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

Monday, August 31, 2015

Felonious Reckless Eyeballing

Looking at a cop can get you pulled over and ticketed on a bullshit charge.

Especially if you're black.


Because you're not supposed to make eye contact with your betters, or some shit like that? What are they, a bunch of Travis Bickle wannabees?

That's why the Baltimore cops murdered Freddie Gray, so Mr. Felton may want to count himself lucky that the cop just didn't pull out his heater and shoot him dead. Like a cop did to Mr. DuBose.

Meanwhile, the cops are bemoaning that they aren't universally loved and adored.

Well, no shit, guys. Your chickens are coming home to roost.

Obama's Genius

He throws the far-right some bones to chew over and rant about from time to time.

Today, it's changing the name of some damn mountain in Alaska.

So the Right-Wing Noise Machine will get spun up over this for a bit, while the Administration works on something else.

Don't Make Book If You Cannot Cover Bets

That's some very old advice.

But it's advice that the State of Illinois is ignoring.

The winners are right: If you owed the state money, they'd come after you hammer-and-tong, and the excuse that "I'm over budget" would cut no ice with them.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Dear iPhone: Fuck You.

My iPhone now keeps asking whether I want to shut it off, when I'm using it for stuff.

And when I do shut it off, the fucking thing keeps restarting.

I've tried doing a hard reboot. I've tried doing that with the SIM card out. If it had been designed by normal people, I'd take the battery out. but it wasn't designed by normal people, it was designed by some rightfully-dead egomaniac.

Craptastic POS.

Mining the Range, a Followup

(The first post and comments.)

I chatted with one of the range owners recently. His research, at the time he researched and priced out building his range, was that the metal backstop ranges were more than twice as expensive to build. True, collecting and recycling the lead is simpler and doesn't require closing the range down, but it takes a very long time in operation to earn back the initial costs, compared to the costs of mining a rubber range.

Additionally, the metal backstop ranges can have a higher level of airborne lead, which requires larger air-handling systems to deal with. Some designs use an oil-water system to wet down the backstops to reduce the level of airborne lead. But then that fluid becomes hazardous waste.

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

A side-by-side comparison between my red-dot Ruger and my open-sighted Model 17 would indicate that on slow-fire, I'm giving up 15 points per relay by using the revolver. I did install the Pachmyer target grips and while they do the job, they certainly are of a cheaper grade than the ones from the `80s.

I had been shooting rapid fire with the first shot single-action and the subsequent ones double action. I think I'll not do that, as if I stay DA throughout, I won't be futzing with repositioning my trigger finger.

¡JEB!: Low Energy and Corrupt!

As Governor of Florida, little Johnny Ellis Bush arranged to have Lehman Brothers manage a goodly chunk of Florida's pension money. A few months after that deal was done, Johnny E. left office and went to work for, you guessed it, Lehman Brothers as a consultant. For which he was paid over a million smackers a year in order to help replenish the ol' coffers.

¡JEB! has made tens of millions of dollars based on his vast expertise of, what, exactly? Governor of one of the more fucked-up and corrupt states in the country? Or just for being a member of the Oligarchy?

(H/T)

A Respectful Note to the Dutch.

The next time that a very large group of armed Germans[1] comes to sojourn in your country, they can have the place.

This is why:


Yep, there's no antisemitism like good old European antisemitism.

If you drug-addled canal-slime can't tell the difference between Israel as a nation and the Jewish people as a religion, then fuck you, the bicycles you rode in on and everybody who looks like you. You're no better than the mouth-breathers who tar a billion Muslims with the actions of the Taliban and ISIL.[2]

I'd vow not to drink Heineken, but since I regard it as overrated Dutch horsepiss, that's no big sacrifice.
_________________________________
[1] Or Russians.
[2] Or all Christians, for the crimes of the pederast priests. Oh, wait, nobody does that.

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

BUFFs and Water-Wagons!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Caturday

Selfie with Jake:


That lasted until it became too uncomfortable to have an internally-powered fur throw on my lap.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Because It's Friday

A steam-powered log-hauler, which, in the winter, was the first snowmobile.


Note that the guys in front are steering that beast. The cab crew has the throttle (and Johnson bar).

(H/T)

Mining the Range

If you shoot on an indoor range, you've probably never paid much attention to the backstop. You might have noticed that it is angled up and black.

That's rubber, made of shredded conveyor belts that have kevlar layers. The backstop is probably four feet thick. For a typical twelve-lane range, that's roughly two semi-trailers' worth of rubber.

And, after a few million rounds have gone downrange, the backstop has quite a bit of lead in it. If the lead is allowed to build up to excess, then there can be a risk of ricochets.

The backstop then needs to be cleaned, in a process that's called mining. A crew comes in with specialized equipment-- they scoop up all of the rubber and dump it into a couple of vibratory sifters. The rubber goes the side and the bullets fall out the bottom and into five-gallon buckets. (There's also air-handling equipment to keep the dust down.)

Once that's done, then they put the rubber back into place and the range is ready to go. If it's a range that has two sides to it with a separating wall down the middle, the miners will work on one side at night, when it's cooler, and the other side of the range can be open during the day.

When full, each of those buckets weighs about 250lbs. If the range is one where the owners have the mining done on a routine basis, the miners will extract between four and six tons of metal. Right now, that metal is then sold to recyclers for about forty cents a pound (it was up to almost a buck at one point).

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Fuck the Rule of Law; Kentucky Edition

A gay couple was denied a marriage license for the third time in Kentucky on Thursday, after a Rowan county clerk refused to obey a federal court order telling her to comply with the law.

James Yates and William Smith Jr said that officials at Rowan County courthouse, led by clerk Kim Davis, refused to provide the couple with the paperwork for a marriage license on Thursday.
Both a Federal court and an appellate court have ordered those mouthbreathers in Kentucky to comply with the fucking law. But they refuse.

Betcherass that the Rowan County courts have no problems with issuing arrest orders for people who don't obey their rulings. But the County Clerk feels that she is entitled to rise above the law and do whatever the fuck she feels like. Because Jesus. Or something.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Russian Army Medical Service is Apparently Hideous

According to an article in Forbes, the Russian Army has had 2,000 soldiers killed and 3,200 disabled as a result of fighting in the Ukraine. - (H/T)

Outside of the failure of the Russians to keep the numbers secret (which they have tried to do), notice the ratio of invalids to killed: 1.6 to 1.

Direct comparisons may be hard to make, because it's not known how the Russians classify a casualty as an invalid.

But the Iraq and Afghan wars have claimed over 6,800 servicemen and women. The DoD claims over 35,000 were wounded. Almost a million have registered disability claims with the VA. That's out of a total of 2.5 million who served. Keep in mind that some of them made multiple deployments, as many as five times, which was almost unheard-of during Vietnam.

Chances also are that the VA will pay benefits when the Russian analogue will say "walk it off, tovarisch."

A Casual Observation About Prison

It's not too hard to find crap by people saying that "life is too easy in prison"; they complain about the cons being able to watch TV or work out in the gym or take classes or partake of nutritious meals or their eligibility for free medical and dental care.

But you never see any of those whiners then going off and robbing banks so they can enjoy the luxurious prison lifestyle.

No More Black Rifles at Wally-World

It's true. Wal-Mart claims "low sales".

It's bullshit, of course. I can point to one bit of proof: Wal-Mart still stocks and sells Mini-14s.

Anchor Babies

An article about the origin of the term and what's the practical effect of such a child.

For a guy who had a selling point that he could speak Spanish and had close ties to the Hispanic community, ol' Johnnie Bush seems to be determined to undermine his campaign over the issue.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Windows 10


(Image credit??)

When my Windows 7 boxes age out, I'll go to something else.

Our Most Excellent Big Brother

The FBI* has a place where they develop and test new ways to use biometrics to spy on you.

They call it, and this is no shit, "The Biometric Center of Excellence".

Indeed. Our Most Excellent Big Brother is working on new and improved ways to make sure that every move you make, outside of your bedroom**, is watched by the FBI,
_____________________________
* Motto: "A Century of Trashing Your Civil Liberties!"
** And inside it, if you're dumb enough to take your smartphone into your bedroom with you.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Why ¡JEB! Can't Get Any Traction

Scott Adams offers an explanation why The Donald is cleaning Johnny Bush's clock and why he will continue to do so.

Ths is just one small nugget:
Jeb Bush recently said that Trump was a Democrat longer than he was a Republican in the past decade. That sounds like a good zinger, right? It got a lot of press, just as Bush wanted. Does Bush win that round?

Nope.

Mentioning Trump’s party change might have been a good thing to say before Trump was trouncing Bush in the polls and locking up the nomination. But today it sounds like Bush is telling independent voters that Trump is not a slave to any party. They love that. And independents will probably decide the election.

It would be hard to engineer a worse thing for Bush to say at this stage.
When it comes to trying to make the sale of whom to vote for, Johnny is using an Airsoft and Trump has brought a GAU-8.

Work Hard, Die Early

Millions of workers who put in lots of overtime may be upping their odds for a stroke, a new study contends. ... Analysis of data from 17 studies included nearly 529,000 men and women who were followed for an average of more than seven years. It found that those who worked 55 hours or more a week were one-third more likely to suffer a stroke than those who worked the standard number of hours.

And the longer hours people worked, the higher their stroke risk, the study found. Compared to those who worked a standard number of hours per week, the risk of stroke was 10 percent higher among those who worked 41 to 48 hours and 27 percent higher among those who worked 49 to 54 hours.
Workaholics, when you die, your kids, who barely knew you, can coast off of their lavish inheritance.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

Those baby Lears weren't quiet.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Range Report from the High Priestess of OLoMC

(OLoMC)

Keeping with the tenets of Our Most Holy Faith, I performed an act of religious devotion by participating in a Bullseye match this morning.

I shot the match with my Model 17. I shot 699-3x.

First off, the thinner Pachmyers that I used didn't feel right for an extended match. I'll have to get a set of full-sized target grips.

Second, the killer stage was slow fire. On two out of the three stages, I had one round miss the scoring rings. It's hard to score well when you toss away at least five points.

One other shooter was also using a S&W revolver, in his case, a Model 617. Like me, he was using Remington Goldens in his gun, as he said they shot the best.

The gouge that I had read elsewhere, that Model 17s like to be clean, was true. I hadn't cleaned it from the last few range trips and, by the end of the match, it took a bit of thumb-pressure to seat the cartridges.

I know I can shoot better.

Our Lady of Metallic Cartridges

John Oliver looks at the scammers who are masquerading as churches.


And, being astonished at how easy it was to meet the IRS guidelines for a church, he formed his own.

And so, I'm considering forming my own church: Our Lady of Metallic Cartridges. The lead prophet of the church shall be Rollin White. Other prophets shall be Horace Wesson, Daniel Smith, Samuel Colt, Eliphalet Remington, John Garand, John Pederson and, of course, John M. Browning- all praise the Trinity of Johns (can I get an amen?).

Every religion needs a devil. There are so many to choose from: Pete Shields. Sarah Brady, Michael Bloomberg, BATFE, Andrew Cuomo and, obviously, Gaston Glock.

I'll let you know where to send money.

Caturday

A shelter cat just wants some attention.

Friday, August 21, 2015

John E. Bush Thinks the Government (and Hackers) Should Have Access to All of Your Shit.

Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush said Tuesday that encryption makes it harder for law enforcement to track down “evildoers” — and called for a “much better, more cooperative relationship” with Apple, Google, and other tech companies that are building uncrackable private communication apps into their new products.
When it was pointed out to ¡JEB! that hackers would also be able to read unencrypted data (or encryption with back-doors), all he could do was to look not too stupid and say "good point".

It's not just emails or text messages, of course. Banking and financial data are all encrypted to try and keep it out of the hands of hackers. But that concept was apparently novel to ol' ¡JEB!.

At this point, it's beginning to look as though Chimpy was the smarter one.

Bravo, Marines!

A heavily armed gunman opened fire on a high-speed train travelling from Amsterdam to Paris on Friday, injuring two people before being overpowered by two American soldiers who were on board.
They were apparently Marines and one was apparently seriously wounded.

Update: Not Marines; they were three guys who were friends dating back to middle school, plus one Brit. One a civilian, one an Air Force paramedic, and one a specialist of some flavor in the Oregon National Guard.

Because It's Friday; Marion Murray Ed.

Since Steamtown is at the site of an old DL&W roundhouse:

It Must Suck, Right Now, to be George Pataki

Pataki, right now, couldn't outpoll the Ebola virus, if it were running for office. He, Bobby Jindall, and Garry Gilmore* are stuck in the "who the hell is that guy" ranks, polling at or around zero support.**

So then some kid in Iowa launches a campaign under the name "Deeze Nuts" and he's polling around 9%.

Of course, the kid couldn't take office for another 20 years, but he's still kicking the shit out of Lindsey Graham and Martin O'Malley.
___________________
* OK, fine! Jim Gilmore.
** Other than a billionaire or two.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

A Third of a Century Later

That was then.


Now, if the war were to be refought, it might be a different story. The Brits have one helicopter carrier and no jets capable of operating from it. They have two LPDs, six DDGs and 13 FFGs.

In the Falklands War, they had two STOL carriers, two LPDs, eight DD/DDGs, fifteen FF/FFGs. They had more ships which, for one reason or another, weren't in the fight.

On the other hand, the British garrison in the Falklands before the war was tiny. That's not the case, now, and hasn't been since the end of the war.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The Derp is Strong in Oklahoma

YOU CLOWNS ARE NOT HELPING!!! GO THE FUCK HOME!!!
The Muskogee County sheriff said a member of the group guarding an Oktaha gun shop accidentally shot himself Tuesday.

Sheriff Charles Pearson said the man dropped his gun and a bullet hit him in the arm. The sheriff did not identify the man or offer any other details about what happened. ... "I saw several of those gentlemen out there yesterday," Pearson said. "The way they were holding their weapons, with the fingers on the triggers, you can tell a couple of these gentlemen have no idea about weapons safety. It's like the Clampetts have come to town."
And what he said.

"If You Wore Burkas, Our Weak-Willed Politicians Wouldn't Sexually Harass You!"

That is the subtext of the proposal by the Missouri lege to combat the problem of legislators hitting on young interns.
The Missouri legislature has been in crisis mode in recent months after two lawmakers resigned over allegations of sexually inappropriate conduct toward interns. Their colleagues are now trying to figure out how best to continue the intern program, and a top suggestion that has emerged is to mandate a "conservative" dress code to avoid tempting legislators into improper behavior.
I have a modest suggestion: Require that the Missouri legislators wear chastity belts and burkas.

Or some sort of device that would give them Taser-level electric shocks if they become aroused. Which might also cut down on their dealings with lobbyists.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Dear "Medical Community": Fuck Your Forms. (And You, Too.)

Every time I go in to see a doctor, I get handed a pack of forms to fill out. They want a complete medical history from me. Even if I've been going to them for years, they want the same information each time.

Well, fuck you guys.

When I go for my FAA-mandated flight physical, I have to fill out a medical history. But the FAA allows "previously reported, no change" as a response. That signals to the doctor "don't worry about it, we've already looked at this and we're good."

Why can't you fuckers do that? You've taken the information I provided in the past and put it into your computer system, so why don't you look at it?

One time, I went into the boob-x-ray place and they handed me a bunch of papers to fill out. Second time, I told them they had it all and they said: "oh, we had to replace our computer system, we need it all again." So I filled it out, again. The year after that, when I questioned the need to fill out a complete history for a third time, they gave me the same excuse and I told them "nice try, but no."

If I have to fill out a complete medical questionnaire each time, then shit, I might as well change doctors each time, as well.

That's why I'm giving you a bunch of forms back with my name on it and "NO CHANGE" scrawled across most of them. And as for your HIPPA release, I filled out one of those before, as well.

Fuck you and your forms.

That is all.

All Kinds of Wrong


It's quite real.

And maybe there's a job opening for a man with experience:

Monday, August 17, 2015

The Latest News About the Smallpox Epidemic!

Which is this: THERE ISN'T ONE!

Apparently, the anti-vaccine whackaloons have been putting up billboards. One of which prompted this bit of graffiti:


Easier to spray-paint "polio", but the point remains the same.

Affluenza, Swiss Style

So there's this spoiled-rotten Swiss kid. His dad gives him an allowance of ten large* a month.

Kid's also got fifteen cars. One of those cars is a Ferrari 458. Which the kid doesn't like. Because it's not new. So what's a poor little rich kid to do, especially when he's only got $30 million in property and he doesn't want to ask daddy for a newer Ferrari?

If you're guessing "pay a couple of his buddies to torch the car", you're right.
___________________________________
* A/k/a 10 AMUs.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

AT&T: "Reach Out and Wiretap Someone!"

AT&T essentially is a a corporate arm of the NSA. Oh, the NSA pays AT&T a boatload of money, but AT&T is so close to the NSA that the NSA regards them as partners, not just greedy contractors.

I wish I could say that I'm even a bit surprised, but I'm not. You can bet your ass that if an AT&T executive is ever arrested, he or she will want their full constitutional rights. But as for our constitutional rights, AT&T doesn't give a fuck.

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

F-15s on the "Mach Loop":

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Billionaire Team Owners Want New Stadiums? Make Them Pay!

With the perennial financial shortages in our cities and states, with shitty schools and shittier roads, why the fuck are we spending taxpayer money on fucking professional sports teams which are owned by greedhead bilionaires?


Fuck those guys.

Fuck all of those guys!

Make them pay!

Caturday

"You'll pay for this when we get home, chicka!"


Jake has respiratory issues. It doesn't seem to be asthma, for he's not responding to steroids, other than eating more food. Nothing shows in the lungs on X-rays. He's going on antibiotics, in case he may have a slight sinus infection.

But after that, it'll just be wait and see. An obstruction back in the pharynx would require borescoping to detect, a process that's somewhat invasive and requires heavy-duty anesthesia. If he has a growth back there, it wouldn't be minor surgery by specialists.

Jake is 19. I'm not putting him through that. I'll watch him and enjoy what time I have left with him. But if he gets to the point where breathing is laborious, or if he stops eating, then I'll take him for one last trip to the vet's office. (And when I said as much to the vet, he seemed to be relieved.)

This is horrible shit for me to be contemplating.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Ratfucking for Fun and Profit

Sen. Claire McCaskill is pretty damn proud of manipulating the GOP into nominating Tea-partier Todd Akin to run against her in 2012:
In the aftermath of Claire McCaskill’s stunning 2012 re-election victory, I [Christopher Ave] had lunch with Missouri’s Democratic senator. I wanted to ask about her unusual tactics during the primary race.

So at our lunch, I asked her: Wasn’t it disingenuous to spend money telling Republican voters who to vote for — essentially pretending that you supported Akin?

McCaskill shot me a withering look.

“Am I supposed to apologize for winning?” she asked pointedly.
She's got a column in Politico in which she crows about persuading Republicans to vote for the candidate she most wanted to run against.

The ad:



Not that her strategy was a secret at the time. And when Akin's campaign ran off the rails with his "legitimate rape" comment, it was McCaskill who got the Democratic heavyweights to hold off from attacking Akin. At first. Until the deadline for him to withdraw as a candidate passed.

Then the gloves came off.

McCaskill's tactics paid off. She was thought to be the most vulnerable Democrat in the Senate in 2012. She won 59% of the vote.

But it's still not very common for a politician to openly brag about ratfucking the other guy.

What the Civil War Was About

Slavery. There was no other cause worth the fight.


All of the other excuses and justifications for the war, offered by the Confederates and the neo-Confederates, ever since 1866, are little more than a tissue of lies to cover over that they, their fathers and their ancestors fought to preserve, and expand, slavery. For the planters in the deep South wanted nothing more than to reopen the Middle Passage. In a dispute between the slaveowners, the ones further to the north were happy with the importation ban, as they made money from breeding slaves.

Some folks maintain that the CSA was anti-slavery, as the CSA did not legalize the importation of slaves. That's pretty much a false claim, as the CSA ban on the slave trade was a fig leaf to entice the British into either recognizing the CSA or, at least, not hindering them. The Brits allowed arms to be exported to the CSA and CSA raiders to be constructed and refit in British ports. A legal slave trade was anathema to the British, who had spent decades and much treasure in trying to stop it. Adopting a pro-slave trade law would have brought the British into active support of the Union.

But I digress.

The Civil War was about slavery. Arguments to the contrary are nothing more than revisionism, and pernicious revisionism, at that.

(H/T)

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

More Gun Stuff

First, a contest for a training course at Gunsite, with airfare and lodging.

Second, when did the term for "handgun" or "pistol" (or any other firearm) become "platform": As in "the 1911 platform" or "the Glock platform"? Every time I read a reference to that, I am in danger of needing to see an ophthalmologist to correct excessive eyeroll.

Third, all of the cool kids are shooting their "platforms"* for 2,000 rounds before cleaning them. What's the point, really? Because if you were a real "operator",** you'd clean your weapons soon after the fight's done. Why would you want to go into the next day with a dirty, unmaintained weapon? Professionals take care of their tools, because they make a living with them and may have to depend on them to survive.

It's a great excuse to go to the range and burn through ammunition. Nothing wrong with that. But that's all it is.
_____________________________________
* Do you now see how inane that sounds?
** Another stupid term.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

50 Years Later, Shit's Changed Only a Little

The Watts Riots got started fifty years ago today. What began as a minor DWI arrest snowballed into several days of rioting.

The LAPD had a long track record of brutality-based policing when it came to minorities. It was further exacerbated by the LAPD's moves to reduce corruption. The brass's bright idea was to isolate police officers from the population by means of eliminating almost all foot patrols. The LAPD also led the way in militarization of the police forces.

It paid off with the Watts Riots. And it has taken this country almost fifty years to face up to any of that.

Update: Ayup.

Plastic Guns, Hot Cars

Not a good combination. The article wonders if the frame would have held the slide during firing.

On another note, I finally broke 80 in slow-fire with the K-22. That's in the range where I need to be in order to be somewhat competitive with the Red-Dot Boys. I don't expect to beat the good shooters, but I'd like to give them a run for it.

"One-Adam-12, One-Adam-12: See the Woman; Report of a Clown With an Ax.
One-Adam-12, Handle Code Two."

A warrant is out for the arrest of an ax-wielding clown after an alleged assault attempt Friday, officials said.

The suspect is [Some Asshole] and he has an outstanding warrant for the charge of assault with a deadly weapon, Hickory, [NC] Police Department spokeswoman Chrystal Dieter said.
More here, with video.

Asshole had tried to break into her house before, this one cries out for her to get a shotgun.

It's all fun and games until some clown shows up with an ax.

(Adam-12 opening music)

A New Front in the Corporate Corruption of Science

The best Ph.D.'d/M.D.'d whores that Coca-Cola can buy!
Coca-Cola, the world’s largest producer of sugary beverages, is backing a new “science-based” solution to the obesity crisis: To maintain a healthy weight, get more exercise and worry less about cutting calories.

The beverage giant has teamed up with influential scientists who are advancing this message in medical journals, at conferences and through social media. To help the scientists get the word out, Coke has provided financial and logistical support to a new nonprofit organization called the Global Energy Balance Network, which promotes the argument that weight-conscious Americans are overly fixated on how much they eat and drink while not paying enough attention to exercise.
This is where it gets laughable:
>Records show that the network’s website, gebn.org, is registered to Coca-Cola headquarters in Atlanta, and the company is also listed as the site’s administrator. The group’s president, James O. Hill, a professor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, said Coke had registered the website because the network’s members did not know how.
Riight. Any thirteen year-old kid with access to a credit card can register a website in ten minutes or less. The University of Colorado doesn't have an IT department?

Sometimes, it's depressing to see how many scientists are eager to sell their honor to some company with bags of cash. For nobody who has the GEBN on their CV will ever be taken seriously after this story gets out.

It's an old game, first pioneered by the tobacco industry and then taken up by the fossil-fuel extraction industry: Claim that the science is "unsettled" or that if 98% of the researchers in the field disagree with you, that "there's no consensus". And then you just drag it out, and, if you're really lucky, you can get the wingnuts on your side. Which will be helped if some moronic ham-fisted politician tries to do something really dumb.

Anyway, if you want to know who are the whores scientists lending their "good names" to Coca-Cola's false-flag operation, here they are. And, of course, there's a statement by the Head Pimp saying that taking Coke's money doesn't make them Coke's stooges. (In a pig's eye.)

Stay Classy, St. Louis; Soviet Amerika Ed.

This is just stupid beyond belief.
A Washington Post reporter who was arrested at a restaurant last year while reporting on protests in Ferguson, Mo., has been charged in St. Louis County with trespassing and interfering with a police officer and ordered to appear in court.

Wesley Lowery, a reporter on The Post’s national desk, was detained in a McDonald’s while he was in Missouri covering demonstrations sparked by a white police officer fatally shooting an unarmed black 18-year-old.

A court summons dated Aug. 6 — just under a year after Lowery’s arrest — was sent to Lowery, 25, ordering him to appear in a St. Louis County municipal court on Aug. 24. The summons notes that he could be arrested if he does not appear.
Arresting and charging reporters for doing their jobs is what happens in Russia and other Third World shitholes.

But it's becoming clearer and clearer to the casual observer that what we have in this country is, indeed, a police state. The cops view themselves as above the law, above reproach, and certainly not accountable to some pesky reporter with a press card and a tablet.

I'd almost like to see this case go forward, for maybe, somewhere along the way, a sober judge might look at the prosecutors and say "what the fuck, over?" But I have less and less faith that would happen. Between the Wars on Drugs and Terror, we have, mostly willingly, surrendered almost every Constitutional protection that once existed. I have no doubt that there are tens of millions of people who think that arresting reporters for reporting inconvenient truths is just peachy.

Monday, August 10, 2015

"Frontal Lobe Syndrome"?

That's the excuse proffered by the attorney for a New Jersey high school teacher who is accused of having sex with her students.

I was skeptical, but apparently, unlike, say, affluenza, it's a real thing.

They Have Some Really Stupid Judges in Texas

A court-ordered shotgun wedding? Really?

I'll bet that marriage isn't going to last.

Lying to Congress Is Not a Crime, If You Work for the Federal Government

And, of course, if you're a "high-ranking official". Like CIA Director John Brennan.

For when they catch such a worthy official lying to Congress, what they do is point out the "inaccuracies" and then offer him an opportunity to "correct the record." Or they just let it slide.

But if you're not a high-ranking Federale, boy howdy, they will try to toss your ass in jail.

The NSA, the FBI and the Brits Have Been Spying On Us For a Very Long Time

For over 40 years, it seems. The Brits (GCHQ) have been spying on us and then, doing an end-around the Fourth Amendment and American laws, GCHQ passes the intercepts to the NSA and the FBI. Presumably, GCHQ monitored its own citizens directly.

So fuck all of that shit about illegal wiretaps and search warrants and the rubber-stamping FISA court. The Feebies and the NSA have been getting everything they want, anyway. They truly are the American Stasi.

(H/T)

Presumably, that, since I'm writing this post on Friday, a lot of the readers here may be more interested in boogying down the road for the weekend. So I'm going to schedule this for Monday morning.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Cicadas

RobertaX noted the emergence of a cicada, presumably from Brood XXIII.

So I've got a couple of photos from Brood II:


This one was previously published here:


And this video, in which you can hear them:


Cicadas freak a lot of people out. But they're basically harmless, unless you're a plant.

You Can't Make This Shit Up, I Tell Ya!

So there are these two Tea Party activists in Michigan, one male, one female. Both are married with kids, and they're married to other people. Both are of the "gay marriage is destroying the nation" brand of conservatism. Both got elected to the state legislature.

Well, because of gay marriage, I guess, they start having an affair. They combine their legislative offices, which is pretty weird, even of itself. Anyway, word starts to get out that they're boffing each other.

That may seem kind of "meh" so far. But the guy got the brilliant idea to leak a rumor that he was caught having sex with a male hooker behind a nightclub. His idea was that when the gay-sex story was proven false, that nobody would believe the story of his affair with the other legislator.

Except that the first aide he asked to leak the false story thought it was strange. He thought it was so strange that he recorded the ask. Then he refused. There were text messages, which the aide kept. Eventually, the aide and another one, who had also not wanted to get involved in the coverup, were shitcanned.

Bad move to fire a guy who has dirt on you. The aide went to the papers, and you can guess the rest.

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

Sixty years ago this month:

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Arresting Prosecutors

The AGs in both Texas and Pennsylvania are in hot trouble.

My view is that a lot more prosecutors should join them. Not turning over potentially exculpatory evidence to defense counsel has become a national epidemic. Too many of those turdlets have forgotten that they're in the justice business, not in the winning cases business. They've reversed the old principle: They're willing to send a hundred innocent men to prison to avoid the risk of a single guilty man going free. And racism and sexism may be a part of the problem.

So while that's not why these two idiots are in trouble, I'll take what I can get.

Caturday

Today is Cat Day!

Friday, August 7, 2015

How to Blow Several Million Dollars; Colorado Ed.

The convicted Colorado theater gunman [Some Asshole] will spend the rest of his life in prison after jurors in his trial for the 2012 shooting spree failed to reach a unanimous decision on the death penalty.

[Asshole] stood with his hands in his pockets as Judge Carlos Samour Jr read the jury’s decision, which was reached after about six and a half hours over two days. In order for a death sentence to be handed down all 12 jurors must be unanimous in their decision.
Effectively, the prosecution just blew two years and millions of dollars to get the same outcome that they could have had two years ago.

In short, the prosecution lost. The only reason why they wanted to try this case was so they could fry Asshole. And they didn't get that.

They lost. And so did the taxpayers of Arapahoe County, who had to foot the bill for this farce.

It is to Laugh: Bullshit Mountain Ed.

Roger Ailes on Jon Stewart:
"He has a bitter view of the world, and you see it embodied in how he’s reacting to Fox News".
That's really pretty funny. Roger Ailes lives in Carmel, New York. He's been buying up properties next to his home, in order to make it harder for liberal terrorists to attack him, and cutting down trees, so he can see them coming. There are persistent stories that he had his office windows armored so gay terrorists couldn't throw in firebombs.

Ailes is apparently about as paranoid as they come. The worldview of his propaganda news operation reflects that.

Because It's Friday

UP Challenger pulls the Ringling Bros. Circus Train.


Fucking helicopters....

Thursday, August 6, 2015

If Teachers Were Treated Like Athletes

The commercials are part of the bit.


And, sticking with Comedy Central, here's Arby's salute to Jon Stewart:


Hiroshima

You can find the usual hand-wringing reports, where (mainly) Japanese politicians proclaim that nuclear weapons should be eliminated.

Riiight. I'll stand with what I wrote six years ago (and five for Nagasaki).

The casualty rate for American forces fighting against the Japanese was over three times higher than those fighting the Germans. It was hot, hard, brutal work, for the Japanese contested almost every square foot of terrain. The Japanese had over two million men in their home islands and about a million more who were stranded in China, in large part due to the mining of the Sea of Japan. The Japanese war hawks believed that the Japanese could make an invasion so costly to the Allies that there would be a negotiated peace.* The idea that ten million or more Japanese might die didn't bother them a whit.

That a fleet of B-29s could and did burn entire cities to ashes didn't dent their resolve. This is what was left of Shizuoka after it was firebombed one night in June of 1945:


It was by no means the only city so razed. It didn't bother the Japanese high command that 200 B-29s could burn a city to the ground, with American losses mainly limited to mechanical failures and crashes.

Only the knowledge that the Americans could and would destroy an entire city with one bomb dropped from one airplane changed their minds. Only the realization that their country could be obliterated from the skies forced the Japanese military to give up the fight.

A world with atomic weapons is a dangerous one. But I submit that, as the first half of the last century showed, a world without them would be far more dangerous.
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* Japanese strategy from the beginning of the war was to tie up the Americans in a war of attrition and grind them down. That's not a bad move against a democratic state that requires popular support for wars. But it takes years to pull off. If the opponent has an easier time bearing the losses and if the opponent is also galvanized by perceived treachery and a desire for vengeance, well, good luck with that.

The Idiots at Fort Fumble

"Our soldiers are doing the training with the Ukrainians and we've learned a lot from the Ukrainians," said Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges. "A third of the [Ukrainian] soldiers have served in the ... combat zone, and no Americans have been under Russian artillery or rocket fire, or significant Russian electronic warfare, jamming or collecting — and these Ukrainians have. It's interesting to hear what they have learned."

Hodges acknowledged that US troops are learning from Ukrainians about Russia's jamming capability, its ranges, types and the ways it has been employed. He has previously described the quality and sophistication of Russian electronic warfare as "eye-watering."
I've wondered before what would happen when our military had to confront an enemy with more sophisticated capabilities than IEDs and AK-47s. You can bet your ranch that the Chinese and the Russians, among others, have been paying great attention to American military operations during the Wars of the Chimperor.

Electronic warfare isn't sexy. EW systems don't make loud booms and bright flashes, the sort of displays that impress low-functioning congressmen, flag officers and reporters. But it's like a lot of other things that are important for being ready to fight: Training. Maintenance. Spare parts. But those often get short shrift. Especially training, as the corporate welfare recipients defense industry doesn't make a lot of money from training.

Training is key. I don't follow army stuff, but ask yourself this: How long as it been since our armed forces had to fight an enemy which had tube artillery and/or armor and the skills to use them effectively? Have our armed forces ever had to fight an enemy who could call on air support?

I don't mean to only pick on the army. The navy hasn't fought battle at sea against craft larger than cigarette boats in decades. The air force hasn't fought an air battle against a non-overmatched foe in a very long time. The focus has been on fighting forces armed with insurgent-type weapons.

What happens when the enemy has the capability to deny the airspace over the contested area to drones? What happens when the enemy has forward artillery observers or air controllers? What happens when our technological edge is minimal to non-existent? What happens when we have to seriously start taking punches?

I don't have an answer for that. But the boyos in Ft. Fumble need to. I'm not confident that they do.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

The Wheels Grind Slowly, But Grind They Do

Top staff members from Ron Paul’s 2012 presidential campaign have been indicted in the culmination of a long investigation into Paul campaign’s alleged payments to an Iowa state senator to endorse the former Texas congressman for president and the hiding of those payments.

Jesse Benton, who ran Paul’s 2012 campaign and is married to the former congressman’s granddaughter, was indicted on Wednesday on five felony charges in federal court in Des Moines, Iowa along with John Tate and Dimitri Kesari, both of whom were also were top staffers on the 2012 campaign.
The article goes on to note that, while none of the alleged perps have direct ties to Rand Paul's current campaign, both Tate and Benton are involved with a superPAC that is funding Rand Paul's run.

The politician that they allegedly paid off pled out last year and it's a pretty safe bet that part of the deal involves rolling over on everyone else involved. But buried in the article is the article is mention of the charge that's going to sink them: Lying to the Feebies. That's what sent Martha Stewart off to prison.

Which is why, barring a limited set of circumstances, it is a very bad idea to talk to the FBI. Or, for that matter, any other Federal agent.

Here's a Real Shocker; 2016 Ed.

I took the quiz and, if you select the "more choices" option for each question, it gets pretty detailed.

Results: 95% Bernie.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

American War Crimes

I asked Buzzy Krongard, the CIA's former executive director, if he thought waterboarding and painful stress positions were torture:

"Well, let's put it this way, it is meant to make him as uncomfortable as possible. So I assume for, without getting into semantics, that's torture. I'm comfortable with saying that," he explained.
Now we have what can be called "an admission against interest", which is probably admissible in court. From there, we can apply the Yamashita Doctrine and get all of them. For you know that as soon as some of those folks are charged, they'll roll over faster than a lap dog seeking a belly rub.

The CIA tortured people. That was done under the express approval of President Bush, Vice President Cheney, and Bush's National Security Council.*

My bet is that we are going to take a page out of the Japanese War Crimes Manual and pretend, as a nation, that it never ever happened.

But we all know that it did. We know that there were high-level Administration officials, right up to Dick Cheney and David Addington, who were ecstatic at the idea of torturing people, and who pushed for the use of increasingly brutal methods.

And unless we face up to it and really prosecute those responsible,** it will happen again.
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* What, you really thought that the Abu Ghraib soldiers came up with the idea of torturing people on their own?
** Not like the way that the Obama Administration has refused to hold the banksters responsible for wrecking the economy.

Fifty Years Ago

The second part of the Gulf of Tonkin Incident occurred.

The second incident was a major part of the justification for ramping up the Vietnam War and it was complete and utter bullshit.

Almost 38 years later, another administration, also headed by a politician from Texas, would lie this country into another pointless war on the other side of Asia.

"Professional Courtesy" Only Goes So Far

GROTON, Connecticut — A grand jury in York County, Maine, indicted former Police Chief Michael Crowley on two felony burglary charges and misdemeanor charges of stalking, criminal trespass and harassment in May.
It's interesting that the reporters in Maine didn't know about this. The story had to break from the former chief's old home town and three or so months after he was charged.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Molon Labe, at First Blush, Then...

I saw this Newsweek cover:


and I first thought that we'd be treated to, yet again, another screed about why and how Americans should give up all of their guns.

But then I read the article, and other than the usual NRA-bashing (because somebody's gotta be the boogyman) an reliance on the Violence Policy Center (a group of rabid gun-banners), it was fairly thoughtful in its recommendations.

The biggest surprise was that there actually was a cover article in a (formerly) mainstream rag that advocated "shall issue" and that recognized that banning "assault rifles" was a stupid idea.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE


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

But you can read about the history of Spam here.

The Boston Snow Farm officially melted away two weeks ago.

(H/T)
____________________________________________
* About this challenging a target.

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

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

With that in mind, here is a Boeing 777:

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Off to the Range

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

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

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

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

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

Bring Back the Air Line, Amtrak!

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

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

Caturday

Jake is looking pleased after a kitty-massage session.