Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Gear Review - The Vanguard 2 For The M&P Pistol Line

I had recently purchased a Vanguard 2 holster for the M&P pistol.

A minimalist holster, is superior over both the original Vanguard, and the MIC holster that I have for the Glock, by both fitting the M&P and having a belt loop and mount to allow it to be more firmly fixed to the belt than just by use of the cord alone.

The Vanguard arrived super-quickly and was nicely packaged:

Having used the MIC with the cord and liking it quite a lot, I was eager to see how the strut/loop system worked on the belt. Also MIC doesn't make holsters for the M&P just the Glock and it was time for a minimalist holster for my new M&P40c.

Here's a close-up - from back to front - holster, strut, belt loop - the holster goes inside and the belt loop on the outside):

On the belt:

As seen from the inside of the belt (if you were standing upside down):

The triggger guard goes into the sytem without the loud snapping sound of the MIC but seems to stay put very nicely. The hole is on the bottom of the holster when worn, tucked into your pants along with the rest of the holster and gun and the strut connects it to the lkoop on the belt, allowing for you to adjust the position of the holster yet it remains rather fixed in place unlike using just cord alone.

The pistol inside the trigger is then placed inside the waistband and only the outside loop is seen on the belt. As a minimalist holster, only the trigger guard is covered and it adds no appreciable width to the pistol, making concealment and comfortable carry a breeze.

The acid test was shooting from it.

Interestingly enough, a FAST drill with the M&P40c, from the Vanguard 2 was actually quicker than that done with the NTAC "normal" OWB holster, at 8.76 seconds vs 9.26 seconds. Of course, this was likely due more to gaining familiarity with the M&P40c and not boggling the reload, but the Vanguard 2 didn't slow me down.

The draw from the Vanguard 2 does feel different than from a typical OWB or IWB holster. The gun doesn't pull straight out of the holster, instead the Vanguard "rides" with the pistol as you draw, with the pistol breaking free slightly above where you'd expect. it's a "feeling" issue and doesn't hamper a smooth draw, but it does take a bit of getting used to.

Re-holstering a pistol with the Vanguard 2 or any similar minimalist holster is, in my opinion, a two-handed job if you're going to do it safely. No point rushing as, after all, you're re-holstering a loaded gun into a pretty narrow holster that you need to flip out of the pants, place on the trigger guard and then "flip" the gun and holster back into your pants. Slow as they say is smooth, and it prevents extraneous and undesired holes from appearing in your body. Why rush?

In short, the Vanguard 2 is a definite quality buy if you're looking for a minimalist holster for the M&P or indeed the Glock to assist in maximum concealment and decent comfort. The loop/strut combo is an enhancement over the string in terms of fixing the location of the pistol.

I'll have no worries carrying my new M&P40c or my full-size M&P9 in it and can recommend it.

Monday Range Trip Report And A Return Towards The M&P

On Monday morning I met up with Scott of the Providentia blog at the range to get some shooting time in.

Having been focused on karate the last few months, and otherwise being really busy, I hadn't been to the range in a while.

The range was also an opportunity to try out my newest firearm:

Yes, it's an M&P40c. After semi-giving up on the M&P after problems with my M&P9, I decided to try the M&P line again. It's all Kead's and Tam's fault.

The M&P came having been clearly test-fired at the factory, as the copper was still visible in the bore:

Aside from field stripping it to make sure there was no obstructions, I decided to take it right to the range and wring it out.

The M&P 40c came nicely packaged in a blue plastic carry case with two ten round mags, one with the pinky finger rest and one flat.

The first rapid 10 rounds of Winchester White Box 180gr 40 from unsupported standing at 25 yards looked like this:

The gun then boringly and most satisfyingly continued to function without a hiccup throughout the range session.

When shooting rapidly, as in a FAST drill, I find the small grip of the 40c makes the gun torque a bit in your hand, so a firm grip is a must in rapid strings.

The first FAST drill with the M&P40c wasn't very impressive, I blame both a lack of practice and unfamiliarity with the small grip and magazines - I completely boggled the reload and ended up with a 9.26 time, with 4 seconds of that being the reload. Must practice more. A later FAST drill, with a different holster than will be the subject of my next post, was better with a time of 8.36 seconds.

I ran 150 rounds of WWB through the 40c, including using some used 15 round magazines I had picked up, with no malfunctions whatsoever. I then pulled out a box of fifty 135 grain Federal hollow points for testing.

Even with the large cavity of the hollow point, all 50 fed fine.

The 135 grainers were appreciably snappier than the 180 grain, but that didn't affect recoil management, control-ability, nor good, solid hits. I'm liking this M&P.

The gun handled great right out of the box with no malfunctions. The stock trigger was smooth, sights were excellent and it's a real winner for 40 cal concealed carry.

After the 40c, I then pulled out my M&P9. I've been leery of the gun since the malfunctions it gave me during a match, even though it has functioned fine since its return from Smith and Wesson for warranty repair. I think I'm finally over that leeriness. The gun fit my hand like an old friend and devoured 50 rounds of Tul ammo steel-cased 9mm rapidly with accuracy and without a hiccup. If it can handle TUL Ammo, it's ready to return to regular service.

FAST drills with the M&P9 were appreciably better than the 40c, with an 8 second exact time, due to both the range time and because its a larger pistol with more grip area. Still, that's not the best I can do if I practice, and its sure sign I need to get out and practice more.

In short, I'm back to appreciating the fine design of the M&P series of pistols.

After the M&Ps, it was time to turn to the East Bloc Makarov classics.

The CZ-82 came out. Perhaps the finest of the pistols in 9x18mm, the Czech designed CZ-82 wins out for a smooth trigger, great sights and a perfect fit to the hand. A FAST drill with the C-82 netted me a 7.60 second time. The 9x18 in a CZ is a no-recoil, smooth shooting pistol. Still unbeatable for a defensive pistol on a budget, in my opinion, with a 12 round magazine and a cartridge with a tad more power than a .380. On top of that, it's a great relic of Cold War days.

Joining the CZ on this trip was the esteemed P-83 Wanad.

The Polish designed and manufactured P83, thinner than the CZ82, with an eight round magazine, tends to smack your hand a bit harder in recoil in comparison to the CZ-82. The trigger is quite smooth and the sights, while small, are very functional and the pistol is rock-solid reliable. Again, you won't give up anything having this as a carry piece on a budget and it's easy to carry and conceal and shoot well.

Having a plentiful supply of 9x18 on hand, it was quite fun to shoot these pistols. As usual for these pistols, neither pistol had the slightest malfunction and kept on delivering 9x18 Makarov rounds onto the targets.

Here's Scott at the moment of firing the P83:

For giggles, I had the CZ-82 in the M&P OWB holster (yes, it fits but loosely) and the P83 in a pocket and then did a very spiffy Eastern New York reload - 22 rounds of 9x18 all hitting the target in quick succession. Fun pistols, inexpensive ammo, and Cold War history in your hand, what could be better on a fine July day?

After we finished our pistol-craft, we headed to the rifle range where Scott showed me his new Sig 556R in 7.62x39, which he will hopefully blog about for your enjoyment. In short, it's an AK rifle designed by the Swiss - wow. I shot my 300 AAC Blackout AR15, and the installed anti-walk pins kept it functioning and no further rifle-caused issues occurred. I did have a few ammo feeding problems with some ammo I had bought that didn't want to chamber, which was annoying. I then shot my M&P15-22 and had a nice enjoyable time plinking away at 100 yards.

After that we cleaned up our targets and headed off for lunch after having had a great range day indeed. Not a bad way to spend a Monday morning.

Monday, July 29, 2013

So, How Bad Is It In Bankrupt Detroit?

It's so bad, Detroit Police Sergeants are allegedly committing robberies to pay the bills. That's how bad it is in Detroit.

The Detroit Free Press: Detroit Police chief to discuss arrests of two sergeants today

Detroit’s police chief is scheduled to discuss today the arrest of sergeants from police departments in Detroit and St. Clair Shores in connection with an armed robbery.

Now in Detroit not only do police have no duty to protect you, they allegeldy won't just stand idly by but they may just rob you as well.


Saturday, July 27, 2013

Once Again, The Police Do Not Have A Duty To Protect You

Next time the antis claim you don't need a gun because the "police wil protect you", there are two new examples you can point to that refute that time-worn and completely untrue claim.

Example 1: The New York Post: Zero for hero: Judge snubs man hurt stopping 'Butcher of Brighton Beach'

He’s a bona-fide hero who stopped the so-called “Butcher of Brighton Beach” at the end of a 28-hour city killing spree — but a Manhattan judge yesterday said a father of two is entitled to zero from the city for his injuries in the harrowing 2011 subway encounter.

Joseph Lozito sued the NYPD in January 2012, claiming police officers did nothing to help him as he confronted violent madman Maksim Gelman on a packed No. 3 train.

But Judge Margaret Chan tossed the case yesterday, saying that while she lauded Lozito’s bravery, cops did not have a specific charge of saving him from Gelman.

Because “no direct promises of protection were made to Mr. Lozito,” the police had “no special duty” to protect him. The psycho killer was sentenced to 200 years to life in prison for carving up Lozito with a knife and killing four other people in a drug-fueled spree. Chan added, “The dismissal of this lawsuit does not lessen Mr. Lozito’s bravery or the pain of his injuries. It merely provides a resolution to this litigation.” Lozito, 42, a martial-arts enthusiast, claimed cops hid in the motorman’s cab while he disarmed Gelman as the madman slashed at his face, hands, neck and head.

Yes, police even at the scene of a crime in progress can stand off and do nothing and not be held liable as they have no duty to protect the average citizen. Note that this was in New York city, where the average citizen is by law disarmed and not permitted to protect themselves except with a politician's bromide that they have no reason to have a weapon to protect themselves as the police will protect them.

Example 2: The Detroit Free Press: Did prison error involving Dollar Store suspect cost 2 young lives?

Before Lavere Bryant was accused in the killings of two Dearborn dollar store workers, police should have already been looking for the convicted sex offender.

But Bryant, who never self-reported after being released from prison two years ago after serving time for an assault, continued to roam free because prison officials made an error — they failed to change information on the state’s sex offender registry that would have let law enforcement know he was no longer incarcerated.

Now, the Free Press has learned, the Michigan Department of Corrections is conducting an internal investigation to determine how the mistake happened.

“Obviously there was a failure there,” said John Cordell, a spokesman for the Corrections Department.

Well, they lost track of a convicted rapist who had also commited assault prior to his murder of two store employees (and potentially sexual assault of the female employee, whose body was found away from the scene in the woods). After all mistakes happen, and neither the police nor the department of corrections have a duty to protect the average citizen from criminals.

Two more sad examples that again give lie to the claim that the police and justice system have a legal duty to protect the average citizen. They do not.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Dirty Democrat Election Deeds, Detroit-Style

Mike Duggan, the Great White Hope of Detroit, is running for mayor as a write-in candidate, having been booted off the ballot due to machinations by his rivals and his mistake in filing early.

As I predicted, Duggan is going to have problems considering the average Detroiter doesn't write. He's about to have another problem - most Detroiter's can't spell either.

Out of the depths of Detroit, a new candidate has just emerged from nowhere as a write in to join Mike Duggan on the ballot - Mike Dugeon. The Detroit Free Press: New Detroit mayoral candidate Mike Dugeon likely to cause confusion for Mike Duggan supporters

Adding a potential spoiler to Duggan’s long-shot write-in candidacy for mayor, a Detroit barber this morning filed to run as a write-in under his name, Mike Dugeon.

If he’s at all serious about politics, he certainly hadn’t shown it until this morning.

City elections records indicate that Dugeon, at 30, has never voted and even though he registered to vote in time to re-elect Barack Obama in last year’s presidential election, Dugeon didn’t bother. What’s more, a website for his campaign hastily put up this morning says very little about what kind of campaign he’s running, what he supports or what he’d do if elected.

I suspect a rival Democrat front-runner paid up to put up Dungeon as a shill candidate to siphon off write-in votes from Duggan and to allow for ballot challenges of the write-in votes based on handwriting.

Democrat Election gaming at its finest, and what's best is that this is Democrat-on-Democrat action. Imagine the dastardly Democrat dirty deeds if a Republican dared run....

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

University Of Michigan To Give In-State Tuition Discount To Illegals

They don't call UofM and its home city of Ann Arbor the Berkeley of the Midwest for nothing.

Of course, Both the UofM and The Detroit Free Press are all in favor of privileging illegals that are illegally residing in Michigan over United States' citizens from other states.

Editorial: U-M's tuition changes a boon for state, undocumented immigrants

In one sweeping step, the University of Michigan has helped create a path to opportunity and economic stability for undocumented immigrants, a path to Michigan for veterans across the country, and a path home for young Michiganders who have left the state.

Last week, the University of Michigan’s Board Regents expanded eligibility for in-state tuition to any Michigan high school graduate or GED recipient who qualifies for admission after spending two years at an in-state middle or junior high school and at least three years at an in-state high school. The university will also offer in-state tuition to students who have recently left the state, and to active members or veterans of the U.S. military and public health service.

Not only that, but the Freep thinks this execrable decision will enhance the left's holy grail of university education - "diversity".

Add up U-M’s plan to offer in-state tuition to veterans, undocumented immigrants and young people who have recently moved out of Michigan, and the university is making strategic moves to increase its diversity in the face of restrictions on affirmative action.

Note that adding veterans and recently former Michigan residents was an after-thought to try to provide cover for giving illegals in state tuition preference. They begrudged doing that for years and are only doing it now to try to make the dcision regaridng illegals more palatable.

In short, an illegal immigrant in Michigan now only needs to pay $13,000 a year in tuition while a tax-paying American citizen or a legal permanent resident coming from another state has to pay $40,000. Michigan taxpayers will make up the difference via state funding for the university. Great.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Making It To Black Belt - Passing the Shodan Examination

I hadn't mentioned on this blog that in addition to shooting and scuba diving, I'm learning karate for self-defense, exercise, knowledge, and because you get to associate with a truly great bunch of people.

I began as a white belt four and a half years ago and was introduced to Shido-Kan Shorin-Ryu Karate by a co-worker who was a Sixth Dan (sixth degree black belt) in that style. So I went to the dojo in Birmingham and met Sensei Menders who at the time was a Seventh Dan and is now an Eighth Dan in Shido-Kan. I enjoyed the people, enjoyed the workouts and decided it was the right fit for me. For additional practice I also went to the Clawson dojo, which is part of the same association and has the same curriculum, and again, a bunch of great people. Clawson is run by a husband and wife team, both of whom are Sixth Dan. In short, I always had incredibly great teachers throughout this journey.

Four and half years later, after progressing through the kyu ranks from 12th to 1st, it was time to test for 1st Dan Black Belt.

For a few months I had been regularly traveling to Lansing to visit the hombu dojo as part of the pre-test requirements for Michigan students. The hombu dojo is the headquarters of the North American Beikoku Shido-Kan Association and is headed by Hanshi 10th Dan Sensei Iha. Yes, Lansing is the home of an international karate cultural treasure from Okinawa - Sensei Iha.

At each visit I would work with the dojo members there and perform katas, kumite (partner drills) and bunkai (kata application, typically in groups of five people) in front of Sensei iha and other seniors. They would make suggestions and expect you to incorporate those suggestions for improvement into your technique before your next visit. Then you would either be cleared to test or not.

The Black belt tests are held only three times a year before the board of examiners, and July is the largest of the tests. After lots of practice, I was cleared to test.

The test was on Thursday night, starting at 6 pm and held in a hotel conference room in Lansing - a lightly carpeted floor over concrete which made break-falls really fun. On the upside the floor gave you excellent footing for your stances during kata, kumite and bunkai.

The examining board is composed of Sensei Iha and his senior instructors and heads of various dojos and the members are Seventh Dan and above. In other words, you're doing your test in front of about 400 combined years of karate experience - they've seen it all, they see all that you do, and you sure as heck can't fake it, you've got to make it and do your best.

The candidates for Sho-Dan (1st an) were called forward first, then the candidates for Second, then third, then fourth and there was one candidate for fifth, each to perform three senior katas. There are five senior katas - Passai Sho, Kusanku Sho, Passai Dai, Kusanku Dai and Chinto. Until the night of the test you only know that you will do Chinto, the other two Katas are drawn at random and everyone does the same three. For kata it is you alone in front of the board and a roomful of spectators. Each of us was given a number and I was number five. This was the order in which we were to stand, take our place on the testing line and do the katas.

So I was able to watch the first four candidates go up, and then I rose and was about to walk onto the testing floor, only to have candidate number 6 stand up and head onto the testing floor. This is a problem, considering the testing sheets are in numerical order so they were about to grade her on my sheet! That would be bad. The test was paused, the sheets were sorted out and the test proctor was a tad irate, but then we were instructed to state our names as we came up to avoid further mix-ups.

I then went up, stated my name, announced each kata, and did them to the best of my ability. Having just sprained my right ankle in late June,it still hadn't fully healed and it made the test even more interesting than I preferred. I avoided any kata-strophes and did a pretty good job. I then sat down and got to watch the rest of the candidates. Some were amazing, some not so much, and a couple of candidates had to repeat a kata after messing it up, but they managed to redeem themselves.

The we were paired off in partners for kumite drills, then into groups for bunkai. My kumite was really good, and three of the four bunkais were great. On the last and most difficult bunkai, Passai Sho, I started in the middle and did it nice and smoothly. When on the outside I had a couple hiccups with the technique but managed to get through. One fun part of the outside of this bunkai is the final sequence - you step forward right and throw a high right punch, which the person in the middle intercepts and then pulls down as they advance and sweep your leg - which results in you doing a forward roll. If you do the roll wrong you're going to land on either your face or your back like a sack of you know what. My roll was happily excellent and I ended up on my feet right where I was supposed to be.

The test took three hours and at the end they announced that I and the other testers had passed the examination. I was then called up, thanked Sensei Iha, and then Sensei Menders tied on my new black belt.

The Clawson dojo testing group gathered for a picture marking a successful test:

I also had this picture taken with Sensei Menders and Sensei Iha:

I was wiped from the effort but extremely happy. Passing that test was the best feeling I've had in quite a long time and the culmination of lots of time and effort. My first black belt ever. I got it while I'm still 40, which was a personal goal and it was a very proud moment. Now, as a First Dan I am not a tough-guy or anything like that, it simply means I'm fit to be a student of karate and can now really start learning what it is all about.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

So, What's Next For Zimmerman?

Over at Say Uncle, he and his readers (and you are reading him right? otherwise you're missing out) are speculating on what Zimmerman can do next. After all the man has a legion of people itching for his scalp, a racially-charged Justice Department that wants to mount his head on a pig-pole, and the media trying to broadcast his every move and his address, drivers license, phone and social security number.

While he's suing NBC for their audio hit job on him that falsely panted him as a racist, that probably won't be enough.

I suggested that he's a shoe-in for the role of the Obama Administration's Emmanuel Goldstein.

After all, the media and administration already has him broadcast for their daily two minutes hate, so he's a natural.

Not sure it will pay his bills though.

When Everything is A Crime, Even the Kennedys Get Kaught

That crazy Kennedy clan, always getting into trouble. Here they violate Federal law, the Endangered Species Act no less by the nefarious act of rescuing a Sea Turtle?!?

Feds: Kennedy brothers sea turtle rescue violated federal law

U.S. officials say two members of the Kennedy family who thought they were doing a good deed by freeing an entangled sea turtle actually violated federal law.

John Bullard of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Division of Fisheries says he has spoken to brothers Max and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. about their rescue of an estimated 500-pound (230-kilogram) turtle in Nantucket Sound over the July Fourth weekend.


Bullard tells the Cape Cod Times the rescue was a violation of the Endangered Species Act. He says only the Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies is certified to handle turtles.

Note that Robert F. Kennedy Jr is not only an attorney but an advocate for the environment and Endangered Species Act, so its rather delicious he's being knocked for violating the act by doing a good deed. Of course, because he's a Kennedy he's apparently not going to be charged or fined like an ordinary American and is instead just given a stern talking-to pour encourager les autres.

A pretty sad commentary that doing a good deed can be a federal crime, and that but for who they are, these two members of the Kennedy clan probably would be facing a federal case.

Even more sad is the idea that only the designee of the Feds may assist in a rescue and that Kennedy even advocates for that as reported in the Huff Po:

"When we spotted a sea turtle in trouble over the 4th of July weekend, our first impulse was to do what we could to help free the animal," Robert Kennedy Jr. said in a statement on NOAA's website. "But we realize that the action we took was pretty risky, these are large, powerful animals."

He urged people who spot a turtle in danger to call NOAA, then stand by until rescuers arrive to help them locate the animal.

Remember folks, only the feds are qualified to handle that. . . . . uh turtle.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Don't Confuse Rochelle "Race All The Time" Riley With The Facts

While Zimmerman was properly acquitted, the acquittal has now opened a firestorm of racial hand-wringers and chest-thumpers throughout the land and here in Detroit it's no different.

Rochelle Riley kicks off her hand-wringing article in The Detroit Free Press with the following question: What do we have to do so George Zimmerman and others get it? Not all black boys are dangerous

I daresay Trayvon trying to bash George's head in on the concrete gave George a particular suspicion that Trayvon in particular was indeed dangerous. Indeed George got it quite well.

She then begins her column with:

Just minutes after the verdict, my fingers searched for the keyboard. I wanted to write about how black America must find a way to get people to see our boys and tell the difference ...

... between thugs and altar boys.

... between gangsters and kids in the National Honor Society.

... between pimps and boys too shy to ask the girls they like to the prom.

But I stopped, closed my computer and prayed. Because that’s not the proper response to the Zimmerman verdict.

Here’s the proper response: Why do I have to convince the George Zimmermans of the world that not all black boys are dangerous, that not all black people are dangerous?

It's quite simple really dear Rochelle: Tell the kids to A) Not act like a thug; B) Not dress like a thug; and C) Don't attack people like a thug, and then people won't regard them as dangerous.

For the record, Trayvon Martin, as much as Rochelle contrary to all the evidence tries to put him on a pedestal, was clearly not an altar boy, nor a member of the National Honor Society, nor too shy to ask someone out to the prom. T

Instead Trayvon was a thug, a drug user, possibly a drug dealer, in possession of stolen jewelry and a burglar tool and was suspended from school at the time he tried to tap dance with Zimmerman's head. That Rochelle willfully ignores all the evidence as to who the real Trayvon was speaks volumes abouyt her racial blindside.

It's simple Rochelle - don't let you children grow up to act like the Trayvons of this world, be a parent and insist they do well in school and don't do crime, and they'll be fine.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Sunday At The Oakland County Fair Redux

Since we had so much fun last week at the fair, we decided to go again today. Natasha had a friend in town so it was just me and the girls.

It was a lot less crowded than the 4th of July weekend which allowed for both more exploration and a lot more ride time.

Since it was less crowded, we got to explore more of the barns and saw a lot more exhibits including:

Future Steak of America:

Bacon Bits:

The rare Alpaca-doodle:

And, a very cute baby camel:

Then we did multiple rides multiple times - the Ferris wheel at least five times, the kiddie roller coaster at least that many, multiple trips through fun-houses and lots of other rides. Happily, they had my favorite ride, the Cliff Hanger.

In contrast to St. Mary's fair, and possibly due to the lesser crowds of the day, it seemed that each ride went on for longer than a similar ride did at the St. Mary's fair - for example, the kiddie coaster went around 9 times each ride here compared to about 5 at St. Mary's. For the Cliff Hanger, not only did it go around much longer, it went measurably faster - I wasn't dizzy getting off the ride at St. Mary's but certainly was for this go-round - still a heckuva lot of fun indeed being stirred but not shaken.

It was a hot day though, so the girls got their money's worth out of the bottomless cups of chocolate milk that was cleverly hosted in an air-conditioned building, and each received multiple re-applications of sun screen.

We took a lunch break - Abby and I shared a Texas BBQ Chopped Beef in sauce sandwich that was awesome, and Leah had a corn dog.

The BBQ was excellent, smoked on the premises with a scent that reached the top of the Ferris wheel and drew us to it like moths to a flame. The corn dog - well what more can you say than it is a perfect hot dog - on a stick! It doesn't get much better than that, especially with its corn shell perfectly cooked and not over or underdone in the least.

Then we went to see a demo by the Jumpin' All-Stars competitive jump-rope team. They were pretty darn awesome - doing a cartwheel without missing a beat while skipping, skipping across a line of five other jumpers, stuff like that. Then the team let the audience come up and Abby and Leah both gave double-rope jumping a try and had a lot of fun.

A few more rides and another cooling break and some more chocolate milk and then we headed off to swim at a friend's beach lot. Then, once we were totally wiped we headed home and another great day was done.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Zimmerman Not Guilty

The system worked - based on the evidence this was self-defense and he was properly found not guilty. Of course, the travesty is the politics and media that drummed-up the unjustified outrage that required the system to take to trial a case that had already been thoroughly investigated and already found to be self-defense.

I'm sure the Home Owner's Association is now kicking itself for agreeing to settle for allegedly over seven figures with the Martin family for their thug son.

Kudos to some excellent defense counsel, and kudos to Mr. Ben Kruidbos for following the law by revealing the existence of the extensive test messages when the prosecutors tried to hide the evidence in violations of both the law and ethics rules. If anything, it's Mr. Kruidbos who deserves a big settlement for being unjustly fired for fulfilling both his and the prosecutor's office's legal and ethical duties in this case.

No Really, Stop Touching It, You'll Only Shoot Yourself in City Hall.

Familiarity not only breeds contempt, it also causes ouchies.

The Detroit News: Warren city employee accidentally shoots self in city hall

A city worker is recovering Saturday after a gun he accidentally shot himself with a gun he was carrying

The incident occurred 10 a.m. Friday when the 62 year old electrical inspector was on the third floor of city hall in the restroom.

The man, whom police are not identifying, was carrying a semi-automatic .45 caliber. It appears he took the weapon out of a holster while he was using the restroom and as he was trying to re-holster the weapon it discharged, said Warren Police Commissioner Jere Green.

The bullet went into his hip and hit his femur, splitting into two pieces. One piece lodged above his knee and one piece below it, said Green.

Of course this leads to politicians in Warren advocating for more restrictions, never-mind they can already by law restrict their own employees form carrying should they so choose. Thanks electrical inspector guy.

Mayor Jim Fouts said state lawmakers have made it difficult for the city to have policies to prevent guns at city hall.

“The legislature has superseded the city on this issue,” said Fouts.

Fouts said he would ask the city attorney for an opinion on whether a new policy can be instituted.

Look, the holster is the proper place for a firearm, so leave it in the holster even if you're going to the bathroom and don't play with it. If your holster won't retain it when you go, then get another holster.

Friday, July 12, 2013

When Your Other Attempts To Change The Rules Sink, Play The Race Card

So, your boat doesn't meet the classification to race in the Detroit Hydroplane races? Most people determined to race would either plan ahead and buy the appropriate class of boat, or they might just enter in a race that has the class of boats they own for racing.

Not Jerry Bell of Detroit. He decided instead to play the race card: The Detroit Free Press: Detroiter Jerry Bell says Detroit River Regatta Association racist for not running his hydroplane class in Gold Cup

Jerry Bell calls it racism.

Officials from the Detroit River Regatta Association say that’s nonsense.

Bell, a 38-year-old African American power boat racer from Detroit, briefly disrupted the ABPA Gold Cup Unlimited Hydroplane kickoff event at Campus Martius Park on Tuesday when he loudly challenged regatta staff on stage as to why he couldn’t race on the Detroit River this weekend.

It’s not the first time Bell, who has competed in 5.0-liter hydroplanes in the past, has accused the DRRA and American Power Boat Association of preventing him from competing at the Gold Cup event.

So he's a regular user of the Race Card Express.

“The following year, he pulled the same thing. We let him run an exhibition on the river in 2009. What everybody needs to understand is that we run a lot of events … and this year we were going to run Grand National Hydros, and Jerry doesn’t even own a Grand National Hydro. We again couldn’t get enough entries in that class and had to cancel.

“It’s always a racial thing with Jerry. Look, we hire 400 volunteers from all walks of life for the Gold Cup weekend.”

Bell is now trying to pull the big guns of the race card into his farcical claim:

Bell said he contacted civil rights activist the Rev. Al Sharpton and the National Action Network in Detroit about his latest objection.

Meanwhile, Bell hasn't come out to play where races are held with his class of boat:

Said Weber, a former Unlimited Hydroplane driver:

“The rules are perfectly clear by the sanctioning body: He (Bell) has the opportunity to participate when the classes are on the race schedule. He hasn’t cared to do that at two events (Walled Lake and Waterford) recently.”

In other words, instead of entering and competing by the rules, Jerry Bell hopes playing the race card will trump the racing regulations. Pretty pathetic if you ask me, and rather a sad comment that his reality-free racial tantrum gets coverage by the Detroit Free Press.

George Zimmerman's Case Heads To The Jury

If you haven't been following this case with the brilliant, thorough, detailed, and legally awesome reporting by Andrew Branca at Legal Insurrection you need to do so immediately. This is especially so if you think you know anything or have any opinion regarding the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman shooting Incident.

The case is a definite warning of how what now seems like a justified defensive shooting can turn into a media and legal circus when it becomes politically expedient for some to make it so.

My opinion, based on viewing the evidence put forth by the state and the defense in this case is that Zimmerman should be acquitted and his actions were justifiable under the circumstances, and the prosecution should be sanctioned for its discovery games and unprofessional tricks during the case.

Now we wait to see what verdict the jury arrives at in the case, and may justice be done.

Sometimes You Get The Bull, Other Times You Get The Horns

Well, that's certainly one way to vent your spleen:

The Detroit News: American has spleen removed after being gored in Spain bull runs

The regional government of Navarra said one American and two Spaniards were gored in the run, while another American and two Spaniards were also taken to city hospitals for other injuries suffered in falls and trampling during the frenzied event.

The local government press office identified the gored American as Patrick Ekols, 20, but didn’t give his hometown.

Navarra Hospital chief Javier Sesma said doctors removed Ekols’ spleen after it was found that the bull’s horn had gone through the abdominal cavity and punctured the non-vital, blood-filtering organ. He said the young man was in stable condition.

Sounds like it's not life-threatening, which is a good thing, and let's hope Mr. Ekols and the others make complete recoveries. It is, however, certainly a warning to either wholly avoid or be more careful when deliberately placing oneself in the way of massive, angry, horned bests. This bull-assisted organ removal may help him avoid winning a future Darwin Award due to unnecessary unsafe choices in the future.

Obama To Detroit: Son, You're On Your Own

After all, he got what he wanted from the city's residents - their lockstep votes, and they're no longer needed as he's not running for re-election again:

The Detroit News: White House not offering Detroit help to avoid bankruptcy.

The White House offered no help to the city of Detroit to avoid a potential bankruptcy filing, but a spokesman Thursday said President Barack Obama is keeping tabs on the city’s financial woes.

White House spokesman Jay Carney was asked by a reporter for the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call at the daily press briefing if Obama planned on doing anything to save Detroit from a possible bankruptcy filing. The president in 2009 helped finance the bankruptcy filings of Detroit-area automakers General Motors and Chrysler.

“I know that the president is aware of the situation in Detroit and that administration officials have been in contact with leaders in Detroit, but I am not aware of any plans or proposals that the president has, but we’re certainly aware of the circumstances,” Carney said.

The state of Michigan appointed an emergency manager, Kevyn Orr, to run the city, which has as much as $20 billion in debt. Last month, the city stopped making payments on some unsecured debts, including pension obligations. Orr is trying to convince some creditors to accept as little as 10 cents on the dollar in an effort to avoid what would be the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.

Orr and Detroit Mayor Dave Bing in early April met with White House officials including Obama’s senior adviser Valerie Jarrett to discuss Detroit’s financial situation, said Bill Nowling, an Orr spokesman. On Tuesday, Orr updated Jarrett and other White House officials by phone —the same day the New York Times ran a front-page story about Detroit’s finances, Nowling said.

Of course, if Obama does bail out Detroit, the precedent it would set would be very bad indeed. The likelihood that Obama would then use Federal printed money to bail out more failed blue state model cities and states after having done so for Detroit, the example of blue state failure par excellence, would be almost unavoidable.

I almost expected, and half way do expect him, to try to ride in at the last moment and do a bail out for this failed Democrat bastion of corruption and decay to try and shore up Democrat votes and supporters for the future. Then again, he's busy taking vacations, and the Democrats already have a lock on their votes, so why bother paying for that which the Democrats already get for free?

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

An Interesting Archaelological Find In Jerusalem

Fox News: Traces of 2,000-year-old wartime famine unearthed in Jerusalem

Archaeologists may have discovered evidence of a dire famine that gripped Jerusalem during a Roman siege nearly 2,000 years ago.

Cooking pots and a ceramic lamp were found in an ancient cistern near the Western Wall, the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) announced. Excavators believe these artifacts were left in the underground chamber by Jewish residents who were trying to eat what little food they had in secret during the war.

"This is the first time we are able to connect archaeological finds with the famine that occurred during the siege of Jerusalem at the time of the Great Revolt," Eli Shukron, excavation director for the IAA, said in a statement. The Great Revolt was the first of several Jewish uprisings against Roman rule that began in A.D. 66. The revolt was ultimately unsuccessful. The Romans eventually took back Jerusalem from the Jewish rebels and destroyed much of the city, including the Second Temple.

A very interesting find indeed, reaching back to the Great Revolt against Rome and helping to support Josephus' account of the famine during the siege.

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Insurance Timidity Is Not A Reason For Anti-Gun Smugness

The Freep and its columnists are still up to their smug anti-gun ways: Nancy Kaffer: The unintended consequence of arming teachers

So get this: Remember how a bunch of state legislatures passed laws allowing teachers to carry guns? Well, in many of those states, schools are now having trouble getting insurance.


The Michigan Legislature passed a bill last December that would have allowed people with concealed carry permits into schools; Gov. Rick Snyder vetoed it in the wake of the school shooting in Newtown, Conn. It seemed like a good move at the time, but in retrospect, it seems even smarter.

Oh, so according to Ms. Kaffer, a lack of insurance coverage for such events is now a smart reason against allowing armed teachers or other armed responsible adults to be present in schools now is it?

This insurance issue could be fixed via legislation or by allowing the insurance company to require an additional rider for coverage for incidents involving firearms at the school. Insurance companies are notoriously shy about risk, and anything outside of their traditional policies takes them some time to become comfortable with the new reality - namely that licensed carries of firearms are a very low-risk population indeed.

Note that the current liability of a school's insurance company, including one that refuses to write policies allowing licensed firearms to be present and as a result creates a nice gun-free victim-rich zone, thus enabling a madman to enter a school and kill a ton of kids is zero.

Now let's see if Nancy can smugly think about what smart results that incentive creates.

Monday, July 08, 2013

Duggan To Try A Run As Mayor For Detroit As A Write-In Candidate? WCPGW?

Mike Duggan, Detroit's Great White Hope and likely last, best chance for a competent mayor, after being kicked off the ballot in a legal maneuver from his foes, is now trying to be a write-in candidate.

He's now being legally challenged as to his eligibility to even be a write in candidate: Lawsuit challenges Duggan as write-in candidate for Detroit mayor's race

Forget about the legal challenge for a moment. He's got a far greater obstacle.

Duggan's biggest challenge as a write-in candidate for Mayor of Detroit is simple: Most voters in Detroit can't write.

Obama's Reformatory Failures

Obama loves to push for bills that have to be passed before they can be read, and the results are a string of failures and unworkable legislation.

His and the Gang of Eight's push for Immigration reform is a case in point - push through a bill to reward Democrat constituencies before anyone has time to realize what a mess of a bill it is and the mess it will create. Of course, Republicans in the Senate also bear a lot of responsibility for this ridiculous bill: The Detroit news: Immigration reform disappoints

Republicans were able to keep their heads down in part because there wasn’t a lot of pressure coming from the anti-reform conservative base. That owed a great deal to the Gang’s decision to dispatch Rubio, elected as a Tea Party favorite in 2010, on a mission to allay conservative suspicions about the bill.

“(Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey)told me that Rubio’s role was to ‘work over the conservative universe, particularly the conservative opinion-maker universe,’ in order to ‘neutralize them’ and, in some cases, ‘proselytize them,’” The New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza reported recently.

The plan worked. Conservative talk-radio hosts who might have instinctively opposed immigration reform as conceived by Schumer gave Rubio a respectful hearing and a lot of room. When Rubio told them the bill would secure the border first, they believed him.

Later, when it became unavoidably clear that the bill would first legalize millions of currently illegal immigrants, and only then start the work of securing the border, some conservatives began to express skepticism, disappointment and opposition.

So Rubio, to put it charitably, at best got rick-rolled on immigration reform, or at worst decided to throw both the Country and the Republicans under the bus in the name of bi-partisanship.

Meanwhile Health care reform is on the rocks, pending the mid-term elections: Small business stricken by Obamacare mandate. So, Obama decided to ignore the law that states clearly that the implementation will be in 2014 and he unilaterally moved it to 2015, safely after the mid-term elections.

But don't worry, since Obama's done such a bang-up job on immigration and health insurance reform, he's now announced he's going to unilaterally push ahead on government reform:

What could possibly not go wrong?

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Despicable Me 2 Is Too Good To Miss

Today after a late start and doing a few errands, we took the kids to see Despicable Me 2 in 3D.

The theater actually had an employee dressed as a minion and he waved, gave high-fives, and took pictures with all the kids.

If you've seen the original, the sequel is a worthy continuance of the story and successfully funny on both a kid and adult level. The 3D effects were excellent and worked with the story.

The story is at times mostly sweet, and often sassy, with only a few marginally scary moments. Leah at 6 enjoyed it immensely and wasn't bothered by the few scary-ish moments. Both kids thought it was a great film.

If you go to see the movie, especially in 3D, be sure to stick around in your seats after the credits start rolling. You'll appreciate what happens.

After the movie we went home, where I grilled some steaks for dinner and we had a nice family meal.

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Obama's Brave New Middle East Shambles

Obama's foreign policy is looking more like the worst features of Jimmy Carter's every day, and that's not good.

Obama ignored the Egyptian people's protests against Morsi and still ignores the Turkish people's plight and protests under the Islamist Ergodan and seems to blithely sit on the sidelines tacitly supporting Muslim Brotherhood dominated governments, or any other government that holds itself counter to America's rather than Obama's interests.

USA Today: Obama 'deeply concerned' about Egypt military

Interesting how Obama was not deeply concerned about the Muslim Brotherhood making a mess out of Egypt.

Leftists like Obama and co tend to loathe the military, unless it is doing their bidding.

As such they viscerally hate the idea of military coups against out of control governments that run counter to their own constitutions, especially leftist type governments.

Obama was against the military acting against the extra-constitutional actions of the President in Honduras, against the Turkish military intervening against the Islamists in Turkey and now seems to be poised to come out against the overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt or through action or inaction.

This administration has no problem taking action or committing acts of indifference that run counter to America's best interests in the region, and it's going to be hard for Obama to avoid a knee-jerk reaction against the Egyptian Military restoring stability to Egypt and its cracking down on the anti-American Muslim Brotherhood.

While Obama is busy trying to figure out how to lead from behind on these events, he'll be busy speechifying about how the Egyptian military should be turning power over to the people as quickly as possible.

Friday, July 05, 2013

How We Get Slimmer

Thanks to the Instapundit, I learned about Gary Taubes book Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It.

I read the book cover to cover and it made quite a bit of sense. Having hit 200 lbs while not really over eating, but certainly having a lot of carbs in my diet, I decided it was time to give it a try.

After staring in early May, I've now dropped 15 pounds and 3 inches - two pants sizes - off my waist. Blood work is fine and everything is where it is supposed to be after a check-up.

The only downside is I need to get pants taken in or buy more pants as there is now way too much room around the waist and hitching up the belt with all the excess material looks ridiculous. This is a happy problem to have.

Of course, it might not be the diet alone but weight loss as a result of all the stress I'm going through now plus some additional exercising. Most likely, it is a combination of all three but the diet seems to be working well. If you're looking to lose some weight around the middle, it's worth investigating.

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Independence Day Doings

After the kids let us sleep in for once, we awoke made coffee and I made an omelet so we would all have energy for the day.

We then got in the car and headed to the Oakland County Fair.

The fair featured a real circus complete with elephants.

Considering that elephants are Abby's favorite animal, she was thrilled.

There were also Lions and Tigers, but no bears.

But they did have camels:

There were also some acrobatics as well.

After the show, Abby was more thrilled when we paid for her to take a ride on an elephant. Leah, for her part, took a ride on a pony.

Next we saw a farm animal show that included a goat miking demonstration, baby lambs and pigs and a border collie that could flip around in the air and catch freebees with joy.

Next, we went into the miracle of birth exhibit and in addition to baby pigs, chicks, and goats, we saw some Obama voters:

Then we went to the exhibit hall to see all the county fair winners. There were lots of interesting crafts on display from canned goods to quilts and fabric art as well as 4H student science experiments:

When you have an award-winning exhibit titled "Bacon vs. Bacon", everybody wins.

After the fair we came home, and Abby and Leah worked hard to make appropriately themed desserts for our Independence Day BBQ. While I was grilling chicken and vegetable kabobs, they made these:

Now we're waiting for dusk and some fireworks. A great day.

Happy Independence Day

237 Years after the Declaration of independence was published, the United Sates of America continues its exceptional experiment in liberty.

That the Republic has endured for all these years is a testament to the founder's wisdom and foresight, and its up to us to keep it.

While there have been foibles, problems and fixes from that time forward, the nation stands strong despite all those that would see it torn asunder.

The world has not been the same since that day in July in 1776.

Happy Independence Day.

Monday, July 01, 2013

Happy CANada Day!

Gotta love that Can-do spirit!

Happy Canada Day, Eh!