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

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Yeah, The Flag of Treason's Coming Down

It's not helping the cause of the "but it was a Noble Cause"* people when these folks show up in support:
The Ku Klux Klan has been approved to hold a protest rally at the [South Carolina} Statehouse next month against removing the Confederate battle flag, with the group calling accused mass murderer Dylann Roof a “young warrior.”
It'd probably be only more toxic if a bunch of Nazis showed up. Not that there's been much difference between the two groups.**

Maybe less if Mel Gibson showed up. But not by much.
________________________________
* To fight to keep slaves.
** Other than who they hate.

Grexit

I don't understand why they're still talking about this and proposing a third bailout.

For all the talk about the irresponsibility of the Greeks in borrowing money that they clearly weren't going to repay, nobody seems to be paying much attention to the European banksters who lent money without caring whether or not Greece could repay it. In a business or consumer situation, that ends with the borrower going under and the creditors getting largely stiffed; which is why when you or HexBoltCo wants to borrow money, the lenders look carefully at your assets and cashflow before deciding whether to float a loan.*

The larger lesson for nations is that if you want to retain a degree of control over your own financial affairs, have your own currency. The Eurobanksters likely fear that if Greece exits, that other nations will follow.** With their own currencies restored, those nations become in a better position to tell the dweebs in Brussels to sod off.

As some form of trade zone, the EU may survive. But as to the EU's proponents' dream that the EU would become the United States of Europe, they should put down the opium pipe.
_________________________________________
* The banksters' refusal to do that during the `00s is largely responsible for the `08 crash.
** Ultimately, they might as well change the name of the central European currency from "the Euro" to "the Reichsmark"

Monday, June 29, 2015

Dear Texas Officials: Do Your Fucking Jobs. Or Go the Fuck Home.

The Goober-in-Chief in Texas is pledging that officials who decline to follow the law will get legal help.

Here's the thing: If your job is to issue marriage licenses, or any other damn form of license, it's not your place to insert your moral beliefs or feelings into the process. The same objection that the Jeebus Asswipes in Tejas are asserting are identical to those asserted back in the civil rights era. Only the people have changed.

If you can't comply with the law and issue the licenses and/or permits, then quit your damn job and find a job that is more in line with your moral teaching.

Oh, and as to not respecting what the Supreme Court has ruled, well, wouldn't you know that the Christian Bible has something to say about that:
All of you must obey those who rule over you. There are no authorities except the ones God has chosen. Those who now rule have been chosen by God. So whoever opposes the authorities opposes leaders whom God has appointed. Those who do that will be judged.
Damnation and the Fires of Hell await you, O Texicans who are contesting the rule of law!* Follow the law or your eternal soul will suffer the consequences!**
_______________________________________________
* Not that it didn't before.
** Ah, who am I kidding? The Cafeteria Christians won't be swayed. But feel free to snark on them.

Shorter GOP: "We Don't Need No Stinkin' Votes From Beaners."

It's been nearly two weeks since The Donald bleated out a racist tirade against Mexican immigrants and I have to wonder: Where is the Republican outrage? Even John E. Bush, whose wife was born in Mexico and who speaks Spanish better than his brother can speak English, hasn't (apparently) said jack-point-shit.

So it would seem that, once again, the GOP is willing to write of the Hispanic vote.

Chimpy got 44% of the Hispanic vote in 2004. Romney got 27% in 2012. Most Hispanics think that the GOP doesn't give a fuck about them and The Donald gave them more reasons to think that.

Best get used to the idea of the Democrats winning again.

Shorter Comcast: "Any Way We Can Fuck You, We Will."

Comcast has been offering its standard customers a "free upgrade" to its X1 service for those who use its standard service.

But you know that Comcast is expert at fucking over its customers, right? This is how they do it: Their standard customers have a Comcast-supplied DVR that is pretty much a ten-year-old piece of shit. They break down frequently and Comcast's remedy is to give people another "refurbished" DVR. But even though they're POSs, when they work, they record up to two shows at a time.

The box that Comcast is giving out as part of its X1 promotion records nothing at all. If you want a box that'll record stuff, then you're going to pay more. So Comcast's "free upgrade", in practical effect, is a lesser amount of service because, ever since the first VCRs went on sale, people have gotten away from appointment television. Comcast wants you to go back to that and if you would rather record and watch later, this "free upgrade" to X1 service will cost you even more.

The CATV companies had best get a clue. They're making it more and more advantageous to people to go with watching their shows over the Internet.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Har!
THE PENTAGON — A Department of Defense spokesman announced this week that the Army will be reactivating the 23rd Americal Division, most famous for its role in the Vietnam War. The division will be stationed at Fort Ho Chi Minh, currently under construction near Jackson, Miss.
...
Fort Ho Chi Minh will join such installations as Forts Lee, Stewart, Benning, Hood, Bliss, Polk, Bragg, and A.P. Hill, all of which bear the names of soldiers responsible for the deaths of thousands of American fighting men and women in attacks on the United States.

I would think that Fort Võ Nguyên Giáp would have been more accurate, but a lot fewer people would have gotten the joke.

This Trigger is as Gritty as Pulling a Steel Bar Through a Gravel Pit

The American Rifleman's review of the Walther CCP said this:
During testing, I found that even though the trigger pull was not particularly heavy, and that it could be managed, it was full of bumps and starts coming back and going forward for reset. If all CCP pistols exhibit that trait, Walther is going to take some heat over it.
If a reviewer is saying that in an advertiser-supported gun rag, then the trigger probably really and truly sucks.

Which is too bad, because the gun looks pretty intriguing. (See Tam's review.)

"We Appear to Have Had a Launch Vehicle Failure"

A Falcon-9 rocket, which was carrying a Dragon capsule to the ISS, blew up this morning about two and a quarter minutes into its flight.

Internal Passport Control

Does it seem to anyone else that, more and more, the TSA "screeners" are resembling the East German border guards from Top Secret? Are they using a clip from that movie as a training film?


Update: Take a close look at the officer's pistol.

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

Rafael:


The shakiness is almost enough to induce vertigo. If you know you're going to be shooting video like this, at least bring a monopod!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Caturday

Boat cat

Friday, June 26, 2015

Explosions on the Right; Marriage Edition

Justice Kennedy the Supreme Court declared Friday that same-sex couples have a right to marry anywhere in the United States.
From what I saw at ScotusBlog, 60% of the opinion was written the dissenters. I've read hardly anything of it, but the first few sentences of Scalia's dissent reads like something that could have been written by a pro-slavery judge in the 1840s.

The GOP: Wrong Side of History(tm). Smarter heads in the party are probably eager to put this issue behind them, but don't count on the firebrands to let that happen.

Because It's Friday

Portuguese steam


I have a suspicion that there is a bit of post-production sound in this one.

Why We Can't Have Nice Things; Drone Edition

As a hot wind shifted north and drove the flames toward Onyx Peak east of Big Bear Lake, fire crews deployed to save homes scattered among brittle-dry pines — waiting for help from a DC-10 laden with 10,800 gallons of retardant.

It never came. Shortly before 6 p.m. on Wednesday, an incident commander on the ground spotted a hobby drone buzzing near the drop site at 11,000 feet. The air tanker had to turn back, as did two smaller planes following it.
Shit like this will probably end with the sale of drones being controlled by the government. There's also a chance that anyone who flies a drone will be required to have a pilot's certificate.

Some assclowns don't comprehend that with the freedom to do something comes some degree of responsibility. Freedom is never absolute, unless you happen to live by yourself on a remote island. What a person does has an effect on others, which is life in civil society.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Whole Foods = Whole-Scale Ripoff

[New York City] has launched a probe of Whole Foods Markets after investigators nabbed the upscale food purveyor for routinely overcharging customers on groceries during dozens of inspections dating back to at least 2010, the Daily News has learned.

The most recent spate of violations came during a sting operation the Department of Consumer Affairs conducted in the fall that specifically checked the accuracy of the weight marked on pre-packaged products.

Inspectors weighed 80 different types of items at Whole Foods’ eight locations in the city that were open at the time. They found every label was inaccurate, with many overcharging consumers, agency spokeswoman Abby Lootens told The News.
One per store is an accident. Twice is coincidence. Every item checked overweight is deliberate.

What the fuck, guys? It's not bad enough that your prices are outrageous, but you also overcharge on top of that?

Explosions on the Right

The Supreme Court rescued the GOP and upheld Obamacare. Now they can get back to bashing Obamacare without ever saying what they would do in its stead.

The Real Terrorist Danger in the U.S.A.

The danger is more from loser-ass (and nominally Christian) white dudes, who blame others for their miserable lives.

But either way, the death toll from both types of asswipes is 75 killed in thirteen years. Which is less than a quarter of the number of people killed by lightning. Compared to the number of people who have been killed in motor vehicle accidents, the number of people killed by terrorists of all stripes is less than a rounding error.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Ten Years On

The New London Day has been running a series about the taking of the Fort Trumbull neighborhood by the City. Ten years on, the neighborhood is a vacant wasteland. Nobody will build there.*

It turned out that Pfizer was behind the bulldozing of Fort Trumbull. Pfizer got a ten year tax abatement for building its headquarters there, but as soon as the tax abatement ran out, Pfizer, like the pirates that they are, moved out. They got their plunder and so they left. Pfizer later sold their building to Electric Boat, which itself got government money for the deal.
___________________________________
* My guess is that it would be politically toxic to do so.

The Rebel Flag That Isn't Being Flown

The Flag of the Whiskey Rebellion:


That rebellion was all about taxation. But since the rebels weren't defending their right to own other people, it's largely been forgotten.

Where is LTCOL James Chambers Street?

He was a prominent Loyalist during the Revolutionary War. There were others.

We don't make a habit of naming streets or towns in this country after defeated enemies, traitors or, for that matter, victorious ones.

Spies Spy. It's What They Do.

The NSA has been spying on the French for many years. The French president summoned the American ambassador to complain.*

While the facts may be newsworthy, the larger story, that the NSA spies on our allies, is not. The French should have figured this out after it came out that the NSA was listening in on German Chancellor Angela Merkel's calls.

The NSA spies on everyone. It's what they do. Expecting the NSA not to spy on people is like a bear not to shit in the woods and steal picnic baskets. If you're a foreign leader, the NSA is spying on you. And even if you use encryption, the NSA has likely cracked your SIM card.
________________________________________________
* Being a shit-magnet is about the only function left to ambassadors since the advent of modern communications technology.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Last Confederate Flag

This is the actual flag that was used by the Army of Northern Virginia to surrender to the Union Army:


The soldiers at the time knew what they were fighting for, which was why desertion and draft evasion sapped the ranks of the Confederate Army. Other than Mississippi, there were enough men from every state of the Confederacy to form distinct units in the Union Army. It's only after the war that the "noble cause" crap surfaced, a line of bullshit that generations of apologists have bought into ever since.

Preflight


Monday, June 22, 2015

If You're Hurt, Don't Flag Down the Cops

They'll shoot you in the head for bothering them.

Here's a cop joke:
Q: How many cops does it take to change a light bulb?

A: Trick question, cops don’t change anything. First they beat up the room for being black then they arrest the bulb for being broke.
BadTux is spot-on about another point: Until the cops begin to do something about the brutal goons within their ranks, then they all wear the hat of brutality.

If you carry a concealed weapon and you make a mistake and shoot the wrong guy, you're going to prison. A cop who shoots the wrong person gets a nasty letter in his file. Even though the cops get a lot more training in the use of force, their misconduct is held to a far lower standard. Hell, you couldn't get away with shooting a dog on the same flimsy excuses that cops give for shooting people.

Speaking of shooting dogs, that's pretty much a no-limit open-season for the cops. Even if the dog is leashed, Barn' just opens fire.

(H/T for the latter point.)

The Donations of the Haters

There is a report that the racist asshole who allegedly inspired the Asswipe of Charleston has made significant donations to some GOP presidential candidates. Ted Cruz is returning the money, but Frothy and Baby Paul are silent.

I think it'd be better to have taken the jerk's money and then make a dollar-for-dollar donation to the NAACP legal Defense Fund or the Southern Poverty Law Center and say that publicly. But you know they won't, because that would piss off the racist component of the GOP base. Which as John McCain learned the hard way in 2000, is a lot of people.

Call for Photoshoppers: Flag of Traitors Edition

Can somebody redo this, only with the South Carolina State Seal around the edge of the swastika?


If you do, please send me a link or the image (email is in the right column, near the bottom, somewheres) and I'll post it with full credit to you.

Shorter FBI Director: "Terrorism is an Act Perpetrated by Muslims (and Commies)."

FBI Director James Comey is quibbling about the definition of terrorism. His point boils down to an assertion that white folks aren't terrorists. Which is just bullshit.

This is the Feebies' own definition:
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) defines terrorism as “the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.”
That is exactly what the Asswipe of Charleston did: A white separatist killed nine black people to further the social objectives of those who believe in white supremacy and segregation of the races.

Terrorism is a tactic used to scare people into moving the way that the terrorists want people to move. The Night Riders of the Klan were terrorists. Those who murdered both the black people who waned to vote and the civil rights workers who came to support them were terrorists. The crowds which lynched people were terrorists. The men who blew up black churches were terrorists. All of those asswipes were not killing people just to kill people (like the Asswipes of Newtown and Aurora), they were killing people in order to terrorize the rest of the targeted population to stay in their places.

In recent times, there have been white asswipes who have gunned down men and women who were perceived to be minorities. The Asswipe of Oak Creek was one of them, as were a lot of other such assclowns. Each of the killers' goals varied slightly, but they were all of the same stripe as the Charleston Asswipe: To terrorize people in minority groups.

What the Asswipe of Charleston did was terrorism. The FBI, by quibbling over this point, is showing its age-old stripes.

For shame, Director Comey. For shame.

800 Years Ago

The Magna Carta was signed (June 15th in the Julian calendar). Its primary purpose was to end a civil war between the English barons and King John.

An argument can be made that the Magna Carta was pretty much ignored by the English kings until the English Civil War in the seventeenth century. The Magna Carta was resurrected as an argument against the divine right of kings, to show that limitations on the monarch's powers were not a new and radical idea, but part of English legal tradition. Its resurrection was still fresh when the United States was created.

Despite those who would assert that presidential power is unlimited*, that limitation derives from the Magna Carta.

Not too shabby for 800 years.
____________________________________
* The two Despicable Richards, for example (Nixon and Cheney).

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

Il-76: Bet the noise complaint phones were ringing off their hooks!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Caturday

Nap time.

The Asswipe of Charleston and the Flag of Traitors

At the statehouse in Columbia, SC, they've lowered the American and state flags to mourn the people murdered by the Asswipe of Charleston.

But the Flag of Traitors is flying at full staff.

Without slavery, there would have been no Civil War. Slavery almost scuttled the Constitutional Convention of 1787. Slavery is a deep bloody stain on the soul of this nation, and the fact that a lot of white folk proudly fly the flag of the Rebellion to Preserve Slavery is as shameful as it would be if the descendants of those who fought for the Third Reich began flying that flag to celebrate their forefathers' service.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Western Movie Saloons

Why do the saloons always have glass in the windows (some cowboy always gets tossed through one), but the doorway is wide open with only a pissant swinging door that's only there for dramatic effect?  The doorway can't be closed off to cut out a cold wind or snowdrifts, even if the movie is set in Montana. 

Inquiring minds....

Because It's Friday

Mexican steam

Thursday, June 18, 2015

None Dare Call It Terrorism

Some white asswipe shot up a historically black church in Charleston, SC, killing at least nine people.

Care to estimate the amount of howling rage that would be going on if Asswipe had been yelling out "aloha snackbar" when he was killing people?

What is it with some white young men that they feel some sort of entitlement to kill large numbers of people? The Newton Asswipe, the Aurora Asswipe, the Tucson Asswipe, the Montreal Asswipe, young while bitter men, all of them.

Dry Times Coming

We're running the aquifers dry.

You want to see real fun, just wait until there is no water coming out of the tap for tens of millions of people in a large region.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Raping the Pony (Colt Bankruptcy Ed.)

Colt has filed for bankruptcy.

I've been anticipating this for awhile.

As Bloomberg News reported, a vulture capital firm, Sciens Capital, has pretty much raped and pillaged Colt.

Colt has managed pretty much to fuck itself into the ground, even without the help of the vulture capitalists. They've hitched their wagon to government sales and ignored the consumer market. Colt doesn't make a civilian handgun design that didn't exist before the Great War. They gave up innovating eons ago. All of the other major gunmakers got into the CCW market, but other than the .380 Mustang, Colt ignored it.

If it wasn't for government sales, Colt would have dried up and blown away in the 1990s. and since they are run by vulture capitalists, who can't think long-term past the length of their dicks, the chances of Colt joining the ranks of modern gunmakers is almost nonexistent. For when it came to innovation when it came to handguns, Colt's just not there.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Myths & Legends

If you pick up the July issue of Shooting Illustrated (and you should, because Tam has a cover story/review in it), look at the photo of accompanying the article on the last page. Now that's some top-shelf Snark.

Tam's writeup of the Walther CCP is intriguing. I'm in the market for a singe-stack 9mm and this one might fit the bill. I had been looking for a Smith 3913, but they're pretty rare and when I find one online, it's priced similarly to new guns (especially when you add in the various transfer feed {thank you very much, ATF}).

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Caturday

Jake takes a break from watching for birds and squirrels.

Friday, June 12, 2015

It's Chow-Time!

No offense, but I'm going to step out for a pizza.

One Less Event for the Clown Show

The Iowa Straw Poll has been canceled by the state GOP.

Shorter Balmer PD: "We Won't Do Our Jobs If You Don't Allow Us to Murder People, Now and Then."

A month and a half after six officers were charged in Mr. Gray’s death, policing has dwindled in some of Baltimore’s most dangerous neighborhoods, and murders have risen to levels not seen in four decades. The totals include a 29-year-old man fatally shot on this drug corner last month. Police union officials say that officers are still coming to work, but that some feel a newfound reluctance and are stepping back, questioning whether they will be prosecuted for actions they take on the job.
Let's be clear on this, shall we: "Good police work" does not entail putting a guy in cuffs, tossing him into the back of van, without belting him into a seat, and then deliberately tossing his ass around on a "black-dog ride".

Are the cops in South Carolina in an uproar after one of their own gunned a man down by shooting him in the back? This, after all, isn't Mexico, the Ley de Fuga isn't the law in this country (most of the time).

Torture by cops was supposedly outlawed in the 1930s. That it still goes on and is tacitly/overtly encouraged by many on the Right is a deep and shameful mark on this nation.

Because It's Friday

Plowing by steam



Watching those things, one can see why the Fordson and Farmall tractors sold well.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Snake Oil Alert; Ammunition Edition

"Inceptor"-- because nobody can spell.

"Hydraulic ram effect"..... ayup.

There us a little-spoken thing about ballistic get testing: Skin doesn't act like gel. As this presentation describes, skin is equivalent to 4" of gel. So a bullet that does most of its damage in the first six inches won't probably do what you need it to do, unless you happen to hit the liver.

Look at a diagram of the human body-- as an opponent faces you, the things that you need to hit often are towards the rear of the body, where they are somewhat protected by the spine. Hydraulic damage isn't probably going to help much if you shoot someone in the lungs, for obvious reasons.

And what happens, pray tell, if you fire those fancy bullets out of a 1911? A fair number of them have left-hand twist barrels, which will turn those fancy-ass hydro-bullets the wrong way.

Kansas Model: Tax Cuts for the Rich, Tax Increases for Everyone Else

Kansas cut income taxes, so now they have a huge budget hole that they are going to make up through highly regressive taxes.

Color me largely unsympathetic to the plight of Kansans. You folks re-elected that tool Brownbeck, now you're reaping the consequences of those votes.

May the Creators of Microsoft Word Spend Eternity Having Their Flesh Barbecued and Feasted Upon by Demons

That is all.

"A Three-Engined Airplane With Four-Bladed Propellors"

The EAL DC-7 has been stuck in Charlotte for four years after an engine failed.

Historic Flight Foundation got maybe a year of operation out of that airplane before #3 engine shit the bed. DC-7s were known for engine failures. It's probably the reason why DC-6s are still in service around the world and few DC-7s, if any, still are.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

A Double-Felony in Massachusetts

A bit of purse detritus from a recent range session:


When I did live not far away from MA, I would check my purse and car to make sure that I didn't have any loose cartridges or expended shells lying about.

Monday, June 8, 2015

XD-Mod 2

I got to shoot one of these tonight, in 9mm:


Yes, I think the "grip zone" marking is tackier than Lindsey Graham driving a Farmall. Still, I had no trouble hitting the center of a target at ten yards, which isn't terribly shabby for a subcompact 9mm. It felt nice in my hand. If you get a chance to fire one, you might like it.

Those of you in the 10-round mag cap states might want to look at the larger caliber versions.

(FYI: I've gotten nothing from nobody nohow to write this.)

A Stunning Lack of Professional Courtesy

A pig in Michigan pooped all over the inside of a police car.

J-3

Enjoy.

Trust Your Government

Like the folks in Utah once did.
Last week, half a century [after the filming of the The Conqueor], Rebecca Barlow, a nurse practitioner at the Radiation Exposure Screening and Education Program (RESEP), which operates from the Dixie Regional Medical Center in St George, now a prosperous little city with an airport, leafed through her patient records. “More than 60% of this year’s patients are new,” she said. “Mostly breast and thyroid, also some leukaemia, colon, lung.”

This is a story about cancer. About how the United States turned swathes of the desert radioactive during the cold war and denied it, bequeathing a medical mystery which to this day haunts Hollywood and rural Mormon communities and raises a thorny question: how much should you trust the government?

“It’s gone into our DNA,” said Michelle Thomas, 63, an outspoken advocate for the so-called downwinders, the name given to the tens of thousands exposed to fallout. “I’ve lost count of the friends I’ve buried. I’m not patriotic. My government lied to me.”

Sunday, June 7, 2015

What It Takes to Get Americans Interested in Soccer

Allegations of bribery by the Russians, perhaps? The president of FIFA stepped down days after winning re-election.

Clearly, if it wasn't for this scandal, most Americans, at least those who don't have kids playing the game, wouldn't give a shit about soccer for another three years. If even then.

"Words You Almost Never Hear on Unicom" (and More)

"Meet me on 122.75."

On a nice day, with lots of airplanes in the air, you can almost always count on a couple of piltos jabbering away on 122.8 about where they're going or whatnot. It's almost as annoying as the bizet calling in from about 16,000' on its descent to check on the status of a rental car.

So knock that shit off, people.

-----------------------------------

It seems that most smartphones come with a mapping app. If you're going to park your car in a huge lot, why not use that app to "drop a pin" where you parked your car? That'll probably get you back within fifty feet of it. And it's not as though the fucking NSA/FBI/DEA don't already know where you are. (And it'll save you $25.)

-----------------------------------

Jake was by his feeding station, complaining because there was no dry food. When I gave him some, he just walked away. Because he might want it later and by then, I might be out doing something else.

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

BONE!


(H/T to the Old NFO)

It's Only There by Popular Demand; Jenner Edition

The documentary series chronicling Caitlyn Jenner’s transition from male to female will premiere at the end of July, E! announced on Wednesday.
Oh, gee. A reality show.



I suspect that whatever steps Jenner has to go through, that the fact that money isn't an obstacle makes a world of difference between her and 99% of the rest of transsexuals. She's not going to have to worry about starting a new career because transitioning destroyed the old one.*

There were transsexual women who lost their careers and went into the process knowing the risk. Many fought the law over that and lost. Jenner's probably not going to run the risk of some clown killing her and then offering a version of the "gay panic" defense.

Like most such televised fare, it will have little relationship to the process and the hardship that most other transgendered people endure.

I wish Caitlyn Jenner well, but I'm not going to watch her damn show.

(N.B.:  Keep your "Caitlyn is a man" comments to either yourself or on your own blog.  Not here.  Capisce?
_______________________________
Not true in the USAF or the RAAF.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

The Long Drought is Over

American Pharoah led all the way to win the Belmont Stakes by 5 1/2 lengths on Saturday, becoming the first horse since 1978 to sweep the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes - one of the sporting world's rarest feats.
It didn't seem that way in the 1970s. But there had been a quarter-century gap when Secretariat won in 1973.

I didn't watch any of the current races and I don't know anyone who gives a frak anymore about horse racing. But I do remember Secretariat. If you had seen the Triple Crown races, you'd have thought that all of the other horses in the races had three legs.

WW2: German Troops Marching in England

Just not the way that the OKW had originally planned on.


Photos from here, and you should go look at them all.

(H/T)

71 On

D-Day took place 71 years ago.

As a kid, I remember watching the CBS documentary that they aired in 1964, in which Walter Cronkite and General Eisenhower went back to the significant places of the invasion. But it doesn't seem to be available online.

Aviation, a Bit of Superstitioning

It's getting into the time of the year when, if you want comfy VFR flying, you'd best plan to be back down by noon. Heat-driven cumulus clouds start popping up and, even if they're not forecast, one or two might get angry and start hurling down lightning.

And it gets hazy. If you're up above the joyriding bugsmashers, you can get into a situation where you are legal VFR and effectively IFR. It's like flying in milk.

This morning was nice and there was hardly any wind. I tracked in on the local VOR and, without any maneuvering, got this result:


Got a little interesting at my home `drome for a minute. I was in the pattern and someone called in for a GPS practice approach on the opposite runway. It wasn't going to be much of an issue, for it appeared that I'd be on the parallel turf runway before the GPS-driver executed a missed. But then some {deleted} taxied out onto the turf runway as I was on short final. Now maybe {deleted} thought I was going to land on the pavement and {deleted's} airplane would be clear. Why {deleted} couldn't have just held on the taxiway was the object of a few seconds of Navy-lingo exposition on my part, but not over the air.

I went around. Which of course meant that there was the matter of the inbound GPS-er. As soon I was established in a climb, I broke to the right. Only to see that the inbound GPSer had realized that the practice approach had gone to shit and was breaking off to the left. See, the airport has one of those deals where it is right-traffic one way and left-traffic the other way, which on the rare circumstance can have airplanes flying right at each other.

It all sorted out. {Deleted} took to the air. GPSer got back into a practice approach, but this time, did the one for the active.

Which brings me back to the title. When I finished, gassed up and secured the airplane, I patted it on the cowling and thanked it for the flight. Just something I like to do.

Caturday

"Wake me when there is food."

Friday, June 5, 2015

"I Christen Thee...."

They're going to christen the latest Royal Spawn in July.

They probably won't do it this way:


The ship was HMS Vanguard, the last battleship built in the world. In her short career, she apparently never fired a shot in combat.

Because It's Friday

The Circus Train in Wisconsin.

Look for All of the Cop Cars

Today is National Donut Day.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Couple More USN "Name This Aircraft"

TH

R7D

HSK

"Unifying" the aircraft designation system, which largely meant redesignating Navy and Marine aircraft, as the Air Farce was permitted to keep their old designations, was just another one of the minor crimes against history that was committed by McNamera's Whiz-Kids.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Feebie Air Force

They sure seem to like Cessnas. No love among the FBI for Pipers or Maules.

On the other hand, the Dakota would have been analogous to the 182 as the Saratoga would have been to the 206, but Piper stopped making them years ago.

The Fallen- World War II

Take a few minutes (18) out of your day and watch this. It is a tally of those who died in the war.

And if you're one of those whose history in school was little more than "America won the war, hooray", prepare to be enlightened as to the butcher's bill that was presented to the other nations, especially the Soviet Union.

If the Soviet Union and Germany had not gone to war, given the sheer amount of combat power that Germany applied to their Eastern Front, it's hard to see how the Western Allies could have prevailed on their own.

(H/T)

Guess the Navy Fighter-II

F2O

Guess the Navy Fighter

F5H

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Dear Caitlyn Jenner: Your Political Party Hates You

Back when Bruce Jenner gave his interview to Diane Sawyer, he said that he was a conservative Republican.

Now that Jenner has transitioned to being Caitlyn, here's a real shocker: Her political soulmates are no more tolerant of her than they are of any other minority. In fact, they deliberately mocked her and tried to score cheap laughs about her.

In other words, Caitlyn, your political allies just shived you in the back and had a good chuckle about it.

You might want to rethink who your friends are, dear.

Just a Few of the Feebie's Alleged Airplanes

Mostly Cessna 182Ts, but some 206s.

NG Research: N290RM, N527KM, N539MY, N901RM, N921LS.

FVX Research: N319KS, N687RT, N806TH, N964JR, N984JS.

NBR Aviation: N311SB, N514NY, N986PQ.

KQM Aviation: N223EM, N302MP, N411CP, N562CN, N612BK, N913JH.

That's only four of the FBI's front companies. They have over a dozen such entities that the press has uncovered. They have over fifty such airplanes that the press has identified. They may have more.

No doubt that the FBI is busily setting up new front companies and changing the N numbers of their airplanes as you read this.

No Comment Necessary

Thoroughly Stupid Agency

An internal investigation of the Transportation Security Administration revealed security failures at dozens of the nation’s busiest airports, where undercover investigators were able to smuggle mock explosives or banned weapons through checkpoints in 95 percent of trials, ABC News has learned.

The series of tests were conducted by Homeland Security Red Teams who pose as passengers, setting out to beat the system.

According to officials briefed on the results of a recent Homeland Security Inspector General’s report, TSA agents failed 67 out of 70 tests, with Red Team members repeatedly able to get potential weapons through checkpoints.
I had to stifle a yawn while I read this. That the TSA mostly functions as useless security theater isn't exactly a cutting-edge revelation. They catch mainly stupid people who have forgotten that they had a KelTec in their bag, people who weren't exactly a threat to airline travel to begin with. And mainly, TSA agents just hassle passengers for no goddamned reason, including yawning in line.

We're no safer, now, than when we were when the airlines ran security and they hired wannabee mall cops to conduct the security checks.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Look! Up In the Sky! It's a Bird, No, It's the Feebies!

The Stasi FBI has a fleet of late-model Cessna spyplanes, which are registered to non-existent three-letter companies. The airplanes fly low over cities and towns doing fuck-if-we-know, which probably implies that the Feebies are doing things that they shouldn't be doing, or that would cause outrage if we knew what they were doing.

Maybe we should all start wearing wide-brimmed hats.

Enemy of the State wasn't supposed to be a "how-to" manual, but it sure seems that way.

NSA Stops Collecting Phone Records-- My Ass, They Did

Sweeping US surveillance powers, enjoyed by the National Security Agency since the aftermath of the 2001 terrorist attacks, shut down at midnight after a dramatic Senate showdown in which even the NSA’s biggest supporters conceded that substantial reforms were inevitable.

Almost two years after the whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed to the Guardian that the Patriot Act was secretly being used to justify the collection of phone records from millions of Americans, critics of bulk surveillance went further than expected and forced the end of a range of other legal authorities covered by the Bush-era Patriot Act as well.
I submit, Gentle Reader, that only a fool would believe that the NSA has stopped accumulating phone records that. They have the infrastructure in place to do it and do you really believe that some NSA tech has shrugged and thrown the breaker on that? I wrote as much almost two years ago and I think it still stands.

The various legislators can bloviate and speechify all they want to. Congress can pass or not pass laws. The American Stasi will do what the fuck they want, probably because they think there isn't going to be another Snowden or Manning. Rand Paul is exactly right when he warns that the FISA court will rubber-stamp whatever the NSA wants, for it's what they do. Assuming that the NSA bothers to even ask the FISA court, which they've been known to bypass before.

The only real change, for right now, is that we can pretty much tell the Feebies with their prying "national security letters" (most of which had no relationship to national security) to fuck off and die. But that'll change.