Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Seriously, Don't Try This At Home Kids

As the time comes near for Americans to make joyous festive noises celebrating our independence comes a cautionary tale:

The Detroit News: Walled Lake man dies after putting firework next to head

Walled Lake — A 47-year-old man died Sunday night after jokingly placing a powerful firecracker to his head, believing that it wasn't lit. It was.

As one would expect, alcohol was involved, as was the reckless handling of a powerful firework. That's one very dead man killed in a most stupid and avoidable act of negligence, in front of his family no less. It's a serious waste of a life for no reason whatsoever.

Just like firearms, fireworks and alcohol do not mix.

While a low order explosive, fireworks are still explosive devices and need to be handled with care and a healthy respect for the power they contain.

Be safe and careful out there and enjoy setting off your fireworks, but don't let your celebration end up as a warning to others of what not to do.

Happy Canada Day, Eh!

A very happy Canada Day to all my Canadian readers!

Here's to Canada as a true and stalwart ally of the United States, our greatest trading partner, and excellent neighbor and co-owner of the largest undefended border in the word.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Closer To Home Than Greece, The Rich Port Isn't

Puerto Rico has also just announced it has run out of other people's money.

Powerline: Puerto Rico Goes Broke

Puerto Rico has also just retained Judge Rhodes, the judge who took Detroit through its Chapter 9 bankrupty in the matter.

The Detroit News: Rhodes on Puerto Rico: ‘It’s exactly like Detroit’.

I'm not sure if Rhodes means that Puerto Rico did itself in by a corrupt Democrat administration that squandered its funds through waste, fraud, incompetence and by paying the ruling party's cronies for contracts for in excess of the value received and sweet heart deals with Unions in return for political support. To be charitable to Puerto Rico, perhaps he just meant Puerto Rico's government was both borrowing too much and massively overspending beyond its capacity to repay.

It's the same, except of course Puerto Rico's debt is 4 times bigger than Detroit and there is both no surrounding state to bail it out as occurred for Detroit and no Chapter of the Bankruptcy Code to provide for the bankruptcy of a United States Commonwealth.

Perhaps Spain will offer to buy the island back in exchange for paying off the debt. That is of course assuming Spain doesn't join Greece in running out of other people's money, due to its debts, as it's debt loading on a per capita basis actually matches Puerto Rico's.

May you live in interesting times was indeed a curse and not a blessing.

Beware Of Greeks Bearing Debts

Whether you are an individual or a nation, you can only go on borrowing and spending above your means for so long. - and it looks like Greece, failing a further bailout, just hit the so long point.

The Detroit News: Greece to miss IMF debt payment and bailout to expire

Heckuva Job There, Archuleta!

As blogged on Instapundit by Ed Driscoll, the head of the Office of Personnel Management, the location of the greatest data breach to occur against the US Government so far, is an Obama appointee. it turns out she was appointed for political reasons rather than competence as she had no background in the realm of stuff that OPM does but was rather qualified for being a stalwart Democrat community organizer.

It's a pity she didn't organize some Information Security at OPM.

Her reaction to an earlier breech by the Chinese in July 2014 was that there was nothing to fix, this while the OPM inspector General was pointing out serious security deficiencies as far back as 2007.

In other words, a breach of this nature wasnot on out of the blue attack but was instead predictable to occur based on past performance (or lack thereof). With her expressed "Remain calm, all is well" kind of attitude, its no wonder that cyber-security there was weak and that this breach has the incredible scope and implications that we're learning that it has.

As Borepatch blogged many a time regarding cyber-security: It wasn't an afterthought, it wasn't a thought at all.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Got A Spare Second?

Apparently the leap second that will be added to the day tomorrow has to potential to create all kinds of issues, or no serious ones, depending on who you believe.

I figure there will be some glitches and headaches form inserting an extra second, but no "The sky is falling" type events as a result.

The Detroit News: With 61 seconds in a minute this week, markets brace.

Cache of Classic Coins Alleged To Be Proceeds Of Crime

Allegedly, one of the biggest coin collections in Michigan was built from the proceeds of Medicare fraud.

The Detroit News: Detroit area doctor could forfeit coin trove worth millions in fraud case

A West Bloomfield neurologist who reaped millions by allegedly cheating Medicare spent more than $9.3 million on baseball cards, ancient coins, collectable currency and stamps — a rare collection he could soon lose to the government.

Dr. Gavin Awerbuch amassed the collection — including coins from ancient Rome — using cash generated by an alleged five-year crime wave, according to federal court records that offer rare insight into the secretive world of coin collecting. At the upper end, the world is filled with hobbyists who, due to security concerns, protect the scope and value of their prized possessions.

This doctor is a very serious collector or investor, spending millions on coins. In a five year period he spent more than $9.3 million at 16 coin and collectible dealers.

Apparently the Feds have already seized millions of dollars from him along with the coins and real estate.

It will be interesting to see how the case works out and what happens to this impressive collection.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Now Matches In A Limited Edition

I did a USPSA match today. It was thankfully much drier compared to the last match in which I partook. The sun was well and truly out and sunscreen rather than rain jackets was the order of the day.

The club holding this match ran it as a classifier match - 6 classifier stages and 3 non-classifiers with lots of targets and movement.

I decided to try limited this time.

The gun of choice: A Smith and Wesson M&P 40 Pro.

With a five inch barrel it makes for a steadier platform than the standard full size M&P, and the new grip insert texture is also a slight improvement over the original that comes with the full size and compact guns.

First time out of the box, and I take it to a competition, after doing no more than dry-firing and giving it a quick take down and lubrication. Might as well really test it for its first outing.

I had the gun around for awhile and had never shot it, waiting for another day to start limited competition. Since this was a single day to get fully classified and a buddy egged me on to give Limited a try, today was finally the day.

150 rounds later and it did very well, the trigger and reset are very nice right out of the box.

The firearm handles quite nice indeed, and the fiber optic front sight must be seen to be believed in how quick it is to pickup and get on target. A and B Zone hits were a snap.

I think I'm going to transition my M&P other firearms to Truglo TFO Sights to take advantage of the fiber optic and tritium combination.

I also tried out two Taylor Freelance magazine base extensions. Each turned their respective magazines into 20 rounders from the 15 they started with. Much fewer magazine changes than the Production class with its limit of 10 rounds and they worked very well.

I need a better holster for it, as the one I'm using now just won't do, as it's not made for the M&P Pro and doesn't quite fit it properly. I also need lots more practice with transitions and movement to get shooting faster.

The accuracy of the firearm is excellent, but I need to speed up if I'm going to do well in limited.

The match was well run, it was at a very nice range and there were a great bunch (in terms of both niceness and numbers) of people there. Not a bad way to spend a Sunday.

Friday, June 26, 2015

End Of The Enfield Era

The last active military users of the Lee Enfield SMLE and No.4 MK1, The Canadian Rangers, are about to turn them in.

The Firearms Blog: Replacement Selected For Canadian Rangers’ Lee-Enfield Rifles

The venerable rifles are being replaced with a rifle based on the SAKO T3 CTR in .308 to be built under license by Colt Canada.

Whether this means Canada will release them on the surplus market, along with the tons of .303 surplus ammo they have in storage, has not been announced, but I hpe they will, and if they do I'd certainly not hesitate to buy one.

Monday, June 22, 2015

It's Getting Sporty In Detroit

The thugs have left their hibernation and seem to be out and about plying their trade, and it seems to be spreading into areas previously considered to be low risk.

The Detroit Free Press: Commuter carjacked, shots fired at motorist on I-96

Four armed suspects brake checking and then hitting cars and running them off the highway in broad daylight to car jack them is rather atypical, as is doing it to steal a Chevy Cobalt.

Also, multiple shootings occurred this weekend, one of which had a documented happy ending when an armed robber ran into an armed cook at a restaurant in Detroit with predictable results:

The Detroit News: 1 dead, 1 wounded in Greektown shooting. This brings the total over the weekend to 24 shot, with some of the usual suspects trying to exculpate the criminals on the grounds that they don't have jobs so they shoot people. Well, that's not OK then.

I'd also expect trouble at the fireworks show, now that they're backing away from a curfew on unaccompanied minors .

Nothing like a summer crime wave to put the brakes on Detroit's proclaimed resurgence.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

A First-Class Slap On The Wrist

A mere slap on the wrist delivered, unlike all the mail this postal employee stole.

The Detroit News: Postal worker linked to stolen mail will pay $1,500

After stealing at least 2,000 pieces of mail, postal worker Sharon Berrien will have to pay a $1,500 fine (payable in $50 a month increments),do 40 hours of community service and the criminal charges will be dropped.

Less than a dollar fine per piece of mail converted including the gift cards etc that were inside them and after she admitted she kept $1,000-$1,500 of the contents like gift cards, etc.

In other words, she's not even being punished for her crime, merely told to repay what she estimated she stole and go forth and steal no more. What an effective way to deter future postal employee thefts and to punish a wrongdoer.

An outrageous first-class slap on the wrist indeed.