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

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Caturday

Derp Cat says: "Never read the online comments to a news article.".

Friday, October 30, 2015

Because It's Friday

Big miniature steam.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Taking One for the Team; Party of the Confederacy Edition

Paul Ryan, the former nominee for vice-president, was elected as the 62nd speaker of the House of Representatives on Thursday, as the Republican party sought to prevent a disintegration of its congressional majority. The Wisconsin congressman was elected with 236 votes, and received a standing ovation in the chamber.
There are 247 Republicans in the House, so either nine guys were out of town, or some of them sat on their hands.

In other news, the clown who came up with the Hastert Rule pled guilty to hiding transactions. The transactions he was hiding-- paying $3.5 million on hush money to cover up sexually abusing kids. That they let him off he hook from the charge of lying to the Feds sort of signals that they didn't have much of a case, but they had enough that Hastert chose not to roll the dice by going to trial.

More Medical News to Brighten Your Day

If you're under 50, you probably have herpes.

That's a global assessment, though. The infection rate's lower in the Western Hemisphere.

Bring in the Derp. There Has to Be Derp; Fake Gun Edition

Some group of assholes has a high-five figure Indiegogo campaign to make a "less-lethal" pistol.

It's a fucking con job. They claim to be making the gun themselves, but as Tam has pointed out, the gun is a Tippman TiPX paintball gun. They aren't making shit. Peppershot paintball rounds are paintball rounds loaded with the same crap spewed out by pepper-spray canisters.

Other than the derp that Tam pointed out, about how these guns are supposed to be a better alternative to black powder guns (yeah, I know), this campaign is a con job, designed to grift money from chumps who don't know that both the gun and the ammunition already exist.

Sooner or later, don't be shocked if the consumer protection people are found to be looking into this one. But it's taking place in Chicago, so the proper palms might already have been lubricated.

UPDATE: The Pepperball pistol. Need I say more?

National Cat Day


Which is every day in my home.

Do something, though, for the cats without homes. Drop by your local shelter, give them a donation and, if you have room in both your heart and your home, adopt a cat or two.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Guess Who Just Locked Up a Few Ten Million Votes

And sent a chill down the spines of the Statist Lobby:
Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders announced his support Wednesday for removing marijuana from a list of the most dangerous drugs outlawed by the federal government — a move that would free states to legalize it without impediments from Washington.

Uncle Sam's Flying Club & Its New Bomber

Northrop Grumman Corp, maker of the stealth B-2 bomber, beat out a Boeing Co and Lockheed Martin Corp team to develop and build a next-generation long-range strike bomber, the U.S. Defense Department said on Tuesday.
The Zoomies say that the bombers will cost $564 million a copy. They have to be the baddest bald-faced liars around to say that.

Anyone who believes that figure is smoking crack. The B-2s were supposed to cost $571 million per, but ended up costing over four times as much. The F-35 was touted by the Air Force as being a cheaper alternative to the F-22, but the F-35s are likely to end up costing twice as much as the F-22s did.

And then there is the KC-46 program, which began in 2002 as a sorta COTS program, using airframes currently in production, but the program became mired in protests and counter-protests and as of now, the damn planes still haven't entered into operational service.

It's taken them 19 years to bring the F-35 into operational service (and I suspect that the F-35's first operational squadron is a Potemkin operation). Based on the Air Force's program management skills, only a fool would expect to see these new bombers flying operationally before 2030.

The "YouTube Effect"

You can find a lot of cops, from the Feebie Director on down, who are moaning about "the YouTube Effect".[1]

There is a simple response to that: "Suck it up, Buttercup."

Every person with a smartphone (and a lot of dumb ones) is now, in essence, carrying a video camera with them everywhere they go. Those videos can be uploaded in a matter of minutes. That's not going away.

Police had best get with the program on that.[2] Whatever they do, if there are witnesses, there will be video, and that video may be on the Internet before the cops begin violating people's civil rights and confiscating their phones. Like every other tech genie, this one is not about to be stuffed back into the bottle.

Law enforcement seems to love them the idea of putting video cameras everywhere and tracking people's movements. People are now returning the favor and, surprise, surprise, the cops don't like it very much.

Too bad for them. Suck it up, Buttercup.
______________________________________________________
[1] Most hypocritical of which is the mayor of Chicago, whose police department has set highwater marks for thuggery and corruption over the years.
[2] They should have since a bunch of LAPD goons tuned up Rodney King.

Beating Kids in Residential Care Facilities is Legal in New York

Oh, sure, it's technically illegal, but since the State rarely prosecutes anyone for doing it, then it is de facto legal to beat the shit out of the kids.

New York has a long and sordid record of closing its eyes to such things. Gov. Cuomo doesn't seem to give a shit, as long as nobody's smoking.

When Seconds Count

The cops can be 90 minutes away.

Several years ago, I posted some thoughts about living in places where emergency services could take a long time to arrive. They may be applicable to living in an urban area. Even if EMS shows up in five minutes, a lot of bad things can develop in that time.

(H/T)

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Pass the Popcorn; Hobby Lobby Edition

The family that owns the store, as well as the "museum" that they are planning to open, are under investigation for smuggling antiquities.One might presume that an intent to smuggle antiquities might be ascertainable from listing the shipment as "handcrafted clay tablets", lying about where they came from and assigning them a value of a buck apiece.

No doubt there will be some designated fall guy.

Because, as my father once told me, when someone claims to be "doing God's work", they have no problem with justifying dishonest, immoral, evil and horrific acts.

Monday, October 26, 2015

"Yah, Sure, My Super PAC Doesn't Coordinate With My Campaign"; Johnny Bush Edition

The outside political group supporting Jeb Bush's bid for president with tens of millions of dollars in television advertising is considering placing organizing staff in Iowa and New Hampshire.

The strategic move would follow the decision of his formal campaign to refocus its efforts on the two early-voting states.
Ol' Johnny Ellis's campaignis in real trouble, so what if the law frowns on coordinated efforts?

Johnny E. has raised a shitload of money, but with a brother who was arguably the worst president since Harding, a father who was a president and a grandfather who was a senator, there isn't another candidate running who is more a creature of the establishment than Bush.

In this cycle, being an establishment GOP candidate is like rubbing one's body with powdered plutonium mixed in with serum of Ebola.

Waitress, I'll have an Order of Eggs and Carcinogens (Before My Self-Driving Car Kills Me).

Scientists can sometimes suck all of the fun out of life.
The WHO has now classified processed meats as carcinogens.
If you eat processed meat every day, then maybe you should pay attention to the warning. But if bacon is an occasional indulgence, then you're not really running a big risk.

And yes, there could be a scenario in which your self-driving car decides that you're the one who dies.

Why Your Great-Great Grandparents Were Going Batshit Crazy

Because their kids were doing this:


It's probably difficult for people today to imagine how culturally disruptive the 1920s were.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Six Hundred Years Ago

The Battle of Agincourt was fought.

The English were badly outnumbered and worn down by long campaigning and disease. But the battlefield favored them: It was a plowed field, muddy from rains, relatively narrow and heavily forested on either side of the battlefield. The armored French cavalry had no real room to maneuver. Afoot, French knights had trouble moving in the mud.

The English troops, in comparison, were lightly armored and they had a very large number of archers equipped with long bows. The French did have bowmen and crossbowmen, but the battlefield was narrow enough that there was no room for them.

The English archers protected the front of their positions with rows of sharp stakes. They started shooting at the French cavalry, which couldn't charge through the stakes nor outflank the archers because of the forests.

The end result was a one-sided slaughter. The battle might have been forgotten to all but military historians, but for one English playwright of some fame.

Why Not Universal Ignition Interlocks?

Requiring ignition interlocks on all motor vehicles might have prevented tragedies such as this:
Authorities on Sunday named three adults who were killed when a woman police say was driving while intoxicated plowed her sedan into a crowd attending the Oklahoma State University's homecoming parade the previous day.
After all, aren't you willing to give up a little bit of your freedom in order for everyone else to feel safer? After all, the legal permission to drive a vehicle on the public roadways is a state-granted privilege, not a civil right. And don't you have the right to travel the public roads without fear of being creamed by a drunken driver?

(A regular reader of this blog knows where I am going with this argument.)

News for Morons; California Edition

$68-billion California bullet train project likely to overshoot budget and deadline targets.
I'd take that as a fucking given. The replacement to the Oakland Bay Bridge was ten years late, built with substandard steel from China and cost almost seven times as much as originally planned. It was so bad that CalTrans actively sought to muzzle critics of the project, who were bringing to light problems with both quality and corruption.

Keep in mind, that's for two bridges to replace ones that were already there, for a total length of 4½ miles. The CA High-Speed Railroad people think that it'll only cost ten times as much as was spent on one bridge project to build a 300 mile-long high-speed railroad and that they can do it in less time than it took CalTrans to build that bridge.

They're not smoking crack. They're following the playbook used by other government projects, notably the F-35, in which they spend oodles of money and then go back for more, saying: "Look how much we've spent so far! It'll all be wasted if we don't finish the job!"

The morons are not those running the project. The morons here are the politicans and the people who wiill swallow that line of bilgewater without gulping even once.

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

Dutch F-16 demo:

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Signals to FBI Director: Foxtrot! Oscar! Alpha! Delta!

The Director of the Stasi FBI is buying into the crap that holding cops accountable for brutalizing and killing people is the reason that there is an uptick in crime.
The F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, said on Friday that the additional scrutiny and criticism of police officers in the wake of highly publicized episodes of police brutality may have led to an increase in violent crime in some cities as officers have become less aggressive.
Reichfuhrer Director Comey, as he conceded, has no proof to back up his assertion. He might as well have asserted that the extreme heat of 2015 is responsible for an increase in crime. Hotter weather means that the bad guys have more time that they can spend outdoors, robbing, raping and killing people.

Somebody as high-ranking as the director of the Feebies ought to have the good sense not to run his damn mouth without data to back up his assertions. Otherwise, he comes across as just another right-wing loudmouth. Oxy-Boy, Tinfoil-Hat Glenn and the rest of the tools at Fox News don't need the competition.

Comey needs a fast trip to the woodshed.

Caturday

A short wrestling match:


Since this video was shot, the white cat, Caesar, and his brother, Casper, were adopted, together.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Because It's Friday


Another Political Casualty

Lincoln Chafee has ended his bid. He was attracting less support than Miss Lindsey over on the other side.

The Democrats are down to three candidates, but one might expect that the gun-grabbing governor from Maryland won't last very long. After trouncing the GOP witchhunters yesterday, Clinton must be feeling pretty good.

Feebie's New Guns

The FBI has released its lengthy RFP for new 9mm guns.

One of the members of the S&W Forum has spent a lot of time examining the RFP. Quite a few makers were, in essence, designed out of the running: HK, Springfield, Walther and Beretta.

Apparently, no one gun meets the RFP, but the Sig 320, S&W M&Ps, FN's FNS and Glock 17/19 come closest. Glock would have to ditch the Gen 4 finger grooves, but given how many guns the winner could be expected to sell outside of sales to the Feebies, they'd probably happily develop new frame molds.

And that's the key market. Fiction aside, FBI agents aren't exactly street cops. A hell of a lot of them are doing investigations by sending out subpoenas and reviewing documents.[1] Most of them could carry Airsoft guns and nobody would be the wiser. The real sales will be to the hundreds and hundreds of cop shops who will figure "good enough for Jedgar's boys, good enough for us".[2] Plus all of the Cletuses who have to have the same kind of gun that the FBI uses.

(Future prediction: The same thing will happen if/when the Army gets around to replacing the Beretta M9.)

The winner of the contract can expect to sell hundreds of thousands of guns. This one will be hard-fought by the players involved, complete with protests by the losers and litigation.
___________________________________________
[1] Kind of like young associates at big law firms, only they carry guns. Which is one of the reasons why the Feebies like to hire lawyers and accountants as their very special agents.
[2] Or, "Why should we spend our time and money testing all of the different guns when we can just bite off of the FBI?"

Thursday, October 22, 2015

DiFi is Little More Than Evil Incarnate

Her latest idea is a law that would encourage Internet companies to share their customers' data with the Stasi and then immunize those companies from legal consequences if their upset customers find out about it.

Californians, you owe the nation an apology for sending her to Washington. DiFi has never met a freedom that she doesn't despise or a right that she doesn't want to eliminate.

(H/T)

Hillary's House Hearing

Unless you've been living under a political rock, you know that today is the day that Hillary Clinton is testifying before the House Witch-Hunt Benghazi Committee.

And you also know that the basic issue has nothing at all to do with the events of Benghazi. The Republicans are out to torpedo Clinton's presidential campaign, as they have admitted, and Clinton's out to not let them do that.

UPDATE: It's apparently quite the clown show, with the Tools of the GOP filling up the Clown Car, yet again.

UPDATE 2: 11 hour hearing. The score: Hilary 11, Tools 0.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Hamlet Bows Out

Vice-president Joe Biden ended months of speculation on Wednesday about whether he would run for president, appearing in a hastily announced White House address to say that his window of opportunity to “mount a winning campaign for the nomination” had closed.
I'm not surprised. The party establishment has anointed Hillary Clinton, provided, of course, that those pesky voters in the early primary states can be made to see it that way.

Which is sort of where we were eight years ago, but some upstart Senator from Illinois then ruined the plans of the party bosses.

Budweiser in German Drag

U.S. drinkers of Beck's beer who thought the American-made brew they were buying was still a fancy, century-old German import can get cash payments under a $20 million settlement approved Tuesday in a class-action lawsuit over deceptive packaging.

On tap: People with proof they bought Beck's at retail outlets could get up to $50 per household. Those without receipts can qualify for $12 maximum. Claims may be filed through Nov. 20 via a court-approved website: www.becksbeersettlement.com .

The settlement, approved by U.S. Magistrate Judge John J. O'Sullivan, came in a lawsuit filed in 2013 by several Beck's drinkers who noticed there was almost no visible "made in the U.S.A." language on the beer's packaging even though it has been brewed in St. Louis, Missouri, since 2012.
Beck's and Kirin are Budweiser in drag. Probably the first clue people had was when the beers started tasting more and more like a urine sample.

Inspector Clouseau Is On the Case; St. Louis Edition.

Police are stepping up patrols and trying to develop a profile of whomever has set six fires outside churches in predominantly black neighborhoods since Oct. 8, Police Chief Sam Dotson said Tuesday. ... But Dotson said investigators have yet to confirm that race was the motive. If race or religion proves to be the reason, he said, police will seek to have the incidents prosecuted as hate crimes.

The chief noted the variety of denominations and types of structures targeted. They include Catholic, Lutheran, Baptist and nondenominational congregations — four on the north side of St. Louis and two in Jennings. They vary from the relatively grandiose historic brick structures of St. Augustine Catholic Church and Ebenezer Lutheran Church to the modest storefront used by the New Testament Church of Christ.
The fires have been happening at black churches. What would be the harm in saying something along the lines of "while we're keeping all avenues of the investigations open, that is something we are strongly looking into."

The firemen get it:
Investigators have no suspects or motives. But the possibility of a hate crime — for religious or racial reasons — "is part of the dynamic" of the investigation, St. Louis Fire Capt. Garon Mosby said.
But there is an additional wrinkle to this story:
The St. Louis Police Officers' Association is offering to double the $2,000 reward already being offered for information leading to the arrest of the culprit in a string of fires that have now hit six predominantly African-American churches in and around St. Louis.
The police union in St. Louis, as in other cities, has been stalwart in fighting every attempt to implement oversight of the police department. If a cop were to taze a guy down and then walk over and put two bullets into his head, the union would be the first to have the cop's back. So this is a nice bit of reaching out.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

On the Dem Side: Five Becomes Four

Former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb said Tuesday he is dropping out of the Democratic race for president and is considering his options about how he might "remain as a voice" in the campaign.
In the race for their party's nomination, that leaves Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and two other clowns who will likely drop out in the near future.

Smooth Police Work, NYPD

A man with an airtight alibi spent six weeks in jail, both on the word of an intoxicated witness and because a cop couldn't have been bothered to do his job.

Here's hoping that the City gets roundly pummeled in court. But if they have an ounce of sense, they'll just open up their checkbook and write one with lots of zeros.

Chimpy's Last Standing Butt-Monkey is Gone

Prime Minister Stephen Harper of Canada was kicked out of office in a stunning defeat. His party lost 65 seats in Parliament (out of 338 total).

In the US, that would be like losing 84 seats in the House and 19 seats in the Senate.

John Oliver saw it coming.

What Drone-Drivers Don't Have

They don't have skin in the game.
An American F-16 aircraft was hit by small arms fire while conducting a patrol in Afghanistan last week, U.S. military officials said on Monday. ... The fire hit one of the aircraft's stabilizers and damaged one of the munitions it was carrying, said a second official, Captain Jeff Davis, a spokesman for the Department of Defense.
There is evidence that the drone drivers are suffering psychological trauma from their role in killing people half-a-world away. It is still nevertheless true that the drone drivers' biggest risk of injury is from either paper cuts or carpal tunnel syndrome. The average hunter takes greater risks going into the field with a gun or a bow than does a drone driver.

The drone drivers are doing what the Air Force has ordered them to do, but let it not be overlooked that fighting by drone is a cowardly way to wage war. It is as honorable as shooting a manacled man in the back of the head.

The blame rests with the men who have eagerly adopted war by drones, namely, this president and the last one.

And yes, firing a cruise missile from hundreds of miles away is in the same league as launching missiles from a drone.

War was never meant to be fair. But it also was never meant to be a no-risk proposition.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Chicago, Illinois is a "Constitution Free Zone"

Police “disappeared” more than 7,000 people at an off-the-books interrogation warehouse in Chicago, nearly twice as many detentions as previously disclosed, the Guardian can now reveal. ... The narcotics, vice and anti-gang units operating out of Homan Square, on Chicago’s west side, take arrestees to the nondescript warehouse from all over the city: police data obtained by the Guardian and mapped against the city grid show that 53% of disclosed arrestees come from more than 2.5 miles away from the warehouse. No contemporaneous public record of someone’s presence at Homan Square is known to exist.

Nor are any booking records generated at Homan Square, as confirmed by a sworn deposition of a police researcher in late September, further preventing relatives or attorneys from finding someone taken there.

“The reality is, no one knows where that person is at Homan Square,” said Craig Futterman, a professor at the University of Chicago Law School who studies policing. “They’re disappeared at that point.”
How much harder would it be for the Chicago cops to then just kill them, like the Argentinians did during their so-called Dirty War? Nobody would know that the victims were taken there, for there would be no arrest records.

Hell, how do we know that they weren't doing that?

By the way, don't expect the self-styled constitutional protection groups, such as the Oath-Keepers, to give a shit about any of this, for reasons that should be obvious to a casual observer.

About Frigging Time, Navy

The US navy is reinstating classes on celestial navigation for all new recruits, teaching the use of sextants – instruments made of mirrors used to calculate angles and plot directions – because of rising concerns that computers used to chart courses could be hacked or malfunction.
I don't know how one could call oneself a "mariner" without knowing celestial nav.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Probably Will Never Be a Trial

But history will leave no doubt: George W. Bush and Tony Blair are war criminals.
A bombshell White House memo has revealed for the first time details of the ‘deal in blood’ forged by Tony Blair and George Bush over the Iraq War.

The sensational leak shows that Blair had given an unqualified pledge to sign up to the conflict a year before the invasion started.

It flies in the face of the Prime Minister’s public claims at the time that he was seeking a diplomatic solution to the crisis.
Going to war on a false pretext was as wrong in 2003 as it was in 1939.

(H/T)

Anyone Want to Buy a Billboard?

If you do, or if you can put together a group of friends in your area, feel free to steal this idea:

This is why:
Hillary Clinton says a gun buyback program similar to the one Australia implemented in 1996 is “worth considering” in the United States.

“I don’t know enough details to tell you how we would do it or how it would work, but certainly the Australia example is worth looking at,” Clinton said at a New Hampshire town hall on Friday. ... The Australian government purchased more than 650,000 guns from citizens in the compulsory 1996 buyback program.
Free free to steal the idea, without attribution.

Another image, which is larger in size:


You can buy it on some swag here.

The Money Race

When it comes to campaign donations, Clinton is leading, followed by Sanders. Both of them raised far more money than they've spent so far.

George Pataki, on the other hand, at the end of the third quarter, had barely enough cash on hand to buy a Chevy Spark.

None of this means much of a crap, as expect the Republicans to take full advantage of the legality of "affiliated super PACs" to amass huge amounts of unlimited-donation money to run "honest Injun, we don't coordinate with the campaigns" ads. Johnnie Ellis Bush has a super PAC that has raised over $100 million, but, given that he's not gained any traction in the polls, those 0.1 percenters who have been funneling cash into his PAC must be wondering what they are getting for their hard-stolen money.

Only Sanders and Trump don't have affiliated super PACs. There is a non-affiliated super PAC for Trump, "Hispanic Citizens for Donald Trump", which, so far, has raised no money.

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise (Replaced)



Saturday, October 17, 2015

Caturday

Lunch time in one of the rooms of the cattery.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Ocean Station November- 59 Years Ago

USCGC Pontchartrain, doing duty at Ocean Station November, rescued the passengers and crew of Pan Am flight 6.


The ocean stations (which were multinational) were established in 1940 to provide weather information, with a secondary mission of search and rescue. The greater reliability of jets, along with weather satellites and reporting buoys, lessened the need for manned reporting stations in the middle of the seas. Most of the weather stations were abandoned by 1970. The Coast Guard ended its participation in 1976. Norway kept one Atlantic station (Mike) in intermittent service until the end of the century.

The Pontchartrain would serve in the Coast Guard until 1972. She was scrapped the following year.

Because It's Friday

Illinois Rwy Museum:


(Yes, I skipped last week. So sue me. Other shit was happening.)

The Evil Fuckery of Microsoft

If you have Win 7 or 8, Microsoft has been cramming your computer with gigs of Win 10 installation files.

They are pure evil.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

"Signals: Whiskey! Alpha! Hotel!"-- Wall St. Edition

Cheap oil is creating headaches for the Wall Street firms that bankrolled America's oil boom. ... Banks "are going to lose money on the loans they've made. That's pretty evident -- whether oil prices go to $30 or $80 a barrel," said Dick Bove, an analysts who covers banks at Rafferty Capital.
Since pictures say a thousand words:



Stopping Mass Shootings; Armed Citizens Edition

It has happened, and more than a few times.

It's probably happened more times than that. If a perp walks into a place, bent on mayhem, and then becomes fatally ill with a sudden onset of bullet wounds, there may not be the body count to generate breathless media coverage. Depending on the location, it might merely make the police blotter.

The Smell of Legal Bullshit; Worst Aunt Lawyers in the World Edition

A woman who sued her 12-year-old nephew for $127,000 over injuries she received when he exuberantly greeted her at his birthday party four years ago was forced to go to court over her medical bills, her lawyers said Wednesday as backlash against her on social media sites poured in. ... Jainchill & Beckert, Connell's law firm, said her nephew's parents' insurance company offered her $1 over the fall, which occurred at their home. She had no choice but to sue to pay medical bills, they said, adding that she has had two surgeries and could face a third, her lawyers said.
She doesn't have her own insurance?

The homeowner's insurance company made a bet that no jury would find an 8 year-old liable. The case probably went forward because her lawyers put in a lot of time and they wanted to get paid. I'll bet dollars to donuts that their retainer agreement said that if she pulled out of the case, that she'd have to pay them.

So maybe the lawyers are the one who should be incurring the Wrath of the Internet.

Dear Microsoft: Fuck You

I noticed that the latest bunch of Win 7 updates included an "optional" update that would install Win 10. That "optional" update was prechecked by Microsoft.

I once would just install all updates. Now, other than the "malicious software tool", I'm not installing any of them. When I read the "more information: on some, it would seem that they are only installing them to make the upgrade to Win 10 easier.

So no, fuck it. Not until somebody with some serious technical chops tells me that it's OK to do so.

Fuck those guys in Redmond.

Christian Mercy

Two teenage brothers were brutally beaten in church - one of them fatally - in an effort by their parents, sister and other members of the congregation to force them to confess their sins and seek forgiveness, police said Wednesday. ... Lucas and Christopher Leonard, 19 and 17, were pounded with fists Sunday at the Word of Life Church when a "counseling session" meant to explore their spiritual state turned violent, [police] said. They were beaten in the abdomen, genitals, back and thighs, authorities said.
Since there is no shortage of Christians who like to find a news story about something a Muslim did and then tar all Muslims with it, they can own this one.

Airlines Want Feds to Help Them Swindle Their Passengers

Right now, the airlines have to tell you, up front, what the full cost of a ticket is.

They want to go back to burying that in the fine print, so they can advertise a $99 each-way fare and then they can ding you for $300 or better on that $198 round-trip ticket. And so, they're lobbying Congress for that.

Fuck those guys. Airlines are scum-sucking weasels, almost as bad as the railroads once were. Their upper management are nothing more than rapacious pirates.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Over a Million a Month

That's the current rate of gun sales, based on NICS checks.

For September, 506,877 record checks were done for handgun sales, 446,564 for rifles and shotguns.

Ten years ago, the numbers were 191,379 and 411,804.

The gun control crowd has become the best sales force that the gun industry has ever had.

Verdict In for Worst Aunt in the World:

The verdict: "Suck it up, lady."

20 minutes to return a verdict. They probably didn't even bother to pick a jury foreman.

Mean Ol' Auntie Jen asked that a bailiff escort her to her car, to fend off the slavering horde of reporters. The photo of that makes i appear that she's being perp-walked:


(Earlier post)

How to Destroy Your Online Repuation in 3....2.....1; Litigious Asshole Edition

A Manhattan woman wants a Connecticut jury to hold her 8-year-old nephew accountable for his youthful exuberance during his birthday party.

Jennifer Connell claims the boy, Sean Tarala of Westport, acted unreasonable when he leaped into her arms, causing her to fall on the ground and break her wrist four years ago. This week Connell is asking a six-member Superior Court jury to find the boy liable for his actions.

She is seeking $127,000 from the boy, who she described as always being “very loving, sensitive,” toward her. The boy is the only defendant in the case.
The case is being heard in Bridgeport, CT. And yes, this is a no-shitter, the case no. is FBT-CV-13-6033608-S. Here's hoping that the jury comes back with something along the lines of "We find for Defendant and Plaintiff should suck it, bitch.
“I was at a party recently, and it was difficult to hold my hors d’oeuvre plate,” she said.
Having trouble holding a hors-d'eouvre plate is going to pale to being known far and wide as "the NYC asshole woman who sued her young nephew."

My guess is that she (and her attorneys) thought that they'd make a claim, the kid's dad's homeowner's insurance would quietly settle and that would be the end of it. Turned out to be a bad move.

Bad Day in K.C.

Two brave men are gone.
Two firefighters were killed and two others injured when the second floor and wall of a burning apartment building collapsed in Kansas City, Missouri, authorities said on Tuesday.
On the other side of the state, some idiot of an academic suggested having firefighters patrol the streets to reduce crime. The firemen are not amused by that suggestion and rightfully so, for reasons that are readily apparent to a casual observer.

Crazy Cat People?

New research on a parasite commonly carried by cats – Toxoplasma gondii – suggests that it can be linked to mental illness in owners, particularly schizophrenia.
If you read the article, you will see that they are talking about a corollary between an increased risk of schizophrenia and cat ownership, when the patients were in cat-owning homes as children. But, as anyone with an ounce of knowledge of statistics can tell you*, correlation does not equal causation.

Researchers also believe that there is a correlation between pot-smoking and psychosis, but again, there is no proof.
_________________
* The anti-vaxxers are immune to that point, thanks to childhood infections of Derpus Boobus. Or maybe they smoked too much weed.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Dumb-Ass NYT Reporter

It was an otherwise nice piece about Star Trek: New Voyages, which are filmed in Ticonderoga, NY.

The reporter said this:
George Takei, the actor who played Sulu in the original series, made a cameo appearance in an episode titled “World Enough and Time.”
A "cameo appearance" is a short, often nonspeaking appearance in a performance.

George Takei didn't have a cameo role in that episode. He had a starring role in what was, arguably, one of the best Star Trek episodes, ever.

But don't take my word for it. Carve out an hour:

The American Oligarchs

Th 158 families who are funding the presidential candidates.

These are the people who are controlling the government. Oh, the candidates will pander to the rest of us, but on Wednesday, November 9, 2016, these are the people whose calls will be taken by the winners.

And some of them may not even be Americans:
A man named Chen Shu Te gave $500,000 to Right to Rise USA, a super PAC backing Mr. Bush, which told the Federal Election Commission that Mr. Chen lives in Hong Kong. But public records reveal almost nothing about him, or even if he is an American citizen.

Of note is that the various trust-fund babies in the Walton family are either doing a super job of laundering their donations or they're sitting this one out, for now.

It would have been nice if the NYT had brought this sort of scrutiny to the Iraq War, but I guess we can be somewhat grateful that they still do some measure of mudraking.

(H/T)

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

Boeing Dreamlifter:

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Killing the Planet

Something we furless primates seem to be bent on doing.
Populations of marine mammals, birds, fish and reptiles have declined by 49% since 1970, a report says.

The study says some species people rely on for food are faring even worse, noting a 74% drop in the populations of tuna and mackerel.

Don't Name Them & More on Mass Shootings

A proposal to deny murderers their news-cycle's worth of fame.

I like the "Some Asshole Initiative", but whatever works.

The press could still cover the events, they just would not name the perps. Hell, they could even dig into his motivation, they only would not show his face or give his name.

How much of an assault on the "people's right to know" would that really be?

There is an FBI study on mass shootings from 200-2013.

A few things of note:
  • It's not only guys; of the 160 shootings studied, 6 of the shooters were women (less than 2%).
  • Only two shootings involved multiple attackers.
  • The frequency of the events is rising.
  • Where the duration of the shooting could be determined, 69% were over in five minutes or less.  36% were over in two minutes.
  • The majority of shooting ended when the shooter finished- whether he killed himself, just stopped shooting, or absconded.
  • 5 shootings ended with an armed civilian intervened.
  • 2 ended when off-duty cops intervened.
  • 45 shootings ended in a gunfight with the cops.
  • 46% of the shootings were in businesses of one kind or another.  Of those shootings, 27% of the shooters were current or former employees. 
  • 24% were in schools.
  • 10% were in government facilities.
Note the timing. If two-thirds of the shootings (when a timeline was established) are over in five minutes, that effectively means that the police will be a factor in a third of them. The FBI noted that it was up to civilians to make life-or-death decisions in the face of such shootings.

Still, it may be helpful to keep a little perspective. In 14 years, 486 people were killed by mass shooters. There were 28 fires in 2014 that killed more than five people, 128 people died. Your chances of being caught up in a mass shooting are far less than your chances of dying in a fire or a motor vehicle accident. (Translation: If you carry a gun because you're concerned about mass shootings, but you don't have a fire extinguisher in your home and car, or you don't wear a seatbelt in your car, here's your sign.)

But as in fires, the first few people there have the best chance of stopping it.

Caturday

Chris Christie Cat says: "The bridge is closed, Bub.".

Friday, October 9, 2015

Did John Boehner Just Ratfuck His Own Party?

The Rude Pundit seems to think so, and he's not alone.

The Tea Party's going to go batshit (or "batshitter"? "even more batshit") if they come to believe that Boehner's resignation was just a ploy to hamstring the Tea Partiers in the GOP House caucus. But They may not matter, for there'll be enough Democrats who would be happy to make up the difference in votes and have a GOP Speaker who is beholden to them.

These are indeed interesting times.

An Elegant Weapon

Smith & Wesson Model 66:


Smith & Wesson pioneered the use of stainless steel in firearms. Before 1965, if you bought a handgun, it was made of carbon steel. Normally blued, it might be parkerized or nickel-plated. When S&W brought out the J-frame Model 60, the first stainless-steel handgun, demand was so strong that it was almost unobtainable.

The Model 66 was the first larger revolver in stainless steel. It is, in essence a stainless Model 19. 66s were rapidly adopted by police forces as the guns were less likely to rust.[1] That's especially important, given the complete inattention a lot of cops gave their weapons.

Lore has it that the Model 66 was unofficially adopted by the Navy's SEALs in the `70s and `80s. Since they can pretty much buy what they want, it wouldn't be surprising that they would be interested in a gun that was less susceptible to corrosion.

The Model 66 was discontinued in the `00s, but recently brought back. The new model has a two-piece 4.25" barrel (and the dreaded "Hillary lock"). The barrel length makes the gun eligible to sell on the Canadian market.[2]

This particular gun is a 66-3. It has the marks of a gun that apparently was handled quite a lot. However, the timing is almost new-grade, as the cylinder locks up comfortably before the hammer is back. There is no endshake.[3] There is no flame-cutting of the top strap.[4] It came with factory wood target grips, which are now in a box, as they are no fun to shoot.

I really wasn't going to buy it; I have a Model 15 that does damn near everything that a 66 will do for me. But the price was attractive and frankly, they aren't getting any cheaper. In time, I may look at having a round-butt conversion done, which would make this a damn-near perfect carry gun.
_______________________
[1] Remember, it is "stainless", not "stainproof".
[2] It also means that if you want to buy a holster for one, a holster designed for a 4" gun won't fit.
[3] Fore-and-aft movement of the cylinder.
[4] Which means that it was rarely fired with .357 loads.

"Make This Case Go Away"- Police Shooting Edition

No doubt that the city wanted this case to go away as fast as possible.
City officials in South Carolina approved a $6.5 million settlement Thursday with the family of an unarmed black man fatally shot by a white police officer who was captured on cellphone video firing at the man's back as he ran away.

The North Charleston City Council approved the settlement by a 10-0 vote, and members of Walter Scott's family were on hand when it was announced.

Scott, 50, was shot April 4 by North Charleston officer Michael Slager while trying to run from a traffic stop. A bystander recorded the shooting in dramatic cellphone video.

Slager was indicted on a murder charge in June and a judge refused to set bond last month, saying his release would "constitute an unreasonable danger to the community."
The city gets the case behind it. The family doesn't run the risk of a racist jury awarding them fifty bucks.

I wonder if there will be charges brought against the other officers who were verifying the murderer's story, but I'm not holding my breath.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Guns and Liability

If you want to increase the liability risk to gun owners, then I want something in return:

I want strict liability to attach to the operators of establishments in "gun free zones". You want to remove my ability to defend myself using the best tool for the task, fine, then the risk is 100% on you, with no argument permitted for "superseding criminal acts". Schools, hospitals, libraries, cities, businesses, whatever. If I'm walking in a park that's a gun-free zone and a dog bites my ass, the city pays. The estranged hub/bf of a woman comes in and kicks her ass, then the premises owner pays.

"But for the fact that gun possession was prohibited, plaintiff suffered injury" and the defendant pays. Any waiver of liability would be void for public policy reasons.

For public transit systems that ban weapons, the liability attached the moment a plaintiff leaves their home to the moment they return. Even if they go downtown and then work or shop, the transit system is liable for every frakking minute.

House Republicans and the Speaker

Sort of like this:


But harder to herd:
Republicans in Congress were plunged into turmoil on Thursday when California Representative Kevin McCarthy, the favorite to succeed retiring House Speaker John Boehner, dropped out of the race in a surprise that adds to concerns about the party's ability to govern effectively.
McCarthy suggested, in a telephone interview, that the GOP caucus can't govern worth a fuck.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

I Agree With The Donald on This

George W. Bush was a “disaster” as president, according to Donald Trump.

Trump, the billionaire running for the Republican presidential nomination, gave Bush that label during an interview on Fox News Tuesday night. Trump also faulted Bush for what he called “one of the worst decisions ever made”: the Iraq war. “I think [Bush] was a disaster, and I think it was one of the worst decisions ever made,” Trump said. “[Bush] has totally destabilized the Middle East. If you had Saddam Hussein, you wouldn’t have the problems you have right now.”
Trump also, in the same interview, expressed his support for the use of eminent domain, with will drive the glibertarians nuts.

I disagree with The Donald on most things, but I do admire him for having the balls to say what he thinks without caring how it will resonate with the voters, in essence: "This is where I stand, vote for me if you want."

Which is unlike every other candidate in the race, except Bernie Sanders. And that may be why Sanders now has over a million people giving him cash love.

Movie Promo Freebie

For The Martian:


Pretty weird promo, if you ask me. But I got on quickly enough to get a free tuber. Which might not be really free, if I get a big pot and try to grow some.

I gather that it's possible to design and use your own stamps, which gets around the prohibition against using the face of a living person on a stamp.

Stupid Chickenhawks

Did they really believe that we could go tromping around the globe, bombing and missileing whomever we felt like without other countries getting into the act for their own reasons?
Russia says it has launched rocket strikes on Islamic State targets in Syria from its warships in the Caspian Sea - about 1,500km (930 miles) away.

Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said four warships fired 26 sea-based cruise missiles on 11 targets, destroying them.

Meanwhile, Syrian ground troops have launched an offensive under Russian air cover, Syrian officials say.

But don't take my word for it. Surf around. The Chickenhawks are foaming at the mouth because the Russians are doing, well, what we've been doing for the past two decades.

The Latest Cop Dodge: "Let's not Call It 'A Police Shooting', Let's Call It 'Suicide By Cop'."

That seems to be one way for the po-po to statistically reduce the number of police shootings-- reclassify them as suicides. Because you'd have to be suicidal to take on an armed cop these days, when "ossifer safety" and "spray and pray" are the watchwords.

Look, I know the issue is complex. And there are people who do provoke violent interactions with police. But to equate that with stepping in front of a fast-moving train is false logic, and explaining that would insult the intelligence of most of my readers.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Why There Will Be No Negotiating on Gun Control

Because there is no such thing as a "negotiation" in this context. A negotiation presumes that each side comes away with something.

What we have here is the gun control side operating on the basis of "what's mine is mine and what's your is up for discussion." That, Gentle Reader, is not a compromise. It's discussing the terms of a surrender.

So, gun control people, what are you prepared to give up in return?

If the answer is "nothing", then we have nothing to really talk about.

If the answer is "what do you want", then maybe we can have a discussion.

I, for one, would be happy to give up magazines over 30 rounds, but I want something in exchange: I want silencers removed from Title III status and returned to the status that they held in 1932. Which is to say that they were an unregulated accessory, just like grips and bipods.

Air Rage

A Federal Air Marshal got into a hissy fit, stormed off the plane to report the crew for not respecting his authoritah, and the captain wouldn't let him back on the airplane.

This all happened three years ago. The skycop was sat down for a week, he got mad, and now he's suing.

The Running of the Cletuses

Or is that "Cletii"?

Anyway, I visited a LGS during my lunch hour. I asked the owner if he's seen any hint of panic buying as a result of what Some Asshole did in Oregon.

He said: "No, not yet."

Whilst I was in there, I bought a kinda beater-looking Model 66-3, 4". Lockup and timing were tight. It appears to have been carried a lot and shot very little.

There Is Such a Thing as a Stupid Question

"Cat, what did you just knock over?"

I knew that Jake had knocked something over last night, because I heard it hit the floor. But I didn't know what it was, so I asked him. He merely looked at me, and probably assumed that I'd take the Short Bus to work this morning.

Why I Think Hillary, and Whatzizface from MD, are Morons

I believe that you win elections by two tactics: First, you turn out the people inclined to vote for you and second, you convince people who are "on the fence" or inclined to vote for the other guy to vote for you.

The two tactics are somewhat antagonistic. By working very hard to turn out your base, you can energize those on the other side and turn off those in the middle. The Republicans have had a consistent problem with their primaries, in that by the time the eventual nominee has secured the party's banner, they've said enough really wackaloon stuff to almost cement a loss. And if they haven't, then a few more ill-advised comments do the trick.[1] And even if it wasn't in the current cycle, statements from past campaigns can be easily unearthed.[2]

My unresearched hunch is that beating the drum for gun control will appeal to very few voters that will not already vote for Clinton/Biden, whatever. And even if it turns out some more, it'll probably be "so, what"? Motivating a hundred thousand more voters in the NY/CHI/SF/BOS metro areas to vote for the Democrat moves the needle not a whit.

What it does do is move the needle in the rest of the country the other way. In places where "Opening Day" refers to the start of whitetail deer hunting season, where you can tell what type of bird season is approaching by the display of shotgun shells,[3], talking about gun control in the way that Clinton and the others are doing will hurt them. The issues of economic fairness, the hollowing out of our industrial base by Wall Street and the banksters, and corporate control of our government will get lost under the charge of "the Democrats want to take your guns."

300 million guns translates into many tens of millions of voters who own them.

But maybe they can win the presidency anyway. The Democrats don't need the South, most of the Midwest and the Intermountain West to win the White House. But they do need some of those areas in order to win the House of Representatives. And once you factor that into the mix, then the Republicans start to strip chunks of the "blue states" away from the Democrats.[4]

Recent politics is clear that if you want to advance an agenda, you need to control the White House and both houses of Congress, especially if you want to advance a bitterly-contested issue. I don't see the Democrats standing a chance, now, of regaining control of the House of Representatives. If anything, the crazies in the GOP will get stronger, there.

And you don't need to have a degree in political science[5] to generate a forecast of what will then happen.

Also: Clinton seems to be jumping on this issue as a way of trying to con progressives into overlooking that She is Indeed the Bankster's Next BFF. Which is a trick right out of the GOP's playbook.
______________________________
[1] Mitt "47% are Moochers' Romney (`12), Todd "natural rape" Akin, (`14- MO).
[2] Remember when Clinton tried to claim that she was pro-gun? I sure do.
[3] Heavy shot for turkeys, ducks and geese, lighter for doves and quail.
[4] One-third of the NY state and a quarter of the CA congressional delegations are Republicans.
[5] An oxymoron of a degree if there ever was one.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Hillary the Moron

Gun rights groups have already begun to sound alarms over a Hillary Clinton presidency and its implications for access to firearms. But the Democratic frontrunner reminded voters on Friday that she had been here before, referring to the former Clinton White House.

“We took them on in the ’90s. We’re gonna take them on again,” she said.
Maybe she's forgotten how that worked out for her husband's administration. A brief recap: President Clinton got the Brady Bill through Congress in 1993. In 1993, both houses of Congress were controlled by the Democrats. The Democrats had controlled the House for 40 years. They had controlled one or both houses of Congress, with the exception of `47-`49 and `53-`55, since FDR was first elected.

That all ended in 1995 and the Brady Bill was a significant component of the loss of Congress to the GOP. Bill Clinton admitted as much (though he sought to blame the favorite boogeyman of the gun-control crowd for that).

Mass Shootings

Chris Hernandez, who is a career cop, has posted a fairly lengthy piece about mass shootings and what can be done.

You should go read it.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Saturday, October 3, 2015

The Martian, the Movie

(Yes, I read the book)

I got home a little while ago from watching the movie. Given that the mass-market paperback is 448 pages long, they had to leave some stuff out. And there are a couple of "Hollywoodish" touches that are, well, stupid and for which somebody should be smacked around.

But as for a film-to-movie adaptation, I think that only the 1973 Day of the Jackal hewed closer to the book. They did an excellent job of capturing the spirit of the book's portrayal of astronaut Mark Watney.

My recommendation: Get thee to a theater near you. See this one.

For if you're interested in space and space exploration and you don't see this movie, there is something seriously wrong with you.

Thou Shall Not Weaponize a Cat

Click on it to enlarge, derrr

From here, naturally.

Some Asshole With Guns

Some Asshole shot up a community college in Oregon this week.

Stand-in photo of the Asshole:


I'm not going to get into my usual rant about how the press is effectively glorifying this turdlet by publicizing every aspect of his life.

But note one point that they've raise: This particular Asshole studied mass shootings before he undertook one.

These Assholes are psychopathic predators. While they may be insane and are certainly monsters, they are not stupid. They are doing their killing where their prey can be found in large numbers and where their prey have no effective means of defending themselves.

The answer would seem to be rather obvious and simple to implement. And after a few future Assholes die unremarked, maybe this problem might begin to go away.

Caturday

With almost Gaullic-like disdain, Jake contemplates the limited menu choices.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

"You Meet the Nicest People on a Honda," But...

So there I was, 0600, out in my driveway, picking up the newspaper. There's a bit of a wind, 47°F outside, the sky is lighter in the east as sunrise is a little less than an hour away. About 500' or so down the road, there's an intersection.

A motorcycle is there at the cross street. The rider accelerates and turns, going past me. He's riding a Harley with "chopper" handlebars. He goes through three gears at full throttle, blaring the racket from his pipes as he goes.

There were no other vehicles on the road. There was no need for that putz to do that. But he did, down a quiet residential street in the pre-dawn hour.

There once was an advertising slogan: "You meet the nicest people on a Honda." Maybe that was hype.

But it seems clear to me that Assholes Ride Harleys.

Confirmation about Benghazi

The investigations by Congress were never about what happened there. They were only motivated by politics. It was truly a McCarthyite smear job.

For this is what Rep. Kevin McCarthy, who hopes to Speaker John Boehner, ttold Sean Hannity of Fox News:
“What you’re going to see is a conservative speaker, that takes a conservative Congress, that puts a strategy to fight and win.

“And let me give you one example. Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right?

“But we put together a Benghazi special committee. A select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping. Why? Because she’s untrustable. But no one would have known that any of that had happened had we not fought to make that happen.”
Of course, McCarthy's clean-up detail is trying to walk back his comments. But there's no walking that back, except in the minds of the faithful viewers of the Fox Propaganda Channel.

The crap about Benghazi and now the email server is all about politics, folks. It's about a GOP smear campaign. And it's all pretty damn despicable.