumont makes sense.

One is the coming implementation of the nation’s new health care law, known informally as Obamacare. The law, and particularly the individual mandate to obtain health coverage in 2014, will swell the number of people seeking health care.

The expected Medicare reimbursement cuts that will necessarily go hand-in-hand with the Obamacare expansion are also a reason:

At the same time, the financial stresses facing the nation’s Medicare and Medicaid systems means hospitals that provide care are facing shortfalls on reimbursement for their services. For hospital systems that treat a lot of poor people in places like Detroit, cutbacks on Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement can be particularly worrisome.

There's no such thing as free health care.

Hospitals can look ahead and see that under Obamacare, they'll be one of those taking the hit with reduced Medicare reimbursements to keep the true costs as distant and opaque as possible to the American health consumer/voter and they're planning and acting accordingly.

Syrian Conflict Introduces An Awesome-Cool New Shooting Position

Yep, the truce in Syria is unexpectedly yet officially over before it has even begun, with Syria launching heavy air strikes on its own population.

But in every human tragedy there is a bright side.

In this sad conflict, a new shooting position has been born, though I don't expect to see it at Camp Perry or indeed adopted by any Western military force anytime soon, if ever:

Yes, as can be seen even more clearly in the full picture, in all its glory, it's the all new Syrian Rebel Anti-Aircraft Shooting Position.

Now, Don't try that position at home folks, he's sure as heck not a professional, nor even an enlightened amateur.

The Great Benefits of this new position:

Stability: Uh, None.

Hit Probability: Uh, None.

Makes Noise: Oh, Yes.

Decent Ab Workout: Yes

Greatest Benefit of All: Nothing else says "I'm Insha'Allah Cool" like being curled up on your back with one leg jackknifed up in the air while you pop-off rounds into the sky at a fast-moving jet.

Add your own dubious benefits of this new position in the comments if you'd like.

Michigan Now In Play? Romney Now At 45% To Obama's 47!

Wow, who would have thought that this blue of blue states would wake up and go Romney?

The Detroit News: Poll: Romney closes gap on Obama in Michigan

That Michigan, home of the UAW and the blue state model could even be this competitive for Romney is awesome.

Hopefully Michigan is finally waking up to the destruction and corruption wrought by the Democrat blue state model leading to record foreclosures and unemployment. And They're perhaps realizing what continuing and expanding that model will mean for its citizens - more of the same economic disaster, but worse.

Obama jinxing the Tigers probably didn't help.

Michigan is now in play enough that Obama is now having to launch campaign ads here for the first time this election.

A Preference Cascade? Reality finally hitting the community? Let's hope so.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Not Syrias About Truces

The Detroit Free Press: Syria truce collapse shows limits of diplomacy

The U.N. tried to broker a halt to fighting over the four-day Eid al-Adha Muslim feast that began on Friday, one of the holiest times of the Islamic calendar. But the truce was violated almost immediately after it was supposed to take effect, the same fate other cease-fires in Syria have met.

Interestingly some international idiots are trying to spin this as the United States fault:

The U.S., meanwhile, is averse to sending strategic weapons to help the rebels break the battlefield stalemate, fearing they will fall into the hands of militant Islamists, who are increasingly active in rebel ranks. [See Benghazi as Exhibit A as to why that fear is well founded]

"There has been a lack of desire to take the tough decisions," said [Salman] Shaikh [director of the Brookings Doha Center think tank].

"In Washington, they've only been focused on the narrow political goal of their own elections, trying to convince a war-wary public inside the U.S. that we are actually disengaging from the conflicts of the Middle East," he said.

But wait, I thought they were all for a nice multi-polar world with America not acting like a cowboy and all that?

At least they didn't pin the blame on Israel for it. The again ,its rather hard to make Israel look like the bad guy in the region when Syria can blithely kill 35,000 of its own citizens without causing much of an uproar among the likely suspects in the UN and elsewhere.

Another video showed destruction inside the Sheikh Moussa mosque in Harasta. Windows and doors were blown out, glass and debris scattered across the mosque's floor. The narrator broke down as he was heard saying: "Where are the Muslims? Our mosques are being bombed and no one cares."

When its Muslims doing it to other Muslims, the world yawns. It just doesn't fit the narrative of the Muslims as the poor leftist proletariat being oppressed by capitalist colonialist Israelis or Americans as the case may be.

You won't see much if any activity on campuses about Syria's genocidal campaign against its own people, nor a national conference for activism against Syria and other Arab dictators' homicidal tendencies against their own people.

Sunday's Stand With Us Presentation

On Sunday morning I attended a presentation by Stand With Us, a group formed to combat the Arab propaganda campaign against Israel that is taking place on campuses, the media and elsewhere. Stand With us combats lies with facts, and works to get the truth out there, often in the face of a hostile media environment.

There was lots of good information concerning the ongoing Arab propaganda, lies and de-legitimization campaign against Israel and what can be done about it.

One of the interesting pieces of information picked up is that the university of Michigan will be hosting The 2012 "Students For Justice in Palestine" (Hey - three lies in one!) Program to be held November 1-3.

Among many other propagandists, it features Khader Adnan.

And Who Is Khader Adnan?

One of the leaders of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, yet another friendly offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood.

He's been known to advocate for justice and peace by (as caught in a YouTube video of a rally in 2007) encouraging suicide bombings: "Who among you will carry the next explosive belt? Who among you will fire the next bullets? Who among you will have his body parts blown all over?"

Yep he's quite a role model for justice and peace.

Interestingly enough, the SJP program has quite a tight control on any media presence and preventing the media from accessing much of the presentations or talking to participants.

Gee, I wonder why - I suppose they wouldn't want the truth too come out now would they?

The conference agenda seems like an almost formulaic pastiche of anti-Israel and anti-American tropes with some anti-colonialist feminist theory thrown in for good measure - "I am woman see my burka!"

While their stock in trade is anti-Semitic leftist nonsense, organizations like SJP present slick propaganda full of lies and half-truths to attempt to destroy the state of Israel and replace it with an Islamic state, and they have no problem trying to denigrate and de-legitimize America either.

Thankfully Stand With Us is working hard to expose the lies and agenda of the many groups like SJP.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Pre-Halloween Pumpkin Blogging

The kids have costumes selected.

Candy is stocked and ready to be handed out to the roving packs of trick-or-treaters that will infest our street Wednesday night.

Tonight was the night for pumpkin preparation.

Step 1. Perform a pumpkin lobotomy by slicing open the top of the skull and removing the brains (seeds and pumpkin guts):

The kids had fun with this stage, reaching in and pulling out the guts and separating the seeds for cleaning and later roasting.

Step 2. Carve the eyes and nose. This year the kids wanted scary but cute:

Step 3. Carve the mouth - all in one piece please:

Step 4. Proof of concept. Light 'er up, let 'er rip:

One Jack O' Lantern complete and ready for All Hallow's eve.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Obama Follows In The Traditions Of Democrats Withholding Gunship Support

This isn't the first time that a Democrat administration withheld effective gunship support from an American unit under fire.

Remember back in the Battle of Mogadishu, immortalized in Black Hawk Down, where US forces were denied Armor and AC-130 gunship support by the Clinton administration including Lee Aspin and Colin Powell?

Reports are now coming out that in Libya there was one or two AC-130s available to assist but the Obama Administration denied them permission to engage and even ordered CIA assets to stand down and not assist to support the beleaguered ambassador and his security?

In addition its looking more and more that Obama knew within 24 hours that the attacks were not based on a video unwatched by millions but was instead a terrorist attack planned to coincide with the anniversary of 9/11. Obama then consistently lied about this for weeks.

This is starting to smell worse and worse - lies about the cause and event, withholding available support from Americans under attack and a continued coverup that is starting to fray.

Whether the MSM can continue to cover and ignore evidence for the President to keep this out of the headlines until after the election is going to be interesting.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Syrian Truce Breaks Down - Completely Unexpected

On October 18, Turkey calls for truce in Syria for Muslim holiday


Fighting mars Syria holiday truce; protests resume

The Syrian military has agreed to cease military operations for four days beginning Friday morning with the start of the four-day Eid al-Adha holiday, in line with a truce proposed by international envoy Lakhdar Brahimi and endorsed by the U.N. Security Council.
Fighting, car bomb mar Syria holiday truce

Is this a truce? Within hours, bullets again flying in Syria

Bashar Assad is well on his way to beating his dad hafez's kill record at Hama so why should he stop now?

Seriously, they've got no problem attacking other religions on their holy days, so did anyone really expect them to honor a truce occasioned by one of theirs?

Stuff Kids Say - School Edition

Leah was not a happy camper yesterday.

The kid has a rather ingrained sense of justice and it had been badly infringed.

First, they had done a PTO organized Fun(d)Run for the school - you run around the track and raise pledge money based on your laps or straight donations. After having been told it wasn't a race but just a fun time, she went out did her best and in the 10 minute time limit ran 7 laps of the 1/8th mile track. Each time you went around the track you got a band, and you could get a wrist band at any of a few stations along the track.

Being honest, she only took a band when she passed the same station so ended up with seven bands. She basically ran as fast as a third grader while only being a first grader.

However, some kids were grabbing multiple bands and one at least ended up with 26 bands which would mean the kid was breaking the sound barrier if he had truly run 26 laps in 10 minutes.

After saying it is not a race, yesterday the PTO announced winners including for most laps, and they did it by counting bands, so little 26 band fibber came in first. Interesting incentives are being created by the school now isn't it? She's clearly learning at a young age that authority figures aren't infallible.

Needless to say, she was furious as only a first grader can be.

On top of that outrage, she also wasn't allowed to eat a brownie she had brought with her lunch at school because the package said "produced at a facility that processes nuts" - not that it had any in it, but it was produced at the same facility. She was not amused, and I quote:

"I didn't even get to eat the damn brownie!"

When asked where she heard that she said: "From Daddy when he's driving."

Oh, Damn.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

We Can't Stimulate Our Way Out Of This, But They'll Continue To Try

The New York Times: Fed Pledges to Maintain Stimulus

The Federal Reserve said Wednesday that it would continue its economic stimulus campaign, aimed at reducing unemployment, amid fresh evidence of a housing recovery that could help to bolster those efforts.

Because the answer to when something isn't working is always to do more of it, and harder.

The Fed announced after its last meeting, in September, that it would buy $40 billion in mortgage securities each month until the jobs outlook improved, a significant expansion of its stimulus campaign. It also said it intended to keep short-term interest rates near zero at least until mid-2015. ...........

Under a separate program begun last year, the Fed also is buying about $45 billion in long-term Treasury securities each month. Those purchases are scheduled to end in December. Officials have said they will consider extending the program depending on the condition of the economy.

So, the Fed is admittedly buying, at the very least, $85 Billion in securities each and every month. Anyone want to know hoe long that can last, and what if anything they're buying it with?

But fear not, it is still full speed ahead:

The central bank appears determined to press its campaign until it is certain of the results, so long as inflation remains under control. It has been chastened by a series of misjudgments, after declaring several times in recent years that the recovery was gaining strength only to conclude that more stimulus was needed.

Now, what could possibly go wrong with a continually expanding money supply?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

File Not On Yer Frame Of Glock

At a recent shoot a fellow was having some trouble with his Glock.

A Glock Armorer examined it when the fellow expressed frustration about the problem he was having with it (not me, but I was close enough to observe the whole thing). On examining it, the problem was readily discovered.

You see, this fellow had bought his Glock used and he noticed that the trigger safety didn't work and it was having some reliability problems related to the trigger.

It turns out the the former owner, without disclosing this to the hapless buyer, was an active member of the Bubba Cletus Home Gunsmithing School - Motto: "If there's nothing wrong with it, there will be once I'm done with it, ay-uh".

Not happy with the existence of the Glock trigger safety, this super genius decided the solution was to file open the hole for the trigger on the frame so that the trigger safety wouldn't engage against the frame and thus was deactivated. This is a bad idea on multiple levels.

Bubba Cletus thus violated the first rule of home gun-tinkering: When you have an expensive part (the frame - about $150) and an inexpensive part (a $14 trigger bar assembly), and if you decide that you must mess with it, you mess with the inexpensive part.

Of course, the frame can't be fixed and the fellow now needs to send the frame in to Glock to buy a replacement frame as that's not a part you can just order over the internet.

Why Bubba Cletus thought disabling the trigger safety made any sense is beyond me. On top of that bad decision, why he had to compound it by not filing it off the trigger, which would be dumb but easily repairable rather than the irreparable frame.

The trigger safety not only protects the user from an inadvertent touching of the trigger movement but also prevents the trigger and trigger bar from moving under momentum and firing the gun if the gun is dropped. Disabling it doesn't improve the trigger pull or feel and reduces safety and functionality so just don't do it.

More annoying is that he then unethically sold his mistake off to an unwitting buyer rather than having to pay to fix his folly.

Monday, October 22, 2012

After A Long Wait, Let Loose The Legion

Monster Hunter Legion that is.

After patiently waiting for quite awhile, it finally arrived in the mailbox today:

The Amazon shipping delay was due to a shortage of copies that had this within it:

If you like shooting and well-written science fiction and adventure novels, you really need to buy and read Larry Correia's books.

Blogging may be light as I dig in....

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Tonight's Project - An AR-15 Lower Build

I decided that tonight was the night to finally build and complete my AR-15 Lower.

Having never done this before, it should get interesting.

Wish me luck.

Update 1: Ok, The Mag catch is in. So far, so good.

Update 2: Whew, that took some work, but the bolt catch is now in. That roll pin did not want to cooperate.

Update 3: Now it's looking more like an AR lower.

The front pivot pin, detent and spring installed so easily it was surprising.

Trigger, disconnector, hammer and selector were then all installed when I realized there was an extra spring sitting with the outstanding parts...the instructions I had that detailed the assembly process quite subtly glossed over a mention of installing the disconnector spring.

Drat. So I took it all apart, added the spring and put it all back together. Having done it once before it was a tad bit easier to do. Then I added the pistol grip and screwed it into place.

Unfortunately, The roll pin for the trigger guard refuses to go in and Natasha has ordered me to cease all hammering noises and assorted vocabulary enhancements this late at night.

I'll have to work on it tomorrow.

Also, anyone have any idea what is the size of the Allen wrench to screw in the front of the Magpul trigger guard screw? Nothing I have seems to fit.

Update 4: And, with the exception of the trigger guard, I'm done!

Total build time, including running around looking for the right tools occasionally, battling evil roll pins and assembling and reassembling the trigger components, taking pics and blogging the experience was two hours and forty minutes.

Certainly it was an interesting exercise, and I now know a lot more about AR-15 lowers than I had before.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

A Successful Doughnuts With Dad Morning

Unlike the let down of the PTO organized one, today's Doughnuts with Dad Day went off without a hitch.

We all got up, and the kids were all excited. So I SS'd, then we got dressed, made a cup of coffee for Tash who elected to stay behind and piled in the car. We headed to our local Tim Horton's, parked and headed in. Guess what? Tim Horton's did indeed have doughnuts, and coffee.

Considering that Tim Horton's has the ne plus ultra of doughnut shop doughnuts and coffee, it was destined for us to have great doughnuts and great coffee.

So we headed up to the counter and the girls picked out their morning doughnuts. They each also got a cup of hot chocolate to match dad's cup coffee. Then we sat down at a table and had a nice father-daughter time, and we got to talk about all the exciting things they're up to at school in a nice unhurried fashion.

They declared it the best doughnuts with dad day ever, so I'll chalk that one up as a win.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A Local Clusterfisk - (No) Doughnuts With Dad Day

So today the kids were very excited - it was Doughnuts with Dad Day at School.

Hosted by the PTO it was supposed to be a fun start to the day with the kids taking their dads in for a doughnut, a craft, and a picture of Kids and Dad together.

So we arrived at about 8:15 and the parking lot was already packed. Luckily, we had walked to the school.

Unfortunately, by 8:16 they announced to the huge line that had formed outside the gym they were out of doughnuts.

On Doughnuts With Dad Day.

That was quite an inauspicious start. Leah was getting upset and Abby was outraged at the lack of planning - "How could they run out of doughnuts!?! It's the Doughnuts With Dad Day!". They announced they would go get more doughnuts and everyone should go get their picture taken with their kids.

So we then left that line and then waited in line by the media center to get our picture taken together -- nothing special but it was ok.

Then back to the gym to await the doughnuts. Inside the gym the kids tried to get in to the tables setup do the craft - building a picture frame out of wooden stir sticks and the all of two tables they had were packed and unorganized masses of chaos. They managed to finally get a spot, with Abby almost elbowed out of the way by another girl but she held firm to her spot and they barely managed to each get for sticks and a bit of glue. I called the project and said we'll finish it at home as it was gettign riddiculous.

Then about all of maybe two dozen doughnuts arrived. By the time we got to the table, there were just two left and I gave one to another dad and daughter who were giht behind us and one to Abby and Leah announcing they could share it as there wasn't nearly enough for everyone. And, they were out of coffee.

At this point Leah lost it as only a six year old can - she had been excited for days about all three of us sitting together and having a doughnut each,and a coffee for me, and having a good time. Instead, Leah had to give away her doughnut to share with another kid (who it turns out had been mean to her), and got only half a lousy doughnut, her dad didn't get any, and she couldn't even do a craft as it was too busy! (Say this sentence in one breath and you'll get an idea how it sounded).

I comforted her by saying I didn't mind and was at least enjoying being with them in the morning and that we'd do crafts and doughnuts together later. That made her feel a bit better and she shared a bite of her doughnut with me. Abby was similarly annoyed but dealt with it a bit better. I then walked them to class and headed to get something to eat and then off to work.

In short, the planning for this event really and truly sucked.

Next time have at least a little planning and either get some RSVP sheets on the announcement form, or at least expect that when you invite all the hundreds of kids in the school to bring their dads, that a lot of them will bring their dads. Failure to have sufficient doughnuts for such a day advertised as Doughnuts with Dad and only two small round tables for crafts in a school with hundreds of kids is just an automatic fail right there. Don't get the kids excited if you're going to dash their hopes so badly.

On the upside, this was a great way to demonstrate the failure of centralized planning, and that yes, the people in charge aren't necessarily smarter or more competent than you.

I've now promised them that on Saturday morning I'm taking them to Tim Horton's for a real Doughnuts with Dad Day. I can guarantee that at the very least Saturday morning together will not suck and will be what this morning was supposed to be.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

More Bad News from Obama's A123, Just In Time For The Debates

Sometimes, you just can't hold the bad news until beyond the election.

The Detroit Free Press: Battery-maker A123 Systems will miss a crucial bond payment

Battery-maker A123 Systems will miss a crucial bond payment that could push it into a bankruptcy filing, according to a filing the company made Monday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Waltham, Mass.-based manufacturer, which employs about 700 people at its plants in Livonia and Romulus and an Ann Arbor research center, told the SEC that it is exploring "strategic alternatives to address" its deteriorating financial situation.

"The company may not have sufficient cash to fund operations and may need to seek the protections provided under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code to, among other things, obtain access to new financing and facilitate one or more of the transactions it is contemplating," A123 said. "No assurance can be given that the company will be able to avoid restructuring, reorganization, or a bankruptcy filing."

The filing adds to the uncertainty about the company's future just two months after Chinese auto supplier Wanxiang Group agreed to invest up to $450 million to acquire as much as 80% of A123.

Apparently President Obama is quite adept in picking winners and losers and consistently picking the losers.

It's also a potential political problem for the Obama administration, which gave the company a $249.1-million grant in 2009. A123, which once promised to add several thousand jobs in Michigan, also won more than $125 million in tax credits and grants from the State of Michigan in 2008 and 2009.

One certainly hopes the debate moderators will bring up this series of green job fiascoes by the Obama administration. Any bets?

Definition of Baroque: When You're Out Of Monet

Picasso, 2 Monets among works stolen at Dutch museum

The Detroit Free Press:

Thieves who broke into a Dutch museum during the night made off with 7 paintings, including a Picasso, a Matisse, and 2 Monets worth "considerable value."

The paintings were taken from Rotterdam's Kunsthal Museum, which is showing its own works as well as paintings from the Triton Foundation collection of avant-garde art.

The performance may have been captured on videotape but the thieves are currently on the loose. The paintings are worth millions of dollars and it appears to be a major failure of the museum's security.

Monday, October 15, 2012

An Electrifying Darwin Award Detroiter

Just a hint - when you're wrongly trying to steal copper for scrap, the live wires with thousands of volts coursing through them are not viable sources.

The Detroit Free Press: Man found electrocuted, hanging from Detroit utility pole

Its a rather stupid and shocking way to take yourself out of the gene pool.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Back From The USPSA October Match

The day did not start off auspiciously.

After raining heavily last night I awoke to very heavy overcast and a forecast of rain, rain, and more rain.

However, this was the monthly USPSA match day and my first match as a C-class shooter, and I wasn't about to let a little rain interfere with going to the match.

So I packed up the car and drove to the range.

Arriving at the range it was clear that the threat of rain and the already soggy ground was depressing the turnout. Thankfully I had chosen boots over sneakers or would have been dealing with trench foot.

We ended up having two squads of 7 shooters each and headed off to shoot the stages. Still a good bunch of people and we had a good time.

It was indeed wet enough that the steel poppers would cause a splash when they fell after being shot down into the puddles that dotted the range.

The classifier, in honor of the hope that we will soon change the current occupant, was the El Presidente.

I decided to try and push myself to go fast and ran it in 10 seconds, which was not terrible, but the shots certainly were not all in the A-zone.

Sure enough, it did begin raining a bit, making it more interesting when water beads on your shooting glasses while doing a stage. Good training, and the Glock didn't care, but some shooters using high dollar Limited and Open class guns were hurriedly covering them up whenever they were not shooting.

The other stages were fun, from the shoot house where I hit every target in the A-zone with no misses or dropped shots, to the first stage we shot - a rather confusing stage with multiple hidden targets visible from various angles. On that stage I ended up shooting a few targets four times rather than the typical two as I couldn't be sure if I had hit it from a different position yet and really didn't want a failure to engage penalty for missing a target.

The Glock 17 ran flawlessly throughout. I had detail stripped it two nights ago and cleaned the accumulated junk from the firing pin channel and cleaned all the internals, making everything nice and clean and then re-lubed to spec. It ran perfectly and was a bit crisper having been so cleaned.

Next I need to get a new recoil spring for it as even though the current one works fine. The non-gen4 springs should be replaced every 2000 rounds (Gen4 is 5000 rounds) and I've shot it more than that much through this year. Also, it has the original firing pin spring that it likely left the factory when it went to the MPDC, so it is past time to change that as a preventative measure and ensure no problems in the future.

A darn good match and well worth facing the weather.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Dearbornistan A No-Go Zone For Israeli Flags?

Blazing Cat Fur has the story of how a motorist with an Israeli flag on his car had his car vandalized outside of Dearborn's Fordson high School.

Oh, and the Dearbornistan police then detained the motorist rather than the miscreant and also somehow ignored death threats directed at the driver.

Go check out Blazing Cat Fur's report and pictures.

Apparently the Dearbornistanis want to play Arabs and Infidels, and the Dearborn Police are on the Arab side. On top of that, they are resisting releasing police reports, which certainly calls at the very least for a FOIA request.

To top it off, the Detroit Free Press' "religious affairs" reporter lets his pro-arab bias through while tweeting about the event.

There's some good commentary on the event at Infidel Blogger's Alliance.

Assuming the events are true as related, Dearborn seems well on its way to becoming the full I-slamic fun zone.

Pathetic, and it doesn't bode well for Michigan or the USA that this can happen here.

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Union And The Bridge Owner

It's Baptists and Bootleggers Michigan Style as Ambassador Bridge Owner Matty Maroun bankrolls the UAW's job killing Proposal 2 in return for UAW member votes on Proposal 6.

Proposal 2 will enshrine Unions - both public and private - and collective bargaining in the Michigan Constitution and trump numerous laws and send us into the union-infested dark ages. basically it will drastically tilt the scales in favor of Unions, reducing even further Michigan's appeal as a place for businesses to come and employ people.

Proposal 6 will require a public vote before any international crossing could be built, slowing down commerce and the Michigan economy and leaving a main international trade artery and profits under the control of Maroun.

Vote No on both.

While you're at it, Vote YES on 1 and NO on 2,3,4,5 and 6 - good descriptions of each of these execrable proposals and the reasons for voting NO on 2-6 are presented here.

The Detroit Free Press: UAW, Moroun said to be allies in battle to block new U.S.-Canada bridge

The UAW and Ambassador Bridge owner Manuel (Matty) Moroun are discussing a deal that calls for the billionaire to pump cash into a labor-sponsored ballot initiative in exchange for the union's support for a Moroun-backed campaign to block a new international bridge from Detroit to Windsor, according to a senior auto executive and several local political leaders.

Note that the UAW is sacrificing what will be a lot of good paying and most undoubtedly union construction jobs on the bridge in return for money up front to bolster their position long-term even as such a measure will make Michigan far less employer and hence employment friendly.

Maroun, of course, is probably harming his companies in the long-term, assuming there's a union presence there, in return for the union's support to block competition to his Ambassador Bridge and thus maintain his monopoly power.

Both proposals are bad for the public, who will be the ones really bearing the costs if Proposals 2 and 6 pass.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Doing Jobs Americans Won't Do - Meth Edition

Mexican cartels fill demand for meth in USA

From the Detroit Free Press:

Mexican drug cartels are quietly filling the void in the nation's drug market created by the long effort to crack down on American-made methamphetamine, flooding U.S. cities with exceptionally cheap, extraordinarily potent meth from factorylike "superlabs."

Although Mexican meth is not new to the U.S. drug trade, it now accounts for as much as 80 percent of the meth sold here, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration. And it is as much as 90 percent pure, a level that offers users a faster, more intense and longer-lasting high.

Great, so I'm getting carded for buying frickin' Allegra D and prevented from buying a whole season's supply at once supposedly to stop the menace of meth while far purer meth is being shipped in by the ton unaffected by such stupidity. (As an aside - Anyone know if meth made from Allegra D or Sudafed also helps the user with their allergies? Inquiring minds of non-users of meth would like to know).

Can we please end the whole stupid carding and limited purchase charade now, considering that we've now outsourced illegal meth production to Mexico?

Three Certainties: Death, Taxes, And Having To Repay Your Student Loans

Student Loan Debt is non-dischargeable in bankruptcy, which means you can't get rid of it once you incur it.

Considering the rough economic times here in Michigan, its no wonder we rank up there in student loans in default.

Te Federal government under Obama, courtesy of a section in the Obamacare bill (yes, really), have taken over student loans with the expected efficient results from such a government takeover.

Now Ex-students with loans who are in poor financial health are going before, shall we say, death panels that seek to recover on the non-performing loans.

The Detroit Free Press: Beware, metro Detroit: The feds are out -- and looking for payback on late student loans

If you live in eastern Michigan and owe the federal government money from a student loan, your chances of being hauled into federal court are greater than anywhere else in the country, except the Los Angeles area.

Over the past two decades, eastern Michigan has accounted for, on average, 13% of all federal student loan recovery lawsuits nationwide.

With Americans carrying more than $1 trillion in college debt -- and $76 billion of that delinquent -- some economists fear the huge debt burden will be the nation's next devastating economic crisis, much like the mortgage bubble that sparked the recession. So the federal government is adopting eastern Michigan's get-tough tactics in other parts of the U.S.

One bit of non-legal advice to anyone with a student loan in default - do something. Putting your head in the sand and trying to avoid service doesn't help. Instead contact the loan servicer and document your problem. There probably is some deferment or different repayment options that may help you and help you avoid being sued.

As Instapundit has been known to say regarding student loans: Something that can’t go on forever, won’t. This can’t go on forever.

Unfortunately, due to its featured non-dischargeability, your obligation to repay your student loan will last at least your lifetime even though that only feels like forever.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Glock Armorer's Class Report

Thanks to my membership in GSSF, I had the opportunity to enroll and attend the Glock Armorer's Class held at the Macomb Community College Criminal Justice Training Center.

Most of the 35 attendees were law enforcement, and a variety of South-East and Central Michigan police forces had personnel attending. There was also quite a few civilians attending and everyone got along very well. This was especially important once small parts began to fly around the room.

The officer's departments were all using Glocks and seemed both satisfied and confident in carrying them.

The instructor had a great presence and a good sense of humor, and the day at times felt like drinking water through a firehouse - lots of information and details delivered in a very short time. Everything from the history of Glock to changes in the parts and compatibility or lack thereof through the production line from Gen 1 through Gen 4 and things to look out for when examining the pistols.

He also brought quite a few pistols along for us to examine.

Yes, that is a Glock 18C at the top left.

I got to handle it and manipulate the happy switch. Sadly, I was not allowed to take it home with me even after asking very nicely. A pox upon the Hughes amendment.

There was quite a variety of Glock pistols on display, from a cutaway pistol that showed the operation of the gun's internals to the red training and blue simunition guns as well as the Glock 34, 30SF, 36, and 21SF and a Gen4 22 in addition to the Glock 18.

We went into how the Glock operated in detail and the function of each part in the firing sequence. There was a very well done animation of the entire operation and excellent diagrams and pictures to work from.

There was also plenty of hands-on practice. Boxes containing Glock 23s were handed out. Each box held the pistol and also had a magazine, a separate NY trigger spring and a screwdriver inside the box.

We began with safety and basic function testing and how to perform an external inspection and rapidly moved on from there.

Then we did a detailed dis-assembly and reassembly of the slide and all its internal parts step-by-step. The only things not removed was the sights.

Spring cups have a nasty way of departing the firing pin at a high velocity, thanks to the firing pin spring.

After the first time doing it step by step, we then did it an additional four times on our own and we all got it down pretty darn well.

Then we disassembled the frame quite completely, including the magazine catch and locking block and its spring.

Yes, I was able to reassemble it back to its original state, and after a few tries was quite quick in doing so.

After assembly and dis-assembly we then had fun with the trigger springs - we installed the NY1 and also on some guns the NY2 spring and tested the feel. We also saw what happens if you put the gun together without a trigger spring or if the trigger spring breaks - the gun will still shoot and function as long as you use the trigger reset method rather than completely disengaging from the trigger after each shot.

We then did a practical exam of a complete detail strip of both the slide and frame and reassembly - hands on repetition really works, and you begin to appreciate how darn easy it is to work on a Glock pistol.

We then finished up with diagnosing engagement problems, then moved on to some general troubleshooting and testing magazines and how to resolve the feeding problem that sometimes happens when lights are put on the light rails.

We also learned quite a lot about Glock.

Apparently they're well on their way to produce a million pistols this year. Demand is very high in both the civilian and law enforcement markets. This could explain why I'm still waiting on my friendly local dealer to get in the Gen4 Glock 21 I've ordered....

Interestingly, while pistol frames, barrels and slides are produced in the US, all the small parts are brought in from Austria. Compounded by the vagaries of the international arms trade and regulations, we typically get pistols made in Austria here in the USA, while pistols made in the USA are exported elsewhere due to more favorable import laws regarding American over Austrian products. Go figure.

We were also told about the hopefully imminent release of the Glock 30S. The 30S is a Glock 36 slide on a Glock 30 frame - resulting in a Glock 19 sized 45 ACP pistol with 10+1 rounds. Apparently this combo was first requested by the LAPD's Special Investigation Section.

The instructor demonstrated what it would be like by swapping the slides accordingly -- and it was very nice indeed.

I'd certainly buy a 30S pistol, as it really makes the Glock 30 feel much less clunky and more balanced.

In addition to the practical demonstration of competency with the function testing and detail stripping, there was an also a written test. I scored 100% on it, as did quite a lot of the attendees.

The Armorer's class gave me a far more detailed appreciation and understanding of the Glock pistol, its operation, repair and maintenance. It was well worth the time and money spent. I learned a lot and will certainly be better able to maintain my Glocks and can highly recommend the class.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Glockingly Good Educational Pursuits

Since I should always strive to challenge myself and learn new things, I decided to do something different with my day today.

In short, after an excellent all-day class, I'm now a certified Glock Armorer.

Full report to follow.

Monday, October 08, 2012

Anybody Else's Sitemeter Stuck?

Since September 25, my Sitemeter seems to have given up the visitor counting game.

It is showing no visitors, even as both Blogger is recording visits and people are leaving comments, so it is not just that y'all are no longer visiting the blog.

Anybody else having or had this problem and any idea on fixing it?

Son, You're On Your Own

You know its bad when Detroit's police, fresh off having their chief suspended for internal affairs, warns visitors that they're entering the city at their own risk and candidly admits they can neither serve, protect nor prevent the violent crime engulfing the city.

In Detroit, you're now on notice (if you hadn't figured it out already) that you're on your own.

The Detroit News: Detroit police union warns visitors city is 'more dangerous'

Before the Tigers took on the Oakland Athletics at Comerica Park Saturday, members of the Detroit Police Officer's Association passed out fliers to "let the public know they enter Detroit at their own risk."

Let this be Exhibit A to answer all those who say you don't need a gun because the police are there to protect you.

CBS has more, including a copy of the flyer the officers were handing out at Enter At Your Own Risk: Police Union Says ‘War-Like’ Detroit Is Unsafe For Visitors

Sunday, October 07, 2012

A123 Systems, Obama's Next Solyndra To Be Outsourced?

Just in time for the foreign policy debates we have the following story:

A123 Systems, an electric vehicle battery maker having received a $249.1 million dollar grant from the Obama administration, not to mention $125 million in (Democrat controlled at the time) State of Michigan tax credits and grants, has lost $857 million since it began, and incurred $208 million in losses the first half of this year.

What's the foreign policy angle?

It's about to be sold to the Chinese.

The Detroit Free Press: Chinese firm positioned to acquire U.S.-funded battery maker A123 Systems.

Dive 224 In Union Lake With Murphy's Law and Rob

With all the sadness, bereavement, responsibility and difficulties he had to deal with this week, Murphy's Law desperately needed an opportunity to chill out.

And what better way to chill then to dive into a nice cool lake?

So Murphy's Law decided to get in a dive with me while he was here (his description of the dive is here).

Since he didn't bring any gear in his dash here, I was happy to provide a single tank setup, and our favorite local dive shop had a wetsuit and a full aluminum 80 tank ready to go.

We geared up and headed into Union Lake this morning, meeting up with Rob at the lake.

Murphy also hadn't brought his diving foot so we were able to get some cable ties from another diver and tie off the unused wetsuit leg to keep it from flopping around.

It didn't slow him down at all, and the neon colors helped us keep track of him. Well, that and the silt cloud he kicked up...So we generally kept him in between the two of us on the dive.

Here he is between the two of us, Rob in front and me acting as tail end charlie:

Later, while playing "Where's Murph?" he's caught in both our light beams:

Visibility wasn't great with lots of particulate in the water so the pictures and the view in general wasn't great.

We made it to the photocopier boat, where Murphy then tried to make some copies while he had the opportunity.

It started getting rather silty around the boat, so the pic quality if anything got worse. Here's a shot of me taken by Murph:

Murph, about mid way through the swim, decided he was getting hungry so he grabbed a snack, and the potential snack was not amused.

Yes, that is one big lake crayfish.

Murphy enjoyed getting out and playing around in three dimensions. Here he is head down and fin up in the lake.

Having had enough fun keeping track of Murph in the water, Rob signaled an end to the dive and we headed back through the weeds to our entry point.

Here's a parting shot of Murph heading for the surface:

A relatively short 27 minute dive, we hit a max depth on the dive of 34 feet, and the water temp was 58 degrees.

It was a darn good dive. We then went out for the traditional post-dive drinks.

It was great to see Murph get out and relax after what was a terrible, horrible, no-good week. We had a great time diving, the water wasn't too cold yet for the wetsuit he wore, and he moved around underwater just fine on one fin.

Next Great Lakes dive season, he's definitely coming up here and we'll do some big wrecks under better times and in happier circumstances.

Friday, October 05, 2012

An Astonishing Canadian Supreme Court Decision On HIV Disclosure

In Canada, thanks to a gobsmacking decision by the Canadian Supreme Court issued today, you no longer need to tell your potential or current partner you have HIV as long as you have a low viral load and use a condom.

CBC News:

The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that some people with low levels of HIV who use condoms during sex do not need to disclose their condition to sexual partners.

In a 9-0 ruling, the top court updated a landmark 1998 decision that made it a crime if HIV carriers did not reveal their status when there was a significant risk of transmission to a sexual partner.

Wow. So according to the Canadian Supreme Court, an individual infected with a deadly communicable virus does not need to disclose to a potential intimate partner that they HIV. This is because, according to the court, it is just a low risk, and the infected's privacy beats requiring full disclosure to a partner, whose health and decision is, according to the court, of lesser import.

The court ruled Friday that the "realistic possibility of transmission of HIV is negated" provided the carrier of the virus has a low viral load and a condom is used during sexual intercourse.

Of course, members of the Canadian Supreme Court, unlike the Canadian dating public in general, are unlikely to face a situation where they will be unknowingly intimate with people with low HIV viral loads willing to use condoms.

Reality and History Were Never The Arabists' Strong Suits

But this takes the cake. (via Transterrestial Musings, Via Meadia: Archbishop Tutu: Please, Apologize to the Jews:

But there was something the Free Gaza Movement didn’t tell the archbishop: its co-founder and board chair is a Jew-hater named Greta Berlin who uses the organization as a platform form which to spread the ugliest anti-Semitic legends and, literally, Nazi propaganda and lies.

The Free Gaza Movement wants you to think that it is a group of humanitarians stirred to action by Israeli crimes against the Palestinians. But Berlin is something much nastier: a conscious propagandist of anti-Semitic hate — the kind of person with whom no Christian clergyman can associate himself in a common cause without causing grave scandal and harm.

On Sunday, the Free Gaza Movement posted this on its Twitter Feed: “Zionists operated the concentration camps and helped murder millions of innocent Jews” with a link to this awful video.

Wow, just wow, and Desmond Tutu is busy endorsing these nutcase Tranzis.

Accusing Jews of being Nazis is quite the way to whitewash the quite intimate associations and support of the Arabs for the holocaust, not to mention the Arab's and Islamists desire for a repeat performance, now isn't it?

But that's not all, apparently the Free Gaza Movement are quite the kindred spirits with the Nazis:

The film endorsed and linked in the tweet got another link — on the Facebook page Greta Berlin. She was so in love with this nastiness that she wanted to share it with her friends.

But this doesn’t exhaust the pro-Nazi activities of this “humanitarian” movement. The Free Gaza Movement is also touting an anti-Semitic film actually produced under the Propaganda Ministry of Joseph Goebbels during the Third Reich itself: a Nazi propaganda film on the Katyn massacre that tried to whip up hatred against Communists and Jews. And here, too, Greta Berlin, that exquisite connoisseur of cinema and tender-hearted lover of mankind, was so thrilled with this Goebbels’ hard-hitting investigative journalism and fearless proclamation of the truth that she posted a link to a download on her Facebook account.

Think about the cognitive dissonance revealed by that one: the head of the Free Gaza Movement posits the Nazis were Jews, yet at the same time heartily endorses a propaganda film by the Nazis that is anti-Jewish.

Rather like the typical Arab Holocaust denier - "it didn't happen, but Hitler didn't kill all the Jews and we'll finish the job".

It's always instructive when the Tranzi mask slips and the real evil underneath is revealed for all to see.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Debate 1 Thoughts

Quick Impressions:

I'd say Romney came across as a likeable and well-spoken fellow that can lead the country. He's quick to advertise his bipartisanship and willingness to work with Democrats, which while a detraction for most Republican may help win over Democrats looking for a reason to not vote for Obama. In other words, he's tilting toward the middle come election time trying to pick up some Dem votes.

As for Obama, well, Obama just found out how hard it is to have to fight a real contested race for the first time without the aid of a teleprompter.

For deeper, insightful, and far more inebriated analysis, check out Stephen Green's blogging of the debate on PJMedia.

Really, Stop Playing With It In Public.

In yet another demonstration that you should not play with your firearm, another person has managed to shoot themselves in the leg.

The Detroit News: Pontiac man reaches into pocket, shoots self in thigh

A Pontiac man accidentally shot himself in the thigh while reaching into his pocket for his handgun, the Oakland County Sheriff's Office said Monday.

Deputies said the man, 25, drove himself to McLaren Hospital after the incident, which occurred at 5:49 p.m. Sunday in the 300 block of Nelson. Police said the man tried to pull the gun out of his pocket as he arrived at his home and forgot it was cocked.

Yet again folks, the solution is simple: Don't play with it. Don't try to take it out of your pocket while in a vehicle for no good reason, keep your finger off the trigger when touching the firearm, and use a pocket holster at the very least.

His statement that he forgot it was cocked makes me believe he tried to get some in pocket trigger time or was manipulating the trigger at the time of removal, and it ended badly.

Be careful while carrying and remember Rule 2 should not be treated as an optional suggestion.

If you're carrying in a pocket, use a pocket holster that can be removed with the firearm to prevent such negligent discharges. The thighs and other parts co-located there that you save may be your own.

Detroit PD Denied Decent Dependable Directors

In yet another tawdry example that responsible adults are just not running the City of Detroit, we have the latest scandal to emerge.

It is alleged that Detroit's Top Cop can't keep it in his pants. Do note he's a replacement for the previous chief who was also having, shall we say, a departmental internal affair.

The Detroit News: Warren Evans criticizes Bing over Godbee suspension

The city's former top cop has lashed out on social media over Mayor Dave Bing's decision Tuesday to place Police Chief Ralph Godbee Jr. on paid suspension as allegations swirled over the chief's involvement in a love triangle.

Warren Evans was replaced as chief in 2010 by Godbee after Evans' personal life came into question. He was asked by Bing that year to resign over a video for a proposed television show, along with a number of complaints about Evans' girlfriend, Police Lt. Monique Patterson.

It was also then when Evans' attorney showed city officials a series of sexually charged messages Godbee sent to Patterson, with whom he also had a romantic relationship.

Patterson, who remains on the force, was represented two years ago by the same attorney now speaking on behalf of Officer Angelica Robinson. Detroit Police sources told The Detroit News on Tuesday that Robinson, an internal affairs officer, has had her department-issued weapon confiscated and was sent for a mental evaluation out of concern for her welfare after she learned of Godbee's alleged involvement with another woman in a new scandal.

You may need to read that again and indeed the entire article to keep track of all the players in this love quadrilateral at the top of the DPD.

Do these people use the Jerry Springer Show as a how-to guide for personal relationships?

There is some irony that the last two Detroit police chiefs, both former and current are/were having affairs with people in internal affairs.

You would think that even before, but certainly once you get appointed chief of a major (Ok, Detroit is in rapid decline but still major-like) metropolitan police force you will have learned to keep it in your pants and not to have affairs with underlings. Such goings-on are never good for force discipline or morale. It's also not good for your own morality, especially in one of the two chief's situations above you're married and apparently a minister to boot.

Putting Detroit into bankruptcy or an EFM and having competent and mature adults put in charge of this clown show really can't come soon enough.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Sad News

Sad News.

Murphy's Law's Father has died this morning.

I went over to ML's Dad's place last night to help out a bit and it sadly wasn't looking good. ML's Dad was a good man, and I was honored to have had the chance to meet him on a few occasions before under better times and circumstances.

Prayers and good thoughts for Murphy and his dad at this time would certainly be appreciated.

Yes, Cancer sucks.