Tuesday, April 30, 2019

NRAAM - Trijicon - The MRO And The SRO

I wanted to checkout Trijicon's MRO and the new SRO.

The MRO is a very nice, lightweight rifle red dot

Lined up for comparison with other Trijicon scopes, the MRO has the green label on top. Darn nice dot in both red and green varieties, its very easy to acquire and it has good battery life.

Next, I looked at the new SRO.

The SRO is an update to the Trijicon RMR. The Trijicon rep told me that with the gaining popularity of red dots on handguns they wanted to make one that was easier to acclimate to compared to their RMR.

Trying it out, I believe they succeeded. The dot is acquired a lot faster when you bring the pistol up to the eyes compared to the RMR.

It seems well built, and the rep noted it has a battery life of a year when left active on the "4" setting and it then varies depending on the dot brightens chosen.

The SRO would be a solid choice if you want to mount a red dot onto your pistol or SBR.

Sunday, April 28, 2019


I met up with Daddybear and met Drang for the first time (now added to my blogroll accordingly), and we headed out on the floor.

First stop: IWI.

I had to handle the Tavor X95 SBR.

To say it fits me like a glove is an understatement. It balances very well, comes up very instinctively for me and has a 13 inch barrel in a very compact package smaller than AR pistols with much smaller barrels. The trigger is very nice for a bullpup, not a match trigger by any means, but very off-the-shelf good AR like, and definitely serviceable and smooth.

I will be ordering one forthwith. Unfortunately, I expect the Form 4 processing will be long and tedious but such is the current state of affairs.

Daddybear was also successfully marketed to, and his awesome Irish Woman has granted her conditional approval for him to buy one as well. There was much rejoicing.

Meanwhile, Drang decided that 5.56 was potentially insufficient and handled the Tavor 7 in 7.62 with aplomb.

It's heavier than the standard 5.56 Tavor by a noticeable amount but again it handles very well and is well-balanced.

He also admired the IWI Galil Ace pistol with shoulder brace.

Lots of great products at IWI.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Morning At The NRAAM

Met up with the usual esteemed cast of characters.


Ambulance Driver



EMS Artifact

Check their pages for Indy NRAAM 2019 Goodness.

Off to walk till I drop on the convention floor.

Friday, April 26, 2019

A Hero Seen At The Firearms Law Seminar

I had the honor to run into this gentleman at the firearms law seminar:

The gentleman in the red hat is Dick Heller.

Yes, The Dick Heller of District of Columbia v Heller fame.

It was an honor to meet and chat with him. A very nice guy indeed, and in the firearms community we all owe a lot to his stepping up as plaintiff in that vital case.

NRA Firearms Law Seminar - Range Legal Issues

Ranges are often attacked on nuisance grounds, and some laws have been adapted to protect them.

Michael Jean Associate counsel at NRA gave a solid presentation o the issues ranges face.

Attacking ranges is a great way to attack the gun culture, if you have no where to shoot your shooting culture won't be lasting very long.

Many states adopted the NRA range sourcebook as a standard but that has problems as the standards are 627 pages long and is advisory and discretionary with no absolute set standards.

Environmental standards is another avenue of attack, and he gave a good overview of them and how they are used against ranges. Clean Water Act and RCRA is often used against ranges via lead entering wetlands. Lots of the statutes are poorly worded and difficult to push through with lots of different application on a circuit to circuit court basis.

EPA has a manual for ranges and record keeping is a necessity.

In short, lots of complex info was delivered in this presentation.

NRA Firearms Law Seminar - On Making And Gunsmithing Firearms

If you're interested in 80% firearms, this was the presentation to watch.

Stephen Halbrook gave a great presentation.

He gave good definition of firearm, manufacture, dealer, all of which definitions interrelate to this issue.

ATF position can lead to absurd results defining far too wide a set of manufacturers,for example they held bluing a gun built by another manufacturer would make the bluer a manufacturer and required to have a manufacturer license and all requirements likely including adding a serial number, place and name of manufacture or have to get a variance to do so. On the other hand, cerakoting is not considered manufacturing. Not very clear, is it?

There's no actual legal standard and definition as to what is an 80% receiver. He hasn't seen indictments on unfinished receivers where fire control parts cannot be placed into them and it would be a decent defense to the claim, as it does not fit the definition of a receiver. No trial on that issue to date, so no law is really set on it, partly because its very easy to get a manufacturer's license to avoid the entire problem.

He notes not a single person has ever been charged with the 1984 undetectable gun law, and that law would cover 3D printed guns.

He noted you can do a Form 10 to donate unregistered Class 3 items if found in someone's estate for example, to a state museum without having to identify the transferor, which would be a good way to preserve items found that were not registered in time before the NFA registry closed for machineguns.

NRA Firearms Law Seminar - Terminal Ballistics

Dr. Paul Maurer gave a great presentation on terminal ballistics - the study of interface between physics and the projectile moving in space and the impact with biologic tissue.

He noted biologic tissue is incredibly random and variable as compared to physics of how the projectile move up until it hits biological tissue.

He has quite a fun sense of humor as a surgeon, he notes forensic pathologists tend to be a day late when assessing a shooting subject. To say he had everyone's attention was an understatement.

He also knows Martin Fackler very well and worked with him in the army.

From a surgeon's perspective he noted much of what people believe about terminal ballistics is myths not science.

Goal is incapacitation in a lethal force encounter.

Incapacitation is achieved by a hit to the Central Nervous System - the brain or spinal cord hit which is a small surface area; or Exsanguination - namely blood loss.

Even a shot to the heart the person can still act for about 3 seconds.

He gave some great case studies on incapacitation.

He notes gelatin is useful to scientifically reproduce results.

He addressed the bigger hole more blood loss noted the 9mm or 45 ACP when you put a hole in the fluid container it does similar damage, and once you hit a certain threshold its all about real estate- location, location, location, and bullet design as there is no perfect answer when dealing with biologic tissue.

You do get a stretch cavity with a handgun bullet, and tissue does become dysfunctional even if later it looks ok at an autopsy. Question becomes where did the stretch cavity go if it causes any significant damage and hits tissue where it is used to stretch like a lung or intestine. Rifles on the other hand bring a lot more energy to the party.

stretch cavity is figured out by the kinetic energy calculation Ke=1/2 mass x velocity squared.

Any projectile penetrating the body 7-8 inches will get to the heart. Nipple to bottom rib on right side is a high fatality injury. When you hit 30% blood loss you're incapacitated. In short if you do your job with shot placement, the bullet will do its job.

Absolutely outstanding presentation.

NRA Firearms Law Seminar - Gun Rights And The VA

If you're adjudicated as mental defective by a federal agency it gets reported to NICS as a prohibited person.

If any PTSD or mental health issue then VA investigates and sees if there is alack of capacity, which to them includes anyone who lacks capacity to manage own affairs including disbursement of funds.

So even if only applies to inability to manage own funds or assigned a fiduciary, VA takes it as making the person a prohibited person and unable to purchase a firearm, and they tend to over-report including people who are not truly incompetent.

The VA is the biggest source of prohibited purchaser records from federal agencies to NICS for such mental capacity disabilities.

The VA does have a NICS relief program and can keep fiduciary and takes considerable evidence, or can seek to reconsider the incompetency determination and then would not have a fiduciary.

He then went through the steps to seek relief from the VA and it is very involved. Expect lots of delays in the process but firearm rights restoration can be possible.

Firearms Law Seminar - Derek DeBrosse On NICS Checks And Appeals

This presentation had lots of interesting stuff and I tend to deal with NICS appeals and firearms rights restoration so it was a good presentation.

Pleading to even simple assault can still violate Lautenberg, so you need to be careful how you plead any domestic-related misdemeanor charge.

Since 2018 NICSis getting more records and details on assault and similar convictions to see if there is a domestic violence nexus and thus the person my be classified as prohibited when they were not before.

He noted from 1994-2014 of the performed 197 million NICS checks in that time period, 1.5% were denied.

3 databases are hit in the NICS check, and states may have more stringent rule on transfer.

NICS proceed records are supposed to be destroyed the next day after the proceed is given.

If you're buying a firearm for your trust or other entity such as a on a Form 4, there is a certification you should do when completing the 4473.

2018 Act was done to encourage completing records and make sure federal agencies report disqualifiers to NICS to prevent the recurrence of cases where for example a Department of Defense conviction was not reported, letting the fellow to buy a gun and shoot up the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas.

He noted the Voluntary Appeal File processing time for NICS appeals is around 3 years currently but highly variable without rhyme nor reason for why some is quicker and others slower.

NRA Firearms Law Speaker - David Yamane

A sociologist, Professor Yamane gave his keynote speech on how a liberal sociologist became a member of gun culture 2.0.

His main point: Guns are normal and normal people use gun.

Growing up in a liberal bubble, he only shot a gun for the first time when he was over 40 years old.

He takes an interesting sociological approach to Gun culture 2.0 which is interesting.

His studies found that Gun Culture 2.0 is more abut protection and carry than the older approach of hunting and collection and that GC 2.0 is becoming more diverse but with an interesting look at what is being owned:
Women twice are likely as men to own only a handgun
Blacks and Hispanics also 3 times as likely to own only handguns
Liberals twice as likely as conservatives to only own handguns.

He stated we as a culture need to resist efforts to stigmatize gun owners by showing the positive face of gun ownership and we need to promote the act of shooting whenever possible to introduce people to it as it is fun and challenging.

He also noted that gun culture is inclusive, after all, he describes himself as a liberal card-carrying snowflake gun owner.

His website GunCulture2point0 is worth checking out.

NRA Firearms Law Seminar Part 3

Next, Sarah Gervase presented on the topic: Another Arrow in the Quiver: State Constitutions as Independent Guarantors of the Right to Keep and Bear Arms

Most litigators and others have focused on the US Supreme Court as the arbitrator of civil rights.

State Constitutions have largely been ignored as a source of firearms rights.

6 states lack any right to keep and bear arms in their state constitutions.

Left wing is already moving to use state constitutions to further their goals.

States can provide higher levels of protection than the floor of the US Constitution.

She noted under the Delaware constitution there's been good movement for the firearms rights movement.

In Vermont the state right to bear arms section of the state constitution predates the Bill of Rights, nut has been ging very blue with some new gun control laws that are currently being challenged.

She noted you will need legislative history as to the state constitutional right to keep and bear arms and show how state history is favorable to your position, and be careful about combining state and federal claims. She noted you also need to know your state supreme court as some are distinctly hostile to firearms rights claim.

NRA Firearms Law Seminar Part 2

Contrary to popular belief, lawyers do have ethics.

Good lawyers have ethics anyways.

Indiana Supreme Court Justice Steven H. David gave a great presentation on ethics. To say he's a very accomplished justice is an understatement.

He gave a great talk on professionalism, civility and ethics. He presented with an interesting analogy of firearm safety to Legal practice with caution that use of either skill set should be used carefully, and in accordance with standards of professionalism, ethics and civility.

Certainly one of the more engaging ethics CLEs that I've heard. The Justice has good humor and engaging manner and he presented with an excellent style and quite a way to get a point across.

NRAAM Firearms Law Seminar Part 1

To start the 22nd Annual Firearms law seminar, Professor George Mocsary gave a presentation on Perceiving and Measuring Judicial Defiance of Heller

In short, Heller is being underenforced if not ignored by the lower courts.

Notes that revocation of CPLs nationwide is around 1 in 10,000 so CPL holders are extremely law abiding.

Massachusetts is particularly bad with a one year mandatory minimum for carrying an unlicensed firearm for an otherwise law abiding citizen while at the same time the courts there regularly give rapists probation and suspended sentences.

Assault weapons term created by Josh Sugarman when Americans were not interested in banning handguns and take advantage of the general publics ignorance.

Notes that there are tens of millions of AR15s in existence not being involved in crime.

A Duke Law Journal study looked at 997 opinions on 2nd Amendment challenges and found that intermediate scrutiny challenges were somewhat working, and the typical 2-part test was adopted in a minority of challenges. 2nd, 4th, and 9th Circuits saw higher success rates for challengers of gun regulations which may indicate gun laws in these areas are often so indefensible, such as in the 2nd Circuit the defining of a pump-action shotgun as a semi-automatic weapon - really. Otherwise more substantive challenges on less facially insane laws tended not to succeed.

His study statistically shows Heller is being under-enforced by the courts.

Lower court decisions in Drake and Caetano cases were outright defiance of Heller.

He noted to expect judges to start masking their defiance and dislike of the Second Amendment in their analysis with lots of pretextual arguments. Lots of cases claim to apply heightened scrutiny but then applies a rational basis test against the requirements of Heller. Courts are also improperly reversing the burden onto the Plaitniffs rather than the government which is required under heightened scrutiny.

In short, the courts are still not taking Heller and the 2nd Amendment seriously.

David Thompson went next with a presentation titled A Survey of Current Second Amendment Litigation - including the new U.S. Supreme Court Case, NYSRPA v. City of New York

He noted far too many courts have rubber-stamped bans on carry and semi-automatic firearms, taxes, bans on 18-21 year olds purchasing.

He stated Carriage is a critical issue. There are 250,000 Americans attacked every year by 4 or more individuals and carrying is the only effective defense.

Gave an example of a 71 year old female Mary Sheppard who had moved from Pennsylvania and was armed and trained there but moved to Illinois and was there attacked by a 230lb criminal in a church when she was unarmed. Illinois then lost in court and the absolute ban was finally lifted but other states still effectively completely ban carry under may-issue regimes such as California.

No other right is so predicated on having a good reason, but courts do uphold the bans by ignoring the 2ndAmendment and Heller by arguing there is a public safety exception.

Guns went from 140 million to 300 million while the homicide rate dropped 80%. So the antis claim of more guns more crime is not valid at all. 2.5 times greater risk of injury to women who are unarmed compared to those who are armed per Kleck's study.

There is no study at all that shows allowing law abiding citizens to carry increases crime and no causal link between carry laws and crime rates. There are no public safety consequences from shall issue laws per the CDC of all places.

Unfortunately most 2nd, 4th, 9th circuits have upheld may issue under intermediate scrutiny. But they're not even faithfully applying intermediate scrutiny such as should have been done such as in the VMI case, instead we get public safety is important and the courts will defer to the legislature which does not meet an actual intermediate scrutiny test. Fails as there are plenty of less restrictive requirements.

Rogers case Supreme Court will decide if they will take it up as there is a Circuit Split on carriage so it might be taen up and we'll finally get a decent answer.

On assault weapons , the courts have been unable to explain how a thumbhole stock or adjustable stock has done anything to increase an actual crime, meanwhile if they applied Heller the result would be they're in popular use with over 8 million plus in circulation, also their claim its a small percentage of 3% of all guns in circulation and thus not in common use doesn't matter - after all Honda Accords are 3% of the car stock but certainly not unusual.

He also noted that magazine bans have not reduced crime at all and as such are ineffective, does not reduce them in the hands of criminals, nor of the substitution effect where criminals obtain them anyways and are not effective. Meanwhile it harms public safety.

Antis are switching focus to mass shootings, even Everytown has stated that in 89% of all mass shootings have no evidence of any high capacity being used. They don't even believe it themselves as continue to allow manufacture of the magazines in their jurisdictions.

Courts have upheld the bans on strange reasoning, ban even if it won't doing any good it will reduce the perceived risk of crime as the public will feel safer per the 7th Circuit - without any actual evidence of such. Simply would not fly for any other right. the magazine and assault weapons bans are screaming for Supreme Court review and application of Heller or at least real intermediate scrutiny.

Ban on 18-21 year olds from having firearms is an attack on the gun culture and leads to absurd results. After all 18 year olds have always been of military age and should be able to purchase firearms. 18-21 year olds are not children under the history of the 2nd Amendment and under the Militia act they were supposed to bring their own firearms.

He stated the Supreme Court will need to deal with this sooner rather than later.

NYSRPA case: Only was a typical New Yorker can get a handgun is via a premise license to keep it in their home with exception to go hunting or to maintain proficiency to a licensed shooting range in city limits - there's only one such range in all of NYC. For example you cannot transport that same handgun to a second residence outside of NYC. Hoping is Court will apply Heller to it and strike it down and city is now trying to moot the case via a proposed regulation to avoid Supreme Court review.

In short, we need Supreme Court review to articulate the propoer standard and get the Circuit Courts to properly apply Heller.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Which Part Exactly? - The Corruption?, The Crime?, The Racial Gamesmanship?, Or Just The Whole Failed Blue State Model Overall?

DNC Chair Tom Perez:

“Detroit embodies the values and character of the Democratic Party,”

The Detroit News: Democrats set to hold second presidential primary debate in Detroit

So how does crime, corruption, constant race card playing, and a failed blue state city embody the value and character of the Democrats? Pretty much nails it I'd guess.

The Dem's leadership really lacks any self-reflection -

Michigan Democratic Party Chair Lavora Barnes called Detroit "one of America's great cities."
"And I can’t wait to welcome our amazing Democratic candidates to Michigan as we show the American people that we are truly the party of working people.”

The party of the working people? Sure, when all your candidates just happen to be millionaires. Your socialist and enviro policies will make the price of energy sky-high and kill the economy at the same time, hurting workers the most. Your medicare-for-all will lead to rationing of healthcare for the middle and lower classes. Party of the working people, pull another one, it's got bells on.

On The Way To The NRAAM

Now heading out on the road to Indy.

Looking forward to the firearms law seminar, which I will live-blog.

I'm also looking forward to running into friends and bloggers I know while I'm there.

That's One Way To Get A Cardio Stress Test

After 7 hours of driving with an instructor, hours of observing others drive in an instructional setting and classroom learning, Abby now has her G1 license.

She got to experience the joys of the Secretary of State office to get her license - first lining up to get a number, then over an hour and a half sitting waiting to get called up to get processed.

Good people watching though - one enraged and rather entitled lady yelling that she had her license in Detroit, moved out of state and now wants to switch her license back to Michigan but she keeps failing to being documents and she's been trying to get this done 3 times. One young lady is getting her license picture taken while she's in a costume and makeup like a baby doll - complete with pink and white makeup on her face, pink streaks in the hair and a body type really not suitable for the outfit she's wearing. I wonder if someone had her do it on a dare. That license picture is going to regrettably stick with her for a long time.

So Abby gets processed, and yes I have all the required documents, and it goes very smoothly once we actually get to the counter.

The G1 only lets her drive with a parent or other licensed adult in the vehicle, and she needs 50 hours with at least 10 at night over a 6 month period and can then proceed to a G2 license.

So I took her on her first drive at night yesterday.

This is a little disconcerting and tense as I have no additional brake nor wheel on my side of the car, its not like in a plane where you can take over from the right seat. You have to trust that she knows enough but also have to be ready to give her some hints if need be.

I had her drive to her old middle school as she has now driven the route in the day a few times to give her something familiar for her nighttime driving. She did good,and we did some practice parking and driving all around and then came back drove through the neighborhood for a bit and then back home for a good first experience.

I am rather impressed with her driving instructor. She's driving quite decently if with some standard new driver hesitancy and slow speed, but I'm impressed with how far she's come already, and she'll get there. It doesn't hurt that she really pays attention to what she's doing and what is going on around her.

49 more hours to go until her G2.

Monday, April 22, 2019

That's Not How A Conflict Of Laws Works

Invoking a higher power in court rarely turns out well.

The Detroit News: U.P. deer hunter who said he didn’t need license found guilty

Ron Ehinger of Ontonagon County claimed he didn’t need a license based on the “laws of nature.” The Daily Globe in Ironwood reports that a jury needed just 10 minutes to determine that the laws of Michigan applied instead.

Not exactly a great defense to a charge of poaching.

Laws of the state beat the laws of nature in state court all year round.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Happy Passover 2019!

A very nice time was spent with the extended family celebrating Passover.

We went to Toronto for the first Seder on Friday and had a great time meeting up with all the cousins and catching up with all the folks.

It was a good time for all as we retold the story of the departure from Egypt, with the oldest in the room in their 80s, and the youngest at 4 weeks all enjoyed the Passover story and meal.

We brought Matzah Crack to the Seder. What's Matzah Crack you may be asking? We'll its the tastiest Passover-approved dessert. Caramel and chocolate on top of Matzah along with other toppings. Varieties included chocolate with pieces candied ginger - which was a surprise hit, Chocolate mint, Chocolate Cherry, and White Chocolate almond Cranberry.

Making it is really rather simple:

Matzah Crack

4-5 pieces of matzah
2 sticks / 1 cup butter
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 (12-ounce) bag semi-sweet chocolate chips (If you're doing white chocolate cranberries, use white chocolate chips for that flavor series)
chopped pieces of candied ginger, or dried cherries or cranberries as desired as additional toppings.

1. Break Matzah into pieces and array on a baking sheet covered in aluminum foil that has been sprayed with no-stick spray. Preheat the oven to 350.

2. Take 1 cup butter and melt in a pan with 1 cup brown sugar, mix together over medium-high heat and stir until boiling, foamy and it becomes thickened around 3 minutes after it starts bubbling.

3. Pour the mixture over the Matzah and spread around covering the top of the Matzah.

4. Place in the oven and back for 8-10 minutes to set the caramel.

5. Remove from the oven and cover the caramel with a goodly portion of chocolate chips and spread over with a spatula as it melts. Add additional toppings as desired. Chopped pieces of candied ginger are highly recommended.

6. Let cool in the fridge for a few hours until the chocolate and caramel have solidified.

7. Cut into smaller pieces with a knife, and then enjoy. Bet you can't eat just one!

Happy Passover to all, and a Happy Easter to those of you celebrating Easter.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Monorail! Now With Proposed New Expensive Connections To Toledo and Monroe!

The fever dreams of urban mass-transit planners and their love of trains is so quaint. At least it is until you realize taxpayers will be on the hook for these vanity choo-choo projects.

The Detroit Free Press: New 110-mph passenger train could connect Detroit, Toledo and Ann Arbor

A new study presented to Toledo officials looked at a rail concept — dubbed the T because of its layout — that would connect Detroit, Toledo and Ann Arbor and cities in between.

If it were built, you could leave Detroit and get to Toledo in about an hour, about the same as if you drove straight down I-75, assuming you didn't run into any construction detours, rush-hour traffic, major accidents — or make any stops to top off your tank with gas.

Toledo City Councilman Chris Delaney, who has championed the study, said Wednesday that the T would not be just for "the luxury of being able to board a train." He viewed passenger rail service as a means to longer-term economic development and prosperity.

Like we've never heard that before.

Note in the article they plan to use existing freight rail tracks, for at least some of the run. This means that their claimed 80-100 mile speed will not be so fast in reality as they're going to have to stop and wait for freight trains and no, you really won't get there as fast as you would in your own motor vehicle. Cost is estimated at $390-$524 million, and given the cost overruns we've seen on similar train projects, you can safely double those estimates to get an idea of the true cost for this project.

Of course, once you get to Toledo or Monroe, you're going to need to call an Uber or rent a car or something to get around, certainly negating the savings of taking a train, the ticket price for which will almost assuredly be higher than the mileage cost for driving that distance or will be heavily subsidized by you up front from your taxes - probably both.

These planners love the idea of train projects - nice, expensive, programs with lots of opportunity for graft, vanity naming rights, and union feather-bedding combined with their disdain of the proles for daring to drive themselves where and how they wish. Reality tends to indicate people don't actually want these trains to nowhere.

And an excellent example of the hand-waving and excuses made when these rail projects don't quite work as expected in reality is displayed in this very article when it looks at the regions latest choo-choo project that cost over $182 million:

In its first year, the QLINE was expected to deliver 3,000 to 5,000 rides a day, and it hit that goal for part of the year. But from November through March, average daily ridership dipped to 2,700, potentially because of colder weather.

Nice slight of hand there "potentially because of colder weather". Yes, because riders don't like to be in enclosed vehicles during colder weather, right? Not so much. Ridership of Qline didn't decline because of the weather, ridership actually dropped when riders had to actually pay for a train that moved as fast as a slow walk for all of 3.3 miles.

Also note that in order for QLine to break even, they need 5,000 rides per day, not 2,700 meaning guess who is going to pay the difference?

$524 million would be far better put to use repairing the multitude of potholes, bridges and infrastructure that already lies along that route. Not nearly as sexy, there's no opportunity to rename the route for favored persons or entities in that, and no guarantee of continued subsidies to operate it. But, people will actually use it to go where they want, how they want. Urban planners hate that.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Replied The Snake: “You Knew What I Was When You Picked Me Up”.

The UNC Center for Middle East and Islamic Studies sponsored an event about Gaza and well, surprise!

Totally Unexpectedly, multiple acts of Antisemitism occurred, along with biased and counter-factual anti-Israel activism, on the taxpayer dime, no less.

ABC 11 News: Some sponsors want money back after anti-Semitic remarks made at UNC conference

What sponsor was stupid enough to be surprised this was going to happen at such a conference?

Apparently many departments at UNC and the Rotarians, of all people, failed to evaluate the conference based on the very long track record of antisemitism and anti-Israel propaganda at such conferences.

They failed to heed the tale of the Girl and the Snake.

Good luck getting your donations back.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

An Engaging New Music Style - Meaningwave Lo Fi

There's an interesting new music style out there.

Called Meaningwave, created by Akira The Don, it sets lectures.speeches of some interesting people to lo-fi music, revising them into songs while making their meanings come across very easily.

In short, its a rather entertaining and easy way of listening to the highlights of the thoughts and words of some very smart people. Sort of a Coles Notes edition set to music.

He has quite a few of Jordan Peterson, including a very humorous cut of his thoughts on alcohol, or his now famous rules for life. Everyone can take some element of what Peterson's saying and apply it to make your own life better. While reading the 12 Rules Book is highly recommended, this isn't a bad way to get some listening time in when you're in the car.

Then, if you need a boost in the morning, well, if you can't get motivated by listening to his version of Jocko Willink's stuff on the way to work, you may very well have no pulse.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Tax Day - Women And Minorities Hardest Hit

Because there's no Tax Day like Intersectional Tax Day.

So sayeth PBS.

PBS: How U.S. tax laws discriminate against women, gays and people of color

The quick answer is, the tax laws don't actually discriminate on that basis, but you'd have to read the entire article to figure out they're seriously reaching with some very weak examples to get to that conclusion.

Both arguments used don't support the position taken.

The first argument is the claim that the tax benefits that occur in the situation where there is a marriage with one working spouse and a non-working spouse is discriminatory against gays, minorities and women, which is one helluva overreach. See if you can figure out why that is so, it's not exactly hard to see the blatant fallacy in that argument.

Then, there's the claim its not right that personal injury awards are exempt from income taxes but employment discrimination awards are not, and they claim that that is discriminatory against gays, minorities and women. Never-mind that employment discrimination is by definition discrimination that is having an effect on your wages -- which are taxable -- and if you succeed in an employment discrimination case you're getting an increase in wages to make up for what you weren't paid due to the discrimination. In short, you're getting more wages from your employer which is the very definition of taxable income.

That's the two examples they choose to make about how horribly discriminatory the tax laws are to women and minorities. No mention of the tax law penalties for being married with two working spouses, as that wouldn't hit 'em in the intersectionality.

In short, the article and its examples, written by a woke law professor no less, badly fails to actually show any real discrimination against the identified groups at all but ends that the tax laws must "create a more just society rather than one that just rewards privilege".

In short, waving your arms and shouting "privilege" with nothing to actually back it up is just not a viable argument.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Somebody Just Made It To State Level For Forensics

Abby had her regional forensics competition on Saturday.

She thought she did well, and it turns out she did indeed do quite well. She came in second, making into the top 5 competitors at the regional competition which means she gets to advance on.

She's advancing to the Michigan State Forensic Competition for oratory, quite an accomplishment for a new freshman competitor with all of 5 months forensics experience.

Her school also did quite well with a lot of competitors from the forensics team advancing to the state championship to be held in May. It really is a great bunch of kids.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Friday Friend's Furniture Follies

Friday morning before work, I'm out walking the dog and pass by one of my neighbors, Casey, further down the street with his dog out in his front yard. The dogs are god friends so they get to playing while we chat.

He asks if I could help him that afternoon to move and load up some furniture that they were donating.

It's a light enough workday so why not. I leave the office around 1:30 get home and change and walk over to his place to help.

He's got a small Ryder truck already in position and another friend helping him move stuff. Heavy stuff.

One bookcase must have weighed about 500 pounds - that sucker was solid, shelves all in place, and not movable and it was a bit of an effort to get that thing out the front door and loaded up into the truck.

After that the sofa and loveseat were easy by comparison but an old curio cabinet, which again weighed a ton and didn't have a lot of spots to get a solid grip which made for some more fun. A few more sundry things and the truck is loaded and ready to go. Casey's other friend heads off and I volunteer to go with him to drop the stuff off.

Then off to the donation site, only to find out as we pull up that this week they're not accepting furniture. Oops. A little unexpected twist there.

So we head off to the Salvation Army, after I call ahead to verify that they are taking furniture, and they are, which is nice.

Unfortunately the guy taking the donations isn't helping unload the stuff as he has a half hour until his shift ends, so Casey and I are doing all the work. This kinda sucks as its rather frickin' heavy stuff and an interesting angled loading ramp. I do get to see the warehouse area of the Salvation Army which is interesting as normally you can't go in there, but since were the ones dropping stuff off, we put it all in there anyways. Good thing I was there or Casey would likely still be there unloading the stuff.

So we finish up and head back to his place and he offers me a nice cold Bells Third Coast Old Ale.

Very tasty, then it quickly hits like a brick. Checking the label its a 10.2% alcohol beer. Good thing I'm not driving.

It's a barley wine and is a smooth, tasty, 10.2% alcohol treat. It's a fantastic beer, but have one and you're really not driving anywhere as it certainly buzzes in fast. You may be sore after moving stuff, but after a nice cold bottle of this you don't mind so much, great stuff.

So back home I go with my good deed done for the day.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Just When You Thought It Was Spring...

Yes, this morning we woke up to Third Winter:

Spring, would ya mind sticking around for awhile, please?

Odd that, I was told that snowfalls were just a thing of the past only a few short years ago.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

The Kid And The School Bus Driver

So Leah had a recent incident that was rather disheartening.

Two days ago she was getting on the bus leaving school, tripped, and fell on the stairs entering the bus.

As she picked herself back up, the bus driver, the people-person that he is, said "Are You Dumb?"

She was quite simply in her own words mortified.

Understand that this is a kid that breaks the top of the scale on standardized tests - As a 12 year-old she reads at what is at least a 12th grade level and has a vocab to match, with math and all other tested scores in the top percentile. She's also a darn good student, a leader in her class, and not a disciplinary problem at all. To be called dumb was extremely insulting to her. She did not answer back but went and sat down and was upset enough to tell us about it.

This bus driver has been an a-hole for as long as he's been on our route and likely before. He's been sarcastic to the kids, and yelled at all the kids on the bus before for no reason, and while his driving is fine his personality is not exactly suited for the job. Unfortunately there is a shortage of bus drivers and I guess his union keeps him in place as there's been a lot of complaints.

Up until now we just told the kids to ignore it and just put up with it as it tended to be generalized idiocy. But, we decided this was worth complaining over as it had singled her out and embarrassed her for no justified reason, and we contacted the schools vice principal who handles such things.

Wouldn't you know it, but the day before the incident they had installed video and audio equipment on the bus and caught the whole incident.

The audio wasn't perfect but they got the incident and the school transportation administration claim he may have said to her "Are you Done?" rather than dumb, which again is still hardly an appropriate question to someone who just tripped.

So the school has stated they will be handling it, so we'll see what the outcome will be. Considering the presence of video and audio on the buses now, I expect his behavior is going to improve. Otherwise, there will finally be plenty of evidence of his unsuitability to be driving kids around, and maybe it will be enough to amount to cause to replace him with someone better.

Sunday, April 07, 2019

Taxes Done, And The Tax Cuts Worked As Promised

Just filed the taxes for the year.

Yes, Trump's tax cuts did result in us seeing an actual tax savings over last year, which is definitely a nice thing, and quite welcome.

Thursday, April 04, 2019

Scenes From Court Today

So criminal call today in with my client, who happens to be all sorts of guilty, on video no less. In short, no way this is going to trial.

So I do my thing, and we get a decent plea agreement for a first time offender with restitution, probation, and if in full compliance of all terms of probation, a nice erasure of the record. Not bad for a 2-count felony case with a max of 5 years in prison on each of the two counts, where there is no question of guilt at all.

But before all that, we get to watch a few people go through the system and its rather instructive.

For one lady, it is her tenth, yes tenth sentence for felony theft. She states she's now turning her life around. The judge dryly notes that her daily reported use of marijuana certainly isn't making her any smarter and clearly not helping her do so. The lady seems unable to stop stealing other people's stuff, and is likely going to continue to do so.

Another person gets sentenced on an assault-related felony, committed while high on marijuana. Again not the brightest tool in the shed. He's turning his life around too.

Bit of a pattern regarding regular marijuana use and felonious conduct is developing. Quite a number of people on marijuana seem to have trouble keeping their hands to themselves and off other people or other people's property.

And so it goes, then there's a break in the marijuana follies as we get one fellow with a 3rd DUI and a firearm in the car at the time. A bad call that. Fellow blew a .20 so yep, he was drunk alright. 3rd DUI is a felony, and then having a gun in the vehicle while under the influence is a misdemeanor. He pleads to both and gun is forfeited. Sentencing to follow. Don't do that folks.

One fellow comes in and has only done 60 of the 360 hours of community service required as part of his probation. He's right up on a due date and is likely to blow it leading to his being violated yet again as he'd have to do community service full time for 2 months to make those numbers, and he's not even close as he's doing a couple hours a week, tops. On top of that he had previously absconded so the court is not particularly sympathetic and gives him a rather stern warning then sets a new hearing date for the latest probation violation.

Then one fellow with one heckuva probation gift blows it badly - apparently he keeps leaving in-resident treatment to go drinking which means he's going to go back to jail, and for a large number of years.

In short, the majority of people there were for felony crimes committed while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Wednesday, April 03, 2019

If You're On Woodward Today, Watch Out, New Teenage Driver!

Yes, Abby is taking her first in-car driving lesson as we speak.

Michigan now has a graduated licensing system so for her to be allowed to learn to drive, she first needs to take this class and get her =Level 1 permit, then we can start taking her driving.

So far the classroom portion has been described as varying between deathly boring and hellishly boring.

In short the theory instructor is really lacking any effort, phoning it in and mainly playing AAA videos and repeating the info contained in them.

The workbook is pretty close to useless. For example the dashboard it has you identify gauges on depicts gauges that aren't on most cars these days including an ammeter gauge, a battery gauge, and a manifold pressure gauge for a turbo - seriously.

Why is the classroom portion of driving instruction so consistently deathly boring?

You'd think they'd have improved the delivery of the material and the material itself by now. After all driving is a rather important part of people's lives and learning to do so is important. The Level 1 segment requires 24 hours of in class instruction, so there's unfortunately a lot of time for boredom as they really seem to no be using the time effectively.

Since Monday they've learned about wearing seat belts and being sure to check all around your car for obstacles before getting in and adjusting the seat and mirrors. This should take 20 minutes, not the six hours so far.

They should be able to make an engaging and instructive curriculum but for whatever reason, they dnn't. She's learning more by self-studying the What Every Driver Must Know state handbook than anything in class.

Well, 6 hours of in-car instruction and 4 hours of in-car observation should prove to be instructive.

Monday, April 01, 2019

Mueller Investigation Back On!

This morning, Special Counsel Robert Mueller announced that he was resuming his investigation into the question of collusion of Russia with the Trump campaign.

Democrats all across America cried tears of joy, a clear contrast to the rivers of sadness that had been flowing since the release of the Special Cunsel's report.

Mueller announced that after $29 million dollars spent and 2 years searching for evidence of Russian collusion without finding a shred of any such activity, he realized he had not searched everywhere yet.

"I had looked high, I had searched low", he said, "and I found nothing".

"But in all this searching I forgot to look under my bed. I just looked there this morning." He said. "Sure enough, there was a dossier labelled "Open this for proof of Russian Collusion" and it had everything I needed to prove all the allegations made by the DNC. The million dollars in small unmarked bills right beside the dossier with a note that said 'Get Trump, Love H.' didn't influence his decision to reopen the investigation one bit.

Mueller plans to release an updated report this afternoon.

Happy April Fools' Day, Democrats.