Thursday, July 24, 2014

Darn it, Now I Have To Agree With Michael Bloomberg On Something

After an almost perfect track record of opposing Bloomberg's idiocies on gun control and such, he finally goes and does something sensible that I can both agree with and even praise.

He ignored the FAA's ban on flights to Israel, which was ostensibly placed there after Hamas fired rockets towards the airport which were intercepted a mile away fro the airport and did not damage the airport.

Instead, he flew to Israel and showed the stupidity of the ban.

The FAA then quietly rescinded the ban, and flights are back to normal.

Any bets the ban was really an attempt by the US State Department and the Obama Administration to pressure Israel into a cease fire that would leave Hamas intact, in a position to claim a victory, and not have to admit defeat?

The Name Changes But The Game Remains The Same

The term "Global Warming" isn't working out to well, considering for years the trend has been towards global cooling, with no sign of warming for over 17 years.

The replacement term "Climate Change" apparently wasn't scary nor descriptive enough.

Now the new favored term is "Climate Disruption".

Disruption is scarier sounding and a harder hypothesis to prove or disprove, and after all how could a Progressive be for disrupting the established climate order?

The goal, previously hidden and denied is now openly stated by many environmental groups is to destroy capitalism and replace it with socialism using "Climate Disruption" as the driver.

The Daily Caller: 130 Environmental Groups Call For An End To Capitalism

Environmentalists have declared that global warming can’t be stopped without ending the “hegemonic capitalist system,” saying that cap-and-trade systems and conservation efforts are “false solutions.” “The structural causes of climate change are linked to the current capitalist hegemonic system,” reads the final draft of the Margarita Declaration, presented at a conference including about 130 environmental groups. “To combat climate change it is necessary to change the system,” the declaration adds.

To add some irony, guess where they met:

Environmental activists met in the oil producing, socialist country of Venezuela as part of a United Nations-backed event to increase civil engagement in the lead up to a major climate conference.

Oil producing, carbon-exhaling Venezuela. Given the established track record of self-declared socialist countries Venezuela is probably not just an evil carbon producing country but probably an environmental nightmare as well. But declare yourself socialist and it covers all faults.

The global green watermelon movement - the green on the outside is peeling off revealing the solid red underneath.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Strange Love Affair Of The Left With Islamics

One of the greatest tricks Hamas and other Islamic movements have managed so far is to convince the hard left that they are leftist themselves.

Sure, Hamas, the PLO and others vocally avow a socialist system, socialist as is typically defined where those at the top live well and those at the bottom are oppressed proles, but they profess socialism nonetheless and the Left eats it up.

At the same time, these Islamic and Arab terrorist movements avow principles, beliefs and actions that had they not already been the left's darlings would have put them on the persona non-grata list typically reserved for the Tea Party, Republicans, Israel and America.

So the Hamasniks and their supporters and others like them get away with systemic and profoundly anti-gay actions, anti-Semitic actions, anti-minority activities by the ton, and treatment of women that equates to a real war rather than faux "war on women", and commit war crimes by using kids as human shields and child combatants (no doubt to be reported as "murdered innocent civillians" if killed, yet they get a pass on all that.

Would anyone else get the kind of support from leftists that Hamas and its ilk are getting if they did these things?

The romance of the Left for the Arabs and Islamists seem to be both residual from when they were good Soviet client states against the West, and a current bromance as the Left seems to buy hook line and sinker that they are oppressed peoples with no moral agency, and so long as they are anti-Israel and anti-America then the left is their ally and they can apparently do no wrong.

Monday, July 21, 2014

A Houseguest With A Most Peeculiar Manner

Meet Flag.

He's a very cute Lab mix and rather social. A year older than Jett, he's smaller but can keep up with the play by play.

While we were up in Huntsville, Flag's owner happily and graciously boarded Jett and he and Flag had a grand time and Jett was quite the fine guest.

Today Tash, the kids, and Flag's family headed off to Michigan's Adventure park (for the first time ever for our kids) and it was only natural that I take Flag in for the couple days and look after him.

Unfortunately, and unbeknownst to his owner or us, Flag's Indian name apparently is "Guest Who Frequently Pees In Visited Home A Lot".

He is housebroken at home, but he won't stop pissing all over the place here, even after being walked and going happily outside, he comes back in and goes again, and again, and again. Argh.

I'm spending more time with odor remover and paper towel scrubbing the carpet and tile than I ever did before Jett was housebroken. Heck, Jett even looks at him like "WTF dude, keep it in until you're outside!"

Flag's Korean name is now perilously close to becoming "Tastes Good With BBQ Sauce When Smoked Until Tender".

The dog is now clinging to me like glue, trying to desperately distract me from picking up the phone and calling the nearest Korean restaurant for a trade in value.....

Man Versus Ivy Part 1

Yesterday after returning home from the seminar it was time to engage in some chemical warfare.

At the local hardware store, following some helpful suggestions from my commenters, I purchased this:

After carefully reading the directions I donned jeans, boots and long sleeves and got to work.

There's even more poison Ivy than I thought, with multiple separate patches in addition to the huge and very visible patch I had found before.

There's also some that is as tall as the fence and I found it in more than just one spot.

All of it received a solid treatment of Roundup, note the newly wet leaves.

The directions state it will take more treatments and likely up to 4 weeks before it gets the ivy killed off, so we'll see how it goes.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Back From The Iha Dojo National Training Seminar

From Friday until now I was over in Lansing, Michigan for the Iha Dojo Karate National Training Seminar. I found out I made the promotional card with a photo of the seminar from last year, which is kinda cool.

The seminar is three days of karate instruction, meeting friends both new and old from a number of dojos around the country and the world, and having a good time doing so. There was a strong showing of contingents from the New York, New Jersey and the Canadian Dojos this year.

This year it was held at the Lansing Convention Center so we were right in downtown Lansing with many restaurants and bars in easy walking distance. This would be useful during lunch breaks and after the classes ended.

The convention floor was concrete with a thin layer of carpet over it, which made break-falling particularly exciting, especially the fall in Passai Sho Bunkai where you have to do a forward roll as the person in the center of the bunkai pulls your arm forward and throws you via that leverage after you punch towards them with that arm. It was fine as long as you were careful and everyone was paying attention.

Before each session started everyone would meet and socialize while they were warming up.

Sensei Iha (10th Dan) or Sensei Barker (9th Dan), his Sampai or senior student, would lead the training, and we worked on kata, bunkai and partnership drills. Careful attention was paid to body mechanics, typically keeping ones elbows in among other things, turning on one's axis and proper movement, balance, and weight shifting.

Here's a shot of Sensei Iha (10th Dan) or Sensei Barker (9th Dan) and Sensei Menders (8th Dan - in the red and white striped belt)

Sensei Iha at over 80 years old is not only still sharper than a tack but also in amazing physical shape. Sensei Barker, in his late 70s, can similarly deliver a kick that can send you into a neighboring state, or a punch so focused with all their power and body behind it that your ancestors will feel it. It's a good thing they're both wonderfully nice and peaceful individuals with a great amount of patience and a love of teaching karate, and we're very lucky to have them both.

This morning Sensei Iha for example demonstrated on a 6th Degree black belt the concepts of axis and was able to show that with punch throw at him he can basically control the attacker's movements and put him wherever he wants, typically ending with a thud. We then learned these applications and commenced to locking up an opponent once they punched at various angles (hiugh, low, middle) and then (gently) throwing them and vice-versa.

All this physical work creates a powerful thirst so last night the memebrs of my dojo headed to the Midtown Brewing Co.

They had a decent list of beers:

When asked which of them we wanted to drink, the answer was yes, and yes it was so.

Dinner was served.

Oh, I also had a black and blue burger that was awesome, but back to the beer.

The sample included a Hopwood Double IPA with a 9% alcohol content. Barrel-aged it was excellent going down and then hit like a ton of bricks. The other IPAs were also quite good, as were the amber ales. The best by far however was the All Night Long Coffee Stout. The stout had a rich taste of coffee but was not bitter nor over-sweet and was an excellent beer to finish up the time at the restaurant.

We then met up with yet more karateka wandering Lansing's streets and then headed to the hotel bar for some fine sipping whiskeys before calling it a night.

I was awoken at 2:30 am by some idiots in the next room not from our seminar who had got back from the bars and were yelling and carrying on. Finally they shut up around 3:30 or so and I was able to get some sleep. Since I had to be up at 7 to meet up with the other people from my dojo for breakfast and then get ready for an early morning for today's seminar, my alarm was set. Completely fortuitously, the alarm ended up being located right beside the adjoining wall from whence last night's rudeness came, and it went off loudly and I sadly in the rush of the moment forgot to turn it off for some time. I may have also banged into the wall a few times getting ready, how clumsy of me.

After today's morning session we all changed, checked out of the hotel and went to the celebratory banquet and then headed home.

It was great seeing a lot of friends from prior seminars and training with lots of different people, most of them with much greater experience than I, and learning some very neat new (to me) techniques.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Michigan Democrat Tries To Put Fireworks Toothpaste Back In The Tube

Oh, the noise, the noise the noise.

Michigan's own fireworks Grinch is trying to introduce legislation to again ban fireworks in this state.

The Detroit Free Press: Michigan lawmaker's bill would douse purchases of bigger fireworks

Saying he and his wife are fed up with high-powered fireworks in their neighborhood, the only state senator to vote in 2011 against expanding Michigan’s range of legal fireworks said today he wants to rescind the law.

“My bill will roll us back to exactly what we had before,” when Michiganders could buy only relatively weak fireworks like firecrackers and sparklers, said state Sen. Glenn Anderson, D-Westland.

“You’re still going to have people who drive an hour to cross the state line” and buy more powerful fireworks, Anderson said.

“But they shouldn’t be available at corner stands and every party store,” he said.

Awfully honest of him to admit that it won't change anything and that his bill will encourage illegal behavior, not to mention deprive the state of needed tax revenue now isn't it?

The legislation has about the same chance as a firecracker going off after being submerged for a week underwater.

The bill does illustrate the average Democrat legislator's (and quite a few Republican legislators as well) mentality of "I don't like it so let's ban it".

Who Knew DDOT Stood For Drunken Drivers Offer Transport?

Tam has a continuing series detailing the follies of the Indianapolis Police Department and its officers issues with drunken driving and subsequent crashes.

Police, in sedans, driving drunk.

Detroit decided to top that in a big way with drunken bus drivers: DDOT bus driver accused of drunken driving in hit-and-run crash

Police say they arrested a Detroit Department of Transportation bus driver who had a blood alcohol level twice the legal limit after he sideswiped a car and then fled the scene with passengers on board.

An Ontario Tradition - The Beer Store

Ontario, unlike more libertarian leaning polities, keeps its alcohol sales under tight government regulation and control.

This does not stop minors from getting beer mind you, but it keeps the tax money rolling in.

To purchase beer, you need go to the imaginatively named Beer Store.

Then after entering you look at the displays on the walls and pick the beer you want and tell the clerk how much you want of it, you pay for it, and then they'll get it from the back for you, with it coming out after being pushed on a track covered in rollers to make it zip on out.

Here's two of the wall displays:

As you can see, it's certainly not cheap ($35.95 for a two-four of Labatt's Blue is highway flippin' robbery) and the selection, while much improved from the days of my youth (I remember taking trips to the Martimes with a highlight of the trip being the "smuggling" back of Moosehead beer that was unavailable in Ontario), is still rather small compared to say a Meijer's or Hiller's grocery store.

For wine, liquor and other beers, you have to go to a geographically separate government store, the LCBO, where you can actually pick the bottles you want and take them to the cashier to pay.

On the upside, there were some fine Canadian beers available at the Beer Store that you don't see much anywhere else.

We bought some Granville Island English Bay Pale Ale, having never tried any before and found it quite tasty indeed. Not as hoppy as a full IPA but clean, crisp and perfect for a hot day with some freshly grilled steaks. I'd have it again without hesitation.

Having gotten used to both Michigan selection and relative ease of purchase of beer, not to mention the prices, going back to the Beer Store was a bit of a culture shock.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

A Huntsville Car For Keads

I was up in Toronto and Huntsville Ontario last week for some family things.

While walking along main street in Huntsville I passed by a Ford Mustang and remembering Keads' affection for the beasts, I took a couple pictures.

The owner saw me admiring the car and snapping some pictures and offered to pop the hood so I could snap one of the engine.

The car was in darn nice shape and looks like a nice example of Equus Caballus Fordae.

While The Media May Oftentimes Be The Enemy, You Really Shouldn't Shoot Them

So, just four days after an 88-year-old man is brutally assaulted and robbed when he opened his door in Detroit to a stranger, a local ABC affiliate station, WXYZ, decided to surprise him at his door without calling ahead.

What could possibly go wrong?

Well, this: The Detroit News: Robbery victim shoots at Detroit TV news crew.

Luckily no one was hurt, but that was a highly ill-conceived way to approach a recent victim of a traumatic attack.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Axe Meets Gun in Detroit CPL-Free Zone

On Sunday, Sumdood decided to show up at a church in Detroit with an axe to grind.

Very luckily for the church and its congregants, because the church is an otherwise by law concealed-firearm free zone, there was an off-duty police officer present with his service weapon. After the suspect tried to bury the hatchet in him, he managed to shoot him and end the episode.

The Detroit News: Hatchet-wielding man attacks off-duty Detroit cop at church

Thankfully, the officer only suffered minor wounds and hopefully will make a complete recovery.

Meanwhile, Axe dude, who is (surprise!) described as mentally ill, is in critical condition in hospital.