Murphy's Law and I are off on the road to Indy.
We'll hopefully see you (if you're there) at the NRA Convention. Looking forward to meeting up with blogger friends and make some new ones.
Will blog from the convention as opportunities arise.
Focusing on numismatics, and commenting upon current legal and world events, not to mention asides into the world of scuba diving and fine firearms.
Murphy's Law and I are off on the road to Indy.
We'll hopefully see you (if you're there) at the NRA Convention. Looking forward to meeting up with blogger friends and make some new ones.
Will blog from the convention as opportunities arise.
Over at Guns Save Lives, they've got a report that IWI Wanted to Sell 6,000 Tavors in US in 1 Year – They Sold 15,000 in 9 Months
That's some excellent sales numbers for a new middle/higher-end firearm product to the US firearms market.
Combine a great product; pent up demand waiting for a licensing/manufacturing deal to be setup here for it to comply with US Assault Weapons ban regulations; and add on fears that Obama and the Democrats pushed for a new assault weapons ban and it's easy to see why they've sold as well as they did.
Once you have one, you realize it's smaller and handier than non-NFA length AR-15s and has a natural point of aim and heft, ergonomic controls, and is a reliable fun to shoot firearm. There's plenty to like about the Tavor.
I certainly hope that IWI's success with the Tavor in the USA continues, and based on the quality of the Tavor, I have no doubt it will.
Some people want 15 minutes of fame, some end up with 15 minutes of abject stupidity.
The farcical show put on by Brooke Kimbrough, the Detroit student whose grades and test scores were inadequate to get her admission into University of Michigan and has become as sort of progressive unworthy cause celebre continues.
In an interview with The Free Press's own Mitch Albom, which is about as softball an interviewer you can get, she comes across as nothing more than a Detroit version of Veruca Salt - spoiled and told she should feel good about herself and that she should be able to go anywhere she wants, test scores and grades be damned...because, you know, racism.
The Detroit Free Press: Mitch Albom: Denied Michigan hopeful learns tough lesson
As we'll see in the interview, she hasn't learned squat. Over at the article there's a pic of her holding a sign demanding her admission and an end to the "racist admission policy"...you know, racism based on ranking by grades without accounting for skin color, 'cause grades be racist.
First, we should remember that Brooke Kimbrough is still in high school. She is, as the Beatles once sang, just 17.
So even if she ruffled feathers this past week claiming she should have been admitted to the University of Michigan — despite lower grades and test scores — because she is African American and the school needs diversity, the best thing is not to insult her or dismiss her.
The best thing is to talk to her.
So I did.
Like I said, real softball.
I began by asking Brooke about her high school — because I’ve been there. University Prep Academy is one of the top charter schools in Detroit. It looks like a college campus, its teachers are first-rate, its classrooms are small — thanks to a $15-million gift from philanthropists Bob and Ellen Thompson.
The Thompsons are white. Most students at U Prep are black. So Brooke is already a beneficiary of cross-racial efforts; she didn’t have to endure an overcrowded, uninterested high school. In fact, the Thompsons demanded that U Prep retain at least 90% of its kids and get 90% of them into college every year.
In other words, they insisted on excellence.
When I asked Brooke why it’s wrong for U-M to set a similar bar (she was denied admission with below the U-M averages of a 3.6 GPA and a 23 on the ACT) she said U-M needed to “represent the state. Blacks are about 14% of the population, so it should be 14% roughly.”
So she's already getting to attend an excellent high school and has opportunities to succeed, but she then immediately discounts things like grades to insist instead on representation by racial composition.
After demanding such a proportional representation policy, she doubles down and refuses to let the facts and logical consequence of such a policy confuse her.
I pointed out that whites were 79% of Michigan’s population, but officially 57% of U-M’s, so should we adjust that up? “That’s ludicrous,” she said, claiming it should only apply to minorities. I then noted U-M was 11% Asian American, but our state was only 2%. Should we adjust down?
“I don’t understand what you’re asking,” she said.
In other words, affirmative action based on proportional representation for Brooke but not for thee.
Really, Brooke can't even answer softball questions from Mitch Albom. Remember, she was touted as a champion debater on her school's debate team, the competition may not have been all that bright or was she just getting affirmative action credit during her debates as well?.
Brooke will now ever be known as a whiner and a failure, and for her ludicrous yelling as if her deinal to be admitted was a civil rights violation on a par with past actual discrimination:
“I believe that I have been rejected because of the morals that I stand for! I am Harriet (Tubman)! I will take back my freedom as a tool to help the others. I have left the plantation. ...
“I am Ida B. (Wells)! I will make it my civic duty to document every noose of a rejection letter that the university produces to our black, brown and red bodies!”
Not rejected based on morals Brooke, you were rejected because your grades and ACT score didn't measure up and that over-the-top, poor me, whinging sure doesn't help.
While she likely lacks a bright future in the real world given that she now has a track record of pulling tantrums and screaming racism when she doesn't get her way, she likely has a bright future in the progressive race-baiter business.
The Supreme Court rightly upheld Proposal 2 of 2006 that added to the Michigan Constitution that public institutions cannot use race to discriminate or give preferential treatment to groups or individuals.
Now there's much wailing and gnashing of teeth from the self-proclaimed anti-racist progressive left here in Michigan.
First, we get Laura Berman's puff-piece in the Detroit News warning that Affirmative action ruling jeopardizes Michigan's progress against inequality
Short on you know, facts, the piece gives some fun quotes:
“I am deeply saddened and disappointed by this decision,” says Jocelyn Benson, interim dean at Wayne State University Law School. “Any state has been given the green light to ban affirmative action if the voters so choose.”
Had the Supreme Court struck down Michigan’s ban, “we would have revisited our policies to take a more holistic view of our applicants.”
Holistic of course being a euphemism for focusing on skin color. Which, to the race merchants is very holistic indeed and clearly determinative of the rightness of admitting or barring the admission of a student.
Apparently banning discrimination based on race will in Berman's words:
affirms the right of the people of Michigan to close doors that once swung open. And it points toward the closing of an era of social remedies, including affirmative action in education, despite the persistence of inequality.
So banning racial discrimination will close doors? really? Not to mention the laughable concept of social remedies - that you deserve to be either discriminated against or in favor of based not on what you did but what some group you are a part of based solely on your skin color may or may not have done in the past, and before you were born.
On top of that, the lawyer for BAMN then went off into far-leftist land with this inane statement:
“At the very moment that America is becoming a majority minority nation, this court is declaring its intention to uphold white privilege and to create a new Jim Crow legal system,” she said in a statement.
Can anyone parse that one out? Banning discrimination based on race upholds "white privilege" and prohibiting discrimination will create a "Jim Crow" legal system? Does she even understand that what she said and how it's rather contradictory?
But not to worry fans of social and group racial determination uber alles, the University of Michigan has pledged to work hard to ensure diversity by again, focusing on race where it can still get away with it:
We remain committed to the goal of a diverse, academically excellent student body, and will continue to seek to achieve that goal in ways that comply with the law.”
After talks with the Black Student Union, U-M agreed last week to initiatives aimed at increasing black enrollment and improving the campus climate for minority students. The school will partner with black students at university-sponsored events that encourage African-Americans who have been admitted to U-M to enroll.
U-M also will launch a pilot transportation project for black students living in more affordable housing outside Ann Arbor; improve security at the Trotter Multicultural Center; and create a website for emergency funds available to students.
Just imagine substituting the word white for black in those paragraphs and you'd have outraged protests if not full-scale riots breaking out at UofM.
BAMN now is demanding that the University of Michigan not look at SATs or ACTs, because objective scores can get in the way of subjective touchy-feely and makes it more difficult to use race-based admissions under the radar by having an easily discernible standard.
Expect a lot more, and louder, wailing and yelling from the race merchants as they come to realize the time for discrimination based on race is coming to an end.
The level of political pandering by the Obama administration in this, an election year where Democrats are on the ropes for a moribund economy; the disaster of Obamacare; and the tragicomedy of American foreign policy, is rapidly descending from the blatantly obvious to the over-the-top ridiculous.
First, the Obama Administration will continue punt the decision on the Keystone Pipeline, blocking it until after the election in order to prevent annoying its Environmental and Labor interest blocks before the House and Senate elections take place. Environmental because approving it would make Gaia cry, and Labor because denial will prevent a lot of good paying union jobs.
The Detroit News: U.S. delays review of Keystone XL pipeline
On top of that, to pander to the Hispanic and illegal alien voting block, the Obama administration weighs extending its ban on deportations or illegals without criminal records by executive fiat to those immigrants who have only committed a little bit of crime. A little bit of crime is apparently akin to being a little bit pregnant, no biggie right?
The Detroit News: U.S. weighs curbing deportations
Tens of thousands of immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally but don’t have serious criminal records could be shielded from deportation under a policy change being weighed by Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson.
The change, if adopted following a review ordered by President Barack Obama, could limit removals of people who have little or no criminal record but have committed repeat immigration violations such as re-entering the country illegally after having been deported, or failing to comply with a deportation order.
That's quite an extension of an already questionable policy - already ICE and CBP are told to ignore illegals without criminal records and now the Obama wants to extend that immunity to those with criminal records that are not "serious".
Notice that both headlines state the "U.S." either "weighs" or "delays", not the Obama administration in an election year, naturally.
Meanwhile, in a demonstration of obtuseness that only an in-the-tank media commentator can have, Democrat supporter and water carrier Clarence Page asks if for Democrats: Will 2014 be the year of the race card?
Clarence, in case you haven't noticed, and apparently you haven't, from the time Obama first ran for President until the present, Democrats haven't stopped ceaselessly using the race card to deflect criticism from this administration. Sheesh.
The moral of the story: Don't bring a pen to a gunfight.
A defendant died after being shot by a U.S. marshal on Monday during an attack on a witness during a trial in a new federal courthouse in Salt Lake City, the FBI said.
Siale Angilau, 25, died at a hospital after he was shot in the chest as he rushed the witness with a pen in an "aggressive, threatening manner," the FBI said in a news release.
Angilau had an extensive criminal history and is no great loss, and indeed the shooting by the marshal to save the witness being attacked is commendable.
Heck, since a US Marshal did the shooting of a hardened criminal caught in an assaultive criminal act, you could say it was clearly Justified.
Instead of sending something or even someone useful, Obama sends the Ukraine.....Biden.
No word yet on whether Biden told them to just use a shotgun if armed men break into their border.
The Detroit News: Biden in Ukraine to show support as tensions rise
Vice President Joe Biden on Monday launched a high-profile visit to demonstrate the U.S. commitment to Ukraine and push for urgent implementation of an international agreement aimed at de-escalating tensions even as violence continues.
Biden planned to meet Tuesday with government leaders who took over after pro-Russia Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych was ousted in February following months of protests. The White House said President Barack Obama and Biden agreed he should make the two-day visit to the capital city to send a high-level signal of support for reform efforts being pushed the new government.
Yeah, Ukraine is hosed.
It would be funny if it wasn't so sad that proponents of affirmative action are choosing to back a whiner, because whining is all they've got left.
The Detroit News: Column: U-M race fight riles Gratz
Brooke Kimbrough, 17, is the Detroit high school senior who rallied against her recent rejection from U-M. She argued the university should admit her because she feels U-M ought to accept more minorities. Kimbrough, however, is now reportedly backing down from her rejection challenge.
. . .
Kimbrough attends a top charter school in Detroit and is a champion debater on the school’s debate team. She gets good grades and is highly involved in her school. But she got a 23 on the ACT, when the average U-M student scores between a 28 and 32 on the college entrance exam.
So she's at minimum 5 points away from being admitted and she wants to get in based on her skin color.
Now she's not being stopped form going to another university mind you, nor are racists are barring the gates or stopping her from competing for a spot to get an education, indeed she competed for a spot at UofM and fell short. But all is not lost:
Kimbrough’s scores were good enough to get her accepted into four other universities, with scholarships, and U-M encouraged her to transfer as a sophomore. She should be proud of that, but going to U-M was her dream.
So she gets into four other universities but really wants to go to UofM but doesn't want to do the work to transfer over but wants them to give her a special preference,
Quick, call a Wahmbulance, 'cause this isn't anything to do about race, just some spoiled brat whining that she didn't get her first pick and is just trying to use her race to get to the head of the line.
And this is the cause celebre that affirmative action proponents like the Trotskyitist/communist By Any Means Necessary organization chose to rally behind?
The radical, pro-affirmative action group By Any Means Necessary (BAMN) took advantage of this girl’s disappointment and took Kimbrough under its wing, organizing a rally Tuesday at which the teen spoke. BAMN is the lead plaintiff challenging Michigan’s affirmative action ban
Disappointment at not being good enough is now apparently the best rationale for affirmative action that BAMN and others can come up with. Expect more whinging as the progressive AA crowd realizes they've lost their little racial preference war.
Poor Councilman Cushingberry just can't catch a break.
After skating on possessing marijuana in his car and a bottle of open alcohol during a traffic stop, he's now being sued for allegedly stripping his house in Detroit after he walked away form it in foreclosure.
The Detroit News: Bank: Detroit councilman Cushingberry stripped foreclosed home
A bank is suing the City Council’s president pro tem on claims he “willfully and maliciously” damaged his foreclosed home, a property that’s now being targeted as part of Mayor Mike Duggan’s anti-blight effort.
The Public Service Credit Union is seeking more than $56,000 from George Cushingberry Jr. and his wife, Maria Drew Cushingberry, on allegations the pair significantly damaged a home on Marygrove Street and removed its kitchen cabinets and fixtures.
Amazing how the Detroit City Council tends to have quite a history of property issues from foreclosures with all sorts of examples. One would think they don'recare much about the state of the city form how they treat their own property there.
Meanwhile, Wayne County, the County in which Detroit is located and electorally dominates, continues to spiral down fiscally as it following the blue state model runs out of other people's money and runs up a deficit of $175 million.
Detroit continues on its downward spiral, and the downward spiral is even reaching the parking department.
The Detroit Free Press: $45 for expired meter? Detroit's parking ticket plan sparks outrage
Tickets for an expired meter in Detroit would jump from $20 to $45 under Orr’s plan. And the $10 discount for paying tickets early would be eliminated. Violations that now trigger a $30 ticket, such as double parking and blocking a driveway, would increase to $45. If those tickets and the expired-meter tickets are paid a month late or more, fines would increase to $65.
City officials said an increase would be justified because Detroit hasn’t raised fines in more than a decade. They also said current fines are too low because it costs the city more than $30 to process a parking ticket.
So, instead of the obvious solution of increasing efficiency so it doesn't cost an outrageous $32 to process a $20 ($10 if paid early) ticket, like other cities seem able to handle, the solution is instead to just raise the ticket costs. Between that and half of the parking meters not working in the first place, it's a surefire solution to Detroit's revenue ills.
After all, raising the price of parking tickets will clearly help revitalize Detroit by making more people want to come and park and enjoy events there, right?
The change will make Detroit the third most expensive for fines, behind San Francisco at $75 and Chicago at $65 but ahead of Seattle at $44 and Philadelphia at $36. Let's face it, both Seattle and Philly have a lot more attractions than Detroit, as do San Fran and Chicago. Raising parking rates to match doesn't enhance Detroit's attractiveness.
No one ever said "If You Fine Them More To Park, They Will Come". They don't say it for good reason, no matter the wishful thinking among Detroit's officials.
Let's start this off with a shot of Toronto's iconic skyline:
The view from my mother-in-law's apartment is darn nice. On a clear day you can even see the lake in addition to the CN Tower.
Looking down eight stories from the balcony isn't too bad even for most acrophobes. When I pointed out that I regularly dive 80 feet down, no big deal, no problem, the family suddenly realized that 80 feet underwater isn't a small distance.
As part of this trip, we took my Mother-In-Law and ourselves went to Honest Ed's. Think a discount/dollar store that takes up an entire city block. Honest Ed's has everything from hats to mugs to prescription drugs in one place surrounded by old theater posters and pictures of stars from a bygone era. Sadly, this Toronto landmark is going to close in December 2016 so if you've never shopped for shlock until you drop, you've got a closing window of opportunity.
One of the mugs Honest Ed's had featured the closest thing Canadians get to a Gun Show these days. I saw this mug and immediately thought of Tam:
The trip also consisted of, as is usual, my on-site tech support calls for both my Mother-in-Law and my Dad in the computer and audio/visual departments. I'm working on turning Abby and Leah into my tech support minions and they were quite helpful with my Mother-In-Law for explaining how to work her new replacement TV and existing DVD player after I had it setup and working.
On a sadder note, the brutal cold winter has taken a severe toll.
My Dad and step-mom live in a nice 100-year-old house in midtown, and one day while they were away, the boiler shut down and then the water froze in the radiators and then cracked them, leading to a flood resulting in the home being stripped down to the boards and walls.
Now, mind you, they are nice 100-year-old boards with no particle board to be seen but the house is currently uninhabitable and a lot of stuff got flooded to destruction. This is extremely bad.
Also revealed was the extensive knob and tube wiring that while sure not up to code now served the house well all this time. Now that its revealed it will all have to be replaced to get up to code.
The structure of the house is still rock solid, but they're looking at a solid 6-9 months to get it restored, renovated, and up to habitable conditions, not to mention lots of expected battles with the insurance co along the way.
This also gave us accommodation issues as we normally stay with them and my Mother-In-Law's one bedroom apartment doesn't have space for 4 of us to stay there with her. There was a guest room in her apartment building that we rented which was unfortunately a big mistake in retrospect. The kids stayed on the floor in a "fort" in the apartment, while we occupied the guest room. The room was small with two single beds that if you shifted in any direction you'd fall out of bed.
Worse, the room was right by the front entrance and lobby so you heard every noise of people coming and going.
Even worse, this is an apartment of predominantly elderly residents. Elderly residents that thought it was a great thing to have loud conversations for hours sitting in the lobby starting at 4 am and loudly carrying on continuously until 6 am or so.
In short, in five days we had very interrupted sleep. Another downside is she has no internet service so I was out of touch most of this week except for the occasional visit to a coffee shop to feed my caffeine and wi-fi addictions simultaneously.
Yesterday, we headed over to my aunt and uncle's place for the first night of Passover and had a very nice time catching up with family and meeting our newest cousin - a cute six month old baby name Sophie.
Unfortunately, we received reports that the storm was moving in and so instead of staying another night, we jumped in the car and headed home, hitting a fair bit of the storm at the end of the trip but at least not driving through it all the way, leading to the picture from my recent post of our arrival at the house at 1:51 am this morning along with plenty of fresh global warming.
So yes, I'm rather tired at the moment. Now I'm busy catching up at work for the time I was in Toronto, and now Im having the fun of having a power outage at the office caused by the storm. What fun.
Overall, the Toronto trip was good but the lack of sleep and seeing the wrecked house were definite let-downs to a family gathering.
And so, spring gave summer and autumn a miss and went straight back to winter.
There now stands quite a few inches of snow on the ground as we awoke after being exhausted from our midnight dash from Toronto homeward.
On the upside, we officially just beat the record to have the snowiest winter in the area ever with 94.8 inches of snow. So there's that.
The Detroit News: Metro Detroit breaks seasonal snowfall record
At least I can now say I made it through the snowiest, and not the second snowiest, winter in recorded history of the Detroit area. This is a good thing because saying you suffered through the second snowiest winter in recorded history is like winning the participation prize at the race - you may have showed up but you sure didn't win.