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

Sunday, August 2, 2015


I'm feeling off today. Despite the easy targets,* original content and snark will be suspended.

But you can read about the history of Spam here.

The Boston Snow Farm officially melted away two weeks ago.

* About this challenging a target.

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

As I write this, there is speculation as to whether or not a piece of wreckage from MH370 has washed ashore in Madagascar.

With that in mind, here is a Boeing 777:

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Off to the Range

I went to the outdoor range today. Hot as fuck, but there wasn't a wind.

The difference in lighting on the open sights between the indoor and outdoor ranges was unbelievable. The sights were far easier to see and use. I reshot the accuracy tests with the Model 17, there was really not a difference between the CCI Standard Velocity and the Federal Auto Match. I'll use the Auto Match in the Model 17, as my Ruger 22/45 has a definite preference for the CCI.

I also was able to take a test-drive of the gun on the 50-yard mark for slow-fire. I can do this, I think. Zero regrets on buying the Model 17. I should have bought one twenty years ago, 0ther than maybe I wouldn't have got the Ruger 22/45. For convincing a new shooter that yes, they can shoot accurately with a handgun, that Ruger is pisser medicine.

And the spotting scope (together with a used tripod from the thrift store) was a good purchase.

I also re-mounted the optic on my Ruger. Because it's fun to shoot.

Bring Back the Air Line, Amtrak!

There is some worrying going on about the impact of rising sea levels on Amtrak's rail line through Connecticut.

There is a solution. It won't be cheap, but it might be less expensive than trying to protect the Shore Line from the sea: Reopen the Air Line.


Jake is looking pleased after a kitty-massage session.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Gunnie Eye Dot Update

After reading the comments on this post, I scraped off the white dot and, very carefully, applied one that was centered. I tried holding the gun a few times with the original grips plus a grip adapter. That didn't feel good, so I put a set of Pachmyer combats on it.

Then I went to the range and gave it a try. Slow fire-- 80/100. Timed fire, 89-2x. Rapid fire-- 89-4x. If I were consistent across an entire 900 match, that'd put me in the mid 770s. The little white dot really did work for drawing my eye.

This could really work. But I do need to practice more.

Congressional Jerkoffs at Work

A bill championed by U.S. Rep. Todd Young requiring any rule or regulation resulting in an economic impact of $100 million or more to receive a vote by Congress has again passed the House.

But the REINS Act, which stands for Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny, has been threatened for veto by President Barack Obama, and still would have to be approved by the Senate. The legislation has been introduced before, including a stalled attempt to pass the REINS Act through the Senate in 2013 after it was OK'd in the House.
No president, D, R or otherwise, would ever agree to this. Any politician that's made it as far as an election to the Zoning Board knows that you never ever agree to give up power. This'll be vetoed faster than a bill to have a national holiday in honor of sex offenders.

Todd Young, and the other 200+ jerkoffs who voted for this bill, know that. This bill is nothing more than grandstanding, or, if you will, political onanism.

Trophy Hunting

With all the coverage of the killing of Cecil the Lion, you might be curious as to my thoughts on trophy hunting.

So, let's pop into the Wayback Machine, set to over five years ago.

Because It's Friday

A doubleheader on the Valley Railroad:

Thursday, July 30, 2015

After All, Hiring Mercenaries Worked Well Before

The overstretched US military has hired hundreds of private sector contractors in the heart of its drone operations to analyse top secret video feeds and help track high value terror targets, an investigation has found. ... Some individual analysts even publicly advertise their skills on sites such as LinkedIn, with one boasting of helping with the “kill/capture of high-value targets”.
What can possibly go wrong with turning some functions in warfare over to contractors?

GOP Now Needs a Circus Train

The Republican presidential contest has grown to 17 candidates with Wednesday's entry of Jim Gilmore.

The former Virginia governor told The Associated Press earlier this month that he would announce his candidacy in early August. On Wednesday, he filed the necessary paperwork with the Federal Election Commission
How do you handle that many candidates? Copy the NCAA!

[H]ere’s a modest proposal: Seed the field like the NCAA seeds its annual basketball championship fields each spring. The first weekend features four regional tournaments of 16 teams apiece.

The teams in each regional are seeded, 1 through 16, by a committee that compares their records and relative strengths. The top seed plays the bottom seed, the No. 2 seed plays the No. 15 seed and so on. No 16-seed has ever beaten a No. 1 seed, but there have been seven No. 2 seeds upset by No. 15 seeds. Ask the University of Missouri about Norfolk State in 2012.

The accompanying bracket seeds the 16 announced GOP candidates according to their showings in the latest RealClearPolitics.com “poll of polls.” RCP took the findings of six polls and averaged them, leaving out only former New York Gov. George Pataki. In late-breaking news, former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore on Wednesday became the 17th GOP candidate to file papers for the election. He can be in a play-in game with Mr. Pataki, whom we seeded No. 16 and put up against Donald Trump, the frontrunner. The most intriguing matchup has 6-seed Ben Carson, a brain surgeon, taking on 11-seed Rick Perry, the former Texas governor.
They'd have to tinker with it to add Gilmore and any other Johnny-Come-Latelies, but as the editorial goes on to note, this format would be likely fairer than any other. Do the first round, run polling, and then do the second round. The ones who can't handle debates and tough questions will flare up and burn out.

Of course, some won't go away. Both The Donald and Scotty Walker (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Koch Industries) have a lot of money behind them, so unless they fail at the "fall-on-the-floor-frothing-at-the-mouth" level, they're not quitting. But this still might cull the herd somewhat.

70 Years Ago

The USS Indianapolis was torpedoed and sunk.

The officer in charge of monitoring her movements never reported that she was late. Of the three stations that received her distress call, one commander was drunk, one had ordered his men not to wake him up and the third thought it was a Jap deception.

The men were in the water for nearly four days before they were spotted by a patrol plane. Other airplanes came. One PBY pilot disregarded orders and landed to rescue survivors. The USS Cecil J. Doyle came, shining a searchlight against the clouds, to give the survivors in the water hope that they would be rescued.

Fully two-thirds of the men who had survived the sinking perished while awaiting rescue.

The Navy revamped the MOVREP system.

The CO of the Indianapolis, Captain McVay, was court-martialed in a Navy cover-up of a type that was not seen until the turret explosion on the USS Iowa. He was eventually exonerated, though it was decades after he took his own life.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

What Cameras Are Good For

Indicting cops who try to cover up murdering people by lying.
Authorities in Cincinnati have indicted a university police officer for murder in the shooting death of an unarmed black man earlier this month.
I have zero doubt that, without the video, the prosecutor and the grand jury would have accepted the lies of the police officers and this would have been ruled as a justifiable shooting.

But you can bet your last dollar that the Apologistas Pro Policia will be out there, proclaiming that this only happened because the dead guy wasn't subservient to the officer.* Because, as they see it, not being submissive to the cops is worthy of a summary execution.

We know what the truth is, and that's that probably 99.44% of such shootings in the past have been labelled as "good shoots".** Hell, even the Feebies are fond of saying all of their shootings are justified.

Cheap video cameras and cellphone video have changed that game, as other cops are finding out the hard way.
* Subtext: "Ain't it a shame that one of our boys may go to jail for killing a nigger."
** That percentage is likely rather on the low side, to be sure.

Wait, He was Doing What???

STRATFORD [CT] - An 81-year-old local man was arrested after police said he was spotted “humping” a bush in the buff.

Wallace Berg, of Russell Road, was charged with second-degree breach of peace and public indecency. He was released after posting a $10,000 bond.

Bloom County


You don't have to be on FB to see his stuff.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Eye-Dot; Gunnie Ed.

I made my first run at slow-fire with the Model 17. On a ten round string at a 25 yard slow-fire target, I shot 59. Pretty horrible.

I'm trying to not add a set of Pachmyers to the gun, but my grip felt off. I swapped a grip adapter from a Model 10 to it, we'll see how that feels next time.

The balance is different from my Ruger and it's a few ounces heavier. That'll take getting used to.

The sights, well, they're traditional target and that presents a problem. I have t really work at it to keep my focus on the front sight, because it's a black featureless surface. My eyes tend to focus on the target, but that's a path to shitty scores.

So when I came home, I tried adding this:

That's a dot of white nail polish. It's not centered and I doubt if it needs to be. Its function is to give my eye something to focus on.

Also, mostly I've been using an indoor range recently, because it's only five minutes away. This weekend, I'll take a trip to the outdoor range where the matches are held and see how I do there.

Spies and Killers

An American jailed for 30 years for spying for Israel is to be freed in November after the US granted his parole, according to his lawyers.

Jonathan Pollard, a former US Navy intelligence analyst, was jailed for life in 1987 after being found guilty of passing documents to Israel.
I've made my feelings about him clear. Since the Israelis have granted him citizenship, he should go directly from stir to an El Al airplane.


Now this one ought to be pegging the irony meter:
British terrorist “Jihadi John” has reportedly left the Islamic State (aka ISIS) group, fearing for his life after being identified six months earlier as a Kuwaiti-born Londoner from a well-to-do family.

Jihadi John left because the terrorist organization might drop him "like a stone or worse if they feel he is no longer of any use to them," according to a source for the British news outlet, the Daily Express.
At this point, all of the press reports trace back to a single unconfirmed report. So who knows.

But it would indeed be sweet justice if he was eaten by the tiger he was riding.

Fiat: Such a Deal They Had For You.

You might recall that, for a couple of years, Chrysler was owned by Ceberus Captital Management (motto: "We're Not as Evil as Bain. But Close."). But then Chrysler (surprise, surprise) almost went under, only to be eventually bought out by Fiat.

What did Fiat get for their money, you ask. This:
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will pay up to $105 million in fines and penalties to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, submit to oversight and buy back nearly half-a-million of the vehicles it has recalled, penalties issued Sunday for the auto company’s lax attitude toward addressing safety issues in millions of its vehicles.

NHTSA said it was concerned about slow completion rates on recalls the automaker announced, slow or inadequate notifications to consumers, faulty approaches to fixing the safety issues and improper actions by dealers.
It had to be pretty bad, for that was what Fiat-Chrysler consented to.

You have to wonder how much worse things were going to get for Chrysler if that's what they've agreed to as a plea bargain. Is there a version of the infamous Ford-Pinto-Gas-Tank memo ("fuck fixing it, let them sue us") out there?

Monday, July 27, 2015

Jindal Plumbs the Depth of Stupidity

Bobby Jindal is promising that if the Westboro Baptist Church folk show up in his state to protest at funerals, that he'll stop them.

Bobby, Bobby, Bobby. Are you truly that ignorant about the Fist Amendment or are you just desperate to grab some air time from The Donald?

The pathetic fuckers from the WBC don't "disrupt" anything. They stand out on a public sidewalk and spew their hate, which they have a Constitutional right to do. See, Bobby, the thing about "free speech" isn't about cost. No, the "free" part is "freedom from the requirement to get what you're saying approved by a government censor."

You don't like the WBC, I get that. Nobody likes the WBC. But not liking somebody should not have anything to do with denying them their rights.


Amerikanski Politzei State

The Department of Homeland Security has gotten into the business of monitoring peaceful protests, breast cancer walks and music parades. (H/T)

Because those breast cancer survivor pose what kind of threat, exactly?

Defunding DHS should be on the Congressional "to-do" list.

But sadly, DHS is not alone in quaking in pants-shitting terror at American citizens exercising their rights. Not by a long shot.

Fer Cryssake, Just Shoot the Fucker

Some folks at a website called "SimpliSafe Security Systems" have some advice about what to do if you are the victim of a home invasion.

Some of it is good. Some of it will get you killed.

Locking yourself in an interior room or a closet: Not much better than using a SuperSoaker as a defensive tool. Not unless you've shelled out the money to install a secure door. Interior doors are mostly hollow-core doors that can be shattered by one or two good kicks. Or, if the perp is really determined, he'll kick a few holes in the adjoining sheetrock.

Beeping on your car's panic alarm: Mostly a dumb idea. Car alarms are background noise in most places. The frequency of false alarms is so high that everyone ignores them. Also, if you're living in an apartment complex, who the hell is going to connect the alarm of a 2008 Taurus sounding in the parking lot? If you live in a house and your car is in the garage, well, that's not going to help much.

Guy breaks into your home: Shoot the fucker. Call 911.*

As for your cell phone? If you can't speak into it, how long do you think it'll take for them to get a location? And how good will that be if you're in a multi-story apartment building? Get a landline- pick up the phone, dial 911 and if you can't speak, kick the handset under your bed.

(And no, that's not legal advice.)
* In the UK, call 999 or 112, hide, and sound your rape alarm.

Seeing Light

This is a laser pulse bouncing from a mirror (slowed waaay down):

Story about it and more here.

75 Years Ago

"A Wild Hare", the first Bugs Bunny cartoon, debuted.

Across the pond, after the loss of three destroyers on July 27th, the Royal Navy withdrew from its Dover base.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

An airplane that needs no introduction:

Saturday, July 25, 2015

"I'm Resigning For the Good of My Family!
Yeah, That's the Ticket!"

[State] Sen. Paul LeVota, D-Independence [Missouri], resigned his Senate seat Friday over sexual harassment allegations involving capital interns.

LeVota posted a message on Facebook denying that he engaged in harassment but saying he would not put his family or the Senate “through the process of dealing with the veracity of false allegations and character assassination against me.”
I call "bullshit". All of these clowns quit "to spend more time with my family" when they get caught doing something wrong (or if it's clear they're going to get shelled in the next election). When they're in power, the last that they want to do is spend more time with their families.

Time to Sell a Few Guns

For I didn't plan on buying this Model 17-3:

It has two of the three "T"s: Target hammer and target trigger. The grips are original. Single action shooting- as good or better than a Ruger Mk. III with a full Volquartsen trigger job. The price, well, I'm not going there. It was dear, by my standards. But it was less than I've seen them go for gun shops for the last several years.

Sold a hard-used Model 10 (had more than I need) and a Taurus Model 94 is on consignment.

I had a 17-4 ages ago. I then moved to a place where it was difficult to find places to shoot. Back where I had lived, a neighbor's kid was getting into target shooting. He had a H&R revolver, so I loaned him the Model 17. Make a long story short, it was stolen.

I have regretted that ever since. The last Model 17 that I saw for sale at a reasonable price was rode hard and not terribly well cared for. I thought about that one, went back two days later and, well, you know how that tune goes.

I took it to the range and fired it from a rest to test it with several different .22 loads. It did best with Federal auto match. Bulk Remington golden bullet was almost as good, followed by CCI standard. It didn't seem to care for CCI Mini-mags.

And yes, I'm going to shoot this in Bullseye matches.


Jake is home from a checkup and not happy about the process.

He's breathing a little heavy. He's on prednisone for that, now. No airway or lung obstructions showed on the x-ray. And he's gained back a little weight, now that his thyroid is under control.

In human equivalents, he's 92. Jake's doing pretty good by that yardstick.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Tone-Deaf CEO's; Dunkin Donuts Edition

The CEO of Dunkin Brands, which owns the doughnut chain, thinks that paying people $15/hr is "absolutely outrageous."

Right. This from a guy who was paid over ten million clams last year. (I'll take my coffee and doughnut with a side order of pitchforks and tumbrels.)

There may be reasons why paying a wage of $15/hr isn't a good idea, but when really rich fuckers start saying "it's outrageous", they sound as though they might as well be saying "let them eat cake"; like the Aussie billionaire and heiress who got upset at having to pay more than $2 a day.

NSFW & Keyboard Alert

Yeah, you might want to lock your phone if you leave it somewhere...

(Funny, but if it happened to me, somebody would be looking for a good dentist.)

Because It's Friday

A "steam lorry":

I Got Nothing, So...

.. the Boston Driving Song.

Though most of the action footage is from Russia, where they're graduate-level insane.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Enfield Gunning

I took the SMLE to the indoor range and fired it at 25 yards with HXP 69 ammo.

It shot very close to point of aim with the micrometer sight set at 200 yards. The battle sights shot 4" high; they're set at 300 yards and, according to some ballistics tables, that's about where they should be hitting. Dead on in windage, which is good, as the sights aren't easily adjustable for windage.

As for the provenance of the rifle, it was built in 1956 by the Pakistan Ordnance Factory. The Brits sold/gave the tooling from the Royal Ordnance Factory Fazakerley for the No.4 rifle to the Pakistanis a short time before then.

You're Really Not Helping, Pilgrim

I understand the sentiment, mostly. They want to do something.

But this is a bad idea.

(From here)

Because stupid shit like this happens.

People are showing up in clothes unsuited for any sort of exertion (gunfighting in flip-flops or crocs? Really?) and, in all probability, lacking any sort of formal training in such work.

They look like a pack of clowns. And they're not helping gun rights any. With freedom comes a degree of responsibility. If you don't exercise such freedoms with a degree of responsibility, you aren't going to have them for very long.

Idiots flying drones around crime scenes and fires will result in the FAA saying "See, toljaso". You can't buy most high-powered lasers anymore because idiots have been shining them at aircraft. Openly parading around armed whilst looking like a complete mouth-breather will result in our rights to carry being scaled back.

Knock off the stupid shit, people.

Deepsea Challenger- Fire!

The New London Day is reporting that the Deepsea Challenger caught fire this morning on a trailer on I-95 in Stonington, CT.

You Know the GOP has Problems When...

... Rick Perry emerges as the "responsible voice" on the 2016 Prezidenshul Klown Kar.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Changed My Mind, Gunnie Edition

I rethought what I said here and ordered 480 rounds of Grade B .303 from LETDS.

With shipping, that worked out to under 27¢ a round. The nice stuff that I bought at a LGS was 75¢/round. So, as long as at least a third of the stuff from LETDS was usable, then I would be OK. A quick check of the boxes would seem that while most are tarnished, only a small minority had visible corrosion.

So as far as pricing goes, I think I came out OK.

Pi Day in Yurp


Projected Trump to GOP: "Go Frak Yerself"

Update: This satirical Trump op-ed on The Onion is spot-on.
The Republican establishment is making the most of the chance it had long sought to finally say this to Donald Trump: You crossed the line. (Self-launching video alert.)
I suspect that The Donald doesn't give a fuck, for good reasons. He's currently riding atop the polls. He's playing with his own money, so he doesn't have to appease any donors (unlike, say, a certain Koch-owned puppet from Wisconsin). And very few political conversations are going on this summer without his name being mentioned.

There are some serious GOP politicians in the race, but when was the last time you saw a mention of George Pataki or John Kasich? For all of the impact they're having, they might as well be running for a seat on the Absaroka County Commission. Frothy, Johnny Bush and the rest, they've largely disappeared because Trump is sucking all of the oxygen out of the GOP Prezidenshul Short Bus.

Trump is right where he wants to be. As long as he has a firm grip on the mike and he's polling well, he's not about to give even a single fuck about the party establishment.

Thoroughly Modern Killers

There is an article in the current issue of Scientific American which posits that the success of humanity as a species began about 71,000 years ago when humans developed projectile weapons and then likely tipped them with poison. The evidence is the discovery of manufactured stone points that were too small for hand-held spears.

The atlatl was the first stand-off weapon. It did not require the user to get within bad-breath range of the target. More significantly for combat, it was the first weapon for which skill was more important than strength. A small man, a woman or a child could kill a large animal or a strong man.

Which became significant when human and Neantherthal tribes began bumping into each other. The Neanderthals were bigger, stronger and they had spears. Humans were smaller, weaker, and they had poison-tipped atlatls.

And, for the Neanderthals, that was all she wrote.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

SMLE, Baby!

Rifle No.4 Mk.1:

By then, the Brits had stopped designating them as "SMLEs", but everyone still called them that. This one appears to have been refurbished at some time in a Royal Army arsenal; a process that apparently included having a drain-bamaged preschooler paint the receiver with black laquer.

The rifle has Mark 1 sights:

Later rifles had two-position peep sights, regulated for 300 and 600 yards, kinda like an old M-16. The Mark-1 sights are click adjustable in elevation for fine work. Like the Mosin rifles, windage can only be adjusted by an armorer.

The bore is in decent shape. The stock is a short one (the Brids made them in three lengths of pull), so I added a slip-on recoil pad. That brought it to the proper length and hell, I was going to do that, anyway.

The rifle does need a good cleaning, which I will get to before the inevitable range trip.

If You Have Enemies, You May Not Want to be Driving a Jeep.

Or some other cars. Because it's no fun at all to drive a car which has its systems under attack by hackers.

In the meantime, you might want to stick with an older car that doesn't have any of that wireless gimcrackery built in.

Monday, July 20, 2015

One Small Step

46 years ago, right now.

The initial video was crappy as all hell. But I watched it, live and on CBS.

The first footprints on another celestial body, less than 66 years after the Wright Brothers' first flight and 43 years after the first flight of a liquid-fueled rocket.

46 Years

46 years ago, this minute, Tranquility Base opened for business.

"Swiss Tritum" in Gunsights?

Truglo claims thus:
Utilizes quality Swiss tritium for maximum brightness
Not to belabor the obvious, but tritium is a radioactive isotope of hydrogen. It's produced by nuclear reactors.

So what would make tritium out of a Swiss reactor any better than tritium out of any other reactor?

Or is this another instance of "nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American consumer"?

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Trump, et at.

Jeffry Tucker, a conservative libertarian, thinks that Trump's not just a clown, that he's a dangerous demagogue, that he's a fascist for this new century. The piece is worth a read. (H/T)

I don't believe that this is Trump's time. Maybe if the election had been in 2010, in the midst of the Great Recession, maybe more people would have been open to his xenophobic/racist platform.

But for the sake of discussion: What if Trump won? Trump's not a politician, he's an egomanical businessman who has no tolerance for those who disagree with him. I don't know how he'd handle dissent, but I suspect that Trump would end up making Dick Cheney look like a member of the ACLU.


Probably the most corrupt cops can be found in Florida, where in two departments, the cops helped themselves to large amounts of supposed drug-money without any oversight or accountability. As in, possibly, many millions of dollars. (H/T)


I am so going to read Our Man in Charleston: Britain's Secret Agent in the Civil War South. Robert Bunch was the British consul in Charleston from 1853 into 1863; his reports to London may have been key in the refusal of the British to recognize the Confederacy. The Brits were willing to tolerate American slavery, so long as they got cotton in the bargain. But the slave-owners were eager to re-open importation of slaves, which the British couldn't tolerate. And even if they might have been inclined to, Bunch's dispatches tore the bark off any fig-leaf of denial.

Long article here about the book, worth a read.

I Was Going to Rant Some, But

I've really been kind of disheartened about the number of people, some of whom I know, who have been willing to jump to conclusions about the Chattanooga Asshole based on a single datapoint-- his faith.

More than a couple have been saying that such conclusions are equivalent to liberals concluding that the Charleston Asshole is a racist because he was waving the Confederate Flag, which, of course, is bullshit. The Charleston Asshole had a track record of racist statements, he posted a racist screed online to "justify" his murderous rampage, and there were some other things.

Part of my reaction is also because I am a member of a different religion, to which the good Christians of the last 1,800± years have ascribed various unsavory characteristics.

So I was really going to dig into all that.

But then I saw this video from Finland:

It's hard to rant while laughing.

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

Russian demo at the Paris Air Show:

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Shorter DOJ: "We Don't Shut Down Criminal Enterprises If They're Banks."

HSBC’s procedures to prevent money laundering, sanction-breaking and criminal activity still have deficiencies so serious that to publicly disclose them would risk serious crime, the US Department of Justice has said.
And the cops and prosecutors are slavering over their share.

Which may explain why the Feds are so loathe to do to the banks what they do to other criminal enterprises: Shut them down. For the banks, especially the Huge Scumbag Banking Corp, can be counted on to keep breaking the law, which makes them cash cows for the cops.

Shorter Donald Trump: "Fuck You for Your Service."

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump slammed Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), a decorated Vietnam War veteran, on Saturday by saying McCain was not a war hero because he was captured by the North Vietnamese.

"He's not a war hero," Trump said. Sarcastically, Trump quipped, "He's a war hero because he was captured." Then, he added, "I like people that weren't captured."
No doubt in the mind of The Donald, wounded vets are to blame for having been wounded.

Trump would have been 19 in 1965. He graduated college in 1968, which was a year when the draft boards were going full steam to fill up the Army's ranks. But Trump couldn't have been a draft-dodger, for if you believe the party line, only Democrats dodged the draft. Republicans back then, on the other hand, "had other priorities" than serving their country in time of war.

Trump is the worst type of chickenhawk: A man who didn't serve and who is willing to throw rocks at those who did.

Update: Andy Borowitz chimes in.

It Really Comes Down to Astronomical Arrogance

So Dr. Tyson admitted that the decision to declassify Pluto was more of a bit of Earth-based arrogance than anything else.

The downgrading of Pluto came after the discovery of Sedna in 2003 made it evident that there could be even more planets further out. Astronomers, who faced the possibility of having more planets than they had fingers to count them, had to do something about that. So they reclassified Pluto. And so Pluto was demoted.


A cat circus:

Friday, July 17, 2015

Anticipation; Gunnie Ed.

The rifle isn't here yet, but the price for this stuff was acceptable.

An online retailer, whose name is similar to Less Expensive Than Dogshit, has some "Grade B" ammo. Reports are that some is good stuff, some not. I've had a couple of problems with LETDS not standing behind their products, so I'm not about to give them another go.

"Operation Protect Our Ricebowl" Continues

The choice to be #2 at the Joint Chiefs of Staff is parroting the Fort Fumble party line:
Russia is a greater threat to the U.S. mainland than the Islamic State militants who are capturing territory in Iraq and Syria, said Air Force Gen. Paul Selva, President Obama’s nominee to become America’s No. 2 military officer. This seemed to surprise several of the senators gathered for Selva’s confirmation hearing on Tuesday.
Really. Other than atomic throw-weight, the only way that the uniformed division of the defense lobby can arrive at that conclusion is to ignore the buildup of the People's Liberation Army Nay/Air Force and to ignore China's very provocative claims and actions in the South China Sea.

Because It's Friday

N&W 611 is back, baby!

(And no goddamned "helper" diesel, either!)

Jerks in Office; Law `n Order Edition

The Middlesex County Prosecutor wants to try the surviving Boston Bombing Asshole for murdering a cop.

Said Asshole is currently sitting inside of a Federal supermax while the appeals process runs on his convictions. When those run out, however long it takes, the Feds will take him to Terre Haute and execute him. Unless the Supremes invalidate the death penalty, in which case, Asshole will be in said supermax until he dies.

So why spend a few million bucks on a state trial, given that the Commonwealth doesn't have a death penalty? Just so DA Ryan can get some fucking headlines? So all of the survivors can have the whole thing thrown in their faces, yet again?

It's a waste of taxpayers' money. And that's all it is, folks.

Bloom County 2015

Apparently, Berkeley Breathed isn't planning to publish them in newspapers because deadlines suck the joy from it. (Back in the day, when the strip was running, he did a storyline about how deadlines for comic artists suck.)

But you can still see his FB page, where the new strips are posted, without signing up for the Social Media Borg.

Some Asshole with a Gun

Some Asshole shot up two Navy offices in Chattanooga yesterday, killing four Marines before either he offed himself or the cops did it for him.

Of course, given Asshole's religion, everyone is jumping on the "but the terror" bandwagon, instead of waiting to see what Asshole's true beef was. I'm reasonably certain that once the shooter's name was released, it took Fox News all of a femtosecond to start screaming about ISL.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

News to Absolutely Nobody

The Asswipe of Aurora was found guilty today of 1st degree murder.  I doubt if there's a jury anywhere that's going to let somebody off for 12 counts of murder, no matter how batshit-crazy he is.

IMF to EU: "Include Us Out!"

The International Monetary Fund has told the Eurozone, in no uncertain terms, that the German ECB's plan to bail out Greece is unrealistic and doomed to fail. The IMF said that the debtors will have to take a massive haircut if there is to ever be a chance of the Greek economy gaining its footing.

The Greek parliment voted to surrender to the Germans. Which sounds like an inflammatory way to describe it, but that's exactly what it was. And yet, it would seem that the German finance minister is apparently disappointed that the entire country wasn't plowed under and the ground sown with salt.

Anglea Merkel may go down as the third-worst German leader since the Prussians welded the country together 144 years ago.[1] She has torn off the fig leaf that Germany was one of many nations in the EU to reveal that Germany has primacy in the EU. If there ever was a chance in Hell that Britain would join the monetary union, it evaporated on Sunday. It is more likely that the Brits will leave the EU entirely. You may see more and more EU countries having second thoughts about having their borders as open as those between most American states.[2] The Schengen Agreement will collapse, especially when nations begin withdrawing from the Eurozone. All the blame will be laid at Merkel's feet.

Meanwhile, one of the intellectual creators of the EU now seems to regard the EU as a German hegemon.

And everyone else will soon realize that Churchill was right.[3]
[1] Kaiser Wilhelm II holds the #2 spot.
[2] California is an exception.
[3] "The Hun is either at your throat or at your feet."

Clinton & Bush: Bought and Paid For

They're both the darlings of the corporate world, including the banksters.

Trending Searches

I have a feeling that the most popular Google images search today is "nuns suds."

What Next?

I wonder if we'll revisit Pluto in a shorter timeframe than the 28 years between the Mariner 10 and MESSENGER missions to Mercury.

Nothing beyond paper proposals has been done about another visit to either Uranus or Neptune. An orbiter to either planet would take the better part of 20 years to get there. That's difficult to do, when Congress can't think past four news cycles.

The World Changed 70 Years Ago

The "Trinity Test" of the device that was called "the Gadget" was conducted on July 16th, 1945:

The world changed in ways that weren't appreciated by many. Nuclear weapons eventually made direct war unthinkable between nations possessing them. The cost has been massive amounts of land that was contaminated, usually with waste from the production of the weapons and their components. Tens of millions of people (maybe hundreds of millions) were exposed to radiation from above-ground tests and toxic elements.

It's been a high price to pay for a kind of peace.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

More from Miami Vice

Smuggler's Blues

Why Wouldn't You Trust a Rapacious Agri-Chemical Company?

Monsanto said Tuesday it will pay for an independent review of a soon-to-be released study declaring glyphosate a probable carcinogen.
Ayup, who wants to bet that Monsanto's "independent" researchers won't find that Roundup is hazardous to, well, anything other than weeds?

I think that it's a safe bet that they'll find that you can drink Roundup, even if you don't want to. Because Monsanto has a huge interest in this "independent" review coming out in a way that benefits them. I don't know a lot of row-crop farmers*, but the few that I do despise Monsanto.

Speaking of drinking Roundup:

* The farms in this area are predominantly cattle farms.

"I'm All Right, Guys!"

New Horizons made radio contact last night.

Stand by for about 18 months' worth of data, as the download speeds from the spacecraft will be akin to those of an old acoustic modem. At over three billion miles from Earth, New Horizons is a very long way from the nearest fiber optic junction box.


Lockheed-Martin is trying to buy Sikorsky from United Technologies Corp..

Because LockMart isn't growing any. Sikorsky has some civilian business.

My question: Why United Technologies wants to dump Sikorsky? Do they need the money that badly that they're selling off a company with good growth potential? Of is there an issue that UTC would just be happy to get rid of?

Sikorsky is based in Connecticut. Which, coincidentally, just added a disguised tax on estates: The probate court fee for an estate in CT is now 0.5% with no cap. So if you're rich and you live in Connecticut, it's in your best interests to move.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

À Bastille!

Today is the French National Day.

Allons enfants de la Patrie
Le jour de gloire est arrivé !
Contre nous de la tyrannie
L'étendard sanglant est levé
Entendez-vous dans nos campagnes
Mugir ces féroces soldats?
Ils viennent jusque dans vos bras.
Égorger vos fils, vos compagnes!

Aux armes citoyens
Formez vos bataillons
Marchons, marchons
Qu'un sang impur
Abreuve nos sillons

(Full translation, which makes The Star-Spangled Banner look pacifistic.))

New Horizons: CPA Pluto!

(Actually, one second ago.)

A photo that was taken yesterday afternoon:

Today also marks 50 years (minus about 12 or so hours) since Mariner 4 flew by Mars, the first probe to photograph another world. If you're kind of a science geek, it's been a great ride.*
* Too bad that Carl Sagan didn't live to see this.