Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Another Small Catch In The Pistol Brace SBR Amnesty Program: You Can't Trust Your Pistol Brace SBR

There's a bit of an annoying limitation in the free tax stamp and amnesty for the arm-brace program. 

You cannot use the free tax stamp Form 1 program to place the arm-brace pistol into an NFA Trust, unless you have documentary evidence that the NFA Trust owned it before January 13, 2023.  An NFA Trust should not have been owning a non-NFA item so that's the fun with that.

The freebie is for individuals only.  

You can see the reasoning for the limitation, such as it is: 

Since it wasn't an NFA firearm before January 13, 2023, the NFA trust would not have owned it before, so it's not a free transfer to an NFA trust now that it has become by decree an NFA item as the NFA Trust was not the owner at the time, and the freebie is for the actual owners of the pistols.

Now, in addition, another reason is that they really don't like NFA Trusts.  

The Trusts take a lot longer for them to process, as they have to run background checks on all active trustees, and if you didn't have your trust done right, the beneficiaries too. They also have to check with their counsel if the trust is even legally sufficient.

You'd be surprised with the garbage a do-it-yourselfer who, instead of paying a attorney who knows how to do these rather specialized trusts, cobbles a trust together based on things they saw on the Internet can do.  As you would expect, the results aren't pretty.

On top of that, the trust owners keep screwing the legally proper trusts up by doing stuff with them without consulting their lawyer (such as adding trustees willy-nilly and keeping the same person as a successor trustee when they are an active trustee, and other fun and games). Many headaches ensue.

In short, I think they're tired of having to process NFA Trusts and the shenanigans involved in them and want individual Form 1s as they are easier to get processed.  

In short, if you want to put your arm-brace pistol into a NFA Trust you either have to do the freebie to yourself first and then do a $200 Form 1 transfer to your trust later.  

The other option is you should disassemble the firearm, do a standard paid-for Form 1 naming your Trust as the Maker, and then reassemble only (and probably out a real stock on it at that point because, why not?) when the approval is completed and you get your approved tax stamp.

Do Braced Pistols Form 1'd As SBRs Under The Amnesty Require Engraving/Marking?

It's a good question.

As you should know by now, if you have an Arm-Braced pistol, you have until May 31, 2023 to get them on a free Form 1 or you have to make them no longer an Arm-Braced pistol.

If you don't want the amnesty registration, you can by May 31, 2023 undo them by disassembly; placing a 16" or larger barrel on them; or otherwise bringing them into compliance. Or if you want to reach into your wallet, disassemble them now, then pay $200 and then after approval of a standard Form 1 reassemble them and make them an SBR.

Note that just taking the brace off an AR type pistol may not get you into compliance as if you can still shoulder the buffer tube, ATFE is taking the position that it is still an SBR and that will be consequential for you and not in a good way.

So, assuming you go the free tax stamp route on your braced pistol that is now Determined-To-Be-An-SBR-After-Prior-Determinations-Declared-It-Was-Not, do you need to have it engraved with your name and city/state as if you were doing a typical Form 1?

From the Form 1 Section K(7) that you will fill out under this program you would think so, as here's the stated requirement on the form: 

(7) Markings: The maker is required to mark the firearm with the Maker’s name, City and State as shown in item 3b. All markings are to be in compliance with 27 CFR §§ 478.92 and 479.102. Do not alter or modify the serial number of an existing firearm. Enter the existing serial number, or if a new firearm, one you create. The Maker may not duplicate any serial number placed by the Maker on any other firearm.

That would seem that you do have to mark the firearm doesn't it?

But wait, there's more.

There's an ATFE guidance that is contrary to this instruction on the form and is in the final regulation as well:

Once the firearm is registered, am I required to mark the firearm since I manufactured a short-barreled rifle (SBR)?

If the SBR equipped with a “stabilizing brace” is registered by May 31, 2023, the possessor is allowed to adopt the markings on the firearm.  The maker’s marking exception is only applicable to firearms that are registered pursuant to the final rule.  If the firearm is a personally made firearm, the possessor must mark in accordance with 27 CFR 478.92 & 479.102 prior to submitting the E-Form 1.

So, per this ruling, you do not need to engrave the amnesty-registered arms-braced pistols now declared to be SBRs so long as you didn't make the receiver yourself from an 80% lower or such.  Certainly another reason to utilize the program. 

I can sorta see the reasoning:  

You as the possessor of an arm-braced pistol did not actually manufacture them as an SBR, you manufactured them as a pistol that is now only later determined to be an SBR. Thus, you wouldn't need to engrave it as when you made it, it was not an SBR, so you had not manufactured an SBR.

Clear as mud, isn't it? Part of the confusion is they are using the normal Form 1 as part of this program rather than a specially made Form 1 for this amnesty and thus the contradiction between the form and the regulation for the arm brace amnesty program.

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

255 Days Later

255 Days Later sounds like a very slow-moving Zombie Movie doesn't it?

Yes, 255 days later, the approval and stamp arrived, and I could legally pick it up from suppressor jail. A bit more 4473 paperwork, and it was all mine.


It is a SilencerCo Octane 45.  

Purchased last year when SilencerCo was having a "Buy a suppressor, get a free Octane" deal.  So for the $200 tax stamp and 255 day wait (from the day it arrived at my dealer, not the date of purchase so it was actually quite a bit longer), I now have a 45 cal can.  

It is much lighter and narrower than the Hybrid 46 that it was purchased with at the same time.

Now to set it up, as you have to install the appropriate piston, sold separately, to match it to the appropriate pistol caliber you're going to use it with.  Then to take it to the range and try it out.

Monday, March 27, 2023

Let's Talk About The Michigan Dem's New Firearms Registration Scheme

Because you can't take away people's guns if you don't know where they are.

Michigan currently has a de facto, if not de jure, handgun registration system, even if it has a lot of exemptions and some pedantic types like to call it a sales transaction tracking system.  Functionally whatever you wish to call it, it has a Michigan State Police database for most (but not all) handguns in the state.

We will note said database, for all its years of existence, has not been known to have actually been used to solve a crime committed with a handgun. 

I do know that it was used at least once to prove a handgun recovered at a crime scene was not a police throw-down.  The criminal with felony history pointed said gun at police, police then took appropriate action and criminal assumed room temperature. The criminals estate's civil attorney claimed gun was planted by police, but in reality it was illegally given to the felon by a friend - who was not prosecuted for doing so  -- and nothing further came of it.

Now the Dems want to eliminate a lot of those exemptions and add all firearms to the scheme. This is obviously going to cost a lot of money to implement and maintain, and it causes issues with how you normally buy firearms in Michigan -- which inconvenience to law-abiding folks is a feature for the Democrats, not a bug.

You will need a permit to purchase a long gun unless certain exemptions apply including a weird one that is hard to prove - that you had a NICS check done within 5 days before your current purchase - good luck proving and documenting that unless perhaps you go to the same dealer who remembrs you doing so.

There are some bugs in the law that I'm not going to discuss yet, as they appear to be sloppy oversights that favor gun owners a bit,  and we will see if the Democrats figure out the errors their bill has in it or if it gets passed into law as-is.

A new and interesting change is now if you purchase or are given a handgun as a gift it is  the seller /gift giver must be the one mailing in the firearm transfer record, not the buyer.  be interesitng to see who gets tripped up on that one after doing the opposite for decades.

The cost estimated to change the current pistol database to now handle all firearms is reportedly $200,000 which is ridiculously on the low side, not to mention ongoing costs of input over time and database management. For example, the cost of Canada's all-encompassing gun registry database and converting it from handguns only to include long guns  cost over $2 Billion dollars in costs and Canada has 36 million people with fewer gun owners per capita than Michigan.  Michigan has 10.12 Million people so even if ownership was the same, that's a heckuva lot more than $200k.  Think instead hundreds of millions to get the database updated and "working".

Again, this would not have stopped the MSU killings because the killer bought the revolver used from an FFL at a gun shop and passed the existing federal background check.  He passed it because the woke Ingham County prosecutor failed to nail him for a felony in the name of equity.  Said firearm actually was indeed already in the current registrations / sales transaction tracking system.

So no, this registration law isn't intended to be used against criminals, it's intended to be used against you and make you a criminal if you don't follow the proposed new and rather convoluted rules (so convoluted the Democrats don't seem to understand them themselves), and to make it easier to seize your firearms when they deem fit.

Yet another law that is almost undoubtedly going to get forced through.

Sunday, March 26, 2023

First Brisket of 2023

Spring is trying hard to be sprung around here.

Yesterday had some crazy winds that cancelled my intended shake-the-rust off flight.  Gusts of up to 35 knots with a minimum direct crosswind factor of 30 knots in a plane rated for 17 knots was not my idea of a good time for pattern work.

So yesterday,  I instead got the brisket prepared with my homemade rub for smoking.

So today, among other things that needed to be done, I got the smoker cleaned up from it's winter of non-use, and got it ready to smoke.

I decided to use pecan wood for the brisket this time, for a change of pace.

After all day of being on the smoker, the brisket was ready for dinner tonight.


 Nice and tasty and served up with baked beans, and mac & cheese, it was announced by all to be a tasty success.

Friday, March 24, 2023

Whitmer: You Can Still Move Up A Grade If You Ain't Readin Gud

The Detroit Free Press: Michigan 3rd grade reading law no longer requires students to be held back

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a bill Friday that strikes from law a requirement to hold back third graders who fail reading proficiency test.

Hilariously, she's selling it under the guise of  "parent's rights to decide what's best for their children" rather than kids being held back a year for being unable to read to grade level. Yes, really. After all, she otherwise would have to sell it by admitting that students in poorly performing school districts aren't getting the instruction they need from MEA-teachers union members in how to read.

Whitmer sure can't have that. Much better they be advanced not fully prepared to the next grade, and make it someone else's problem.

A report from Michigan State University's Education Policy Innovation Collaborative found that in the spring of 2022, nearly 6% of third graders received test scores that made them eligible to repeat the grade under the reading law. The report also found that school districts that mostly instructed students remotely during the 2020-21 school year recorded the highest share of students flagged to be held back another year.

Oh gee, that was the year Whitmer closed schools for Covid, now wasn't it?  Funny how that happens.

Let's Talk About The Michigan Dem's Tricky Proposed Firearms "Safe Storage" Bill

This bill basically amends current law to require firearms to be inaccessible to minors, with heavy penalties if not followed to the letter.

The bill  basically criminalizes anyone leaving a firearm unattended for any length of time and not locked up if the owner knows or should know a minor is present and could potentially obtain the firearm.  It also applies to someone visiting a residence where a minor may be present.  

Note it does not have to be your minor, it can be anyone's minor that ends up sending you to the clink.

Per the law, the firearm has to be in a locked box or container that is specifically designed for storing firearms, or unloaded with some kind of locking device that is designed for firearms.  

So per the phrasing of this law, if you store your firearms in a secure room with a lock on the door, that will not count.  You arguably could also be prosecuted for locking your guns in a safe that is not specifically a gun safe if something happens.  That's really awesome.

If you're visiting a place with a minor and leave a firearm there unattended for any reason that is also subject to the law.  The only way out of that would be to not only leave it in your vehicle but have it in a locked box or unloaded and locked with some sort of locking device. 

So yes, there's some definite traps in this law for the normal law-abiding gun owner that might think locking their guns up in a room with a lock on the door or in a locked cabinet or even in a lock-box that was not specifically designed for firearms would be acceptable.

Penalties include a misdemeanor if a minor obtains the firearm and then either

(i) Possesses or exhibits the firearm in a public place. Or (ii) Possesses or exhibits the firearm in the presence of another person in a careless, reckless, or threatening manner.'

Now, if the minor commits a crime where someone including the minor gets hurt then it is a felony. If the minor kills someone or themselves it's a felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison for improper storage.

Rather draconian penalties and imposition of responsibility for the crimes of another there. Sadly, the Democrats seem to not desire any such law in regards to cars or other dangerous items. Funny, that.

Hilariously, the Department of Health and Human services is supposed to provide "Lethal counseling literature" to FFLs under this bill.  Note the appropriation for this  literature is what will prevent this law from being overturned by a referendum.

It is unknown as to whether this literature will actually counsel people on how to be lethal, but I have my doubts.   Much more likely is it will pay for anti-firearms ownership propaganda at taxpayer expense. One wonders what "lethal counseling literature" has to do with preventing minors from stealing a firearm and using it illegally, but there we are.

Biden Deals With the Wrong Border, Or The Bailout Of Canada's Sanctimonious Stance

In yet another indication that Biden is not exactly compos in the mentis, he has announced with great fanfare that he's struck a deal to permit the receiving county to turn away asylum seekers who cross the border from the other country to deal with the illegal immigration crisis.

He made the deal with Canada. Not Mexico.

Well, he had a 50/50 chance of making a deal with the country whose border is a sieve flooding us with illegal immigrants. 

The LA Times: U.S. strikes deal with Canada over northern border, asylum seekers

This deal is mainly due to the influx of asylum seekers crossing for the US into Canada, given the progressive "no human is illegal" Canadians a case of heartburn due and financial issues due to actually having to bear the costs of said illegal immigrants. With 40,000 illegals entering Canada from Northern New York state into Quebec alone, it started to cause a bit of a financial strain. So this agreement let's Canada send them back into the US to seek asylum here on our dime.

After all, it's easy for Canada to be a sanctimonious about refugees when it pays no cost for its sanctimony.  Faced with the true costs of sanctimonious sanctuary, Canada's Liberals cried Uncle (Sam) to get them out of this. Biden obliged.

Thursday, March 23, 2023

So Let's Talk About Michigan Dem's Horrendous Yet Likely To Be Pushed Through Red Flag Law

If you search for the proposed Red Flag Law on Michigan's Legislature site, you won't find it.

That's because its cutely known as the "Extreme Risk Protection Order Act".

Here's the proposed law for your reading enjoyment.  It's tied to a lot of other bills that themselves change other areas of Michigan law to harmonize them with the ERPO.

In short it is bad.  How bad?  Read on.

We're gonna call the person who is the subject of the ERPO the Subject for the sake of brevity. The law provides that a whole lot of people can apply for an order to take a Subject's firearms if they allege the Subject may be a harm to the Subject or others.

This includes: 

(i) A parent.

(ii) A son or daughter.

(iii) A sibling.

(iv) A grandparent.

(v) A grandchild.

(vi) An uncle or aunt.

(vii) A first cousin.

(viii) A police officer/Sheriff/Corrections officer/Federal LEO

(ix) A Mental health professional 

Oh, and for absolutely no chance of false claims being made it also includes:

(a) The spouse of the defendant.

(b) A former spouse of the defendant.

(c) An individual who has a child in common with the defendant.

(d) An individual who has or has had a dating relationship with the defendant.

(e) An individual who resides or has resided in the same household with the defendant.

In short, your former roomate, your ex-roomate. or your ex, no matter how long ago it was that they became your ex doesn't like you, they can mess up your life by filling for one of the ERPOs.  If you had a dating relationship 20 years ago and haven;t seen them since, this law qualifies that person to file such a petition.

The order is issued under the very low civil evidentiary standard of a preponderance of the evidence, not the standard of beyond a reasonable doubt as is the case in a criminal prosecution.

Amazingly, one of the elements a court can  use to consider in deciding to enter the ERPO is if the Subject has purchased a firearm or ammunition within 180 days before the filing.  Since the ERPO is about removing firearms that's a tad tautological and it's ridiculous that simply buying a firearm can be considered a factor in whether the Subject has to surrender their firearms.  Michigan anti-gunners rejoice.

Even better, the order can and indeed will be issued without notice to the Subject of the order.

The Subject gets all of 24 hours after being served with the order to surrender all their firearms. No chance to contest it at this stage.

Within 10 days of being served with the ERPO the court would hold a compliance hearing where the Subject of the ERPO has to affirm they have surrendered any firearms they own. This again isn't an opportunity to contest the ERPO.

To contest it, the Subject, on their own, and they better hire an attorney at their own expense, gets to file a motion that the order should be rescinded. The burden of proof is on the Subject, not the state nor the person making the accusation that led to the ERPO.  The Subject of the order has to prove, again by a preponderance of the evidence that they are not a threat.

Nicely reversing the standard that the prosecution must prove the subject is a  threat and instead it is on the subject to prove they are not. Kafka would be proud.

As Yoda might say: Turning American jurisprudence on its head this law does, hmmm.

Why would the Subject need an attorney?  

Because under this law you get One, yes just ONE chance at overturning the ERPO (you also get 1 additional shot at overturning it if/when the ERPO is extended). 

If you lose the first one, all subsequent motions the Subject may file the court can summarily dismiss without a hearing. So you better do a perfect job the first time, and likely means you better come to court with an attorney and already have paid for and been evaluated and cleared by a mental health professional.

Again, the burden is on the Subject, not the state.

That's pretty damn nuts right there. Actual due process went right out the window. Oh, and there's no provision for anyone to pay the Subject's attorney's fees if they win and the order is found to be without basis. The process damn well can be the punishment here.

Oh, and even better, the ERPO doesn't have to be filed in the County where the Subject resides. It can be filed where the person making the allegation resides, so the Subject may potentially have to travel across the state to contest it.

Violation of an ERPO by not divesting of all firearms by a Subject starts off as contempt of court and on a further or ongoing violation turns into a 5-year felony.

Oh, and what if you live with a Subject who gets one of these ERPO's? Well, under the law, you would be ordered under penalty of contempt of court to make sure the Subject cannot gain access to any of your firearms.

There is at least a penalty for filing a false ERPO, but it has a higher standard of proof than preponderance of the evidence.  Instead it has to be shown that the petitioner "knowingly and intentionally" filed a false petition.  I don't expect a lot of prosecutions under that standard. Even if that is shown, it is a criminal conviction and the Subject does not personally get recompensed for the ordeal. Plus the first time they make a false filling, it's only a misdemeanor and a $500 fine - which is rather light for falsely putting someone through this process - an may be worth it to people with a grudge. Only if you keep filling false petitions does it become a felony.

I will note that if there really was an extreme risk there are already multiple ways the person can be interdicted with due process - involuntary mental health holds; Personal Protection Orders; or even - dare I suggest - prosecution for actual crimes the person may be doing.   This law instead kicks it up to 11 and dumps due process by the roadside, while leaving multiple opportunities for mischief.

Again, an ERPO law would not have stopped the MSU killings. No one tried to stop the killer in question from having firearms even as they knew he had paranoid schizophrenia.  He was never involuntarily committed., never charged for discharging a firearm inside cituy limits, and there's no record of anyone actually seeking to have him dealt with and being unable to do so. Now, had the Ingham County prosecutor not dropped the felony charge against him that may have done it. but she likely did not do so for woke reasons, so here we area.

This law flips the burden of proof on its head, creates a huge list of people who can file it who may have their own axes to grind in the matter, and really messes with the concept of due process.

This is a bad law, and it's going to go through.

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Michigan Dems Push Punitive Gun Control At The Capitol

The Detroit News: House Speaker bans employees from carrying firearms on House property

Clearly, the Democrat legislators do not trust their own employees.

We will note that there's been no violent firearm crime committed on the grounds of the capitol by an employee with a CPL  (Democrat or Republican) since, as far as anyone can tell, ever.

Simply being punitive towards gun owners, because they can.

This also leaves these employees nice and vulnerable when departing the capitol late at night and going to their cars.

They're also trying to have a policy prohibiting concealed carry at the capitol for non-employees.

On top of that legislation to ban carrying in any government owned or leased building has been introduced by the Dems, thus placing more obstacles on where law-abiding people may carry.  

After all, if the government leases even an office in a building, it would render the entire building off-limits.

Michigan Democrat's Punitive Gun Control Measures

At this point, they're doing it simply because they can. 

After all, having the House, Senate and Governor's mansion, along with the State Supreme Court, there's not a lot to stop them from pushing gun control for the sheer joy of pushing it and vindictively getting one over on gun owners who tend not to vote for them.

For impressive punitive-ness, they've introduced legislation to require a 14, yes 14, really, a 14-day waiting period before buying a firearm

There's no exception if you already own a firearm, which completely gets rid of their ridiculous claimed justification that 14 days will let a potential buyer bent on mayhem "cool down" and reconsider before doing anything criminal with the firearm. which is nonsense in and of itself. 

There's never been any actual data that this mythical cooling off period, whether 2 days, 3 days, or 14 days, does anything at all.

This proposed bill makes it illegal to transfer the firearm until 14 days after the date of sale for the firearm.  

Say goodbye to buying firearms at gunshows.   Private transactions will also get strange as you're going to have to meet the seller twice, after waiting 2 weeks after you paid them, to pickup your firearm. 

In short this is stupid, without any rational basis, and simply a Democrat being punitive because she can.

This week, I will get to the big three bills being forced through right now - the "safe storage bill", the "red flag" bill and the "registration bill".

Again, none of these things would have stopped the MSU killings, and they damn well know none of it would have, but the MSU killings are being used as an excuse to push this nonsense through.

Monday, March 20, 2023

Trials, Tribulations, And Managing An Unknown Contact

So this afternoon I went to Pontiac District Court for the case that never ends.

The case was originally set for trial in 2020.  Since then it has been adjourned over 8 times. We're now on our third judge: The first judge who did the adjournments retired, so we had a stand-in for one hearing, and now are assigned to the newest judge on the Court who appears to be a pretty bright judge who actually reads the briefs and follows the law.

The original judge who retired did not want to hear the case and adjourned it every single time Defendant came up with any excuse including refusing to do it by Zoom and demanding the trial be live when the court was closed for Covid etc.

Defendant had then got counsel, expensive counsel I might add, and then the judge adjourned the case yet again, and they filed a ridiculous motion for summary disposition to dismiss the case - 3 years after it was first set for trial and 4 years after it was filed. That motion was what we were fighting about today. 

This was a continuation from the last fight over the same motion  from the stand-in judge who over two months ago had asked for supplemental briefs on an issue neither side cared about or thought was a problem, because it was not a problem, but this judge thought it was and wants us to adjourn and brief it.

In short, my argument, and a correct argument it was, was they had waived the opportunity for even doing a motion for summary disposition as they did not raise the issue in their answer which means it doesn't get heard so we don;t even need to bother responding to their nonsense in their motion.

Much fun ensued with them trying to dodge the fact that they had failed to raise it. But the judge pointed out that they had failed to raise it and the contract, such as it was, attached to their motion and my response and the supplements, didn't even say on it what they claimed it said.

Long story short, I won, their motion went down in flames, and we have yet another trial date for June of this year.  So, we may just get this thing heard 3 years after it was first set for trial.


On the way out I chatted with my client and heard a bit of noise ahead.

Client went to his car and I walked on to mine a little farther up.

A guy a solid head taller than me started to approach, clearly sizing me up, and setting off some alarm bells, started with the "Can I ask you a question?" line.

I  gave him a quick once over and said "Sorry man, can't help you", and carried on my way keeping some distance.

He started again, I repeated the "Sorry man, can't help you" while keeping him in sight, and he then backed off and went on to bug the next person around. So that worked out well. Thanks to Lawdog for his teaching that technique quite some time ago.  Always something.

Saturday, March 18, 2023

That Worked Out Rather Well

So for Tash's 50th Birthday, I decided to give her a surprise party. That was last night.

Plans were made, lists drawn up, and things prepared and I let the kids in on it and we got to work.

Operation Sleepy Sloth (Tash's declared spirit animal is a Sloth) thus was underway and it began over a month ago.  

I arranged for a reservation of a party room at a Chinese restaurant Tash likes and then sent out invitations.

Next was sending out invitations, and surreptitiously contacting Tash's contacts that I knew, so I could get contact information for other friends of hers that they knew.  This took some doing.

I sent out the invite, stressing the need for secrecy.

RSVPs started coming in.

Then we hit a snag.  Tash announced she wanted all of us to leave for Toronto Friday to have her birthday with her mom.

That would not do.

We then had to carefully come up with excuses why she could not.

First we had Abby claim she had a seminar on Friday until 5pm that she had signed up for and could not get out of.  

I noted that I had already made family dinner plans at an undisclosed location.

Tash was suspicious, but agreed to not leave until today.

I then made arrangements for the cake, then met with the restaurant manager and got things further ironed out.

This week rolled around and the RSVPs suddenly poured in and we hit the capacity of the room at 42 people.

It would be tight but we would make it work.

Yesterday  morning it almost all went to heck, as one of her friends emailed her to wish her a happy birthday and they were sorry they couldn't make it.

What part of surprise did they not get exactly?

We smoothed it over by claiming we had invited them out to dinner with us for tonight and it seemed like she bought it.

So, yesterday afternoon I picked up the cake.  Then Leah and I headed to the restaurant while Tash picked up Abby.

I met the guests as they came in and ot it all organized. and got the appetizers and wine going. She was then 10 minutes out, then 5 minutes. . .then even more guests came who had not RSVP'd and we hit over 45 people, completely filling the room and adding another couple small tables.

Then I met her at the door and we then walked in, turned the corner to the party room and Surprise!

Surprise was achieved! Operation Sleepy Sloth was a smashing success.

She thought we had something going on but had no idea about the scale. Everyone had a great time.

The food at New Mandarin Garden was excellent as was the service. I think we made their night, as the restaurant was otherwise almost completely empty for St. Patrick's Day.

Our happy crowd more than made up for that.

That was a lot of fun to do.

Friday, March 17, 2023

Happy 50th!

Tash turned 50 today.

Cherry Cheesecake (freshly made by me yesterday) was served this  morning for breakfast to celebrate the occasion, as one does.

After Cheesecake and coffee were consumed, presents were given.

 The birthday girl declared she was having a fantastic day, and went off to play tennis with her friends and she had a great time there as well.

We have a surprise planned for her later.

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Should A School Be Surprised When they Invite A Pro-Terrorist They Get A Pro-Terrorist Presentation?

Totally unexpectedly, a Democrat, who heads an organization having terrorist ties, gives four biased anti-Israel and Anti-Jewsih presentations to a captive audience of high school students in a presentation on "Diversity".

 Fox News: Michigan high school apologizes for anti-Israel activist at 'diversity assembly,' doesn't mention Jews, Israel

 The "student-led" diversity assembly apparently invited Huwaida Arraf, who then gave an impressively anti-Israel diatribe.

Now, anyone who googled the name Huwaida Arraf would in seconds know she's a pro-terrorist Palestinian and co-founder of the ISM and that she has admitted to working with terrorist groups. 

Did the school fail to vet the guest speaker list at all?

Interestingly enough, this incident got no coverage at all in both the Detroit News and Detroit Free Press. Funny, that.

The school administrations claims simply that she went off script and they were thus surprised, but this rings a little hollow considering she did this lovely little "presentation" apparently 4 times in a row without being stopped

The school administration's "apology" such as it is, does not even mention her anti-Israel and anti-Jewish diatribe at all, just that she "deviated from the prompts" at a Bloomfield Hills High School "diversity assembly".

Also inviting a person with known terrorist associations into a public high school probably isn't the safest thing from a security standpoint. 

But, what a way to celebrate diversity, right?

Wednesday, March 15, 2023


This is a good day for lawyers to check their forum selection clauses in their contracts.

Choosing a bad forum can lead you and your client to feelings of being stabbed in the back, front, and sides.

This is a also a day to ask for a steak knife to accompany your Caesar salad.

Yes, Brutus actually struck a coin commemorating his assassination of Julius Caesar on this day back in 44 B.C

One of these historic surviving denarii is up for auction on this very day, a most auspicious day for such a coin to be sold, in Denmark. Ths coin is estimated to go for between $425,435 to $496,346 U.S.

Monday, March 13, 2023

Cruise Day 5 - Jamaica

We docked at Falmouth, Jamaica on the morning of the fifth day.

Never been to Jamaica before, so we decided to do a bit of a meet the locals tour.

Jamaica is impressively lush and green everywhere you look.

We met up with our tour guide and driver and headed out of Falmouth.

On the way to our first stop, we passed by the high school and running field where Usain Bolt got his start:

You'd want to run away fast from that school too!

Then to the first stop, one of the oldest churches in Jamaica:

It's quite a historic, rather small building, that was been subsequently rebuilt after an earthquake in the 1950s. Lots of interesitng monuments inside from the 1800s, where f was used as s when the s was not the final letter of the word.

Once you get outside the port and resorts you get a sense of the poverty level in Jamaica.   To say people in the area are living in shacks is pretty darn typical. Lots of the houses have unfinished portions still to be completed.

Next we went to a Basic school, which is a school for 3-6 year olds.  It was indeed rather basic.  The two-room school building is still under construction and they were looking for funds to add a computer room and such.

Overall even in a poor area, the kids were all clean and well dressed. Multiple ages were there for the lessons in the two rooms.


The school while small, was rather neat and organized and the kids were happy being there.

We did make a donation to the school.

We next went to a proper tourist trap - a plantation for lunch, complete with gift shop.



We got to sample some coconut water, sugar cane, coffee and other products fresh off the trees/bush etc.

We then took some stairs leading up to the eating area for lunch, the stairs offered translation of the island patois.

For lunch, we got to try a variety of Jamaican foods, including Salted Cod and Ackee, jerk chicken, cole slaw, plantain and other stuff.

I had it with a Sorrel-flavored Red Stripe beer, (in this case Sorrell is Hibiscus, not the leafy green plant everyone else calls Sorrel) which tasted like a sweet combination of beer and red pop, which was not bad.  The food was pretty good.

A peacock of the plantation came by during lunch, expecting a handout, and got some.

There are many KFC restaurants along the way, and per our guide KFC really stands for "Keep From Cookin'", as it makes it easy for people to get fod without having to cook it.  She stated her fried chicken was better. 

We then made a very brief stop at Fort Montego.

A brief stop, because there's not much left of this fort. Built in 1750, the stone gun platform is level with the street, and there's a few stone blocks lying here and there, and a couple mounted 12 pounder guns two more cannons sadly lying on the ground rusting away.



 Not much to look at, and not much has been preserved. If the guns had not been there you would never guessed that it had been a fort.

After that we headed back to the ship and that was our tour of Jamaica. Not a bad tour, but not nearly as much history as I might have liked, but a decent first look around a part of the island.

Saturday, March 11, 2023

The Kids Are Alright

Drove out to Grand Rapids (on the west side of the state about 2 hours and a bit away) to spend the day at the High School Mock Trial Competition.

Why all the way to Grand Rapids?  Because the closer competition got shut down last Saturday due to the snowstorm and this was the only location where they could go. Oh, and we had to be there by 7:30 a.m.

Add to the fun of the extra distance  that this week, unlike last Saturday, over half of their team had to take their SATs today and they were a little behind the 8 ball.  Not a single senior was able to attend, and for many this would be their first competition.

Oh, and their designated teacher couldn't make it either and it was beginning to look a little grim as to whether they could even qualify to go as a result.

Leah decided that they were not going to give up but that they were going to compete and set about making it happen.

To make this work, Leah contacted the Grand Rapids Section, and then had me set up as the designated coach so the team could attend, they put together the pickup team and off we went. So, I got to wear a badge with the Teacher's name crossed out and my name hand-written in, so I was very official-looking.

The Mock Trial Competition staff in Grand Rapids were great - they graciously accommodated getting our team into the competition due to the weather cancel and they did a fantastic job running the competition. It was very, very well run.

For a pickup team, with some of them having to learn their parts in hours, not the days or weeks that everyone else had, they did really, really well.

Teams have to supply timekeepers, witnesses, and attorneys.

You could tell our team took it seriously.  Our witnesses had their parts and the complex set of facts down pat.  Two of them ran circles around opposing attorneys cross-examining them and had us in stitches at times with how well they were doing and how into their parts they got, even putting on accents and mannerisms to match the roles.

People that had to step into parts in a matter of a couple days put in the work and turned in some impressive performances.

Our Prosecution team went first round and it was kinda rough as some had just gotten their part two days (or less) before today, and it had two freshmen competing for the first time.  Still they put on an excellent effort and did the school proud.

Leah was on the Defense team and was in the second round. She and the team did really well, losing the round by a single point.  It was darn close.

Then Leah had to fill in a spot in the third round on the Prosecution side and had 12 minutes to prepare for her part over lunch, and she did it with style.  She really got into the part and dominated the opposing side's witnesses, including catching one who contradicted their affidavit allowing her to utter the classic line: "Were you lying then or are you lying now?".

I wanted to stand up and cheer - sadly as the coach, I had to remain silent during the round. 

The other teams thought our team were seniors and were dumbfounded to learn that the top players were juniors along with some sophomores and freshies.

The other teams also put on some excellent performances, and everyone really put in a lot of effort and it showed - a bunch of serious, studious, and also fun-having, well-mannered kids.  

So yeah, the kids are alright.

While Leah's school didn't advance to the State Finals this year, they put on a fantastic effort and this team is only going to get better. I think they would have made it had the full team been there as originally planned.

Next season for Leah's high school, I will be their official coach and involved in getting ready from Day 1, and we're going to really whip them into shape and start training on hearsay and evidentiary foundations early and often.

Friday, March 10, 2023

WTH DND Canada?

As seen over at Cdr. Salamander's The Canadian Department of National Defense has gone full-on woke.

This is not a joke, but it really should be treated as such:

So, if you happen to believe in equality (you know the thing everyone has been pushing for for decades now for people of all races, gender, etc) rather than the ill-defined nebulous and rather politically-charged term "equity", then, per the Department of National Defense, thou art a racist, and thus you are bad and should feel bad.

But, is it not racist to call everyone other than presumably Caucasians by the rather monolithic and rather weird term "racialized peoples"? 

 Isn't that racist? 

First by excluding Caucasians clearly based on their race, and Second is it not further racist for lumping everyone not a Caucasian into the category of "racialized peoples"? Asking for a friend there DND.

Who knew polite Canada and its polite, relatively tiny, yet highly professional and skilled military was such a hotbed of racism? 

Verily, if one doth not have actual racists, one must create them, and this rather insane document sure creates more of them than Jeff Foxworthy detects rednecks.

Also, Allyship is a ridiculous word, up there with Enemyship.  Just saying.