Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Cruise Day 2 - Princess Cay And Craps

On the second day of the cruise, we awoke, had breakfast , packed a day bag and then got in a very long line-up for a tender to take us to Princess Cay, Princess Cruise Lines' private spot on Eleuthera in the Bahamas.

Waking up, the waters were a beautiful cerulean blue and land was indeed ahoy. 

After a long wait as everyone on board pretty much was doing what we wanted to do - get onto the beach - we got on a tender and headed to the beach.

Reaching the beach, we then rented and claimed a folding clamshell for some shade and then got in the water for a swim.

Entry to the water had a lot of flat rocks pout until the water was about knee-high which made getting in and out interesting.  Still, swimming in the water was fantastic.

They had a BBQ lunch ashore setup and even with the long lines it was most tasty.  We swam again, lunged in the clamshell and read on the beach and then headed back on board.

Took a nap and headed to dinner. Had a lovely glass of Cabernet Sauvignon with dinner which was the house Cab that was included in the Plus drink package - absolutely fabulous, smooth low tannin and eminently drinkable.

After dinner, I headed into the Casino and played some craps. Quite a crowd around the table and quite a few of us became regulars and rather friendly.

We played until the Casino closed, ending on a monster roll by one shooter that would not stop winning. I won $146 and enjoyed myself profusely, making almost a 75% return on the $200 I had brought with me for play money (My personal gambling policy is to walk in with a set limit, stick to my limit, just have fun and never bet the rent money so to speak).  

Some legends were made that night - Don, a distinguished looking older gentleman left the table bearing a chip tray 100% full of $100 chips.  He more than paid for his cruise that night. That was awesome to see.

I learned a lot more about craps that night including the usefulness of the Horn bet, made some good bets and made some friends as well, and enjoyed some adult beverages while doing so.

It was a great Day 2.

Monday, February 27, 2023

Back Home And Back At It

Returned very late last night from a week vacation.

Went on a cruise with Tash as both kids were otherwise engaged - Leah on a school trip, and Abby taking her very first independent trip with friends.

Flew Delta out of DTW to FLL rather early in the morning and the plane departed at 7am.  Overall, it was a good flight on a 757. The plane configuration was 3 seats to a side with the aisle literally sized to the exact dimension of a wheeled carry on bag wheeled precisely down the aisle. Any deviance and it gets stuck on a seat. A full flight of over 190 passengers packed in rather tightly.  

We were so tightly squeezed in with such a narrow aisle, that I have suspicions that it would be rather hard to meet the FAA's 90-second evacuation rule (especially so on the return flight given the composition of the passengers, as will be discussed later).

But a good flight all the same.  I got to watch Devotion, and if you haven't seen it, while it is not as good as the book, it's still a darn good movie.

Landed in Fort Lauderdale, got our bags and took an Uber for the short ride to the port. The closeness of the port to the airport makes Fort Lauderdale a really ideal transit point, and the port was very well setup for embarkation.

There we got on board the Regal Princess for a Caribbean cruise to the Princess Cay,  Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. Boarding was much more relaxed than last year, done very efficiently, and we were on board rather quickly.

Turns out over 400 cruisers had stayed on for a turn-around from the previous cruise which meant the adult-only sanctuary area of the ship was already fully booked for the days at sea before we even got on board.

We consoled ourselves with some perfectly made Mojitos and then headed to our cabin and then to lunch.

The ship cast off and we were on our way out to sea.

Dinner was excellent, getting into the restaurant took awhile as most people hadn't bothered to read up online about how dining works on a cruise and had not made dining time preference selections and gummed up the entryway.  Service was pretty slow that night but it made for a nice relaxing dinner.

Spent some time wandering around the ship, getting our bearings and exploring and then we tucked in to be ready for our first port visit the next day.

Sunday, February 19, 2023

Range Trip - Breaking My Personal Bill Drill Barrier

Went to the Huron Valley Guns range and met up with Tosh yesterday. Found that again no breakfast was available, even through they had started to do breakfast again but they had staffing issues this morning, sigh.  So, we hit a local Coney for a good start to the day and then went to the range.

We had chosen the indoor range due to the temperatures, and Huron Valley Guns' range made shooting at 7 and 25 yards rather easy with its computerized target system - dial in the distance and the target carried goes there.

Started with some B8s at 25 yards and I am of the opinion that I need more practice with some B8s at 25 yards.  Lots more.

Then moved on to A-Zones at 25 yards.

Today my draw was a bit off and I was doing around 1.30-1.35 for single shot draw form concealment to hits.  Need to dry practice the draw a heckuza lot more than I am doing now.

The on to the Bill Drill.

Some great personal progress was had:

I finally ran sub-3 second Bill Drills.

First a 2.87, followed by a 2.77 second Bill Drill.  All hits to the A Zone.

It's not close to the 2.0 I'm going for, but I finally cracked what had heretofore been for me the unbreakable 3 second barrier!

That felt really good especially after struggling with it all this time and being unable to get under 3. Much more practice to come, but knowing I can actually get under 3 with all hits is a nice feeling. Now to practice more to get it all happening sooner.

Then Tosh did some gas adjustment on his AR with his can and I helped a bit with that.

Then once that was done, we did a couple more B8s at 25 yards to feel humble yet again, and that was that.

Then we wandered the store and saw a consignment used Benelli M1014 for which the consignor was asking $2,600. Ha Ha; Ha Ha; NO.

Not only was it the California version with a crimped mag, tube but you can buy one new and without the California crimp for about $1,900 new.  Maybe $2,600 will fly in the land of fruits, nuts, flakes, and perfect gun control, but it sure as heck not here for anyone that has an internet connection and a chance to look it up first, but then again, someone may very well buy it.

So left the range feeling happy about my Bill Drill result, and with the wallet only lighter by the range fee.

Saturday, February 18, 2023

Apparently The MSU Killer Was Indeed Mentally Ill

And yet, as usual,  no one did anything.

Per the a-hole's uncle, he apparently was a paranoid schizophenzic. (hat tip Eaton Rapids Joe).  Interestingly neither the Detroit News nor the Detroit Free Press chose to report this, instead both giving a feature-length article to the MSU professor where said a-hole shot at the students and killed some. Said professor's emotive screed thus pushing for gun control, who pushes in a manner that shows he has no clue what current laws are, and  that he would not use a gun to defend his students if he had the opportunity (which is his choice, but still).

The Daily Mail:  MSU gunman's uncle says he was 'paranoid schizophrenic' who should have been locked up over 2019 felony gun charge instead of being freed to kill three

Interesting that it's a UK paper discussing this, and the only media outlet  so far pointing out that had he been convicted of the felony instead of the misdemeanor charge from his illegal concealed carry in a vehicle, he would not have been able to legally purchase the firearms he used that night.  No Michigan paper in Detorit nor in Lansing is pointing this out - it would make the woke Ingham County prosecutor whose policy likely helped cause this look bad.

No word if said a-hole was given meds, taking his meds, off his meds, or what not or if the family ever sought to get him actual help.

Thursday, February 16, 2023

Why Is The Ingham County Prosecutor's Office Dancing Around The Plea Deal In The Case Of The MSU Killer?

Because the please deal was part of the then -serving Ingham County Prosecutor's non-prosecution policy for "racial justice":

Fox 47 News: Ingham County prosecutor receives support and backlash for policies meant to ease racial disparities

Ingham County Prosecutor Carol Siemon said, when she was elected in 2016, one of her main goals was to reduce systemic racial bias and racial disparities from law enforcement, but not everyone supports the policies she's put in place to do that.

“I was raised here in Lansing, in a diverse community,” Siemon said. “I’ve always had an interest in civil rights, all aspects of civil rights. As a woman, I’ve been a feminist all my life. LGBTQ Rights, racial disproportionality, immigrants rights. So, when I was elected as prosecutor, my goal was to try and create a more criminal and equitable legal system.”
. . .

In the past month, Siemon has pushed out two policies meant to decrease the number of Black people behind bars.

One of the policies was not pushing felony firearms charges, nor offenses arising from traffic stops - for equity and racial justice, of course.

That worked out really well, didn't it?

More Facts On MSU Murder Confirms Democrats Current Gun Control Proposals Would Not Have Prevented The Incident

Lots more curious information is coming out about the a-hole in question who killed 3 and wounded 5 MSU students.

The Detroit News: MSU shooter Anthony McRae's past shows warning signs

 State officials Tuesday identified 43-year-old [a-hole], who had a history of mental health issues and was charged with multiple gun-related crimes in 2019, as the believed gunman who killed three people and wounded five others at Michigan State University.

Interesting for if he had a "history of mental health issues"  they apparently were both never properly dealt with, nor did he get classified as a harm to himself or others and the info apparently never went anywhere - or if he was, somebody dropped the ball big time.    It will be interesitng to see if they deign to inform us what those mental health issues were.

But wait, there's more!

[a-hole], whom neighbors in Lansing described as a "hell-raiser" who practiced target shooting out his back door, also had a recent history with firearms. And his father, Michael McRae, 66, told The Detroit News that he had encouraged his son to get rid of his guns.

Let's stop right there.

He "practiced target shooting out his back door" in  the City of Lansing.

Lansing has an ordinance, 696.01 prohibiting the discharge of firearms in public, the violation of which is a misdemeanor. There is no record he was ever charged with this, even though apparently police did show up at his house as a result.

Was he doing some of this target shooting while on probation for his misdemeanor?  

If so, that would have violated his probation terms that he could not posses a weapons, and likely would have then been locked up on the high misdemeanor conviction.

Meanwhile, the prosecutor is trying to deflect from their failings in crafting a  plea deal (which to be fair, they do tend to do a lot in this situation, especially for in the current BLM age for BLM-type defendants) that reduced the charge from a felony to a misdemeanor, and thus allowing him to purchase a firearm, complete with passing a background check for same (we will note he would not be eligible for a CPL due to his conviction until 2027).

Ingham County Prosecutor John Dewane, who was appointed to his position in December, argued that, even if McRae had been convicted on the original charge, he likely would have avoided jail or prison time because sentencing guidelines for the two charges are similar and would have resulted in a recommendation against incarceration.

This is called a lie by omission on the part of the Ingham County Prosecutor's Office.

A felony conviction, even with the same terms of probation and no jail, would have prevented him from legally purchasing the firearm from the pawn shop (assuming NICS worked and the record was correctly entered).

Again, even with this information, none of the laws proposed by Whitmer and the Democrats would have prevented this act, yet they will still persist in pushing forward with laws they do know, or at the very least should know, would not have prevented this incident at all.

Meanwhile we have an ongoing mental health crisis in both this state and country, made much worse by the Covid lockdowns, and lack of mental health funding and facilities is contributing to this cycle of a-holes (assuming this a-hole really had mental issues) committing crimes. 

Whitmer and the Democrats, if they really wanted to prevent future murders, would quit this grandstanding on gun control measures they know will be ineffective.  Instead, they should do something effective and increase mental health funding and police/security funding for schools.

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Quelle Surprise - MSU Killer Is [Not] A Previously Convicted Felon

The Detroit News: 3 killed, 5 wounded in Michigan State shooting were all students; suspect identified

Turns out the a-hole in question, who shot himself when confronted by police, was previously convicted of a felony and released from supervision in 2021.  Thus he was legally not allowed to possess firearms yet did so anyways last night.  Again, criminal don't obey laws.

The narrative has thus immediately pivoted to gun control, as discussing the problem of Black felons in possession of firearms and committing crimes would raise far too many politically incorrect questions.

That sound you hear is the standard narrative getting flushed down the toilet.

Every single one of the proposed gun control laws that Whitmer demands would not have prevented this situation.  Not a single one.

Update:  No, it turns out he's not a convicted felon.  The felony charge was dropped to a high misdemeanor by the Ingham County Prosecutor. 

And, it turns out he legally bought at least one of the two handguns used in the murder at a pawn shop and thus passed the background check on the purchase.

Thus Whitmer and the Democrat's proposals for more gun control, including "universal background checks" still would not have stopped this as he passed a background check just fine due to a Democrat prosecutor dropping the felony charge to a misdemeanor.

MSU Killer Dead, Democrats Go Straight To Gun Control Narrative

It turns out it was indeed a single murderer a-hole and they was plenty of false reports of shots and of multiple killers when there were not

The killer was a 43 year old Black male, not apparently a student nor an employee of the University. 

This is curious as they also claim they don't know his identity So how do they actually know he was not a student nor an employee?.

No motive yet, victims not identified and unknown if they were students or at some event on campus or what.

The Detroit News: 3 killed, 5 wounded at Michigan State campus shooting; suspect dead

The narrative, given the nature of the shooter, has of course quickly and immediately set on gun control and not on the characteristics of the shooter as it would have otherwise.

The Detroit News: Gov. Whitmer on MSU shooting: 'We cannot accept living like this'


Just like clockwork, the Democrats immediately call for gun control and propose lots of new laws that would more likely than not have prevented this attack nor are they waiting for the facts to come out and even attempt to craft a law that would be targeted solely at potential mass killers.

Monday, February 13, 2023

Possible Mass Murder Ongoing At Michigan State University

Apparently, a shooting incident has taken place at a dorm at Michigan State University and is ongoing with the shooter(s) still at large.

The Detroit News: One confirmed dead at MSU campus hall as police search for shooter

The Detroit Freep: Michigan State University police report second shooting at IM East

Current reports will no doubt be revealed to be completely and absolutely wrong. 

Some reports had 2-3 to as many as 7 shooters (which would imply some very problematic coordination and make it a whole different matter), but per most recent reports, which could be wrong too, it seems it is a single a-hole. 

My bet is single a-hole in question will likely have a marked and extensive mental health history with a likelihood towards harm that no one did bugger-all about.

Of course, the whole incident is un-possible as a University Dormitory is a gun-free zone in Michigan, right?

Oh, wait, You're telling me that criminals don't obey these laws?  Surprise.

But, as a result of these laws, there's plenty of unarmed students - including quite a few I know personally who so far thankfully report they are safe but hiding in their dorm rooms or elsewhere - who are now cowering in place without any effective defensive tools.  

Nice victim disarmament zone you got there, be a pity if some a-hole bent on mayhem wandered into it. Yeah, the a-hole just did.

And of course, this takes place in East Lansing, just as the Democrats are on a gun-control push here in Michigan right next door in our state capital, Lansing. I'm not saying its some conspiracy, as the Democrats are always pushing gun control here whenever they can and thus this is not a surprise.  But, now that they have all three branches of government -  expect some bad laws to get rushed through before any calm consideration can take place.

Update 11:22 pm: Police have announced they are still searching for the suspect, described as a "Black male, short in stature, wearing red shoes, a gym jacket and a ball cap.": WXYZ.Com: LIVE COVERAGE: Police say at least 5 shot on Michigan State University campus

Again, I expect details will remain garbled for some time, probably get more accurate reports tomorrow.  Hopefully the a-hole gets caught.

Stupid Criminals: A Case Of Bad Target Selection In Detroit

So, a robber attempted to rob a Detroit citizen at gunpoint last Thursday.

Unbeknownst to the robber, the victim had a CPL, and he promptly shot the robber.

Click On Detroit: Man in critical condition after trying to rob CPL holder at gunpoint in Detroit

 The robber was taken to the hospital and the CPL holder properly acted in self-defense.

Yet another example of armed citizens stopping criminals and protecting themselves.

Friday, February 10, 2023

No, You Cannot Use Lethal Force In Michigan To Defend Your Property

I've seen some posts on the that if followed can lead people into a rather heap of legal trouble, as in jail, even if very well-intentioned.

Before we begin though a couple things:

1. What are you doing relying on legal advice from a (semi-anonymous) blog anyway?  Consider this as general information only to lead for further study,  and consult a lawyer for definitive use of force advice.

2.  This is a basic discussion and applies to Michigan only, other states' use of force laws can and do vary, a lot.  Reliance on this post alone for anything would be unwise, if not felony-grade stupid.

3. I'm not your lawyer, this post doesn't form an attorney-client relationship.  If you're going to carry a firearm, find a good lawyer that understands self-defense law in your area and get to know them ahead of time before you need them.

So the scenario, as placed on the internet as an aside in a well-written bit of fiction (do go read the whole story, it's entertaining), quickly summarized:

Guy somewhere in Michigan sees people stealing stuff from his parked truck.

Guy pulls his firearm and points it at the thieves.

Thieves decide to beat a hasty retreat.  All ends well.

In reality, Guy likely gets arrested, especially as the incident described takes place in Wayne County. 

Guy probably gets to spend at least a  minimum of a night in jail, and is charge with felonious assault and he now needs a good lawyer for damage mitigation. 

This likely occurs after one of the thieves (or some other witness) calls the cops and says some crazy dude pointed a gun at them while they were near his truck. - What you don't think criminals lie?  They do, a lot.

So what did our hero Guy do wrong?

In Michigan there are three reasons and only three reasons that permit the lawful use of deadly force. Protection of your property is not on the list.  If not one of these three, then deadly force cannot be used:

1. Imminent threat of death;

2. Imminent threat of grievous bodily harm; or 

3. imminent threat of forcible sexual penetration. 

Having stuff stolen from your truck meets none of these requirements.  

So, our Guy since he merely didn't display the firearm in a threatening manner, but pointed it at the thieves committed not merely brandishing, a misdemeanor, but felonious assault.  Had he then shot the thieves he would be looking a some sort of homicide charge, potentially at best manslaughter for imperfect self-defense, more likely second or even first degree murder as he introduced deadly force where it wasn't warranted and thereby escalated the situation.

You can use non-lethal force to protect your property (which can be problematic in and of itself and deserves its own discussion), and you can also call the police.  You cannot use deadly force nor be the first to escalate to the level of deadly force without one of the three imminents above. 

Nor can you, contrary to Biden's advice, crank off a couple rounds from your shotgun if you think someone is maybe up to no good outside your house or by your truck. That's an unlawful use of lethal force as well.

Folks want to argue what Guy did is ok, after all he's saving his property which should be fine they say, after all, it's his. They also want to argue, well, what if they attack him?  

But, under the scenario given they weren't attacking him at all, they were stealing his stuff without him even being present initially.  As such, guess who introduced deadly force into a non-deadly force situation - yep, that Guy.

Guess who in real life would be getting charged for using deadly force wrongly?  That Guy.

Don't use deadly force to protect just property. Don't be that Guy.

Thursday, February 09, 2023

The State Of Michigan Spending Spree

In an effort to drain the surplus to prevent the automatic state income tax cut, and to spend money faster than a drunken sailor ( and a drunken sailor is spending the sailor's money not other people's) the Michigan Democrats and Whitmer have unveiled a massive spending plan.

The Detroit News:  Gov. Whitmer $79B budget plan seeks record school funding, tax relief

Except of course its not universal tax relief, but targeted to her base, with a sop of a $180 check to tax filers but not all taxpayers

How much spending are we talking about? The spending would leave all of $250 million remaining out of the current $9 billion surplus.

Talk about a spree. One might even say it's a ridiculously irresponsible lack of stewardship of this state's coffers, especially as inflation continues and they chatter about an upcoming recession, and recessions tend to hit Michigan hard.

Funnily enough, her previous urgency to "fix the damn roads" seems rather completely forgotten in her current quest to spend the 9 Billion surplus.  

Nothing is announced with fanfare as to extra spending on road fixes from this spree.

Instead, she's hitting all the favored Democrat areas - increasing school funding as well as making a $700 million deposit to the teacher's retirement fund, increasing the earned income tax credit and preventing public pensions from being subject to income tax (but not 401K and most if not all private pensions) - picking winners and losers indeed.

We will note the increased school funding is to fix some of the education and learning lost due to Governor Whitmer's policies of closing the schools during the pandemic: 

The budget would include another $300 million for a tutoring program designed to help students who fell behind in school during the pandemic.

Gov Whitmer et a.,l  do indeed admit exactly why they're spending all this money and tryign to make the surplus evaporate - including those $180 checks:

The proposal includes the establishment of a new "Michigan Taxpayer Rebate Fund" to receive $800 million in Corporate Income Tax revenue for the purpose of providing $180 rebate payments to income tax filers. Married couples would get $180 combined.
The rebates would prevent an expected cut in the 4.25% personal income tax by dropping state revenues below a threshold that would trigger an automatic rate cut.

So, no tax relief for everyone, only for some, and for one time not moving forward. 

Not nearly the opportunity for graft and paying off constituencies for their support if you give everyone tax relief rather than focus on rewarding your contributors and voting blocs.

Tuesday, February 07, 2023

In A Desperate Move To Avoid A Tax Cut Whitmer Resorts To Outright Bribery

Our Dear  Governor Whitmer is stating she will send a check for $180 to each taxpayer - thereby reducing the budget surplus in order to avoid the automatic tax cut to be applied to ALL taxpayers of Michigan should the biudget surplus remain as it is.

Except she actually isn't even going to send a $180 check to each Michigan taxpayer.

The Detroit Free Press: Gov. Whitmer proposal: A $180 check for each Michigan taxpayer

She's claiming she will do it, but the details of this part of her plan deliberately  shafts quite a few Michigan working taxpayers - namely married ones:

One check would be issued for each income tax filing in 2023, so a couple filing jointly would receive one $180 check, not two, a spokesman said.  

So sorry married workers, if both of you work and pay taxes, one of you doesn't count. Thus Gov half-Whit can't even tell more than a half-truth about her plan to dole out your tax money.

But wait, no need to worry there government-jilted spouse, your $180 will go to someone else, someone who doesn't even pay income taxes!

Also, those eligible to file income tax returns but who do not owe any taxes to the state would still be eligible for a check, a spokesman said.

Read that again, if you're married and you both pay taxes, only one of you will get the credit, but if you're single and you don't owe any income taxes, you can get $180 just by filing.  

Why Democrats like to penalize marriage so much is a mystery, isn't it?

Why they like to give money away to their stalwart supporters is not.

Meanwhile her proposal also moves to exempt public pensions from being subject to income tax, to further reward her support base of public employees versus others with 401Ks, and some private pensions.

Picking winners and losers indeed, rewarding her base, and stopping universal tax relief for all Michigan taxpayers - that's her plan.

Thursday, February 02, 2023

The Case Of The Missing Gangsta Rappers

The Detroit News:  3 aspiring rappers headed to a Detroit club. They haven't been seen since'

Apparently turning your life around after prison while remaining in the rap scene can be dangerous to your health.   

All three men heading to do some rappin' disappeared somewhere in Detroit and haven't been seen since.  The car was found in the possession of a juvenile who had stolen it apparently after they had already gone missing.

The Detroit News story notes that all three met each other in prison, which they were in for such trivial and commonplace felonies as armed robbery, carjacking, drug dealing, and gang related crimes, and they decided to go do rap together.

Its certainly rare for three adults to completely up and disappear, even in Detroit.

Update: The case has unfortunately ended as most would expect it would end: 

The Detroit News: Bodies of missing two rappers, friend found under debris in vacant Highland Park apartment building

Wednesday, February 01, 2023

Michigan Democrats: You Know Those Covid Rules? We Break Them When We Want To

Nothing like situational ethics, and situational quarantines, or lack thereof.

After testing positive for Covid, a Michigan Democrat Representative decided to attend a legislative session the very next day and vote rather than staying home for 5 days under the CDC guidelines.

That's because while the rules and guidelines for isolation if you test positive with Covid may be important, voting for the Democrat's tax and spend agenda is importanter.

The Detroit News: Democratic lawmaker shows up to vote at Capitol a day after positive COVID test

 Laws and health regs are indeed for the little people.