Thursday, April 30, 2020

It's Governor Half-Whit Versus The Legislature In An Authority Throw Down

It's about to get interesting in Michigan as the conflict between the Legislature and the Governor accelerates.

The Michigan House and Senate are not pleased with the Governor's ignoring them and deciding to rule by diktat, and her stating that she refuses any negotiation and any such discussion is political games:

"I am not going to engage in political negotiations with anybody. We don’t have time for politics and games when people’s lives are on the line."

In short, she really wants that VP slot, doesn't she?

And so the legislature has responded, and will most likely not renew the emergency powers granted to her under the 1976 Act, and then went a little bit farther:

The Detroit News: Michigan House OKs lawsuit to limit Whitmer's powers

Arguably, as much as she claims to be acting under the 1945 Emergency Powers act, she's really operating under the 1976 Emergency Management Act.

Now, the 1976 Act requires the legislature to renew it and it is refusing to renew it unless she negotiates with them regarding reopening the state safely and to quit being arbitrary and excessive.

Since her response to their requests to date was that she gave them the figurative finger and decided to go full-on dictator, it sure looks like the legislature is not going to renew the 1976 Act.

That leaves her with powers granted to her under the 1945 Act.

There's a little problem with that. The 1945 Act arguably doesn't give her the powers to do everything she's doing under her executive orders, which is why she keeps requesting the legislature to reauthorize the 1976 Act so she can do whatever she so desires.

Yep, this is going to get interesting.

More Arbitrary Puritanism From Gov Half-Whit

Gov. Half-Whit's control continues apace, preventing even safe yet-non-essential activities from operating out of, as Mencken hath stated: “The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.”

She'd much rather these small businesses go out of business.

The Detroit News: Canterbury Village drive-in movies ruled out by governor

Yes, a drive-in where people remain in their cars, with the cars parked in 20 foot spaces is not allowed to proceed and ordered not to have a drive-in movie.

More arbitrary and capricious behavior form the Gov and her administration.

Can't have non-essential economic activity going on, something that would provide some relief and entertainment to parents and their kids, not at all. It might keep a business alive and people off unemployment.

Whitmer Proposes To Reward The Educational-Industrial Complex

As always with our governor, this crisis is all about opportunities for rewarding your political allies, whether campaign contributors or in this case the Michigan Academics and educational institutions who are her strong backers.

The Detroit News: Whitmer proposes free college for front-line workers

Of course she does.

Academia is a Democrat stronghold, it's hurting under her closure orders and due to the inflated cost of college. So, why not reward them with some government guaranteed funding under the guise of rewarding "frontline workers"?

As with most of her promises, like "Fixing the damn roads" it's big on flowery declarations and short on ideas as to actual funding.

Representatives for Whitmer did not respond immediately Wednesday to questions about how much the program would cost, how it would be funded and who would qualify.

Of course not, it's the noble intentions that matter here, that and the cheap political points.

The most telling quote in the whole article:

Christopher Fultz, who has a degree in theater but is employed as a cashier at Western Market in Ferndale, said free education for essential workers sounds promising. He hopes people can take advantage of the program to enroll in colleges as well as skilled trades training.

"I am all for more education," said Fultz. "It just opens up a lot of possibilities."

Yes, that college degree in theater really paved the way for a lot of possibility for you to become....a cashier.

Clearly the possibilities would have been even better if it was paid for by the state, right? After all it's worth more when it's free, right, after all the colleges made money off your theater degree, and a good thing you ran with it to exercise your talents as a cashier, right?

We can always use more cashiers with theater degrees in Michigan, after all.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

A Good Socially Distant Range Trip

Work has been all sorts of slow recently due to the courts being effectively closed, so there's time for other things - Like outdoor recreational activity.

So, this afternoon, since it was a beautiful day, I went to the range and met up with Dean, a fellow lawyer, who brought one of his daughters to the range.

At the range we were easily able to remain 6 feet apart because it's an outdoor range after all.

Shot another 200 rounds through the IWI Masada, practicing drawing from concealment, and 50 rounds through the Glock, no malfunctions for either.

Then I shot 80 rounds through the suppressed M&P Compact just for fun. The magazine for it needs a cleaning but no issues with it either.

Dean ran his Glocks and 1911s, and his daughter shot both and also tried out the Masada. She had a few jams with both due to limp-wristing initially but we fixed that. She found the Masada easier to shoot and easier to hit with due to the Trijicon SRO on it, and interestingly enough, no limp-wrist malfunctions with it.

The neat part about his 1911s is they're homemade. He finishes the 80% frames at home and then builds them up himself.

One of them has an extractor problem on loading the first round, and you have to hammer the slide forward by hitting it with your hand each time, but it then loads and shoots all subsequent rounds with no issues. Trigger is crunchy and heavy, but it works, and it hits to the point of aim of the sights. It's a bit of a part mix-master with some Wilson parts as components of the build, but it all fit together. Once he gets the extractor bug worked out they should be rather serviceable. Interesting to see what can be done at home these days.

We had a good time at the range and then we headed our separate ways.

What Is This Strange Ceremony You Speak Of?

When your race card limit hits it's maximum, I suppose all you have left is the ability to start writing stupid opinion pieces.

The Detroit News: Bankole: Pandemic robs blacks of public mourning

Caring for the dead has been an essential part of the black experience in America going back to the early days, when burial societies were formed to plan proper funerals. . . .

Verily, this thing you call a funeral dear Bankole, what is it? In truth, a non-Black person has never heard of such a strange ceremony and concept of caring for the dead. Do tell us more.

That centuries-old heritage and practice, a sacred ritual of black life, is now being upended by the pandemic, as African Americans are not allowed to congregate in large numbers to mourn those lost to the coronavirus.

Verily, women and minorities must be hardest hit by this pandemic dear Bankole. Is it true that African Americans to the exclusion of everyone else are not allowed to congregate in large numbers to mourn the dead in a sacred ritual?

Trust race-baiter Bankole to make what is a universal experience under the coronavirus lock-down - the inability of anyone - Black, White, Asian, Hispanic, or whatever - to have a funeral with more than 10 mourners present to someone be uniquely affecting Blacks either especially or differently than anyone else.

UI Incentives Matter

So one of my clients after a very long delay finally got his restaurant approved for PPP funds today.

This means his restaurant may just survive this crisis considering its been shut for the past 6 weeks and yet expenses such as rent etc have not ceased.

The problem is, some of his employees are making more on unemployment with the $600/week federal kick-up than they were as employees (including part-timers) and don't want to come back to work until that sweet $600/week UI bonus runs out.

Since it's a restaurant, "back to work" means sitting around at home and getting paid their salaries to do nothing rather than sitting around at home on UI to do nothing since he still can't, by the governor's order, open up his restaurant.

Obviously if you're sitting around at home doing nothing, the incentive is to get paid more for your doing nothing, right?

The downside is this may screw up the forgiveness part of the PPP loan due to employees not being back on payroll even as he's willing and able to put them on payroll thanks to the PPP funds to make up for the fact that he's gone 6 weeks plus now with zero income.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Time For Our Next Product Shortage -

Hair Clippers.

Yep, with all the barber shops and hair salons closed it's getting kinda shaggy out there.

Getting kinda shaggy here too for that matter.

Think of millions of people now cut off from their barber/stylist/hair dresser what have you for the past month and a half - and they're all about to bite the bullet and try to do it by themselves at home. This includes myself, which could lead to a series of very unfortunate hair cuts and lots of ball caps being worn in public.

But there's a problem.

Amazon and a lot of other places are right out of hair clippers at the moment with delivery dates that range from June to We Don't Know When.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Sunday Quarantine Range Trip

Nothing like going out for a social distancing outdoor activity.

Leah and I drove to the range, and the unofficial highway limit seems to still be set at 90 mph, with permissible increases to 100 mph. which is nice. I certainly burned any carbon deposits out for the engine on this trip.

With the unofficial speed limits being what they were, and the very light traffic, we made it to the range in exceptionally good time and had it pretty much to ourselves including our favorite bay with the plate rack in it.

I mainly shot the IWI Masada, on its first range trip after its 2,000 round cleaning. No failures and another 250 trouble free rounds through it all done drawing from concealment for practice including 5x5 drills and a dot torture drill.

Leah shot the M&P .22 Compact, the Beretta 81, the IWI Masada, and the IWI Jericho 941.

The IWI Jericho 941 is an Israeli Police surplus that I acquired just prior to the Wuhan Flu shutdown.

A CZ clone with some Israeli enhancements, the 16-shot, all steel, frame 9mm fits the hand extremely well and shoots really nicely with no real felt recoil compared to polymer 9mms of similar size.

When I received it, it clearly had signs of use and character, including sand under the grip panels, and the name of the officer that had been issued it taped on the slide and it has the Israeli Police Star on the right side of the frame:

The Israeli Police 941s are all single action and can be carried cocked and locked. They replaced the Browning Hi Power in Israeli police service and have since been replaced by the Glock 17 and 19.

Very nice and accurate pistol, with a very nice trigger, albeit heavy compared to the polymer wonder nines that replaced it. A nice piece of shooting history.

Friday, April 24, 2020

Governor Half-Whit Begins To Back Off

I suspect those protests had the desired effect: Whitmer extending stay-home order through May 15, relaxing boating, golf restrictions You can read the new executive order here: Executive Order 2020-59.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is extending her stay-at-home order through May 15, while lifting certain restrictions on businesses and outdoor activities.

Under the new order, some Michigan businesses can reopen. Whitmer is allowing people to participate in outdoor activities such as golf and motorized boating as long as they observe social distancing rules to remain six feet apart, according to the executive order obtained by the Associated Press.

The unjustified and ham-handed restrictions on perfectly safe activities to show that she was in charge have now been lifted - lawn care and landscaping, golf, motorized boating, selling paint and garden shops and other "non-essential" items are now all permitted.

They never should have been prohibited to start with, as people could have done them perfectly safely with social distancing but she didn't like them and thus they were prohibited.

It will be interesting to see how she can justify removing these restrictions now -after all up until now she was claiming they all posed a grave threat to public health and safety in between sneering that the weather wasn't good enough to do them anyways so people shouldn't dare complain.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

You're Not Allowed To Leave The Democrat Plantation

Legal insurrection has a post about an African-American Georgia State Democratic Representative being censured and driven from the Democratic party for the effrontery of supporting Trump.

Michigan Democrats are following the Georgia Democrat's lead on censuring African-American Democrats who fail to hew to the party line of TDS. Censure and banning of endorsements and support even for the sin of even giving a moment's praise of President Trump.

The Detroit News: Democrats plan to censure lawmaker who credited Trump for COVID-19 recovery

Detroit Democrats plan to vote to censure and bar any future endorsements of a Democratic lawmaker who credited President Donald Trump with advocating for the drug that she said cured her of COVID-19.

Jonathan Kinloch, chairman of the 13th Congressional District Democratic Party stated:

“They do not belong to themselves,” Kinloch said of endorsed candidates and elected officials. “They belong to the members and precinct delegates of the Democratic Party.”

Up until March, Kinloch was Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's community liaison to southeast Michigan.

In other words, don't you dare leave that Democrat plantation.

Any failure to toe the line of 'Orange Man Bad", even when the bad orange man may have helped save your life (not to mention have the highest African-American employment ever before the Wuhan Flu hit) will earn censure and destroy your political aspirations.

I wasn't wrong back on April 6 when I said her honesty may have destroyed her political career.

She darn well deserves better.

Translation From Dem Politico-Speak: Unnecessary Distraction = Drat, We Got Caught

The Detroit News: Whitmer: Controversial COVID-19 contract killed as 'unnecessary distraction'

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer wouldn't say Wednesday who within the state health department approved a controversial state COVID-19 contract, but she canceled it as an "unnecessary distraction" from Michigan's COVID-19 fight.

Whitmer's answer prompted demands from Republicans for more information about the contract's approval process. The original contracted companies are run by a Democratic consultant who said a month ago on Facebook that he hoped President Donald Trump would get "coronavirus ASAP."

The state pulled a contract with Democratic firms Great Lakes Community Engagement and EveryAction VAN for coronavirus contact tracing late Tuesday after reporters inquired about the agreements. Republican groups raised concerns about the contracting process and the potential for that data to be used by Democratic operatives.

Nice try at funneling $194,250 to companies working on her reelection campaign. No reports yet on how much if anything the companies got to keep under the contracts.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Gov Half-Whit Caught Using The Crisis To Reward Her Campaign Promoters

Surprise! Looks like a no-bid contract on contact tracing and related matters that went to a very well-connected piece of the Democrat machine here in Michigan, and with the data going to a known Democrat firm.

The only real surprise was they got caught doing it.

The Detroit News: State changes vendors for COVID-19 data after furor over Democratic-connected firm

The change comes after Republican operatives criticized the choice of a software company with connections to dozens of Democratic candidates to manage the data.

The company, Great Lakes Community Engagement, is a well known Democrat consulting firm that just happens to be the same company working on Gov Half-Whit's re-election campaign.

The company was chosen in a rather irregular manner as well, awarded the contract three weeks before the contract was even publicly announced.

The contract should have been approved by the State Emergency Operations Center, but was not, said Tiffany Brown, a spokeswoman for Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

The work also happened to be done using a contact software company NGVP, either as a contractor or subcontractor (reports differ the state says NGVP was a contractor, NGVP says they're a sub to GLCE) that just happens to be used by major Democrat groups in the state for GOTV and fundraising efforts and was a key part of Whitmer's election campaign and is already working on her reelection campaign.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Oh Karen, That Idea Won't Possibly Go Badly

One of my lefty acquaintances on Facebook invited me into a pro-Whitmer Facebook Group "Michiganders for Staying Home To Defeat Covid-19".

As one might expect it's full of protesters bad, Orange Man bad, Gov Whitmer is awesome, and her orders should not be questioned in any way, with a ton of in-group virtue signaling.

Of course, conspiracy theories that the protests were all planned and funded by Michigan Conservative groups looms large, and how dare they question Saint Gretchen whose authoritarian shut-down will save us all.

Some criticism of the protestors who contrary to the event's intent were congregating closely instead of staying in their cars as requested can indeed be valid, but these folks are off the hook.

But a rather nasty stream came up - not just name calling and such towards the protestors but looking to have them fired from their employment:

Vast majority of the 1.4+ thousand comments in the thread were for trying to get the protestor fired. Interestingly, those who argued against it were attacked and shouted down.

Lots of Karens were all for informing the protesters employer and even the police for the person's participation in the protest.

This is quite a panicked herd of people in that group, and the panic and virtue-signalling is feeding off itself rather nicely.

Trying to get someone fired because they dared exercise no more than their opinion that's different than yours is not a smart move and likely won't end well.

Monday, April 20, 2020

If It's One Thing Governments Hate, It's Having Their Arbitrary Rules Defied

Government absolutely hates when you point out the absurdities in their regulations and laws and in this case, executive orders.

WLUC: Dozens gather at Baraga Marina to protest motorized boat ban

Take Governor Half-Whit's arbitrary ban on motorized boating, while allowing for unpowered boating. It was done arbitrarily, without any real analysis nor any justification as to how boating becomes more dangerous for spreading the Wuhan-flu when you add a motor to your boat.

Newsflash - it does not.

So, people rightly called her on it:

Despite the cold weather, dozens of people showed up at the Baraga Marina on Sunday to protest Gov. Whitmer’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order by fishing out of motorized boats.
. . .
"You can go fishing and practice social distancing, and that's what we're going to show them today," said protester Roger Turunen. "We can fish safely in a motor boat and practice social distancing, and let these guys, especially the young guys that live for fishing, fish.”
In fact, Turunen says fishing is one of the safest activities to do during these times.
"How can you not social distance out in the lake? If you get within 30 yards of someone when you're fishing, they get mad at you because you tangle up their lines," Turunen said.

No tickets were issued, the protestors were easily able to demonstrate that you can practice social distancing with a motor on your boat, and show the idiocy of the Gov's order at the same time. A very effective protest.

We'll see if Gov Half-Whit deigns to take notice of this protest. let's see if she doubles down and accuses the protestors of putting other's lives in danger and go all joyless schoolmarm and extend her restrictions because of it, or does she instead ignore that it took place and showed her order to be both arbitrary and stupid? We will see.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

While Not Violating The Letter Of The PPP Law, It Sure As Heck Destroyed Its Spirit

One of the reasons both the PPP and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan ran out of funds, is the program was too underfunded to begin with to deal with the scope of the problem slamming small businesses in this country, and Nancy Pelosi's refusal to extend them once this became obvious to the politicians without her unrelated priorities being met.

The second reason is because the system got played. For Example - Restaurant Business: While small operations struggle, chains land PPP loans

Why? Well banks certainly found it easier to administer and fund a single large loan to one borrower rather than many small ones, so that's what they focused on. After all, while the loans are guaranteed, they're only going to make about 1% on the transaction, so why work to process thousands of small loans when you can write one big check?

Many banks serving small businesses didn't even get their processing systems up to process small business applications when the program had funds - I'm looking at you Comerica.

So yep, my clients needing 50k which could keep their payrolls and businesses just afloat enough to survive this are told there's no funds available and they are out of options to survive at this point - and they still have to pay their quarterly payroll taxes now, not to mention the rent which is still due.

Meanwhile, the Kennedy Center got a bailout of $25 million specially designated for them outside of the PPP/EIDL program - and laid off most of their workforce, and chain restaurants were able to game the system and got $10-$20 million a piece.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Michigan: Lots Of Economic Bad News To Go Around

It used to be said when the United States caught a cold, Michigan caught a flu.

Well now that the US has caught the Wuhan-flu, Michigan is going into cardiac arrest.

The Detroit Free Press: Michigan unemployment claims top 1 million, 3 times more than during the recession

Thanks to San Fran Nan and her crew, there's no real relief for small business in sight: Stimulus program for small businesses runs out of money as Congress remains at odds over more funds

As one might expect, the funding for the payroll protection plan ran out of funds fast, and with the Dems refusing to refill it unless their unrelated demands are met, it's getting bad.

Basically Nancy Pelosi when asked about small business owner's plight said "Let them eat ice cream".

Multiple clients of mine who literally applied for less than 60k to remain afloat and keep all their people on payroll received notices that the program is out of money and they're outta luck. They're likely not going to get through this, and their employees won't have employers when this is over.

The Federal relief program is insufficient, underfunded and cannot sustain businesses now shut down by government edict and yet still had to pay their quarterly payroll taxes.

Add to the fun that Gov Half-Whit has extended the ban on Landlords from evicting residential tenants until May 17, but did not ban foreclosures, those Landlords will be now 2 payments behind and their properties will start falling into foreclosure. Already, real estate values here on rental properties are starting to slip, preventing owners from refinancing and protecting themselves as their renters live there rent free.

Landscapers are dying due to Gov Half-Whit's heavy handed ban on landscape services, plant nurseries are hosed for being unable to sell their products, and the list goes on.

It seems the state would rather everyone go on unemployment assuming they can even get through the system to apply) but those funds won't last without business tax revenue to fund them and that's not happening now. Expect business to face a double whammy - shut down now and not making income, and then having to pay massively jacked up unemployment insurance contributions to make up for all the extra UI premiums paid out during this mess.

This is the start of a major cascading failure unless we start opening back up, and fast.

Friday, April 17, 2020

Fauda - An Awesome Netflix Quarantine Binge

One advantage to the stay at home order is that you can find enjoyment in the simple things. After all, you ain't going nowhere. So, Netflix tends to help.

Fauda is quite simply an awesome show, and Season 3 just became available on Netflix yesterday.

Fauda is an Israeli TV series about a Mista'arvim counter-terrorist unit and its members. A Mista'arvim unit is one where the Israeli forces impersonate Arabs and act deep undercover before moving to thwart various terrorist plots.

Fauda is part mystery, part action, and part drama. The series simply rocks.

The show is best watched with English subtitles, don't try and use the dubbed audio as it eliminates the flavor of the show.

I daresay each season is better than the one before.

I watched 4 of the episodes from Season 3 yesterday and expect to see as many today, starting later when I'm done with various tasks around the house. The show has indeed gotten even better and more intense this season.

Well worth watching.

Michigan Protests: Dulan's Maxim Strikes Again

Dulan's Maxim, by Steve Dulan is a rather simple one as far as maxims go, and verily is all sorts of true:

Dulan's Maxim: No matter what side of any debate you are on, there will always be someone on your side you wish wasn't on your side.

Yes it sadly is true. The recent protest in Lansing provides some sterling examples of the maxim in action.

The protest in Lansing was about Governor Half-Whit's excessive and arbitrary executive orders shutting down this state.

So, of course, some people have to get off message, not to mention out of their cars, and allow the leftists to point them out and make the entire protest appear to be a partisan, alt-right, noisemaking event.

Newsflash there bub:

1. Michigan was never part of the confederacy.

I realize the guy likely went to a public school here, so that ignorance is perhaps understandable, but not excused.

2. The protest is not about firearms as her executive orders (almost surprisingly) actually haven't touched firearms sales nor rights in this state.

But, good job giving the media an excuse to ignore the multiple signs about the nature of the shut down and its harm on small businesses and their owners and employees throughout this state.

Second, the Nazi related signs are going a tad overboard. Whitmer ain't Hitler, not even close. It made you look like a bunch of clownfish to compare her as such. Again, this is detracting from the very valid points the protest was making regarding the lock-down.

Note how the media makes sure to get the swastika signs full play and downplays the majority of signs demanding an end to the lockdown and allowing people to work? Nice playing into their hands guys.

The media will go out of their way to distract from the valid points of the protest that this arbitrary and economy-destroying lockdown cannot be tolerated. The media will work to portray you as a bunch of cousin-humpin' redneck ignoramuses and will deliberately choose the most inflammatory images to portray you in the worst possible light. Don't make it easier for them. Those signs and confederate flags are not helping.

I will, however, set one allegation straight that has been made by the leftists about this protest: They (Governor WEhitmer among them) claimed the protestors blocked access to Sparrow Hospital for ambulances. The protestors did not block access to Sparrow Hospital beyond normal traffic: Lansing State Journal: Sparrow, Lansing Fire Department: Protest did not cause any major issues with patient care. So at least there's that.

Overall, the protest even while marred by some idiots in the spotlight, seems to have gotten the message across that this shutdown is excessive and causing massive harm. We will see whether Gov Half-Whit chooses to double down or not.

While it sounds like she may use the protest as an excuse to double down:

"The sad irony here is that the protest was that they don't like being in this stay-home order, and they may have just created a need to lengthen it," Whitmer said. "...Just by congregating, they've made that a real possibility."
But, latest news shows that she may have gotten the point and is suggesting restrictions may be loosened May 1.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Coronavirus Detroit Michigan Hospital Reports

Take these for what they're worth - two eyewitness but requested to remain anonymous reports from two doctors I know who work at two different hospitals in Detroit treating patients with the Wuhan Kung Flu.

First, in both of their estimations told to me independently, the crest of the wave has now passed. They've both been able to get some downtime during their shifts in the past couple days for the first time since the rush.

Second, this flu hits the obese victim like a hammer.

Obese patients with BMIs in the 40-45 range are the majority of the patients they're seeing both as victims and in the most distressed condition when infected. In short, if you're in the 40-45 BMI range and can safely take steps to get your weight down, it's time to get cracking.

Third, quite a few of their Detroit patients were telling them they couldn't believe they got the virus because "This is a white man's disease". Yeah, no kidding, they've said it, and they believed it right up until they got down with the sickness

This stupid and misguided, not to mention counter-factual belief on their part partially explains why a lot of Detroiters up until recently were happily gathering and partying at gas stations and doing the opposite of social gathering. It also tends to explain at least one of the factors why Detroit has been getting socked with this while other areas haven't had as extensive a spread.

So, the good news is the Coronavirus wave seems to be slowing down and we should, if we do it smartly, be able to get things back to normal and start opening up again.

Last Day Of Passover

Today is the final day of Passover.

That called for a breakfast of Matza Brye. Think french toast but with a nice satisfying crunch.

The matza was broken into pieces and placed in a bowl of water to soften up and then drained.

Eggs were beaten and then added and mixed into the matza.

Then fried in oil until golden brown and delicious.

Served with maple syrup, of course, for a fine Passover compliant breakfast.

Matza does make pretty much make the perfect survival bread - it lasts just about forever, is compact, portable, and tends to be kinda binding if you know what I mean.

On the downside, one does get a bit bored of it and not having other grain-originated products for 8 days.

Here's to hoping the Wuhan plague and associated overbearing shut down similarly pass over us soon.

Tonight after sundown, we're having Fettucine and garlic bread, and some beer for me, to mark the end of Passover.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Governor Half-Whit And The Lansing Protest

It's been said conservatives don't protest because they're too busy working. Well, by government fiat, they're not working now.

Legal Insurrection: Operation Gridlock” Locks Down Lansing (MI) To Protest Whitmer’s Shutdown Overreach

A solid turnout to protest the governor's executive overreach and arbitrary closure edicts.

How did the governor react today? First by not saying much more than because it's snowing today it doesn't matter that by law she prohibited you from boating, golfing and buying seeds to plant in your gardens until at least the end of April.

Yes, really:

"The fact that we’re cracking down on people traveling between homes or planting or landscaping or golfing, really, for a couple more weeks isn’t going to meaningfully impact people’s ability to do it because the snow will do that," Whitmer said.

Second by threatening in a "now look what you made me do" kind of way to extend the shut down and blaming such an extension on the protest itself:

"The sad irony here is that the protest was that they don't like being in this stay-home order and they may have just created a need to lengthen it," Whitmer said. "...Just by congregating, they've made that a real possibility."

The attitude kinda reminds you of the principal from The Breakfast Club now doesn't it?

After all, how dare those peasants express their frustration with arbitrary orders that prevent them from earning a living? Arbitrary orders that go beyond even the current federal guidelines and makes pot and lottery ticket buying legal, but makes buying gardening items, paint, golf, landscaping, and power boating illegal?

IWI Masada 2,000 Round Test Assessment

My IWI Masada, having had 2,000 rounds run through with zero failures with no cleaning or lubrication added at all during the test, certainly makes it sufficiently reliable.

It's easy to disassemble and clean, which is good as Federal Black Pack seems to refer to the gunk that particular ammo leaves behind.

A good thorough cleaning last night, and it was good as new. There's a slight bit of wear to the finish at the barrel hood, but nothing major.

The 2,000 rounds included:
1,000 rounds federal black pack
500 Remington 115
250 Federal M82 9mm NATO
150 Winchester 147 Gr Ranger
50 Blazer 9mm 115 FMJ
50 rounds of Speer Gold Dot 124gr +P

Zero failures of any kind and it all fed without a hitch, including a session of 250 rounds of the quite dirty Federal Black Pack that was rapidly fired through it leaving the barrel visibly smoking.

Ergonomically, I rate it higher than the comparable Glock 17 - It just fits the hand better as the grip is thinner and less "blocky" and it points better naturally for me. The interchangeable rear grip pieces also let you customize it further to your hand if desired.

With the thinner grip, it is easier to manipulate the magazine release, and the release, being ambidextrous, is a plus for those who are left handed shooters.

The trigger is definitely better than a box stock Glock trigger and comparable in my opinion to the VP9's trigger, with an excellent tactile reset.

There's now many holsters available for the Masada from several holster makers making a lot of choices now available for carry. The LightTuck I bought from Vedder Holsters has been excellent.

The best part of the Masada is you get an optics ready firearm for less than the cost of many competitor's standard pistols without an optics mount. The Optic mounting system on the Masada works very solidly and the pistol definitely shines with a red dot mounted to it.

Magazines for the Masada are reasonably priced and can be had for about $25 which is not bad for an all metal 17 round magazine and comparable or cheaper than a lot of competitor's magazines.

There's not a lot of aftermarket parts for the Masada as of yet, and it probably doesn't really need any to be an effective carry pistol. But, if you like to tinker that can be a factor.

Overall, the IWI Masada is an excellent and well designed striker-fired pistol with a great trigger. While it's not a "Glock-killer" as let's face it, Glock is highly entrenched and is the name in striker-fired pistols, the Masada is a viable carry pistol on its own merits. It's especially nice that it is both relaible and offers a lot of bang for the buck, most notably coming in optics ready for less than a Glock 17 without the MOS option, and a lot less than a Glock 17 MOS, with a nicer trigger out of the box to boot.

If you do not already have an optics capable handgun, and want to acquire one that you can carry and shoot accurately, the IWI Masada would be an excellent choice.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Governor Half-Whit Cracks Down On (Motorized) Boaters

It seems that our governor has picked up a peculiar strain of power-derived puritanism - you know that strain as defined by H.L. Mencken: “The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.”

Verily, we can't have happiness, this is serious emergency situation that requires the government to issue tickets to people operating motorized boats on a body of water far from anyone else. Because, government.

The Detroit News: Five tickets, 323 warnings given to boaters violating stay-home order

Previously powered boats were ok, now with the fear that people might be happy by themselves or their families in a boat upon a lake distanced from others, it is now forbidden by the latest updated executive order. You kniw the one that banned the sale of plants, seeds, and paint.

But, you can still load your family into a canoe and paddle into the middle of the same lake.

Yes, You can leave your house and pike into your car to go to a boat launch and go out in a kayak or canoe, but it is now double-plus-verbooten to do it from the same spot in a motorized boat, for some very fallacious reasons.

They claim motorized boats need gas which could cause contact with other people at a gas station, which I will note, one can still legally obtain for one's car, or indeed to transport your kayak by car to a launch site under Half-Whit's current order. Those reasons for this ban just doesn't stand up to scrutiny and is more vindictiveness on the part of our governor and her crew.

Again, this is unfounded and unreasonable overreach on the part of Governor Half-Whit and her team.

Monday, April 13, 2020

Well That's Annoying

There's a perfectly good Curio and Relic Firearm for sale up on Gunbroker with no bids, at a good price. I've been following it for awhile and it's been relisted with no takers.

I would like to buy it, but the dealer blanket refuses to sell to C&R FFL License holders. A message to him also resulted in a refusal "We don't ship to C&R FFLS".

This is stupid.

First, why should I have to pay a dealer a transfer fee for a firearm I can completely legally have shipped on my own license? Also I'd rather show activity on my own C&R license.

Second, he has a item on offer to a willing buyer and refuses to complete a completely legal sale transaction. That's Awesome.

Third, due to the shutdown, my regular FFL dealer is only quasi-open for business and again why bother him with having to do a meeting and transfer in person when it's an item that can be shipped direct?

Why the heck do some FFLs refuse to ship to C&Rs?

Well, I figure that gun will sit there for awhile, and they could have had a sale.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Happy Easter To My Christian Readers

May you all have a peaceful, healthy, and happy Easter.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Flying: Surface Survey of The Shutdown

After the range I got home, did some chores and then noted the day was still bright with cloud cover up around 6,000 feet.

Wind was 11-18 out of 220 so not too bad.

Yep, time to go flying.

Leah and I headed to the airport, which was very quiet, did the preflight and started the plane up.

Tower and ground were combined, all of two other planes were flying, and due to Covid there's only one person in the tower handling ground and tower ops, all on the same frequency. She was not overworked, either. Like I said, it was all sorts of quiet.

So we headed off to the south to fly around a bit.

At 6:30 pm on a Saturday and normally bustling Northwestern Highway was empty:

After a bit we headed north.

Highway 75 was also amazingly empty.

We flew over the GM proving grounds and Romeo airport, not a vehicle was stirring.

Leah then fell asleep.

Then back to Pontiac and the controller had me do a long final just for fun instead of a typical right base. Had the airport all to myself. A nice soft landing, and then got her permission to taxi back to the hanger, bid her have a good night and stay safe, and that was the flight.

1.0 hours and 1 great landing.

IWI Masada Rounds 1701-2000

It's a beautiful sunny day today, in contrast to the chilling, windy and overcast day we had yesterday. So to the range I went.

One nice thing about the Corona-pocalypse - the speed limit on all highways has been unofficially raised to 90 mph and I got to and from the range in excellent time. I'm not saying my car was happily going 100 mph at times, but merely suggesting such was comfortably possible and was only keeping up with the flow of very sparse traffic.

I fired 250 rounds of Federal Black Pack 9mm and 50 rounds of Winchester 147 gr hollowpoints through the IWI Masada today.

Zero failures or hesitations.

I shot the plate rack, clearing them regularly in under 6 seconds from a holster, which still can stand some improvement.

Then to do some more finely tuned practice I shot some 5x5 drills - 5 yards, 5 rounds, under five seconds.

I was pretty happy doing it consistently under four seconds with all hits, with the best time being 3.59, which of course I fasiled to take a picture of. Still, I think I can, with more practice, do it faster.

The Trijicon SRO definitely makes a difference. Shooting the 5x5 drill with the Walther P99 without the dot, I was consistently slower, and typically at least a full second slower.

I then shot Dot Torture with the Masada and it was wonderfully humbling. In short I need more practice. Almost shot a perfectly clean run and had one shot just outside the circle to ruin it. Drat. Dot Torture did help me really dial in the SRO however, as shooting a plate is a lot larger target than the dots on dot torture and I had the dot set before just low enough to miss until it was dialed in.

That's 2,000 rounds through the IWI Masada with no cleaning or lubrication since beginning the test. Zero failures of any sort. I'd say its a nice, ergonomic, and suitably reliable firearm for carry.

Friday, April 10, 2020

Governor Half-Whit Tightens The Screws

Not content with merely extending the "Stay Home, Stay Safe" Order for thirty days as the legislature allowed, our governor has decided to make it more restrictive with a far more expansive executive order. Whether she did this vindictively after being refused her demand to extend it 70 days is an exercise best left to the reader to decide.

I do like how her declaration starts off with some carefully choosen wording:

There is currently no approved vaccine or antiviral treatment for this disease.
Whatever you do don't mention the hydroxychloroquine treatment that seems to be effective against the coronavirus, it might bring up some recent faux pas on her part .

While the order still allows one

To engage in outdoor physical activity, consistent with remaining at least six feet from people from outside the individual’s household. Outdoor physical activity includes walking, hiking, running, cycling, kayaking, canoeing, or other similar physical activity, as well as any comparable activity for those with limited mobility.
it still does not allow golf, thus keeping about thousands unemployed in the golf industry and ridiculously still prohibiting those who like golf from wandering and walking about large areas of empty land chasing their ball while easily remaining six feet from another golfer. Again, I don't like golf, and don't play golf, so I'm not affected by this ban. But, this high-handed ban on those who do like to play it for outdoor recreation activity is just plain wrong, unfairly classist (the ol' it's rich people play golf trope) and counter to all evidence that it can be done safely and in conformance with CDC guidelines and is a good psychological outlet for people being cooped up. Let the golfers golf already.

Not a new restriction, but continuing to double-down on a stupid one she made up without any evidence as to any efficacy.

Nice to see her specifically add canoeing and kayaking after the Michigan State Police tried to outright ban boating.

Now on to the new and unhappy restrictions.

She also added a ban prohibiting movement between two residences a person may own in the state starting tomorrow. Likely this is to stop people from leaving hot spots like Detroit and Oakland county and heading up north where if infected they might overwhelm the medical system up there, but of course it doesn't say that and applies to the whole state. Now, this may indeed be a reasonable restriction as we don't want that spread around and to rural areas with hospitals that are not as well equipped. This would suck however if your in such a rural area now and want to head back to your main home with better medical facilities etc. How they might actually enforce this one is unclear, but I can guess.

But wait - there's a really cool exception: You can leave your residence in this state so long as you move to another residence you have in another state! Take that corona case off our hands, Buckeyes!

But wait, there's more and new and even more stupid restrictions.

After all, as the weather gets nicer people might want to spend their time at home to paint their decks, maybe some do-it-yourself home improvement projects, or perhaps plant a garden. Indeed people may need to start planting victory gardens to grow some food given how the economy is shut down hard.

Nope, you can't buy that stuff:

Close areas of the store—by cordoning them off, placing signs in aisles, posting prominent signs, removing goods from shelves, or other appropriate means—that are dedicated to the following classes of goods:
(A) Carpet or flooring.
(B) Furniture.
(C) Garden centers and plant nurseries.
(D) Paint.

Seriously this is just vindictive, stupid, and without any scientific basis in an attempt to get everyone to needlessly suffer so we can all have this "We're all in this together" feeling she wants.

People are now stuck at home, psychological ailments like depression and substance abuse are measurably increasing, and this half-whit wants to stop them from gardening and painting their houses while they have time and are twiddling their thumbs in isolation?

This is needlessly destructive both psychologically to people and destructive to businesses and the people who work for and own these businesses who depend on this kind of economic activity at this time of year.

Then she decides to trod all over the First Amendment and its limited yet significant protections of commercial speech:

By April 13, 2020, [stores are to] refrain from the advertising or promotion of goods that are not groceries, medical supplies, or items that are necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and basic operation of residences.

Well, at least she isn't banning the sale of items she deems non-essential, at least not yet.

That she did not use this opportunity to allow for landscape services, golf, and many other activities that can be conducted safely in line with distancing guidelines to reopen speaks volumes about her priorities.

Thursday, April 09, 2020

Passover 2020: And We Just Had Hail

Out of a clear blue sky, we just had a sudden cloud formation with . . . hail.

Not kidding, a whole bunch of actual hail. In April.

I swear, if a bunch of frogs, or a herd of locusts come through next, or a nearby river turns to blood, we're holding some extra seders, stat.

Wednesday, April 08, 2020

Happy Passover!

Certainly this will be the weirdest Passover we've celebrated.

Instead of in Toronto with all the extended family, we're here at home celebrating on our own.

Well, the Seder table is set, and I smoked a lamb shank on the smoker so we could have a real shank bone on the seder plate:

As the Seder, among other things, prominently feature the ten plagues sent by G_d that led to Pharaoh releasing the Israelites from Egypt, it's a tad ironic that we're stuck at home due to the current plague.

Happy Passover!

Tuesday, April 07, 2020

Need A Break From The Boring Wuhan-Flupocalypse?

Basically, this was Coronavirus was just not the apocalypse we were promised:

It's been a disappointment to most of my readers that this current apocalypse lacks zombies or at least some face-eating monkeys, I'm sure.

Anyways, in between chores around the house, you can watch proper zombie apocalypse movies, including some on YouTube for free:

Daylight's End is a fun little Zombie Apocalypse movie from 2016 with some pretty decent gun handling:

Quite good and realistic firearms handling, complete with reloading and people actually running out of ammo. The gun handling is good, as it should be as interestingly enough, both James Yeager and Sonny Puzikas (Both known and famous or perhaps infamous firearms trainers, depending on your point of view) have quite visible roles in the film.

Impressively in this film, the survivors are not complete morons.

It's not a masterpiece of a movie by any means, but hey, it's free, has some good gun work, and Murphy will like the M1A's starring role, and it is a quality time waster not requiring much grey matter to process. Basically it's brain candy that you shouldn't think about too much but just sit back and enjoy the zombie-blastin'.

Monday, April 06, 2020

Democrat State Rep With Coronavirus Saved By Drug Gov Half-Whit Tried To Ban

The Detroit Free Press: Detroit rep says hydroxychloroquine, Trump helped save her life amid COVID-19 fight

A Democratic state representative from Detroit is crediting hydroxychloroquine — and Republican President Donald Trump who touted the drug — for saving her in her battle with the coronavirus.

A level of honesty and forthrightness and non-partisanship that may have just destroyed her political career in the D.

Yep, it's the same drug Gov Hzalf-Whit first true to ban physicians from prescribing for Coronavirus. Good thing for Rep Whitsett that the Gov bowed to pressure and stopped banning such prescriptions, which may have saved her life.

Predictably, the comments section of that article is a raving hotbed of TDS. I swear if it turns out hydroxychloroquine does indeed help cure coronavirus, lots of these folks will never take it because Trump touted it.

Sunday, April 05, 2020

Friend of Mine Just Recovered From Corona

After 8 days at home, he's fine.

He was turned away from the hospital and they refused to test him, just told him "Yeah, you got it, but not that bad, go treat it at home."

He had been turned away form urgent care as being sick with it and was told to go to the hospital before the hospital turned him away as not worth admitting.

So, will he be counted as one of those in Michigan with it and recovered in Michigan?

Makes six friends I know who've had it and recovered so far.

Saturday, April 04, 2020

We May Not Always Have Been At War With Eastasia

But the media has always been at war with President Trump.

It's fun to watch the Democrats rewrite history in real time.

It's not like they're rewriting history outside of present memory (though they do that too, and often) but they're rewriting the history of a few weeks and months ago to suit their agenda.

We may not have always been at war with Eastasia, but the media has always been at war with president Trump.

Many of my lefty friends are passing around this bit: Saluting the Heroes of the Coronavirus Pandumbic.

While they're sharing it around on social media, they are busily nodding knowingly to each other about how dumb Trump and Fox News were to downplay the Coronavirus before it hit hard.

Welp, people can remember, as it wasn't exactly a lifetime ago, though it may feel that way, that it wasn't just Fox News or Trump downplaying the Coronavirus threat: Free Beacon, via their video posted on Twitter has a most amusing compendium of the mainstream media folks indicating even at rather a late dates how the coronavirus isn't a threat and is being overplayed.

The media with the exception of Fox News certainly forecast this coming goes the current lefty story, only the dumb Fox News and Trumpm dared downplay the threat.

Or you know, maybe not so much at all: from David Henry on Twitter):

Try not to forget.

Friday, April 03, 2020

Coronavirus Humor

So far, our family is maintaining Level 1 on the Bear Necessities Scale:

How are you holding up?

Today's Grim Economic News

How bad is it getting with the economy effectively shut down?

The Detroit News: Uneasy about coronavirus, record number of Michiganians face unemployment

Across the nation, a record 6.6 million people filed jobless claims last week, according to the Labor Department, double that of the record set the previous week.

Oh, and our governor wants to extend the shut down by another 70 days. I'

So our national unemployment rate which was a Goldilocks 3.5% prior to the Wuhan Flu hitting, is going past the Great Obama Recession level and heading for levels not seen since the Great Depression and is already calculated to be past the unemployment numbers for 1930 and 1931. We just hit an estimated 17% Unemployment and rising estimated to hit 32%, which blows past the Great Depression's unemployment peak of 24.9% under the New Deal in 1933.

This is what happens when you shut everything down.

Unless China or Iran get all sorts of frisky, we're also not going to be sucking the unemployed up into the armed forces, and given the nature and needs of today's armed forces, unlike in World War 2, we most likely wouldn't do that even if they did get really, really, frisky.

Two, our deficit ratio is hitting World War 2 levels without fighting a world war. Our debt level is already past World War 2 levels and the levels in the Cold War.

Three, the national debt is likely to hit $29 trillion. To put that in perspective, that's $94,722 per man, woman, and child in the United States. If you divide it by the number of actual taxpayers who will actually be the ones to have to pay it off, its $210,134.00 per taxpayer. I personally don't know anyone that pays that much in taxes. We're going to need a heckuva lot more taxpayers to pay that down, eventually. Eventually that kind of debt won't be sustainable, but no one knows at when that unsustainability level will hit nor what the effects of that will look like.

We may not have sufficient tools and room for deficit spending to get out of this mess, especially if we keep the economy in neutral by keeping things shut down as they are.

We can certainly hope that once things reopen that people will go out and spend based on their pent-up demand and the fact that they can't buy anything now except for bare necessities as everything else is shut down.

The problem is will they have anything left to spend to get the economy going again once this ends, especially as they aren't making money now and their expenses of living didn't go away?

Thursday, April 02, 2020

So, Did We Have Coronavirus Before Coronavirus Was Cool?

Just got a message from Abby's pediatrician that when the antibody test for Covid-19 is available, she'd like Abby to come in and get tested for the presence of the antibody.

You see, Abby in December came down with a flu-like illness that threw her for a complete loop lasting almost 2 weeks. It was diagnosed as an upper respiratory infection, and was not influenza as the influenza test at the time came back negative. Apparently her high fever, cough, and shortness of breath are consistent with a case of coronavirus.

Leah got hit with it as well and was sick, but not as badly as Abby, and both Tash and I also popped fevers, coughs, and were feeling lousy then as well.

Since Abby goes to a pretty international school, and, get this, she has and sits together with a friend who had actually traveled to Wuhan to visit family. Her friend came back from that trip with quite a cough in December, all before this had made the news.

I'd say the chances are pretty fair to middling that we've already been exposed and had this thing.

Be interesting to see what an antibody test will show.

Wednesday, April 01, 2020

Not An April Fools Day Post - Chilean Commie Catches Comeuppance

It turns out Commies don't like to actually live under Communism (unless, of course they're among the nomenklatura).

Who knew?

Babalú Blog: COVID-19 strands Chilean leftist and Castro regime supporter in socialist Cuba, pleads for help to escape

From Cuba, Chilean actress Carolina Cox called on her government to get her off the island where she has been stranded after flights out were canceled due to the spreading of COVID-19 all over the island.

“This is a center for infections, foreigners are constantly coming and going, there’s a plague of rats, this is a closed-down hotel,” complained the actress in a video posted on social media.

. . .

“It’s super distressing being in a country where there’s shortages of soap, toilet paper, our accounts are blocked because of the blocks on Cuba, connecting to the internet is very difficult, our credit cards don’t work [,,,] There’s people who need medicine, among us are kids, elderly, families,” she explained.

The actress, who has been an activist promoting the protests against the government of Sebastian Piñera [of Chile] these past months and has declared herself a support of leftist regimes int he region, finished her message with a demand that her government do something about getting her back to Chile.

I hear Chile, in response to her demand, offered her a helicopter ride . . . . .