Wednesday, April 30, 2014

NRA Convention Day 2 - Blogger Meetup And Blog Roll Update

So after walking the convention floor on Day 2, we headed to the blogger gathering get together at Thr3e Wise Men in Broad Ripple. The meet was setup and organized by the real Most Interesting Man In The World, so you knew from the get-go it was going to be great. It was.

A very good time was had by all and I got the chance to meet and talk with a number of bloggers.

Some I had read online regularly and were on my blogroll like Tam, whom I met in person for the first time during the convention, and who was just as awesome in person as she is on the Internet.

I also met a long-time occupant of my blogroll for the first time Bill of e.IA.f.t., a fine gentleman and excellent conversationalist. We need to go diving sometime Bill.

And there were many who I had only met during the convention and had not yet added to my blog roll or perused their excellent blogs. So I'll fix that now. They're all a bunch of darn good people.

Pediem of Random Geeking - a truly and genuinely nice person who's always smiling and a good doc to boot.

Midwest Chick of Non-Original Rants - Another awesome blogger with my sense of direction.

Mr. B. of In The Middle Of The Right - A darn nice guy indeed from the moment we met at the hotel on Friday morning.

Kelly of A Day In The Life Of An Ambulance Driver - Thanks for the great Shooter First Aid Class.

Tovarisch Karl of - A darn nice guy with a great blog.

Kathy Jackson of Cornered Cat -She's as classy in person as she is on her blog.

Danno of Sandcastle Scrolls A very nice guy indeed.

EMS Artifact of EMS Artifact. A true gentleman.

Linoge of Walls Of The City - Quite an interesting fellow.

Eric of Snooze Button Ronin - If you want to know about guns in the state of Illinois, talk to Eric.

If I've overlooked you, let me know as I apologize for the oversight or lack of your blogging info and I'll get you added.

Since I was the designated driver for the return trip and not the designated decoy, I did try a small glass of the Double IPA (which was darn good) to start the evening, but then switched to Pepsi for the rest of the night along with snacking on some pizza and mainly focusing on having some good conversations with many of the people who were there. Much good conversation resulted and I was able to bounce a situation off of Tam and a couple other bloggers and their responses will be most useful in a case I'm currently working on, which is much appreciated.

During the get-together and after a couple beers, Murphy's Law had a little problem with a small issue, but happily it was resolved in short order even as it was blown all out of proportion.

ML went on to bigger and better things, like more beer drinking and attempting to engage a waitress with a marriage proposal. Yep, it was a darn good night.

After the party broke up we went back to the hotel and met up with Old NFO, Bubblehead Les, Keads and a few others with names that escape me for an afterglow with some whiskey and good conversation until the hotel staff told us to go to bed.

A darn nice way to end Day 2.

The NRA AR Convention

The Convention floor was like a gathering of AR-15s and variants.

It seemed everyone and their little brother had at least one if not a multitude of AR models on the floor.

There were ARs by FN:

There were ARs by Rock River:

There were ARs by DS Arms, better known for their excellent FALs:

There were ARs by Windham Weaponry including some beauties in 7.62:

There was a colorful array of ARs by Olympic Arms.

There were superlight ARs by Bushmaster:

There was a 12 gauge AR by Rhino Arms:

Assuming it is as good as represented, and shoots as good as it looks and handles, I think my Saiga may be set aside for the Rhino.

There were ARs by Advanced Armament Corp in 300 Blackout with silencers:

There were ARs with night vision:

There were custom pink ARs:

There were lots more ARs there by Just Right Carbines, Colt, Remington, Mossberg, Smith and Wesson, and many others. I half expected to see Hi Point had come out with a line of budget-basement ARs.

Given the ubiquity of the AR platform, it is indeed rightly referred to as "America's Rifle".

Dear anti-gunners, you really think you can ban the AR15 and variants now?

Look at the pictures and realize this is not 1994 anymore.

While you may have a bit of traction in places like New York, California, Connecticut and Colorado for now, don't expect any movement in the rest of America, and expect your temporary success there to get rolled back in time.

The AR platform is now by definition, both de facto and de jure "in common use".

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Look! Squirrel!

We've been hearing noises in the attic this winter so we had a pest removal company do an inspection a couple weeks ago when we heard some serious movement in the wall.

Four entry points found in the roof, and there was evidence of a squirrel infestation. The holes were patched and a one-way trap placed on an exit to catch anything that might be still living there.

It has been empty.

Until now.

That's one of the evil red squirrels that infest this land. Not a good thing when they get in your attic as they like to chew wires and everything else these evil furry rats can get their teeth into.

Where there's one, there's probably more. Drat.

NRA Convention Interlude

At the gathering at our hotel Saturday night, after the blogger gathering, I bought this from Old NFO, which he kindly autographed:

Old NFO is quite the fellow.

He knows everybody, always has a good story to tell, always is pleased to meet you, and is amongst the finest gentlemen I've had the pleasure to meet.

So, I was wandering the Internets and found this incontrovertible proof of the above facts:

Yes, "The Most Interesting Man In The World" is Old NFO's bitch. That is all.

NRA Convention Day 2 Part The First

After Day 1, we got up bright and early and headed to Ambulance Driver's Shooter Self Care Class.

It seemed that most every blogger I've heard of was sitting in that classroom.

AD, along with the other paramedic experienced volunteers, taught us everything from the new technique for CPR; using an AED; applying tourniquets; treating bleeding; how to treat a sucking chest wound; and how to get really grossed out by various really graphic pictures.

In short it was a fantastic class, highly recommended.

Then, after stopping by Hardees for a protein in-rush we headed to the NRA convention.

Thence to the convention where we smartly avoided parking in the parking garage. On the first day we had parked in the garage and it took 1 hour to get out. Murphy's Law was not a happy camper waiting all that time in the garage for the idiots running it to incompetently get people out. So, we found some street parking and were happy and better adjusted for it.

We arrived and found the convention was packed.

Heading to the Kyle Lamb seminar on the Survival Mindset we passed by a very long line and here's who was at the head of that line:

Yes, The Gunny, live and in person. Even with the long line, he gave everyone some personal attention and was an awesome charming fellow.

Then we hurriedly made our way to Kyle Lamb's seminar on the Survival Mindset.

The seminar was standing room only, but again ML found us some seats - he's very handy that way.

Again, Mr. Lamb's presentation rocked. He started off by saying it is not about surviving a gunfight, but thriving in a gunfight. To thrive requires understanding and preparation before, during and after the fight.

He covered in depth the many considerations for preparing for a self-defense incident, which was the bulk of the presentation, as well as issues to be aware of both during and after the fight.

Afterwards, he personally autographed his books. I picked up a copy of Stay in the Fight!! Warriors Guide to the Combat Pistol and a copy of Leadership In The Shadows, a book so new Amazon doesn't seem to have it available for sale yet.

A great seminar and I'm seriously contemplating organizing a Viking Tactics / Kyle Lamb pistol/carbine class.

Any of my fellow bloggers interested in doing it? If so, we can either do it in the DC area or in Michigan. Let me know and if there's sufficient serious interest I'm willing to take the lead in the logistics of arranging the class.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Back In The Office

The NRA Convention was fantastic.

Met a lot of previous blogger friends and met quite a few new ones, and I really need to revamp my blogroll accordingly.

A nice safe trip home and a good and very informative time was had by all.

More reports on Days 2 and 3 to follow, just need to do a little digging out from under the work-pile first.

Friday, April 25, 2014

NRA Day 1 - Switching The View On The Convention Floor

The last booth we went to as the show was shutting down for the night was the MGM Switchview display.

I had recently bought a Switchview for my Vortex Viper PST scope and for some reasons it would not fit no matter how hard I tried following the directions. Luckily and most fortuitously I had it in my bag and asked one of the MGM people there if he knew why it wasn't working. He checked and it was for the older Vortex Viper PST with the rubber focusing knob rather than the newer metal knob which I had.

They had the proper part right there with them and without me saying anything, he switched them around and gave me the right part and gave me a quick tutorial on the best way for installing it.

That's some seriously good customer service right there.

He also showed me their newest product, the MGM Eagle Eye Switchview Universal Speedlever. The Eage Eye, instead of being metal has an adjustable polymer strap and is universal for all variable focusing scopes.

It looks like a solid product.

It also felt solid and it's a great alternative to having to buy a specific model to match your scope.

If you don't know what a Switchview does, it makes changing the magnification on your scope much faster and easier to do then wrestling with the focusing knob - you just push on the switch and the leverage it gives you lets you quickly adjust the scope to your desired magnification.

I was highly impressed with their customer service and knowledge and they make a great product. If you've got a variable-power scope you really should check them out, as they certainly stand by their stuff.

NRA Convention Day 1 Part 2 - The Seminars

The first seminar we attended was the one by Rob Pincus of Personal Defense Network titled "Defensive Shooting Skills Development".

Mr. Pincus was a dynamic speaker with a good presentation and style.

He covered a lot of information regarding defensive shooting including some good techniques for training oneself and others.

After wandering around the convention center some more, we went to the next seminar that we wanted to view by Kyle Lamb titled "Leadership In The Shadows".

For those that don't know, Mr. Lamb of Viking Tactics is the real deal - A former Delta Force operator and he's been there, done that in both Somalia and Iraq and he's a compelling speaker with many compelling stories to tell.

While this seminar was abbreviated from his standard Leadership Seminar, it was well worth attending with a lot of food for thought.

Whether you're in the military, law enforcement or business, there's a lot to be gleaned from his seminar on leadership.

Darn good seminars, and we'll be attending more tomorrow.

After Mr. Lamb's seminar, we headed back to the convention floor which will be the subject of my next post.

NRA Convention - The IWI Tavor Booth

Yes, IWI was in the house!

Considering it won the NRA's rifle of the year award, it certainly deserved to be here.

That's Mike Kassanar, VP of Sales & Marketing IWI US, and one of the driving forces to getting the Tavor in production and for sale in the USA. If you've got a Tavor, thank Mike.

I had a great chat with him and with Shlomi Sabag, President of IWI Ltd about the Tavor.

Apparently the biggest hold-up to getting a 300 Blackout conversion into production is getting enough 300 Blackout ammo available for testing and development. They need 50,000 rounds to thoroughly test it in Israel before they will roll it out, and there's nothing like that amount of 300 BLK ammo available right now.

They're now holding off on making the 5.45x39 conversion kit available, now that the ATF has just slammed the door on cheap Russian 5.4.5x39 imports.

They do have 9mm conversion kits out, they use the AR15 9mm conversion magazine or you can easily convert UZI magazines to work and still work in your UZI.

They also demonstrated the stance and hold that provides an excellent supporting position using the Tavor, making for a rock-solid position for rapid accurate fire.

Murphy's Law tried out the Tavor in a left-hand setup and declared it good.

Good folks and a great rifle.

Close to IWI was the Geissele booth and yes, they had a demo of their drop in trigger enhancement for the Tavor.

The trigger upgrade seriously rocks and eliminates the only complaint most people have about the Tavor. Getting a chance to try it out certainly moved it onto my must-buy list. Unfortunately, they didn't have any here, otherwise a purchase would have been made.

We also tried out some of their other triggers and DMR trigger upgrade for the AR makes for a very nice precise rifle trigger.

It was a great opportunity meeting the people responsible for bringing the Tavor to market and seeing so many Tavors in one place. Judging form the interest around the booth, the future looks bright for the Tavor among NRA members.

NRA Indy Day 1

This morning at the hotel we had breakfast with OldNFO, and with Midwest Blog Chick and Mr. B.

Then we followed Midwest Blog Chick and Mr. B. from the hotel to the convention center, taking quite a scenic route.

After an extended tour of the ring around the center of Indianapolis, we arrived at the NRA Convention:

The NRA has this convention humming and they're running a very efficient show indeed. We were in, with our floor passes issued, in mere moments by some friendly and efficient volunteers and then we went onto the convention floor.

The convention floor is huge and it seems that every name in guns is there. So we started walking down a row at random and ran into some Radoms.

An excellent display of Radom VIS 35 pistols to be exact.

There were two more of the same sized racks on display and it was a very comprehensive collection indeed, along with very descriptive narratives of the different periods in Radom VIS 35 production and the variations.

Right by the Radoms was a display of Great Westerm manufactured Single Action Army revolvers:

Olympic Arms was there with an AR to suit every color preference.

They also have a new production run of the Whitney Wolverine available for sale if you want a futurist-looking .22 pistol.

Mec Gar is also here with a nice display of a magazine for all your pistol needs:

In case traffic gets bad on the way out, there's a gun jeep.

Then we stopped by a couple booths that deserve a post all to themselves.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Good Arrival In Indy

The drive to Indianapolis, while long was relatively pleasant. Traffic was manageable and I did not scream even once after Murphy's Law took over the driving for his shift, and we arrived unscathed.

We checked in at the hotel, ran into OldNFO in the parking lot and then went looking for dinner.

For dinner we went to the Black Swan Brewpub, which had some excellent beers and burgers which hit the spot. The Irish red beer was excellent and the burger was large and tasty.

At the Pub we met up with Keads and eiaftinfo and had an excellent and far-ranging conversation with these distinguished gentlemen and had a very good evening indeed.

Looking forward to the first day of the convention.

It's Three Hundred And Ten Miles To Indianapolis, We've Got A Full Tank Of Gas, Half A Pack Of Chips, It's Daytime, And We're Wearing Sunglasses.

Hit It.

Murphy's Law and I are off on the road to Indy.

We'll hopefully see you (if you're there) at the NRA Convention. Looking forward to meeting up with blogger friends and make some new ones.

Will blog from the convention as opportunities arise.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Tavor Sales Going Well In The USA

Over at Guns Save Lives, they've got a report that IWI Wanted to Sell 6,000 Tavors in US in 1 Year – They Sold 15,000 in 9 Months

That's some excellent sales numbers for a new middle/higher-end firearm product to the US firearms market.

Combine a great product; pent up demand waiting for a licensing/manufacturing deal to be setup here for it to comply with US Assault Weapons ban regulations; and add on fears that Obama and the Democrats pushed for a new assault weapons ban and it's easy to see why they've sold as well as they did.

Once you have one, you realize it's smaller and handier than non-NFA length AR-15s and has a natural point of aim and heft, ergonomic controls, and is a reliable fun to shoot firearm. There's plenty to like about the Tavor.

I certainly hope that IWI's success with the Tavor in the USA continues, and based on the quality of the Tavor, I have no doubt it will.

Detroit's Own Special Snowflake Makes An Affirmative Action Fool of Herself

Some people want 15 minutes of fame, some end up with 15 minutes of abject stupidity.

The farcical show put on by Brooke Kimbrough, the Detroit student whose grades and test scores were inadequate to get her admission into University of Michigan and has become as sort of progressive unworthy cause celebre continues.

In an interview with The Free Press's own Mitch Albom, which is about as softball an interviewer you can get, she comes across as nothing more than a Detroit version of Veruca Salt - spoiled and told she should feel good about herself and that she should be able to go anywhere she wants, test scores and grades be damned...because, you know, racism.

The Detroit Free Press: Mitch Albom: Denied Michigan hopeful learns tough lesson

As we'll see in the interview, she hasn't learned squat. Over at the article there's a pic of her holding a sign demanding her admission and an end to the "racist admission policy" know, racism based on ranking by grades without accounting for skin color, 'cause grades be racist.

First, we should remember that Brooke Kimbrough is still in high school. She is, as the Beatles once sang, just 17.

So even if she ruffled feathers this past week claiming she should have been admitted to the University of Michigan — despite lower grades and test scores — because she is African American and the school needs diversity, the best thing is not to insult her or dismiss her.

The best thing is to talk to her.

So I did.

Like I said, real softball.

I began by asking Brooke about her high school — because I’ve been there. University Prep Academy is one of the top charter schools in Detroit. It looks like a college campus, its teachers are first-rate, its classrooms are small — thanks to a $15-million gift from philanthropists Bob and Ellen Thompson.

The Thompsons are white. Most students at U Prep are black. So Brooke is already a beneficiary of cross-racial efforts; she didn’t have to endure an overcrowded, uninterested high school. In fact, the Thompsons demanded that U Prep retain at least 90% of its kids and get 90% of them into college every year.

In other words, they insisted on excellence.

When I asked Brooke why it’s wrong for U-M to set a similar bar (she was denied admission with below the U-M averages of a 3.6 GPA and a 23 on the ACT) she said U-M needed to “represent the state. Blacks are about 14% of the population, so it should be 14% roughly.”

So she's already getting to attend an excellent high school and has opportunities to succeed, but she then immediately discounts things like grades to insist instead on representation by racial composition.

After demanding such a proportional representation policy, she doubles down and refuses to let the facts and logical consequence of such a policy confuse her.

I pointed out that whites were 79% of Michigan’s population, but officially 57% of U-M’s, so should we adjust that up? “That’s ludicrous,” she said, claiming it should only apply to minorities. I then noted U-M was 11% Asian American, but our state was only 2%. Should we adjust down?

“I don’t understand what you’re asking,” she said.

In other words, affirmative action based on proportional representation for Brooke but not for thee.

Really, Brooke can't even answer softball questions from Mitch Albom. Remember, she was touted as a champion debater on her school's debate team, the competition may not have been all that bright or was she just getting affirmative action credit during her debates as well?.

Brooke will now ever be known as a whiner and a failure, and for her ludicrous yelling as if her deinal to be admitted was a civil rights violation on a par with past actual discrimination:

“I believe that I have been rejected because of the morals that I stand for! I am Harriet (Tubman)! I will take back my freedom as a tool to help the others. I have left the plantation. ...

“I am Ida B. (Wells)! I will make it my civic duty to document every noose of a rejection letter that the university produces to our black, brown and red bodies!”

Not rejected based on morals Brooke, you were rejected because your grades and ACT score didn't measure up and that over-the-top, poor me, whinging sure doesn't help.

While she likely lacks a bright future in the real world given that she now has a track record of pulling tantrums and screaming racism when she doesn't get her way, she likely has a bright future in the progressive race-baiter business.

Upholding Ending Affirmative Action Leads To The Tantrums Of The Clowns

The Supreme Court rightly upheld Proposal 2 of 2006 that added to the Michigan Constitution that public institutions cannot use race to discriminate or give preferential treatment to groups or individuals.

Now there's much wailing and gnashing of teeth from the self-proclaimed anti-racist progressive left here in Michigan.

First, we get Laura Berman's puff-piece in the Detroit News warning that Affirmative action ruling jeopardizes Michigan's progress against inequality

Short on you know, facts, the piece gives some fun quotes:

“I am deeply saddened and disappointed by this decision,” says Jocelyn Benson, interim dean at Wayne State University Law School. “Any state has been given the green light to ban affirmative action if the voters so choose.”

Had the Supreme Court struck down Michigan’s ban, “we would have revisited our policies to take a more holistic view of our applicants.”

Holistic of course being a euphemism for focusing on skin color. Which, to the race merchants is very holistic indeed and clearly determinative of the rightness of admitting or barring the admission of a student.

Apparently banning discrimination based on race will in Berman's words:

affirms the right of the people of Michigan to close doors that once swung open. And it points toward the closing of an era of social remedies, including affirmative action in education, despite the persistence of inequality.

So banning racial discrimination will close doors? really? Not to mention the laughable concept of social remedies - that you deserve to be either discriminated against or in favor of based not on what you did but what some group you are a part of based solely on your skin color may or may not have done in the past, and before you were born.

On top of that, the lawyer for BAMN then went off into far-leftist land with this inane statement:

“At the very moment that America is becoming a majority minority nation, this court is declaring its intention to uphold white privilege and to create a new Jim Crow legal system,” she said in a statement.

Can anyone parse that one out? Banning discrimination based on race upholds "white privilege" and prohibiting discrimination will create a "Jim Crow" legal system? Does she even understand that what she said and how it's rather contradictory?

But not to worry fans of social and group racial determination uber alles, the University of Michigan has pledged to work hard to ensure diversity by again, focusing on race where it can still get away with it:

We remain committed to the goal of a diverse, academically excellent student body, and will continue to seek to achieve that goal in ways that comply with the law.”

After talks with the Black Student Union, U-M agreed last week to initiatives aimed at increasing black enrollment and improving the campus climate for minority students. The school will partner with black students at university-sponsored events that encourage African-Americans who have been admitted to U-M to enroll.

U-M also will launch a pilot transportation project for black students living in more affordable housing outside Ann Arbor; improve security at the Trotter Multicultural Center; and create a website for emergency funds available to students.

Just imagine substituting the word white for black in those paragraphs and you'd have outraged protests if not full-scale riots breaking out at UofM.

BAMN now is demanding that the University of Michigan not look at SATs or ACTs, because objective scores can get in the way of subjective touchy-feely and makes it more difficult to use race-based admissions under the radar by having an easily discernible standard.

Expect a lot more, and louder, wailing and yelling from the race merchants as they come to realize the time for discrimination based on race is coming to an end.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Games The Obama Administration Plays In An Election Year

The level of political pandering by the Obama administration in this, an election year where Democrats are on the ropes for a moribund economy; the disaster of Obamacare; and the tragicomedy of American foreign policy, is rapidly descending from the blatantly obvious to the over-the-top ridiculous.

First, the Obama Administration will continue punt the decision on the Keystone Pipeline, blocking it until after the election in order to prevent annoying its Environmental and Labor interest blocks before the House and Senate elections take place. Environmental because approving it would make Gaia cry, and Labor because denial will prevent a lot of good paying union jobs.

The Detroit News: U.S. delays review of Keystone XL pipeline

On top of that, to pander to the Hispanic and illegal alien voting block, the Obama administration weighs extending its ban on deportations or illegals without criminal records by executive fiat to those immigrants who have only committed a little bit of crime. A little bit of crime is apparently akin to being a little bit pregnant, no biggie right?

The Detroit News: U.S. weighs curbing deportations

Tens of thousands of immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally but don’t have serious criminal records could be shielded from deportation under a policy change being weighed by Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson.

The change, if adopted following a review ordered by President Barack Obama, could limit removals of people who have little or no criminal record but have committed repeat immigration violations such as re-entering the country illegally after having been deported, or failing to comply with a deportation order.

That's quite an extension of an already questionable policy - already ICE and CBP are told to ignore illegals without criminal records and now the Obama wants to extend that immunity to those with criminal records that are not "serious".

Notice that both headlines state the "U.S." either "weighs" or "delays", not the Obama administration in an election year, naturally.

Meanwhile, in a demonstration of obtuseness that only an in-the-tank media commentator can have, Democrat supporter and water carrier Clarence Page asks if for Democrats: Will 2014 be the year of the race card?

Clarence, in case you haven't noticed, and apparently you haven't, from the time Obama first ran for President until the present, Democrats haven't stopped ceaselessly using the race card to deflect criticism from this administration. Sheesh.

Monday, April 21, 2014

The Pen, While Mightier Than The Sword, Turns Out To Be Not As Mighty As The Gun

The moral of the story: Don't bring a pen to a gunfight.

MSN news: FBI: Man dies after being shot by marshal in court

A defendant died after being shot by a U.S. marshal on Monday during an attack on a witness during a trial in a new federal courthouse in Salt Lake City, the FBI said.

Siale Angilau, 25, died at a hospital after he was shot in the chest as he rushed the witness with a pen in an "aggressive, threatening manner," the FBI said in a news release.

Angilau had an extensive criminal history and is no great loss, and indeed the shooting by the marshal to save the witness being attacked is commendable.

Heck, since a US Marshal did the shooting of a hardened criminal caught in an assaultive criminal act, you could say it was clearly Justified.

You Know The Ukraine Is A Lost Cause When Obama Sends Biden To Demonstrate Support

Instead of sending something or even someone useful, Obama sends the Ukraine.....Biden.

No word yet on whether Biden told them to just use a shotgun if armed men break into their border.

The Detroit News: Biden in Ukraine to show support as tensions rise

Vice President Joe Biden on Monday launched a high-profile visit to demonstrate the U.S. commitment to Ukraine and push for urgent implementation of an international agreement aimed at de-escalating tensions even as violence continues.

Biden planned to meet Tuesday with government leaders who took over after pro-Russia Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych was ousted in February following months of protests. The White House said President Barack Obama and Biden agreed he should make the two-day visit to the capital city to send a high-level signal of support for reform efforts being pushed the new government.

Yeah, Ukraine is hosed.

Affirmative Action Campaign Descends Into Farce

It would be funny if it wasn't so sad that proponents of affirmative action are choosing to back a whiner, because whining is all they've got left.

The Detroit News: Column: U-M race fight riles Gratz

Brooke Kimbrough, 17, is the Detroit high school senior who rallied against her recent rejection from U-M. She argued the university should admit her because she feels U-M ought to accept more minorities. Kimbrough, however, is now reportedly backing down from her rejection challenge.

. . .

Kimbrough attends a top charter school in Detroit and is a champion debater on the school’s debate team. She gets good grades and is highly involved in her school. But she got a 23 on the ACT, when the average U-M student scores between a 28 and 32 on the college entrance exam.

So she's at minimum 5 points away from being admitted and she wants to get in based on her skin color.

Now she's not being stopped form going to another university mind you, nor are racists are barring the gates or stopping her from competing for a spot to get an education, indeed she competed for a spot at UofM and fell short. But all is not lost:

Kimbrough’s scores were good enough to get her accepted into four other universities, with scholarships, and U-M encouraged her to transfer as a sophomore. She should be proud of that, but going to U-M was her dream.

So she gets into four other universities but really wants to go to UofM but doesn't want to do the work to transfer over but wants them to give her a special preference,

Quick, call a Wahmbulance, 'cause this isn't anything to do about race, just some spoiled brat whining that she didn't get her first pick and is just trying to use her race to get to the head of the line.

And this is the cause celebre that affirmative action proponents like the Trotskyitist/communist By Any Means Necessary organization chose to rally behind?

The radical, pro-affirmative action group By Any Means Necessary (BAMN) took advantage of this girl’s disappointment and took Kimbrough under its wing, organizing a rally Tuesday at which the teen spoke. BAMN is the lead plaintiff challenging Michigan’s affirmative action ban

Disappointment at not being good enough is now apparently the best rationale for affirmative action that BAMN and others can come up with. Expect more whinging as the progressive AA crowd realizes they've lost their little racial preference war.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

More Detroit Area Follies

Poor Councilman Cushingberry just can't catch a break.

After skating on possessing marijuana in his car and a bottle of open alcohol during a traffic stop, he's now being sued for allegedly stripping his house in Detroit after he walked away form it in foreclosure.

The Detroit News: Bank: Detroit councilman Cushingberry stripped foreclosed home

A bank is suing the City Council’s president pro tem on claims he “willfully and maliciously” damaged his foreclosed home, a property that’s now being targeted as part of Mayor Mike Duggan’s anti-blight effort.

The Public Service Credit Union is seeking more than $56,000 from George Cushingberry Jr. and his wife, Maria Drew Cushingberry, on allegations the pair significantly damaged a home on Marygrove Street and removed its kitchen cabinets and fixtures.

Amazing how the Detroit City Council tends to have quite a history of property issues from foreclosures with all sorts of examples. One would think they don'recare much about the state of the city form how they treat their own property there.

Meanwhile, Wayne County, the County in which Detroit is located and electorally dominates, continues to spiral down fiscally as it following the blue state model runs out of other people's money and runs up a deficit of $175 million.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Move Before They Raise The Parking Rate

Detroit continues on its downward spiral, and the downward spiral is even reaching the parking department.

The Detroit Free Press: $45 for expired meter? Detroit's parking ticket plan sparks outrage

Tickets for an expired meter in Detroit would jump from $20 to $45 under Orr’s plan. And the $10 discount for paying tickets early would be eliminated. Violations that now trigger a $30 ticket, such as double parking and blocking a driveway, would increase to $45. If those tickets and the expired-meter tickets are paid a month late or more, fines would increase to $65.

City officials said an increase would be justified because Detroit hasn’t raised fines in more than a decade. They also said current fines are too low because it costs the city more than $30 to process a parking ticket.

So, instead of the obvious solution of increasing efficiency so it doesn't cost an outrageous $32 to process a $20 ($10 if paid early) ticket, like other cities seem able to handle, the solution is instead to just raise the ticket costs. Between that and half of the parking meters not working in the first place, it's a surefire solution to Detroit's revenue ills.

After all, raising the price of parking tickets will clearly help revitalize Detroit by making more people want to come and park and enjoy events there, right?

The change will make Detroit the third most expensive for fines, behind San Francisco at $75 and Chicago at $65 but ahead of Seattle at $44 and Philadelphia at $36. Let's face it, both Seattle and Philly have a lot more attractions than Detroit, as do San Fran and Chicago. Raising parking rates to match doesn't enhance Detroit's attractiveness.

No one ever said "If You Fine Them More To Park, They Will Come". They don't say it for good reason, no matter the wishful thinking among Detroit's officials.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Toronto Trip Report

Let's start this off with a shot of Toronto's iconic skyline:

The view from my mother-in-law's apartment is darn nice. On a clear day you can even see the lake in addition to the CN Tower.

Looking down eight stories from the balcony isn't too bad even for most acrophobes. When I pointed out that I regularly dive 80 feet down, no big deal, no problem, the family suddenly realized that 80 feet underwater isn't a small distance.

As part of this trip, we took my Mother-In-Law and ourselves went to Honest Ed's. Think a discount/dollar store that takes up an entire city block. Honest Ed's has everything from hats to mugs to prescription drugs in one place surrounded by old theater posters and pictures of stars from a bygone era. Sadly, this Toronto landmark is going to close in December 2016 so if you've never shopped for shlock until you drop, you've got a closing window of opportunity.

One of the mugs Honest Ed's had featured the closest thing Canadians get to a Gun Show these days. I saw this mug and immediately thought of Tam:

The trip also consisted of, as is usual, my on-site tech support calls for both my Mother-in-Law and my Dad in the computer and audio/visual departments. I'm working on turning Abby and Leah into my tech support minions and they were quite helpful with my Mother-In-Law for explaining how to work her new replacement TV and existing DVD player after I had it setup and working.

On a sadder note, the brutal cold winter has taken a severe toll.

My Dad and step-mom live in a nice 100-year-old house in midtown, and one day while they were away, the boiler shut down and then the water froze in the radiators and then cracked them, leading to a flood resulting in the home being stripped down to the boards and walls.

Now, mind you, they are nice 100-year-old boards with no particle board to be seen but the house is currently uninhabitable and a lot of stuff got flooded to destruction. This is extremely bad.

Also revealed was the extensive knob and tube wiring that while sure not up to code now served the house well all this time. Now that its revealed it will all have to be replaced to get up to code.

The structure of the house is still rock solid, but they're looking at a solid 6-9 months to get it restored, renovated, and up to habitable conditions, not to mention lots of expected battles with the insurance co along the way.

This also gave us accommodation issues as we normally stay with them and my Mother-In-Law's one bedroom apartment doesn't have space for 4 of us to stay there with her. There was a guest room in her apartment building that we rented which was unfortunately a big mistake in retrospect. The kids stayed on the floor in a "fort" in the apartment, while we occupied the guest room. The room was small with two single beds that if you shifted in any direction you'd fall out of bed.

Worse, the room was right by the front entrance and lobby so you heard every noise of people coming and going.

Even worse, this is an apartment of predominantly elderly residents. Elderly residents that thought it was a great thing to have loud conversations for hours sitting in the lobby starting at 4 am and loudly carrying on continuously until 6 am or so.

In short, in five days we had very interrupted sleep. Another downside is she has no internet service so I was out of touch most of this week except for the occasional visit to a coffee shop to feed my caffeine and wi-fi addictions simultaneously.

Yesterday, we headed over to my aunt and uncle's place for the first night of Passover and had a very nice time catching up with family and meeting our newest cousin - a cute six month old baby name Sophie.

Unfortunately, we received reports that the storm was moving in and so instead of staying another night, we jumped in the car and headed home, hitting a fair bit of the storm at the end of the trip but at least not driving through it all the way, leading to the picture from my recent post of our arrival at the house at 1:51 am this morning along with plenty of fresh global warming.

So yes, I'm rather tired at the moment. Now I'm busy catching up at work for the time I was in Toronto, and now Im having the fun of having a power outage at the office caused by the storm. What fun.

Overall, the Toronto trip was good but the lack of sleep and seeing the wrecked house were definite let-downs to a family gathering.

A Spring And A Miss . . . . .

And so, spring gave summer and autumn a miss and went straight back to winter.

There now stands quite a few inches of snow on the ground as we awoke after being exhausted from our midnight dash from Toronto homeward.

On the upside, we officially just beat the record to have the snowiest winter in the area ever with 94.8 inches of snow. So there's that.

The Detroit News: Metro Detroit breaks seasonal snowfall record

At least I can now say I made it through the snowiest, and not the second snowiest, winter in recorded history of the Detroit area. This is a good thing because saying you suffered through the second snowiest winter in recorded history is like winning the participation prize at the race - you may have showed up but you sure didn't win.

Al Gore Can Go Suck It

It was a lovely journey back home tonight from Toronto with lots of freezing rain and snow to make the drive back extra pleasant.

Global Warming my foot:

Monday, April 14, 2014

Blood Moon On Taxing Tuesday

Tomorrow is April 15, otherwise UN-fondly labelled Tax Day.

So it's only right that we get some astrological signs and portents for such an inauspicious day:

The Detroit Free Press: Blood moon eclipse on April 15 first in rare lunar phenomenon

A blood moon on the day when taxpayers are asked to squeeze blood from a stone to pay for the government's insatiable need for their money.

Coincidence? I think not.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

And Another Home Invasion In Detroit Stopped Dead in Its Tracks

In what is becoming quite the pattern, Detroit's home invaders are finding out that residents are fighting back quite effectively against them.

The Detroit News: Detroit homeowner shoots 2 suspects during break-in attempt; 1 dead

One person is dead and another wounded after they were shot while allegedly trying to break into a home on the city’s west side early Wednesday morning.

According to police, the incident occurred in the 19100 block of Asbury Park, in an area between Seven Mile and Cambridge.

The unidentified male homeowner fired on the pair after the suspects tried to enter after breaking a window, police said.

It's getting to be quite a noticeable trend that home invaders are coming to a bad end in Detroit.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Zen And The Need For Dive Gear Maintenance

As the ice melts, a diver's mind turns to the need for the annual inspection of their dive tanks and maintenance on the dive gear.

Tanks need to be inspected annually in order to be certified to be refilled at dive shops, and they're hydrostatically tested every five years. Luckily this was not a hydro year and all I got dinged for was the annual and the annual O2 cleaning of the tanks that allows for them to be filled with Nitrox mixes, mixes that have a higher oxygen percentage than standard air.

O2 cleaning removes any impurities or hydrocarbons from the tank and makes sure only oxygen rated parts are used. Hydrocarbons and 100% oxygen do not mix - or rather they do mix, and very violently.

After passing inspection and being cleaned, the tanks were given a new sticker and they're good to go.

Also, my regulators had their annual maintenance and the annual wear parts replacement. Regulators do have parts that wear out,and replacing the high-wear parts on an annual basis can prevent a nasty surprise when you're 100 feet below the surfaceand your regulator decides to keep flowing after you'd prefer it had stopped. Regular maintenance helps prevent nasty surprises. One surprise found was a small tear in the rubber mouthpiece of the regulator that I had not seen. It was replaced with a fresh piece before any serious failure could occur, and all is well. This is life support equipment after all. Take care of it, and it will take care of you.

Picking up my gear I found a problem. The Phantom hi-pressure hose, the hose that connects from the left tank valve to the pressure gauge developed a leak and had to be replaced. This hose, made of braided Kevlar rather than rubber is nice because its a lot more flexible than the ol' rubber hose and makes for a very flexible pressure gauge that's easy to get to and swing around the arm and stage tanks for easy reading. This is the first Phantom hose I've had that has failed, if this happens again, I'm going back to the standard rubber hose as those have never failed me.

With the hose broken, the hose gave an evil hiss of escaping air and when closing the valve from the tank, the air would leave through the hose and the pressure gauge it was attached too then looked like this:

Now, a high pressure hose leak is not something to panic about if you're underwater as the air escapes quite slowly through it and you have tons of time to deal with the issue, unlike a low pressure hose where it comes gushing out when it bursts, and even when an LP hose goes, you still shouldn't panic but instead work your options namely calling the dive and making a slow ascent if you're on a single tank, or closing the valve to that tank if you're on doubles and calling the dive accordingly. Still, it's not something you want to deal with before you even get in the water, so it needed to be replaced.

After replacement, it would hold pressure and the gauge gave a much happier reading:

Regular preventative maintenance for life support equipment, whether its dive gear or guns or anything else your life may depend on makes a lot of sense.

Don't wait until you need it to think that you really should have had been maintaining it properly.

Oh, and for those who are curious, here's a humorous video demonstrating the difference in failures of a high-pressure and a low-pressure SCUBA hose underwater.

After all, as the text accompanying the video says:

"If you want to kill a scuba diver, should you cut the high pressure hose, or the regulator hose?

You don't want a scuba accident to go wrong - this video will show you the best hose to cut!":

Monday, April 07, 2014

Crime and Taxes

Just finished and filed my taxes. After hours of getting all the information in accurately, we ended up owing and paying more this year even though we earned less, which is always a real pleasure.

Meanwhile in Detroit, a couple Detroiters are caught doing some crime with taxes.

The Detroit Free Press: Detroit mom, son get prison for filing false tax returns

A mother and son were sentenced to federal prison Thursday for bilking the government of more than $1 million by filing hundreds of false tax returns, including some for dead people.

Valerie Butler, 48, of Detroit was sentenced to 18 months in prison. Her son Garry Young Jr., 25, also of Detroit, was sentenced to serve a year and a day.

U.S. District Judge Avern Cohn also ordered them to pay nearly $1.1 million in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Butler and Young pleaded guilty in November to one count of conspiracy to obtain payment of a claim against the U.S. government.

According to court records, the scam started in 2009 when Butler and Young conspired to file 299 false returns that generated refunds of more than $1 million, which they deposited into bank accounts they controlled. Butler and Young tried to hide their involvement by failing to sign the returns as preparers.

No records as to whether they also voted for the dead people as well as filing their taxes.

That they only got eighteen months and 366 days respectively for bilking the government of over a million dollars, not to mention impersonating taxpayers while doing so means they got off rather lightly.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Your Sunday Walmart Ammo Report

The sun is shining, the snow is melting, it's getting warmer, so this means the opening of USPSA match season in Michigan and more range trips are in the near future. Range trips where I'm not thigh-deep in snow, and I'm looking forward to the change.

So on heading to Walmart, I had a chance to browse the shelves and hopefully pickup some needed ammo for restocking.

Unfortunately, both .22 LR and 9mm were completely out of stock, and tend to be so whenever I drop in to look for some.

There was however a decent quantity of 40 S&W in both 180 and 165 grain in 50 round boxes but no 100 round value packs.

Also present was a very sizable amount of 45 ACP, and a variety of 5.56 mm from cases of Turkish made (ZQ1) 62 grain to some Winchester 55 grain in boxes of 20. There was also some 7.62x39 and .357 about as well as the same few boxes of .270 that seem to have stayed in the same place for awhile now.

So I bought a few boxes of the 165 grain 40 S&W to feed my M&P 40 full-size and compact and went on my way.

9mm and .22 are both still hard to come by around here.

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Keep Calm And Drive On: Beating Of Driver Leads To Some Ludicrous Official Statements

So in the wake of the attack by 10-12 black guys on an innocent white driver that caused him to still be in critical condition in hospital, what does the Mayor of Detroit do?

He ludicrously appeals for calm.

The Detroit Free Press: Detroit mayor tweets for #calm #compassion in wake of attack on pickup driver

“We are asking all metro Detroiters to demonstrate our true character by exercising calm and patience during this emotionally charged time,” according to the statement.

Ok then. There must be a script in Detroit headquarters that says anything that has a racial component then go to -

Step 1: Appeal for calm.

That's cause Detroit's few remaining white folk might be inclined to riot doncha know? Well, probably not. But, you have to be even handed so you can appeal for calm when the reverse happens, right?

Step 2 in the checklist when its 10-12 black guys attacking a white guy is to quickly announce it was not a hate crime or a racially biased assault:

From social media to the east side neighborhood where the attack occurred, some questioned whether race was involved.

A police spokesman, however, said the initial investigation didn’t yield a race-related reason for the attack.

“No one has given us a statement that was indicative that this was a racially motivated crime or anything to that extent,” said the spokesman, Sgt. Michael Woody.

Well ok then, glad that's cleared up so easily.

Also, there's still no reports that Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson are planning to visit to decry this race-motivated violence, nor any reports of Eric Holder opening a federal hate crime investigation.

Funny, that.

Friday, April 04, 2014

Where Does He Get All Those Wonderful Toys? The NSA Of Oakland County

Cell phone tracking, intercepting, and spoofing - it's not just for the Feds anymore.

The Detroit News: Secret military device lets Oakland deputies track cellphones

Oakland County commissioners asked no questions last March before unanimously approving a cellphone tracking device so powerful it was used by the military to fight terrorists.

Now, though, some privacy advocates question why one of the safest counties in Michigan needs the super-secretive Hailstorm device that is believed to be able to collect large amounts of cellphone data, including the locations of users, by masquerading as a cell tower.

Able to imitate a cell tower in order to track phones and intercept conversations, the big question is why does a County Sheriff's office need it, and what exactly are they planning on doing with it?

Of course, Oakland County didn't pay for this alone, the device, while in the first paragraph is stated to cost $176,000 in later paragraphs costs considerably more, but not to worry, a Federal grant covered all but $105,000 of the cost:

The county received a $258,370 federal grant that paid for all but $105,000 of the device, training and about $56,000 to purchase a vehicle to contain it, records show.

That would imply it costs $363,370 and whatever the vehicle purchased for it, at $56,000 it better be gold-plated.

Especially considering the Undersheriff has stated it would be illegal for the Sheriffs to listen in on phone conversations, which is a key point of having a Hailstorm device in the first place, its a lot of money to act as a cell phone locator.

Undersheriff Michael McCabe said, “Hailstorm helps us capture fugitives from the law, people wanted for murder and rape” and can be used only with a search warrant. He said the federal Homeland Security Act bars him from discussing Hailstorm, but he elaborated at length about what it doesn’t do.

“It’s not a tool to spy on people, unequivocally,” McCabe said. “It does not record cellphone conversations ... Hailstorm does not capture personal information on anyone or store unintended target data. It does not take photos of anyone. It doesn’t take videos or fly in the sky. It’s a tool used for criminal investigations and it’s legal and lawful.”

. . .

The commissioner said McCabe eased his concerns with written assurances that it’s illegal for local police in Michigan to listen in on phone conversations. Only federal policing agencies with warrants can do that, McCabe said.

It's a bad sign when an entity buys a showcase piece of very expensive and capable technology and then clams up when asked what they're going to do with it.

Ya Don't Stop In The D - Driver Stops To Render Aid, Gets Beaten By Mob

Brooks Patterson may have be onto something 30 years ago when he advised that people don't stop in Detroit.

After a minor accident caused by an 11-year old boy who walked into traffic by a gas station, the 54-year-od driver of the truck stopped and left the truck to render aid, much as any civilized person would do.

The uncivilized crowd of 20-30 people hanging around the gas station however decided to give him a major beat down, with at least 10-12 participating, and he's now in critical condition in hospital.

On top of the that, the crowd of thugs stole his cash and credit cards from his wallet. You could call them scum, but that would be an insult to scum.

The kicker? The driver is white, the mob was black, so expect federal hate crime charges in, ah heck, you and I both know that's not going to happen. Nor will Jesse Jackson nor Al Sharpton make an appearance to decry this racially-charged violence.

Now that stopping to render assistance and remain at the scene of an accident is now plainly unsafe in many areas in Detroit, your best bet is to call the police to reort the incident and then drive to the nearest police station to report it rather than remain and get mobbed on.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Last Night I Saw A (Plastic) Piece Of The Future

As part of the Law Of Cyberspace class I'm teaching, I have the students do a final presentation regarding some aspect of cyberspace and technology and related legal issues.

A pair of the students decided the future was


Plastics by way of a 3D Printer.

As part of their presentation, they brought in a friend 's 3D printer along with the friend (a prior graduate of the class, I might add) for a demonstration as they presented on both what a 3D printer was and its implications for democratized manufacturing and the legal landscape.

Here's the complete setup: The printer, the laptop for controlling it, the spools of ABS plastic that are the raw materials for the printer, and an XBox scanner used to scan 3D images for printing.

Here's a close-up of the Solid Doodle printer and some of the items made using it:

A GoPro mount, a couple square moving gears that actually work, a couple different iPhone 5 cases, and some legos.

He's also printed working rifle and pistol magazines, so yes, there was Second Amendment content.

The whole setup cost around $1,500 to have it up and running, and it is a very impressive machine. The tech-geek in me practically yelled out "Want!" at the top of my lungs seeing it and what it can do.

Heck, If you want to be your own action figure, there's an app for that. The XBox scanner and software can render you in 3D for printing in minutes as demonstrated by one of the presenters:

While doing their presentation, they had the class vote and decide what to make. The class chose an iPhone case, and the printer had one made in less than the time it took to do their presentation.

Oh, and that iPhone charger station beside the computer-the base is printed on the 3D printer and the iPhone cable is run through it.

The presentation touched on the various implications of copyright, patent and trademarks and both First and Second Amendment issues, such as the Liberator pistol which can be created by a 3D printer, or indeed a complete working metal 1911 made by Solid Concepts on a professional-class 3D printer, and the time isn't far off when such printers will be available on the consumer market. 3D printing creates lots of implications in all of these areas, and the law has yet to catch up.

Think of the Second Amendment applications - replacement of impossible to find broken parts from out-of-production firearms, not to mention creation of complete workable firearms. As 3D printers continue to drop in price, expect gun control to be functionally impossible. Already people have shown you can forge AK47 receivers out of shovel blades, just wait until you can print them out in perfect 3D functionality.

Also think of the implications when a person can simply print out a broken part to fix an appliance in the comfort of their own home rather than having to order the replacement from the manufacturer, or design their own prototypes for their inventions literally "in-house".

3D Printing has the potential to revolutionize how we do things, and it is going to be very interesting to see how the technology spreads, changes the physical and legal landscape while doing so, and how vested interests and politicians will try to stop it. New York, both city and state, for example, has already introduced legislation to ban the creation of 3D firearms. Making such a ban, and then enforcing it once thousands of homes have these devices with the plans easily obtainable form the internet will be as futile as Canute ordering the sea to cease rising.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Seat Belts Save Lives

In Detroit, two drivers on the exact same night serve as examples of why the use of seat belts is a darn good idea.

Fail to do so, and you run the risk of premature ejection and death.

The Detroit News: 2 Detroit motorists ejected in fatal crashes

Authorities are investigating two fatal crashes overnight in which drivers were ejected because they weren’t wearing seat belts, according to the Michigan State Police

Both drivers were on highways at the time they ended up wrecking, and lost control of their vehicles.

That seat belt not only stops you from getting thrown out of your car, but increases the chance you can stay in control of your car to prevent a wreck instead of being thrown around it when you lose control.

Don't die of the dumbs, wear a seat belt.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Minnesota Carping Crazily Concerning Carp

I wish this was an April Fools Day joke, but it's not.

The Detroit Free Press: Minnesota may rename Asian carp to less-offensive 'invasive carp'

Yes, really, and of course it's a Democrat leading the morphological mutilation.

The troublesome fish currently known as Asian carp may get a new name in Minnesota over concern that the current one casts people from Asian cultures in a negative light.

Proposals advancing in the Legislature would require the Department of Natural Resources to refer to the fish as “invasive carp,” a reference to the threat the non-native fish pose to Mississippi River-area ecosystems.

Sen. John Hoffman, the Champlin Democrat sponsoring a bill in the Senate, said some people of Asian descent have complained about the name.

Look, it's classified as an Asian carp (there are two main subspecies, the bighead carp and silver carp) as it comes from - you guessed it - Asia!

It's also a fish that Asians have been known to use a food. The fish is a fish, its neither bad no good, it just is, and changing its name to the stupid sounding invasive carp isn't going to improve things.

What's next, renaming Zebra mussels to invasive mussels to spare the feeling of our African equid friends?

Imagine going into a restaurant and seeing an invasive carp on the menu. Sheesh.