Friday, May 31, 2013

Flint Michigan Woman Goes Jihadi, Allegedly Gets Killed Fighting With Al Qaeda Affiliate In Syria

The Detroit News: Flint mother, 33, killed in Syria

The Detroit Free Press: Flint woman, 33, killed by Syrian government forces, family says.

A picture of a portion of Nicole Mansfield's Michigan driver's license, complete with her wearing a hijab leads the article in the Free Press.

One wonders if she was at least on the terrorist watch list or if this is a complete surprise to the authorities.

Apparently this conversion to jihadism started with a lonely single mother and a fraudulent immigration case, or more charitably with her being badly used by the Arab guy to get green card status and then being dumped once her use in getting that status was at an end:

Speelman and other family members said Mansfield met an immigrant from the Arab world several years ago and married him. She then converted to Islam and started wearing the hijab.

They divorced about three years ago after he was able to get a green card that allowed him to stay long-term in the U.S.

Even after being divorced she became very Islamic including attending mosques regularly, and apparently decided to go all jihadi.

Now she ends up dead in Syria allegedly fighting alongside some Brits for Al-Nusra, the Syrian chapter of Al Qaeda.

Sadly, she seems like a person who was open and vulnerable to being manipulated and then was indeed manipulated:

Nicole Mansfield grew up Baptist in Flint. Her dad was a production worker at General Motors. Her parents divorced and Mansfield dropped out of high school after she got pregnant


She was smart in school, the grandmother said, but at the same time, was too trusting.

“She had a heart of gold, but she was weak-minded,” Mansfield said. “I think she could have been brainwashed.”

Quite a sad end, and she deserved better than to die shot in the face in Syria.

One wonders how many more Michiganders are in the process of being brainwashed to join the global jihad, and whether they'll end up in Syria or in terrorist attacks here in the USA.

In Detroit, Art May Get To Imitate The City's Financial Life

Hot on the heels of the art tax levy on Oakland, Macomb, and Wayne Counties to ensure fund the Detroit Institute of Arts after the City of Detroit has been chronically underfunding it in August 2012, comes the news that the Detroit Institute of Arts' collections, since they are owned by the City of Detroit, may go on the auction block to pay the City's debt's should the city file bankruptcy.

The Detroit News: Like DIA, smaller museums fear their assets are in peril

The prospect of the Detroit Institute of Arts losing its collection to satisfy creditors in a municipal bankruptcy is prompting concern at other city-owned venues with potentially vulnerable assets.

This is why the City of Detroit can't have nice things - it squanders them relentlessly, and any further bailout or tax in support of its institutions may just be the continuation of the greatest con game it has run to date.

Now, this may be just a bunch of posturing to get yet a further bailout of the city, a threat of "Bail us out or the Art gets it", or it may be the natural result of letting this corrupt Democrat-controlled city own such shiny baubles without being able to afford them.

Either way, anyone else in the Tri-County area feeling more than a little played over the tax?

At least one Commissioner in Macomb County does: The Macomb Daily: Broken promises — Macomb officials could halt DIA tax

Expressing dismay over false promises provided in 2012 by the Detroit Institute of Arts, Macomb officials are ready to halt the DIA tax money collected in the county if some of the museum’s renowned artwork is sold to pay off the city of Detroit’s massive debts.

A review of audio recordings from Macomb County Board of Commissioners meetings from April 2012 show that DIA officials, ultimately successful at levying a tri-county property tax to rescue the beleaguered museum, repeatedly assured the commissioners that the multibillion-art collection could not be sold off, even if an emergency manager was brought in or the city declared bankruptcy.

The promises from Detroit and its institutions come with expiry dates that kick in right after a check is cashed or a tax approved.

One can only hope that Oakland County's leaders follow Macomb's example and will not stand for their residents being payed for suckers with further wastage of county taxes bailing out Detroit's bad debts.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Now That Is Cool.....

David Bowie's Space Oddity - perfectly performed in Space:


Fundamentally Unserious: Illegal Immigrant Volunteers To Be Detained, Doesn't Get Deported

Our immigration policy is a mess, and it is compounded by a deliberate executive decision to not enforce our current laws.

Take the tale of Claudia Muñoz Castellano for example: An illegal immigrant living in this country for 12 years, she deliberately set out to get herself detained to "infiltrate" the deportation facility in Michigan.

Immigrant detained on purpose to learn stories

She was indeed detained.

However, instead of being deported as you might expect, she was featured in the Detroit News.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Don't Greenlight Red Light Cameras In Michigan

Red Light Cameras are more about revenue than their claimed benefit of traffic safety.

Of course, in these revenue hungry times, even a Michigan Republican is pushing to allow communities to install them:

The Detroit News: Bill would let Michigan install red-light cameras

A measure recently introduced by Republican Rep. Wayne Schmidt of Traverse City would give local communities the power to put cameras in place.

I'm sad to see a Republican pushing for what is solely a revenue enhancing measure (that will likely decrease traffic safety at the expense of Michigan drivers. Shame on Wayne Schmidt for proposing such a stupid idea.

How do we know its simply a revenue grab? Well, under the details of the bill as reported:

Drivers wouldn't be penalized for citations that result from the camera on their driving record or toward their insurance.

Not about safety, just about increased revenue from fines. If passed, except communities that adopt them to start manipulating traffic light timing to catch more drivers going through red lights.

Michigan shouldn't succumb to such foolishness under the allure of some revenue from red-light fines.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Anarcho-Tyranny Swedish Style

Borepatch has a good post on the meaning of Anarcho-Tyranny. In short its when the government doesn't enforce important laws against criminals but instead cracks down on law-abiding citizens for petty matters.

Sweden it seems is busy living it: Borepatch notes that while the police have a publicly announced policy of non-interference witht he rioters, owners of cars torched by the rioters are receiving parking tickets.

To add further insult to injury, while having a hands off approach to rioters, the Swedish police are apparently not hesitating to use force, including tear gas, to make Swedish citizens and property owners disperse and prevent them from defending their property from the rampaging "youthful immigrants".

From Gateway Pundit:

Faced by another night of terror at the hands of predominantly immigrant rioters, Swedes grown tired of the police’s inability to put an end to the unrest took to the streets Friday night to defend their neighborhoods.

. . .

In the Stockholm suburb of Tumba the police decided to abandon their earlier non-intervention policy as a large group of police officers rounded up and dispersed a group of vigilantes trying to fend off rioters.

The decision to round up vigilantes while, according to Stockholm Chief of Police Mats Löfving, ”doing as little as possible” to stop rioters, met with a wave of protests in various social media and on the Internet.

That's anarcho-tyranny for you all right, European-style.

Oh, and still not a word of it in either the Detroit Free Press nor the Detroit News websites in the world news section.

Dive 234 Memorial Weekend Sunday Dive

Today was a beautiful day to go diving.

I met up with Chad and Keith at the Union Lake boat dock. The sun was shining, it was warm but not hot, and only a few boats were on the water.

My suit was back from having a new TIZIp zipper installed and being pressure tested for leaks, I had freshly re-webbed my dive harness, my tanks were freshly serviced and I was ready to go diving.

The dive did not disappoint. Putting my dry-suit on, I marveled at how much easier the TIZIp zipper is to close than the old YKK that used to be on it - it was very easy to close, no feeling of fighting the zipper to get it shut, nor an early stop like on the YKK where you think its shut but if you don't check you'll find out the hard and wet way that its not quite closed. The harness was a bit snug but I'll loosen it up a bit later and trim the webbing down accordingly as now there's way too much - however I've learned my lesson that you can cut more later, but you really can't add it back once you've cut it.

In the water everything was great - I had excellent buoyancy control, good trim and just had a fun time fining around. The harness and suit felt real good and I was nicely in control.

We had a nice long dive, out past the north boat into deeper water. We spent some time around the Skippy boat - a 20 footer on its nose deep in the mud, jutting out like a monolith. Very cool to come up on it out of the gloom. We then had fun ascending up one side and then back down the other. We were starting to get a little chilled as the temperature was about 46 degrees - still better than the low thirties in winter, but it started feeling cool after such a long dive.

We then headed back to our entry point, did a deco stop at 20 feet, watching the sun's rays shine in the water, and then slowly ascended up to the surface to end a fantastic dive.

The best part - I was nice and dry getting out of the suit and everything worked just as it should which was very happy making.

Max depth: 52 feet

Time: 68 minutes

Water temp: varied from 46 at the bottom to 60 at the surface.

A great dive to start the open water season.

Stockholm Riots Continue, Detroit Media Continues To Ignore Them, And Swedish Socialist Have The Answer

Riots continue in Stockholm with not a mention in either the Detroit News nor the Detroit Free Press. One would think it was news-worthy by now, but not to either of those august institutions.

The Swedes are continuing to treat the rioters with kid-gloves and announcing they will take only minimal measures against the rioters. By failing to crack down after 6 nights the riots simply carry on. As expected, the news simply refers to the rioters as immigrants but says that community and religious leaders were trying to stem the violence...but the report fails to name that religion nor that community:

Of course, the Swedish socialists seem to have the answer. It's an insane answer, but it's the only answer their ideology has:

When you try to willingly and with conviction push your own culture and identity out of existence, you're done.

While Tam seems to think the Euros will go from zero to jackboots in the face of such rioting in the grand old European style, it looks instead like the chicken Swedes will race to appease and surrender as quickly as possible.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Saturday At St. Mary's Fair

As we do every Memorial Day weekend, we go to the United States' biggest High School Fair at Orchard Lake St. Mary's.

As before, its a fun boisterous place packed with rides, food, and fun.

Abby and Leah are now that much older and can enjoy more of the rides.

The kids did the tea cups, bumblebee, and kid roller coaster like last year, all with me aboard with them.

But this year, Abby was big enough for the Cliff Hanger, so I finally got to give it a try:

On this ride you lie on your front looking down with your hands on a bar and a security cage locking you in place.

Then it lifts off and starts rotating.

And then it gets higher until you're way up there, only to swoop down again and then climb back up.

Abby was hesitant on the first ride but she did it, loved it and then demanded to go again. That's my girl.

That was a very fun (and high at the apex) ride, and I highly recommend it.

After a nice Polish lunch, followed by more rides, we went home.

Then some friends came over and we had a nice dinner with the kids outside and the adults in and had a very pleasant evening of conversation.

The kids left some remains of the meal on the back deck, so we had a little visitor right after they came inside:

He left the deck quite spotless then went off on his way.

A fine day indeed.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Conyers Gives A Lame Apology A Week Late

Congressman Conyers, who happily attended the Louis Farrakhan's racist speeches was shamed (or at least politically pushed) into an apology, and it only took a week.

After all, it's hard to explain why you don't walk out from a speech with multiple anti-white and Anti-Semitic statements. Of course, Congressman Conyers doesn't explain.

Instead:The Detroit Free Press: John Conyers apologizes for Louis Farrakhan's anti-Semitic remarks

U.S. Rep. John Conyers, a Detroit Democrat, apologized today for Louis Farrakhan’s anti-Semitic comments during a talk he gave in a Detroit church last week.

Conyers, who attended Farrakhan’s speech Friday night at Fellowship Chapel, issued a strong statement that distanced himself from the Nation of Islam leader’s remarks, which were blasted earlier this week by a Jewish civil rights group and others.

“Farrakhan made unacceptable racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic statements, which I condemn in the strongest possible terms,” Conyers said. “It was my expectation that Minister Farrakhan’s speech would focus on the many challenges facing the city of Detroit. In previous days, he had discussed efforts to revitalize our city by purchasing property and investing in blighted neighborhoods. Regrettably, he used this opportunity to promote views that have no place in civilized discourse.”

You'll note he didn't explain why he remained for such a speech filled with such uncivilized discourse, and he should be apologizing for lending scum like Farrakhan legitimacy rather than trying to apologize for Farrakhan's inexcusable conduct.

Maybe we'll hear that next week....

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Quite The Pickle - Vlasic Pickle Employees Busted for Unemployment Benefits Fraud

The Detroit Free Press: 62 pickle makers pay $960K for jobless aid fraud

The state says 62 former workers at a Vlasic pickle factory have pleaded guilty and will make $960,000 in restitution for fraudulently collecting unemployment benefits while continuing to work.

$960K would buy a lot of pickles indeed.

All The News That's Not Fit To Get Some Print

Tam at VFTP posts that Reuters reports on riots in Stockholm, Sweden where Muslims, cutely and euphemistically called "youths", have been setting fire to cars and rioting for three days. The Reuters report neither menitons the "M" word nor the "I" word to identify these "disaffected youths".

Unsurprisingly, the Swedish left is blaming itself for the riots rather than the wrongdoers.

Our Left Says: "Why do they hate us?", and the Swedish Left says: "Why do they burn our cars?"

The left-leaning tabloid Aftonbladet said the riots represented a "gigantic failure" of government policies, which had underpinned the rise of ghettos in the suburbs.

"We have failed to give many of the people in the suburbs a hope for the future," Anna-Margrethe Livh of the opposition Left Party wrote in the daily Svenska Dagbladet.

Interestingly enough, neither the Detroit Free Press nor the Detroit News deign to mention this rather news-worthy, multi-day riot.

Funny how they've wholly failed to cover it while instead giving the lead in their compilation of World/Nation news such stories as "McDonald's CEO bawled-out by 9-year-old" (The Free Press) and Report: Nation’s kids need to get more physical (The Detroit News). Note the resuklts of searches for "Sweden": The Freepand The News - not a single mention of any riots at all.

Given our large Muslim population here in the Detroit area, it's hard to tell if this media blackout is meant to kowtow to them or instead is to prevent inspiration of some spontaneous youth riots here.

Remember, its not news until they decide to cover it.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

In Detroit, The Scum Rise To The Top

The Detroit City Clowncil really outdid itself by giving racist, anti-Semitic Louis Farrakhan a platform to broadcast his vile racist statements.

First Farrakhan went to a church run by the local NAACP bozo and gave quite the rousing anti-Semitic speech, with City Council members and Congressman John Conyers in attendance:

Attending Farrakhan’s speech were the pastor of the church, Rev. Wendell Anthony, who heads the Detroit Branch NAACP; U.S. Rep. John Conyers, a Democrat from Detroit; Detroit City Councilwoman JoAnn Watson, and other religious and political leaders.

At Fellowship Chapel in Detroit, Farrakhan railed Friday night against what he called “Satanic Jews” and the “Synagogue of Satan,” which he said controlled major institutions in the U.S. He also alleged that President Barack Obama “surrounded himself with Satan ... members of the Jewish community.”

Attending Farrakhan’s speech were the pastor of the church, Rev. Wendell Anthony, who heads the Detroit Branch NAACP; U.S. Rep. John Conyers, a Democrat from Detroit; Detroit City Councilwoman JoAnn Watson, and other religious and political leaders.

Farrakhan then beclowned himself by declaring that Kwame Kilpatrick's crimes would have been overlooked had he been white. As if.

Farrakhan then gave a rousing speech before an attentive Detroit city Council and got a nice resolution in his honor from property tax cheat councilwoman Jo Ann Watson:

Councilwoman JoAnn Watson presented Farrakhan with a testimonial resolution on behalf of the council after his speech.

That Detroit's churchmen and city councillors, and its senior Congressman for that matter attend, approve, and honor Farrakhan says all you need to know about Detroit's Democrat leadership.

Thankfully, No Earth Shattering Kaboom

So this morning I was working from home and I got a knock on the door.

It was Consumers Energy, letting me know that there was a gas leak right in my front yard.

It seems they were driving through the neighborhood doing a survey and it detected gas leaking.

Of course, it had to be on the lawn right where there are a bunch of large rocks decoratively piled and right under a Michigan white pine sapling that Leah brought home from school last year and we had planted in that otherwise bare space.

The gas leak explains why Leah's tree is having some issues with browning leaves and such.

So, they immediately got to work excavating a hole to get to the leak.

It became quite a large hole indeed.

They then found the leak almost immediately in the copper pipe leading to the house, right at the main. It made quite the whooshing noise when they found it. They then capped off the main and then pressure tested the remainder of the copper pipe leading to the house. No further leaks were found but they're going to replace the copper service pipe with a plastic one all thw way to the house soon so more digging will occur in the future. It was also clearly safe once one of the service guys had a smoke break right by the hole.

Here's the site of the leak and the remainder of the copper service pipe being tested.

A welder then arrived and they welded the connection back to the main. They then filled in the hole and finished up. Final leak testing comes later along with turning the gas back on, probably later this evening.

Very efficiently done, and the Consumer's Energy guys were nice people. It was pretty cool watching them skillfully do the excavation and repair work.

They're also going to cover the bare earth back up and move the rocks back into position once the final clean-up crew is available.

An interesting diversion and another reminder that it is always something.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

That's New York - Not Just Cats Stuck In Trees But Cops Stuck In Trees

Not a story you see everyday.

From the New York Daily News: Firefighters save cat and NYPD cop stuck in tree in Queens

Apparently, leaving doughnuts at the base of the tree was insufficient to get the cop to come down on his own, so they had to send the firefighters up to get him and the cat.

Saturday Fishing Derby Fun

I took the kids to the old neighborhood to attend the annual fishing derby.

It was nice to see old friends and see how people are doing. The old neighborhood has a beach lot and boat basin on Cass Lake, and each year the homeowners association buys some trout, seals off the boat basing and has a fishing derby. As such trout could be taken, anything else was catch and release. As former residents we get invited to attend.

So I found, dusted off, and loaded the fishing rods into the car and off we went.

After we arrived, I then spent a while with them both teaching them how to cast. Abby picked right up on it and Leah took a bit more instruction which made sense. After awhile they got the hang of it and were happily casting away.

Neither of them wanted to handle the worms initially but Leah was soon having as much fun handling and scientifically examining the worms (which were huge) as she did fishing while Abby seriously concentrated on fishing. I was however the only one to put the worms on the hooks, as both girls asigned me that "yucky" job.

Here's one of the scientific worm exams:

Leah would carefully examine each worm and declare it fit for bait. With a fanfare of "Duh, duh, duuuuh - you're bait!" she would hand over the chosen worm to be hooked. She did however release a cute little worm onto the grass to escape being hooked up with destiny. Even worms can be cute to a six year old.

The first thing caught was by Leah - a dock with one of her casts. Since it wasn't dock season, we just removed the hook from the wood and got on with fishing.

After many a cast and many a worm was lost, Abby caught a three and a half inch bluegill, and was even able to reuse the worm after releasing it.

Then Abby caught the monster fish of the day - a nine and a half inch bass.

Leah then caught a three inch bluegill.

All three fish were released and swam off none the worse for wear,

We caught nothing further except for weeds and one piece of rope, but the kids were very happy with their achievements and had a very good time.

The snapping turtle that lives in the boat basin made a cameo appearance at the derby as he does every year.

After some snacking and small talk with old friends I took them home as they were happy but fried.

A really great day with the two of them.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Problem: Detroit's Pension Plans Badly Underfunded. Solution: Send The Trustees To Hawaii!

With pensions underfunded by at least $600 million, two of Detroit's public pension funds sent four trustees to Hawaii.

The Detroit Free Press: Detroit's pension boards pay $22K to send 4 trustees to Hawaii

Four trustees of Detroit’s two public pension funds are heading to a Hawaiian beach resort this weekend with their $22,000 tab paid for by the funds, which are mired in claims of mismanagement and said to be at least $600 million underfunded.

. . . .

Records obtained by the Free Press under the Freedom of Information Act show the expenses cover airfare — including a first-class flight for one trustee — lodging at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort in Honolulu, registration fees, meals and a per diem for miscellaneous expenses.

The Detroit pension plan situation is clearly desperate, but not considered serious by the trustees.

Of course, the trustees are just taking the President's cue about living large with lavish vacations to Hawaii at the public's expense, so can anyone truly blame them?

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

It All Depends On Whose Ox Is Gored

The Detroit Free Press editorial page, long a guaranteed apologist and defender of Obama and his priorities is finally getting somewhat annoyed with his administration as it interferes with the media's jealously guarded privileges.

Apparently it takes a direct attack on the media before the media lose their full-on lapdog mode and start to again fulfill their responsibilities as a free press.

The Detroit Free Press: Editorial: An attack on the press is an attack against us all

It’s hard to think of any justification for the Justice Department to have snatched up thousands of phone records from the Associated Press, but there had better be a forthright explanation coming.

From Attorney General Eric Holder, and from President Barack Obama, who should probably be dusting off résumés of Holder’s potential replacements.

This is government intrusion at a level that goes far beyond the issue of press protections. If federal law enforcement feels empowered to rifle through journalists’ private phone records, ostensibly looking for evidence of a government leak, then nothing would restrain similar action against other citizens.

Of course, the editorial being from the Free Press, they had to pull back their angst and defend Obama in the very same editorial, perhaps out of fear of an IRS audit if they criticized him too much:

Of course, some conservatives have leapt to an illogical conclusion: that Obama is Richard Nixon, whose abuse of government power was his undoing.

That’s absurd, but so would any suggestion that these transgressions don’t warrant serious inquiry, and serious consequences for those guilty of over-stepping their bounds.

Hmm, Benghazi, Fast and Furious, IRS and AP phone tapping and he's still not, at least in the minds of the Freep, as bad as Nixon. True enough. Nixon certainly did not enjoy this level of media sycophancy to cover his misdeeds.

Apparently the Freep will need to undergo a far bigger goring of its ox before it ceases to be a part of the Obama lapdog press.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Detroit Dizzily Dances Round De Drain

As noted by Right Michigan, Detroit is teetering on the edge of Chapter 9 bankruptcy: The Corpse Is Still In The Morgue. Go read it to get a full realization as to how badly messed up the corrupt Democrat dominated city is in reality now that they can't hide the true picture anymore.

Right now, as reported in The Detroit Free Press the EFM is giving it 6 weeks to see if Detroit can be fixed by anything less than filing bankruptcy>

Oh, and the amount of Detroit's outstanding liabilities revealed so far is now up to $15 Billion.

40 years of Democrat corruption and neglect has destroyed a city.

You can read the EFM's Financial and Operating Plan report in all its sobering glory at the Detroit Free Press.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Weird Border News: No You Can't Import The Dutch Pressure Cooker

A Saudi man landing in Detroit with a pressure cooker in his luggage raised some eyebrows among Customs and Border Protection officers. Either this was a very weird probe, or this guy is just plain dumb, or a combination of the two.

The Detroit Free Press: Saudi traveler with pressure cooker arrested at Detroit Metro Airport.

Federal agents arrested a suspicious traveler with an altered Saudi Arabian passport at Detroit Metro Airport during the weekend after discovering a pressure cooker in his luggage.

According to a criminal complaint filed today in U.S. District Court, the passenger, Hussain Al Khawahir initially told customs officers that he brought the pressure cooker for a nephew at the University of Toledo because pressure cookers are not sold in Saudi Arabia, the complaint said. The man then changed his story and admitted his nephew had purchased a pressure cooker in America before, but it “was cheap” and broke after the first use

Adding to the fun of travelling with a pressure cooker was that his passport was suspiciously missing some pages. Combine that with lying to CBP and he's getting deported.

Apparently the pressure cooker was purchased in Amsterdam if you buy the Saudi's claim that you can't purchase them in Saudi Arabia.

The moral of the story for travellers, aside from being truthful and not traveling on an altered passport, is that you should stick to buying Dutch Ovens in Amsterdam and leave the pressure cookers there alone.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

We'll Lose Money With Every Illegal immigrant, But We'll Make It Up In Volume

The Detroit Free Press Headline reads: Social Security: Immigration bill would boost economy

Apparently having a few million now legalized low-skilled workers will be a boon to this economy. You know the same economy where there's currently a surplus of low-skilled workers and if anything employers are clamoring for highly specialized skilled workers.

The dubious claim is that legalizing these workers, who are at least in theory already here and working under the table, will result in economic growth and help save Social Security.

In a letter to Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., one of the members of the Senate "Gang of Eight" that is pushing for the overhaul, Social Security Chief Actuary Stephen Goss estimated the bill would add 3.2 million jobs, increase the country's gross domestic product (GDP) by 1.63% and bolster the Social Security trust fund over the next 10 years.

In other words, 3.2 million new legalized workers paying into Social Security at low wages will save the system, the very same system where low wage workers can end up drawing more from it and other programs than they contribute. What could possibly go wrong?

It's only revealed five paragraphs down in the article the real economic effect of such legalization:

However, those who oppose legalization of unauthorized immigrants, such as the Heritage Foundation, say allowing 11 million people who are largely low-skilled to access U.S. taxpayer-funded social benefits will cost more than it generates. A recent Heritage study predicted the bill would cost the country $6.3 trillion over the next 50 years.

Interesting to see that the US Government in taking over GM also adopted GM's economic philosophy.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

We'll Have Nun Of That

The Detroit Free Press: Nun, protesters guilty in nuclear plant break-in

A federal jury has found an 83-year-old nun and two fellow protesters guilty of breaking into the Y-12 National Security Complex and defacing a uranium processing plant.

Guilty of both damaging federal property and interfering with national security.

Breaking into a nuclear weapons plant should result in very high penalties. Clearly security at the site needs to be improved, as does the kid-glove response approach to intruders.

UnBEElievable, When Masonry Bees Try To Occupy

At the front of the house I noticed two new, perfectly round, holes in the mortar that hadn't been there before.

Then we saw some bees go in and out of them. Not good at all. I really don't want a bee hive in my house.

I'd heard of carpenter bees, but not masonry bees before. Of course, these could also just be some very enterprising carpenter bees looking to expand their horizons beyond wood.

Sadly for them, their horizons doth end where my domus begins, so the Megachilidae's Occupy Aaron's House Wall was going to be brought to a swift end.

So, I went out and got some foaming bee spray and applied it into the holes early this morning.

Note that foaming bee spray does just that - it foams in the hole. It then comes foaming back out of the hole at a very high and foamy velocity. Messy and all over the place, splash back on me, the deck etc. Good thing I had on safety glasses, but it did get on my arm so I spent 15 minutes washing it off thoroughly per the can label. Strangely enough it ran back clear/white foam from one hole but yellowy/dirty from the other hole - methinks that hole had the hive. (ML - you'll love this stuff for inflicting chemical warfare on your carpenter bee infestation).

I intend to apply it again tomorrow morning - but I plan to wear a rain jacket to protect against the splash back.

Then, in 48 hours I'm going to plug the holes with masonry filler and sealant. That should show 'em.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

So That's Obama's Big Idea?

Obama's big idea: Mexican student exchanges

If that's big idea Obama can come up with to capture the imagination of the lap dog media, he must be tired. Of course, the media laps it up.

Forget all the headlines about immigration, security and drug issues during President Barack Obama's visit to Mexico last week. The most important (and least noticed) result of his trip may have dealt with an entirely different topic — student exchanges.

Sounds boring, but it's potentially the most exciting thing that came out of Obama's visit. If the bilateral plan to dramatically increase student exchanges becomes a reality, it could mark a turning point in the history of U.S.-Mexico relations, and promote the development of a vibrant North American economic bloc.

Despite the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement among the United States, Mexico and Canada, the level of U.S.-Mexico academic exchanges is pathetic.

Only 13,700 Mexican students are enrolled in U.S. colleges, compared with 194,000 from China, 100,000 from India and 72,000 from South Korea, according to the "Open Doors" study of the Institute of International Education.

I somehow suspect they're deliberately excluding all the Mexican illegals who are already attending our educational institutions from their sad panda total.

Perhaps more importantly, Mexican officials say Mexico will unilaterally launch a plan before the end of the year to quadruple its current number of students in U.S. colleges over the next five years.

Mexico's under-secretary of Upper Education Fernando Serrano told me in a telephone interview that the planned publicly and privately funded scholarship program will raise to "between 40,000 and 50,000" the number of Mexican students in U.S. universities by 2017.

Note the "unilaterally double phrase". I wonder if that means they'll just point their students toward the border and tell them to claim they were here for five years and want to file under the Obama Dream executive order scheme or the new Gang of Eight immigration giveaway.

Monday, May 06, 2013

How About Those Obama Red Lines

President Obama's Red Line Calculus tough talk seems to have resulted in a rhetorical miscalculation.

 Officials in the Obama administration are trying to walk his strident declaration back, claiming his statement that Syrian use of chemical weapons would be a red line was a gaffe.  After all, this president has admitted he never took calculus.

The Toronto Star: Evidence Syrian rebels used chemical weapon sarin, says UN

Dang, he might have to be seen to do something now, or be shown as impotent on the world stage.

Apparently, strident demands with nothing to back them up don't work very well.  Unlike Teddy Roosevelt's foreign policy of "speak softly and carry a big stick", Obama goes with the "speak loudly and carry no stick" school of foreign policy.

As many have known for quite some time, Obama's Smart Power isn't.

Friday, May 03, 2013

Thursday Was A Beautiful Day At The Henry Ford Museum

My cousin Matt had a brief stop over in Detroit in between flights so I had a few hours to get together with him and show him around.

I decided to take him to the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, as it is a true gem, and relatively close to the airport. That way I could be sure to get him there and back in time for his flight.

The Henry Ford Museum is quite huge with all sorts of technological and historical exhibits, focusing on, as expected, a fine collection of automobiles.

There's cars from the early days:

There's even a racing car made out of a World War Two fighter's fuel drop tank.

There's a vertiable catalog of Ford's triumphs through the years, including this race wining 2011 Ford Fusion:

And there are Ford's failures like the Edsel.

 Not only the car, but the marketing campaign for it wasn't quite on target:

The Museum even has (gasp) Japanese cars:

But it has much more than cars.

Aircraft, including Ford's Flivver are on display.

 Technology through the ages was showcased. Here's an old but still working electric generator  among the display of steam engines and generators that is still powering light bulbs around the display:

One display had some items exhibited during various World's Fairs, including some that are somewhat creepy in a futuristic welcome-your-robot-overlords kind of way:

Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto....

 And they had another technological masterpiece on display: Firearms.

Here's the Smith and Wesson Revolver Display. Tam can probably point at the display and go: "Got it, got it, need it, got it..."

Close ups of a S&W .45 Schofield and a Model 2  The light in and around the cabinet was quite poor so that's the best I was able to get:


 There was also a display of Colt revolvers, and there were rifles from flinlocks to lever actions. and black powder to almost modern shotguns.

 Knives were also on display, including this most peculiar piece:
Dagnabbit Lester, I told you not to bring a knife to a gunfight........

Seeing a few Mustangs on display, I took some pictures for Keads to enjoy:

The Mustangs included one that I'm pretty sure is not in his collection, a 1962 Mustang I Roadster:

And of course, you can't visit the Henry Ford without taking a picture of the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile:

If I Drove An Oscar Mayer Wiener....

After walking all around the museum, we were quite hungry for lunch, so we went to Buddy's Pizza so he could try the Detroit style of this most versatile of foods. It was, as always with Buddy's Pizza, delicious.

After lunch we headed back to the airport, enjoying the spectacle of a truck having its tire blow two cars in front of us. This was rather exciting at highway speed -  a big bang, a big black cloud and flying rubber all over the place.

Highway excitement notwithstanding, we made it back in plenty of time after having a great but brief visit.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Farewell To A Truly Great American Hero

Murphy's Law was privileged to attend the funeral of Ed Rasimus today. I had only exchanged some blog comments with Mr. Rasimus, but was an avid reader of his books and his blog

Not a lot of people have earned both a featured exhibit and a resting place for their hat at the National Museum of The United States Air Force. Ed Rasimus is one of those few, and deservedly so.

The museum has an exhibit to the men and planes that flew the missions over North Vietnam, and Ed Rasimus, with over 250 missions flown, figures prominently among those who were there, did it  for real, and came home to tell the tale. 

God bless and Godspeed Mr. Rasimus.

I expect the Angels' formations are now flying a little tighter and sharper as a result of Ed joining their heavenly squadron. 

You Would Think The Response Would Be 100% Against......

But then, you'd be wrong.

In an article in the Detroit Free Press titled Survey finds Muslims in U.S., abroad differ, that details a survey extolling the differences between Muslims in America and those abroad we get an interesting data point.

The result of the response to the question regarding suicide bombings of civilians was the following:

Views of Muslims worldwide were closer on the issue of violence. Most Muslims reject suicide bombings and violence against civilians, the surveys found, including 81 percent of American Muslims and 72 percent of Muslims in Africa, Asia and Europe.

This means that 19% of American Muslims are apparently in favor of suicide bombings and violence directed at civilians, as opposed to 28% worldwide - only 9 percent less in favor of such attacks in the land of the free.

With a Muslim population in the USA estimated at 2.5 Million, that makes around 475,000 American Muslims that are not opposed to such. That's a very significantly sized population in favor of such attacks from which future attackers can be supported and emerge to pose a major threat.

After all, it only took two actives plus some as yet unidentified support to shut down a major city last month....

Something to Be Unproud Of: Detroit And Michigan Recognized As Tops In The Worst Neighborhoods

Tam over at View From The Porch points to a report by MSN Money regarding the Top 25 most dangerous neighborhoods according to their study.

You'll be proud to know that Michigan rocks it out and lays claim to 6 of them - 1 each in Flint and Saginaw and an impressive 4! of the worst neighborhoods in Detroit. Of those four neighborhoods, three of them are ranked first, second and third overall most dangerous in the entire USA.

In other words, 24% of the most dangerous neighborhoods in the United States are in one state - Michigan.

Pure Michigan indeed.

Only Illinois with the dangerous neighborhoods in and around Chicago comes even close to our awesomely pathetic level of crime and danger.