Friday, March 30, 2018

Tax And Spend, And Spend Even More

Over at Bayou Renaissance Man, Peter posts about the record revenues government is taking in.

As the economy improves under Trump, more taxes follow even at lower rates as economic activity picks up.

The increase in taxes collected, however, still can't keep up with the increase in spending and past spending at the federal, state and local levels for which the debt is coming due.

For example, in Michigan for the past twenty years roads have been underfunded and ignored, and the bills are coming due.

In Michigan in 2015 there was an increase of 20% more for vehicle registrations and 7.3 cents per gallon more in state gas taxes under the promise that it would be to fund road repair.

In reality, not so much.

Even with that tax increase, currently only 19% of roads in the Metro area are considered to be in good condition.

Why? Well part of the money was immediately diverted from road funding for other projects, and a goodly sum of it has been going not to repair roads but to pay down the over a billion dollars in debt for road repair done by bond sales in the Engler and Granholm eras, more than eight years ago, for which the repairs that were done back then are now in need of repairs themselves.

The solution being proffered to fix the situation? Of course, it's to increase taxes for road funding even more. They promise to use it all to fix the roads this time, and of course you can believe them this time.

So Far, No One Is Blaming The Machete

The Detroit Free Press: Feds: Detroiter stabbed a woman to death, did 20 years, then kidnapped child using machete

An ex-con who did 20 years in prison for stabbing a woman to death is headed back to prison, this time for kidnapping a toddler in the middle of the night using a machete — a crime he allegedly bragged about.

If we just had common-sense machete laws, these things couldn't happen, right?

Does This Constitute Hunting Stupid Over Bait?

Kudos to the Gladwin County Sheriff's Department for a clever use of social media to snare a really dumb criminal.

The Detroit Free Press: Authorities use social media bait to arrest suspect who made shooting threat

So our stupid criminal of the day, after getting a PPO issued against him decides to fully validate the granting of the PPO by his making a threat to shoot up the courthouse.

So what does the Sheriff's office do? They posted on social media that he should come to the Sheriff's office and file a complaint about the PPO.

And sure enough, he did, and was promptly arrested.

Nicely done.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Yet Again, PPOs Are Just Pieces Of Paper Only

And a piece of paper offers scant protection from scum bent on killing their former domestic partners.

The Detroit Free Press: Woman killed at Jo-Ann Fabrics had protection order against ex-boyfriend

As is typical in these cases, the PPO did not help.

Rachel Renee Duncan feared weeks ago that a former boyfriend could show up at her work and possibly kill her.

On Monday, police said, he did just that, murdering the 25-year-old fabric store employee inside the Jo-Ann Fabrics at 3750 W. Saginaw St. before turning the gun on himself.

It's a pity he didn't just off himself and instead had to involve an innocent in his worthlessness.

A PPO may help turn away the average gormless stalker schmuck that just doesn't comprehend that no means no.

It does nothing against people who have made actual threats of bodily harm against you and are bent on carrying them out. In such a case, the PPO is only helpful in documenting the threats to show you have a reasonable fear that they will do you bodily harm when they show up and you have to defend yourself. Failing, after getting a PPO, to have an adequate means of defending yourself from a known threat when they do show up is of no help.

Update: Just as Spikessib points out in the comment, the gun was not legally owned by him. Not only due to his not being allowed to have a firearm due to the PPO (this is most likely the case, the PPO form in Michigan has a checkbox prohibiting firearm possession that a judge pretty much always checks in such a situation, but it is unknown if that happened here) but the police have confirmed he was not the legal owner of the pistol used, and they're trying to figure out where he got it from. Oh, and he had been in a mental institution for a week after being detained by police, but had not been involuntarily committed nor apparently determined to be a threat to himself or others during his stay there. Lansing State Journal: Police: Shooter in murder-suicide at Jo-Ann Fabrics didn't own gun legally.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Apparently A Supreme Court Justice's Oath To Uphold And Defend The Constitution Has An Expiry Date

At least when it comes to the Second Amendment.

The oath taken when a justice is sworn in states:

“I, _________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”

The Detroit News: Retired justice urges repeal of Second Amendment

Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens is calling for the repeal of the Second Amendment to allow for significant gun control legislation.

The 97-year-old Stevens says in an essay on The New York Times website that repeal would weaken the National Rifle Association’s ability to “block constructive gun control legislation.”

Stevens says the decision in that case, District of Columbia v. Heller, “has provided the N.R.A. with a propaganda weapon of immense power.” Stevens retired from the court in 2010, after more than 35 years.

Stevens was on the losing end of a 2008 ruling in which the high court held that the Second Amendment gives individuals the right to own a gun for self-defense. He had previously called for changing the Second Amendment to permit gun control.

We could put it down to a 97-year old going senile, or instead that the foolish progressive dream of gun bans, and resultant control of the populace to enforce their progressive program does not diminish with age.

Update: Upon further thought and consideration, my opinion in this post was rather overstating the case. Mea Cupla. Please disregard the above portion before the quote from the Detroit News article and We could put it down to a 97-year old going senile, or instead that the foolish progressive dream of gun bans, and resultant control of the populace to enforce their progressive program does not diminish with age. . I do stand by that as an accurate opinion at least. Thanks much.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Flying: Today's Flight To KADG And Back

It was a fun flight today. Not a cloud in the sky, nice and sunny with a bit of wind.
I had planned a flight to KADG, Lenawee County Airport south of Ann Arbor. Weather brief indicated it would be a nice day with winds, that while gusting, would be right down the pipe at both 090 for KPTK and 050 for KADG. This seemed nice and I headed to the airport.

I did the preflight for Archer N8570F and got permission to taxi down to Runway 9L. The run-up area was rather crowded but everyine did their run-ups and then lined up to get onto 9L.

After quite a wait at the hold short line for 9L, I finally got clearance to enter the runway and takeoff to the Southwest. It was quite a busy time at the airport.

Since I was on my own, I had brought out the Go Pro, a new audio cable and a new suction cup and was eager to see how it would work. I had it attached to the passenger side window out of the way.

Not a bad capture of the takeoff:

Of course, after about 9 minutes of flying, the new suction cup detached itself from the window and the Go pro dropped nicely. No damage done but I wasn't going to futz around replacing it while flying. But, it was not a bad try for the first attempt, it's got a good audio feed, and I'll put the Go Pro up a little higher next time.

After the takeoff, a Cirrus was crossing over and above me going from 9R to the left and I was wanting to go to the right as advised by the tower. I didn't see him until he began his turn, so I stayed at my altitude until I saw him and all was well and we both went our separate ways with plenty of separation.

Then on the way to KADG, I hit some very light chop and the plane bounced around for a bit.

Made it to KADG with no problems, staying outside of Detroit's class B airspace and avoiding Ann Arbor's Class D.   By then KADG had quite a crosswind, not the wind right down the pipe for Runway 5 as forecast and was a definite pain, but it worked out ok with a heavy crosswind landing.

I then headed back to Pontiac and it was on the busy side again.

Of course,  the winds had shifted from 090 and moved to 110 and were gusting 11-16 knots. I was cleared first to 9R and told to  call and report a 2 mile right base. Once I hit two miles I was then told to switch to 9L, which was nice and convenient, and was cleared land.  And what a landing it was.  Simply a perfect crosswind landing and went from flying to rolling in a single smooth moment as the wheels touched down in sequence which was darn nice.

I then contacted ground and took the plane back to DCT and parked it and that was that.
1.6 hours of cross-country time and 2 landings.

March For Our Lies

Over at Sultan Knish, there's a very thorough look at the forces behind the so called "student-led" March for Our Lives push: Who Runs March For Our lives?

Interestingly enough, checking the Delaware Corporations filings, you can see that within 7 days of the Parkland shooting, on February 21 the March for Our Lives Foundation, the March For Our Lives Action Fund (Per Sultan Knish donations are funneled to a company in California) were incorporated. The March for our Lives Lodging LLC soon followed on March 2 (you have to wonder what that one is for exactly - providing hotel space for activists perhaps?), and were all setup as Delaware companies.

If you think a bunch of teenagers set these up, that quickly, there's a lovely bridge in Brooklyn up for sale with a special deal just for you. On top of that there was a very, very quick 501(c)4 filing with the IRS to allow donations without disclosing the identifies of the donors. Kids did not set these up.

Professionals setup the Delaware corps and did the IRS elections, not your average teen that just learned to stop eating Tide Pods.

It's astroturfing from the Bloomberg and Friends through and through with the kids as a front.

If you think this was a sudden spur of the moment teenage-led attack on our rights you're wrong - it's a professionally planned, professionally propagandized, professionally organized, and professionally funded effort and needs to be answered accordingly.

Friday, March 23, 2018

And Another Mass Shooting In France

Yet another Islamist attack, which is clearly un-possible as mass shootings only occur in the USA, or so we're told.

The Detroit News: Police storm French market; kill suspect, 3 dead

Perpetrator is yet another known wolf, and is being claimed by ISIS as one of theirs and had made a demand for the release of Salah Abdeslam, the surviving assailant of the Nov. 13, 2015 terrorist attacks.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Some People's Tinfoil Hats Are On Just A Little Too Tight

The Detroit Free Press ran a rather interesting opinion piece. Interesting not so much for any factual content but more for its rather over-the-top "Trump Is Like A Fascist Hitler" approach. No, it's not an ironic humor piece. The author is desperately serious, or seriously desperate.

The piece is from an author who purports to be a lecturer of history at Wayne State university, no less. Methinks she didn't actually learn history, but instead picked up a weird feminist intersectional insanity, delivered with an earnest straight face.

The Detroit Free Press: Understanding Donald Trump in a modern post-Hitler world | Guest column

Yep, she badly needs to have you understand Trump in a post-Hitler world. The problem is quite simply that in reality Trump isn't Hitler, and it's a rather disgraceful comparison and besmirches the memory of those who were you know actually killed and harmed by Hitler to try to make some weird claim that Trump is just like him. Newsflash: We're all living in a post-Hitler world, and thankfully have been doing so for over 73 years. After 73 years anyone who doesn't know we're in a post-hitler word needs to be flunked fromt heir history class.

When Donald Trump was elected 45th president of the United States, the fear was real and justified.

Sigh, what an opening, really? In reality it was less fear and more a giant tantrum that Hillary didn't win.

Historical analogies to the dawn of Nazi Germany were made everywhere, and questions about Germany in the 1930s came at historians from many unexpected places. In my case, graduate students in the English department at my university asked me to join a teach-in on fascism, where I was supposed to talk about “fascism in America” and draw historical parallels between Trump’s America and Hitler’s Germany.
Thus is because English majors at Wayne State really know history and can see obvious paralells. No wait, they really, really don't.

Still, I had to acknowledge that this time the comparisons and analogies drawn between Trump and Hitler were different. For one, there was the frequency and the urgency with which they were being made — and I’m not just talking about the comment sections.

Ah, so if enough people are delusional enough to believe in the comparison, a historian should not explain the clear differences but should instead jump right in, neh?

On November 18, 2016, Irish Labour Party Senator Aodhán Ó Riordáin remarked that “America has just elected a fascist;” a couple of months earlier; shortly after Trump was elected, the British historian Jane Caplan brilliantly wrote about how the whole repertoire of the “fascisms of interwar Europe” seemed to have returned.” Most notable was Timothy Snyder’s bestselling pamphlet, "On Tyranny," which tried to summarize how we can preserve our democratic freedoms under a Trump presidency.

The Labor party is hardy a hot bed of realism, and as always, the dark night of Fascism keeps falling upon America, but somehow keeps landing in Europe.

Snyder had no doubt that the latter were in jeopardy. In an interview with Salon in May 2017, he warned that within a year, it was “pretty much inevitable” that Trump and his administration will try to stage a coup against democratic rule similar to the way the Nazis had used the Reichstag fire of February 1933 to justify taking full control of the German government.

So much for that prediction. No Coup for you, oh pamphleteer. Heck, no concentration camps have been setup, Gay marriage is still intact, women are not constrianed to be barefoot and in the kitchen, the government is fully dysfunctional much as it ever was, AntiFa Communist types are still allowed to commit acts of mob violence, and the trains still don't run on time. Worst Hitler evar.

As much as I share the noble concern of Timothy Snyder and others for the survival of American democracy, it is worth pointing out that, despite some striking similarities, there are also many similarly striking differences between America under Trump and Germany under Hitler – such as the fact that Germany did not have a strong democratic tradition in 1933, and that Trump’s following didn’t have a paramilitary wing comparable to the infamous SA that helped Hitler get into power.

Noble concern, please tell me that's the polite Wayne State euphemism for mass hysteria, oh it isn't? She serious? Well, thank goodness that at least she can find some minor differences between Hitler and Trump's rise to power. I'm surprised that she didn't point out the similarity that they were both elected to power and both were white males, cause that's just proof they're complete doppelgangers man, totally.

After parroting all the Trump is Hitler canards, nodding sagely wiht the purveyors of such hysteria, and stating its a noble valid fear, she tries to dance away from it a little bit.

There is also the “Hitler factor” itself: the very fact that we all already know about Hitler, whose inhuman and ultimately disastrous policies completely discredited Nazism. After all, one of Hitler’s biggest advantages was the fact that he represented something new, whose consequences most people were unable to anticipate. Hitler’s initial success was tied to just how much people inside and outside of Germany underestimated him, largely because they kept seeing him through the prism of their own past. His ascendancy to power marked, in effect, a “zero hour” of sorts. There was no precedent

No precedent of such a similar ascendancy to power? Really? Anybody have any examples of previous dictators from the past invading their neighbors and trying to take over the world and kill those they disagree with? Maybe we should ask a historian, 'cause this one seems to lack historical knowledge and is in over her head.

That brings me to my ultimate concern: While I believe in studying the past for the benefit of better understanding the present, I also strongly believe in the potential of human creativity – both for good and for bad. Fascism was the political innovation of the 20th Century. Don’t we risk overlooking and misinterpreting the new challenges represented by the Trump phenomenon if we keep looking at it almost entirely through the prism of our past? Apropos our past: Isn’t it interesting that Trump’s political rise has led many uneasy observers to look back into Germany’s past, but much less so towards that of the US – as if the ugliness of the current political moment can best be historically explained by looking away from home?

Ah, an appeal to mass idiocy. If it is interesting that multiple progressive idiots think Trump is Hitler then there must be something to it. But wait, she's now decided not to look to Europe but proclaims that we need to find something bad in America's past just like Trump to explain him.

And then the whole thing ends not with a bang, but with a "Quit focusing on Europe, America is bad too!" whimper:

Donald Trump is, however, clearly made in America. He is a symptom of a society that, as a whole, values economic success more than public service, that places entertainment (and I include cable news in that category) above responsible journalism, and that cherishes its nationalistic rituals of swearing oaths and raising flags more deeply than knowing where and why American soldiers are currently risking their lives.

The point is that this is a moment not just to look at Europe’s past: A societal reckoning with the history of the United States is long overdue. Carpe diem.

Sadly, she completely fails to give an American historical example to explain Trump Fascism. Mainly because Trump isn't an actual fascist, and because bringing up FDR would hurt her dear liberal heart. (You know, lock up citizens in camps on the basis of their race, commandeer the economy, adopt a Bismarckian socialist system, threaten the judiciary when it disagrees with him . . .Ah wait, Trump hasn't done any of that yet.). Ah well, no American history points for you.

The point actually is instead of going along with the Trump is Hitler delusion of the progressive left, it would have been far more useful for a so called senior lecturer of history to instead of playing up such nonsense is to note why such a delusion is plainly wrong. Instead we find her playing up the Trump is Hitler fears and then segueing into we must look at the bad history of bad America but then she can't give you any pertinent examples that carp her diem.

An Ominous and overdue societal reckoning indeed, or not as the case may be.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Speaking Of Mid Air Collisions . . . .

The below picture is what happens when a Daddy Cirrus SR22 loves a Mommy Cirrus SR20 very much:

Picture from @wjxt4/Twitter and Flying Magazine.

No, in 9 months there won't be a Cirrus Vision Jet created.

Nobody was killed or seriously injured during the crash that happened last week and the SR20 had a pilot and flight instructor on board and the SR22 that landed on top of them was allegedly flown by Rob Meier, a former player with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

That's a nice million dollar plus accident right there, and another reason to spend more time looking outside the airplane and to be careful out there.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

OCBA's Firearms Law Seminar

Today, I attended the Oakland County Bar Association's Firearms Law Seminar.

A very short lunch 'n' learn, it was hosted by the OCBA and featured a Police Lieutenant and an ATF agent.

Lieutenant Stout of the West Bloomfield Township Police Department started off the seminar. Lt. Stout is an NRA instructor and member, as well as the WBPD's firearms instructor and head of the Road Patrol Division as well as being the former head of the SRT team.

It turns out he is very much in favor of civilian gun ownership and concealed carry. He noted there's only 1 police officer for every 300 Americans so we can't all have one at our beck and call. He stated that in West Bloomfield, a township of 60,000 people on a typical night there might be only 5-6 officers working on a night shift so he said realistically people need to be active participants in their own rescue from criminals, even as West Bloomfield is statistically an extremely safe place to live, much of that I might add due to a rather excellent police force.

He gave a very quick overview due to time over use of force and some very basics of Michigan's CPL laws.

He noted most violations on the part of concealed carriers are alcohol related offenses, typically consuming alcohol and then being stopped driving while having your concealed pistol in the vehicle. In short, if you're going to drink, and as .02 is the limit, you need to lock up your gun unloaded in a wrapper in the trunk.

While I know this stuff and teach it, it's always good to hear it from another perspective and he had a few elements in his presentation that I will happily adopt as they were quite effective.

In addition, I found out that WBPD does have classes where they let civilians shoot using the CAPS simulator system and I'm going to sign up for that. They're one of few departments that let civilians use the simulator so it should be interesting.

Next up was a now former ATFE agent who is with another government agency who went over some of the ATF issues. He indicated there are 5,000 ATF employees and some are pro civilian gun ownership, some are anti civilian gun ownership and many are whatever the current administration wants them to be.

He noted he was consulted for a court case where after a person bought a shotgun and then committed suicide the decdent's family sued the dealer on the grounds the dealer was negligent because the clerk was only 18 years old and that's against the GCA. Quick note - it's not. There is no minimum age for dealer or their clerk to be able to sell a firearm, but ATFE recommends no younger than 12 as they reckon 12 is a sufficient age to be able to testify under oath. In short a ridiculous case that was eventually dismissed.

Funnily enough, he did mix-up antiques and Curio and Relics, basically he was stating a C&R was anything before 1898, and I kinda politely pointed out the mix up.

He did give some very good tips on dealing with an ATFE dealer licensing hearing, which may come in handy.

Overall a very good if very quick presentation with some useful things learned.

AOPA Flying Safety Seminar

Yesterday after work, I met up with Peter and we drove to Ypsilanti to attend an AOPA Safety Seminar.

This one was certainly valuable. Titled Collision Course: Avoiding Airborne Traffic it went into the causes and methods of avoidance of inflight collisions - the lack of avoidance of which can really wreck your day.

Taught again by Andy Miller, a presenter with an excellent and dynamic friendly manner it was to a capacity crowd of 200 in the room. Interestingly, we were some of the youngest people there and really brought the average age down - this doesn't bode well for aviation.

As it turns out, most collisions are in clear weather, in the summer and on weekends - Why? Because that's when most people are flying and the skies are crowded around airports and other choke points such as practice areas or particularly scenic areas. The big sky really isn't.

One of the biggest problems is that pilots aren't looking outside the airplane enough. 80% outside, 20% inside is a good number but most people don't even come close.

Learning about physiology of vision, we got to see the Troxler effect in action.

Give it a try, it's kinda cool:

In short, don't focus on just one area of space, keep your eyes moving scanning sectors of the sky.

Best habits for radio calls in pilot controlled airspace were also gone over.

We also went over right of way as well as how technology is both hurting by making us look inside more, and helping through ADS/B and the TIS-B traffic notifications.

AOPA's Air Safety Institute definitely puts on some good programs, and if you fly, attending those hosted in your area to keep up to date nd keep learning is a great idea. They're free and well worth your time, and they give you Wings credit which is a good thing for your pilot file.

Monday, March 19, 2018

The Left's Use Of The Term Woke

Woke sounds awfully like its German original: Deutscheland Erwache.

Whether national socialists or international socialists, they all declare they want to be woke.

It also tends to be directed in the same manner and lead to much the same result, as seen by Democrat DC Councilman's Trayon White's latest woke statement:

D.C. Council member Trayon White Sr. (D-Ward 8) posted the video to his official Facebook page at 7:21 a.m. as snow flurries were hitting the nation’s capital. The video, shot through the windshield of a car driving west on Interstate 695 through downtown Washington, shows snowy skies while White narrates.

“Man, it just started snowing out of nowhere this morning, man. Y’all better pay attention to this climate control, man, this climate manipulation,” he says. “And D.C. keep talking about, ‘We a resilient city.’ And that’s a model based off the Rothschilds controlling the climate to create natural disasters they can pay for to own the cities, man. Be careful.”

Woke Antisemitism is a feature, not a bug, for the progressive left.

Sunday Funday

Sunday was a continuation of Tash's birthday weekend.

The weather decided to cooperate and while its was a bit cold, it was sunny.

So we headed to Cantoro's Italian market for some shopping and then had a picnic in a park with the groceries for lunch.

Then on to an Escape Room in Novi for a family activity. We had originally planned to do this Saturday but there was a mixup at the Escape Room with the booking, and they fixed it by having us come back yesterday right when they opened. Kudos to them for fixing the problem and making it right.

We did the School of Magic room which was quite cool. Less logic and more puzzle/object finding and interactions with various objects to trip magnetic sensors that did various things, it was a lot of fun. Instead of being one room, it had multiple rooms and doors you had to figure out how to get through by solving various puzzles that would unlock the doors and sealed containers.

We escaped in 47 minutes, 13 minutes to spare. While not a record, we did beat some family friends who had done it with their family by a comfortable margin (they escaped at 55 minutes) so we did have bragging rights. Quite a fun and clever setup that was very enjoyable and the kids loved the "Hogwarts-not really Hogwarts we're not copyright infringing, no not us, uh uh"-type theme.

These escape rooms are quite the popular pursuit and quite the fun activity.

Then we dropped the kids off at a friend's house and then we went out to dinner with some of Tash's friends. After that her birthday weekend came to an end. A very nice time indeed and she enjoyed it immensely.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Happy Birthday Tash!

Today is not only Yom St. Patrick, with a wish of a happy St. Patrick's day to all.

It is also Tash's 45th birthday.

So, last night while she was sleeping I made her a cherry cheesecake from scratch so we could continue the tradition of waking up to a cherry cheesecake for a birthday breakfast.

It was a big hit, with all and came out very nice if I say so myself - very easy to make recipe and it presents nicely.

Then on to presents from the kids and me to her.

I surprised her with something from Tiffany's - a necklace with an aquamarine stone as the centerpiece since it is her birthstone. Guys, a quick tip - a gift from Tiffany's is always a good choice. She loved it, and since it had previously received the kids' stamp of approval before I bought it, it was a surefire hit.

Then we headed out to have a nice birthday and do soem fun things, and as we were out and about we went to a bakery, named Nothing Bundt Cakes, to pickup some freshly made small bundt cakes for dessert after dinner. A sample at time of purchase proved them to be fantastic.

The day ended at a nice Chinese restaurant and now we're home about to have the mini bundt cakes.

It was declared a very successful birthday.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Ouch. Taxes Doth Really, Really, Suck.

Well I have finished the 2017 taxes.

In terms of household expenses, Taxes are the largest single expense we've got, by far, and that's not even throwing in Michigan's 6% sales tax into the mix.

We also unfortunately screwed up our withholding, as Tash did better than she expected and had withheld for, by a lot compared to last year, and so we will be writing a whopping big check to the IRS this year. Big as in "OMG how the hell are we gonna pay this?" huge.

Next in second place comes Medical expenses when you add the insurance premium and deductible and then rest not even covered by insurance and its a flipping lot of money. Thanks a lot Obama, you schmuck.

Only in third place comes the house as an expense.

In short, it was a pretty damn horrific tax return. Could have bought a very decent Piper Warrior with the Fed and state income taxes we paid this year.

And you wonder why it's so hard to get ahead.

Instead of withholding over the year, they shuld really make everyone write one check on April 15. I daresay you'd have a much louder call for a smaller, less wasteful, and more efficient government then. Oh, and hold national elections on April 16.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

No Honor Among Gun Thugs

Criminals apparently tend to trade weapons, whether to upgrade, match their next weapon to suit their next criminal act, or to get evidence of a crime out of their hands.

The problem of course becomes: When you meet another criminal with a gun and you arrange to trade, what's to stop the other criminal from simply shooting you and taking your gun?

Apparently, not much.

The Detroit News: Teen, 17, charged in double murder over gun swap

The headline is, as usual, rather misleading and suggests a legal meetup reminiscent of a gun show. Not so much.

Police believe that around 2 p.m. on the 1600 block of Buena Vista — south of Davison, west of the John C. Lodge Freeway — the suspects and the victims were meeting up to swap guns: the victims' one gun for the suspects' two guns, police said.

Instead, police say the suspects robbed the victims and then opened fire on them. Blinco died at the scene. Trotter died at the hospital.

Suspect Pritchett was arraigned on Feb. 28 and ordered to be held without bond at Wayne County Jail as his case is decided. McNair was arraigned Wednesday and also ordered to be held without bond, and is at Wayne County Jail.

The guns involved have not been recovered.

It certainly seems like the victims didn't figure out that the offer to trade their one gun for the other thugs' two guns, which would appear to be a strange offer to make, wasn't a good deal until it was too late.

Possibly The Ugliest Colored Car Of 2018 Spotted

Driving along I saw this new BMW with a dealer plate, apparently being test driven.

The picture doesn't really do the color its proper justice.

The color is well, it's a puke-looking yellow-green, resembling nasal discharge from a bacterial infection more than anything else that comes to mind. Not sure what they were thinking in letting it see the light of day on what I presume to be a rather high-end machine.

I'd reckon that BMW gives this color the descriptive name of "Snotzi".

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Flying Flight Review

So I had the ground portion for the flight review and then some flying today after work.

For 1.7 hours I got some ground in GPS and some review of charts and airspace which I aced. After all it hasn't been all that long from the check-ride. Since I knew what was going on I got to at least discuss some of the IFR questions I've been coming across so it wasn't a complete waste of time, but only nearly so.

Thence skyward. I did the preflight on the Warrior and off we went for some pattern. Low level windshear and a headwind of 16-20 knots coming from 300-260 made it interesting. Using Runway 27R it didn't take a lot of crosswind correction and I did 3 nice patterns and one short field and two regular landings as the wind shear was kinda sketchy at times, dropping 5-10 knots in airspeed at the drop of a hat, so i had to come in with a bit more airspeed.

Then the instructor got ut of the plane and I did 4 patterns and landings.

With the cold air and no weight, the Piper Warrior took off like a homesick angel. It's a sweet handling little plane.

With no one else on board and the strong headwind, I was consistently landing the plane and getting off at the Whiskey taxiway, which is pretty darn short, even as I was landing with a normal approach. Twenty knot headwinds will do that nicely. I suspect a short field landing procedure would have had me stopped at Romeo.

Fun, and I'm now qualified again to rent their aircraft, just need to fly there more regularly (in maximum 2 hour rental periods, which absolutely sucks) as I search for a good flight club for this summer.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Wondering When We'll See A Women's March For This, If Ever

Where are the Marches for Women for the women and girls of Rotherham, Rochdale and Telford?

You know, actual victims in a very real War on Women.

Thousands of women abused, including multiple rapes, beatings, and murder, with the powers that be covering it up as the perpetrators were from a politically correct protected class, namely gangs of Muslims in the UK. The police and other enlightened public officials did nothing for fear of being though racist or through class snobbery that the lower class girls simply had it coming to them. Hell, in some cases they returned the victims to their abusers to be raped and beaten yet again.

Reading this stuff makes feminists' overblown ridiculous fears of a "Handmaid's Tale" scenario under President Trump at its worst seem like a flipping vacation paradise. But this isn't some dystopian fantasy, it has been all too real.

Trump just by being elected gets marches all over the world with women putting on pink hats and protesting him because he wasn't Hillary and their unfounded fears that he's going to turn back the clock on women's rights, or something.

One would think feminists would be outraged at this decades long series of serious crimes and cover-ups. Hell, anyone with half a conscience should be shocked and outraged by this scandal.

What an opportunity for Women to protest against real violence against women.

Yet where are the marches and protests against this enabling of this insanity?


Monday, March 12, 2018

No Surprise There - All Michigan Democrat Gubernatorial Candidates Are Anti-Gun

While Gretchen Whitmer failed to attend a Democrat candidate debate in Bloomfield Hills this weekend, the others did and all were unanimously for gun bans and used the standard emotive conflating tropes so beloved of the Democrats on this topic.

The Detroit Free Press: Bloomfield Hills students host forum for Democratic candidates for governor

Yep, students who up until recently were having to be warned by Democrats not to eat Tide Pods are now being looked at by the Democrats as an emotive source of feels and knowledge for gun control policy.

All three candidates at the forum – former Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer was unable to attend to forum – said they believed that stricter gun controls are needed and teachers should not be armed in schools.

“I would not allow guns in education institutions and religious places. I will not allow teachers to carry guns,” said Thanedar, a retired businessman from Ann Arbor.. “I would ban all automatic and semi-automatic weapons. Those are guns that no one needs.”

El-Sayed, the former director of the Detroit Health Department, said his thoughts on gun reform have crystallized since his first daughter was born earlier this year.

“I never want to be in the circumstance where I get a text that someone has come into her school with a gun,” he said. “’Guns of war should never be on peaceful streets.”

[Let's note here for a minute that Mr. El-Sayeds head of the Detroit Health Department is from the peaceful streets...of Detroit.]

And Cobbs, a former Detroit Police officer and retired businessman from Farmington Hills, said he wouldn’t support or sign legislation in Lansing that would allow people to buy or carry weapons without a permit.

Standard Democrat tropes and showing pretty clearly that they emote well but don't even understand what they're talking about technically (an AR-15 is not a "Guns of war" and is not an issue weapon in any military). But yes, Democrat candidates have now stated they're all for more gun control, not allowing teachers to be armed to protect their student, and for banning semi-automatic firearms in Michigan.

This year's gubernatorial election is going to have consequences for firearms rights in Michigan.

Monday, March 05, 2018

Orange Isn't The New Black At The Oscars

Well it looks like Everytown's attempt to get all the stars to wear orange flags for gun bans at the Oscars fizzled. Lots of coverage that stars and starlets would be wearing orange pins for gun bans, but looking at the crowd at the opening, in the end it looks like not many if any did.

Even Jimmy Kimmel hosting the event wasn't wearing one. When even Jimmy Kimmel won't jump on board an emoting display to push for gun bans with no real substance then well....

It looks like the highest rated actors they could get to wear them were Lin Manuel-Miranda and Keala Settle. I know, you're asking "Manuel-Miranda and Settle Who?" Yeah, Me too, not exactly names on everyone's lips, those.

Speaking of #MeToo, it looks like the women of Hollywood weren't distracted by this new orange-aid shinyness to give up their black Times Up pins - after all Hollywood starlets are far more likely to be sexually assaulted or required to put out to get their career by the "men" (I use the term "men" loosely in this case - any man who sexually assaults a woman is no man) of Hollywood then they are to face "gun violence".

Sunday, March 04, 2018

Sunday Funday - To The Hogwarts Homecoming

I took Leah up to lake Orion and Canterbury Village where they were hosting the Hogwarts Homecoming.

A very Harry Potter themed event, it was hosted in a castle, no less.

We met up with a number of her friends and their parents and proceeded to see what there was to see and do.

First the kids had to take a seat and be sorted into their houses, and each got a nice oin with the house name and colors to wear.

Next we went to the "classroom" there were various activities like potions, charms, magical creatures and a detention with Dolores Umbridge.

Each one had its own activity such as making a "potion", a monster book of monsters, or in the case of Umbridge, a magical quill.

There was a also a Lego display where you could build your own Potter Lego Figure and some large built kits were shown off.

The Hogwarts Great Hall, as well as a lego train track with the Hogwarts Express complete with flying car on it.

A huge Pyramid display- really nicely done but not very Hogwart-related.

There was also a search for horcruxes where you had to wander the village and find them using the (relatively easy) clues provided.

Hufflepuff's cup was hidden in the cider mill shop:

The kids found all the horcruxes and each got a Hogwarts pin as a prize.

There was also buterbeer - Faygo Cream Soda topped with whip cream and butterscotch syrup. Seeing the Faygo bottle did take away some of the magic but it was refreshing after all that running around.

The kids all declared that they had had a very good time.

Saturday, March 03, 2018

Flying - It's A Little Early For A Biennial Flight Review, No?

One would think it is a bit early considering I've been licensed since August of 2017 and March 2018 - August 2017 is much less than 2 years,by oh, 18 months or so.

Well, not so much for DCT.

Unfortunately I did not fly there in December, January or February, so according to their policy I had to do a full frakin' flight review to be able to solo in their planes. YGTBSM.

So I got to take an instrucotr up and head to the practice area and it was basically a checkride - I did slow flight, power off and power on stalls, steep turns (which were actually pretty damn good for once, yay me!), turns around a point, s turns across a road and an engine out emergency practice and then some pattern.

I did ok but my crosswind landings could use a little work, what with the wind being about 10 knots from 040 and we were using Runaway 9L. The airport was busy as heck and they went to dual towers for the two runways - lots and lots of traffic there and in the practice area.

On the upside this was in their newer Piper Warrior II,

It's a sweet little plane and handled very nicely. Only annoyance is the tachometer is digital and in a hard to find spot low on the dash and hard to see in sunlight, but other than that its rather nice.

Would you believe I have to do a ground session to be qualified to fly solo with them and complete the flight review? Sheesh.

On the upside it moves the next biennial out two years from when this one ends, but that's not much of an upside.

I may need to start looking for a flying club as they're getting ridiculously busy and only allowing rentals in 2 hour blocks which doesn't give much in the way of cross country trip time. The only exception is one Piper Arrow and I'm not checked out or endorsed for a high performance airplane yet.

However, it was still a very nice day for a flight and I had a nice time with 1.4 pilot in command time and two landings.

Friday, March 02, 2018

Unpossible - Shooting At Dorm At Central Michigan University

The Detroit News: Police hunt for shooter who killed 2 at CMU

Two people were killed in an on-campus shooting at Central Michigan University Friday morning, and the university remains on lockdown as police seek the suspect, a 19-year-old man.

They also said the suspect is still at large and urge everyone on campus to take shelter. The campus has been locked down since the incident occurred at 8:30 a.m. Friday in Campbell Hall, a student dorm.

Apparently this seems to be a family-related domestic dispute that happened to take place at a college dormitory during Spring Break pickup time.

However, this entire scenario is simply impossible: By law, the carrying of guns is banned from dormitories at colleges in Michigan so the whole thing could not have happened.

Or, is it just that criminals don't obey gun control laws?