Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Always Request Confirmation

Yet another tale of fun from court.

I have a client that is in bad shape medically and ran afoul of the law, resulting in a misdemeanor for being stupid, in a circumstance that doesn't bear going into for the purposes of this story.

How bad shape medically you may ask? Well, thanks for asking. So bad that she's on heavy medications, cannot function or walk without the medications and has quite a few side affects from same. Said medications would lead one to be in serious penal jeopardy if you were taking or possessing them on a recreational basis. She, by way of contrast, has prescriptions, attending doctors, an extensive medical history, and is tested on a regular basis to make sure her blood count for all this stuff is correct, and she does not use recreational drugs.

Unfortunately, we're in front of a judge who seems to have a thing against people being prescribed certain pain killers.

So at a pre-sentencing hearing the judge orders her to take a pee test right at the court's probation office, which she does. This is instead of just moving this case along with the already plead plea deal of a deferred sentence, probation and then having it removed off of her record as she has no prior criminal conduct or record.

She's been doing these test regularly anyways not just for her doctor but for the probation department as a condition of her bond and they have a full list of all her meds and the tests tend to come back unsurprisingly as positive for all the stuff she's taking.

This time however, the test taker claims that the test results showed she took methamphetamine.

This doesn't make sense, especially as no other test has ever detected it, she had recently been checked by her doctor and no meth was found, and she's already on an prescribed amphetamine so why would she go for the fake stuff when she can have the real thing?

Guess what boys and girls? The pee test does have a high likelihood of triggering on amphetamine metabolites and erroneously reporting them as methamphetamine metabolites.

The judge gets pissed and orders a bond revocation hearing. This is after I've already left court by the way. The client is now being railroaded with the next stop ending at a jail.

The more I look into this the curiouser it becomes.

I check with the probation office and ask if they confirmed the test. They don't know but they're convinced that since the test showed meth, so its meth, regardless of her prescribed meds.

A Toxicologist I talk to about this laughs out loud when I run the facts by him. Without a proper confirmation test being done at a lab, the test is junk as it is an initial screening test only and yes, it can indeed show the client's prescription amphetamine use as methamphetamine.

So the court is about to throw someone in jail based on a unsubstantiated and unreliable (in this circumstance) test.

I start having to draft a motion for the hearing and move to retain the Toxicologist, who does not come cheap, to prepare to defend my client and keep the client out of jail.

I then talk to the assigned probation officer and ask if the test is confirmed yet. She states that it was not confirmed. I ask if it is going to be confirmed and she says no. I point out that without a lab doing a gas chromatography–mass spectrometry test to confirm the presence of methamphetamine and rule out the likelihood that the false positive was caused by the metabolites from the Defendant’s medications, the baseline pee test is unreliable.

She considers that, then agrees and states she will recommend to the judge that the bond hearing be pulled and we go back to the normal track of things.

Today, the court clerk confirmed the hearing is off and we're back on track towards the deal as pleaded.

So yay me, I now know far more about drug testing than I ever have before. More importantly, I managed to stop the railroad and kept my client out of jail for a violation that the client did not commit.

Woke Up This Morning....

Mother Nature didn't get the message.

Seriously now, enough.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Go Home Mother Nature, You're Drunk

It's the end of March, it looked like we were making steady progress towards spring and what do we get today?


Just enough to be annoying, but snow all the same.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Media Set On Cruz Control

As Instapundit says, the media is just Democratic party operates with bylines, and it becomes more blatant and apparent in the run-up to 2016.

Adding to the fun, the media is prying and commenting on places with Cruz that they didn't dare go concerning Obama.

Take NPR for example. As can be seen form the transcript, NPR is interviewing Jeff Toobin of The New Yorker to discuss Cruz.

Of course they paint Cruz as an extremist, and a scary one at that. Interestingly, they go into his father's experiences and nature in the interview and how that affects Cruz. They also cover Cruz's schooling and early career as a darn smart attorney and advocate.

Note how the media conspicuously did not report on Obama's parent's political leanings.

Heck, we now now more about Cruz's parentage and schooling than we do About Obama, all these years on since he became president, and this is just two days after Cruz declared he was running.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Oh, That Liberal Media

While it's nice to see the media waking up to it's watch-dog role from it's lap-dog status as of late in regards to federal politics, it's unsurprising that this seems limited to attacking Republican candidates while oversight of Obama and the email-lady continues to get the blind eye or the quick report and move-along treatment.

Currently, it appears the Media has gotten the memo to attack the latest Republican to make a splash - Ted Cruz.

For example, we get this missive from The Detroit Free Press' Brian Dickerson - In opening round, Cruz courts pants-on-fire vote

Ted Cruz began his formal quest for the presidency this week the same way he became one of the most recognizable Republicans on Capitol Hill: by lying his head off.

Speaking to a captive audience in the bosom of Christian fundamentalism, Cruz doubled down on a series of assertions non-partisan fact-checkers have repeatedly debunked:

That the Obama administration seeks to "ban our ammunition."

That the Affordable Care Act has cost "millions" of Americans their health care coverage.

And that the ACA's employer mandates have forced millions more into part-time work.

None of these talking points withstands much scrutiny, as the non-partisan factcheck.org website explained in a post wearily dismissing Cruz's declaration as a medley of "dubious claims we have heard before, and a few we haven't."

Interestingly, going to the "non-partisan" websites from which Dickerson draws his conclusions reveals some very partisan slight of hand.

Let's take "ban our ammunition" for instance. factcheck rates it not-truthy because they state the administration only recently tried to ban one type of ammunition (M855). This conveniently ignores the already in place Obama ban on March 5, 2014 of 5.45.x39 7N6. Factcheck then rates the Cruz statement as untrue because it wasn't all ammunition being banned at once, get it?

Factcheck then decides as the arbiter of truth that the fact that millions did indeed lose their healthcare isn't the whole story with a mendacious explanation that:

Cruz isn’t the first to make this claim, which stems from President Obama’s ill-fated promise, “If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan.” That was clearly proven false when, in the fall of 2013, several million people received cancellation notices for individual market plans that no longer met the law’s benefit requirements.

But to claim simply that millions lost their health insurance is misleading. Those individual market plans were discontinued, but policyholders weren’t denied coverage. Many upgraded to compliant plans (albeit at a higher cost, for some).

Factcheck then punts on the part time work issue claiming there's a lack of data or that only a few hundred thousand have been affected or Factcheck hopefully claims it might be caused by the economy, cause Obamacare has had no impact on the economy.

Hardly a resounding smack-down of Cruz's statements as Dickerson pretends it to be, now isn't it?

In other words, contra Factcheck, Cruz was truthful and Dickerson and Factcheck are furiously spinning facts in their adjunct role as Democrat party supporters and distorter.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

ISIS' Goebbels Living It Up In Dearborn

The Detroit Free Press: Judge orders Dearborn cleric popular with ISIS to talk

One of the big mysteries is who is paying this felon - convicted of 42 counts of fraud - to spread Islamist propaganda? Well, he's not talking, at least not yet.

Yes, the most inspirational cleric providing aid and comfort to Islamic terrorists is comfortably living in Dearborn and lying to the court.

The Obama Administration is fundamentally unserious about dealing with Islamic Terrorism and ISIS, heck they can't even say the I word, so dealing with a propagandist for the same is likely beyond their ken, and this will not end well.

Monday, March 23, 2015

NRA 2015 Annual Meeting In Nashville

The NRA's 2015 Annual Meeting is coming up fast, April 10-12 in Nashville, Tennessee.

To pre-register and get your attendee badge ahead of time go here and sign up.

Yes, you can carry at the NRA's annual meeting at the Music City Center in Nashville if you have a valid CPL recognized by Tennessee.

As stated by the NRA:

During the 2015 NRA Annual Meeting & Exhibits, lawfully carried firearms will be permitted in the Music City Center with the proper license in accordance with Tennessee law. Bridgestone Arena prohibits the possession of firearms. When carrying your firearm, remember to follow all federal, state and local laws.

Be sure to check out the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security page on Handgun Permits to get the law to ensure you comply with Tennessee's rules while you're visiting Nashville and don't carry in the very few no-carry zones that they have listed.

While civic centers in Tennessee are typically off limits to carry under TCA 39-17-1311, an exception under 39-17-1311(b)(J)(iii) exists for gun and knife shows and this is indeed a gun show of gun shows.

Looking forward to seeing many of my fellow bloggers there, as well as attending the NRA's Firearms Law Seminar, which is well worth the price of admission. Besides, Instapundit will be the luncheon speaker, Mas Ayoob will be lecturing, and David Hardy will be in attendance.

Should be a great time, and we should be able to organize some blogger get-togethers during that weekend.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

An Escape From The Great Escape Room

Tonight we got together with three other other couples and headed to The Great Escape Room in Royal Oak.

What is it? Well, you're locked in a room and you have one hour to find clues hidden throughout the room and then solve the puzzles to be able to unlock the exit.

Only 25% of player groups manage to escape and yes, our group was among that hallowed few.

My initial solution for solving the puzzle by torturing the room guide until he gave up the goods was quickly vetoed, and so we began to play the game.

We all started by looking for clues, and many were fiendishly well hidden. So well hidden that quite a few escaped us on the initial search.

Then we started trying to solve the inter-related puzzles.

Tash and I solved the first puzzle very quickly and it led to a piece to help solve another puzzle.

Everyone contributed and as we had a very smart bunch with us, we managed to escape. We were also the first group not to need a helper hint from the room guide for a certain puzzle that had apparently stumped everyone else who had done the game when he was a guide.

Then we posed for the mandatory successful escape team silly picture:

Logic, mathematics, general knowledge, brilliant deductions, persistence, patience and camaraderie were needed to solve the puzzles and escape the room.

It was a lot of fun, and I'd highly recommend giving it a try.

To see it in action, here's a clip from the Big Bang Theory for an example of how the Escape Room game is played:

There were no zombies in ours, and we had a Sherlock Holmes theme with some pretty difficult puzzles.

After the game, all of us went to Lilly's Seafood Restaurant for some adult beverages to celebrate (all of them brewed on the premises) and some excellent fish dishes to sate our hunger and feed the little grey cells.

A great night with some great people.

USAF Exercises With Romanian MIG-21s

An interesting article over at Foxtrot Alpha about The USAF's 480th Fighter Squadron with F-16CJs participating in Exercise Dacian Warhawk and engaging in dissimilar ACM against Romanian MIG-21 Lancers.

The Romanians have certainly gotten their money's worth out of their MIG-21s. A write-up of the upgrades performed by Israel in 2002 on 102 of Romania's MIGs, giving the MIGs all-weather capability and upgraded avionics and weapons systems can be found at Defense Update.

The upgrades included 25 aircraft configured as an air interceptor variant and 85 configured as a ground attack variant. According to the Foxtrot Alpha article, 36 of the 108 remain flying.

Not bad for fifty-year-old aircraft still flying today. Romania is moving to replace their MIG-21s with F-16AM MLU Vipers coming from Portugal. The MIG-21 will still continue to fly in other nation's air forces including India and Croatia.

Perhaps the Romanians will surplus out their MIG-21s and hopefully they'll wind up on the market in the US for sale. A MIG-21 Lancer would be quite an upgrade for Murphy's Law.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Now, Stop Doing That!

Click On Detroit: TSA finds 2 firearms in carry-on luggage at Detroit Metro Airport

Two firearms were found in separate instances Thursday morning by the Transportation Security Administration at Detroit Metropolitan Airport.

The first was found about 5 a.m. in the carry-on luggage of a 41-year-old woman flying to Fort Lauderdale. She was carrying a loaded 9 mm Glock. TSA immediately notified local law enforcement, who arrested the passenger on a local charge.

The second firearm was found in the carry-on bag of a 56-year-old man flying to Dallas. He was carrying a loaded .38 caliber revolver.

Four firearms have been found in carry-on luggage at DTW this year. There were 32 firearms detected at DTW in 2014.

Both people likely had no evil intent, but they're both likely facing some serious charges for stupidly forgetting to take their firearms out of their carry-ons, or being dumb enough to somehow think you can fly with a firearm in your carry-on luggage. You really can't.

The stupid tax on these people is going to be high.

If That's How Obama Measures Sucess, I'd Hate to See What He Calls A Failure

Unless, of course, weakening America's standing in the world and handing the Middle East over to Islamic Fundamentalists and Iran was the successful aim.

The Detroit Free Press: Reports: U.S. forces evacuating Yemen air base after losing track of $500 million in weapons recently given to Yemen.

Remember this? Obama Tonight: Yemen and Somalia Are Models of Success.

Expect Somalia to fall even farther apart in short order.

From the Junior Varsity taking over swaths of Iraq to now losing Yemen to Al Qaeda and Iran, Obama's sure been busy losing. Not sure if we should attribute this string of failures to malice, or stupidity, or both.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

No Special Favors - Macomb County Prosecutor Gets Same Citation As Anyone Else For A Minor CPL Violation

It's good to see that justice is administered evenhandedly even when the wrong-doer is a prosecutor himself.

The Detroit News: Assistant prosecutor cited for leaving gun at school

As can be seen from the link, he left a firearm in his jacket behind in a school, which is both a serious faux pas, and how he got caught carrying concealed in the school in violation of MCL 28.425(o).

Since schools in Michigan are no carry zones, he got the same citation anyone else would have earned for the first violation of carrying concealed in a no-carry zone, a fine of $500 and presumably (though not reported in the article) a suspension of his CPL for six months.

Now, setting aside the fact that you should always remain in possession of your firearm and not leave it anywhere an unauthorized person could get access to it which is not an acceptable thing to do, was there any real harm in a law-abiding person carrying a concealed firearm in a school had it not been inadvertently left there? Heck, had he not left his jacket behind would anyone had ever known that he had carried into the school in the first place?

The no-carry-zones need to be removed from the CPL law as they are both unnecessary for public safety and indeed imperil the public and individuals subject to these exclusions. But, while they are in effect, it is good to see that at least in Macomb County the law is administered impartially and without regard for the status of the law-breaker.

Kudos to the Macomb County Sheriff's Office and the Macomb Prosecutor's office for playing this one straight.

Kudos also go to the assistant prosecutor in question who didn't try to pull any "Do you know who I am?" games, and who manned up and admitted his mistake in leaving the firearm at the school and endeavored not to do it again in open court.

Most Transparent Administration, Evah.

The Detroit News: U.S. sets new record for denying, censoring fed files

The Obama administration set a new record again for more often than ever censoring government files or outright denying access to them last year under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act, according to a new analysis of federal data by The Associated Press.

The government took longer to turn over files when it provided any, said more regularly that it couldn’t find documents, and refused a record number of times to turn over files quickly that might be especially newsworthy.

It also acknowledged in nearly 1 in 3 cases that its initial decisions to withhold or censor records were improper under the law — but only when it was challenged.

In addition, the administration, in another burst of transparency, is going to exempt the White House Office of Administration form FOIA requests. Of course, the administration blames Bush for the Obama administration making this formalized ruling. This blame is because, you know Bush did it first and all that so it's cool for Obama to formalize the denial of responses to FOIA for the Office of Administration.

Monday, March 16, 2015

That Puritan Strain Of Enviromentalism....

The fear that someone, somewhere might be having fun in our natural environment and therefore must be stopped.

The Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, a name that in and of itself is practically an oxymoron, is filing a lawsuit to stop people swimming with Manatees in Crystal River, Florida.

Fox News: Lawsuit aims to ban swimming with manatees in Florida

There are already plenty of protections for Manatees in the Crystal River, including a roped-off no-entry area reserved just for them.

There's also a lack of any real data concerning problems with swimmer-manatee interactions as currently held. If anything, such interactions help the manatees by making people want to save and conserve them.

Manatees are in far greater danger from boat propellers than human swimmers and this lawsuit seems more to generate headlines and increase federal bureaucratic overreach than anything else.

The current rules seem to have worked as in 2007 it was recommended that the manatees be no longer considered endangered as their population is doing quite well there. Also a fair chunk of money from the tours go to manatee conservation, so cutting that off would reduce funding for their protection, which would likely lead to a demand for more federal funding and federal bureaucrats to administer that funding (hmmm....).

Having actually snorkeled in Crystal River with Manatees I can attest to the care of the tour operators to comply with the rules concerning swimming with Manatees.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

First World Protests

Someone tell me that this was a gag or troll attempt please.

USA Today: Protesters stage anti-robot rally at SXSW

"I say robot, you say no-bot!"

The chant reverberated through the air near the entrance to the SXSW tech and entertainment festival here.

About two dozen protesters, led by a computer engineer, echoed that sentiment in their movement against artificial intelligence.

"This is is about morality in computing," said Adam Mason, 23, who organized the protest.

Signs at the scene reflected the mood. "Stop the Robots." "Humans are the future."

If this was a parody of the innumerable SJW protests and assorted silliness that has been going on, then well played indeed.

If not, well, then it looks like the SJW-tpes and professional protesters and hand-wringers have found a new silicone-based bandwagon to jump on.

At least it's a cause that should give them some mileage. After all, the current developments in artificial intelligence have already created greater intelligence in computers than these protesters have naturally.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Is ATF Moving Away From The Proposal To Ban M855?

Over at RightMI, in post based on a misread of a Michigan statute that they thought would make people in Michigan become felons if they possessed M855 after ATF declared it AP ammunition (It won't- It darn likely will. Based on a discussion with someone whom I respect and hold in high regard, who provded me with some solid explanatory legal analysis, it appears that there is indeed an avenue of attack and a clear risk to Michigan residents possessing M855 should the ATF declare it to be AP ammunition. I doth blog corrected and appreciate the additional information and analysis provided), comes the important news that it appears that ATF is going to pause in pushing forward its "framework" that would have banned M855.

ATF's Press Release.

Apparently the flood of comments, and people contacting their representatives got their attention:

Notice to those Commenting on the Armor Piercing Ammunition Exemption Framework

Thank you for your interest in ATF's proposed framework for determining whether certain projectiles are “primarily intended for sporting purposes” within the meaning of 18 U.S.C. 921(a)(17)(C). The informal comment period will close on Monday, March 16, 2015. ATF has already received more than 80,000 comments, which will be made publicly available as soon as practicable.

Although ATF endeavored to create a proposal that reflected a good faith interpretation of the law and balanced the interests of law enforcement, industry, and sportsmen, the vast majority of the comments received to date are critical of the framework, and include issues that deserve further study. Accordingly, ATF will not at this time seek to issue a final framework. After the close of the comment period, ATF will process the comments received, further evaluate the issues raised therein, and provide additional open and transparent process (for example, through additional proposals and opportunities for comment) before proceeding with any framework.

It doesn't mean they won't try to bring the framework proposal forward again once they've processed all 80,000 comments, but at least there is no imminent immediate ban on M855.

Expect them to try again, and again make your reasoned comments and contacts to your representative in opposition to such bans when they try again.

To those of you who submitted comments to ATF and to your Representatives - Good job folks, you did it.

Monday, March 09, 2015

Old San Juan, Puerto Rico

We decided to explore Old San Juan with a walking culinary tour, run by Flavors of San Juan.

The first part of the adventure was finding where to meet our guide as quite a few of the streets in the port area lacked any street signs.

As we wandered trying to find the right location, we walked past the Federal District Courthouse and Post Office for Puerto Rico:

We then found the right place - the square in front of the Banco Popular De Puerto Rico, complete with the cat giraffe statue described in the instructions for finding the right location to begin the tour.

Yes, a cat-giraffe. Not sure what it means, but apparently it's lucky.

The guide, per the instructions was to be wearing a bright green polo shirt.

And indeed she was:

Her name was Rosio and she enthusiastically ran a fantastic tour of the history and food of San Juan. With two other couples for a total of 6 adults and 2 kids, we headed off on the tour.

The tour started off at Aromas Coffehouse with Puerto Rican Cafe con leche with mallorcas for breakfast. The coffee was truly outstanding and the mallorcas (a breakfast sandwich of ham, eggs and powdered sugar)wa alos great.

Suitably caffeinated, we learned a bit about San Juan's founding and construction of the city's walls and headed to our next stop.

The next stop was a big hit with the kids, and everyone else for that matter.


Senor Paleta makes them right at the store and they were good. With choices that included coconut, mango, nutella, passion fruit and more it was a hard choice to make but all were great.

The we learned about the architecture of the city, including seeing the thinest building in Old San Juan:

Built in an alleyway between two other buildings, its not much wider than two people standing side by side.

Then we went to see a church erected in the days when the Spanish controlled the island marking the site where a miracle occurred:

Behind the church is a sheer cliff and apparently as nobleman on a horse fell off the cliff while racing down the street. He apparently said a prayer to be saved, the exact details of which is not preserved, and he was indeed saved. The horse, not so much. So a church was built to mark the location.

It's right beside the Parque De Las Palomas, Park of Pigeons, which, true to its name, had a real lot of pigeons.

Then we went to Cafe El Punto, where we had a sample of ceviche and plantain empanadas.

The kids impressed everybody by giving the ceviche a try. Most kids apparently are fussy wusses who won't try new things. Accompanying the empanadas was an option to try pique, the Puerto Rican hot sauce. I tried it and now I need to find a local supply 'cause it was awesome - a smooth heat that really enhanced the flavor of the food.

We kept on walking, including past the governor's mansion.

The two guys in suits were part of the more subtle yet obvious security personnel around the mansion area.

We learned about the government structure of the island and it was interesting for the kids to understand the concept that Puerto Rico is a commonwealth, not a state of the US, so they generally do not pay Federal Income Taxes. Before you get too excited and head for the island, they do pay local income taxes and other local taxes that more than make up for the difference. Interestingly enough, Puerto Ricans can have both United States and Puerto Rican citizenship, which is recognized by Spain as a separate citizenship status that can get them quick acquisition of Spanish citizenship.

All that history led to our next stop, an opportunity to make a historic dish with our own hands, mofongo.

In a historic restaurant Rosa de Triana in a building formerly used as Old San Juan's original city hall (dates to 1523!) complete with a dungeon and a secret tunnel.

One of the cells beside the seating area.

Mofongo is made from fried plantains mashed in a mortar and pestle with garlic and butter and once proper;y mashed you spoon in some chicken in sauce and have a fine meal. You also work off the meal beating the plantains into shape.

To say it was great would be an understatement.

Then for dessert we went to Puerto Rico's oldest chocolate maker's restaurant, Casa Cortez:

Cortes, a maker of chocolate extraordinaire on the island since 1931 recently opened the restaurant. You can order whatever you like, and chocolate is in everything.

We received samples of hot chocolate made from melted chocolate bars that are specially sold for the purpose, along with a Churro, a portion of milk chocolate and a piece of cheddar cheese.

The cheddar went well with the chocolate which was a pairing I'd never thought of before.

Our guide also had those of us daring enough to try it put the cheddar into the hot chocolate. The tradition of doing so dates back to the Great Depression in Puerto Rico where it was a good way to get a lot of calories in hard times. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't great either, so I don't think I'll be continuing that tradition. We did buy a few of the hot chocolate making bars for home and the kids have already used them up over this harsh winter.

We then walked past the pinkest building in San Juan:

Then we went up to the roof of The Mezzanine at St. Germain, which they opened up just for us and we had pina coladas (the kids got pineapple and coconut juice sans alcohol) while relaxing and looking at the city skyline.

It was a great tour indeed, and if you're ever in San Juan and want a unique experience, Flavors of San Juan hosts a great, informative and tasty tour.

Saturday, March 07, 2015

San Juan Bay, San Juan, Puerto Rico

On the cruise one of the stops was San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The ship was moored in the harbor of San Juan Bay, with a great view of the Old Spanish fort.

San Juan is rich in both history and culture and was a very interesting place to spend a day.

We were moored with an excellent view of Castillo San Cristobal.

Also visible was the Governor's Mansion, La Fortaleza (the blue colored building in the picture).

The Governor's mansion was the original main fort, but it was converted to the Governor's residence when the Spanish figured out they had built the fort in the wrong place - in the center of the harbor rather than at the entrance to the bay which was a much better position. The mansion remains the residence of Puerto Rico's governor to this day.

They then built the El Morro fort at the mouth of the harbor.

The doubled walls surrounding the city of Old San Juan are 42 feet thick with an inner layer of sand to absorb cannon shot and took over 48 years to complete.

It made for a very strong defensive of Spain's most important port in the Caribbean.

Even today the harbor is of import for control of the Caribbean, as can be seen from the several US Coast Guard vessels in San Juan Bay.

Among them was WMEC-910, The USCG Thetis, a Famous class medium endurance cutter, based out of Key West.

The day was sunny and warm and the views of the city were awesome.

Of course we didn't stay on the ship but went off to explore historic Old San Juan in a most tasteful way.

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Oh, That Liberal Media Bias

The Detroit Free Press' Nancy Kaffer is a quality example of the media's left-wing lockstep thinking.

The setting: Nancy Kaffer's article: When it comes to bad ideas, Lansing never disappoints

On clicking the link the first question you will have regarding a post concerning Lansing, Michigan and a smear job at Michigan Republicans is:

"WTF is the picture of governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin doing as the lead picture for a column about Michigan?"

Last time I checked, Gov. Walker is not the governor of Michigan, which is a pity.

Ms. Kaffer decided to draw the governor of Wisconsin into an article purported to be about those evil Michigan Republicans.

You see, Ms. Kaffer is so lock-step in fact that she couldn't miss the opportunity to join the pile-on and take a shot at the current leading Republican in the news, regardless of the actual theme of her column.

So lock-step in fact that she had to post a correction today after blindly believing without any independent attempt to verify, like using Google, another left-wing source, Jezebel, that was quickly debunked regarding the specious claim that Governor Walker was advocating the elimination reports of sexual assault at Wisconsin university campuses.

That smear sounded good to Kaffer so she ran with it without fact checking that it had already been well and truly debunked prior to her article running. Had she run even one quick search on Google to fact-check, that would have done it and prevented this embarrassment. Instead, because the claim fit the narrative, helped her left-wing cred, and gave an example of the media's notion of Republican Neanderthal-ness, she ran with it.

But fear not, the media will be objective and unbiased in the run-up to the 2016 election. They pinky swear it.

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

The Deep Blue Screen Of Death - Microsoft Co-Founder Finds The Musashi

The Detroit News: Microsoft co-founder says he found sunken WWII warship.

Musashi in 1944.  Illustration by Alexpl.
The Musashi, one of the largest and most powerful battleships ever built.  She was sunk during the Battle of the Sibuyan Sea on October 24, 1944 after receiving 19 torpedo hits and 17 bomb hits from American planes in the battle. 1,023 members of her crew sank with her.

Musashi steaming on the way to her doom at the Battle of the Sibuyan Sea

The ship was found 3,000 feet below the surface and Mr. Allen's team videographed the wreckage with an ROV, and some of the video is available at the link above.

Quite an impressive find of an important battleship from the Second World War. It will be neat to see the full video of the wreck once it is released.

Why Gun Control Won't Work - A Continuing Series

When the state can't even keep bullets out of a maximum security prison, it must be hard for gun banners to keep a straight face when they allege gun control and gun bans will work in an open society and such bans will transform it into the mythical gun-free nirvana.

The Detroit News: Bullets found in Ionia prison still puzzling

After all, if the state can't prevent the importation of bullets into a maximum security facility, and indeed the manufacture of homemade guns inside such a facility, it's rather hard to credibly allege that you will stop the existence of firearms in any environment less controlled than a prison. As the examples show, even a prison environment won't make a perfect ban achievable.

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

When Afternoon Came It Was Freezing Rain....

Just a lovely day here in southeastern Michigan, complete with inches of Global Warming mixed with sleet and freezing rain to make the commute a true pleasure. I decided to work from home once noon hit to get back before it got worse and to be there for the kids who had school off today and were being dropped back home at noon after doing some volunteer work.

Aside from the fun of wet heavy snow with icy patches underneath, it made clearing off the Driveway of Doom™ ever so much fun.Picking up and heaving heavy snow by a slide after each push of the shovel, throw snow to the side and repeat.

Well, at least I got my workout in for the day and the driveway is the cleanest on the street.

Jett gloried in the snow and after racing around a bit and barking to his heart's content he decided to play a new game.

Jett's game consisted of trying out being a sled-dog. Abby had brought a sled out of the garage to go down our hill and he grabbed it in his teeth and ran off with it. Abby got it back and just as she sat down on it he ran up and gripping the sled with his teeth he pulled Abby all along the snow at the side of the house, both forwards and backwards and had a blast doing it.

Leah meanwhile went sledding down the hill beside the Driveway of Doom™ until she was exhausted.

Not a bad way to spend a snow day.

Monday, March 02, 2015

February In Michigan The Coldest Since 1875

So much for the Global Warming and temperatures are rising claim.

The Detroit News: Temps on the rise in Metro Detroit

It’s official: February was a baddie. According to NWS records, February 2015 was the second coldest February on record with an average monthly temperature of 14.1 degrees. The coldest February was set in 1875 when the average temperature was 12.1 degrees. It recorded 10 below zero days, which is the second highest total for any February. The highest was 14 days set in 1875.

Sunday, March 01, 2015

A Tale Of Two (Michigan) Cities

While Grand Rapids, Michigan is a thriving medium-sized city, Detroit is still trying to climb out of bankruptcy, crime, corruption and Democrat one-party rule. Detroit has made some strides, such as in appointing an effective and tough Chief of Police in James Craig, but it's backsliding in other significant ways.

The culture of Detroit, especially its culture of easy and unjustifiable criminal violence has yet to be transformed, and until that happens much of the changes aren't going to help improve the city overall.

The Detroit News: Grand Rapids revels in its low murder rate

Last year Detroit had 300 murders or 42.9 per 100,000 residents. In contrast, Grand Rapids had 6 murders or 3.2 per 100,000 residents.

The Detroit News points out helpfully that not a single one of the Grand Rapids murders was committed with a firearm, as if a murder with a firearm is somehow worse that by other means.

The cultures and politics between the two cities are quite different and Detroit could stand to learn a lot by adapting the better parts of the culture and polices of Grand Rapids.