Words of Advice:

"Never Feel Sorry For Anyone Who Owns an Airplane."-- Tina Marie

If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It.
" -- Unknown

"There seems to be almost no problem that Congress cannot,
by diligent efforts and careful legislative drafting, make ten times worse.
" -- Me

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Friday, November 27, 2015

Texas Question

Why do they call it "the Panhandle"?

It looks more like a smokestack or a bell tower. Florida and Oklahoma have parts that look like panhandles, but not Texas.

It's a weird state.

To Protect and to Steal

You are more likely to have your stuff stolen by the cops than by burglars.
Between 1989 and 2010, U.S. attorneys seized an estimated $12.6 billion in asset forfeiture cases. The growth rate during that time averaged +19.4% annually. In 2010 alone, the value of assets seized grew by +52.8% from 2009 and was six times greater than the total for 1989. Then by 2014, that number had ballooned to roughly $4.5 billion for the year, making this 35% of the entire number of assets collected from 1989 to 2010 in a single year. According to the FBI, the total amount of goods stolen by criminals in 2014 burglary offenses suffered an estimated $3.9 billion in property losses. This means that the police are now taking more assets than the criminals.
The cops in DC were essentially mugging people; if you had a joint in your pocket and $20 in the other pocket, the cops kept the $20.

It's no longer a game of "cops and robbers", the cops are the robbers.

The Missiles of November

The Russians have announced that they are moving S-300 and S-400 missile systems to their Syrian airbases. The Russians also moved the cruiser Moskva closer to Syria, so that she can cover the area with her air defense missiles.

It take no great feat of imagination to suppose that a Turkish jet that puts so much as a wingtip into Syrian airspace will be blown out of the sky. The Russians will proclaim that they were only defending the sovereignty of their ally, Syria. They'll claim that they gave the Turkish jet notice. The Turks will deny everything and point to how their jet crashed in Turkey itself.

Which, as you no doubt have already concluded, is the storyline of the shooting down of the Russian jet, only with the names reversed.

At the same time, expect some kinetic urban renewal from the Russians, directed at the people who killed the Russian pilot in his parachute.

In the meantime, all across NATO, governments are scrutinizing their copies of their NATO treaties and trying to find wriggle room to get them from having to go to war over this. For we are on the verge of getting into a shooting war, one in which the main belligerents on both sides have nuclear weapons.

Because It's Friday

Black Friday


The newspaper yesterday was thicker than a typical Sunday edition, crammed with sales flyers. I have no intention of going anywhere near a shopping center until my Sunday grocery run. I think it was last year that there was a fistfight at the local Walmart on Black Friday morning.

I can understand why the Puritans* banned the Christmas celebration, since then as now, it has more to do with commerce and partying than anything religious. The celebration of Christmas is more a continuation of Saturnalia.

Without the sales of the Christmas season, it's probably fair to say that a good number of retail establishments would shutter for good. So Tom Lehrer's song, which started out nearly sixty years ago as satire, is now possibly the most honest Christmas sone you'll hear.
* They were pretty much the Christian equivalent of ISIS, back in their day.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

Found on FB:

And yes, Judge James Hannon was indeed blind and so he didn't look at the color photos taken by Officer Obanhein. Guthrie and his friend, Rick Robbins, were each fined $25 and they did have to pick up all of the garbage.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Frothy Must be Frothing

I can't imagine, right now, how frustrated Rick Santorum must feel. For decades, Republicans have operated on an informal basis of whoever comes in second gets to run the next time around. Reagan lost to Ford, Bush lost to Reagan, Dole lost to Bush I, Buchanan lost to Dole. For reasons I've forgotten, Buchanan dropped out early for `00. McCain then lost to Bush II, Romney lost to McCain and Santorum lost to Romney. By that history, it's Santorum's turn.

But right now, Santorum is polling just ahead of syphilis and is tied with Miss Lindsey. Even Romney's dog could poll higher.

Meanwhile, the GOP elites are in full-panic mode, for they're now saying, in public, that The Donald is a fascist. Which is arguably true, but don't expect that to dent the allure of the Manhattan Mussolini to the base of the GOP. They're convinced that even if Trump brings full-on totalitarian police state to be, that Trump will only go after those people.

This campaign is plumbing the depths of ugly long before the first vote will be cast.

Color Me "Cynical"; Chicago Edition

A white Chicago police officer has been charged with murder over the shooting death of a black teenager, just one day before a deadline by which a judge has ordered the city to release a squad-car video of the incident.

Veteran officer Jason Van Dyke was indicted on Tuesday on a first-degree murder charge after shooting 17-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times.
The City fought like hell to keep the video under wraps, but lost.

Note that the shooter was on the "rubber gun squad" for a year before the indictment. It's hard to conceive of another situation where a gunman might shoot a person sixteen times, including shooting the victim in the back as the victim lay on the ground and then it took the prosecutors a year to file charges, unless the killer was a cop.

A cynical observer might conclude that the cop would have been left there, if not restored to full duty, if the City had been able to keep the video secret. For it sure seems like it was only when the video was going to be released that the prosecutors brought charges.

The Worst Person in the World (Martin Shkreli) Is Also a Fucking Liar

You might remember him, he's the weasel who raised the price of an old drug from $13.50 a pop to $750. When the shit hit the fan over that, he promised that his company would lower the price, soon, any day, you betcha, and provide some free samples to hospitals.

Well, cynical observers, such as Your Humble Blogger, were skeptical.

And guess what, Gentle Readers? We were right.
Controversial pharmaceutical boss Martin Shkreli has has decided he’s not going to lower the price of his HIV medication after all.

Shkreli’s company Turing Pharmaceuticals announced on Wednesday that it would provide volume discounts of its drug Daraprim to hospitals, but it appears that the company’s $750-a-pill price tag still stands
Psychopaths like Shkreli never change. He never had any intention of honoring his word. All he was doing was stalling for time.

Here's hoping that the Federal prosecutors speed things up and finally send this clown for an enforced vacation. Bernie Madoff might like a new cellmate.

Stupid, Stupid Criminals

I trust you'll be able to spot the flaw in the plan of this criminal mastermind:
A woman allegedly called 911 to draw officers away from her location so she could drive home under the influence, Wayne Police said Thursday. ... Police said Hayley Oates made the call so that she and a companion could drive home from the Grasshopper Bar & Grill on Erie Avenue under the influence without fear of being arrested.

Oates allegedly posted to social media a message reading “lmao.. 2 mins later the cop peals out.. silly piggies tricks r for u.”
And here's another idiot that had to brag about his crime on social media:
A Florida man who killed his wife and posted a photo of the bloody corpse on Facebook was convicted Wednesday of second-degree murder after failing to convince a jury that he shot her eight times in self-defense.
Even Inspector Clouseau might have been able to crack that case.

"Have a Coke and Some Cash"

A nonprofit founded to combat obesity says the $1.5 million it received from Coke has no influence on its work.

But emails obtained by The Associated Press show the world's largest beverage maker was instrumental in shaping the Global Energy Balance Network, which is led by a professor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. Coke helped pick the group's leaders, edited its mission statement and suggested articles and videos for its website.
This is more of a follow-up to an earlier story. Coke said that its money was an "unrestricted gift", but they sure got into the nitty-gritty with the bribe-takers, to the point of ensuring that their logo didn't have any blue in it.

But I'm not sure that Coke is the main evildoer in this story. The researchers may have approached Coke with a proposal, which makes them different from a whore at a truck-stop only in degree.

Coke essentially says that, having been caught buying off researchers, they'll stop doing it. At least this time. Their "Chief Health and Science Officer" has resigned-- ayup. Coke having a senior executive working on health issues would be almost as laughable as Budweiser or RJ Reynolds having a similar position on their company flowcharts.

(E-mail excerpts here)

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

"This Business Will Get Out of Control. It Will Get Out of Control and We'll Be Lucky to Live Through It."

The Turks have shot down a Russian attack jet near the Syrian border.

Some of the targets that the Russians have been striking in Syria is in an area under the control of ethnic Turks, and the Turkish government had told the Russians to stop bombing the Turkmen. So it's within the realm of the possible that the Turks thought "ehh, close enough" and shot down the Russian attack jet.

The Turks will nos, no doubt, go whining to NATO that they had to defend their sovereignty and such. But the Turks threw the first punch. Putin does not seem to be the sort of national leader to let such slights go unanswered.

By the way, killing pilots who have parachuted out over enemy territory is a war crime (one for which we've executed people). Don't expect the Russians to overlook this point.

This could get very ugly very fast.

(Source of the title for this post.)

Monday, November 23, 2015

Obama Derangement Syndrome

It's not very pretty.
The examples of the GOP's reflexive opposition to President Obama's agenda are many but this may be the best one yet: by a 27 point margin Republicans say they disapprove of the President's executive order last year pardoning two Thanksgiving turkeys (Macaroni and Cheese) instead of the customary one. Only 11% of Republicans support the President's executive order last year to 38% who are opposed- that's a pretty clear sign that if you put Obama's name on something GOP voters are going to oppose it pretty much no matter what.
If President Obama announced that a cure had been found for cancer, Republicans would be screaming about lost jobs in the hospice industry.


Turn on the closed-captions and it'll tell you the source of each movie clip.

Dear Canada: What the Fuck?-- Snowflakes Meet Yoga Edition.

In studios across the nation, as many as 20 million Americans practice yoga every day. Few worry that their downward dogs or warrior poses disrespect other cultures.

But yoga comes from India, once a British colony. And now, at one Canadian university, a yoga class designed to include disabled students has been canceled after concerns the practice was taken from a culture that "experienced oppression, cultural genocide and diasporas due to colonialism and western supremacy," according to the group that once sponsored it.
How does this even make sense?

Rock and roll has its origins in music that was mainly African-American. But nobody with five functioning brain cells has suggested banning rock and roll because of cultural imperialism. We damn near bombed Japan flat, between fire raids and atomic bombs, are we now not supposed to eat sushi? Hell, American sushi is different from Japanese sushi, but we still call it "sushi".

Yoga, in the West, isn't a religious ritual. It's stretching and exercise. Maybe we should call it "Agoy", but then that'll just confuse a lot of Jews. "The Exercise Formerly Known as Yoga Before the Stupid Snowflakes Got Upset" is too long. TEFKAYBSSGU? (You're all welcome to come up with a better acronym.)

I don't know what's going to happen when these hypersensative snowflakes get out into the working world and find out that (a) they don't get praise or awards for just showing up and (b) nobody will give a fuck if they're offended by things. But that's probably blog fodder for another time.

UPDATE: In California, "yoga = religion" has already been litigated by the Christian Taliban. They lost.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Gunnie Stuff

I let a local Smith collector coonfinger the Model 66 that I bought several weeks back. He didn't much care for the fact that some Cletus had, in the past, polished it. But he pronounced the lockup to be almost like new. His verdict: "You done good."

I've given up trying to master double-action for rapid fire with the Model 17. You need a fair amount of "oomf" to reliably touch off rimfire cartridges and you fight against that each time you cock the gun with the trigger. So I need to get off five shots in ten seconds, single-action.

I'm doing that by running the range commands in my head and then starting a stopwatch when the buzzer would sound. So far, I'm averaging eleven seconds for a string. I need to get that down to ten. Maybe I'll try dry-fire drills with my Model 19.

YA Fiction

I'll admit that I haven't read a lot of it in the last few decades. I've read the "Hunger Games" books and the first of the "Divergent" books.

Seems to me that both had the same underlying premise: A plucky teenager becomes the guiding lamp for fixing a dystopian reality. I can see why that might be appealing to teenagers; their lives must seem to them to be completely under the control of grownups. Through the books, they can have the fantasy of fighting the system and making a huge difference.

The reality of life is, of course, not that. When comes to war, the role of the young can be summed up in two words: Cannon fodder. They are the ones fight and bleed and kill and die for the cause, all at the command of older officers. Whether it is the polius in the trenches or the SPAD pilots above it, it's the young who, in large measure, pay the butcher's bill for the fight.

Modern warfare has made this even more true. When senior officers die, it tends to be from aircraft crashes or heart attacks. The day of generals riding to view a battle in person ended over a century ago.

Sure, there are exceptions. Joan of Arc was the most famous. But she is pretty much the exception that proves the rule: In war, young adults are cannon fodder.

Terrorist Snake Oil

Red mercury — precious and rare, exceptionally dangerous and exorbitantly expensive, its properties unmatched by any compound known to science — was the stuff of doomsday daydreams. According to well-traveled tales of its potency, when detonated in combination with conventional high explosives, red mercury could create the city-flattening blast of a nuclear bomb. In another application, a famous nuclear scientist once suggested it could be used as a component in a neutron bomb small enough to fit in a sandwich-size paper bag.
Except it doesn't exist. Red mercury is akin to the mythical Glock 7 that couldn't be detected by airport x-ray machines.


When I squatted down to take a photo of Jake on the couch, he seized the opportunity for some attention.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Maybe The Donald Will Make White Men Carry Special ID Cards

For that's what the facts tell us:
In the 14 years since Al Qaeda carried out attacks on New York and the Pentagon, extremists have regularly executed smaller lethal assaults in the United States, explaining their motives in online manifestoes or social media rants.

But the breakdown of extremist ideologies behind those attacks may come as a surprise. Since Sept. 11, 2001, nearly twice as many people have been killed by white supremacists, antigovernment fanatics and other non-Muslim extremists than by radical Muslims: 48 have been killed by extremists who are not Muslim, including the recent mass killing in Charleston, S.C., compared with 26 by self-proclaimed jihadists, according to a count by New America, a Washington research center.
But since that's The Donald's base......

Registering Muslims?

How will one find a Muslim?

As I understand it, there is one and only one step to becoming a Muslim: One must say a single sentence, and believe in its truth. The sentence is: "There is no god but God and Muhammad is the messenger of God."

That is the Declaration of Faith, one of the five pillars of Islam. The others are Prayer (five times a day), Charity (donations of money or accomplishing good works if one is poor), Fasting (observance of Ramadan) and Pilgrimage (to Mecca).

Like any other religion, there are different sects that tack on other things, but observe, if you will, that nowhere is it required to join any particular mosque.

But the Declaration of Faith is all that is mandatory. No visiting of a mosque, no certification of an imam, no central registry with the Saudi embassy, none of that.[1]

So how does one go about finding the Muslims? Supposedly a Chinese emperor wanted to do that a few hundred years ago. When he ordered his generals to find and kill them, the generals asked how they could determine who was a Muslim. The Emperor told them to kill anyone who wouldn't eat pork, which resulted in the near extermination of the Chinese Jews.[2]

How does The Donald and his neo-fascists plan to accomplish their task? Or do they think that all Muslims in this country have brown skin, drive taxis and eat falafel?[3]
[1] I researched this elsewhere, because who knows if DHS or the NSA or somebody isn't tracking those who look into the tenets of Islam?
[2] That's what I was told in an Asian history class, decades ago.
[3] Just ask Mike Huckabee.

Francisco Franco Is Still Seriously Dead

Forty years on.

About thirty years ago, a veteran of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade was said to have peed into a vial and then poured it over Franco's grave.

Because It's Friday

Modern Business Plot- Fascism in 2017

There were allegations that, after the election of FDR in 1933, a group of wealthy businessmen plotted to seize power and install a fascist regime. They picked the wrong former general to head the plot and he blew the whistle.

Fast-forward eighty years and it would seem that the new version of the Business Plot is to first gain power legitimately. And then would come the fascist police state:
Donald Trump “would certainly implement” a database system tracking Muslims in the United States, the Republican front-runner told NBC News on Thursday night.

“I would certainly implement that. Absolutely,” Trump said in Newton, Iowa, in between campaign town halls.

“There should be a lot of systems, beyond databases,” he added. “We should have a lot of systems.” When asked whether Muslims would be legally obligated to sign into the database, Trump responded, “They have to be — they have to be.”
Trump is not disguising any of this:
“We’re going to have to do things that we never did before. And some people are going to be upset about it, but I think that now everybody is feeling that security is going to rule,” Trump said. “And certain things will be done that we never thought would happen in this country in terms of information and learning about the enemy. And so we’re going to have to do certain things that were frankly unthinkable a year ago.”
This is what would almost be laughable if politics was comedy: The very same voters, who for years have been proclaiming that a requirement to have health insurance is tyranny, are lining up to support a man who is openly promising to institute a fascist police state.

Seriously. For them, it's OK to deport people because of their religion. It's OK to make people of a different faith register with the government and carry ID cards marking them as members of that faith. But health care is tyranny to them?

A lot of Americans are no different from anyone else: Scare them a little, promise them security, they will eagerly hand over their freedoms and liberties and, with a hearty "fuck you" to the millions of men and women who have fought and died for their freedom for the last 200+ years, they will close their ears to the sound of the jackboots.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

A Reverse Patrick Henry: "Give Me Slavery and Give Me Life!"

One of Hillary Clinton's billionaire supporters who would rather live in chains than die a free man. Maybe he thinks that, with all of his money, he can buy padded manacles.

There are terms for such people throughout modern history: Quislings. Collaborators. Useful idiots. Running dogs. Cowardly snake.

This clown needs to be mocked through the tubes of the Internet.


If You're Going to Plan a Terrorist Attack.....

.... you might want to get the hell outta Dodge before it goes down. Otherwise, your longevity isn't going to be much more than that of a mayfly.
The suspected Islamic State mastermind of the Paris attacks was among those killed in a police raid north of the capital, France confirmed on Thursday, bringing an end to the hunt for Europe's most wanted man.

Authorities said they had identified the corpse of Belgian national Abdelhamid Abaaoud from fingerprints in the aftermath of Wednesday's raid, in which at least two people died including a female suicide bomber after a gun battle with police.
He had to be operating on some terrorist-grade derp to think that he could stay in the area and not be found by les flics.

All of the Other Search Engines Have Tossed in the Towel?

From the stats thing:

And, if you're curious about the OSs used:

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Young Men Fleeing Syria?

I posted this as a comment, but it's worth a separate post:

Tell me, people, why is it such a surprise that young men are fleeing Syria? If they stayed, they'd get impressed into the Syrian Army or Daesh or some other group. It it any shock that they're not terribly interested in becoming cannon fodder for either a brutal dictator or a pack of Stone-age theology terrorists?

Based on the past several years, the risk is minuscule.
Of the 745,000 refugees resettled since September 11th, only two Iraqis in Kentucky have been arrested on terrorist charges, for aiding al-Qaeda in Iraq.
You grab up 745,000 random citizens and you're probably going to find a large number of thieves, rapists and a couple of dozen murderers. Based on that, a country that had the same degree of paranoia as the Gutless Governors would be foolish to accept any American emigres.

Funny how the same people who have wet dreams about fighting oppression are also pissing their pants like terrified puppies.

UPDATE: Can I get an amen for this?

Not Much Changes in the Land of the Free and the Home of Pants-Shitting Bigots

Not at all.

After Nazi Germany initiated World War II by invading Poland, Roosevelt, like many government officials and ordinary Americans, suspected that refugees from German-controlled Europe were potential Axis spies, who would provide intelligence to the enemy and who, if permitted to settle freely in the United States, would serve as a “fifth column” in the event of a German or Japanese invasion.
The racist fear stays the same, only the refugees change.

Is the Right a Tool of the Terrorists

Consider, if you will, two of the things that you can easily read and hear from conservatives:
  • We are at war with Muslims.
  • And so, we should kill all of them
The second point is easily disposed of: There are 1.6 billion Muslims, or a skosh less than a quarter of the world's population. Anyone who is so lacking in humanity as to propose mass murder for any reason should be, at the very least, ignored, if not called out publicly for being a monster.

The first point, which is, sadly, all too commonly repeated, is identical to what the terrorists themselves have proclaimed for decades. When people and politicians (mostly Christians) babble about a war with Islam, they are validating the talking points of the terrorists.

But they don't care, especially the politicians. They know that fear is a good selling point. Getting people to hide under the table, shivering in abject pants-shitting terror, is good for the politicians who are telling them "elect me, I'll git `er done". The obvious fact that trafficking in fear is also good for the terrorists doesn't bother people like Trump, Christie, Huckabee, or the Cabal of Cowardly Governors one bit.

I'll close with some wise words from the President:
“Isil seeks to exploit the idea that there’s war between Islam and the west, and when you see individuals in positions of responsibility suggesting Christians are more worthy of protection than Muslims are in a war-torn land, that feeds the Isil narrative. It’s counter-productive. And it needs to stop.

“And I would add, these are the same folks who suggested they’re so tough that just ‘talk to Putin’ or staring down Isil [will work] … but they are scared of widows and orphans coming into the United States of America as part of our tradition of compassion. At first they were too scared of the press being too tough on them in the debates. Now they are scared of three-year-old orphans. That doesn’t seem so tough to me.”

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

"Eject! Eject! Eject!"-- GOP Short Bus Edition

The kiddie table at the GOP presidential debates just got smaller:
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal dropped out of the 2016 race for president Tuesday, ending a campaign that failed to gain much support among Republicans sifting through a long list of contenders for the GOP nomination.
Jindal was polling numbers were somewhere between herpes and gonorrhea.

But shed no ears for the Volcano Man. He'll be back in an election cycle or four. That sort of egotistical ambition doesn't evaporate very easily. In the meantime, he'll likely partake of some Wingnut Welfare by getting a near no-show job with a think tank or Fox News.

Is Chris Christie the Worst Human Being in the Civilized World?

Arguably, he is.
Chris Christie says the U.S. should not accept any new Syrian refugees, not even young orphans.

"I do not trust this administration to effectively vet the people who are proposed to be coming in," the New Jersey governor and presidential hopeful said in an interview Monday with radio host Hugh Hewitt.

When asked if he would make an exception for "orphans under the age of five," Christie said no.
Even Rep. Peter King (R-IRA) thinks Christie's being a bit too bigoted. Because the threat from radicalized toddlers isn't one to take very seriously.

But we've been down this road before.

Hillary Guiliani

So Hillary Clinton justifies taking money from Wall Street because 9/11?

She also obfuscated her source of money by claiming she had hundreds of thousands of small donors. Which is wrapping a lie with a veneer of truth, because most of her money comes from large donors.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Shorter Trump: "Fuck the First Amendment and the Rest of the Constitution"

Just like the hoplophobes on the far left, The Donald has no trouble with tearing up the Bill of Rights when it suits him:
Donald Trump on Monday suggested he would "strongly consider" shutting down mosques in the U.S. as part of the response to the terror attacks in Paris.
If you follow his line of "reasoning" we should then shutter the LDS temples for being centers of hatred.

Without surfing around, I'll bet that you can find conservatives who, just yesterday were decrying censorship at Missouri U., now endorsing the latest screed from The Donald.

If to The Donald, freedom is "the right to agree with me", then he needs to sit down and get edjumacated.

Pfizer: Tearing Down People's Homes and Cheating on Taxes

Pfizer is, in essence, cheating on its taxes by using foreign subsidiaries to launder its profits. They charge their debt and R&D costs to their U.s. operations and take their profits to Ireland.

Frankly, it's no surprise. Pfizer was the driving force behind taking and razing people's homes for a never-built project in New London, CT.

Never Let a Good Crisis Go to Waste; FBI/CIA Edition

Without a single shred of evidence, the "we need a backdoor into encryption" crowd is proclaiming that they could have stopped Daesh's attack on Paris if only they could read the texts on your iPhone.

Once again, they promise that "we can keep you safe, if only you give up just a little more freedom." Which, unless we're all going to go live in supermax prisons, is bullshit.

Fucking weasels, every last one of them.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

An Alternative to Drone Strikes Against ISIS Daesh

(Stickied with an update)

Instead of whacking more teenagers running around with AKs, let's kill these guys:
A small but steady flow of money to ISIS from rich individuals in the Gulf continues, say current and former U.S. officials, with Qataris the biggest suppliers. These rich individuals have long served as "angel investors," as one expert put it, for the most violent militants in the region, providing the “seed money” that helped launch ISIS and other jihadi groups.
Or these guys (back from the 9/11 investigations):
Saudi Arabia has long been considered the primary source of al Qaeda funding, but we have found no evidence that the Saudi government as an institution or senior Saudi officials individually funded the organization. (This conclusion does not exclude the likelihood that charities with significant Saudi government sponsorship diverted funds to al Qaeda.)
Or, what the hell, these guys:
In the spring of 2010, Afghan officials struck a deal to free an Afghan diplomat held hostage by Al Qaeda. But the price was steep — $5 million — and senior security officials were scrambling to come up with the money.

They first turned to a secret fund that the Central Intelligence Agency bankrolled with monthly cash deliveries to the presidential palace in Kabul, according to several Afghan officials involved in the episode. The Afghan government, they said, had already squirreled away about $1 million from that fund.
Some ultra-rich camel-sodomizer gives money to terrorist group and what do we do about it? Not a damn thing, because the Saudis and the Qataris are our frens.

Some friends they are. If we're going to prosecute morons for trying to join ISIS Daesh, we certainly should be going after those who give them bags of cash.

And then there is the question of one of the largest state supporters of terrorism: Pakistan.

"Daesh" It Shall Be

The militants who are killing civilians, raping and forcing captured women into sexual slavery, and beheading foreigners in Iraq and Syria are known by several names: the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham, or ISIS; the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL; and, more recently, the Islamic State, or IS. French officials recently declared that that country would stop using any of those names and instead refer to the group as “Daesh.” ... The term “Daesh” is strategically a better choice because it is still accurate in that it spells out the acronym of the group’s full Arabic name, al-Dawla al-Islamiya fi al-Iraq wa al-Sham. Yet, at the same time, “Daesh” can also be understood as a play on words — and an insult. Depending on how it is conjugated in Arabic, it can mean anything from “to trample down and crush” to “a bigot who imposes his view on others.” Already, the group has reportedly threatened to cut out the tongues of anyone who uses the term.
"Dash Daesh"

"Death to Daesh"

Works for me.

Your Sunday Morning Jet (Narration)

Film of a prototype 737 operating on a grass runway.

I'm a little fried, so I'll leave it to you to research the details of the test.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

On Terrorism and War

A long post that I commend to your attention, written by a man who has Seen the Elephant.

Fifty Years Ago

The Battle of Ia Drang began. It was the first significant fight between the American and North Vietnamese armies.

It would be the longest war in American history, at least until until the Reign of Darth and the Chimperor.



She's been a Caturday guest cat going back to the earliest days of this here blog.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Gummint Boolits?

Is this the stuff that the Feds buy by the boxcar-lot for training purposes?

What is the point of "non-duty hollowpoints"? Wouldn't ball ammo be cheaper and just as suitable for training use?


Commentary will largely be withheld until the dust settles and the casualties counted.

But if there was ever a bad time to be a refugee heading for the West, this may be the worst in several decades.
"The Euros have a proven zero-to-jackboots time lower than just about anybody on the planet. The migrant muzzies might want to think about what happens when they get Hans and Pierre feeling good and scared and backed into a corner."
Other than the Americans, there aren't many nations capable of projecting military force at a considerable distance beyond their own borders. The terrorists have, in the last two weeks, seriously pissed off two of them. And one of them has a track record of exacting bloody vengeance.

Rice Bowls Gotta Be Protected; DEA Edition

DEA chief Chuck Rosenberg [last] Wednesday rejected the notion that smoking marijuana is "medicine," calling the premise a "joke."
And now people, with some justification, want his head.
A petition calling for President Barack Obama to fire acting Drug Enforcement Administration chief Chuck Rosenberg over his remarks on medical marijuana had gathered over 28,000 signatures, by Thursday afternoon.
This is about as unsurprising as it comes. The Prime Directive for any bureaucrat is to protect their power. Legalizing medical marijuana, let alone legalizing pot altogether, would seriously reduce the DEA's power (and budget).

I suspect that the Chief of the Bureau of Prohibition wasn't in favor of the 21st Amendment. The bureaucratic reasoning would have been identical: Operation Protect Our Rice Bowl.

Bake Sales for Bombers, the Conservative Ideal?

Cruz, and other GOPers, want to abolish the IRS. Which they've pretty much done, given that you're almost as likely to be struck by lightning as you are to be audited.

For the sake of argument, assume that the Canadien Usurper and other do shutter the IRS. Who will collect taxes? Who will enforce the requirement to pay taxes?

If the Feds sent you a letter that says: "Dear Citizen, please voluntarily send us 25% of what you made last year."-- what would you do?

If taxes become voluntary, will the Feds have to hold fundraisers? Will a future president have to tell our Asian allies "We're sorry that the Chinese have attacked, but we didn't get enough response to our B-2 Operational Fund fundraisers. You're on your own."?

Abolishing the IRS is a Wingnut fantasy. Clowns like Cruz, who is definitely smart enough to know that (even if he can't count to five), should be flogged through the streets for promising to abolish the IRS.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Ted Cruz Can't Count to Five

"1, 2, 3, 2, 5!"

What is it with these Texas politicians who can't count?

Tools Standing Around

It seems that the TSA is figuring out more ways to annoy people. Now there's an "agent" sitting at the entrance to the maze, who wants a glance at your boarding pass and ID before you go stand in line to wait to show your ID and boarding pass to the guy at the podium (and before you get to watch your valuables sit unattended at the end of the conveyor because the line for the Rapie-scanner is backed up). There's the TSA-trained witchdoctor, who watches the line for people who show signs of being irritated by the TSA.

All of this and for what? Has the TSA actually stopped an attack? Every so often, the TSA will put out a press release about "We're keeping you safe, we confiscated X many guns, Y many knives and Z many other things!" Never do they specify how many of those were from genuine bad guys or from idiots who forgot that they had a Lorcin .380 in their computer bag.

The idiots were clueless, but they weren't out to do harm on an airliner. For if they were, they'd have been prosecuted with many press releases ensuing.

When it comes to wasteful government programs, the DHS is giving the DoD a run for our money.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Veterans Day

This is the day to honor living veterans.

But it's worth remembering that this day originally began as Armistice Day, to mark the day that the Great War ended. It was not to remember those who fought, but to remember the day that they stopped fighting what was, at that time, the most destructive and deadly war in modern history.

It began as a day to mark the outbreak of peace.

Unfortunately, instead of an armistice or a lasting peace, it became a hiatus. Less than nineteen years later, almost all of the combatants in the first war went to war in the second one.*
*Except for the Japanese. And the Russians, who began the war on one side and were then attacked and invaded by their former ally. And the Italians, who switched sides early enough to avoid becoming an occupied nation at the end of the war.

Monday, November 9, 2015

CWT and Other Stuff

Renting a car. It makes a sound thalt sounds like a distant siren. Eck! told me thaat it's the sound of a "continuously-variable transmission". Heh, more like "continually whining". Car gets decent mileage, but that whining would drive me nuts.

Also test-using an iPad. What a hostile piece of shit. If it were mine, I'd prop it up against a berm and shoot it. I can't even get the frackiang cursor to move back to fix a typo.

Ten minutes of futzung and now it does. Crimus. This is about as easy to figure out as String Theory. And now it won't move again, except to the end of the line.

Rot in Hell, Steve Jobs.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

The video is starting where it is because this is the only video I have found, so far, of a Hansa Jet taking off:

That appears to be a Luftwaffe ECM bird. Not very many Hansa Jets were built. I doubt if any of them are still flying, just from the lack of any video uploaded by planespotters.

Saturday, November 7, 2015


Jake is skilled at seasoning the mattress pad before clean sheets are fitted to the bed.