Wednesday, February 28, 2018

So What Do You Get For Attacking A Girlfriend And Grabbing A Deputy's Gun At A School?

Three days in jail and Probation.

Yes, really.

The Detroit News: Oxford High student gets probation for attacking girl

Garrett Brodeur, 18, attacked the 16-year-old girl in a school lunch room on Oct. 3, 2017, and while attempting to hit her, slugged two teachers who intervened.

He was held in a school office and resisted arrest from an Oakland County Sheriff’s deputy and attempted to pull the officer’s handgun from its holster, causing the weapon to discharge.

So we're talking about the uncontested commission of multiple assaults, multiple felonies, and misdemeanor domestic violence and he gets probation.

Nice to see we're taking violence at school seriously.

But, according to the methodology of Bloomberg's Everytown For Gun Safety Group, this will get propagandized as a "School Shooting" as the gun went off even as no one was injured and this incident will be used to push for more gun banning efforts.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

You Know You're In Ann Arbor When...

On Saturday arriving for the Ron White show we headed to a nice Korean BBQ restaurant, Tomukun, which was fabulous to say the least. It had a 45 minute wait, but we were early so that was fine.

So we wandered around and across the road was a used bookstore, which emitted an irresistible siren's call.

Lovely place, full to the ceiling with books.

You knew you were in Ann Arbor when you passed this section by:

Yep, forget about just a political theory section, in Ann Arbor you need one section designated for Marxism and one for Anarchism. It's not called "The People's Republic of Ann Arbor" for no reason.

Perusing around the shelves I found the following books of interest:

Into the Jaws of Death: British Military Blunders 1879-1900

That one is Mr. Garibaldi's fault. After his excellent article on British military blunders in the Boer War, this one just leapt off the shelf into my hand. It should be a good read.

Then in the classical studies section this bargain popped into view. For $7.50 I could not say no:

Josephus: The Historian and His Society

One of the great ancient historians, Titus Flavius Josephus was a Jewish leader captured by the Romans in the First Jewish Revolt who found favor with the Emperors Vespasian and Titus (hence his Roman appellation) and became a noted historian of the time. His work on the Jewish War is an excellent recounting fo the war by someone who was there and his other works siuch as The Antiquities of The Jews, a history of the Jewish people up to the Jewish Revolt is similarly very well done.

Josephus is certainly an interesting fellow and this book on his life and way as an historiographer should make for good reading.

Interestingly enough, the section in the Antiquities of The Jews dealing with Jesus, while some references exist in all texts, the section that claims to recount his crucifixion and resurrection, the Testimonium Flavianum, was most likely added in the fourth century AD, and 3 references to Jesus were added long after the events in the 9th Century in Russia by a Slavonic monk.

Yes, the Russians were inserting false news into the mainstream long before Twitter and Facebook.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

That Was A Lot Of Laughs

Just got back from tonight's date night.

Tash and I went out to Ann Arbor to catch Ron White live on his 2018 tour.

To say he was hilarious would be an understatement.

Certainly it is a show for mature audiences only, with a rather crude humor style with f-bombs and adult situations brought up throughout, but damn, it was hilarious.

I haven't laughed that hard non-stop for a long time.

Heckuva good show, all new material, very cool to see him live, and the show rocked.

I certainly needed the laughs and got 'em. If you get a chance to catch the show, it's well worth it.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Yes, Trying To Buy Little Pieces Of Metal Can Get You A Felony, Stupid.

In this case a reality show star just got a sharp burst of reality.

If you're in a TL,DR kind of mood it boils down to this: If perchance you want to hire a machinist to make some NFA items for you, don't.

The Detroit News: Reality show star from Mich. charged with gun crimes.

Apparently he is/was a star in Meet The Putmans, and yeah I hadn't heard of the show either until now.

The case against Putman dates to November. That’s when he entered a machine shop in nearby Elkton and asked the owner to duplicate a metal part, according to federal court records.

The owner was suspicious that the metal item was a firearm component. Putman asked to have 10 copies of the part produced and the owner quoted an $800 price, according to Stephen Ross, special agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Later, the owner learned that the part was similar to a component used to convert an AR-15 into a fully automatic assault rifle.

The owner contacted ATF agents after Putman left the shop.

It sounds like Putman tried to get the guy to manufacture a Drop In Auto Sear or a Lightning Link. Either of which, combined with other required parts, can convert an AR-15 into a full auto firearm covered under the National Firearms Act.

Possession of an unregistered DIAS or Lightning Link comes complete with a 10-year felony for possession of such when you're caught, as Putman is finding out to his dismay.

So, don't violate NFA laws, and don't involve others in your attempt to violate NFA laws.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Let's Start With No.

The Detroit News: Gun control advocates rally at Michigan Capitol

More than 100 gun control advocates rallied Thursday at the Michigan Capitol, urging the state’s Republican-led Legislature to enact new “common sense” regulations after a teen gunman last week killed 17 people at a Florida high school.

Common sense in this case includes things that are already the law, and banning stuff they don't understand because it scares them rather than concrete steps to stop mentally ill persons from committing these acts and making it harder for schools to be attacked. Banning stuff is easy - actually trying to solve the problem is hard.

Let's put it into perspective:

There are currently at least 6 million AR-15 type firearms in circulation in the United States. Probably many more than that, and the call to ban them will only increase this number.

If we take very school and terrorist shooting where an AR15 gets used in a mass shooting we have 7 incidents - Newtown, Connecticut a school shooting by someone mentally ill and known to be so before the fact; Aurora, Colo. a theater attack by someone mentally ill and known to be so before the fact; Santa Monica a college shooting by a mentally ill person and known to be so before the fact including by police who had informed him he was not eligible to purchase a firearm and San Bernardino, Calif. an ISIS terrorist attack; Orlando, Florida an ISIS terrorist attack; Las Vegas Nevada which is still being investigated and motive not understood or known but likely due to some mental issues; and Parkland where another mentally ill individual well known to police is committing a shooting.

So, that's five attacks and we'll generously increase this from 5 to say 24 AR-15s as the Nevada nutcase brought a lot with him, regardless of whether they were actually used or not.

24 out of 6 million is 0.0004% of all AR-15s out there being used in a mass shooting. That's almost a rounding error in statistical terms.

If the only purpose of an AAR15 is to kill, as claimed by the gun banners, it is clearly not doing the job they claim it was designed to do.

So for the acts of 5 people, two driven by terrorist sympathies and the rest by mental illness, we want to ban something legally owned by millions who have hurt no one.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

So, About Those 18 "School Shootings" So Far In 2018

So with the bodies still warm in Florida after the latest shooting by someone with known issues, we're again seeing a call for gun control and banning firearms instead of something useful like a proposal for armed guards at school or serious interventions for people who make credible threats of violence and have mental health issuess

Interestingly, I'm seeing the Everytown for Gun Safety claim of there being "18 school shootings so far in 2018" being parroted all over social media.

But when you drill down into the statistics, they're not what most people would think to be actual school shootings.

Instead, Everytown cunningly defines a school shooting as: "The organization defines a school shooting as "any time a firearm discharges a live round inside a school building or on a school campus or grounds." Talk about moving the goalposts on the term.

A pretty good list is found here with descriptions - King 5 News.

You'll note that darn few of the Everytown list are actual "School Shootings" in the classic sense where someone shoots up a school.

At least one is a police officer's negligent discharge when a student was able to trigger it in the officer's holster.

Two are suicides in the parking lot apparently after school hours.

One is drive-by shooting.

One was a pellet gun breaking a school bus window apparently with no one on the bus.

Most occur outside the school building and are the result of fights whether between students actually attending the school or people just happening to be close by.

Most led to no deaths and nine of the Everytown school shootings had no injuries at all.

In other words, Everytown is badly misleading people when they claim there's been a mass of school shootings this year, but then again, you knew that already. The problem of course is the uninformed do not realize this is a confabulated statistic and are panicking thinking this is a massive problem that requires drastic gun-banning solutions.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Top Secret Security - You're Doing It Wrong

Some people lose their socks, other people lose top secret documents.

The Independent: Senior counter-terrorism officer faces dismissal for losing top-secret documents

So the poor fellow now stands to lose his £215,000 (that's $298,875.80 in US Dollars) pension, all because he left these top secret documents locked in a briefcase in the trunk of his car.

Security Personnel in the UK do have a nasty habit of leaving classified data in their cars to be stolen. Lots of examples there - basically never leave a computer with sensitive data in your car.

Now, he clearly went about this all wrong.

Instead of leaving the documents in the boot of his car, had he just been extremely careless and put them on an insecure home server for all to see, he would have been fine and walked with no penalties.

Blarg, Ug, That Was Not Fun

So over the weekend we managed to get about 12 inches of snow.

In between repeated shoveling of the driveway, I managed to come down with a bit of a flu, delivered by my favorite little disease vectors. Yep, I had caught the kids' crud.

Complete with a sore throat so I couldn't talk much, my head felt like it was a football that was being kicked repeatedly during the Superbowl along with a nice fever.

Finally I'm now mostly back to being myself compete with a voice and ability to function and comprehend stuff so all is now well enough aside from the sniffles.

The nice little fever in addition to the chills gave me a weird hallucination a couple days ago.

Tash had that morning kindly brought me a coffee to my sick bed in the basement. I distinctly remember the cup being the blue mug we have, and vividly remember drinking some of the coffee from the blue mug but not all of it and putting it down beside the bed before passing out yet again.

At some point I must have gotten up and moved around the upstairs which I had no recall of doing - at all. In the basement I woke up and realized the mug had completely disappeared.

I wandered all around first in the basement and then around the rest of the house looking for it and it was nowhere to be found. Very fixated on it I was, in the way only those with a fever can be. Needless to say, I did not find it which was very strange, especially as I really wanted coffee at that moment.

Well, apparently the mug had never been blue to begin with but was the dark orange mug. The mug had somehow not ust changed color but had migrated upstairs to the kitchen table. I have no idea how or when it moved from the basement to the kitchen table as I don't recall ever going upstairs, but I must have done so at some point.

So, I had been apparently searching for the wrong color mug the entire time completely convinced that it was the blue one I was looking for and that the orange one had to have been Tash's mug. The blue mug was later found clean and behind all the other mugs in the cupboard and had not been used at all.

That was a strange fever all right.

Friday, February 09, 2018

Not Quite A Snowpocalypse But It's Snowing Right Along

So far we've had about 4 inches and it's still coming down without ceasing.

Did the driveway with snowblower and shovel once already as there's only so much the blower can handle at one time, including digging out from the mound from the landscaper guy with plow who was doing the roads - the mound was taller than the snowblower which made getting through it rather fun.

Working from home as the roads are bad with a capital B and since they've asked everyone who can avoid being on the roads to avoid them, I'll happily agree to stay home and get things done from here.

Kids are having fun cross country skiing over to friend's houses for hot chocolate.

Will be doing the driveway again soon. Ah, winter.

Thursday, February 08, 2018

Will It Be Snowmagedon or SnowMehgedon?

We're expecting a snowstorm with 9 inches of snow to fall starting toight and on into tomorrow.

Schools are preemptively closed.

Grocery stores are absolute zoos right now as people stock up on French Toast making materials, and stock up on marshmallows for hot chocolate.

We'll have to see if we get a serious amount of snow or not.

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Justin Trudeau Said What?

Canada took a hard left turn when it elected the Liberals into power with Justin Trudeau as prime minister.

Aside from his never having a private sector job, and being a red-diaper baby, and his sole wining quality being his last name matching that of a Liberal icon, the guys is a gaffe machine and a policy disaster.

The Toronto Sun: EDITORIAL: Trudeau's gaffes are no joke

Yes, the Prime Minister of Canada actually said in pompously correcting a constituent: “we like to say ‘peoplekind,’ not necessarily mankind.”

Wat? Peoplekind is a word now in the great white north?

Go ahead and read the whole liked article and watch the video of his actual gaffes and his ridiculous policy decisions - he can't pay veterans their benefits, but he can make sure $10.5 million gets to Al Qaeda via Omar Khadr. Hard to tell whether one should laugh at this schlemiel or be outraged that he's dragging Canada into a progressive nightmare.

So Canadians, do you remember when you could look back and smugly declare how dumb it was to have George W. Bush, the son of a prior president, serve and poke fun at all his gaffes?

Those were good times, eh?

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

And That Is Why You Fail . . . . . Another Luckless Legal Tale

So I receive a referral for a fellow with a pending probation violation hearing for substance abuse issues. That's right kids, doing illegal drugs has consequences, so don't do them, ok?

I talk with him via phone and he of course states the violation is just a misunderstanding (it always it, isn't it?) and what he describes is actually a probable occurrence, and easily resolved assuming he's telling the truth, which is always a big assumption.

But, as the milk of human kindness is running through my veins I give him the benefit of the doubt.

I quote an extremely reasonable retainer for the matter and agree, again as I am a kind person, to meet him after hours as he is working and he agrees to meet me at 5:30 the next day.

The next day the time strikes five and a half hours and he is nowhere to be found. I wait a bit doing other stuff and it's 6:00 and he's still not here. I call and get his voicemail.

He calls back and claims he's on his way just stuck in traffic and could I see him at 6:30. He claims he's already coming with the documents and the retainer amount. I'm kinda doubting this, as the route from where he says he works to my office isn't that far even with rush hour traffic.

At this point its already 6, so it's a bit of a sunk cost so I agree.

6:30 rolls around and of course he's not here. The milk of human kindness is kinda starting to curdle at this point.

I call him again and get his voicemail. I stuck around until after 7:00 and again get his voicemail, and indicate I'm not waiting around anymore.

He calls back the next day leaving a voicemail that he had to go to an AA meeting the night before. So basically he was lying to me the whole time about coming over. I leave him a voicemail in response that I won't be representing him.

In short, I won't be representing him at his hearing. Maybe he'll have a better chance lying to the court than to me, more likely he'll hose himself nicely.

Sunday, February 04, 2018

One Country Becoming Two Disparate Realities

I'm getting more and more concerned that this country is dividing itself not just on arguments over opinion but on arguments and failing to agree with even basic facts.

For example the Democrats railed against releasing the memo claiming it would "reveal sources and methods" and would damage our intelligence community.

The memo actually does no such revealing, except to point out a rather shady transaction where the FBI relief upon a knowingly false dossier from a known biased source paid for by the DNC to get FISA warants to spy on the Trump campaign.

In short, go read it in full and decide for yourself.

Had Republicans done this to Democrats it would be declared worse than Watergate, and in reading the whole memo it sure makes Nixon look like a complete piker by comparison.

However, the Democrats after the release changed tack and instead of the memo being the greatest danger to the intelligence community evar, instead declared it a nothing-burger.

Who ya gonna believe, the Democrats or the Memo after you read it with your own lyin' eyes?

A further recent example:

I have an extremely progressive democrat acquaintance on Facebook who is constantly posting the Snowflake and other memes, consistently anit-Trump, anti-Republican, Bernie Sanders is the greatest, you know the type.

She went ahead and posted this one today:

Isn't the level of smug in that just weapons-grade? Wouldn't it hit you right in the feels for such callous treatment of an Army veteran?

Well, as you guessed, there's a bit more to the story.

The chosen poster boy for this example of Republican cold-hardheartedness and contempt for military veterans, Perez Jr, had a green card but stupidly failed to apply for citizenship.

But he isn't being deported for being an illegal, he's being deported for a felony conviction for trafficking in cocaine, and even before that had been discharged from the military after a drug offense.

Yep, Republicans don't care much about cocaine dealers, and a green card holder can be deported for crimes committed while holding a green card, big surprise there.

Forget about opinions, we can't even agree on a common set of facts to even begin to have a discussion. This does not bode well.

Thursday, February 01, 2018

It's Hard Out There . . . For A Dog

How hard? It's so hard that dogs in Michigan can get approved for unemployment insurance payments.

The Detroit Free Press: Michigan man's dog approved for unemployment

In short, someone other than the owner of the dog used the dog's name to file a false claim for unemployment insurance payments . . . and it was approved! The dog was to be paid $360 a week, which would keep it in puppy chow until he stopped chasing his tail and found more gainful employment.

Luckily, the owner saw the notice and contacted the Unemployment Insurance Agency about the claim and it was stopped. It will be interesting to see where the criminals were trying to divert the payment.

Identity theft is rather rampant, and Michigan and other states and the feds are falling behind in a race against quite a number of criminals falsely using other peoples, and now even canine's identities to collect fraudulent payments.

Part of the problem is the UIA mails out debit cards with the funds which a criminal can easily divert. Just as the IRS stupidly issues debit cards rather than checks made out in the name of the taxpayer or direct deposit only to the named taxpayer's bank account, it facilitates this sort of fraud.

Until there's a severe crackdown and very harsh penalties for identity theft, not to mention a real effort to trace and apprehend the criminals and the ending of the practice of sending debit cards out as a form of payment, these crimes will continue.