Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Iran Rocketing Up To Some Monkey Business In Space

Tam eloquently writes of Iran's introduction to the world of the Monkey-Incinerating Reentry Vehicle.

No reports yet if the monkey is one of the Shia Twelver Monkeys.

In Case You Were Wondering: No, The Media Cannot Be Trusted As An Objective Reporter Of Facts

They've gone from reporting the news with a shading of progressive editorializing in the stories to all-out fabricating it to advocate for their president and their progressive narrative.

Rather blatantly fabricating it as well, as if they don't care that they'll be caught - after all, what national mainstream media outlet would prominently report and point out their manipulations?

Just NBC Yet Another Deceptive Edit

As noted in the article, that's at least five occasions where MSNBC/NBC has been caught editing audio and video to create events to fit their agenda when the unedited record indicates otherwise.

Oh, for the heady days when a Republican was president and the national media was not complicit and actively supporting and distorting facts as necessary to bolster the president's agenda. To be fair, they were actively distorting facts against the last one, but at least they weren't acting as if they were a sate-run media lap-dog.

Speaking truth to power? Hardly. Now we have the media openly lying for those in power.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Name that Party! Michigan Supreme Court Justice Pleads Guilty to Federal Felony Fraud Charge

If you didn't already know, then reading the Detroit Free Press Article:

Former Michigan Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway pleads guilty to felony bank fraud

won't tell you the party affiliation of the recently retired after a formal complaint was filed against her based on this fraud, and now convicted of bank fraud Justice Diane Hathaway.

Yes, you guessed it. She's a Democrat.

Funny how that got left out.

De Rot Of Detroit

Detroit City Council and the denizens of Detroit never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.

The City Council decided to reject the state's offer to lease Belle Isle, an offer saving the City over $6 million per year and preserving and upgrading the island. Of course the Council did so without overtly rejecting it by tabling any discussion on the matter, which amounts to the same result.

The Detroit Free Press: Detroit City Council has more hurdles for Belle Isle lease deal

The city is trying to con the state into: reducing the amount of years of the lease; allow the city to cancel the lease early (once the state makes the repairs and investments in the park naturally;) and to get out of having to pay back any funds the State invests if Detroit unilaterally pulls out early.

In short, the Detroit City Council is trying to bluff and make the state the sucker in the game even as the State holds all the cards.

The Freep also has some of the rather typical inane comments that were made at the meeting that we've come to expect from Detroiters. The race card was played so many times its got creases, folds, and torn edges.

The State has said the deal needs to be made by the end of January, so the City Council is killing the deal by tabling it for two weeks.

Gov. Snyder and the State should call Detroit's bluff and walk away from the deal. Enough already.

Have Detroit either declare bankruptcy or rot, but it is well past time for the State to walk away from the Detroit Mayor and City Council's game of three-card monte.

Looks Like The ABA Might Be Taking Notice That They Overstepped

I'm sure it is completely coincidental timing-wise in the wake of the ABA's announcement supporting Feinstein's gun ban, the ABA just sent out a survey to its members.

Dear Aaron,

The American Bar Association invites you to share your opinions by completing a very short, online survey to track our progress in several key areas.

Your participation is extremely important to us so we've kept the survey very short and it will take less than 5 minutes to complete. The deadline to participate is midnight Sunday, February 17. All responses are confidential and will be reported in aggregate.

They asked, I answered.

Included in the survey was a question asking members if they were planning to renew their membership.

Upon checking "No" you were taken to a set of questions for the reasons for not renewing, and options included disagreement with ABA's policies and positions.

It then ended with a slot for comments, which I provided thusly:

The ABA' president's public display of support for Senator Feinstein's gun ban bill, without having even read nor analyzed the bill itself, and without consulting the ABA's members regarding this policy pronouncement was the final straw in my deciding to no longer be a member of the ABA. That the ABA would support a bill with contents that violate both the 2nd and 5th amendments based on nothing more than a press release and without a careful consideration of the law and facts of the matter is both shocking and un-lawerly in the extreme.

Well, at least they know why I'm cancelling my membership.

The Left Eats Their Insufficiently Progressive Own

Poor Lena Dunham, after performing exceptional lip service in support of President Obama's get out the vote efforts -- literally offering her all in the service of his reelection -- the poor empty-headed progressive can't escape the harsh scrutiny of the school of Marxist literary/film criticism.

Instapundit links to The Daily Beast's article: ‘Zero Dark Thirty,’ Lena Dunham, ‘Django’: Stop Politicizing Everything!. The article notes Lena Dunhamn's show Girls is getting flack for being insufficient in color content:

The latest and highest-profile target is Girls creator and star Lena Dunham, who, if you listen to her critics, might very well be Brooklyn Heights’s own Orville Faubus. A brief recapitulation of the story so far: It all started when Jenna Wortham, a New York Times reporter, writing for a blog call The Hairpin, reported that upon seeing a promotional poster for Girls her “heart dropped and I swallowed once, hard. Girls. White girls.” In response, America’s culture critics got to work sifting through the evidence of Dunham’s subterranean racism.

When Dunham said the all-white cast was “a complete accident”—she wrote about her friends, and these were her friends—a New Yorker writer responded that this was “maybe so” and allowed that the lack of black characters was “perhaps inadvertent,” two weasel words that left open the possibility the show was scripted and cast by bigots. Atlantic Wire writer Elspeth Reeve suggested that, if the show was indeed a reflection of Dunham’s social life, “she should expand her circle” of friends.

In response to the expanding controversy, Girls writer Lesley Arfin tweeted sarcastically, “What really bothered me most about Precious was that there was no representation of ME.” This too was deemed racist (she later deleted the tweet), as were a number of other things she had previously written. The narrative was established: the girls of Girls were rich, privileged, and, if the critic was feeling charitable, deeply insensitive.

Poor Dunham. Even after a public display of enthusiastic electoral jungle fever, she gets accused of racism by of all terrors, a New York Times reporter - in a blog, not even in the paper of record itself.

Being a good leftist and hewing to the dictat of her tribe, she and the show's writer, instead of telling this nobody to take a hike and quit inventing controversy where none exists, immediately confessed their thought-crimes:

In the face of this ferocious stupidity, Dunham performed her ablutions. “I take that criticism very seriously,” she told NPR. “As much as I can say [writing four white main characters] was an accident, it was only later as the criticism came out, I thought, I hear this, and I want to respond to it.” The new season of Girls assigned her character a black boyfriend, who also happened to be a Republican (a sly joke, perhaps, about tokenism). Arfin too offered a po-faced confession, adopting the language of her accusers: “Without thinking, I put gender politics above race and class. That was careless.”

Of course, in the leftist mind, all things are political or in service to progressive political goals. That means that "artists" like Dunham are always under a cloud of suspicion race and gender identity politics. Dunham, even while self-identifying as a leftist and being of service to the left found out her show fails to meet the latest in progressive performance requirements.

After all, it's hard out there being a vapid progressive.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Thought Exercise For The Morning

Democrats wish to make us more like Europe - socialized medicine; a cradle-to-grave welfare state; no nasty guns; high taxes; a 30 hour work weeks with jobs for life; a SWPL hipster culture everywhere; a small limited military good for peacekeeping and disaster relief incapable of much more; and a state run with an ever-present and all-powerful civil service staffed with the bien pensants and their scions.

Europe can run this way (all butter, low to no guns) as it has America to act as its defensive shield, supplier of military force and support for operations that Europe can't pull off on its own, and guarantor of Europe's oil supplies and sea lanes for trade

The question is: Should the Democrats succeed in reshaping America in Europe's image, what country is going to be the next America to willingly foot the bill and secure it?

Sunday, January 27, 2013

And Two New (Old) CPL Holders Are Trained

Today I held a private NRA class for my friend's in-laws who were interested in getting their Michigan Carry permits.

As it was a private class we held it conveniently at their house which was fortuitously close to a range that I often use for the shooting portion of the class.

We went through the classroom portion of the curriculum, including a heavy focus on Michigan laws regarding firearms and self-defense first. They were attentive, asked good questions and had an excellent comprehension of the material.

I then administered the required written test and they both scored very highly, only making mistakes where the way the question were written was a bit unclear.

The we went to the range and I demonstrated and then had them perform each of the required exercises.

They had some interesting firearms with them: A 1970s all-original Beretta 84 in .380 which ran perfectly and was a joy to shoot; a S&W 357 Magnum again from the 70s that was bought second hand from a guy that had bought it specially tuned by the S&W factory -beautiful factory bluing,m perfect original grips and a trigger beyond compare - the double action was unlike any revolver I've fired before - smooth and light beyond compare. The single-action required slightly more than a sneeze to let off a round.

They shot them very nicely as well. He's been shooting for years, she's a bit newer at it and found the S&W too heavy and the recoil from the 84 a bit snappy. So she tried my Glock 17 and liked it very much, and she was soon tearing the center out of the target once she relaxed and we had worked on her grip and stance a bit.

In addition to all the standard exercises, I brought out the Kahr with the laser sight and had them try the exercises out with it as well. They certainly saw the value of the laser and it certainly sounds like they'll buy one for whatever pistol she settles on for home defense and carry.

They were aged 71 and 64. It goes to show you're never too old to be both interested and capable of defending yourself. That, and you mess with old folks at your peril.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

A Gloriously Fun Time Sink - World of Tanks

For addictive fun (and free) online gaming, its hard to beat World of Tanks.

You start off with a garage of light tanks and one medium tank, and using experience points gained in battles you can upgrade them and also move on to even better armored units over time. You can then get other light tanks, medium tanks, heavy tanks, tank destroyers, and assault guns.

The battles are a lot of fun with lots of players on some very interesting maps and the system seems to balance the sides well so my tier 1 tank isn't getting clobbered by tier 3 or 4.

It's a pretty cool game indeed, and has a way of taking up a lot of free time.

Having played for a few hours I'm just starting to learn the basics of the game and to get some second tier tanks (and a 2nd tier tank destroyer) and it is neat how every tank has some significant performance differences.

It's well worth looking into if you like armored first person shooters.

Friday, January 25, 2013

ABA Ignores Constitution, Goes Decisively Anti-Gun Democrat

In a sadly unsurprising demonstration that the American Bar Association is run by Democrat hacks and is not representative of America's lawyers, we get this:

ABA supports assault weapons bill introduced by Sen. Dianne Feinstein

ABA President Laurel Bellows says the association is endorsing a bill that would regulate military assault-type weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein introduced the legislation in the Senate today, USA Today and CNN report. At a news conference, Feinstein displayed weapons that could not be sold under the proposed ban, including a Bushmaster automatic rifle.

Bellows wrote to Feinstein and U.S. Rep. Carolyn McCarthy to thank them for introducing the bill, according to an ABA press release. Feinstein was author of a previous assault weapons ban that expired in 2004.

Now, as a Lawyer, I've been trained to not rely on pretty words or press releases about a proposed law but to actually read the bill to see what it really does.

One would have thought the ABA would both consider the diversity of its members and wait for the text of the actual bill and analyze it -- like a lawyer -- before jumping in with both feet to give a blessing to an unconstitutional bill based on a press release. Instead, the ABA, in its breathless push to support this unconstitutional measure, not so much.

Instead of actually reading what the bill does or waiting for an actual draft of the bill and analyzing it, the ABA simply goes by the press releases on Feinsteins's webpage.

The Assault Weapons Regulatory Act of 2013 would ban the sale, transfer and importation of 120 specially named firearms, according to a summary at Feinstein’s website. The bill also bans large-capacity ammunition feeding devices capable of accepting more than 10 rounds.

Had they even read all the summaries released by Feinstein and understood the implications (note the bill is not available to be read yet) they would know that for the lie it is. Heck, even the more recent summaries by Feinstein raise the number of "specifically named" firearms to 157.

The list is even including some like the Tavor that are not even available for sale in the USA yet. If the ABA had any integrity they might have pointed out that this ban would ban far more than the named 157 models based on the features test, including many very common firearms and pistols that the average member of the the public doesn't even consider to be "assault weapons".

The ABA fails to mention the bill will result in slow-moving confiscation of existing "named" and "featured" firearms and magazines as under the bill current owners would be unable to sell or transfer them and they would be confiscated at the death of the current owner.

Watch as the ABA supports the trampling of the Fifth Amendment along with the Second, and ignores both the Heller and McDonald Supreme Court decisions regarding the right to bear arms.

If an average lawyer did that, we would call it malpractice.

I will be not be renewing my membership in the ABA and letting them know why.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Diver Saves Dolphin

In a heartwarming story set in the underwater world, a diver in Hawaii saved a bottlenose dolphin that was tangled and hooked by some fishing line and had approached the diver for assistance.

UK MailOnline: Stricken dolphin who 'asked' Hawaii diver for help: Moment mammal stuck on fishing line pushed itself into scuba instructor and waited patiently to be freed.

Quite a cool video of the encounter at the link.

UN Chief Bemoans State Of The Entire Arab World, Blames Israel

From the Times of Israel: UN chief blames Israel for Arab world stagnation

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday appeared to hold Israel partially responsible for lack of progress in the Arab world.

“Development in the Arab region has also been held back by protracted conflict, injustice and occupation. The stalemate in the peace process between Palestinians and Israelis is especially troubling,” Ban stated in a message to the Third Arab Economic and Social Development Summit, currently taking place in Saudi Arabia.

Uh-huh. So the 22 Arab states' myriad failures and lack of progress and development are due to a tiny state that only borders a handful of them? Got it.

This kind of pandering and idiocy affirms yet again that the UN is hardly an honest broker or impartial body in the Middle East.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A Clash Of Democrat Interest Groups - NYC's Big Gulp Ban Slammed As Racist.

Its paternalistic government versus minority interest groups on the issue of regulating soft drink serving sizes.

I can see the headline now once this ban fully implemented: Soft drink sizes regulated, women and minorities hardest hit.

The Detroit News: Foes of New York City's soda size limit doubt racial fairness

The NAACP's New York state branch and the Hispanic Federation have joined beverage makers and sellers effort in trying to stop the rule from taking effect March 12. With a hearing set Wednesday, critics are attacking what they call an inconsistent and undemocratic regulation, while city officials and health experts defend it as a pioneering and proper move to fight obesity.

The issue is complex for the minority advocates, especially given obesity rates that are higher than average among blacks and Hispanics, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control. The groups say in court papers they're concerned about the discrepancy, but the soda rule will unduly harm minority businesses and "freedom of choice in low-income communities."

The article helpfully notes that the regulation doesn't actually limit big gulp sizes as convenience stores are exempt from the ban, as are certain drinks themselves such as alcohol, juice, and milk based drinks. On the other hand, small restaurants, many run by minorities are going to be hit by the ban.

Ah the fun Democrats have when racial politics and maternalistic government collide...

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Dive 229 A (N)Ice Dive In Union Lake

Dive 299 started with us assembling at Union lake to find a lot more ice on it than there was last week.

Quite a few people were out ice fishing, even with extensive open water visible.

So we got in and made the entry hole a bit bigger and headed off. Chad, Keith and Fred had led off and Brandon and I followed.

Here's Brandon at the entry point.

The bubbles would gather under the ice above

We then swam to the Model T:

Then we met up with Keith, Chad and Frank at the speedboat:

At the boat, a fish was patiently waiting at the copier to make a few copies.

Fifteen minutes into the dive, we were at 34 feet in 37 degree water.

We then headed to the other boat that sits in about 40 feet of water.

Here's Brandon as we begin to head back:

Heading back, Chad spotted a mud puppy and held it up for Brandon to video:

The mud puppy decided it had had enough and swam off like a shot out of Chad's hand. It swam like a fish moving its body back and forth. First time we've seen one do that.

Then we swam back to the line and headed back towards the entry point and the surface.

Upon leaving the water, out suits began to ice up and freeze solid, as the air temp was pretty cold.

The good news from the dive is that both the replacement O-ring and replacement SD1000 camera had arrived for my camera case so I was able to test it and take it out on this dive, and it worked - no leaks.

In addition I was trying out a new dive hood - A White Arrow WA hood 5.0 Millimeter. Best dive hood ever. So much better than my beat up Diving Concepts hood as well as being more comfortable and a whole lot warmer. A warm head leads to a happy ice diver.

Great dive. Camera worked, hood worked and aside from a leak that seems to be coming from the chest inflator valve i was pretty dry. I also got some video that I'll need to edit and put up later.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Boehner Backs Off On Debt Ceiling Battle

Once again, our fearful Republican leadership could use a little backbone.

The Detroit Free Press: House GOP ready to raise debt limit for three months

House Republicans said Friday they intend to extend the nation's borrowing authority for three months, but will not agree to a long-term increase on the debt limit until both chambers of Congress approve a budget.

The Republican leadership can't handle the two pronged assault of the Democrats and Mainstream media beating on them.

Don't think this surrender doesn't encourage the does.

President Obama's spokesman, Jay Carney, said the White House is "encouraged" and repeated a call for an increase in the nation's borrowing authority without any restrictions.

This sure doesn't bode well for expecting Boehner to stand up to Obama and Reid on this or other issues, nor does it indicate that he has any ability to communicate effectively regarding both Republican and Conservative values and objectives.

A Cold Home Night

Adding to my Home enjoyment, last night at about 6 pm one of the furnaces conked out. The one that heats the bedrooms, basement and about half the house. From the code its flashing its either the igniter or the pressure switch as it is not firing up any more.

It was working fine right up until I said "You know, why are we paying for the Consumer's Gas Home Appliance plan as everything is working?".

Luckily, I did not cancel it and we have Consumers Gas Home Appliance plan and they will send a furnace guy over.

Unluckily, they were all busy last night dealing with higher priority things like house fires and gas leaks, so as of now we still have no heat in half the house.

So I'm now at work waiting to get a call that they're on their way and I'll dash home to meet them. If I don't get service by this afternoon I might as well cancel the plan, call my friend who does HVAC stuff and get it fixed.

Tell me again how these high-efficiency furnaces are supposed to make everyone's lives better - they certainly don't seem as durable as the old standard furnaces.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


People For The American Way is now attacking Rep Michele Bachmann, demanding Speaker Boehner to remove her from the House Intelligence Committee.

If we were leftists like PFAW, we could address their outrageous demand like so:

This is part and parcel of PFAW's misogynistic, anti-women (they have to put that as most of their members don't understand the term misogynistic, let alone be able to spell it)campaign to silence a courageous woman in Congress who dares speak truth-to-power. Why does PFAW hate women so much?

As we're not Leftists, we cam instead respond: Republicans still control the House and may appoint whomever they wish to committees, including female Republicans. So just sod off swampy.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

New York Politicians Actually Think A Seven Is A Solution

The Detroit Free Press: New York Senate passes tough gun law

They weren't kidding about arbitrarily reducing the number of rounds in a magazine from their current New York reduced capacity of 10 to an even lower 7.

The Senate passed Cuomo's bill in a 43-18 vote around 11 p.m. Monday. The Assembly is set to take up the legislation when it returns to session at 10 a.m. Tuesday.

Cuomo's bill - named the Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act, or NY SAFE - would enact a number of new measures, including a ban of all magazines that hold more than seven rounds and universal background checks for all gun sales, regardless if they are private, person-to-person sales.

The bill, Cuomo said, also includes a "Webster provision" - a life-without-parole prison sentence for anyone who murders a first responder. The provision was included as a response to a Christmas Eve shooting in the Monroe County, N.Y., town in which two firefighters were shot and killed while responding to a blaze.

You'll note of course that the perpetrator of that crime, a previously convicted felon, has already shot himself dead. How a life without parole sentence would act as a deterrent is questionable. Maybe they'll dig the guy up and shove him in a cell - that'll deter him.

And the sheer spectacular epic fail of the law it doesn't stop there. It now defines "assault weapons" as such if they have a single feature - a pistol grip counts, as does the terrifying shoulder thing that goes up.

The New York House will likely follow the Senate's and Governor's idiotic lead on this ridiculous bill and it will actually become law. One huge infringement on law abiding firearm owners in New York for the sake of political expediency.

Not good.

Hopefully Remington gets the hint and moves out of New York.

Michigan, now with a right-to-work labor force,a reformed business tax regime, plentiful engineers and cheap land to build a factory on would certainly welcome Remington with open arms.

Circuitus Burnus Fixus And LED Light Install

Well, my friendly electrician returned today and found the break.

Located in a junction box, one of NINE, yes 9! found daisy chained together in the attic, the Romex aluminum wire had some fine scorching.

So, on the bright side we didn't need to tear through any walls, not yet anyway.

Reducing the load on the circuit was a must, so I completed the install of the LED Lights.

I chose the Ecosmart 6 Inch Bulb LED. With a CREE LED it's the equivalent of a 65 watt bulb with only a 9 watt draw. Much safer and energy saving as well.

The install is however not exactly drop-in. But it is close, especially considering I could do it.

First remove the 65 watt bulb.

Next remove the trim by pulling out the two springs from the slots.

Next unscrew the wing-nut holding the plug in place and pull the plug holder out. Remove the plug from the holder by pinching the two black plastic pieces on the plug.

Next, screw the LED bulb into the plug, expand the three metal wings on the LED Bulb (I found the second position fit the cans best).

Next push the bulb up and twist so the three wings engage the canister, and you're done.

When everything was going well, this took about 5 minutes per bulb. When however I encountered miss-cut holes for the canisters hidden by the trim requiring re-seating the entire canister and trying to make it not fall out of the ceiling completely, stripped wing-nuts keeping the plug holder in place, and other sundry idiocies the house refurbishment monkeys performed, it took longer and enhanced my vocabulary considerably.

The LED lights are quite pleasing to the eye, perfectly dimmable and an easy replacement. Considering the power saving and safety benefits of having them on that circuit it was a worthwhile upgrade.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Is 7 The New Anti-Gunner Lucky Number?

The Detroit Free Press: Report: N.Y. governor, state lawmakers reach gun deal

I realize a New York Republican is like a Democrat anywhere else but really this leaked deal is insane and more capitulation than deal by any estimation.

The tentative agreement would further restrict New York's ban on assault weapons and limit the size of magazines to seven bullets, rather than the current 10. Other elements, pushed by Republicans, would refine a mental health law to make it easier to confine people determined to be a threat to themselves or others.

Seven rounds? really? Where'd they pull that number, rolling the dice at a casino?

It'snot like there's currently a viable market in 7 round magazines except for 1911s (most of which have since been updated to 8 rounds) and some Kahrs. Goodbye M-1 Garand en-bloc clips if you live in NY.

Once again, irrational infringements on the law-abiding for the sake of being seen to "do something" about the insane and unlawful.

Let's hope this execrable deal craps out.

About That Outrageous Claim By Romney That Chrysler Was Moving Jeep Production To China.....

The Detroit News: Chrysler to build Jeeps in China.

So, will Washington Post take at least one Pinnochoio back now?

Circuit Suckimus

So yesterday night we were sitting around and suddenly the lights in the family room went out, along with the electric fireplace and the internet router.

I checked the breaker box and we hadn't blow a circuit breaker but the lights failed to come back on in the room. All other lights and everything else in the house is ok.

So this morning my friend who is an electrician came by. Sure enough its not something simple like my missing a tripped breaker or anything like that.

It turns out that the idiots who refurbed the house before we had bought it were indeed idiots.

First, they put 30 amps worth of lights and plugs on a 20 amp circuit. Bad enough.

Second, and much worse, they did not remove some Romex Aluminum wire from the house but instead tied into it for this circuit. The Romex Aluminum is some very bad stuff.

So, my friendly electrician suspects the wire has broken apart somewhere under the load. The trouble is, the break is not in any obvious spot and may very well be behind some drywall rather than at a junction box or somewhere an easy fix can be made. That is going to $$$uck.

Adding to the fun, the idiots really were screwing with the wiring when they did the job, and its a major pain to trace it, not to mention a slew of junction boxes in the attic. How this colossal stupidity got past the code inspection is beyond me, 'cause it sure doesn't meet code.

Now I'm buying lots of replacement LED can lights to replace the current 65 watt cans on the circuit to reduce the draw, and I will be installing them post haste. Pricey, but the savings in reduced energy and replacement bulbs means the payoff is about 3 years. I can live with that but really wished I could have avoided such an expense right now.

Luckily, there's been no fire due to this idiocy, just some areas of darkness.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Archaeologists Uncover An Ancient Treasure Trove

Fox News: 2,000-year-old treasure found in Black Sea fortress

Residents of a town under siege by the Roman army about 2,000 years ago buried two hoards of treasure in the town's citadel — treasure recently excavated by archaeologists.

More than 200 coins, mainly bronze, were found along with "various items of gold, silver and bronze jewelry and glass vessels" inside an ancient fortress within the Artezian settlement in the Crimea (in Ukraine), the researchers wrote in the most recent edition of the journal Ancient Civilizations from Scythia to Siberia.

I'd love to see the catalog of the coins discovered. Should be an interesitng mix as this was a highway of commerce between Rome and the east, and a relatively rich kingdom on its own at the time.

The find in the Bosporan Kingdom dates to the reign of the Roman Emperor Claudius, who backed Cotys I against his brother Mithridates VIII. Mithridates VIII then declared war on Cotys I. The upheaval which resulted really didn't go well for Mithradates VIII especially as the Romans had some cohorts in the vicinity and had no problem using them. Romans had been rather rough on rulers named Mithridates since the first Mithraditic War and Mithridates VIII was quickly defeated in three days.

Unfortunately, Cotys I didn't long enjoy his reign, being deposed by the Emperor Nero in AD 63 and the Bosporan Kingdom then became a Roman Province.

Dive 228 - Another Union Lake Ice Dive

And another Union Lake Ice Dive took place this morning.

It wouldn't be a dive without so,me minor tweaks and issues and I had both. I had forgotten my dry gloves and had to run home for them as they had been moved by someone who will remain nameless.

During the dive I either blooped the neck seal or I'm leaking from the chest valve as I was pretty wet down the front of my body. Not good with the water temperature in the 30s. In addition, the left dry glove is still having a leak from somewhere so i need to take it apart and work on finding the leak and fixing it.

There was still plenty of ice but it is both thinner and the opening was much larger than last week, making the entrance far more convenient. Neither the duck from the last few weeks nor the ice fishermen were not present, and considering the ice thickness it was a good thing they weren't or they could have joined us on the dive.

Quite a few fish, but no impressive gars nor pikes were seen. I did see a mudpuppy as we were ascending back to the surface but he was well camouflaged under the weeds.

Good dive, no problems, and a pleasant gathering afterwards at the Library Pub to watch the underwater video Brandon took of the dive. I'm improving in terms of trim and buoyancy and am feeling quite comfortable under the ice, which is always a good thing.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Detroit's Water Department - The Sewer Of Corruption

The revelations of corruption in the Detroit Water and Sewer Department just keep on coming.

This is what happens when you have a corrupt, one-party city with a sewer department that can be used as a piggy bank for corrupt construction and hiring contracts. The department then passes its corruption costs on as rate increases to the suburbs.

In other words, Detroit has managed to make the suburbs pay for its corrupt games.

At least one Detroit Water and Sewer Employee has been doing very well as a result:

The Detroit Free Press: Double-duty security official should lose his job, union says

Yes, this may be the first time a Detroit Union advocated firing someone.

The union representing Detroit Water and Sewerage Department security officers is calling for the resignation of security chief Barnett Jones after the Free Press revealed this week that he was working two, six-figure jobs some 70 miles apart.

Jones resigned as administrator of public safety in Flint on Thursday. Officials there said they didn't know Jones also was working as chief of security and integrity for the Detroit department. ... "When he was hired in, they changed the name to the department of security and integrity because they wanted to set a new tone.

But not to worry, he has the full confidence of the current water and sewer director:

Water department Director Sue McCormick said late Friday that she remains confident in Jones. The department also sent a news release Friday afternoon affirming confidence in Jones and pointing out his long background in police work.

"I would not ask him to step down," McCormick said. "I haven't been, in any way, dissatisfied with his service to DWSD."

But of course, and public employment certainly pays the bills:

Flint, which is in such financial straits that it is being run by an emergency financial manager, was paying him $135,000 a year. The water department is paying him $138,750.

Not bad pay for managing 77 security guards.

By comparison, the Police Chief for the City of Grand Rapids, Michigan overseeing 316 police officers and 81 civilian employees is paid $117,364.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Verily, Some (Anti-Gun) Animals Are More Equal Than Others

David Gregory gets a pass from the DC prosecutor on the felony magazine possession charge and will not be prosecuted.

Fox News: No charges for NBC host for on-air ammunition clip

Can't really say I'm surprised.

One, he's an anti-gun journalist lapdog serving the cause in the land of an anti-gun administration.

Two, as Legal Insurrection points out, he's connected to the DC special people, including DC's Attorney General.

Three, as noted by Say Uncle, under this regime, laws are for the little people.

Awesome Indian Food At Rangoli

If you have a desire for excellent Indian food accompanied by excellent ambiance and service, you can't go wrong with Rangoli.

Located on Walton in Auburn Hills, Rangoli has great Indian food at a great price.

Tash and I went out for dinner there and enjoyed it immensely. We left the kids with a babysitter as they don't like Indian food as its too spicy for them.

We ordered the Non-vegetarian (I find vegetarians to be far too stringy for my taste) meal for two, which came with an appetizer plate, naan bread, rice, two main courses and dessert.

The appetizer plate was this big, almost a meal in itself with its kabob pieces, large pieces of tandoori chicken and more:

I ordered the Chettinadu Pepper Lamb with medium spice and Tash ordered the Chicken Koorma super mild. Both were spiced to perfection and I would not advise going for hot unless you're used to lots of heat - the medium is more than sufficient for the warmth it provides.

The food was absolutely excellent, the service friendly and impeccable and an unbeatable price.

If you get around to Auburn Hills, Rangoli its well worth a visit. Now I can't wait to go there at lunch for the buffet.

Cheetos Never Prosper

Michigan Lawyers Weekly Blog: The Cheetos Trail leads cops to burglar

A 19-year-old South Carolina man was caught by police for allegedly breaking and entering a convenience store in the middle of the night and making off with a bounty of snacks and Red Bull.

How did they find him? He inadvertently left a trail of Cheetos that led to the house at which he was staying.

That's a special kind of stupid right there.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Kahr And Crimson Trace = Perfect Pocket Pistol Package

I just received my purchased Crimson Trace LG-437 Laserguard for my Kahr PM9.

I'm quite impressed.

The LG-437 fits over the trigger guard, keeping the grip nice and slim and uncluttered.

Installing the Laserguard was simpicity itself.

Before you begin, make sure the firearm is unloaded, then make sure its unloaded again.

I'd suggest removing the magazine and ammunition (don't forget the one in the chamber) and then taking the twice-inspected empty gun to a different room to do the install, and keep the slide locked open during the install process.

First you put the battery, + side up, into the Laserguard on the laser side.

Next, place the laser side of the Laserguard onto the trigger guard and have it click in over the trigger guard.

Next, click the other side into place on the other side of the trigger guard, press into place and lock into place with the two supplied screws and supplied Allen key.

And you're done!

Total install time: about 3 minutes tops including reading the manual.

The gun fits back nicely into the DeSantis Nemesis Pocket Holster. It doesn't fit quite as deeply as before, as the laser does protrude a bit into the holster outline stitching, but it is only slightly raised in the holster. That actually improves the draw as the holster is now less likely to come out with the Kahr as a result.

The laser light lines up perfectly with the sights when the pressure pad on the front of the grip is depressed and there is no felt weight increase, and the grip feel and balance of the firearm is unchanged. Now I'll need to take it to the range.

Having had a Crimson Trace laser on the Glock 23 for quite a few years now, I can appreciate the usefulness of the laser for carry and look forward to carrying the Kahr with the Laserguard mounted on it.

Impressively, Crimson Trace is now offering lifetime free batteries (one set every year) with purchase of their lasers. Kinda cool. I also appreciate that they supply the right sized allen key with the product, making installation hassle-free and easy.

I'd certainly recommend the Laserguard as a useful addition to your pocket carry pistol.

Detroit's Democrats Haven't Changed All That Much

The story of Detroit's Republican Mayor Hazen Pingree (Mayor from 1889–1897) is quite an illuminating one.

The Detroit News: Hazen Pingree: Quite possibly Detroit's finest mayor

Note that the man who is considered Detroit's finest mayor took office over a hundred years ago and you begin to see the problem.

Detroit's problems remain much the same as they did then:

Mayors did not run Detroit at that time; the city was controlled by a "corrupt political machine, in the hands of a small group of men," as city historian George Catlin described it. The nomination of 32 aldermen was dictated by this machine; some of the characters nominated were capable, but many "were notorious for past political malfeasances and corrupt practices."

Detroit was politically a city of Democrats, but despite their lock on the ethnic wards, differences in nationalities, especially Germans and Irish, kept the council in a state of war. A large number were German saloon owners and bartenders, led by President John Chris Jacob. "Boss Jacob" was a cynical and tough-minded ward boss. His German accent was heavy and his language profane. If someone threatened to cast an adverse vote he would drown them out with his booming voice, physically intimidate them or make up some parliamentary rule to send everyone to a rule book and stall the process.


Graft and corrupt contractors resulted in the sewer scandal of 1890. Pingree took a group of aldermen down into the sewers where he showed them concrete as soft as mush, bricks falling from the wall at a touch, crumbling mortar, mud and effluence pouring through the walls.

Detroit's corrupt Democrats sure haven't changed much in over a hundred years. Instead of the Augean Stables, Detroit has the Augean Sewers.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Veteran Reunited With Duffel Bag After 70 Years

A nice story about a US World War 2 veteran. Captured by the Germans in December 1944, he was reunited this Tuesday with his duffel bag that a French family had kept in their house all this time.

The Detroit Free Press: World War II soldier's duffel bag returned 7 decades later

The bag is in incredible condition considering it had been tucked away for the last 70 years.

Chris Christie "willing to talk about gun laws"

Meanwhile in New Jersey, Chris Christie, fresh off holding Obama's hand, is announcing he's willing to discuss gun control: Christie says he's willing to talk about gun laws

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Wednesday that he's willing to have a conversation about stricter gun laws, but says policymakers also must address the mental health system, improve access to drug treatment and look at the impact of violent video games.

Christie made the comments on NBC's "Today" show, one of five national television appearances he was making Wednesday morning, one day after his annual State of the State address.

"If all we talk about is just controlling guns we're not doing enough," he said on "CBS This Morning. "We need to talk about mental illness ... and substance abuse."

The Republican is also on the cover of this week's edition of Time magazine.

Christie, who is seeking re-election this year, has had a high profile in the political world for a few years, but it's risen more since Superstorm Sandy crashed into New Jersey last October.

And that his profile has risen after he started praising Obama to the skies is pure coincidence, of course.

Apparently his staff unaccountably failed to tell Christie that he's not running for re-election as a Democrat.

On the other hand, he's in New Jersey so perhaps he's just saying the "right things" to win reelection in a Democrat area and he won't actually push or support for more ineffective and burdensome gun control laws and actually will push for a closer look at mental health and media issues that seem to be the real root cause of these shootings.

I sadly suspect otherwise.

Further, any bets on the Republican establishment trumpeting that it is Christie's turn in 2016?


Cuomo: Let's Prevent Civil Rights Violations While Violating Civil Rights

That's apparently New York Governor Cuomo's plan:

The Detroit Mews: New York Gov. Cuomo to propose assault weapon ban

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo will take his sky-high popularity into his third year with an agenda that includes a ban on assault weapons in the aftermath of last month's school massacre in Connecticut and the killing of two firefighters in the western part of the state on Christmas Eve.


Cuomo and the Democrat-led Assembly are pushing for bans on all assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines. New York already has some of the nation's strictest gun laws, but calls have grown louder to crack down on military-style assault rifles.


Cuomo's other priorities will include his effort to legalize casinos off Indian land and another to restrict the New York City Police Department's stop-and-frisk procedures that critics say impinge on civil rights.

I'm quite sure the neither Governor Cuomo nor the author of the piece caught the irony.

Monday, January 07, 2013

Why You Should Never Go The Full Fudd

You know what to expect when an article in the Detroit Free Press starts with:

As an outdoors writer for two newspapers for 35 years, a hunter for more than 50, and an owner of handguns, shotguns and rifles, I'm at loggerheads with some gun owners because I believe the U.S. is in desperate need of new gun control laws.

And we're not disappointed:

Eric Sharp: Aim for gun laws that will work

As a hunter, I have no idea why people buy them. They may think pseudo-assault rifles look sexy or get some kind of perverse Walter Mitty thrill by holding one and pretending they're like the tough guys in television shows and movies.

But in wasting time arguing over pseudo-assault rifles, we ignore a more important point: This country makes it easy for every kind of gun to get into the hands of lunatics and criminals and to increase their murderous efficiency.

It's not as important how fast someone shoots as how many times he can shoot. That's why something as simple as limiting magazines for semiautomatic rifles and handguns to six rounds makes a lot more sense than outlawing the guns. I'd bet a lot of people wouldn't be interested in those guns if they couldn't also buy 30-round magazines.

We should also require registration of all gun sales, not just those done by stores. Private individuals can't sell cars without paperwork, so why should they be able to sell guns anonymously? And we should limit sales and purchases by enthusiasts to two a month and make sentences for every crime committed with a gun far more harsh than for, say, selling drugs.

In the world according to Eric, since he doesn't like semi-autos, the US will be a magically better place with mandatory registration of all guns and limiting capacity to six rounds only, and he calls on the feds to do it claiming the Second Amendment is the first gun control law in the US. Yes, he really says that, and likely believes it.

Hilariously enough, immediately after calling for confiscation of all magazines holding over 6 rounds he then claims that

We can't eliminate gun ownership in a nation where there are already an estimated 300 million guns in civilian hands. And there's no reason to stop 99.9% of the people from owning guns, because they will never abuse that right.

But confiscating magazines from all gun owners is a-ok with Eric, even though by his own logic there is no reason to take them from 99.9% of them?

Fudd logic at its finest.

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Dive 227 - A (N)ice Dive

This morning I headed out to Union Lake to get a dive in and met up with Chad, Keith and Brandon.

The ice is now about 3.5 to 4 inches thick, and there were quite a few people out ice fishing already. Not really recommended at that thickness, but they were having a good time doing it.

The same hole where we entered last week is smaller now, with much thicker ice around it.

The same duck was still there, still wondering what we were doing heading into the water.

So we headed out under the ice. It felt a little different knowing we absolutely had to return to the starting point as the ice was too thick to break out from underneath. That's why you run a continuous line to the surface at all times.

The temperature on my dive computer read 33 degrees, so it was cold down there.

Interestingly enough as we swam along, we passed close by to an ice fishing hole and got to see the line, hook and bait in action in the water as the fisherman jigged it up and down. He was letting it sit on the bottom and every few seconds you'd see him jerk the line and pull it up a bit. Quite a different perspective and he didn't hook any of us.

We did see quite a few fish and a very large mud puppy that was photo-worthy.

Unfortunately, my immersed underwater camera did not recover from its dunking.

While it still takes pictures and movies, the LCD screen on the back is kaput. Luckily, ebay has a ton of used SD1000s for sale, but for some reason people keep paying ridiculously high prices for these old digital cameras. They can't all have the specific underwater case so why aren't they buying the newer and better cameras and leaving the rest to those of us that are locked into them? Kinda strange but that's life.

I've now won an auction for the camera's replacement on ebay and ordered some new o-rings from Canon, so I should be back to underwater photography shortly. Hopefully Brandon will put some pics and vids up and I'll post them here once I've see them.

A (n)ice 30 minute plus dive in 33 degree water with very clear visibility and a good time had by all.

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Nazi Will Perhaps Soon Be De-Troyted

The Detroit Free Press: Troy man loses appeal of deportation linked to WWII

A federal appeals court won't overturn a decision that orders the deportation of a Michigan man accused of shooting Jews during World War II.

John Kalymon of Troy lost his naturalized citizenship after a trial in 2007. The appeals court said Friday there's nothing wrong with using evidence from that case to justify the retired engineer's deportation in separate hearings.

An immigration judge ordered his removal in 2011, a decision that was affirmed by the Board of Immigration Appeals.

They've been trying to get him deported since at least 2004, and its been going in fits and starts and his deporttion hearing only began in 2009 as I noted then and he's still here, living the good life while his victims are not.

Troy, and the rest of America will be much better off without him, assuming the government ever gets around to finally removing him.

"Forget it, Jake. It's Detroit."

The Detroit News: Demolition of dreams: 12 Detroit homes razed by mistake

Kristine Diven thought she had her dream house.

For $500 at a tax auction in October, she and fellow artist Micho "Detronik" McAdow bought an empty two-story home on Detroit's east side. Thrilled with its crown molding, hardwood floors and fireplace mantels adorned with Pewabic tile, the pair planned to fix it up and move in by spring.

As a first step, Diven, 36, prepared to board up the Morningside neighborhood house to protect it against vandals and wintertime damage. But when she and McAdow drove down Beaconsfield Street one evening in December, their new house was gone.

"Instead of taking measurements for the boards we needed, we found our house in a pile," she said.

The structure had been demolished — mistakenly — by the state's Land Bank Fast Track Authority as part of a program to eliminate blight near three east-side schools.

At least 11 other properties, purchased by a local investor, also were demolished by mistake, said Karla Henderson, director of the city's planning and facilities department.

Between the tons of corruption, on top of corruption, racism, and crime, it can't be unexpected that you'll have this level of incompetence piled on top.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Use Your Time Wisely And Contact Your Representative

As SayUncle reports, Democrats have introduced a magazine (and mail order ammo) ban in Congress today: Bill banning standard capacity magazines

Take a moment out of scrounging around the net looking for any magazines or ammo to buy and write your representative now.

Unfortunately, my Congressman is Gary Peters, a Democrat's Democrat, and my email is unlikely to sway him. However, not doing so certainly won't help, and if every gun owner in his district spoke up it could make a difference.

My email to him, feel free to copy as desired or just use it to inspire your own:

Dear Congressman Peters:

I'm writing this email as a constituent urging you to oppose, or at the very least refrain from supporting "The High Capacity Ammunition Feeding Device Act" that was introduced today.

Such a law will infringe on the rights of millions of law abiding Americans, including your constituents who have committed no crime at all due to the acts of a mentally disturbed person who is not representative of firearm owners nor Americans in general.

Further, such a law will not actually prevent such criminal acts and will instead harm law-abiding citizens from both participating in a variety of sporting activities and having effective means of self-defense.

Instead I request you take a far more daring and visionary step and instead push for comprehensive mental health care reform and treatment of these deranged individuals and preventing them from acquiring firearms and committing crimes rather than punish sane Americans, including your supporters.



Go forth and get your emails moving, most especially if you live in a district with some of the Republicans that seem to be folding like cheap suits on this (or is that just folding like a Republican?).

Electrons are free, your freedom isn't.

Michigan Governor Signs Social Media Privacy Bill

In the flurry of bills passed in the lame duck session, HB 5523 was among those that have been signed into law.

HB 5523, styled as the Internet Privacy Protection Act, prohibits employers and educational institutions from demanding access to, or firing / disciplining employees and students for refusing to provide access to their personal email accounts, social media accounts, and other personal internet accounts except for some very limited circumstances.

The bills properly exempts accounts owned by an employer or educational institution from such a ban and permits investigations when there is specific information concerning work-related employee misconduct, unauthorized transfer of the employer's information, or criminal activity.

The bill also protects employers and educational institutions by affirmatively setting out that they do not have a duty to search or monitor such personal accounts. it also states that they are not liable for failing to request or require the student or employee to allow such access to their personal accounts.

Of course, the ban doesn't prevent a school or employer from using information that is publicly available or made public by the employee or student. So don't expect to get off under this bill if you call in a sick day and then post on Facebook about your attending some event on the same day.

Overall, its a good law and one that helps to separate the work/educational institutional sphere from people's private lives (to the extent that there's much in the way of a private life left).

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Play That Funky Race Card Napoleon....

We're coming up on the start of the Mayoral Race and city elections in Detroit and that can only lead to one thing:

2013's first ceremonial throwing of the race card in Detroit:

The Detroit News: Napoleon takes verbal swipe at Duggan: 'It's our Detroit'

"It's our Detroit, and we're going to keep it for Detroiters," Napoleon said from the pulpit of New Bethel Baptist Church.

Ah, the old saw of "Detroit for Detroiters".

Duggan, the former CEO of the Detroit Medical Center, moved from Livonia to the city's Palmer Woods neighborhood earlier this year and is considering a mayoral bid. He has pointed out he was born and raised on Detroit's west side. He could not be reached for comment. But Napoleon scoffed at whether Duggan's current neighborhood off Woodward, where estate-size homes were once the province of auto executives and Detroit's social elite, could give him the same perspective as the average Detroiter. "Hell, no," he said. "Palmer Woods is not Detroit."

However, back in reality, and looking at Google, the Palmer Woods neighborhood is indeed in Detroit.

I guess Napoleon don't know much about geography of the city he intends to serve.

For those of you who don't know both contenders are Democrats, but Duggan is white and Napoleon is black (as are the other challengers) and hence the race card vuvuzela (it's no dog-whistle) of Detroit for Detroiters being blown by Napoleon.

If It Don't Mean A Thing, You Better Give Back That Ring

An interesting little case that I just finished up gives insight into an obscure area of Michigan law that doesn't come up too often.

My client, a man, proposed marriage to a lady and bought her quite the valuable engagement ring.

Valuable as in more than my annual salary.

For various reasons, the wedding was called off. She refused to return the ring.

Luckily for him, in Michigan the law is quite clear: According to the case of Meyer v Mitnick, 244 Mich App 697; 625 NW 2d 136 (2001):

Because the engagement ring is a conditional gift, when the condition is not fulfilled the ring or its value should be returned to the donor no matter who broke the engagement or caused it to be broken.

In other words the engagement ring is by law a gift that is given only in anticipation of the marriage actually taking place, and if it does not, then the ring must be returned to the giver of the gift.

Defendant's representative had tried making demands for some money in order for the ring to be returned. After being told that the law is very clear, and that if we have to go forward with a hearing Defendant is going to be ordered by the judge to return it and pay for conversion damages and attorney fees, they have agreed to return the ring forthwith.

I now have a very happy client. Hopefully, he'll also be a bit wiser about spending that kind of coin on his next engagement ring.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Happy New Year!

Happy 2013 To All!

May this new year be a sweet, prosperous and good one for all of us.

May it be a year where we can enjoy, keep, and responsibly exercise our freedoms.

Thanks for reading and commenting on my blog this past year, and I hope you'll stick around through this upcoming year as I appreciate all your comments and good thoughts.

Happy New Year!