Thursday, June 27, 2019

Government Efficiency: Your Call Back Time Will Be In Approximately 1,144 Minutes

1,144 minutes is about 19 hours and that's no mistake, that's the waiting time for a Tier 2 call.

Tier 2? Well friends, I'm dealing with USCIS hell.

I have a client applying for an H1B Masters's cap opening.

In short, the kid is an engineer, has a master's degree from a US University, he's a sharp, good and clean kid from India, and his employer here for his apprenticeship wants to hire him as he's good at what he does and they've trained him up.

So I do the I-129 process, including getting a labor certification, and he's actually going to be paid more than the company's American workers due to a very screwed up average wage calculation required by Department of Labor for the area. Stupid as hell, but that's the law.

I submit it with premium processing and send it via express mail on April 3 to their Premium Processing address in California.

USPS shows it was delivered to Premium Processing on April 4 at 11 am.

Then it disappears.

USCIS can't find it, and the fun begins.

First I have fun just calling the USCIS help line - 800-375-5283.

After being on hold for 30-45 minutes per call, I get to Tier 1 support. Half the time Tier 1 just drops the call and I have to start in the queue all over again.

Finally with Tier 1 going through the same maddening script every time and refusing to move it to Tier 2 until we go through the script, they then send me to Tier 2 phone waiting hell. How much hell? It's so bad you do not wait on the line, instead you enter your number and they tell you when a Tier 2 officer will call you back. That call back wait time can be rather extreme.

On a prior Tier 2 call, I was told to email Lockbox support which I did. Lockbox support acknowledged the email and said they would reply within 30 days.

They Didn't. I waited over 30 days before bugging them, but no contact from them, because that would be too easy, right?

Back to calling, starting with Tier 1 hell again. I get connected to Tier One and they tell me to call Premium Processing support and give me a phone number.

There's a little problem with that number. It requires you to enter a receipt number that I don't have because the package was lost so they never issues a receipt number. No receipt number - the call disconnects.

Back to call Tier 1, and after going through the same script tell the next helpful idiot that suggests that I call Premium Processing support that that will not work.

Then I finally get a call actually completed to route to Tier 2 and the time to get the call back?

That's where the 1,144 Minutes comes from. That was the latest estimate.

Then 1,144 minutes later, Tier 2 calls back at 8pm tonight and I have to explain everything again because no one has kept any notes on this issue. At all.

Tier 2 agrees with me that this is getting ridiculous and offers to send me to Tier 3.

I know what is about to happen so I politely ask for the number so I can call myself....

Nope, they won't gove that out, nor the direct number to even get into the queue for Tier 2, but she'll transfer me to Tier 3.

And she drops the call.

This means I need to start all over again with getting on hold to get to Tier 1, to get to be put on hold with Tier 2 to get put on hold with Tier 3, al the while hoping some functionary doesn't have a malfunction and drop the call.

At this point I am beginning to develop rather strong anti-government feelings and a vocabulary to go with it.

So in short, USCIS has lost an application, refuses to do anything about it, refuses to connect me to anyone who can do something about it and this should in a normal world not take this farging long and this much time to even get to the point to find someone to fix their mistake, and we're still not there. And all this for a simple I-129 application that should have been granted over two months ago now.

Meanwhile, Illegals can waltz across the border and work illegally with fake social security numbers have no such troubles.

I halfway want to tell the kid to change his name to Sanchez, have his employer pay him under the table, move to California so he gets free healthcare, and everyone will be happy, unfortunately that's just not good legal advice.

Just wait until government controls your healthcare, expect your service times and levels of customer service to be similar.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

The Democrats' Cognitive Dissonance On Reparations

Democrats in Congress and elsewhere demanding reparations for slavery, to be paid from people who never owned slaves, indeed whose parents never owned slaves, and in almost al cases whose granparents never owned slaves, to be paid to people who were never slaves because history.

Nevermind the reparations would go, as reported by Sultan Knish to millionaires who aren't exactly in need of "reparations", the rationale for such is incredibly eak but makes a great campaign talking point to get some votes in exchange for the promise of other people's money .

Yet, these very same progressives in Congress and elsewhere argue the DACA kids should not be blamed neither for themselves being here illegally, nor should they be blamed for their parents immediate illegal actions in bringing them here illegally. Verily they should not be blamed nor accountable for their own acts and indeed should be awarded citizenship for illegally crossing the border, but for reparations, everyone else should be held collectively responsible for the acts of others long ago.

The cognitive dissonance is most impressive.

Monday, June 24, 2019

When A School Has Been Failing Its Students For Years, Only Racial Considerations Can Keep it Open

The standard leftist approach to failure of a government program is to reinforce it, and do it harder.

Eventually, the failure reaches such an extent it can't be ignored.

So Democrat Governor Whitmer, in reviewing the failure and impeding bankruptcy of the Benton Harbor School System has faced a hard choice and proposed closing the High School to preserve the rest of the school system. This is not going over well, especially as this happens involve some core Democrat constituent groups.

Bridge: Whitmer faces some backlash over Benton Harbor High closing

Interestingly, the backlash is not over the abject failure of the schools, but that a Black run school in a Black majority district might close. No one is disputing that the Benton Harbor's school system is a bankrupt dumpster fire leading kids to be not exactly educated. Unsurprisingly, the student level of performance is as lousy as its financial state.

For example, in the past 5 years, the High School produced three, yep count 'em three students that were ready to go to college.

3 Students in Five years.

That's a level of failure for a High School that would be hard to comprehend, much less defend, and should be considered completely unacceptable.

Yet, many are protesting the closure and are defending it on the grounds that closing it would force students to go to other schools where they might just get a shot at a decent education, or something. The argument is seriously being made that closing it would not help the students being failed by it.

The Detroit Free Press: Closing high school won't help Benton Harbor, or the city's students

Would this have even been an issue if it was a white-majority school failing this badly?

Interestingly enough, the school closure is causing a split among Democrat party constituents. The Governor is for the closure, as it, almost surprisingly, the Michigan Educational Association, and much hilarity is thus ensuing: The Detroit News: Bankole: In Benton Harbor, labor’s interests run counter to blacks.

This makes some people upset (See Bankole and his article above) because race issues trumps educational performance and its apparently better to have a Black-run school with failing educational performance and under-served students than daring to close it and send the kids off to surrounding schools to get a better education.

Get your popcorn ready, as this one could get interesting if the Governor will continue with the plan, or instead back down and leave the students in their current failed high school.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Ah, Michigan Government Bureaucracy Liquor Licensing Division

So I'm doing some work for a client that involves a liquor license.

Here's the instructions on the form itself, with the form very recently updated in June 2019, this very present month, so it's rather recent indeed:

Please return this completed form along with corresponding documents and fees to:
Michigan Liquor Control Commission
Mailing address: P.O. Box 30005, Lansing, MI 48909
Hand deliveries or overnight packages: Constitution Hall - 525 W. Allegan, Lansing, MI 48933

So I send it Fedex to Constitution Hall - 525 W. Allegan, Lansing, MI 48933. Simple right, I can follow instructions, easy to get this done, right?

Not so much.

Turns out Fedex contacts me with a delivery exception that MLCC will not accept it there and it has to be sent to another address (not on the form) because they do not accept the deliveries there even though their form says to send it there.

So I call MLCC directly and after being on hold for awhile, find out that yes, in fact they will not accept it on the address listed on their own forms but will only receive it at the other address (not on the form) and then they will transport it themselves to the 525 W. Allegan.

I asked then why they don't specify sending it to the other address on their forms considering they just updated them and they really didn't have an answer for that and their final answer was a brusque "Just send it to this other address (not on the form), not the one the form".

Ok, then.

Just A Passenger Ahead Of His Time On Security Screening Technique

You know how some wags suggested that TSA would soon require everyone to disrobe before getting on an aircraft?

Sumdood decided to put this security screening method to the test before it was bureaucratically approved.

The Detroit News: Naked man tries to get past security at Detroit Metro Airport

In short, TSA is not ready to adopt naked passenger security screening at this time.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Cambridge's Progressive Double Standards

Verily, If A progressive person or institution didn't have double standards, they'd have no standards at all.

Cambridge University, the rather historic British institution got very woke and earlier this year and rescinded an invitation to Jordan Peterson over protests at allowing him to speak on their hallowed grounds.

That was met by applause by the the Cambridge Student Union who said

“We are relieved to hear that Jordan Peterson’s request for a visiting fellowship to Cambridge’s faculty of divinity has been rescinded following further review. It is a political act to associate the University with an academic’s work through offers which legitimise figures such as Peterson.

Meanwhile, the very same Cambridge University yesterday hosted and feted Malaysian Prime Minister and antisemitic moonbat Mahathir Mohamad, who used the opportunity to speak to make at least one anti-Semitic joke, to the delight of those attending the Cambridge Union Speech.

The Telegraph: Cambridge Union audience laughs at anti-Semitic 'joke' by Malaysian prime minister

Note how Cambridge defended inviting Mattahir:

Dr Mohamad's invitation to speak had already proved controversial, but Cambridge University said he should not be banned because they respect freedom of speech.

Ah, so Cambridge is all for free speech for anti-Semitic progressive scum -- and applauding it no less -- but not for a world-famous rather centrist University professor that disdains and demonstrates the fallacies of leftist cant.

Monday, June 17, 2019

And That Will Be Counted As A "School Shooting"

The Detroit Free Press: Charge dismissed against officer whose gun fired at Fowlerville wrestling meet

Note that most people in such an incident likely would not have received a resolution of adhering to plea conditions, whatever they were, and then having the charge dismissed and erased from your record.

This event will, I'm sure, be included in Everytown's database and other anti's sets of statistics as a school shooting, even though not only was no one injured but it was a negligent act by a police officer. But no matter, even as calling it a school shooting is one heckuva false impression. it will increase the count of the emotionally laden term "School Shooting".

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Father's Day 2019

Father's Day was off to a rather rainy start.

Leah and Natasha were out of town so it was up to Abby to wish me a happy Father's Day.

She did so, and even walked the dog which is my typical duty, which was nice. I also called my dad and wished him the best of the day as well.

Then she made me breakfast:

Then there were some presents:

Yes, the socks are a gag gift. The Two Left Feet brand may refer to my dancing skills, but girls do think it's hilarious to have their dad wear pink socks with green toecaps and diamonds on them, go figure.

After that I got to work on the ribs I had prepared and covered in a rub the night before and got the smoker going.

There was quite a bit of rain going on.

The chorus from Singing Smoking In The Rain was heard.

But with all that I got the smoker going and then did some stuff around the house, including working on a project I'll blog about later when its done, and after about 3 hours on the smoker I tucked the ribs into the oven covered them in foil and with some water and apple cider vinegar to keep them company, at 225 degrees for awhile.

Then Abby drove me to lunch which didn't cause any coronary health checks, even as we drove through a roundabout that happens to be declared Michigan's most dangerous intersection. The kid did good.

Then she drove me as we did some errands and shopping for the house, including through the same roundabout again, then back home.

Leah and Tash soon arrived and we had dinner.

The ribs came out great.

So good they didn't even need a sauce, but there was sauce for those who wanted to add it.

I had mine with a Moosehead lager I had brought in the duty free store when I came back from last weekend's Toronto trip. A rather perfect pairing.

An excellent dessert followed, and then a nice long night drive with Abby just to have her drive around in the dark for awhile to get some hours in. She's certainly improved in quite a short time.

It was an excellent Father's Day indeed.

I hope all you dads out there had a great Father's Day day as well.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Perhaps The Best Example Of Fallacious Journalism You'll See Today

Journalism used to be about getting to the facts and reporting on them. Now it's far more about political correctness and feelings, and the facts be damned.

Here's a lovely example of a journalist looking at facts and imposing her ideological world view with a whopper of a logical fallacy right off the bat, never-mind the facts, she had an agenda to push, facts be damned:

The Toronto Star: Blowback to the word genocide proves the national inquiry report was right

Basically a progressive, politically-driven report by the "National Inquiry into Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls" was recently issued that named violence against Canadian indigenous women over the years to be an act of genocide.

Analysis of the facts indicate otherwise, and many people pointed out the facts and how these varied and separate acts of violence, while reprehensible, simply do not amount to any actual established definition of genocide.

The journo decided the existence of opposition to the report's findings proves the report's findings was correct.

It really doesn't work that way.

The argument is sort of a combination of the Fallacy of Opposition and Kafkatrapping - any denial of the assertion apparently proves the assertion.

Instead of declaring if others oppose her position that must mean its right, simply by virtue of the existence of people opposing it, she could have looked at the facts, which are pretty well known.

Instead of acts of genocide, indigenous women over the time period looked at were almost all killed or murdered in either of the following situations:

1. Killed by their domestic partner, which while reprehensible and plainly wrong, isn't genocide, it's spousal abuse that the government of Canada does in fact prosecute and punish the murderers when possible; or

2. Killed by an unknown sexual partner/opportunistic killer. Most of those who were killed were murdered while working in the sex trade, which unfortunately exposed them to potential killers by nature of the fact that they were plying an illegal trade that involved getting into vehicles with unknown persons, going to unknown places, not letting other people know where they were going or who they were with, and being in an extremely vulnerable position all the while and unfortunately being murdered. Again, reprehensible and wrong, but still not an act of genocide, nor does blaming colonialism work for either situation, but since leftists now believe Canada is a colonial nation and therefore bad, it's better to blame the nation collectively than the wrongdoers themselves, many if not most of whom are indigenous peoples.

Considering the fact that Canada's indigenous population is growing and expected to almost double by 2036, if this is genocide, Canada has done a piss-poor job of it, because well, Canada is simply not committing genocide against its indigenous population and these women's murders are not acts nor evidence of genocide no matter how much the progressives wish to believe them to be.

While its an important act to seriously prosecute those who commit crimes against indigenous peoples and devote resources towards prosecuting such crimes, to call random acts of murder and spousal abuse leading to death genocide is simply inappropriate and an attempt to mischaracterize a very real problem to get attention, and it completely devalues the word genocide and victims of actual genocides.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

This Needs To Happen

In Edmonton Alberta, the City is about to redidicate some land downtown to make a new park.

Edmontonians have come up with a petition to name it, in a rather clever, awesome, and whimsical way, after one of Edmonton's famous native sons.

The proposed name: The Nathan Fillion Civilian Pavilion.

CBC News: Could 'The Nathan Fillion Civilian Pavilion' come to fruition?

If you're a fan of Nathan Fillion, and after all, you really should be, you can sign the petition at

It's a most worthy effort, and I wish them success in this honorable endeavor. It sure as heck beats Parky McParkface as a name.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Detroiters And Car Insurance, Part Deux

Got a call from a Detroiter today who has, yes you guessed it, outstanding tickets and warrants in my jurisdiction.

First she figures since marijuana is now legal, her open warrant for failing to appear for sentencing for possession of a decent amount of the electric lettuce in 2009 should just go away.

No, it really doesn't work like that.

Next, of course, she has an outstanding warrant for failure to appear on driving without a license, no proof of insurance, and no proof of registration charges - the Detroit Driver Trifecta.

Her explanation for it is something else indeed, and I quote:

"I didn't do anything wrong - the lady who loaned me the car, she knew I didn't have a license, and she shouldn't have had expired plates on the car that caused me to get pulled over, it's not my fault."

So much was wrong with that emotionally declarative sentence that I didn't know whether to laugh, cry, or ask her if she's still smoking the good stuff when I heard it.

She honestly and vehemently thinks she did nothing wrong by driving without a license or insurance, and it's all her friend's fault for giving her a car with an expired plate.

She was then surprised that she needed to pay a retainer to a lawyer up front to fix this problem and the only reason she wants to fix it is the outstanding warrants are giving her issues with her benefits and preventing her from getting even more government assistance.

So no, she won't be retaining me 'cause she don't want to pay up front. This of course means she wouldn't be paying when it's done either, I do know how this works by now and sorry, but this just doesn't qualify for a pro bono case.

There really is no need to wonder why auto insurance is so high in Detroit.

Monday, June 10, 2019

The University of Toronto Soldier's Tower

I had a nice visit this weekend with the family in Toronto.

The weather decided to be pleasant for a change, so we went for a stroll along the grounds of the University of Toronto, which is located in the heart of Toronto itself.

The University grounds were rather quiet and uncrowded in the green space set in the middle of downtown, as most of the students have departed for the summer.

Amongst the fine architecture, along the walking path, we first approached and then walked under this large bell tower.

At base if the tower was an alcove with a chain running across it. Within the alcove were inscribed the names of all those from the University of Toronto who had died in the First World War.

The first panel has In Flander's Fields inscribed upon it (click to embiggen).

Then come the lists of names.

A closing panel contains a final admonition:

628 University of Toronto students, faculty, staff, and alumni, 627 men and one woman, Nursing Sister L.D. Keys CAMC, who died in World War 1.

As I found out later, there's another archway that contains a memorial and a list of names of the 557 members from the University of Toronto who died in World War 2.

The 143-foot tall tower with its bell carillon was built in 1923-1924 with donations from the University of Toronto Alumni. The money raised back then is in an endowment and is still used for scholarships and tower maintenance expenses, and continues to stand today as a monument for those who gave their lives in the service of their country from the University of Toronto.

Friday, June 07, 2019

The Real Reason Why Detroit's Auto Insurance Is So High

One of the hot-button issues for Democrats in Michigan and Detroit is the complaint that Detroit's auto insurance rates are incredibly high, as in on average $4,000 a year for insurance high. Of course, the Democrats tend to claim this is due to racism.

There's a reason for the rates being so high, and it isn't racism.

Lets take Y for an example.

Why Y? Well, why not? Y is a female Detoriter I've come across in my legal journey in court recently who has a little issue.

You see, Y has been driving with her license suspended.

How long?

She's been driving suspended continuously for 15 years!

Y's license was suspended back in 2004 and she's been driving on it suspended ever since.

Prior to that she's had her license suspended and restored multiple times from 1999 until 2005, when it got suspended and stayed suspended as she never bothered resolving the 2005 suspension, she just tacked a series of more suspensions on top of that one.

Why? Because she doesn't pay tickets when she gets them and had been driving often without insurance. This has not however stopped her from driving all around the Metropolitan Detroit area.

She's unfortunately not a particularly good driver and tends to get pulled over. When she's and when she is pulled over, the police tend to quickly find out she's driving on a suspended license and then charge her yet again for driving suspended along with the reason why she was pulled over, she doesn't pay the tickets and it stays suspended

These episodes of her being caught speeding and improper lane changing and going through red lights mainly take place outside of Detroit and she complained that clearly, she's being ticketed and pulled over because she's being "profiled".

No, Y is bring ticketed not due to profiling, but because she's driving, and driving badly enough to warrant police attention, on a long-suspended license.

Oh, and Y's driving record goes on for 10, yes ten pages worth of charges and convictions for driving while license suspended and related charges that she keeps getting pulled over for and ticketed by the police.

Insurance costs are high in Detroit not due to racism.

Insurance costs are sky-high due to the fact that insurance companies don't like risk and due to Y and people like her driving around without insurance and with suspended licenses, and causing accidents without the slightest care, Detroit is a very high risk and high cost area.

In short, the real reason for Detroit's high insurance rates can be summed up in one word - Detroiters.

Thursday, June 06, 2019

D-Day And The Liberation Of Europe - 75 Years On

75 Years Ago, beginning 10 minutes after midnight, the invasion of Europe began when hundreds of C-47 transports and gliders headed across the English Channel began to deliver their loads of paratroopers and glidermen onto continental Europe.

This was followed by thousands of men in landing craft arriving at the five invasion beaches in the greatest amphibious invasion in history.

The greatest invasion succeeded in gaining a foothold and breaching Hitler's "impregnable" Festung Europa, and it was the beginning of the end of the Third Reich.

Monday, June 03, 2019

Something To Tok About - The Cugir TTC

The box brought by UPS requiring an adult signature contained something to Tok about.

The TTC made by Cugir of Romania is the Romanian version of the Russian Tokarev TT-33 Pistol.

A variation of the Browning design, it offers a slim grip, weighs 1.8 pounds, and carries 8 rounds of the zippy 7.62x25 Tokarev cartridge - the world's fastest production pistol cartridge at the time, eclipsed when the .357 Magnum came along.

The sights on this TTC are tall and remarkably decent sights for a handgun of the time period, especially as a Tokarev's main function at the time was to use it to gesture heroically:

Frequent alternate uses included shooting dissidents in the head at execution range, or shooting conscripts fleeing the battlefield, and the sights are more than adequate for all three tasks.

While the Tokarev originally had no external safety, as it would be carried with the hammer half-cocked which was considered sufficient, import regulations required a safety be added, and thus a small but reasonably usable safety switch was added above and to the right of the trigger:

This pistol came absolutely slathered in oil. Oil that coated the magazine, the barrel, the slide, the grip, and which quickly dripped off and migrated to the table, my hands, everywhere. Certainly there can be no complaints about the pistol being shipped dry.

This Tokarev was manufactured in 1953 and comes with a single magazine and a rather decent surplus leather holster and metal cleaning rod.

The Romanian Tokarev may very well be one of the last affordable Curio and Relic firearms to be imported in large numbers. Now being sold at AIM Surplus for $220, it's an easy and relatively cheap acquisition of a very historic and still useful firearm.

Once I get all the oil wiped off and give it a good cleaning, I'll take it out to the range to try out.