Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Now That's Quite The Comprehensive Tactical Review....

Say Uncle brings the funny with his tacticool review of the Bug-A-Salt.

Sadly they don't come in evil bug assault black, but there's no FFL or background check needed to purchase one. Not yet, anyways.

On the upside it takes Readily Available Ammunition, something that can't be said of most fun shooty things these days.

Gabriel Stone Revealed At The Israel Museum

A very interesting archaeological find went on display recently at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.

The Detroit News: Jerusalem unveils mysterious Hebrew stone

An ancient stone with mysterious Hebrew writing and featuring the archangel Gabriel is going on display in Jerusalem as scholars debate the inscription's meaning. The so-called Gabriel Stone, said to have been found 13 years ago in Jordan, features an unknown prophetic text from the time of the Second Jewish Temple.

The inscription, also referred to as the Jeselsohn Stone, contains previously unknown collection of prophecies and dates to the Second Temple Period.

Also interestingly, the stone is controversial as even as it dates to decades before the birth of Jesus it seems to refer to a prior messiah figure that was killed by the Romans and commanded by the angel Gabriel that "In three days, you shall live" - this has quite a resonance.

One scholar identifies this prior messianic figure as Simon son of Joseph, a leader of a crushed rebellion against Herod and the Romans that took place in the area of what is now Jordan where the stone was found.

An important archaeological find with some very interesting theological significance.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Yet Another Obama Promise Reaches Its Expiry Date

As Instapundit often says of Obama's promises: Every promise comes with an expiration date. Every single one.

The latest promise to reach its expiration date? The one he made to the Armenian community: Reason: Obama Again Breaks Promise to Call Armenian Genocide a 'Genocide'

Another April 24 has come and gone, which means that for the fifth year in a row, President Barack Obama has broken his solemn promise to call the century-old Armenian genocide a "genocide" on Armenian Remembrance Day.

Yeah, his Armenian supporters screwed up - they trusted him.

Meanwhile as another potential genocide looms, Obama is parsing and regretting his red line warning on Syria's use of Chemical weapons. After all, he didn't plan for his lofty rhetoric of his red line demand to be disregarded. Expect a new red line to be drawn shortly.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Please Quit Trying To Do Gun Owners A "Favor" Senator Coburn!

So The Democrat Excerable Background Check plus law went down to a stinging defeat. As it was not just about background checks but was loaded down with tons of anti-gun crap and criminal jeopardy for law-abiding gun owners it couldn't even pass the Democrat controlled Senate.

As gun owners breathe a sigh of relief and hope that this ends the gun control push for now and maybe supply might catch up with demand as a result in the ammo, magazine and gun part markets along comes a Republican to put another log on the fire.

The Detroit Free Press: Sen. Coburn floats do-it-yourself gun background check

Getting a background check to buy a gun would be as easy as printing out an airplane boarding pass -- if Sen. Tom Coburn has his way.

Coburn's do-it-yourself background check plan -- which would expand the number of gun sales covered by background checks but also attempt to make them more user-friendly -- is one possible path forward for the gun safety legislation now stalled in the Senate. Last week, 41 Republicans and five Democrats voted to block a compromise background check proposal endorsed by many gun control groups but opposed by the National Rifle Association.

Gun control advocates are more skeptical of Coburn's plan, and Coburn himself admitted he doesn't know whether it has the votes to pass. But it appears his plan will get a vote: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., promised as much last week as he pulled the gun bill from the floor, saying he would bring it up again later. Coburn has one co-sponsor, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., but the NRA has been silent on the proposal.

Of course such a proposal is open to lots of questions and its unlikely the gun control types would be satisfied with such a system - indeed they've already said they're not:

"It's unworkable," said Ladd Everitt of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, "and there would be no incentive for any private seller to do a background check under the legislation."

Another problem for gun control advocates: There would be no lasting record of the sale.

"When there's a crime committed, a police agency can go to a manufacturer and ask, 'Hey, where did this gun go?'" said Mark Kelly, who founded Americans for Responsible Solutions with his wife, former Rep. Gabby Giffords. The manufacturer can point to a federally licensed dealer, who would have a paper record of the sale, "and then they can help them solve some crimes," Kelly said.

So sayeth the man that committed a felony straw purchase all on his own by buying an AR15 and then stating his intent was he had bought them for another user.

You won't make the anti-gunners happy with this proposal and it opens the floor for Republicans to cave yet again, so why the heck are you bringing this up now?

Senator Coburn, McCain et al, could you please quit snatching defeat from the jaws of victory?

Friday, April 26, 2013

Weight A Minute - Fun With Weigh Station Law In Michigan

Just wrapped up a rather interesting little case that shed some light on a pretty vague area of Michigan Law.

My client, a college student with a clean driving and clean criminal record was driving a light truck for his employer and, as he usually did, went past the weigh station on the highway in the firm belief that since his vehicle was under 10,001 pounds he didn't need to stop.

While this would be true in other states perhaps, it is rather interesting in Michigan. He received a misdemeanor ticket for failing to stop under MCL 257.724(5) (Actually the officer charged him under 257.724(4) which he couldn't have actually done but no matter - the prosecutor can amend that easily). We'll explain why it's interesting in just a moment.

The plan is to plead this down to a civil infraction to keep a misdemeanor off his clean record. So we're off to great start when we appear at the pre-trial and are immediately told by the prosecutor that the policy of the county it which the stop took place is that misdemeanors are never pled down to civil infractions. He offers a lower misdemeanor, but its still a misdemeanor. Not good.

I then explain why this one deserves a bit of leniency in addition to the kid's clean record, based on research I've done to prepare for the pre-trial:

The reason is the law in Michigan as to who needs to stop at a weigh station is quite vague, over-broad and can lead to some rather absurd results if enforced as written. So much so that the average police officer in Michigan not realize what trucks are subject to this law (an unscientific poll of multiple police officers I knew all when asked stated that it had to be over 10,001 pounds to have to stop. In addition even AAA gets the answer wrong.

Remember the truck in question is under 10,001 pounds, Here's what AAA has to say about Michigan :


The following vehicles must stop: (1) vehicles with dual rear wheels transporting agricultural products; (2) trucks over 10,000 lbs. with dual rear wheels and/or towing construction equipment; (3) all tractor/semitrailer combination vehicles.

Since my client wasn't driving one of those we must be good right? Not so fast.

Well, lets look at how the Feds define a commercial vehicle under 49 CFR 390.5:

a commercial vehicle “means any self-propelled or towed motor vehicle used on a highway in interstate commerce to transport passengers or property when the vehicle – (1) has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating or gross vehicle weight or gross combination weight, of 4,536 kg (10,001 pounds) or more, whichever is greater

So he's good there, and considering the ticket referenced the CFR's catch-all as a motoring offense, you can see why this begins to get weird as he's not technically subject that that sectrion of the code by definition.

Just as you thought this case was a slam dunk for a dismissal on the merits, we hit the weigh station of Michigan law - MCL 257.724(5):

a driver or owner of a commercial vehicle with other vehicles or trailers in combination, a truck or truck tractor, a truck or truck tractor with other vehicles in combination, or any special mobile equipment fails to stop at or bypasses any scales or weighing stations is guilty of a misdemeanor.

It would seem that he's good there too right? He didn't have another vehicle or trailer in combination, he wasn't a truck tractor or a truck tractor with other vehicles in combination nor was he special mobile equipment.

The problem is the words "a truck or".

MCL 257.75 defines thew word truck as:

“truck means every motor vehicle designed, used, or maintained primarily for the transportation of property.”

That right there's the problem for my client. Under the law as written, vehicles as small pickup trucks and cargo vans have to stop at weigh stations along the highways in Michigan as they are clearly "designed, used, or maintained primarily for the transportation of property".

Of course this makes the other truck-type words in the statute rather surplus as "truck" covers everything in section 5 all by itself including all the combination listed.

I point this out to the prosecutor and he agrees it is not the run of the mill situation and is worthy of some introspection.

After further discussion, all the parties agreed that: a) my client will stop at weigh stations from now on, vagueness of the law notwithstanding; and b) the ticket is pled down to a civil infraction for impeding traffic resulting in no criminal record, no points, and just a $160 fine.

Everyone is quite happy with this result.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Mullin Makes Out - The Costs of Corruption In Wayne County

Just as I predicted, Wayne County's Turkia Mullin is getting paid $712K plus as this little corruption kabuki dance comes to an end.

The Detroit News: Arbitrator: Turkia Mullin to get $700K from airport

Turkia Mullin will receive the remainder of her contract — more than $700,000 — after an arbitrator ruled she was wrongly fired as CEO of the Wayne County Airport Authority.

"It's a major, major victory," her attorney, Raymond Sterling, said Thursday afternoon, as he was digesting the opinion. "It's a complete exoneration. The arbitrator ruled she did a great job and a binding, legal contract."

The Thursday ruling from retired Wayne Circuit Court Judge Paul Teranes ruled that Mullin is entitled to the remainder of three-year contract, $712,000, and awarded her nearly $100,000 in legal fees. He denied her bid for lifetime health care and another $750,000 on claims her contract would have been renewed and more money for damages.

"It's a damn shame," said former airport board member Bernard Parker. "I think we did have cause. She did lie to us and misrepresent things. It's a lot of money that could have gone into the airport that will now go into her pocket."

Mullin, a former Wayne County economic development director, was hired in September 2011 for the $250,000 per year job and fired less than two months later amid news that she received a $200,000 severance from the county. Subpoenas and federal documents have since identified her as the target of an ongoing FBI investigation.

The ruling comes one week after depositions and documents were released showing the airport fired Mullin on claims she was dishonest. Teranes ruled that Mullin's actions "were not dishonest."

The 17-page opinion was a stinging rebuke of the airport, which has faced criticism for months that it concocted a sham search to appoint a crony of County Executive Robert Ficano as CEO of the airport. His spokeswoman, June West, declined comment.

Let's see - she was a crony hired as a result of a corrupt job search, received a crony corrupt severance fee from Wayne county, then was fired in a botched manner that gave her a golden opportunity to get her paid and she doesn't even have to work for the money.

But don't worry, this won't come out of the pockets of Wayne County Taxpayers, as the Airport Authority is a separate entity, so this payoff will come out of the pockets of airline passengers and airlines - is that convenient or what?

The fix was well and truly in on this one, Democrat Wayne County style.

That's Some Fugly Money

The US Government has announced the roll-out of the new $100 bill, due to start circulating this October and it is not exactly aesthetically pleasing.

While the bill has enhanced security features, poor Ben must feel he was just struck by lightning while flying his kite, or by a graffiti tagger on crack. There are multiple vivid splashes of color all around the bill, accompanied by a purple broken stripe reminiscent of when a cash register is running low on receipt tape. I mean Purple and Orange on a pale green background? Yuck.

While the US $100 bill has gone through many changes to prevent counterfeiting, including government-sponsored counterfeiting such as by Iran and others, there was no need to ugly up the bill this much in order to save it.

At least they could have gotten creative and had Ben's eyes roll around when the bill is held to bemoan the loss in value of the dollar, or perhaps a watermark of a kite hit by lightning might have been apt.

To think we once accused the Canadians of having monopoly money.....

Falking Up: UN Special Rapporteur Displays His Crazy And Bias To All

Richard Falk, the UN Special Rapporteur (You know he's "special" when they give him a french title), prominently displayed to the world the bias and crazy he's been about for a long time. This time however, the world actually took notice and he may have to answer for it.

Falk, after the Boston Bombings as reported in the NY Daily News esxcused the attacks as of course America had it coming:

Now he rationalizes the Islamist radicalization of the brothers Tsarnaev by writing: “The American global domination project is bound to generate all kinds of resistance in the postcolonial world. In some respects, the United States has been fortunate not to experience worse blowbacks, and these may yet happen.”

He added: “As long as Tel Aviv has the compliant ear of the American political establishment, those who wish for peace and justice in the world should not rest easy.”

Yes, really, he said it.

Of course, prior to this latest episode, Flak had gotten away with the following without any sanction or loss of status at the UN, so he probably figured this latest statement was no big deal and he could play to his appreciated leftist audience of bien pensants:

Falk has called Israel’s leaders Nazis, accused them of genocide and suggested former President George W. Bush ordered the destruction of the twin towers. He has posted a cartoon of a dog wearing a yarmulke with a Star of David, eating a human carcass and urinating on Lady Justice.

Did I mention this clown is a product of all the best schools in America:

Falk obtained a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, a Bachelor of Laws (LLB)from Yale University, and a Doctor of Laws (SJD) from Harvard University.
He's also Professor Emeritus - or is that Professor Embarrassus - at Princeton. Apparently, American self-loathing is an educational by-product of attending these institutions.

All that education apparently turned him into an anti-American, anti-Israel, anti-Semitic, Marxist-loving terrorist-apologising 9/11-truther nut-bag.

Falk became influenced by a group of radical graduate students and young faculty members who were interested in the work of Karl Marx, C. Wright Mills and Herbert Marcuse. His move to Princeton University, where the teaching of law was linked to politics, international relations and other social sciences allowed Falk to integrate his professional expertise in international law with his ethical and political values.

Those are apparently the desired qualifications for an appointment by the UN as a Special Rapporteur for Human Rights.

At least this revealing episode may disabuse those who believe in the quaint notion that when the UN reports on Israel or America it is doing so in an unbiased manner.

Consistent with that UNbias, Mr. Falk still as of this date retains his position as Special Rapporteur.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Terrorist Attempt In Canada Foiled

And no much to the chargrin of the leftist MSM, it yet again wasn't the Tea Party. Surprisingly (to the left at least), the latest bomb plot was by those fellows whose religious affiliation begins with an I and ends with a SLAM.

From Hot Air via Instapundit:

Canadian police and intelligence agencies will announce later today they have thwarted a plot to carry out a major terrorist attack, arresting suspects in Ontario and Quebec, CBC News has learned.

Highly placed sources tell CBC News the alleged plotters have been under surveillance for more than a year in Quebec and southern Ontario.

The investigation was part of a cross-border operation involving Canadian law enforcement agencies, the FBI and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

The arrests Monday morning were co-ordinated and executed by a special joint task force of RCMP and CSIS anti-terrorism units, combined with provincial and municipal police forces in Ontario and Quebec.

Interestingly enough, Legal Insurrection notes that

Al-Qaeda elements “located in Iran.” No indication “state-supported.” Support was “direction and guidance.”

So much for the leftists' pet theory that Shia Iran would never work with Sunni Al Qaeda against the infidel enemy. That theory never held up before and certainly should be dead as a doornail by now.

So far, two arrests have been made.

Good job to the RCMP and other agencies that participated in interdicting this attack.

Freep Cartoonist Mike Thompson Beclowns Himself Yet Again

Matt Thompson's Cartoon has quite the misleading caption: The Boston Terror Tragedy.

Instead of it being on the attack, and perhaps an introspective memorial or something factual, it was an insipid, unjustified, and scurrilous attack on Fox News.

The cartoon has a caricature of a Fox Newsroom with one anchor saying "Terrorism, Russkies and Radical Islam in the same story" and another anchor replies "It just doesn't get any better than this".

Way to keep it classy there Thompson.

However, it wasn't Fox News that, prior to the identification of the bombers as Islamist Chechens immigrants to the US, that filled the airwaves with speculation that the bombers might be white tea-party types.

No, that was media like Sirota types like Michael Moore and a Television station on Matt Thompson's left side of the fence - MSNBC.

Notice how he doesn't do a cartoon about how the Left lost it racing to blame the right for the bombing, and how when the perpetrators are on of the left's preferred minority groups he obfuscates the attack and the beclowning of the leftist establishment media's biased inaccuracies by making up a supposed response to the attack by Fox News.

Mike Thompson sure has been on a roll to win the Idiotarian Cartoonist Of The Year Award.

Friday, April 19, 2013

When They Cair So Much About Not Being Stereotyped

Did the FBI decide to inform Dawud Walid about the course of the Boston investigation, or did he simply hear hoof beats in Boston and think Islamist Horses / Terrorists?

On April 16, before the announcement yesterday or this morning that the perpetrators are Islamic Chechens, Dawud, he who stated that Allah called for the killing of Jews and he agreed with it, presumptively wrote a column urging people not to stereotype and have no collective suspicion of the elephant in the room.

Dawud Walid, in the Detroit News:Don't let the terrorists divide us.

Of course he tries to raise all the lone wolf types in his editorial and mentions the 9/11 attacks as an aside, ignoring completely all other Islamic terrorist attacks on out soil:

Though we have been blessed and not suffered the mass violence in recent decades of Myanmar, Somalia, Sri Lanka, and a host of other nations, we know well the heinous effects of terror on the homeland. Our national conscience has been shaped by the Unabomber, Eric Rudolph’s 1996 attack at the Olympics in Atlanta, and Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols bombing of the Federal Building in Oklahoma City. And of course, Al-Qaeda’s attack on 9/11 is still a fresh memory.

He then goes on:

As we pray for the families that have lost loved ones and salute our first responders who continue to perform their duties with honor and courage, we should also be praying for calm in our communities. By calm I mean no finger-pointing and accusing entire communities of collective guilt – even if one or some among them are alleged offenders.

Perhaps he had a pretty good idea who was responsible on April 16 based on the target and methodology, hmm.

On social media, there are thousands who blamed Muslims and Arabs for what took place yesterday.

And they were right on about Islam, now weren't they Dawud? Don't expect any deep reflections from Dawud on this revelation that it was in fact an Islam inspired attack and done in the name of Islam anytime soon. Also don't expect any deepr introspection on what it is about Islam that inspires these people to bomb Americans and other innocents.

Perhaps CAIR's acronym really stands for "Covert Assistance to Islamic Radicals" rather than "Council on American Islamic Relations".

A Short Note To Vladimir Putin

Dear Vlad:

In Chechnya, You may now be very, very bad.

That is all.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

West Bloomfeld JCC Evacuated Due To Suspicious Bags

Fox Detroit: Jewish Community Center in West Bloomfield evacuated

The Jewish Community Center of Metropolitan Detroit has been evacuated while police investigate several suspicious bags that were found on Tuesday.

No updates since the initial report. Here's hoping its just a precaution and an overreaction regarding some duffel bags, but considering the owners can't be found they're not taking any chances.

Such precautions sadly seem quite reasonable these days.

Update: According to The Detroit News, the two bags, now describes as suitcases left in the shrubs outside the building were found to be empty. This is rather curious, as who leaves two empty suitcases in shrubs beside a building?

WD-40 - Is There Anything It Can't Do?

Other than not using it to clean or lubricate firearms (it tends to gunk up the mechanisms over time), WD-40 has a ton of uses beyond separating rusted metal, lubricating locks, and making hinges stop squeaking.

Readers Digest has a ton of additional uses for WD-40 that I never knew were possible with the stuff.

13+ Amazing Uses for WD-40

Very neat, and some of these tips will be very useful.

Michigan Judge Fines Himself For Cell Phone Disturbance

Judge Raymond Voet of Ionia, Michigan, certainly has integrity, and in spades.

With a policy of finding anyone whose cell phone goes off in court with contempt, he didn't hesitate to apply his policy to himself when his own phone went off. He found himself in contempt and applied a fine of $25.

USA Today: Judge fines himself when smartphone goes off in court

I've never practiced in front of him so I don't know personally how he is as a judge, but this certainly speaks to his integrity and uniformity in properly applying the law and his local rules.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Boston Marathon Bombing

A new Boston Massacre happened at the finish line of the Boston Marathon today as two bombs went off.

The explosions killed, depending on what report you look at, 2 to 12 people, injuring many more, and unexploded devices are still being found.

There's some terrible real-time footage of the attack at Deadspin, including at least one of the explosions as it happens.

It's too early to speculate as to who may be responsible for this, but one report has police stating they have a suspect in custody.

Prayers for the dead victims, and for a quick recovery of all those who were hurt in this outrage. I'm hoping, hopefully not in vain, that the report of 12 dead is wrong.

Let's also hope the police do swiftly catch those responsible.

Update: This could all be the result of mistaken, garbled and early speculation, but a NY Post report states that the suspect is a Saudi Arabian National seen placing backpacks in camera footage.

Obama's Full Court Press For Gun Bans Reaches The White House Website

Go to whitehouse.gov and you'll get the following screen:

Clicking the link brings you into the whitehouse.gov site proper, which has now been heavily politicized to push Obama's gun ban agenda:

Pretty pathetic, but sadly par for this president how he can't avoid politicizing even the White House webpage in his drive to distract from the economy and push for gun bans.

I wonder if this violates any campaign laws at all? Were he seated in the house it would violate the House's ethics rules, but Obama likely considers himself above any rules, or that rules are more sort of guidelines.

Regardless, its pretty darn disgusting to be using the White House site for divisive political campaign purposes and to spread lies about gun control and use the site to lobby Congress to push his leftist agenda.

Maybe Obama should take some tips and cues in interpersonal and campaign relations from another federal government website.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Six Is Not The New Sixteen

While everyone is aware of the peril of elderly drivers, there's now the far more rare peril of child drivers:

The Detroit News: Lapeer Police stop 6-year-old driver heading for Chinese food

Apparently he misheard sixteen as six as the legal driving age.

Police in Lapeer responded to an unusual phone call Saturday morning from drivers on M-24 who reported a vehicle driving erratically.

"They told police when they called that it looked like a 6-year-old was driving the car," said Sgt. Andy Engster of the Lapeer County Sheriff's Department. "And they were exactly right."

By the time police arrived to pull over the six-year-old boy, two drivers of other vehicles had already boxed him into a turnaround, said Engster. One reached into the window and pulled the keys out of the ignition.

The boy had taken the keys off the counter at home and told the responding officer that he had never driven before and nobody had taught him how.

"He said he'd never even sat on his dad's lap to steer the car or anything," said Engster.

When police asked the boy why he took the car, he told them he was going to get Chinese food. He had hit a "no left turn" sign on Park and Pine streets near his home and, seeing the damage to the car, decided he needed to head to the dealer to get it repaired.

Quite a responsible kid to head to the repair shop after banging up his dad's car on the way to buy dinner. Responsible, or he figured he could get it fixed and returned before he had to explain what had happened. How he was going to pay for it would be an interesting question.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Michigan In April

April is a particularly cruel month here in Michigan.

Midway through the month, and just when spring is supposed to arrive, today we get:

Yes, that is snow you see in the air and upon the ground.

Having had no days of sunshine for a couple weeks, this cold, rainy and now snowy April is getting old, real fast.

Tell me again how Global Warming is real, 'cause I'm impatiently waiting for it.

Friday, April 12, 2013

The Good and Valuable Book

Hymnal that dates to 1640 could fetch $30M

An example of the first book published in what was to become the United States is about to go up for auction.

A tiny hymnal from 1640 believed to be the first book ever printed in what is now the United States is going up for auction, and it could sell for as much as $30 million.

Only 11 copies of the Bay Psalm Book survive in varying degrees of completeness. Members of Boston's Old South Church have authorized the sale of one of its two copies at Sotheby's Nov. 26.

A very amazing artifact from early American history. To think that Ben Franklin or Sam Adams may have once held this book is quite neat indeed. An enduring testament to the endurance of the written word and the printed book.

Corrupt Detroit Water Department To Finally Face Some Competition

After being used as a featherbedding and slush fund location for corrupt deals by Detroit's Democrats, the Detroit Water and Sewer Department may be facing some competition.

With the suburbs and other municipalities fed up with increased rates due to the costs from Detroit's corrupt contracts and resultant deferred real maintenance at the DWSD and with the suburbs getting hit with highly-inflated annual increases to allow Detroit politcos to pay off their contributors with the suburb's money, change may just happen.

The Detroit News: Genesee Co. plan to draw own water stirs Detroit fears

The fears being of course that the good old days of political patronage and corruption using other people's money may be coming to an end.

Detroit — The city's water department spokesman declares it "the greatest water war in Michigan's history."

The cash-strapped city of Flint calls it a chance to save its residents millions.

A plan by Flint and other Genesee County communities to break away from Detroit's water system and draw their own water through a new pipeline from Lake Huron is generating controversy.

Detroit Water and Sewerage Department officials warned that residents throughout the region will be saddled with higher rates if Flint succeeds with the project.

Of course, it will be harder to hide the costs and increases due to corruption when you have a smaller base to spread the increase around.

Flint represents 6 percent of Detroit's total water revenue, said Bill Johnson, Detroit water department spokesman. The department stands to lose about $22 million immediately if Flint separates, and the "fixed cost component" of that will have to be spread across the remaining 3 million water department customers, he said.

The plan involves Flint joining Genesee and neighboring counties in the Karegnondi Water Authority pipeline.

Maybe DWSD should have thought of that potential before turning the DWSD into a sewer of corruption with the no-bid friends of Kwame contracts and union featherbedding for horse-shoer positions. It was a rather sweet deal - reward your friends with inflated contracts with the costs borne by the suburbs and they would funnel campaign contributions your way and union support in the form of contributions and votes for cushy positions and twice the number of union employee positions per gallon delivered as Chicago.

Thankfully that may be coming to an end.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Fiscal Times Goes Fiscally Hoplophobe

And you really should never go fiscally hoplophobe.

In 10 Weapons You Won't Believe Are Legal, the staff of the Fiscal Times wets their collective panties about the fact that the following among other items are legal: flamethrowers, miniguns (at least the pre-1986 ones that cost about $400,000.

Then they really lose their collective cookies and are amazed that katanas, crossbows, nunchuks and spear guns of all things are legal, 'cause there's been a rise of spear gun murders lately - oh wait, no, no there hasn't......

Quelle Horreur.

While the clip shots of various weapons in assorted movies and TV scenes are cute and all that, most of my friends would react, instead of with the Fiscal Times hoped-for fear and trembling, would be something like this: "Yeah they're legal, we know this, so what?"

Not a big deal, and not a serious problem.

I suggest the Fiscal Times gets their nose out of the stock tickers and into the real world a tad bit more, or just stick to what they actually know.

The whole shrinking violet thing really should be below sophisticated investors and commentators such as they hold themselves out to be.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Happy Birthday To A Certain Blogger

Do take a moment and head over to Lagniappe's Lair and wish Murphy's Law a Happy Birthday, for today is indeed his day.

I'll otherwise maintain Op Sec and not reveal his age on this fine day, and hope he has a great one doing many fun and enjoyable activities.

Happy Birthday ML from all of us to you.

More Detroit Free Press Editorial Excellence Or This Headline Brought To You By The Letters T And B.

The Headline in Question: President Obama unveils $3.77B budget plan

That's some layers of editorial fact-checking ladies and gents. Apparently the Detroit Free Press editors know as much about numerical abbreviations as they do about firearms laws.

Look, he's not proposing a $3.77B(illion) budget plan,which would be a rather astonishing reduction in the size of government spending, he's proposing a $3.77T(rillion) dollar plan. There's one hack of a significant difference. Don't believe me? It even says so in the very first line of the article.

President Barack Obama unveils a $3.8-trillion budget proposal today that includes a plan to raise more in tax revenue from wealthier Americans even though Republicans in Congress have already rejected the idea.

But as the Detroit Free Press Editor might say, "Math is hard".

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Freep Editorial: Ignore 94 Million Gun Owners And Pass A Bill The Freep Didn't Read

The Detroit Free Press, in its editorial Ignore the gun lobby and start substantive debate on background checks calls on lawmakers to ignore the opposition to, and the clear defects in, the background check bill being proposed and push it ahead as progressives want it.

The Freep Editor clearly didn't read the bill, doesn't understand current firearms laws and basically doesn't have a clue what he/she is editorializing about.

Now, how do I know the Freep idiotor (sorry, editor - ok not really, if the ink stain fits and all that) didn't read it?

Well, if they had they would have seen that their prized background check bill is less about background checks and more about creating felons out of law abiding gun owners.

First we begin with their laughable statement that

There’s no defensible argument against background checks.

First there's the very defensible and principled argument that background checks if done wrong can lead to de-facto registration lists of gun owners and a path to confiscation.

Second, even if one ignores the registration angle and still considers that there's no defensible argument to background checks, there are lots of defensible arguments against this particular bill on background checks. Two different things indeed.

The bill is less about background checks on sales of firearms than the criminalization of very innocent transfers of firearms, including such temporary transfers such as letting someone else try your firearm at a range or leaving your house occupied by your roommate with your gun still in the home.

In other words, to make it simple for the Freep, the bill while claiming to be about background checks is far more encompassing and far worse than that, and it is deserving of defeat.

But not content to just level an emotionally-driven appeal for backgound checks, they try to bolster their argument by really going into la-la land:

And let’s face it, proving you can legally own a gun is no more burdensome than proving you can legally own a car, or buy a home. Given the lethality of firearms — and the cultural connection they have to violence and murder in American society — the hurdles to legal ownership are quite reasonable.

Really? I've never been fingerprinted to get a license to drive a vehicle, and never ever had a background check before buying a car at a dealer or even in a (gasp) private sale. Enlighten me about your car buying background-check experience, O Freep idiotor, and tell me all about the background check you had to go through before purchasing your vehicle? Take your time, I'll wait.

Next, I distinctly recall a lack of background checks when I purchased a home. Sure, there was a credit check for the mortgage but no criminal checks, and there was absolutely no background check, credit or otherwise before signing the purchase agreement. Tell me, O all-knowing idiotor, what criminal background check you had before buying your home legally? Again, I'll wait.

In other words, after not even reading the bill, the Freep spreads a line of nonsense to fool people into thinking buying a gun is as easy as buying a house or car and that anyone against background checks could only possibly be in the employ of gun manufacturers.

Let's not ignore the fact that gun manufacturers sell their wares through Federal Firearms Licensed Dealers, all of whose sales must already go through - yes you guessed it - a background check.

In other words, the Freep idiotor is absolutely clueless.

So the Freep levies a baseless defamatory canard against gun manufacturers along with their over-wrought, counter-factual, and emotionally-driven anti-firearms drivel.

This editorial was indeed drafter by an ignorant idiotor.

Dry Suit Manufacturer Diving Concepts Files Chapter 7

In this down-bound, recession-stuck economy, there's not a lot of people out there buying drysuits for diving.

Diving Concepts, the manufacturer of my drysuit, just filed Chapter 7 according to Scuba Gadget:

ScubaGadget has found court records indicating that they have filed for Chapter 7 (or “liquidation”) bankruptcy. The filing was made California Central Bankruptcy Court on 5 April 2013 with a case number of 9:13-bk-10894.

A darn shame, as its overall been a pretty decent suit (with some build quality issues). On the other hand, friends have had multiple service issues with them, and Diving Concepts wouldn't deal accessories directly with a consumer and the local dive shop always had issues getting parts and materials from them.

I guess my next drysuit once I wear this one out in a few years will be made by Diving Unlimited International.

Monday, April 08, 2013

Way To Keep it Classy There Cartoonist Mike Thompson

Mike Thompson, the Detroit Free Press' mediocre and reliably lefty cartoonist sure can make a classy statement.

His latest cartoon, unworthy of being pasted here, depicts Dick Cheney in a strait jacket in a padded room.

He's saying "Nuke North Korea Obliterate! Obliterate! Obliterate!" with a nurse standing at the doorway saying "Being Out Of Power When There's Plausible Excuse for a war pushed him over the edge".

Of course, Dick Cheney has said no such thing, nor called for the obliteration of North Korea, and the whole stupid uncalled for cartoon emerged ex-nihilo from Thompson's fevered lefty imagination. Must have been a slow progressive news day.

Mind you, this is the same cartoonist that on March 31 had published a cartoon with a North korean peopn pulling Kim Jong Un in a rickshaw in front of a building labelled "The Democratic Peoples Republic Parking Lot of Korea".

In other words, Mike Thompson crafted a cartoon all on his own that was a call to Obliterate! North Korea.

Way to project your own bluster on to your invented image of Dick Cheney there Thompson.

Farewell To The Iron Lady

Another giant among mankind has departed, leaving the world a poorer place.

Where Great Britain used to be, there once was a Prime Minister who could fearlessly articulate conservative principles, English values, and fearlessly stand up to both terrorism and communism.

She made her mark on history in both her country and the world, and left both a better place at the end of her Prime Ministership.

Margaret Thatcher, former British Prime Minister, dies at 87

RIP Baroness Thatcher.

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Obama Sure Can Pick Winners

Yet another Green Energy taxpayer investment touted by the Obama Administration is going under fast.

The Detroit News: Fisker Automotive lays off 160, struggles to find financing deal

Joining previous "winners" like Solyndra, A123, Beacon Power and Abouhnd Solar, Fisker Motors seems to be poised to go under, taking over a hundred million in taxpayers' dollars with it.

It wasn't all bad of course. 80% of these loans went to Obama donors so they got the green for giving the green.

Under this administration, the taxpayer gets the shaft as the Karma just ran over the Obama Dogma.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

At The End Of Your Rope? You'd Better Check The Length.

When you fail to do the math before doing a death defying stunt, bad things happen:

A 22-year-old Utah man was killed trying to swing through the opening of a 110-foot-tall sandstone arch in a stunt made so popular on YouTube that state authorities recently banned the daredevil activity by commercial outfitters.

Kyle Lee Stocking, of West Jordan, left too much slack in the rope he was using, and it sent him crashing into the sandstone base of Corona Arch near Moab, Grand County sheriff's officials said. He died Sunday afternoon.

From The Detroit Free Press: Daredevil dies in rope swing stunt popularized by YouTube

Even More Detroit Democrat Corruption Charges Develop

The Detroit Free Press: 2 more Detroit pension officials indicted on bribery charges

One major and manifest reason for Detroit's decline is that just about every Democrat official in the city, from the Mayor, through the Water and Sewer Department and Pension Board all the way down to presumably the dog-catcher had their hand out for a bribe or a diversion of public funds into their own pockets.

And of course, this being the (Democrat) Detroit Free Press, you'll have to play name that party on your own.

For 30 years, attorney Ronald Zajac watched over the city's billion-dollar pension funds.

He turned out to be a thief who made a $400,000 salary scamming the system, according to an indictment unsealed Wednesday, disclosing yet more allegations of public corruption in Detroit and lavish lifestyles by individuals who abused the public's trust.

Among them was a former trustee who -- the government says -- accepted perks galore from businessmen seeking favors, including a $5,000 casino chip, a Christmas basket stuffed with cash and trips for him and his mistress.

That former trustee is Paul Stewart, who, along with Zajac, was indicted Wednesday on charges of bribery conspiracy. They are the fourth and fifth defendants to be ensnared in the government's years-long investigation into the Detroit pension funds.

Zajac's attorney said his client will fight the charges. Stewart's attorney, Elliott Hall, declined to comment pending arraignment.

Zajac and Stewart were added to the original February 2012 indictment that charged ex-Detroit Treasurer Jeffrey Beasley, a onetime fraternity brother and appointee of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, with taking bribes and kickbacks in a scheme that cost two pension funds $84 million in losses.

Diogenes would have run out of lamp fuel and died of loneliness in Detroit.

Media Keeps Up Biased Beating Of The Drum For Gun Bans, But Some Glimpse Of Reality Slips Through

The mainstream media continues to pound the drum, in lockstep with Obama, for more gun control and gun bans.

For example, while the President demands action on gun bans, the media immediately and obediently obliged and unquestioningly followed his lead in beating the drum. Immediately after the president made his announcement, Leonard Pitts pushes an op-ed for gun bans. Coincidentally I'm sure, at the same time, Rochelle Riley, publishes with practically the same text and theme in her op-ed.

However, even in the midst of this White House - MSM coordinated approach, there are some indications that at least some in the media realize it can't go completely wave the pro-gun-ban flag as much as it would like to do so.

While USA Today, via the Detroit Free Press, highlights the Stockton shooting that led to the Bush I and 1994 bans and pushes for more bans in the wake of Newton, the article almost incredibly wasn't 100% pro ban and actually had some small elements of opposition.

The article Stockton school massacre: A tragically familiar pattern started off as expected with the heart-rendering tragedy and moved on to feature prominently teachers who had survived the attack calling for more gun control now. But, it then did something else that was rather unexpected given the typical media pattern for these pieces:

Rob Young, a child who was shot during that attack actually got some text in the article showing his opposition to any gun bans:

The other side of the debate is represented by an unlikely foe: Rob Young, a 30-year-old police officer, who still bears the physical scars of a day he "will never forget."

Like his teachers, who still refer to him as "Robbie," Young was moved to "do something" after Newtown. But that "something" has left his former teachers shaking their heads - some in disbelief - that their former charge stands firmly with the powerful gun rights lobby, opposing any new gun restrictions.

"There isn't a gun law in place that would have stopped what happened to me," Young said. "I have never blamed the gun. It wasn't the fault of the AK-47. If Patrick Purdy didn't have a gun and still wanted to do something, he would have found another way to do it."


He is a vocal advocate for putting armed security in schools, including authorizing trained school officials to carry weapons.

"Guns have saved lives," Young said. "Police cannot be everywhere at once."

Kudos to Mr. Young for an impressive and reasoned statement. Even a few years back, there's simply no way that the media would have covered a shooting victim's reasoned dissent and opposition to the gun-banner's line, so there are some signs of improvement from the media bias standard.

Certainly it is an improvement from the days when the media had no competition and simply failed to cover opposition to gun bans or would simply paint opponents as heartless rednecks.

There's still plenty of room for improvement and lots to do to improve the situation however, including continually trying to call out, educate and correct the media regarding their deliberately misleading terminology and their continual factual errors in reporting gun-related matters.

We also need to work on their quite charming and naive belief that just because an anti-gun politician claims a law dealing with guns will do X, it will actually do X. This is especially so when the title of the law says it will do X, while the text of the law says it will actually do X+Y or just Y or even Y+Z. Funnily enough, the media is a lot more skeptical of politicians (especially Republican politicians) when they announce bills on other topics.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

At Least Detroit Can Be Proud Of Its Style Of Pizza

As Passover comes to an end tonight, my thoughts turn to Pizza and Beer, two of the many leavened items not permitted during Passover.

The Detroit Free Press thoughtfully comes through with a timely article on the sensation that is Detroit pizza:

Detroit-style pizza gaining fame, winning fans nationwide

Unlike New York's thin, wide, floppy pizzas and Chicago's burly deep-dish ones, Detroit's thick, square pies -- first made at Buddy's Rendezvous in Detroit in 1946 -- have never managed to make a dent in the national consciousness.

Buddy's itself wins scores of awards and often makes national best-pizza lists. But with its stores confined to metro Detroit, its thick but airy crusts and crunchy, cheesy, square corners remain largely unknown elsewhere.

Finally, though, that seems to be changing, thanks to recent high-profile wins by Detroit-style pizzas in national and international competitions........

I know what I'm having for dinner tonight.