Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Bye-Bye Chrysler

Its official, Chrysler is no more and no longer officially an "American" car company. It is now but a part of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

Fiat SpA and Chrysler Group LLC have become Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, or FCA.

. . .

Since then [the 2009 bankruptcy], Fiat has steadily increased its stake in the company. On Jan. 1, it reached an agreement to buy the rest of Chrysler from the United Auto Workers retiree health care trust that was given a minority stake as part of the same 2009 agreement.

That deal closed last week, and Fiat is now the sole owner of Chrysler.

The company will be incorporated and headquarted in the Netherlands and domiciled in the United Kingdom for tax purposes. Good thing Obama decided to save this American car company so it can avoid US tax payments on earnings in the future.

So, can we expect all the UAW guys to quietly take their "Don't Buy Foreign Car" stickers off their Chryslers now?

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Deterrence Only Works If A Credible Deterrent Exists

Instapundit links to a Business Insider article that doesn't bode well for peace in our time in the Pacific.

As stated in the article, the Chinese professional in question postulated a lightning strike by the Chinese to take the disputed Senkaku/Diayou/Tiaoutai islands currently controlled by Japan before Japan could react.

The Chinese professional acknowledged that if China asserted control over the disputed islands by attacking Japan, America would have to stand with Japan. And he acknowledged that China did not want to provoke America.

The important and unasked question is, would America, under Obama, be actually willing to go to credibly threaten to go to war to defend the Japanese claims to a bunch of rocks in the Pacific?

After all the US State Department line on most provocative acts that have become fait accompli so far is to either pose the question "What difference at this point does it make?", or to waltz away from declared red lines.

This administration does not have a very credible history that demonstrates a real deterrent to aggression, now does it? It's partly due to this that Japan is looking to others for aid and boosting its military capabilities.

As Instapundit says, what could go wrong?

Monday, January 27, 2014

A New Anti-Gun Junk Science Study, For The Children Of Course

Interesting how this Free Press article featuring a study from Pediatrics, a journal with a rather time-worn anti-gun bias just comes along now.

It's a prime example of how to craft a misleading study and article. Expect the antis to start quoting from it root and branch and ignore the obvious faults with the study.

Let's go to the headline -

The Detroit Free Press: Twenty young people a day hospitalized for gun injuries

Oh, that sounds bad, doesn't it? The two leading paragraph makes it sound even worse:

Almost one child or teen an hour is injured by a firearm seriously enough to require hospitalization, a new analysis finds. Six percent of the 7,391 hospitalizations analyzed resulted in a death, says the study in February's Pediatrics, released today.

The damage caused by gun-related injuries rarely gets the same attention as fatalities, "but that every day, 20 of our children are hospitalized for firearms injury, often suffering severe and costly injuries, clearly shows that this is a national public health problem," says Robert Sege, director of the Division of Family and Child Advocacy at Boston Medical Center and a co-author of the study.

Must be an unbiased source, that. With a study like that, whose heart-strings could not be pulled by the thought of 20 children a day being hospitalized for being shot?

It takes reading down to the sixth paragraph to find out the definition of children apparently has a much wider range than in common use:

Researchers analyzed a nationally representative sample of discharge data collected on children and adolescents (up to age 20) in 2009. The data, released in 2011, are the most recent available, Sege says.

Now that's defining childhood upward. Not only can you stay on your parent's Obamacare policy until age 26, but to this study you're still just a wee child at age 20.

Now while any child being unintentionally shot is a tragedy, that isn't the bulk of those studied, as noted in paragraph 10:

Rates were highest for those ages 15 to 19 (27.94 per 100,000.)

Prime no-goodnik age indeed, and two of those five years in that span are old enough to be charged as adults without any special actions by the prosecutor because under the law, THEY ARE ADULTS, NOT CHILDREN.

You can see how well-crafted this study and article is to come to a biased conclusion now can't you?

Indeed, the study shows you're most likely to be a hospitalized "child" victim of a shooting if you're a black male in the 15-19 age range as result of being a victim of an assault, not an accident.

The study detailed a significant racial gap: Black children and adolescents comprised 47% of all hospitalizations, 54% of hospitalizations resulting from assaults, 36% from unintentional injuries and 54% from undetermined causes.

You can draw your own conclusions as to where said teens were and what they were doing at the time, as the study surely does not...

Luckily for the study, no analysis of poverty or indeed criminal activity on the part of those shot was considered:

Noting the significantly higher poverty rate for young black males compared with young white males, Sege says the data did not allow researchers to "separate the effects of poverty from the effects of race."

Nor did the data indicate what types of guns were used or where the injury occurred.

So it's biased stats full of sound and fury, signifying nothing, all the way down.

What is the first conclusion the authors of the study come to? That they need more funding, of course

The findings emphasize "the need for funding for public health research to find the best way to reduce children's access to firearms," he says.

That's findings-speak for "Don't confuse us with the facts, or ask us to look at what the fact sactually might mean, just give us more money so we can fund scientifically sounding junk to press for gun bans."

His second conclusion, that flies in the face of the studies admission that "Nor did the data indicate ..... where the injury occurred." is even more unsupported:

In the absence of such research, Sege says, the best advice is to follow the American Academy of Pediatrics' recommendation that "the safest home for children and teens is one without guns,"

Talk about your non-sequitur. The study by his own admission does not state where the shooting injury occurred, or what the "child" was doing. Indeed, it shows that most of the shootings were due to assaults not accidents, but he confidently states that the safest home is one without guns. What?

Allegedly, Pediatrics is a peer reviewed journal. Draw your own conclusions of the wisdom of the particular peer reviewers approving publishing this dreck as a scientific study rather than an advocacy hit-piece thinly veiled with misleading statistics.

In short yet another example of the peudo-medical establishment with an anti-gun agenda trying to jump on the ever popular funding gravy-train with anti-gun distorted studies. No Thanks.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Winter Of Our Discount Tent - Detroit To Get A $350 Million Bailout From The State

The Discount Tent of course refers to the recent brouhaha where Brooks Patterson, Oakland County Executive, 30 some years ago stated regarding Detroit "“I made a prediction a long time ago, and it’s come to pass. I said, ‘What we’re gonna do is turn Detroit into an Indian reservation, where we herd all the Indians into the city, build a fence around it, and then throw in the blankets and the corn.’”".

While colorful and inflammatory, the statement is, in its essence "truthy" as the left would put it. After all we're not sending in blankets and corn, instead the State of Michigan will be sending in millions of dollars to deadbeats, corrupt government officials and the electorate that succored them for so long as they led the city to ruin and bankruptcy.

The Detroit News: Let's call a bailout a bailout

Let's also note the sad reality, Govenror Snyder, a nominal Republican, is pushing $350 Million dollars on a solid Democrat city to relieve them of the consequences of their malfeasance. That malfeasance of course first being promising pensions that couldn't be paid while squandering the pension money that was there on corruption and incompetence. The second such act of malfeasance being that of the vulnerability of the Detroit Institute of Arts because the City Council for years refused to get it out from under City control and thus let its assets be open to satisfy the city's liabilities rather than safe as an independently and competently run institution.

In short it's a Republican Governerd racing to save a too-big-too-fail Democrat machine.

Why is he doing it when the moral hazard of bailing out those who will invariably continue the same antics and policies that led it to ruin remain in place? Perhaps because in his mind it's the right thing to do or for his own legacy as suggested in the Detroit News:

The governor is spending the largest portion of his time on Detroit and its problems. No other recent governor has devoted so much attention to the city, not even Democratic ones for whom Detroiters voted for by rote.

And again, Snyder is doing it without hope for a ballot box return. Neither the unions whose retirees will benefit, nor Detroiters whose city will be saved, are likely to reward him with votes.

And yet he’s investing his political capital in mustering a Republican-controlled Legislature to do something it has rarely done — recognize the special place Detroit occupies in the state, and thus its special claim on the treasury.

As I’ve suggested before, if he can get that done — and I think he will — Detroit should erect a statue of The Nerd in the center of Campus Martius.

I'd humbly suggest there's no way Detroiters will be putting up a statue of a Republican governor anytime soon, no matter how many millions he hands over to them. Indeed, I expect the first thing we'll hear are complaints that he hasn't given even more of the State's money to the City and its Democrat machine.

If Snyder as part of this deal doesn't explicitly condition this bailout on the severing of the link between the DIA and the city and turning it over to tri-county control, and also require that all future Detroit retirement plans to be 401K types outside the control and sticky-fingers of the Democrat machine, we'll be looking at this same problem yet again, with the same bailout to be the answer.

If that happens, the Governerd will be forever remembered as the Goverfool.

Winter Blows

So after shoveling the Driveway of Doom™ twice yesterday, we awoke today to yet more snow.

Over two inches and its still coming down, blowing around and making the roads a hazardous experience.

We've well and truly broken the record for the most snow in January, beating the last record set in 1880.

More snow is still on the way, along with freezing temperatures, which is just ducky.

Hmm, anyone got some attorney job offers open in Florida or North Carolina?

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Purdue University or Perdue University?

Tam has a rather brilliant bit about the Purdue University shooting up today, and the need for the complaining students to grow up a bit and put on their big-boy and big-girl pants. Go read it.

After reading it, I think I understand why the students acted as they did, complaining that there was no lock-down when the shooting happened about a mile from their classroom.

It's due to their conceptual framework as to how the world works.

Purdue University is a gun-free zone with no firearms allowed. Indeed their very policy boldly states: "The possession, use, or distribution of any explosives, guns, or other deadly or dangerous materials or weapons reasonably calculated to cause bodily injury is prohibited in University Facilities

As such, the shooting was simply un-possible.

Could not have happened.

But it happened.

Thus a bit like Schrodinger's cat, the students had to face the possibility that the event both had occurred and yet could not have occurred at the same time.

After all, if the iron laws regarding the banning of weapons were disobeyed, the laws of physics very well could be next and the shooter could theoretically be both a mile away doing the shooting and then simultaneously outside their classroom ready to commit mayhem.

No wonder they wanted to go into a dark corner and cry.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Missed It By That Much....

One of the many jokes about Detroit is that it is ground zero for where hell is going to open up. The follow-up response, of course, is that it'll be hard to tell the difference if that happens.

Verily, the earth hath opened up, but by a cruel joke fate missed its intended target by just a few feet:

Officials are meeting Tuesday to learn the results of a soil test at the site of a 14-foot-deep sinkhole that opened up next to City Hall over the weekend.

From The Detroit News.

The sinkhole missed City Hall by just a bit, and to think of the improvement in the city had it been on target. Interestingly, the hole has revealed an old 1890s sewer line and the repair will be problematic (read: expensive), as lots of other utilities run there and so far they're not sure about the stability of the entire area.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Just Remember One Thing When Falling Backward....

Winter, every time it comes around, as is its wont, tries to kill me.

For the latest attempt, at about 11 pm last night, I'm taking the dog for his night-time walk and taking the garbage bin to the curb at the same time as the next day is garbage day.

So with the dog leash in one hand, the big full garage bin on wheels in the other, I head down the Driveway of Doom™.

Just before the end, on a black driveway on a pitch-black night there's a patch of black ice.

Both feet go up in the air.

This is about to suck, thinks I.

When you're already falling backward there's one thing to do: tuck your chin to your chest. Another way of remembering is to focus on looking at your belt.

Tucking your chin or focusing on your belt gets your head curved in and away from the pavement that is trying to smash it in. Your head is important, so keep it off the ground at all costs.

Next, try to roll with the impact and dissipate it by hitting the ground with your hands and forearms without reaching back with your arms so you don't throw your shoulder out. Having your head tucked tends to also tuck the rest of your body into a ball so you can roll with the impact a bit which helps a lot.

I dutifully tucked my head in and as both arms were occupied, ended up doing at least a roll rather than a flop down on the asphalt. The garbage bin ripped out of my hand and hit with a bang, the leash also fell out of my grip on impact and Jett waited for me to get up and get him. Good dog.

Aside from a back muscle ache from impact, no serious damage happened in the fall. Winter has failed yet again.

So remember, when you're falling backwards, tuck your chin to your chest and then roll for the best.

This public service announcement is brought to you by the letters O, U, C, and H.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Home Repair Fun - A Flushing Feeling

Today was, among other things, the day for some needed minor home repairs.

The toilet in the basement had a constant flow issue as the ball-cock wouldn't quite close, causing water to be wasted and a constant drip.

Meanwhile, the toilet in our bathroom had suddenly decided to both become really, really, really loud when being filled, and also taking forever to fill, making you always wonder if something had gotten stuck and the toilet was just continuing to fill and not stop. Looking up the cause on the internets led me to the conclusion that the fill valve was the source of the problem.

In both cases, it was time to replace the fill valves. Should be easy, right?

Well, not so fast. Apparently the plumbing industry doesn't quite believe in standardization of toilet fill valves.

Visit 1 to Home Depot resulted in a replacement ball-cock unit for the downstairs toilet. After having to remove the fittings holding the old one in place with a wrench and some vocabulary while working in a confined space (hand tightened my foot, the last bozo in here sure as heck wrenched on those nuts), I installed it. It went in pretty easy, I even was able to, after a few tries, get the water supply line lined up and tightened with no leaks to the new valve. Testing was perfect, I then went to put the top on...and its too fargin' tall by about two inches! Who knew ball-cock valve towers came in different sizes?

So Visit 2 resulted in that one was returned, and we went with one of the newer style Fluidmaster Tank Fill Valves for it.

Luckily, it, unlike the previous model, was adjustable in height and fit with some minor adjustment. It was a bit narrower in width than the previous one, but the gasket sealed the hole well. A bit of hand-tightening and lining up the water supply pipe, which was a battle and a half to make the new tube and nut work with the existing fill line, and all was well. It works now with no leaks, is quieter, and fills quicker than the really worn-out old valve that used to be in there.

For the bedroom, I went with a Korky Quiet Fill Toilet Fill Valve, hoping it would be quieter.

Again some wrenching was needed to remove the old Kohler fill valve. Then adjusting the new one was a bit of a pain. You had to line up the water level line with the water level line in the toilet tank. The way you did this was pull on the tube and when it was at the right height lock the tube into place by turning it clockwise so it locked into place. Unfortunately, when you go to screw the nut under the toilet tank to put the tube in place, you end up twisting the fill tube causing it to fall out of locked position and fall down. So after a bit more choice language I had that fixed, only to realize I had put the nut on upside down, and yes that actually matters for this model - top side up, no leaks, top side down - you get leaks.

Next after getting the valve properly affixed with the nut in the correct orientation, I ran into another hindrance. Of course, the siphon tube was larger than the existing siphon tube and wouldn't fit the tower on the Kohler Canister Valve in the toilet no matter how much it was crimped into position. This caused more vocabulary choices and exclamations.

Seriously, the plumbing industry can't even standardize on a overflow rubber hose size! Finally, I was able to stretch the old hose over the port on the new valve and force it into place, and all was well.

Now, it runs a lot quicker and more importantly quieter - it was ridiculously super-loud before, now it's quiet and actually fills and stops flowing in a reasonable time.

So, expanded vocabulary and a few skinned knuckles aside, there's now two properly fixed toilets. They were pretty simple repairs that anyone can do, and it does feel nice to know I can fix those problems on my own.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Shrink The Army Even More - What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

The Detroit Free Press: Budget plan would slash Army by 100,000 soldiers

The plan would have the army reduced to 420,000, which The US Army Chief of Staff and others indicate is too small to fight a sustained major war.

Not to worry though, the smart people figure such a war can't possibly happen:

Even at the reduced numbers, the U.S. military is more than a match for any potential foe, said Gordon Adams, a professor at American University and a budget official in the Clinton administration.

"Who else that we are going to fight in a ground war has 420,000 soldiers?" Adams said in an e-mail. "Silly, really. Of course, we can."

Hmm, how about Pakistan, North Korea, and China for three potential trouble spots with land armies greater than 420,000 for starters? Not to mention we wouldn't be able to commit all 420,00 to one engagement without losing coverage elsewhere, so nations with significantly less than 420,00 troops could still pose a major problem.

But not to worry, The Obama White House experts are now assuring us that:

The White House strategy assumes that the U.S. military will no longer be engaged in long-term operations that are troop intensive. Instead, it envisions smaller, nimbler forces that deploy for short periods.

Yeah, Obama's experts are all set to fight the last war and ignore the current long engagements - see for example Afghanistan, then again they already forgot all about it. There are no guarantees in international geo-politics that you'll only face short, victorious wars. In fact when you shape your strategy for only one option, the ones you don't plan for are the ones most likely to come to the dance.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Anarcho-Tyranny Mexican-Style

Disarming drug cartels is hard and dangerous work.

So, instead of the hard work involved, the Mexican Army and Police is focusing on disarming citizens who have taken up arms for self-protection from the cartels in frustration as the police and army have failed to enforce the law in Michoacan province.

Note the lovely Freep biased headline: Renegade Mexicans refuse orders to give up. Nope, no bias there guys.

Armed vigilantes who have taken control of territory in lawless Michoacan state to keep out vicious drug cartels are refusing to give up their guns in a standoff with government soldiers.

Residents said a tense calm prevailed on Friday as federal police and soldiers were fanned out over region ranches and lemon groves following a standoff between the vigilantes and police that left four people dead in this region 300 miles west of Mexico City.

. . .

This region has been bedeviled by cartels committing crimes against residents who've been caught between gun wars with no help from law enforcement.

Self-defense groups have marched on at least 15 communities over the past 11 months to run off cartel henchmen and kick out corrupt police officers taking bribes to look the other way. People here say the Mexico government has abandoned them and they had no choice but to arm and fight.

The federal government, however, says it will protect the area and is demanding that the so-called community police forces disarm. Mexico has sent soldiers and the federal police into the region to disarm the groups.....

The Mexican army has in fact fired on unarmed villagers and killed four of them in a stand-off on Monday, read the whole article for all the interesting details.

Interestingly, even with Mexico's very strict gun control laws, the citizens are able to get quite a few items on the country's banned list like 9mm ammunition and as pictured AR-15 rifles, one wonders if some of them are Fast and Furious weapons, or did those solely go to drug cartels?

So the government fails to control criminals and lets them rum amok extorting and killing the citizenry, and then cracks down on the citizenry for the effrontery to dare protect themselves.

Oh, and if you don't know what Anarcho-Tyranny is, go check out Borepatch for a succinct explanation, complete with a plethora of examples.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

You're Thinking Did I Hold Up One Or Two Fingers? Now To Tell You The Truth I Forgot Myself In All This Excitement....

An acquaintance of mine who took my CPL class related to me why he decided to buy a gun and get training in how to use it:

One very dark night at about 0200 he and his wife hear glass breaking downstairs.

He goes downstairs to check it out.

In the living room a pane of glass is shattered and there's a shape right by it.

He realizes that he doesn't have a gun and all he has on is his underwear so he extends his hand pretending to have one, turns on the just the light in one area of the room so he can't be seen as more than a shadow and yells "freeze".

He then sees a pretty big guy, larger than him and covered in mud and broken glass and in a more advanced state of undress.

The guy actually freezes and appears pretty drunk and or stoned.

So he yells at him to lie down and not move, and he's about to call the cops when....

His wife then enters the room behind him, asks "What's going on?" and she then turns on the all the lights.

This reveals our homeowner standing there posing in his underwear pointing his fingers at the man.

The man quickly catches on and says "Hey, you don't have a real gun!"

Luckily for my friend, the empty-handed home owner, the guy breaking in decides his best move is to crash back through the broken window and flee, and he's later caught by police.

My friend decided that the next time, if there is a next time that it happens, he really didn't want to be caught empty handed again.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Dive 247 - A Deep January Dive in Gilboa Quarry

Early this morning, an intrepid band gathered at Keith's place to load a car with dive gear to go for a dive at Gilboa Quarry in Findlay, Ohio,

Unlike local lakes, the quarry is not frozen over and the latest reports stated it had 39 degree water and good visibility.

We planned to dive the deep section and then move into the shallower areas.

So for this dive we packed full tanks and scooters and all the related gear and headed to Ohio.

We reached the quarry and after filling out the world's most over-lawyered waiver, we headed into the depths.

Sure enough, the water temp was 39 degrees and the visibility was fantastic, probably 80 feet which is incredible.

After a descent of two minutes, we hit a new record depth for me - 118 feet down. The water temp at 118 feet was cooler at 32 degrees.

Scootering around made the dive a lot of fun and let us get around the quarry quite effortlessly. Now I've got some video footage to edit.

Here's Chad showing how to scooter in style.

We left the deep end and headed into the shallows. We dove around and in the Grumman Gufstream

and around and inside the huge Sikorsky Double Deuce CH-37 Mojave helicopter, both at 35 feet depth. The chopper is so big you can scooter right through the cargo doors and out the side without touching any part of it.

In addition to my heated vest, I put a Little Hotties Hand Warmers in each glove. This made a huge difference. With the warmer in each palm of the sealed gloves my hands an fingers actually stayed warm the entire dive. I'd recommend these to anyone who is outdoors in the cold or underwater.

A great deep dive in January.

Dive details
Dive Time: 36 minutes
Water Temp: 39 degrees
Max Depth: 118 feet
Average depth: 60 feet
Breathing Gas used: 1600 Psi

Saturday, January 11, 2014

A Man And An Easy One-Dish Comfort Food Plan

It's grey out, local roads were absolutely covered with ice this morning, and it's time for some comfort food for dinner and I'm cooking.

Since I'm cooking it needs be simple.

Chicken Cream of Mushroom Soup and Rice simple.

You'll need:

1 deep oven safe baking dish with a lid
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup;
1 pack Chicken drumsticks;
1 cup rice;
paprika and pepper;
water; and

An oven pre-heated to 375 degrees.

Got it? Ok, on to make it:

First add a cup of rice to the dish.

Next, add the can of soup all nice and gloppy. Keep the can for the next step.

Add a can and a half of water, and use a spoon to scrape out any remaining soup.

Add a good solid shake of paprika and some freshly ground pepper and stir.

Then add the drumsticks and cover with the liquid.

Note that the package claims there's five drumsticks inside, yet there's only four in the pack, so someone can't even count to five out there...

Cover the baking dish and place in oven.

It should be done in about 50 minutes. The rice will absorb the liquid and the chicken will be nice and ready.

An easy, simple, comfort food for those grey days.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Volting Through The Snow, In A Really Limited-Range Car.....

Henry Payne in the Detroit News has an interesting comparison of the three different engine stylings of the same car sold as the Chevy Volt, Cruze or Cruze Diesel.

As most people know, cold kills batteries, and the Volt's winter performance is pretty darn underwhelming:

GM claims the Volt is good for 50 miles on a full charge, but range plummets to around 25 miles on a sub-freezing December day.

25 miles between plug-ins makes the car a no-go for most people who would use it to, you know, drive places, at which point it switches to gas and then the economics of it get even less desirable.

At current gas prices, recovery of the operating price of either the diesel model or the Volt over the standard gas Chevy Cruze is well in excess of the typical expected life of the car - around 13 years plus, depending on the numbers, and the purchase price of the Volt over the Cruze would take 5 years to recover (Yeah, the math in the article is weird and I wonder how they got to those numbers). Anyone want to pose a guess on how many volts will last 13 years without major overhauls?

Now,if you've got the means to throw away money, have an enviro-uber-alles sensibility, and don't have to go farther than 25 miles between plug-ins, then by all means buy the Volt.

For the Volt to be viable, you have to revolve your life around the limits of the vehicle, and most people rarely want to by a car to limit their options.

"For the Volt to work, your life has to be set up for it,” says Devin Scillian, WDIV-TV news anchor, best-selling author, and Chevy Volt evangelist. “And my life is set up for it.”

Most people's lives aren't, nor do I think most people want to switch their lives around just to have a Volt. Cars are supposed to be liberating and expanding your options, not confining and limiting them.

For now the Volt can't be considered a primary vehicle in Michigan unless you have a very limited range commute without much in the way of side trips and have charging stations everywhere you go, and that's not the case for most people.

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Some Brits Still Got It.

If you don't know, considering the media isn't covering it now that it's Obama's Good (and Forgotten) War, we're still fighting over there in Afghanistan, as are our allies the Brits.

A British medic was recently awarded the Military Cross for working to save lives under fire on two separate occasions in Afghanistan, and saving an Afghan soldier.

Even better in that Islam-dominated conflict, the medic is female:

The Telegraph: Female medic awarded Military Cross for bravery

The Daily Mail: 'Oh, Kylie! What did you do? Next time, please don’t...': What mother told Military Cross hero daughter who twice braved hails of bullets to tend war wounded

Both stories are worth reading and both give slightly different coverage of the events that led to L.Cpl. Kylie Watson being awarded the Military Cross for both saving lives and engaging the enemy while doing so.

Both stories clearly show that she deserves the award.

Nicely done indeed.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Surprise, Obama's New Promise Zones Ignore Detroit

Obama's new "Promise Zones" conspicuously did not name Detroit, which by any standard needs all the promised help and access to programs that a dying Democrat city can get.

However, when you have a 90% Democrat area that consistently votes lock-step Democrat as does Detroit, why bother trying to buy more votes with a "Promise Zone"?

Let's see where these miraculous promise zones will be, as noted in The Detroit News:

San Antonio, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Southeastern Kentucky, and the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

Los Angeles is a Democrat safe-zone, but it likely gives some patronage sinecures, as is Philadelphia (but Pennsylvania itself is a mite purple). But Texas, Kentucky and Oklahoma are certainly areas where some Democrat money may buy more votes and some Democrat Senate seats come the 2014 election.

Then again, for all the fanfare with which these Promised Zones are announced, it needs to be remembered that all of Obama's promises come with an expiration date, so the recipients of these Promised Zones probably shouldn't expect all that much.

They Really Should Have Kept The Tip

Apparently meth, in addition to making you lose your teeth and causing anxiety, depression, methamphetamine psychosis, suicide, and violent behaviors also makes you so very, very stupid.

This is aptly demonstrated by a couple meth-heads in Oregon:

The Detroit Free Press: Patrons accused of tipping waitress with crystal meth

A waitress at the Twisted Fish restaurant in Seaside, Ore., got an unusual tip — an envelope full of methamphetamine.

The Daily Astorian newspaper reports the waitress contacted police Friday after a couple included the envelope while paying for their drinks.

The responding officer identified the substance, and arrested 40-year-old Ryan Bensen of Beaverton and 37-year-old Erica Manley of Cascade Locks.

Police said they found more of the drug when searching Manley's purse and the couple's motel and vehicle.

Maybe they wanted speedier service and thought the meth would help the waitress pick it up a notch, but probably not.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Shedding Lots Of Light: The Streamlight TLR-1 HL

I sadly just missed the sale Amazon was having on the Surefire X300, as I decided to buy one right after Murphy's Law showed me his.

All was not lost however, as AMAzon has the Streamlight 69260 TLR-1 HL on sale. This is a good thing considering I had yet to own a weapon-mounted light and the kids like to play with and misplace my old trusty Surefire G2 light on a regular basis, which means it's not always back at the bedside where it's supposed to be. With the light mounted to the Glock 23 in the bedside Gunvault, that's not a problem anymore as it is safe and secure from little curious and prying fingers.

Mounting the TLR-1 to a railed pistol is a snap and easy to do and it fits the Glocks (the one I have with a rail) and M&Ps that I have with no issues. You can also change the mounting key to match Picatinny, Beretta 90two, S&W 99, and S&W TSW rails if needed.

The HL stands for High Lumens, and it is indeed a high lumen beam - 630 lumens, and it truly does throw a ton of light.

So much so I believe it gives off more than ML's Surefire.

Even in a daylight-lit room, when hit with the beam my eyes hurt (note: light was not attached to a gun during this test), with after-flashes remaining long after the beam had passed.

In the darkness, anyone hit with the light is going to be momentarily blinded. This flashlight transforms two CR123 batteries into one solid nasty light beam.

For those inclined to tactical disco, there's also a strobe feature that is not the most intuitive to activate and which I don't think I'd need or use much. Tactical disco? For some, I guess it's all about Stayin' Alive folks.

In addition to strobe, there's also momentary on and constant on modes, and the finger paddles are ambidextrous and easy to reach on either side.

The Glock 23 now has night sights, a laser, and now the light, so I'd say it's pretty much all setup for a nightstand gun now.

But it's A Dry Cold.....

Said no one, ever.

Got up this morning and quickly walked the dog as he didn't like the cold temperature and wind we're having this morning. 

With the wind chill providing a felt temperature of  -35 F, as promised we did the boiling water experiment again today:

As you can see, it worked.

So with schools closed yet again, I'll be working from home.  Thanks to technology, pretty much everything I can do from there I can do from my toasty warm home.

Stay warm out there.

How cold? So cold that Natasha's car battery is cold stone dead and jumping it does nothing.

Monday, January 06, 2014

So How Cold Is It?

With the wind chill, it's currently -40 F. School was cancelled, and will be cancelled tomorrow.

It finally stopped snowing, but we got more than 12 inches of snow and it blew into soem pretty impressive drifts and cleaning the driveway took quite some time.

Now the cold has come to take the snowfall's place. Taking the dog for a walk in thigh deep snow drifts in -40 doth sucketh.

Indeed, it's so cold that we took a pot full of boiling water, threw it up in the air, and it evaporated into mist and not even a drop hit the ground.

Not believing it, we did it a second time with the same result.

I had read about that happening in Alaska, but never thought it would work in Michigan. The kids were suitably awed. I'll try it again tomorrow morning and see if we can get it on video.

That's cold all right.

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Snow Dogs

The snow continues to fall so we decided to make the most of it.

The kids are out making igloos out of colored snow they made with multiple dyes, building a snowman and sledding down the Driveway of Doom™. They had a great time indeed, and its good for them to get outside.

Jett not only has been on multiple walks today, but Rocky, a lab-mix puppy from down the street came by so they got to play in the snow.

They get along well, and stay close enough that we don't have to hold their leashes while they play, so they commenced racing through the backyard.

They had a ton of fun running around.

For some reason, the snow really sticks to Jett's coat. It clumps on and does not shake or lightly brush off. We need to watch to make sure he doesn't get too cold with all the compacted snow stuck to him and he does start to shiver after awhile. So this time since he was covered and it would not come off, I gave him a warm bath once he was done playing. He handled the bath like a champ and certainly seemed to like the warm water melting off the ton of snow. He's happily napping now all nice and warm. He had a great time.

Snow is expected to continue to fall throughout the night, but it's already accumulating nicely:

Yeah. That's about the size of it.

Winter's First Snowminorgeddon

With over 4 inches on the ground since it started last night and with snow still steadily falling, we're expecting about a foot plus of global warming and bitter cold to hit today.

This is, according to the religio licta of the Global Warming true believers, due to Gaia crying over all the fossil fuels being burned to save the warmists' icebreaker trapped in Antarctica.

Keep warm out there.

Friday, January 03, 2014

In Detroit, Hell Just Froze Over

Maybe it was the massive snowfall and cold-snap we just had, or maybe it was just the case of an honest and intelligent assessment of reality by Detroit's police chief.

As noted by Murphy's Law and reported in today's Detroit News, Detroit's Police Chief actually and on the record stated that:

If more citizens were armed, criminals would think twice about attacking them, Detroit Police Chief James Craig said Thursday.

Urban police chiefs are typically in favor of gun control or reluctant to discuss the issue, but Craig on Thursday was candid about how he’s changed his mind.

“When we look at the good community members who have concealed weapons permits, the likelihood they’ll shoot is based on a lack of confidence in this Police Department,” Craig said at a press conference at police headquarters, adding that he thinks more Detroit citizens feel safer, thanks in part to a 7 percent drop in violent crime in 2013.

Craig said he started believing that legal gun owners can deter crime when he became police chief in Portland, Maine, in 2009.


Craig’s statements Thursday echoed those he made Dec. 19 on “The Paul W. Smith Show” on WJR (760 AM), when he said: “There’s a number of CPL (concealed pistol license) holders running around the city of Detroit. I think it acts as a deterrent. Good Americans with CPLs translates into crime reduction.

His honesty and good sense is certainly refreshing.

Perhaps it had something to do with his almost getting car-jacked in Detroit himself recently.

Kudos indeed to Chief Craig. I half expected such a statement from a police chief of a crime-ridden, Democrat-controlled major urban center to only occur when hell froze over, and indeed, perhaps it just did.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Schadenfreude Is A Dish Best Served Ice Cold

Sometimes reality gives you delicious situations that fiction on its best day couldn't even dare to dream up.

The story: An intrepid group of global warming aficionados and true believers travel to Antarctica on a propaganda tour to see what, according to their theory, should be a massive loss of ice and open seas due to their Global Warming Theory.

Cold reality hits and they and their ship, the Akademik Shokalskiy, get completely trapped in a record amount of ice. So much ice in fact that ice breakers cannot get through to free them.

That would be, and indeed is, funny and ironic enough.

But, it gets oh so much better.

Who do they need to reach out to in order to find out actual weather information relating to their plight?

Why, two of the leading real scientists and skeptics of their global warming construct.

You can't make this up.

Go follow the whole thing over on Watts Up With That.

I suggest reading the true tale with a big bowl of popcorn by your side and a nice hot toddy.

Update: And they're finally rescued, by a carbon-emitting, fossil-fueled helicopter.

NSA And The Future Of The American Republic

Both Borepatch and Say Uncle link to the presentation below by Jacob Applebaum discussing the NSA's means and methods of hacking the heck out of the internet, and computers, and phones.

It's worth the hour to sit down and view it in its entirety. Yes, it's real, and it's darn scary.

On the one hand, I want the NSA to be able to listen in and gather signals intelligence on America's enemies.

On the other hand, I'm rather concerned that the NSA seems to have decided that Americas' enemies includes the American people.

Here's a happy thought as we enter 2014, with a congressional election looming and three more years of Obama as president:

Take the presentation's revealed breathtaking capabilities of the NSA.

Now couple that with, for example, the Obama administration's and the Democrat's desire to continue fundamentally transforming America and stay in power. For those on the left reading this blog, switch that to the next Republican president who comes into office.

Next, take the premise that the NSA's data is not just being used for anti-terrorism purposes, and if it actually is for now, good luck on it remaining so locked-down -- such wide-ranging and tasty information obtained tends to be used far beyond its promised original "national security only" limitations -- but is instead being used for political purposes of the party in power such as listening in and discerning opposing candidates' strategy to stymie, delay or defeat them. Much as we've already seen the IRS' power being so used against the Tea Party in the last election. And to that the sweeping ability of the NSA to intercept all internet and phone communication and to deny computer and internet transmissions at opportune times.

Then folks, if that's the case, the only thing left to say is:

Ave Atque Vale Res Publica Americana

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Palis Starting The New Year Off With A Blast!

The WSJ: Palestine Envoy Killed in Prague Blast: Authorities Deem Explosion of Safe-Deposit Box an Accident

The Palestinian ambassador to the Czech Republic died after sustaining injuries from an explosion at his residence Wednesday that local authorities describe as an accident, not an attack.

"We aren't aware of any evidence indicating that the blast was caused by an explosive device planted with a deliberate aim to harm the ambassador," police spokeswoman Andrea Zoulova said.

The explosion happened when Jamal al-Jamal, the 56-year-old diplomat, manipulated an old office safe deposit box, Ms. Zoulova said.

Allegedly that safe, located in what was the PLO's offices in Prague during the Iron Curtain period, when Czechoslovakia was a conveinet shipping point for Semtex and weapons to the PLO from the Soviets, had not been opened in 20-25 years.

Whoever was the Palestinian-Terrorist-In-Charge at the time put something nasty in the safe and just scored a time-delayed own-goal.

Quite the explosive way to blast in the New Year.

Happy 2014!

Happy 2014!

New Years Eve came in quite nicely.

Both kids were awake and at the table when the ball dropped and we all got to welcome in the new year together.

Then it was time for some presents, including a two new special chewable bones for Jett, one fully edible, and the green one simply for gnawing on:

He was quite happy to welcome in the new year.

So now it's snowing yet again and we're relaxing in the cozy, warm, house watching it come down.

Hope you're having an enjoyable and festive first of January.