Thursday, September 18, 2014

Yankee Air Force Museum To Change Its Name

Hard on the heels of the Confederate Air Force changing its name to the Commemorative Air Force to appease the forces of political correctness, we now hear the fabled Yankee Air Force Museum is about to change it's storied name as well.

The Detroit News: Air museum to drop ‘Yankee’ as it flies toward new era

The Yankee Air Museum will be soaring shortly into welcoming skies and a bright future, complete with an inspiring and appropriate new name.

Either that, or the new name will be a sniveling kowtow to the gods of political correctness.

That depends on your perspective, and how strongly you feel about the word “Yankee.” But the part about soaring is hard to argue with.

As for the new name, the museum at Willow Run Airport expects to reveal it within two to six weeks, at the same time it officially acquires a chunk of the historic Willow Run bomber plant that churned out B24s during World War II.

So take a museum and show with world-wide name recognition linked to air shows and historic aircraft with no real (or even imagined) negative connotations, and change it for no good reason.

Perhaps it should be renamed the Troll Air Force because after all, it is under the bridge, and then it could sell these adorable critters in the gift shop.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Curiouser and Curiouser: In Livingston Road Rage Shooting A History Of Getting Out Of The Boat And A History Of Violence

It's beginning to look more and more that the Livingston County Road Rage incident was a case of two hot headed idiots playing a stupid game and both losing, one fatally.

This incident reinforces the point - don't get out of the boat, don't play tough guy and confront another driver, and don't be a stupid road-rager on the road, period.

It turns out that the shot and deceased Mr. Fleming had a history of both threatening others and at least one other incident where he got out of his vehicle in a road rage case and confronted another driver and then swung at someone.

The Detroit Free Press: Road-rage run-ins not first for Howell victim, shooter

It was not the first time Derek Flemming confronted another motorist.

He told Livingston County Sheriff's Department deputies that he "grew frustrated" with a driver in front of him who had pulled out onto westbound M-59 from Clark Road, according to a police report that bears both a January 2013 and January 2014 date.

He told police that he honked his horn several times and the driver twice braked "suddenly, almost causing (Derek Flemming) to rear-end the vehicle," the report noted.

Derek Flemming said the other driver eventually "boxed him in" as he made a "Michigan left," so he got out of his vehicle, leaving his wife in the car, and asked the other driver what he was doing, the report noted. [Note the similarity to his actions in the present case]

The police report stated that a physical confrontation occurred and the other driver allegedly pushed Flemming, who fell to the ground, landing on his back and hitting his head.

He also had previously

"became irate and threatened to kill (a deputy) and any Enbridge person who stepped onto his property"
and allegedly launched fireworks at the Enbridge employees.

Meanwhile, Zale similarly has a history of violence and assuming the facts as reported as true, should not have legally had a CPL (concealed pistol license) to be legally allowed to carry a firearm that day:

According to 16th District Court records, Zale is wanted on an outstanding warrant alleging assault and battery for the 2008 incident in Livonia.

A Livonia Police Department report indicates a then-37-year-old Livonia man indicated that he was traveling east on 7 Mile Road and turned onto Farmington Road when Zale also turned onto Farmington from westbound 7 Mile.

The Livonia man said his vehicle was in front of Zale's and that Zale was following "close," prompting the Livonia man to tap his brakes to get the other driver to back off, the report noted. He said Zale followed him as he turned into a McDonald's parking lot and when he got out of his vehicle, a "verbal altercation started."

The Livonia man told Zale that he needed to "drive better or something like that," and that's when Zale struck him on the left side of the head "with a closed right fist," the report noted. He said Zale then left the parking lot.

At least two witnesses also reported to Livonia police that they saw Zale punch the victim with a closed fist and they wrote down his license plate number, which police traced to Zale.

This does bring up an interesting question - with an outstanding warrant for assault and battery, Zale's Concealed Pistol License should have been automatically suspended and he would have had to hand it in to his County Gun Board.

So, did he still have a permit through some oversight or was he in fact carrying illegally and not as a CPL holder as heavily reported at the time of the incident?

The Dinkheller Incident - A Sobering Look At How Everything Can Go Wrong, Fast

Thanks to Andrew Kirch on the book of the face, I got to look at a rather sobering and quite horrifying video on how badly things can go in an armed encounter.

This is the incident involving Deputy Kyle Dinkheller of the Laurens County Sheriff's Office that took place in 1998 after he pulled over the driver of a pickup truck, Andrew Brannon, for speeding over 98 mph.

The deputy never fully takes control, and completely loses control of the situation 21 seconds into the encounter, and he never gets it back.

Brannon acts irrationally, refuses to comply with Dinkheller's commands and acts aggressively towards the deputy. The deputy fails to aggressively respond and protect himself - according to one source he had been recently reprimanded that he was too quick to draw his weapon and too aggressive - here the lack of his willingness to draw and act aggressively led to his downfall.

41 seconds into the encounter, Dinkheller gets charged by the driver, but fails to secure and stop him, and is charged again by him at 50 seconds only hitting him with a non-disabling baton strike. Sadly at 1:08 he backs off and does not maintain contact with the driver, allowing Brannon to go back to his vehicle and take cover from the deputy. The driver enters the driver's side of the truck, now too far away from the deputy for Dinkheller to stop him, and things really go upside down.

Brannon in his truck retrieves and presents an M-1 Carbine, all the while the Deputy is ordering him to put the gun down but not firing at him even after the weapon is presented, and then Brannon begins firing and maneuvering toward the Deputy.

The Deputy, firing 33 shots with his pistol only makes one hit while being hit several times by Brannon and is finally brutally murdered at close range, 2 minutes and 53 seconds after the start of the encounter.

The deputy was killed, and sadly and ludicrously Andrew Brannon is still breathing. He's been sitting on death row for 14 years. While I'm not a fan of the death penalty due to the potential for mistake, government and prosecutorial malfeasance and the like, here there is no question as to proof beyond a reasonable doubt, or any doubt for that matter. Brannon committed murder, of a deputy, on video. If there was ever a textbook case for a swift and sure application of the death penalty, this is it.

Some excellent analysis of this incident can be found at Police Marksmen and at Real Defense. Lots of lessons to be sadly learned here for both police and CPL'ers.

As civilians, we won't and should not be in a situation of pulling over another driver, but we may come up against an encounter with someone like Brannon while peacefully going about our lives under normal circumstances. Seeing the signs of the attack develop here, including the irrational actions, threats and posturing may hopefully help development of appropriate responses should someone come across the likes of a Brannon.

RIP Deputy Dinkheller, and hopefully the lessons learned from your untimely death have already saved lives and will save lives in the future.

Jett and The Deer

After walking Abby to the bus this morning, I was heading back to the house with Jett and he suddenly starts some serious barking.

After looking ahead of us, it wasn't hard to figure out why he was doing so:

Three deer, standing between two of our neighbors' houses as carefree as could be. The deer were quite interested in Jett's barking but didn't run away and instead continued to stand there and watch as we approached.

Moving closer and getting a better angle, I saw they weren't alone:

Yes, a full six-pack of suburban deer, just standing there and observing the comings and goings of people and canines. No real fear of humans nor any shyness, just standing there watching us approach.

They eventually took off as we got to almost touching distance, and Jett was quite proud of himself for defending the neighborhood from the interlopers.

Not a bad way to start a morning before heading to the office.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Obama: Boots On The Ground For Ebola, But Not For ISIS

Good to see where this administration's priorities lie:

U.S. to assign 3,000 from military to fight Ebola

The Obama administration is ramping up its response to West Africa’s Ebola crisis, preparing to assign 3,000 U.S. military personnel to the afflicted region to supply medical and logistical support to overwhelmed local health care systems and to boost the number of beds needed to isolate and treat victims of the epidemic.

President Barack Obama planned to announce the stepped up effort Tuesday during a visit to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta amid alarm that the outbreak could spread and that the deadly virus could mutate into a more easily transmitted disease.

The new U.S. muscle comes after appeals from the region and from aid organizations for a heightened U.S. role in combatting the outbreak blamed for more than 2,200 deaths.

Juxtapose that with his ISIS response: Obama promises no U.S. ground war against ISIS

So, boots on the ground to expose our troops to a very deadly and, by all reports, newly highly-communicable disease, but not against the human virus that is radical Islam.

Top. Men.

Your Belief That Things In Detroit Are Upside Down Is Confirmed When...

It's the cops that are wearing masks: as seen in the picture accompanying the linked article.

And it's the robbers that are brazenly showing their faces: Unmasked suspect stands in line to rob bank in Grosse Pointe Woods

Yeah, it's like that in the D.

Monday, September 15, 2014

No, It's Really Not Discrimination When You're That Stupid

So I get a call from someone, somewhere in this fine state.

"Can you represent me, I have to go to a court hearing?"

"Ok, And why is that?"

"Cause I didn't complete my community service, but I really shouldn't be treated like this, cause I'm not like I'm a murderer or anything, I'm being discriminated against really."

I then get all the reasons why the community service wasn't done and how the person is being mistreated because of it and how the person had to pay $500 at the previous hearing and the magistrate wasn't very nice.

"OK, so why did you get community service?"

"I don't know, it's not like I'm a criminal or something, or did anything serious, and at the hearing the judge said she was going to make me do community service, I feel they bein' prejudiced agains' me"

"Ok, I understand that, but judges don't give people community service for nothing, what were you charged with?"

"Not doing my community service."

We continue in this vein for awhile and I finally get the person away from the fixation on community service and missing the better part thereof, and back to the question of "What were you charged with to get community service?"

"I don' know, maybe something to do with my drivin'"

"Ok, now we're getting somewhere, what is it about your driving that caused you to be charged with something that led you to get community service?"

"I don' know, maybe cause my driver's license was suspended when I got in an accident, but that wasn't my fault."

Yes, that sound you would have just heard at the time was my head hitting my desk.

I explained that yes, this person needs a lawyer for the hearing, cause they clearly can't represent themselves as they can't even answer a straight question. I named my fee, and suggested the person get going on doing the community service and having the hours done and completed before the hearing. We'll see if I actually get retained.

Do note Dear Reader that this person votes, and, Lord help us all, drives.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

In Rochester Hills, Michigan: A High School With Stupidity So Stupid It Burns, Stupidly.

School Security theater is one thing.

Stupid School Security Theater is another.

Stupid School Security Theater run by complete flippin' morons is even worse.

Fox News: School Security Guard to Army Officer: You Can't Come In While Wearing Your Uniform

Yes,you read that correctly. A US Army Lieutenant Colonel was denied entry to Rochester Hills Adams High School with his wife and daughter who is a student there because

"he could not enter wearing the uniform because it could offend people"

Let the stupidity of that sink in for a minute.

Now, this was eventually sorted out, but only after he and his wife called the superintendent's office, who as a former Marine probably yelled "WTF!" once he heard about it.

The superintendent is now trying to repair the damage by stating that there is no policy barring uniformed military from the school and the district

will be working with administration and the firm that handles our security to make sure district policies are understood and communicated accurately."

It'll be fun to see who gets the blame for this first-class mess-up.

So glad we don't live in the Rochester Hills school district.

How's That Reset Button Working For You?

Alternatively titled "This is why you don't give a Russian a Big Red Button as a gift".

The Detroit News: Putin: Russia to focus on new offensive weapons

Great example of the results of sophisticated adult soft-power diplomacy there guys, very nicely done.

Quick Note: Thanks to Tam for the Tamalanche that has hit this post.

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Tuesday, September 09, 2014

More Blue Angels Pics

The show was so good I wanted to share more of the Blue Angels in action.

Chasing the angels:

Showing some burner action:

Coming in head on in Delta formation:

How close can they get?

That formation then shifted into two tight pairs:

Passing by the POW/MIA flag:

All six Blue Angels passing by:

Monday, September 08, 2014

Blue Angels Over Selfridge

The Blue Angels Came, The Blue Angles Flew, The Blew Angels Rocked It.

Click 'em to embiggen.

From high-speed passes and hi-g turns:

To low and dirty in-close maneuvers:

There was nothing they couldn't do with their F-18 Hornets.

The high speed inverted crossover was a crowd favorite:

As was the formation break:

From This:

To This, in a flash:

The Blue Angles did the US Navy proud at Selfridge and put on an awesome display.