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

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Another Newspaper Died Today

As I wrote two months ago, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review ceased operations today.


I don't see how it'll work worth a crap. If you're in Pittsburgh and you want a morning paper to read, the P-G is still around. There's a weekly that targets a few neighborhoods.

Most digital news sites are tied into other media, which generates both the operating income and the content. Purely digital news sources don't seem to do a lot of original reporting; they may add commentary, but they mostly bite off other sources, the ones who employ the reporters who interview people, attend public meetings and research stuff. The Trib's been open about buying out senior staff and laying off others, which I take to mean that they have the staff to reformat press releases, but they're not going to be attending school board or city council meetings.

I strongly urge that people subscribe to a print newspaper. It's great if it's your local one, but if not, so long as you're subscribing to some form of general print journalism. The digital folks aren't going to be the ones who hold public officials' feet to the fire. For freedom and liberty to exist, there has to be independent watchdogs.

If not the press, then whom?

(My screed about newspapers and online content.)

Selling Out, Mitt?


Mitt's expression seems to indicate that he didn't get a good price for his soul.

Trump, on the other hand, looks like a cat playing with a fresh mouse.

Here's another one, for your pirating pleasure:


It appears that Mitt forgot to bring it.

My guess is that, having publicly humiliated Mitt and destroying what's left of his reputation for integrity, Trump will curb-stomp Romney. And it would seem that Romney knows that will happen, for he looks about as happy as a man whose been told that he has stage 4 penile cancer.

(Romney's thinking: "I got more votes than this tool and I lost?"

Trump's "Blind Trust"

It's beginning to appear that the Grifter-Elect will, at least on paper, leave his businesses to his kids to run for him.

Trump's apparent plan, when compared to a traditional blind trust, is akin to a comparison of the visual acuity of Chuck Yeager and Helen Keller.

Monday, November 28, 2016

The Short Title is "Racist"

From a profile of Steve Bannon:
Ms. Jones, the film colleague, said that in their years working together, Mr. Bannon occasionally talked about the genetic superiority of some people and once mused about the desirability of limiting the vote to property owners.

“I said, ‘That would exclude a lot of African-Americans,’” Ms. Jones recalled. “He said, ‘Maybe that’s not such a bad thing.’ I said, ‘But what about Wendy?’” referring to Mr. Bannon’s executive assistant. “He said, ‘She’s different. She’s family.’”
The Times may think that Bannon is "combative" and "a populist", and maybe those terms apply. But so do "bigot" and "racist".

Warm Up the Needles

A white man accused of fatally shooting nine black parishioners at a Charleston church last year was allowed to act as his own attorney in his federal death penalty trial Monday.

[Asswipe's] request came against his lawyers' advice, and U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel said he would reluctantly accept the 22-year-old's "unwise" decision.
Asswipe is facing the Federal death penalty for hate crimes resulting in death and the state death penalty for multiple murders.

Seems to me that the taxpayers could save several million bucks by the prosecutors letting Asswipe plead out to multiple life terms and then wait for the somewhat inevitable shanking.

Donald the Delusional

US President-elect Donald Trump has asserted he won the popular vote on 8 November "if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally".
Of course, he has no evidence whatsoever to support his claim.

Not having facts or evidence has never stood in the way of that narcissistic nutcase before. Why should it now? The Donald knows nothing and he takes pride in being ignorant.

Kind of like Bush II.

By the way, has anyone set up a "Trump or Orangutan" web page, yet? I don't see one, but there are a shitload of photo comparisons.


I have little doubt that Trump will seek to make any such comparisons illegal.

Step One in Setting Up an Authoritarian State

Torture people.
Human rights group Amnesty International recently said it had "credible reports" of detainees [in Turkey] being subjected to "beatings and torture, including rape", while Human Rights Watch documented several cases of alleged abuse, facilitated by a state of emergency that extends police detention from four to 30 days and denies access to a lawyer for up to five days.

The BBC uncovered more testimony of alleged abuse, not just from suspected coup-plotters but from others caught up in the purge accused of "support for terrorism", including Kurds and leftists.
It's a fair bet that if the coup had been successful, that many of the people doing and approving of torture would have been themselves subjected to it. Hell, the lower-level torturers may have been torturing for the coup plotters.

None of this should be surprising. When the authorities think they can get away with torturing people, they do. Torture was winked at by the legal system here for a very long time. Only the rise of European fascism began to make torture unappealing to Americans.

But, as we saw fifteen years ago, our government and law enforcement will resort to torture in the blink of an eye. So while people may be horrified at what is going on in Turkey, don't kid yourselves for a picosecond that it can't happen here.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

The "Why" is Really Fairly Obvious

The writer of this piece is wondering why Americans are closing their eyes to Russian interference in the presidential election.

The reason, or at least part of the reason, is clear to me: The Right hates the Clintons, especially Hillary Clinton, with a hatred that is so visceral that they'd rather turn over the government to a Putin-puppet and burn it to the ground than see Hillary elected. In short, they hate Hillary far more than they love the country. In that, the only historic American that they resemble is Benedict Arnold.

As for the Democrats, most of them are stuck in some time-warp from the 1950s. They still believe that the other side is acting out of a reasonable ideology and is open to persuasion and working together for the good of the land. Which is complete and utter horseshit. The Right has been playing scorched-earth warfare for two decades, at least, and the Democrats act as though they're in a mixture of a college debate club and a high tea.

So yes, we let the Russians cook the election. The media is too craven to cover it and the ones that aren't have the attention span of gnats. The Fourth Estate failed in their duty-- rather than pull the lid off Russian interference, they got twisted around what The Donald's latest Twitter outrage happened to be.

Now, of course, there is fuck-all that can be done about it.

Interesting What Will Get One Suspended as a Teacher in California

Comment on the historical parallels between the rise to power of Hitler and Trump: Suspension.

Make some comment about lynching all black people as an example of equality in action: Not so much.

Get Ready for Another Episode of "Bin Ladin Determined to Attack the U.S."

President-elect Donald Trump has received two classified intelligence briefings since his surprise election victory earlier this month, a frequency that is notably lower — at least so far — than that of his predecessors, current and former U.S. officials said.

A team of intelligence analysts has been prepared to deliver daily briefings on global developments and security threats to Trump in the two weeks since he won. Vice President-elect Mike Pence, by contrast, has set aside time for intelligence briefings almost every day since the election, officials said.
Ignorant and incurious.

We've been down this road before, about sixteen years ago.

Maybe Pence is going to run the store while Trump concentrates on glomming onto as much as he can.

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

The CF-18:


The Canadians are buying more F-18s. Apparently, they are not casting their lot with the F-35 Turkey.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Of All the Grifting That Is Going On, or Will Go On, The Outrage Over This Won't Be Worth the Squeeze.

The Secret Service is in negotiations with the Trump Organization to take over two vacant floors in the gilded 68-story Fifth Avenue tower, law enforcement sources told The Post.

The federal agency and the NYPD plan to run a 24/7 command post out of the space that would be housed at least 40 floors below Trump’s $90 million penthouse triplex, where wife Melania and their 10-year-old son Barron will continue to reside at least through the spring, sources said.
I can understand the Trumps not wanting to jerk their youngest son out of school in the middle of the year. If memory serves, the Obamas first thought about doing the same thing, but the disruption that would have caused to their neighborhood in Chicago made them reconsider that plan.

Sure, Trump will charge the government full market rent, if not more. Nobody would expect anything else.

There's little doubt that the security bullshit will result in some current residential tenants pulling up stakes. The sort of people who can afford to rent a luxury apartment in Manhattan aren't the type to put up with a lot of annoyances, especially if the NYPD or the SS takes to rooting around through their luggage and making it inconvenient for them to enjoy premium-grade illicit pharmaceuticals.

It's not as though Trump can make up the difference with renting to foreign legations, as those people have their own security, which might not mesh well with the SS/NYPD. Maybe he can make up the vacancies with sycophants and wheeler-dealers, like Wall Street banksters and the Koch brothers.

Bottom line is that the SS has a job to do and if Trump wants to spend time in his own home, so be it.

Caturday

Chip is watching a nature show on TV.


It was The Story of Cats (prior alert was given).

Friday, November 25, 2016

Heh. Heh. Heh.


I'd never seen this show before. Looks like I'm going to fall into another time sink.

Now Let's Fuck Up ATC

Trump is listening to the airlines, who want to privatize the national air traffic control network.

The way it works now is that if you want to file an IFR flight plan, you just do it. You then pick up your clearance and go. Whether you're flying a Citation-X or a Super Cub, as long as the aircraft is IFR capable and the pilot(s) are instrument-rated and capable, that's about it. The system itself is paid for by fuel taxes. Oh, some of the bigger airports have landing fees, but most don't.

What the airlines really want to do is to stamp out the use of ATC by general aviation, which they will seek to do by charging user-fees that the airlines will say are "fair and equitable". It'll be like converting the interstate highway system into toll roads and then letting the trucking companies set the toll rates. That won't bother users of the really big bizjets, a couple extra grand won't faze Larry Ellison or Oprah Winfrey. But charging owners of Mooneys or Cessnas a couple hundred to file an IFR flight plan will persuade a lot of them to either try the trip VFR or take a commercial flight, which would also please the airlines.

One Bit of Good News; Criminal Justice Ed.

The Asswipe of Charleston has been found competent to stand trial.

Vignettes: Apologies to the Author

In this post, I should have included a link to the author's book. The post got over a thousand hits, so he might have sold a few more copies.

Fixed that.

Sorry about that, Mr. Bryson.

Don't Use This Photo of Trump, He Hates It.

(click on the photo for full-size)
(Photo credit)

Trump bitched to NBC News that they were using unflattering photos of him.

Maybe they used this one:


Calling Trump "thin-skinned" would seem to be a gross understatement, akin to calling Hurricane Katrina "a bad storm". He seems to crave flattery and adulation, as exemplified in his early remarks about Putin, when he said that he wasn't going to criticise anyone who said nice things about him (Trump).

One thing about George W. Bush, as much as people made fun of him with his vague resemblance to primates, I don't recall anyone ever relaying that Dubya, AKA Chimpy, was offended by it enough to rail about it in public. He was a somewhat-seasoned politician who knew that distain and mockery was part of the job.

When Trump's criticized, it seems to drive him slightly batty. His staff is going to have a hell of a job to keep him insulated from that, sort of like palace courtiers in the Middle Ages. And since the GOP has established a precedent for heckling at the State of the Union speech, this could be fun in a trainwreck sense of the word.

Imagine the billboards that could go up when Trump goes places. He might want to nuke American cities.

And will Trump go with whomsoever flatters him the most, regardless of the merits of an issue?

Because It's Friday

Railroad jobs in the postwar UK:

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Trump's Weak Sauce; Neo-Nazi Edition

President-elect Donald Trump told New York Times reporters on Tuesday that he disavows the fringe political movement that many say helped power his candidacy.

But he also rejected the idea that he bears responsibility for the growing prominence of groups espousing white nationalist viewpoints.

"I don’t think so, Dean," Trump said in response to a question from Times executive editor Dean Baquet about if he has energized the "alt-right."
...
“I don’t want to energize the group, and I disavow the group," Trump told Baquet. "It’s not a group I want to energize, and if they are energized, I want to look into it and find out why.”

Asked point-blank about the conference featuring Spencer, Trump again disavowed any support.

"I disavow and condemn them," Trump told Times reporters. He did chide them for continuing to ask about the topic though, telling one questioner: "Boy, you are really into [this issue]."
That is pretty fucking weak sauce. That's sort of a "Mission Impossible" grade denial.


Trump wasn't so quick to disavow those people during his election campaigns. And when he did so, it was with only tepid words, interspersed with re-tweeting shit from neo-nazi web sites. His disavowals now are hardly much more forceful, and notice that he was also trying to place the blame for the issue on those who are calling him out about it.

If Trump wanted to use his "best words", he could. That he hasn't forcefully told the neo-nazis to crawl back into the dark, fetid swaps from which they came, that he hasn't pledged to aggressively prosecute hate crimes speaks volumes.

On a separate point: If you look around, you will find "alt-right" conservatives who say "oh, the neo-nazis are only a small segment of the alt-right, it's sooo unfair to judge us by them."

Well, horseshit. Maybe their mommas never told them that they would be known by the company that they keep. Rotten apples-barrel. dogs-fleas. You get the point.

Besides that, for decades, the Right, and now the alt-right, has been using "liberal" as a pejorative. And now they complain that it's unfair that we point out that the alt-right is infested with neo-nazis? Riight.

Maybe there aren't a high percentage of neo-nazis in the alt-right. But they are there, there's no disputing that. The rest of the alt-right, including Breitbart, has been happy to let them stay.

The alt-right is tolerating the neo-nazis, they own them.

I am Shocked, Shocked, NCAA Ed.

After coming forward on social media, a former University of Missouri-Columbia athletics tutor now says she was groomed by her superiors to participate in what she describes as “academic dishonesty.”

The tutor, Yolanda Kumar, self reported that she “completed entire courses,” helped with online tests and took entrance exams for student athletes. The effort was encouraged by those to whom she reported, she said.
It would not be shocking to find that this goes on in almost every Division I school. To believe otherwise would require a person to be a member of a college booster club and/or a complete chowderhead.

The Division I football programs are NFL farm teams. If the players receive anything resembling a college education, it is either a happy accident or those players persevered in spite of the system. The idea that they are "student-atheletes" is somewhere between a fiction and a fraud.

Happy Thanksgiving!

("Stickied" to noon on Thanksgiving)



On a number of radio stations back in the day, playing the entire song was a Thanksgiving tradition. Some of them were commercial stations-- almost nineteen minutes of no commercials. And some of them played it twice, at noon and 3 PM.

The judge was really blind, he had a Seeing-Eye dog. He played himself in the movie (as did Officer Obie).

I hope that if you're in America, you and yours have a good Thanksgiving. Try not to punch out your racist uncle or your commie nephew.

And please, enjoy the day without resorting to rampant consumerism.

Or burning down your hostess's house.



(Yes, I posted it a day early, with some faint hope that maybe a few readers of this blog will spend the day with friends and family. A day offline never killed anyone.)

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Is Trump Hiring "Helicopter" Harold?

Former Democratic Rep. Harold Ford, Jr. is emerging as a possible contender for transportation secretary, or another Cabinet post, in Donald Trump’s budding administration.
Harold Ford, in case you've forgotten, is a political whore who moved from Tennessee to New York City after being curb-stomped by Bob Corker in the `06 Senate race.

Once Helicopter Harold got to New York, he flip-flopped on damn near every position that he ever held. He was about as ethically-challenged as his soon-to-be boss, "forgetting" to file all sorts of financial disclosure and conflict-of-interest forms when he was in Congress. After he moved to NY, he got into being a bankster. He dreamed of running again, but he gave it up in `10 when he realized that he'd be crushed as easily as a rotten melon.

The only reason for Trump to hire Helicopter Harold would be because Joe Lieberman is otherwise engaged.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

50'

I went to the range the other night for some long-overdue target practice. I stay away from the ranges from about three weeks before whitetail season begins and its end. The ranges are often chock-a-block with Cletii sighting in their rifles, often to comical extent. I'm told that there was one gent shooting his new flattop AR, at least until the range safety officer saw that he had yet to attach any type of sights and invited that particular Cletus to go shoot somewhere else.

The range sells 25 yard timed/rapid-fire targets. I have a bunch of 25 yard slow-fire targets, but I forgot to bring any. They had 50' slow-fire targets. The ten-ring is about the size of an aspirin tablet, or so it seemed. I was able to barely break 80 with my Model 17 and I felt pretty good about that.

And I'm kinda sorta on the hunt for another revolver. I'm thinking N-frame, maybe a Model 28 or a Model 20. If I come across a Model 21 or 22, I won't turn my nose up. The pre-war .38/44s and 3rd Model Hand Ejectors are likely too damn pricey.

Hacking the Vote

Don't expect this to be investigated by anyone.

The FBI is in the tank for Trump.

The major news outlets are terrified of Trump.

Shorter Trump Foundation: "Yeah, We Did It. So What?"

President-elect Donald Trump’s charitable foundation has admitted to the IRS that it violated a legal prohibition against “self-dealing,” which bars nonprofit leaders from using their charity’s money to help themselves, their businesses or their families.
They're also vastly understating the value of the swag that the Foundation purchased for Trump's use:
In the new 2015 tax filing, the Trump Foundation acknowledged for the first time that it owned these items. But it listed market values far below what the foundation had paid: The helmet was valued at $475. The portrait purchased for $20,000 was valued at $700. And the portrait purchased for $10,000 was valued at $500.
The "helmet" was a football helmet, signed by Tim Tebow, that they bought for twelve grand.

Trump's corruption and dishonesty goes to his bone. He's proving to be a toxic combination of Lenona Helmsley and Richard Nixon, and he hasn't even taken power. No doubt that he believes that his DoJ will happily whitewash everything. And he may be correct.

UPDATE: His son Eric's personal foundation isn't any better.

Why Your ATM May be Empty

Criminals have developed a way to get them to spew out all of the cash.

Stop with the "Alt-Right" Horseshit. They are Neo-Nazis.

The racism and anti-Semitism of the alt-right movement were on display Saturday in Washington when its members gathered to celebrate Donald Trump's victory.

The president of the alt-right National Policy Institute Richard Spencer's remarks were posted Sunday on YouTube by "Red Ice Radio," which describes itself as "covering politics and social issues from a pro-European perspective." The Atlantic magazine, which is recording footage of Spencer for a documentary they're working on, also published a video of the same event showing audience members apparently giving the Nazi salute.

"Hail Trump! Hail our people! Hail victory!" he declared.
This is how it begins, people. They come out into public, they hold public meetings, and they get covered by the press as though they're just another fringe political movement.

And, CNN, there was no "apparently giving the Nazi salute". They were doing that, not asking for recognition from the chair:


(From here)

CNN actually aired a discussion of whether or not Jews are people. I would hope that the news media is not going to fall into the trap of "both-siderism" when it comes to the neo-nazis. Treating hatred, racism, antisemitism and bigotry as points of view legitimizes them. And so does putting their hate on the crawl at the bottom of the screen.


I never truly thought that we'd see such things in this country.

There was a fairly lily-livered denunciation from the Trump fetal-administration. He brought those people into the political process and they helped elect him. They are his peeps. If he doesn't shut them down, then his son-in-law is going to earn the nickname "Kushner the Kapo".

Monday, November 21, 2016

Sixty Days Before Inauguration and Trump's Administration is Already Shaping Up to be the Most Corrupt, Ever.

The administrations of Ulysses S. Grant and Warren G. Harding were notorious for corruption, but nobody has shown that either president personally benefited from the corruption.

Trump? Not so much.
About 100 foreign diplomats, from Brazil to Turkey, gathered at the Trump International Hotel this week to sip Trump-branded champagne, dine on sliders and hear a sales pitch about the U.S. president-elect’s newest hotel.

The event for the diplomatic community, held one week after the election, was in the Lincoln Library, a junior ballroom with 16-foot ceilings and velvet drapes that is also available for rent.

Some attendees won raffle prizes — among them overnight stays at other Trump properties around the world — allowing them to become better acquainted with the business holdings of the new commander in chief.
I do wish they'd stop with the "commander-in-chief" shit. Any president is only the CinC of the military. Unless you're in the service or work for the Feds, he's not your boss.
When President-elect Donald J. Trump met with the British politician Nigel Farage in recent days, he encouraged Mr. Farage and his entourage to oppose the kind of offshore wind farms that Mr. Trump believes will mar the pristine view from one of his two Scottish golf courses, according to one person present.
Trump wouldn't know a conflict of interest if it donned a leather glove and hit him in the face. If Hillary had won and did this, the Republicans in the House would convene impeachment hearings on the morning of January 23rd (Inauguration Day is on a Friday).

This is a machine translation, but you'll get the gist:
After President Mauricio Macri telephoned the new president-elect of the United States, Donald Trump, it was discovered that the Republican tycoon asked Macri for permission to build a tower in downtown Buenos Aires.

"It was not counted yet, but Trump asked him to authorize a building he is building in Buenos Aires, it was not just a geo political talk," said Jorge Lanata in his monologue on the Journalism for All program. Trump asked the President permission to formalize the work of his new real estate development, he told La Nacion was interested in doing many years ago but they did not before because of the difficulties imposed by the FX market regulations and barriers to imports.
Let's be clear on this: Trump is personally using his election to get foreign governments to give his projects a green light. it's not a company that has rented his name, it's him directly.
US president-elect Donald Trump on Tuesday praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s work when he took time out from planning the transition to his presidency in January to meet with his Indian business partners.

“He (Donald Trump) was praising Modiji as always and added that he is doing a great job,” Sagar Chordia, director of Panchshil Realty, told ET by phone from New York. Trump, he added, expects to strengthen and expand US’ relationship with India.
Trump had best hope that the GOP can hold onto both houses of Congress in `18. For if they lose one, the subsequent investigations will be epic.

Here's hoping that the press will do its fucking job. But given the nature of corporate ownership of the American media, you might have to look to foreign sources.

Fine Whines From Trump

President-elect Donald Trump on Monday told a group of about 25 television executives and anchors that he wants a “cordial” and “productive” relationship with the media, according to one source in the room, but he still aired some grievances during the off-the-record gathering in Trump Tower.

The source said the meeting started with a typical Trump complaint about the “dishonest media,” and that he specifically singled out CNN and NBC News for example as “the worst.”

He also complained about photos of himself that NBC used that he found unflattering, the source said.

Trump turned to NBC News President Deborah Turness at one point, the source said, and told her the network won’t run a nice picture of him, instead choosing “this picture of me,” as he made a face with a double chin. Turness replied that they had a “very nice” picture of him on their website at the moment.
What Trumps wants is a supine media that would never question anything that he says or does, much less point out that he is a serial liar who is shaping up to helm the most corrupt administration in American history (more on that later).

Trump reportedly said that he wants the media to tell "the truth". But Trump wouldn't know the truth if it bit him on one of his short fingers. He lied more during the campaign than the next ten candidates, put together. He lied so much that he had to buy fireproof pants.

The press would well remember the words of advice of H.L. Mencken: "The only way a reporter should look at a politician is down."

Short Priebus: "Don't Rule Nothing Out!"

Incoming White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said Sunday on NBC's "Meet The Press" that President-elect Donald Trump's team is not planning to create a Muslim registry, but would not rule anything out.
Yeah, that will just calm the fears of those who believe that we've just elected a tyrant.

No wonder #NeverIsNow is a live hashtag on Twitter.

How difficult would it have been for that little twerp to say "No, we're never going to register people based on their religion", instead of then adding weaselly qualifying language to give the Hit^H^H^H Trump administration room to do just that?

Come Hither, Sweet Asteroid of Death

I don't give a shit if they never sell the "Selfie Bottle", but that some asswipe could imagine it and make prototypes is a hint that humanity has gone past its "Best By" date.

The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves.

NATO's general secretary says he is "looking forward" to working with Donald Trump's upcoming U.S. administration and reiterated the trans-Atlantic alliance's dedication to increasing funds from non-U.S. members.

From CNN, I got this chart of NATO defense spending:


I can understand Iceland's not spending money. Their deal has always been "you use us as a huge-ass aircraft carrier and keep the wolves away." But the Czech Republic? Haven't they had enough experience with being occupied to do more than free-ride on other countries?

In the meantime, it seems that Trump's Twitter-war with Hamilton continues. I wonder if he is truly that thin-skinned, or if he is using it as a squirrel to deflect the media away from looking too closely at how he is not going to pay any attention to the laws on conflicts of interests. Supposedly, rich people in government are required to put their investments and businesses into a blind trust, where they have no say in what happens to things as long as they're in government. But Trump's plan to let the Spawn of Trump run things makes a mockery of the law.

Trump's just another rich tool who thinks that laws are for other people. Expect the "conservatives" who were railing about Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation to utter not a peep about Trump's flouting the law.

On second thought, both could be true: Trump's using this as a distraction and he is also truly thin-skinned. He has, after all, spent nearly thirty years smarting over the "short-fingered vulgarian" insult.

As for Trump's demand that theater performances be "safe spaces" for him and Pence, you will also not hear a sound from conservatives who have been deriding the concept of "safe spaces" for many years. Nope. Not a whisper.

Apparently, we have the Germans to blame for all of this, for it would seem that draft-dodging is a Trump family tradition.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

The Neo-Nazis are Stoked!

They think that they've gotten the ear of the President-elect to help enact their agenda of hate.

Trump promised to "drain the swamp", but to get to where he is, he needed the support of the scum of the planet.

What they don't know is that when it comes to being thrown under the bus, they're first in line. Trump may have named one of theirs as "chief strategist", but if being associated with the neo-nazis make things inconvenient for Trump, he'll gut Bannon like a freshly-caught haddock. But since Bannon was a former bankster at the Vampire Squid investment firm, it's probably fair to say that he'll smell a butt-fuck coming and he'll help Trump toss the neo-nazis right under the aforementioned bus.

Shorter Pence to Trump: "First Amendment, Bitch."

Vice President-elect Mike Pence declined Sunday to join President-elect Donald Trump in his demand for an apology from the cast of the Broadway musical Hamilton, whose audience booed and cast admonished Vice President-elect Mike Pence when he attended a performance Friday night.

"I wasn't offended by what was said," Pence told Fox News host Chris Wallace, calling the show "an incredible production" and "a real joy." As for the boos, he added, "that's what freedom sounds like."
The Trumpanzees had been calling for a boycott of the show, which is sold out for the next several months. Pence, an adult who has probably read the Constitution a time or two, isn't having any of that bullshit.

On Commenting on Political Matters, Both Here and Elsewhere

You should ask yourself two questions:
  1. Was I eligible to vote in the last election?
  2. Did I vote?
If the answer to the first one is "no", or if the answer to both question is "yes", then sound off.

If the answer to the first question is "yes" and the answer to the second question is "no", then consider shutting the fuck up until November, 2018.

However much you think your vote doesn't count, it does. 100 million Americans were eligible to vote in 2016 and, for whatever reason, couldn't be bothered to do that one act of citizenship. An act of citizenship that people have been killed over. An act of citizenship that a majority of Americans were once forbidden to perform, either by intimidation or by the law (and still are, in more and more states).

But you, you special snowflake, couldn't get off your dead ass and vote.

Note that I'm not making this contingent on for whom you voted. Regardless of what I think of Der Drumpfenführer, those who voted for him are mostly honorable citizens (neo-nazis notwithstanding) who exercised their rights as citizens.

To those who could have voted but didn't: Your opinions on political matters are without value.

You didn't vote.

Shut the fuck up.

One Thing Clear, Now.

Alec Baldwin is going to have steady work for awhile.


Or he will until The Donald goes on Twitter and encourages his unhinged supporters to whack him.

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

MiG-21:

Saturday, November 19, 2016

The Fraud Meets the Worst Campaigner, Ever

US President-elect Donald Trump has met one of his fiercest critics, Mitt Romney, with reports suggesting he may be considered for secretary of state.

Neither man gave details of their 80-minute meeting on Saturday. Mr Romney said the talks had been "far-reaching".

During the campaign, Mr Romney called Mr Trump a "fraud", while Mr Trump said Mr Romney's unsuccessful presidential bid in 2012 had been "the worst ever".
Yep, that's some impressive swamp-draining.

Gad, that must chap both Rudy Giuliani's and Chris Christie's asses. Christie did everything he could for Trump, including swallowing public humiliation, and he seems to be getting nothing for it. It was pretty much an open secret that Giuliani was angling to be the AG, which as we know now, didn't happen.

And yet it's ol' Willard M. Romney, the leader of the last-ditch attempt to derail the Trump Nomination Express, who gets a well-publicized meeting with The Donald.

All of which may mean nothing. The Donald plays the press like a drum kit. Only he and his kids know for sure whom he is considering for what jobs.

Meanwhile, The Donald demonstrates, yet again, that freedom of speech means nothing if his tender ego is bruised.

Bet ITT Tech is Kicking Themselves, Hard, About Now

You may recall that a little over two months ago, ITT Technical Institute closed all of its schools after the Department of Education barred it from receiving Federal student loan aid and grants.

The for-profit college industry exists because they can get Federal student aid money. From giants like ITT Tech to pissants like local "beauty colleges", they all leech off money that gullible kids will have to repay after they receive their mostly-worthless degrees.

The stock market seems to think that, following Trump's election, the grifter schools are a good investment. Because they think that Trump will be fine with them sucking away at the public treasury. Even though he is paying $25 million to make his problem in that regard go away, but you can rest assured that there is no way that money is coming out of his own coffers.

Literate Caturday


And the Grift Goes On

This week, Ms. Trump’s jewelry company sent out a notice to reporters with a photograph of her wearing a $10,800 gold bangle bracelet that she had worn during an interview her family did with “60 Minutes,” trying to use the appearance as an opportunity to sell more items.

“Please find attached a style alert of Ivanka wearing her favorite bangle from the Metropolis Collection over the weekend on 60 Minutes,” Monica Marder, the vice president for sales at Ivanka Trump Fine Jewelry, said in the email.
You can imagine the levels of outrage that would have been expressed from the Right if Chelsea Clinton had done something remotely similar. But they'll give a pass to the Trump Clan, because the Right is all about situational ethics.

Pretty Good Gun Deal

A Ruger GP-100 "Match Champion" for $659, +$6 for shipping.

MSRP on those puppies is a skosh under a kilobuck.

That puts it below the street price for a new 686.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Yep, Trump's Draining the Swamp

Trump tapped Sen. Jeff Sessions to be his AG.

Sessions is a career politician to his core. He was too much of a racist to be confirmed as a judge by a Republican senate during the Reagan years. He's been in the Senate for four terms, which makes him pretty much of a textbook Washington politician.

Some "swamp-draining", there.

Because It's Friday

Proper firing of a steam locomotive.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Help Wanted: Secretary of State
Experience in Mishandling Classified Information Preferred.
Apply: Trump Transition HQ, Trump Tower, NYC

David Petraeus – the former US army general and CIA director who was prosecuted for mishandling classified information – has entered the race to become Donald Trump’s secretary of state, diplomatic sources said on Thursday.

Petraeus resigned in November 2012 after the FBI discovered he had had an affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell, and had shared classified information with her. He eventually pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge for mishandling the information. People who have seen him recently say he is anxious to return to public life and has privately refused to rule out serving in a Trump administration.
This is going to be just too good, as the Right, which has spent years lambasting Hillary Clinton over classified emails, will now give Petraeus a pass over mishandling classified documents.

Meanwhile, Trump is getting foreign policy advice from Henry Kissinger, probably the most notorious unindicted war criminal alive.

Meanwhile, it seems that Secaucus Fats was let go because he prosecuted Trump's son-in-law's dad for various bits of financial fuckery. Said son-in-law seems to want to get a top post in the Trump Wes Wing, but the Bobby Kennedy Nepotism Laws might stop that.

Yep, this is going to be good to watch, in a trainwreck-sense of the word.

New ATF Form 4473

One thing the new form does is remind purchasers that even if pot is legal in their state, it isn't as far as the Federales are concerned. Purchasing a firearm if one uses pot, whether recreationally or medically, is still a felony beef.

(The religion-based test will likely come in the next update.)

Fly the Gouging Skies of United

United Airlines will become the first big U.S. airline to limit low-fare customers to one carry-on bag that fits under a seat, and will defer delivery of dozens of planes from Boeing as part of a push to boost profits.

The announcement on Tuesday could frustrate flyers who already feel burdened with airline travel restrictions and fees.

United, the No. 3 U.S. airline by passengers carried, said customers who bought its cheapest fares would not be assigned seats until the day of departure, meaning people on the same ticket may be split apart.

United will also prohibit these travelers from carrying on bags that can only fit in overhead bins, and they will not accrue miles toward elite status.
This story, from the Onion, is getting uncomfortably close to reality:
In its ongoing effort to cut transportation costs and boost profits, United Airlines announced Tuesday that it was exploring the feasibility of herding them into planes and stacking them like cordwood from floor to ceiling.

"Research shows that we lose millions of dollars each month by having them all sit upright in individual seats for the duration of the flight," said CEO Glenn F. Tilton, speaking to reporters at United Airlines' corporate headquarters. "However, if we were to remove these seats, we could just sort of stack them all in there, one by one, as they file into the plane."

Decades ago, airline travelers looked down on Southwest as being a crap-ass airline with "cattle-call" boarding.

But nowadays, compared to United, SWA is a class act.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Sheesh; Clueless Edition

The entrance to Trump tower -- which sits near heavily trafficked luxury shops, including Tiffany & Co. and Gucci -- has become a special challenge. New York City zoning rules require that the space in front of Trump Tower remain open to the public, and Secret Service officials say they have told city officials they are trying to be mindful of any impact on business.
Secret Service officials have raised the possibility of shutting down some lanes on Fifth Avenue -- or even shutting down the major thoroughfare entirely -- in talks with city law enforcement.
That's going to be a real clusterfuck, especially if Trump continues his practice of spending as many nights as he can in his own bed. Between that and the standard presidential TFR with a 30 nautical mile radius, things are going to be seriously fucked up.

At least Bush mostly went to West Bumfuck, TX and Obama stayed in D.C. Obama quickly figured out that fucking up Chicagoans' lives with the Secret Service wasn't worth the squeeze. Don't expect The Donald to have the same consideration for other people.
Trump also took the unusual step of naming his three oldest children and his son-in-law to top posts, moves certain to create potential conflicts of interest given that his attorney said Trump would put his children in charge of his assets while he is president.
Because nothing says "Third World dictatorship" like salting the administration with family members.

Meanwhile, his son-in-law, displayed Olympic-level cluelessness:
Kushner’s presence at the White House on Thursday drew notice from Obama’s staff when he asked, as they toured the West Wing, how many of the individuals there would remain into the next administration.
Most people would have known, going in, that the number approached "zero".

You could pitch a new series from this: The Amateur President or "And You Thought Bush Was Inept".

This was interesting:
Carson confidant Armstrong Williams said the former neurosurgeon and top Trump surrogate will continue to advise Trump from outside the White House but declined Trump's offer to join his administration as a cabinet-level official.

"He's never run an agency and it's a lot to ask. He's a neophyte and that's not his strength," Williams said, despite the fact that Carson vied for the Republican nomination to be the next president of the United States.
So he's not qualified to be the Secretary of Something, but he thought he was qualified to be President?

Are these people shooting up meth on an hourly basis?

Monday, November 14, 2016

And Now It's Springtime for Breitbart

Stephen Bannon, "Chief Strategist" in the upcoming Administration.

I need hardly rehash Bannon's racism and antisemitism here. You can read all about it elsewhere. But he's who Trump chose to dance with.

And, as to those who have said that "Trump has only been racist for the last year", that's downright laughable. His racism goes back decades. Again, you can read all about it elsewhere.

I got shit to get to this morning.

Oh, one last note: I wonder how many of the people who have been decrying the anti-Trump protests have forgotten that they were darkly hinting at riots and revolution if Trump lost. One of those being His Orangeness, Hisself.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Your Sunday Morning Big Turboprop Noise

Not a good night for that Tu-95 crew.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

And Now For Something Completely Different.


Caturday

Humans are the bestest pillows for a cat.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Yeah, Yeah. I Got Yer Veteran's Day Eyewash Right Here.

Because that's all it is. A day to say "oh, thank you for your service", to make those who didn't serve feel as though they've done something worthwhile. Like buying a poppy from the DAV or VFW guy standing outside of Wal-Mart.

You want to do some real good? How about maybe pressuring your politicians to fix the mess that is the VA? Or maybe do something serious, such as stop electing those fucking chickenhawks, the clowns (men and women) who blather about getting involved in wars or such when nobody in their family has ever served. Or they had "other priorities" when they were of age to serve.

Don't thank me for my service. Ask yourself why you didn't serve. Or why the oligarchs didn't. Or if you couldn't serve, why you didn't do something equivalent.

If your idea of being patriotic is putting a flag decal on your vehicle or some similar shit, well, that's just talk.

Talk is cheap. So is saying "thank you for your service" and thinking you've done your part.

One Upside to the Election

The prices for guns and ammunition may drop a bit.

I suspect that the firearms and ammunition companies have been ramping up production, in anticipation of trying to meet the demand as people sought to stock up prior to a Clinton presidency. There will likely be some good sales in the coming weeks and months.

One Possible Change?

My guess is that Harriet Tubman will not be on the $20.

Trump will choose to have Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest on the $20. Forrest, you may recall, was the founder of the Klan.

Anyone who can photoshop it, feel free to send it to me. My email is on the right side of the page, down towards the bottom. Full credit will be given. I'll leave it up to you whether to use images of Forrest in is Civil War uniform or Klan robes.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Give Him Nothing, I Say.

275 votes in the Electoral College and a lesser total of popular votes than his opponent does not equal a "mandate". Anyone who says otherwise must present notarized proof of their acknowledging, at the time, the mandates of President Obama.

More to the point of this: Trump was one of the leaders in trying to delegitimize the presidency of Barack Obama. He, the Birther-in-Chief, gets nothing from me. No deference, no respect, no nothing. Republicans who are upset by that can go suck off a goat, preferably, one with orange hair and short fingers.

Republicans fought President Obama, a popularly-elected president, tooth-and-claw. Any Democrat in the Senate who does not fight the Trump Administration on every judicial appointment and does not oppose the more lunatic cabinet appointments should be tarred and feathers and flogged down the length of K Street.

As for anyone who did not agree with the selection of the Orange-Haired Menace as the next president, who was eligible to vote and who did not vote, they can go suck off the aforementioned goat.

Senatorial Musing

I wonder if the Democrats in the Senate will have the spine to be as obstructionist as the Senate Republicans have been.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Toljaso

I have said, over and over again, my friend, that the Democrats' love of gun control would cost them.

Damn the Democratic Party.
Damn Everyone Who Won't Damn the Democratic Party.
Damn Everyone Who Won't Sit Up All Night, Damning the Democratic Party.

In an election cycle in which the Republicans nominated their most beatable candidate since Alf Landon, something that was fairly clear since February, you had to nominate Hillary Rodham Fucking Clinton.

How good a candidate was Clinton? She had more baggage than the Queen Mary 2. Vilified by the Right since the 1980s, Clinton's reputation was of one of the most secretive and untrustworthy politicians since Richard Nixon. Two years before the election, it was clear to the most casual observer that she had more negatives than the Life Magazine photo archive. But no, the party couldn't see that. Led by Debbie Wasserman Schulz, a hardcore Clinton ally, the party did everything possible to ensure that Clinton would not see any competition for the nomination. When a challenger did arise, the party elites did everything possible to hamstring him.

So, Democratic elites, this is, in part, on you.

America has given a large "fuck you" to the rest of the world and global stability will weaken, if not collapse outright. Expect the Chinese and the Russians to move to expand their spheres of influences. By mid-2017, don't be surprised if the Russians have Ukraine or the Baltics and that the South China Sea has become, de facto, Chinese waters. We've elected a man who has no concept of honoring agreements. His entire business career has been a pattern of breaking his word and sticking others with the bill. The leaders of other nations, if they don't know this already, will be briefed on that by their respective intelligence services before the week is out. They will know that America's word is no longer any good, that only a fool will rely on past American assurances or treaties in the event of a conflict.

In short, the American nuclear umbrella will be furled.

Do not be astonished if the number of nuclear nations increases by at least two by 2020, with South Korea and Japan topping the probables list. It's not too far-fetched to suppose that Mexico may begin to arm and train its military for doing more traditional tasks than acting as an internal security force. In doing that, Mexico may look for a counterweight ally; basing rights may be granted in Mexican ports and military airports may be constructed.

At home, we've chosen a man to be president who based his campaign on misogyny, racism, antisemitism and xenophobia, appealing to the worst in Americans. Expect that the racist hate groups will begin to take actions on the belief that the Trump Administration* will turn a blind eye to such things.

If you're a member of any sort of minority, life is about to get harder. If you're Muslim, wager that Trump's promise to be "a president for all Americans" doesn't include you.

And finally, if you voted in this election, do not be overly shocked if you don't soon have another opportunity to cast your ballot.
_______________________________
* I just threw up in my mouth.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

I Got Yer 2016 Election Simile Right Here



I'm going to bed.

No Matter Who Wins, Some of You Will Be Feeling This Way Tonight


Personally, I am swamped. I took a long weekend for a family visit and now I'm digging out, professionally speaking. The TV will be off tonight so that I can read reports for tomorrow.

And it's not as though I can do anything about it, either way.

The nice thing is that today is the first day in weeks that the mail hasn't brought political flyers from one side alleging that the other guy is so crooked that even the shade of Al Capone is saying "really, bud?"

The "Group W" Terminal

Terminal B at O'Hare Airport:


Chicago has the right to revel in the Cubs' winning the World Series.

With any luck, it won't happen again until well into the next century.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Dear "Fascist Bureau of (political) Interference":

Fuck you. 

Fuck Director James Comey and every previous director back to Jedgar himself. 

Fuck you, the horses you rode in on, and everybody who looks like you. 

Damn you all to hell for interfering in this election with your baseless innuendoes and insinuations. 

Your lack of respect for the Constitution and the electoral process will not be soon forgotten. 

Is the Country Going to be OK?

Magic 8-Ball says:

From your window to G-d's eyeballs. 

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Vignettes

Hanover, NH:
Founded in 1761, it is a friendly, well-ordered, prettily-steepled community with a big central green, an old-fashioned Main Street, and a rich and prestigious university, Dartmouth College, whose benignly dominant presence gives the town a backdrop of graceful buildings, an air of privileged endeavor, and the presence of five thousand students, not one who can be trusted to cross a road in safety.
I'm a Stranger Here Myself by Bill Bryson

I've been there.  It's true.  Those stupidly self-entitled students will cross a street without checking to see whether or not that 25,000lb truck is going to stop.

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

One of Lufthansa's last 737 flights.


They were the launch customer for the 737, the first time that a foreign airline was such for Boeing.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Bridgegate: Guilty!

A federal jury convicted two former allies of Gov. Chris Christie on Friday of all charges stemming from a bizarre scheme to close access lanes at the George Washington Bridge to punish a New Jersey mayor who declined to endorse the governor’s re-election.
A lot of people still wonder why Christie himself wasn't tried. The story contains the prosecutor's reasons, but whether or not you'll find them convincing is up to you.

Caturday

A recent vet visit for Chip turned into Bring Your Cat to Work Day, when I had to return to finish up some stuff.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Because It's Friday

UP 844 crosses the Big Muddy

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Stephen Samuelovich Segalov

Actor Steven Seagal's love for martial arts just helped him become a Russian citizen.

The "Under Siege" star was awarded Russian citizenship on Thursday after spending years accompanying pal Vladimir Putin to martial arts events and publically praising his presidential policies.
Paving the way for The Donald, perhaps?

Не позволяйте экран дверь ударил Вас в жопу, Стиви!* Or... Не позволяйте двери экрана поразить Вас в осле, Стиви!**
______________________________________________________
* Which Google Translate thinks is correct.
** Which Prompt thinks is correct.

Braking Brexit?

Parliament must vote on whether the UK can start the process of leaving the EU, the High Court has ruled.

This means the government cannot trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty - beginning formal discussions with the EU - on their own.

Theresa May says the referendum - and existing ministerial powers - mean MPs do not need to vote, but campaigners called this unconstitutional.

The government is appealing, with a further hearing expected next month.
The ruling ratifies the view of those who were saying that the Brexit referendum was advisory only. What the court is telling the MPs to "do yer bloody jobs." The conventional view was that the politicians thought Brexit was folly. The interesting question is whether or not Parliament will have the spine to do anything.

I'll bet "no".

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Shorter Coz': "Blind Rapists Get a Free Pass!"

Bill Cosby's eyesight has deteriorated to the point where he cannot identify his accusers in photographs or otherwise help with his defense, his lawyers said Wednesday as they waged a multipronged effort to get the sexual assault case against the 79-year-old comedian thrown out.
Good luck with that one.

Donald the Alleged Child Molester

Don't worry.

Even though he's been accused by hordes of women of assaulting/molesting them and he is facing civil charges of raping a child, and the vic is now speaking out, to the Trumpers, that's small potatoes compared to Clinton's emails.

(No doubt that James Comey will insinuate that Hillary roofied the kid for Donald.)

The Stars Align

Between court hearings and personal travel, I won't be able to either pay much attention to the news or blog about it until sometime next week (likely, after everything is over but the shooting).

Can't say that I'm sad about that. My state is not in play for the presidency, but for everything else, I am getting to the point that if I could sign off on an order to drown most of those clowns running political ads, I'd do it in a picosecond. About the only channels that I can watch that doesn't run those ads are PBS and the Weather Channel.

Speaking of PBS, Nature is running a two-part show on the evolution of cats. The first episode is tonight.

Stay Classy, Trumpers

Authorities investigating a historically black church burned Tuesday night in Greenville also found "Vote Trump" spraypainted on the side.

The FBI has been notified of the burning of the Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church.

“The FBI Jackson Division is aware of the situation in Greenville, and we are working with our local, state and federal law enforcement partners to determine if any civil rights crimes were committed,” said spokesman Brett Carr.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Hype and Bullshit; Gunnie Ed

After hyping the shit out of its new "Saint", turns out the gun is pretty much just another AR-15: A gun that can be made by anyone with an Internet account for ordering parts. Because the world needs another gun of a type that is already made by damn near every gun company on the planet, including Bubba's Guns and Kwik-Lube in West Fucking Jesus, Texas.


Boring! Boring!
Boring! Boring!
Boring! Boring!