Words of Advice:

"Never Feel Sorry For Anyone Who Owns an Airplane."-- Tina Marie

"
If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"
Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It.
" -- Unknown

"There seems to be almost no problem that Congress cannot, by diligent efforts and careful legislative drafting, make ten times worse." -- Me

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

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Caturday

I love how the black stripes run down the back of Chip's neck.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Runway Games; Airport Ed.

I've come to realize that one of the drawbacks of having a decent-sized airport is that my landings have become a little sloppy. In years long past, I operated from a grass strip of somewhat short length, so my game was better.

I'm working on fixing that. So this is what I'm adhering to. Any of things is a "bust:
  • Touching down before the end of the runway.
  • Touching down on or after the numbers.
  • Mainwheels crossing the centerline stripe.
  • Fast wheel landings.
  • Adding power at any time after the initial reduction on downwind.
  • Reducing drag (easing off the flaps).
  • Slipping.
  • Cutting corners on the pattern.
  • Varying speed by ± 5mph from approach speed (no diving or stretching).
  • Bouncing.
Note that a somewhat firm arrival is not on the list.

The airport has a grass runway. It once was only mowed to 1,400', which made for some really good short field practice. Now they mow it full length. I might get some grass paint and paint a rough 200' long touchdown box.

Waylon Bates Hates Freedom

He is the principal of the Parkway high school in Bossier City, Louisiana. Mr. Bates has banned taking a knee at sporting events.

It's pretty clear that such a protest is permitted by the Constitution.

The school is a public school--- it is a governmental entity.

It is unconstitutional for Mr. Bates to have issued his little fiat.

So ask yourself: What lesson is Mr. Bates teaching the kids if he, as a government official, can ban free expression just because he doesn't like the message?

Why does he hate freedom?

You Can Sleep When You're Dead

It's National Coffee Day!





Because It's Friday

Another British documentary about building locomotives:


A few observations:

For a documentary made in 1941/2, there was no mention of the war. You can see why railroad switching yards were attractive targets for bombing raids.

Most American railroads by this time, other than those in coal country, had made the decision to switch to diesel-electric locomotives. The war delayed that by quite some time. The British were reluctant to do so, as their nation had large reserves of coal but, until the opening of the North Sea oil fields, oil had to be imported. The last road locomotive to be made in the US for domestic work was made in 1949. The British made road locomotives up until 1960.

The Swiss still believe.

Musings on Trump, Taxes and More

Trump is claiming that his tax reform plan "won't benefit me, believe me." Anyone who believes that probably shouldn't be walking around without a minder. The Trump Tax Grab is a huge giveaway to the rich.

There should be absolutely no movement on this until Trump releases all of his tax returns. Experts should then dissect them and see just how Trump will benefit from this particular grift.

But don't worry, the Trumpanzees have his back. Despite the clear evidence that Trump lies more than a busy used-car salesman, they'll believe every word that he says.

Trump said that Puerto Rico is "an island in the middle of the ocean." Has he looked at a fucking map in his life? It is not exactly next door, but it's not two thousand miles away. But he's still focused on the NFL. That's one thing about Trump: He never misses an opportunity to stoke the fires of divisiveness and hatred. If Trump's not a Russian saboteur, he's doing a grand impression of one.

There's been a fair amount of thought over the years that the decrease in crime rates that began in the nineties correlates to the legalization of abortion in the seventies. I wonder how much of the reported uptick in the crime rates correlates to the push to make abortions impossible to get.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Yoda Signed the United Nations Charter


That image made it into a Texan Saudi high school textbook.

Bye, Hef.

Hugh Hefner has died. He was 91.

It's hard for people, now, to appreciate how much Hefner and Playboy changed things. The centerfolds were almost prudish by today's standards, but they certainly were not back then. Besides the soft-core porn, Playboy published lengthy interviews with people of note; the interviews often made considerable news. They did some investigative reporting. The magazine published some of the best fiction outside of The New Yorker. More than one ship's postal clerk told me that the most subscribed-to magazine on the ship was Playboy.

Hefner's empire also included Playboy Clubs, a chain of nightclubs where the waitresses wore skimpy costumes, there was often cutting-edge entertainment, the food was decent, the liquor flowed and there was an air of sophistication. You had to be a member to get in and yes, there was a dress code.

Hefner even had a jet, probably the first private citizen to have a jet of that size and luxury.


It didn't last. Times change. Sophisticated nightclubs were so Rat-Pack era. Between harder stuff like Penthouse and Hustler to the Internet, Playboy's circulation dropped by nearly 90% From making news itself and helping to start the sexual revolution, Playboy became irrelevant. As did Hefner.

But he did change things.

RIP, Hef.

UPDATE: This is what shows up today on Playbody's web page

The Fifty-First State, Thanks to Trump

Trump waived the Jones Act to get aid quicker to Florida and Texas after Hurricanes Irma and Jose, but he hasn't for Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. He's been tweeting his short fingers off about the NFL, but he's hardly had a thing to say about Puerto Rico.

That the people in Puerto Rico probably matters not to Trump. He divides the world into two places: Those places that voted for him and those that didn't. You can see that in the trips he takes; Trump only goes to states that he carried in the election. Most presidents at leas pay lip service to being the president of the entire country, but not Trump. He's more concerned about the shipping industry making money than about people suffering and dying. Because shipping executives can donate to his campaign. Their workers can vote for him.

Puerto Rican residents are American citizens, but they can't vote in presidential elections. Therefore, Trump doesn't see a difference between the island of Puerto Rico and Belize. He doesn't even attempt to project an image of caring because the residents can't vote for him. There are no votes there for him to win.

Sooner or later, the citizens of the island will break the code and realize that they have no clout in D.C. and won't, until they can vote in Federal elections. The way to get that is through statehood.

So if Puerto Rico becomes a state, it will be, in no small measure, because of Trump.

UPDATE: Trump banged a Uie. But only for ten days. Which, given the speed that ships travel, is fucking nothing.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Might Be Illegal. Not That Trump Shives a Git.
But Maybe....

President* Trump on Tuesday apparently began deleting his tweets supporting Sen. Luther Strange (R-Ala.) in Alabama's Senate GOP primary runoff after Strange lost the race to former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore.
It's probably illegal as all fuck for Trump to delete his tweets.

And it may be an impeachable offense for him to do that:
Subsection (b) of 18 U.S.C. § 2071 contains a similar prohibition specifically directed at custodians of public records. Any custodian of a public record who "willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, falsifies, or destroys (any record) shall be fined not more than $2,000 or imprisoned not more than three years, or both; and shall forfeit his office and be disqualified from holding any office under the United States."

Does Ivanka Know This? Does Her Daddy?


The snark writes itself.

More here, via here.

At Least They Weren't Summarily Executed

That seemed to be the bar these days for police misconduct.
Two documentary filmmakers taken into custody on Sept. 17 in a mass arrest in downtown St. Louis have sued the city and three police officers whom they allege assaulted and arrested them because they were journalists.
...
The lawsuit said when the kettle closed on Drew Burbridge, he asked an officer if he and his wife could exit, explaining that they were part of the media. He was ignored.

Then police officers sprayed chemicals at the people trapped in the center, including the Burbridges. Two officers threw Drew Burbridge to the ground face-first, twisted his arms behind his back and repeatedly kicked him in the back while restraining his arms with zip ties. Even after he was restrained, the suit said, three officers struck him all over the body with batons. During the beating, one of the officers asked, “Do you want to take my picture now, (expletive)?”

Burbridge said he lost consciousness from the beating, but came to when an officer lifted his head by the hair and sprayed him in the face with a chemical.
By the way, their allegations aren't the only ones out there. There were others, including the cops beating one of their own.

It was apparently a police riot and not the only one that's happened. But don't worry. The cops will surely investigate themselves and therefore, justice will be done.

In a pig's eye.


Tuesday, September 26, 2017

The Trump Ban That Bans Nobody

As it seems, Trump's EO banning North Koreans from entering the US effectively bans nobody at all.

You'd have thought that somebody might have looked into that before Dolt-45 picked up his crayon to sign it.

Not that it matters much. Trump's aides cautioned him not to get into an insult-fight with Kim Jong-un and, well, we all know how well the World's Oldest Toddler followed that advice. Trump is like a punk kid with a bare wall and a can of spray-paint-- you know he's going to do something really stupid. Every time he steps in front of a microphone (or goes on Twitter), mentally picture him saying: "Hold my beer and watch this."

Lock Them Up! Lock Them Up!

Jared Kusher, Ivanka Trump, Steve Bannon, Reince Priebus and some other Trump Administration officials have used private email accounts for official business.

"Hypocrisy" doesn't even begin to cover the ground.

At least one Republican in Congress is not amused. And he shouldn't be.

It's a Strange World, Indeed; ConLaw Ed.

It's a strange world when a NASCAR driver has a better handle on the Bill of Rights than does the President.Not all NASCAR people are siding with Trump -- with Dale Earnhardt Jr. throwing his support behind NFL protesters ... despite several NASCAR owners bashing them.
...
"All Americans R granted rights 2 peaceful protests," Dale Jr. tweeted.

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
Trump is trying to bully the NFL. A bunch of guys who spend their working day smashing into one another are not going to intimidated by the demented ravings of an old orange-haired loudmouthed racist.

Even Jerry Jones, who gave the Trump campaign a million dollars, took a knee.

UPDATE: It's all about Trump pleasing his batshit-base.

A Few Things Happened Yesterday

Yesterday was the 60th anniversary of the integration of the Little Rock Central High School, something that had to happen at the point of Army bayonets after the then-governor of Arkansas called out the National Guard to prevent nine black kids from attending the school. The photos of children who were going to school being yelled at by angry racists were printed worldwide.

If the Trump White House issued an official statement of commemoration, I missed it. One thing about Trump, when it comes to trying to reach across the racial divide, he never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity. And he missed a big one. A public statement, let alone a quick trip to Little Rock, would have garnered him so much positive press coverage, something that the World's Oldest Toddler craves like a junkie trying to score his next fix. But I suppose that would not have satisfied Trump's inner-Nazi, not to mention angering his core support from the American Nazi community.

On the other side of the Aisle of Disgrace, Anthony "Carlos Danger" Weiner got sentenced to 21 months in prison for sexting an underage girl. Once he gets out of stir, he'll have to register as a sex offender wherever he lives. But don't fret about ol' Carlos, for disgraced politicians, regardless of party, always seem to land on their feet.

Monday, September 25, 2017

White Privilege

In case you don't know what it looks like.

Trump Invites Another Basketball Team to Replace the Warriors.

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—One day after rescinding his invitation to the Golden State Warriors, Donald J. Trump invited the entire Russian national basketball team to celebrate with him at the White House.

Trump said that he looked forward to welcoming the Russian team, calling them “much, much better basketball players than those Golden State losers.”

When reporters pointed out that the Russians had won only a bronze in the 2012 Olympics and failed to qualify for the 2016 event, Trump was dismissive, calling the Olympics “rigged.”

It Is to Laugh; NASCAR Ed.

President* Donald Trump tweeted he was proud of NASCAR because no drivers, crew or other team members protested during the national anthem Sunday prior to a race at New Hampshire Motorspeedway.

“So proud of NASCAR and its supporters and fans. They won’t put up with disrespecting our Country or our Flag - they said it loud and clear!” Trump tweeted Monday.

Several team owners and executives had said Sunday they wouldn’t want anyone in their organizations to protest. Richard Childress, who was Dale Earnhardt’s longtime team owner, said of protesting: “It’ll get you a ride on a Greyhound bus.”
Riight. Like people involved in the Whitest Sport in America were going to protest the cops' killing black folk.

There is some delicious irony about the point that people who proudly wave the Flag of Dead Traitors are so, so upset by protesters taking a knee during the playing of the National Anthem. I guess they've forgotten that the last thing that their great-grandfathers would have done would have been to stand for the National Anthem, let alone recite the Pledge.

The larger point is that conservatives are taking a very cheap intellectual out: They're getting outraged at the protests and not bothering to look at what is being protested. But some things never change.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

In His Heart, Trump Would Love to See This Happen Here

A prominent left-wing Indian journalist critical of Hindu nationalist politics has been shot dead in the south-western Karnataka state, police say.

Gauri Lankesh, 55, was found lying in a pool of blood outside her home in the city of Bangalore. The motive for the crime was not immediately clear.

She was shot in the head and chest by gunmen who arrived by motorcycle.
I believe that Trump would cheer at the murders of reporters who had the temerity to write stories critical of him. If he had is own on-call death squads, like Philippine President Duarte, Trump would have hourly orgasms at being able to order hits on his critics.

Visit Nambia


Trump is fucking fixated on the idea of drug smugglers firing bags of drugs over the border wall into large crowds of Americans who are just milling around there. At first, he was babbling about 60lb bags, now he's blithering about 100lb bags. Other than some anecdotal remarks to a reporter, there's nothing to document 100lb bags of drugs being flung over the border fence. And even if there was wide use of them, a short perusal of videos of modern recreations of catapults (usually trebuchets) can easily fling objects over Trump's envisioned Great Wall of Trump.

Meanwhile, when he is not babbling about catapults or exchanging childish insults with Kim Jong-un, Trump is showing that he has absolutely no dedication to or understanding of the Constitution. He's only in favor of forms of speech when he agrees with it.

Not to mention the optics of standing before a crowd of white Southeners and, in essence, calling for the firing of uppity black folk. Because there's no fascist like an old fascist.

Caturday

Ready for my closeup, CB!

(That's Chip.)

Friday, September 22, 2017

Police: "We've Been Looking for These Two Guys For Quite Some Time."

They were caught after the two criminals broke into a home and the homeowner shot one of them.

Don't you just love stories with happy endings?

(H/T)

If Paul Manafort is a Russian Asset, What Does That Make Mike Pence?

Because Manafort pretty much picked Pence.

It's important that Manafort picked Pence because of whom Manafort may have been working for. Which may also give some insight into the FBI's extraordinary raid on Manafort.

How all this will play out will be anyone's guess. But if it's shown that Manafort was a Russian asset (who paid him while he was working "for free" for Trump, for instance), then everyone who was associated with Manafort, particularly those whom he had a hand in placing in the Trump administration, will be stained.

Pass the popcorn.

CTE

Aaron Hernandez apparently had a bad case of CTE.

That explains a lot about his life and crimes. CTE is nasty.

I've said before that parents who let their kids play contact sports will, sooner or later, find themselves at risk of being accused of child abuse or neglect.

Say you're a late 20s or 30-something parent. Your kid wants to play contact sports. How are you going to feel twenty years later when it's clear that your child has a form of dementia related to playing contact sports? That's, in part, going to be on you. You let your kid play such sports when their brains were still developing and the risk of damage was much higher. And nowadays, you can't even say "I didn't know". The information is out there. You could have known, you should have known.

When it comes to CTE, the NFL is arguably worse than the tobacco industry. The drugs is the tobacco industry's product. Those kids and young men who are at high risk of CTE are he NFL's product. When it comes to making money from suffering, the NFL stands out above almost all others.

Some "Master Negotiator" Trump Is.

Remember, that was one one of his selling points? That he can negotiate "the best deals"?

I don't see any evidence that he can negotiate a single fucking thing on the world stage. All he's really done, so far, is trash-talk like a eleven-year-old bully on a playground. Slinging juvenile insults and making threats? That's not negotiating. The Chinese and the Russians are shaping up to be the only adults in the room on the North Korea issue.

Now, tearing up agreements, that's Classic Trump. His word isn't worth a bucket of warm shit.

Because It's Friday

This locomotive is punching above its weight:

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Dear "Breaking911.com": You Suck.

A link in FB took me to a story that "Death Wish Coffee" is being recalled because of, wait for it, it can kill you.

I was reading the story on my phone. The site had an extremely annoying popup ad that could not be cleared. Hitting the X to close it was ineffective and it took me to the advertiser's page, which I didn't notice because, by then, I was mad enough to just close everything out.

So, to the good folks at "breaking911 dahht com" (because no, I'm not giving you putzim a free link): It is only the onset of the High Holy Days that keeps me from wishing that you would be slowly dipped into a pool of molten lava,

Hey, Gents! Come See Australia! See the Wonderful Sights! Enjoy the Fine Beaches!

And get bitten on your dick by a spider.

You might not want to let your "equipment" hang down when taking a dump.

If your wife or girlfriend proposes visiting the Land of Oz, you might have a problem.....

Shorter GOP Senators to the Koch Brothers: "Arf! Arf! Arf! {pant} {pant} Arf! Arf! Arf!"

I'm betting that the reason the GOP has resurrected the ACA repeal is that the Koch Brothers are making good on their threats.

So if you were ever curious about whom the Republicans really work for, you have your answer:

New Student Pilot

B, over at "In the middle of the Right". He's taking lessons.

The primary trainer seems to mostly be a Cessna 150, which, between the 1950s and the 1990s, was the J-3 of the day. Probably more people got their license in 150s (and 152s) than any other aircraft type combined.

5778




I hope that my posts have given you cause to think about different things. But I also hope that I have not given offense to any of you, my Gentle Readers.

If I have, I beg forgiveness. (Not applicable to public figures and politicians. If what I write has offended you, toughen the fuck up or find another line of work.)

May 5778 be a blessing for you and yours.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

S&W 929 Review

Pat Kelley's review:


He's obviously a fine shot and he's having fun.

But even if I was in the mood to drop a kilobuck on a range toy, I'd pass based on this review. I'd think that a Performance Center gun would not require one to crank the sights all the way over in order to sight in the gun.

And he's probably right in supposing that the barrel is sized for revolver bullets.

The S&W 929, even with a titanium cylinder, weighs 44oz.

If you do have a gun with a titanium cylinder, remember: Do not use metal bore brushes on the cylinder. Nylon only!

Guess Whose Greasy Fingers Are On the Toys Я Us Bankruptcy?

Bain Capital. It seems that those fuckers were involved in a leveraged buyout of Toys Я Us that loaded the company up with debt.

Bloomberg News thinks that Bain is going to lose a ton of money on this. Right, in a pig's eye.

Shorter Tom Price: "Government Spending Isn't Wasteful When the Money's Spent on Me!"

In a sharp departure from his predecessors, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price last week took private jets on five separate flights for official business, at a cost of tens of thousands of dollars more than commercial travel.

The secretary’s five flights, which were scheduled between Sept. 13 and Sept. 15, took him to a resort in Maine where he participated in a Q&A discussion with a health care industry CEO, and to community health centers in New Hampshire and Pennsylvania, according to internal HHS documents.
One of those charter flights was from Dulles to Philadelphia, a route well-served by both the airlines and Amtrak. When you factor in time for security and travel time out to Dulles, Amtrak's probably even quicker.

This is how it is for the Trumpist Grifters: Live large off the Federal purse whilst squeezing down on programs that assist the poor, disabled and the elderly.

The shade of Marie Antoinette is probably looking at this and saying Vraiment?

The Difference Between a Small-Time Crook and a Rich Politician

Your garden-variety small-time crook has to go to the Public Defenders' offices to get a lawyer. If the person charged has some assets, then they get to cash them in to pay for a lawyer.

But hey, if you're a rich politician, you can get other people to pay to defend your sorry ass.
U.S. President* Donald Trump is using money donated to his re-election campaign and the Republican National Committee to pay for his lawyers in the probe of alleged Russian interference in the U.S. election, two people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Following Reuters exclusive report on Tuesday, CNN reported that the Republican National Committee paid in August more than $230,000 to cover some of Trump’s legal fees related to the probe. ... Trump would be the first U.S. president in the modern campaign finance era to use such funds to cover the costs of responding to a criminal probe, said election law experts.
Pretty nice that the RNC has a "Treason Defense Fund" that Trump can tap into.

zOMG, the "Space Orcs" Are Coming!

That could be the view of another intelligent species regarding humans.

Imagine a world where there is intelligence, but it's plant-based. The plants are like neurons and form up into brains that take up very large areas. Their thought processes could take minutes, hours or days, which is ordinarily not an issue for them, as the brains have an almost infinite lifespan. Drought or wildfires may damage them, but they'd recover. If the world has winters, the brains might go more-or-less dormant in cold weather.

Now an animal-based spacefaring species lands on that world. Can the plant-brains perceive them? Given the mismatch between neural processes, how would they communicate? What would the plant-brains do when they realize that the intruders are not only plucking them, they're (shudder) eating them?

(H/T)

José, You're Drunk. Dissipate and Die, Already

Tropical Storm José is apparently going to bang another U-turn, if not a complete circle, again.


If you're in southern New England or Long Island and you think the storm is passing you by, think again. It's going to come back for another try at you.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

So Long to the Whale, UAL Ed.

United Airlines will say so long to its iconic Boeing 747 fleet with a final flight Nov. 7 from San Francisco to Honolulu.
...
The final flight to Honolulu – Flight No. 747 – will recreate the first scheduled United Boeing 747 flight on July 23, 1970, from San Francisco to Honolulu.

The flight will feature a 1970s-inspired menu served by flight attendants in retro uniforms, while the in-flight entertainment will feature content from that era.
Real food in coach, like back in the day when it wasn't routinely awful?

Anyway, don't bother calling for a seat. The flight reportedly sold out in an hour.

Epic Stupidity; Trump Ed.

Trump administration officials, under pressure from the White House to provide a rationale for reducing the number of refugees allowed into the United States next year, rejected a study by the Department of Health and Human Services that found that refugees brought in $63 billion more in government revenues over the past decade than they cost.
I am not surprised one whit. You can bet that whichever goon The Donald put in HHS will have massaged things so it comes out the way that Trump wants.

He'll call the conclusion that he doesn't like "liberal thinking". Sort of like how biologists were denounced in the USSR as "fly-lovers" and how, in another country, particle physics was dismissed as "Jewish science".

Betcha Trump Says Nothing

A magnitude 7.1 earthquake rocked central Mexico on Tuesday, killing at least 44 people as buildings collapsed in plumes of dust and thousands fled into the streets in panic.

The quake came less than two weeks after another quake left 90 dead in the country's south, and it occurred as Mexicans commemorated the anniversary of a 1985 quake that killed thousands.
There won't be a single tweet of sympathy from Trump. His Duty Liar, Sara Whazerface, will not say a single kind word about Mexico from the Spicer Memorial Podium.

Welcome to Trump's Amerika

At least one Jewish congregation in Texas is holding its High Holy Days services in secret.

Hate crimes are up, in part due to a perception that the Trump administration is sympathetic to the nazis.

I know a lot of my co-religionists in this country are liberals, but if they don't know one end of a Glock from the other and how to competently use one, they are deluding themselves.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Captain Sonny Hernandez, Chaplain Corps, USAF, Can Go Eat a Bag of Dicks

A U.S. Air Force chaplain who ministers to thousands of men and women at an Ohio base is asserting that Christians in the U.S. Armed Forces “serve Satan” and are “grossly in error” if they support service members' right to practice other faiths.
It is a long-standing military tradition that military chaplains minister to all faiths, not just their own. That was shown in the 1949 movie Battleground:


(The clip is worth watching for other reasons.)

The Air Force is an organization that is largely composed of REMFs. In recent years, the Air Force has internally been becoming an evangelical Christian entity.

If you are Catholic, Jewish or anything other than an evangelical Christian, you would do well to avoid serving in the Air Force.

Caturday

This is Sammy:


Sammy's minion is my co-blogger, Eck!.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Mnuchin the Moocher Had No Interest in the Eclipse Because He Wears an Expensive Suit

No, that's not what The Moocher said, but what he did say makes as much sense:
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin defended his trip to view the solar eclipse from Fort Knox in Kentucky, for which he used a government plane, saying he did hot have any interest in the event because he is from New York.

“People in Kentucky took this stuff very seriously. Being a New Yorker, I don’t have any interest in watching the eclipse,” Muchin said on Thursday, according to The Washington Post.
Really. He went to an event that was in the line of totality because he had no interest in the eclipse. And while he was there, he and Mitch "The Turtle" McConnell went to the roof of the Ft. Knox Gold Depository to watch it because he was only being polite to those ignorant Kentuckians who were interest in a fairly rare astronomical event?

And the trip was oh, so coincidentally planned for the very same day as a solar eclipse? And of course, Lady Louise had to tag along to attend an official government meeting for reasons?

Damn, Mooch, you really need to get better at lying. This is fucking amateur.

Warm Up Your Checkbook, Tuscaloosa Ed.

They're on the hook for a nice chunk of change for discriminating against a police officer who was breastfeeding her son.

The news may be worse for them. The Tuscaloosa P.D. basically pushed her husband out of his jb in retaliation for his wife's suing them, so he may have his own cause of action against those bastards.

Go get `em!

Because It's Friday

The Grand Canyon Railway:

Trump Not a White Supremacist?

Heh.
WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Upbraiding the ESPN anchor Jemele Hill for calling Donald Trump a “white supremacist,” the White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said on Wednesday that “no one has done more than President Trump to prove that white people are not superior.”

"Donald Trump" and "Ethics" are Terms That Don't Exist in the Same Universe

The U.S. Office of Government Ethics has quietly reversed its own internal policy prohibiting anonymous donations from lobbyists to White House staffers who have legal defense funds.
So anyone then can cough up to pay into the Trumpist Legal Defense Fund. Including Putin, the Saudi Royal Family, anyone at all.

Trump's "draining the swamp" would seem to be replacing swamp water with dioxin-laced radioactive sludge.

Not that anybody seriously expected anything else from the King of Grifters.

Trump vs. Mexico

The Mexican government will no longer offer aid to Texas and Louisiana to help with recovery efforts in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, Mexico’s foreign ministry announced Monday, instead redirecting that aid to portions of its own nation damaged by a powerful earthquake and Hurricane Katia.

The 8.2 magnitude earthquake struck central Mexico last week near the city of Oaxaca, killing 95 people and injuring hundreds more, the Mexican foreign ministry said. Separately, Hurricane Katia’s landfall inflicted “significant damage” on the Mexican state of Veracruz, the foreign ministry said.
That's reason enough, they're probably strapped for resources. But this, a little later in the same article, was telling:
But while homeland security adviser Tom Bossert said President Donald Trump was “deeply touched” by a phone call from his Mexican counterpart offering aid and assistance, the federal government did not officially accept Mexico’s aid. The Mexican government noted in its statement that its offer had been accepted by the state of Texas, which said it could use the logistical support offered by Mexico.

Trump, who has not publicly offered condolences to Mexico in the wake of its earthquake and hurricane landfall, has made getting tough with America’s southern neighbor a key part of his political agenda, pledging to either renegotiate or tear up NAFTA and to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border that Mexico will pay for.
Really? An earthquake and a hurricane hit our neighbor and Trump can't be bothered to take notice? Is he that afraid that his sheet-wearing neo-nazi base is going to suffer butthurt if he says even one kind word about Mexico?

The Mexicans don't like us very much. That might not matter to you, but it'll matter to Mexican politicians. The room that they have to maneuver to negotiate changes to NAFTA or other matters will be narrowed considerably because of Trump's verbal/Twitter diarrhea.

Trump is heedless of reality. His fecklessness has a potential to cause some real problems with Mexico. If they wanted to, they could set up trains to quickly ferry migrants from Central America to the border.

And that's just for starters.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Goodbye, Cassini

Cassini will fly into Saturn and be destroyed tomorrow morning.

Cassini's been a hell of good mission, nearly 20 years. They planned for a three year lifespan at Saturn and the probe's gone on for thirteen years. If it had more fuel, it'd go longer.

A Little Extra Caturday

Because every day is Caturday, really.

Why not to look into your cat's eyes.

DACA: The Way to Trump is Through His Ego

Democratic leaders announced late Wednesday that they agreed with President* Trump to pursue a legislative deal that would protect hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants from deportation and enact border security measures that don’t include building a physical wall.
Trump has two problems that are chafing his balls. First, he doesn't have a single major win under his belt. He's not signed any legislation of note. Second, he's getting lambasted in the press. Oh, he might decry "fake news", but even he knows that getting praise from sources like Fox News are just the words of sycophants.

What he wants is a nice headline in the NY Times. Which he isn't getting. And if it means that he has to sell out Steve King, who is going into sad panda mode...
Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), an immigration hard-liner and early Trump supporter, wrote that if reports of a potential immigration deal are accurate, the president’s “base is blown up, destroyed, irreparable, and disillusioned beyond repair. No promise is credible.”
...don't expect Trump to care very much. He wants that win, and if he has to put Steve King into a coal mine or a whorehouse to do it, so be it.

Besides, if Steve King really believes that Trump's promises are worth anything, he needs to be watered twice a week. And Ann Coulter is also having one of her patented meltdowns.

Trump might be able to regain some momentum, but he's suffered a lot of self-inflicted wounds. His single-mindedness on repealing the ACA gave the Democrats an opportunity to beat the shit out of him and, for once, they didn't blow the chance. The price that the Democrats would have extracted for working on a bill with Trump was a lot cheaper last January. And other than the batshit-nutters like Steve King, the GOP knows that not getting something done on DACA will effectively spell the end of the GOP in the southwestern U.S.

For an example of that, you need only look to what happened to the GOP in California after Prop 187 was passed.

Your Gripes About Mnuchin's Mooching Are Adorable

Steven Mnuchin, the US treasury secretary, requested the use of a government jet for his European honeymoon, it was reported on Wednesday.

The treasury department’s inspector general is investigating Mnuchin’s request for a US air force plane – with a reported operating cost of around $25,000 per hour – to transport him and his wife, Louise Linton, on their honeymoon to Scotland, France and Italy this summer, according to ABC News.
Because Mnuchin thinks that he's entitled to have the government give him a military bizjet for his personal travel, because reasons.

You might recall that Mnuchin mooched another trip by conveniently arranging some conference so he and Lady Louise could also see the eclipse last month. Lady Louise is one of the Beautiful Grifters who attended a non-ABA certified law school in California that has one of the more abysmal bar pass rates in the country. Before she married Mooching Mnuchin, she was best known for her memoir, which other have dubbed "Barbie Goes to Africa".

Just adorable.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

USS Orville

I watched the pilot episode.

First off, I sure hope that the Fox network executives can keep their fingers off this show and not fuck it up, the way they tend to fuck up any decent science-fiction show.

The world of the Orville is Star Fleet with people who have messy lives, like real people do. The one thing that always bugged me about most of the Star Trek shows was that everybody, unless they were captured by the Borg, was so bloody perfect. Few had messy relationships (Riker notwithstanding), or drank much or were arrogant pricks or anything like that.

Well, that's certainly not the Orville. They come across as people with active senses of irony, humor and they use sarcasm. They seem to be aware that the situations they find themselves in are odd.

So yes, I'm going to keep watching. And hoping that Fox doesn't fuck it up, though I'm not counting on that.

Toljaso, PharmaBro Ed.

Brooklyn Federal Judge Kiyo Matsumoto revoked Shkreli's $5 million bail Wednesday evening, saying Shkreli's $5,000 bounty on Clinton's hair was the final straw.
...
His so-called satire wasn't protected First Amendment speech — it was an invitation for crime, the judge said.

"He is soliciting an assault on another person in exchange for $5,000," Matsumoto said.
I was pretty sure that, with his smug attitude, that Shkreli was going to tweet or talk his way into a jail/prison cell (in his case The Tombs).

And so he has. A convicted felon publicly offering to pay money for an assault on another person, let along a prominent former government official, yeah, what could go wrong with that?

Congressional Republicans and Democrats Say "Fuck You" to the Disabled

HR 620 prohibits anyone from suing a business or other public accommodation unless the person so aggrieved has notified the entity that said entity is not complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

That's right:Nineteen Fucking Ninety!

Because twenty-seven years just isn't enough time for people to figure out what the fuck they are supposed to do to comply with the ADA and then do it.

Some horrible excuse for a sentient being named "Ted Poe" introduced the bill. Not surprisingly, he's from Texas. You know, the state that was just hit by a hurricane that brought epic flooding, a state where the congressional delegation almost unanimously said "fuck you" to other states that had similar catastrophes.

This shameful piece of legislative trash has 40 Republican and 11 Democrats co-sponsoring it. Every one of them is obviously lacking in some element of humanity.

Every one of them should be confined to a wheelchair for a year and required to, without any aides or other assistants, tour a goodly sample of cities and towns in their districts, including visiting town halls and courthouses. And they should have to make at least half of the trips by public transportation.

This miserable excuse for legislating means that 27 years after the ADA was passed, businesses and governments will have zero incentive to actually comply with the act unless somebody gives them written notice.

I'm surprised that Ted Poe, a political whore if there ever was one, hasn't introduced similar bills to gut the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

There should be a law that requires his face to be painted into toilet bowls and urinals in all public bathrooms in the the Capitol and in every VA and military hospital.

In Short, Bill O'Reilly Thinks that Trump is Really Stupid

How else do you read this:
I wrote a column for The Hill and said that Trump's mistake — and it was one — was that you can never under any circumstances equate Nazis with anyone else. It's a very simple thing, OK? So if you understand history — and I think Trump does to some extent, but not perhaps to the extent that is needed in this day and age — when you understand the evil that happened in the '30s and '40s in Germany, in Europe and even in Japan, really, truly understand it, you can't make comments about it in any other context other than, this is pure evil.
I don't understand how anyone who was born in the 1940s and whom went to school in the `50s and `60s could have escaped the lesson that "Nazis are bad". Prime-time TV back then was about 35% westerns, 35% World War II and 30% sitcoms. It was kind of hard to miss that the Nazis were bad people.

Maybe Trump's daddy was telling him "don't believe the lies, the Nazis were really good people and they spoke the truth"?

Tightening the Screws; Flynn Edition

US congressional investigators are examining whether Michael Flynn, Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, secretly promoted a plan by private business interests to build US-Russian nuclear power plants in the Middle East while he was serving in the White House.
...
A letter released on Wednesday by top Democrats who are investigating Flynn, who was forced to resign from his post in February because of questions about his links to Russia, accused him of violating federal law when he failed to disclose a trip he took to the Middle East in June 2015 to promote the US-Russia project, as well as several contacts with foreigners that they allege ought to have been declared.
I'm guessing that in the area of "the crime of failing to disclose", that this isn't exactly going to be a tough thing to prove.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

A Thousand "Attaboys" Are Canceled by One "You Dumb Shit": Pizza Hut Ed.

A Pizza Hut manager in Florida threatened to punish employees who missed shifts by evacuating too early for Hurricane Irma.

In a memo, the manager said workers at the Jacksonville restaurant have a “responsibility and commitment” to the community, and that employees who needed to evacuate would get only a 24-hour “grace period” before the storm.

“You cannot evacuate Friday for a Tuesday storm event!” the notice read. “Failure to show for these shifts, regardless of reason, will be considered a no call / no show and documentation will be issued.”

It also said that employees would be required to return to the city within 72 hours of an evacuation.
You can read the memo here.

Pizza Hut corporate is trying to backwater, of course.

I haven't been able to determine which Pizza Hut in Jacksonville did this, but hell, there are lots of other places where you can get crappy pizza, or even good pizza. I'd suggest a local Italian restaurant or any of these places. None of which are Pizza Hut (or the other big chains which purvey tomato-flavored cardboard).

Don't Lie for the Other Guy

While gunnies will recognize that as the slogan for the ATF's warning about straw buyers, it applies with even more force for Trump's staffies.
Lawyers representing Donald Trump’s current and former aides are giving their clients one simple piece of advice: Don’t lie to protect the president.

As special counsel Robert Mueller and congressional investigators prepare to question high-ranking aides — including Hope Hicks, Reince Priebus and Sean Spicer — in the coming weeks, Trump’s long history of demanding his employees’ complete loyalty is being put to the test.

But Trump stalwarts know the president is closely following the media coverage of the Russia case — and the last thing they want is to be deemed a turncoat whose answers end up becoming further fuel for investigators.
Worse for them, it is possible that any pardons issued by Trump to block the probe might be challenged in court for being an illegal obstruction of justice. Which cold also mean that Trump would be committing a crime by issuing them, or even hinting at offering them.

Monday, September 11, 2017

What Sort of Microcephalic Sociopath Says Things Like This Out Loud?

Trump told a reporter that the country has “great people” responding to the massive storms and that “a group that really deserves tremendous credit is the United States Coast Guard," according to a White House pool report.

“What they've done — I mean, they've gone right into that, and you never know. When you go in there, you don't know if you're going to come out. They are really — if you talk about branding, no brand has improved more than the United States Coast Guard,” Trump said.

Dear DEA and the Medical Community: Fuck You and Your Families

I know I've said this before.

But when you have a post-surgical patient who has had several other surgeries and who was given Vicdin/Percocet/Oxycotin/Oxycodone then and didn't get addicted, what in the Blue Bloody Hazes of Hell makes you think that it'll be a problem this time around.

But no, they're so, so afraid of the DEA that the "caring" medical community will let people suffer. If high-dose ibuprofen doesn't help, well, it sucks to be you.

Motherfuckers. It might be enjoyable to do some med-mal cases just to fuck with them.

Gluttons for Punishment; Irma Edition

I watched a little bit of the live coverage of Hurricane Irma as it swept ashore over Ft. Myers, FL. CNBC had a few reporters there, who were outside in the eye.

As the hurricane came closer, Mike Bettes of the Weather Channel was standing out in a road, doing his best to stand erect. At one point, he groaned loudly because a piece of debris hit him in the back. A lot of buildings in Florida have those Spanish-mission style terracotta roofs; when those tiles come off, they are heavy (compared to asphalt shingles) and, because they're most likely broken, rather pointy.

What is fucking wrong with these clowns? I doubt if any of them would stand in the middle of a gunfight or on the doorstep of a building that was burning down. Neither would they stand in the middle of I-5 to report on the traffic.

They could put a camera in a reasonably safe location and comment on the storm from there. They can show the rain, the wind gust, shit blowing down the street and trees bending/snapping. There is no adult-grade reason for any of these fools to stand out in the middle of a fucking hurricane.

One of these folks is going to be struck down and seriously hurt or killed one of these days. When that happens, you can bet that the weather reporters will go into mourning about the tragic loss and so forth and so on. They'll completely ignore the point that what they are doing is playing Russian Roulette with Nature.

Sixteen Years On

Which means that there are kids getting their drivers' licenses this month who were born in September of 2001.

Here are a couple of retrospective posts that I wrote years ago. Also one I wrote from a Jewish perspective. And what we, as a country, have lost.

To steal from the last link:
In Year Ten Sixteen of the [Afghan] war, the best that the commanders can say at the Five O'Clock Follies is that "tangible progress" has been made. Many more American fighting men and women will be killed and maimed. At least another trillion dollars will be spent. There is no end in sight for this war.
Sixteen years on. The Middle East remains a chaotic mess due to the aftermath of the Iraq War, a completely unnecessary endeavor. As I wrote in some of the posts linked above, thanks to the ignoring of the situation in Afghanistan for seven years, any chance of securing that country was squandered.

At home, we surrendered rights and liberties without much debate because we took a sucker punch. There has been no serious attempt to repeal or roll back the Bush Police State Patriot Act. The Republicans have been foaming to repeal health insurance because health insurance is tyranny. But allowing the Feds to search though your bank records without a warrant isn't tyranny, I guess. Neither are "sneak-and-peak" searches, nope, no tyranny there. The United States became a nation that resorted to torturing people. A significant percentage of Trump's base is pro-torture. Nobody has ever been held accountable for ordering people to be tortured. The doctors and psychologists who helped oversee torture and, in a couple of cases, designed torture regimes, remain unpunished and in practice to this day. Americans are the "good little Germans" of the 21st Century.

When it comes to civil liberties and freedoms, 9-11 was a defeat for Americans. Between massive deficit spending on the military (always a favorite of the GOP when they have the checkbook) and instability in the Middle East that has its roots in what the United States did post 9-11, it can be fairly argued that al Qaeda accomplished most of its goals for the attacks.

Even though he now rests in a watery grave in the Indian Ocean, the true victor of 9-11 was Osama bin Ladin.

UPDATE: From the comments section:

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Irma- Too Soon?


Someone I know posted on FB that she was worried about her family, so she was glued to Fox News.

Yep: "Storm bad! Winds strong! Rain hard! It's all Obama's fault!"

Should about cover it.

Irma

The wind sensor at the Naples Airport (KAPF) has apparently failed.

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

Some runway repairs required.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

ATF is About as Crooked As It Gets

the ATF basically ran a crooked cigarette business for the purpose of generating cash that the ATF could then use for other purposes, without having to put up with such things as Congressional oversight or submitting budgets.
The operation, such was it was, went across the administrations for Bush II and Obama. The Department of Justice has been doing what it can to hust things up.

Sure it was improper, and actually illegal. Even the AFT knew that.

But will anyone be punished?

Don't hold yer breath.

When an AFT agent does an audit of a gun shop's paper work, even a simple error will be punished with fines ranging from a few hundred dollars to many thousands. Because obeying every jot and tittle of the law is what the AFT expects from those businesses it oversees.

But obeying the law just in't very important if one happens to have a Federal badge. Embezzlement? Piffle.

Caturday

A young kitten arrives at a shelter.


She is so stinking cute that it took very little time to find a foster family. actually, it's a "foster-to-adopt" family, as the shelter keeps such kittens on its books until they are spayed (or neutered).

Animal rescue is more than about shelters, of course. These folks have been doing a bang-up job. Spaying and neutering is about the only way to try and cut down on the problem of unwanted pets.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Monday, Jan 1st

I had to print out a calendar for next year. For fun, I choose a year that has the same starting time, but is not the year in question.

1917 was a possible choice. But, meh. I looked to the future, and guess what year starts on a Monday!


With any luck, this song will be forgotten by then.

Yeah, Well, Let's See

President* Donald Trump surprised the leaders of his own party in Congress on Wednesday when he backed a deal pushed by Democrats to attach hurricane relief money to a shorter-term bump in the debt ceiling as well as keeping the government open, cutting off his own Treasury secretary to strike a deal.

The decision was one of the most fascinating and mysterious moves he's made with Congress during eight months in office.

The remarkable turn of events left Republican congressional leaders, in control of both chambers of the legislative branch, "shell-shocked" and "visibly annoyed," and showcased how a President who also authored "The Art of the Deal" actually cuts one.
Maybe Trump has finally figured out that he can't get shit done with only Republicans.

On the other hand, no deal made by Trump is ever final. His word is worth a sheet of soiled toilet-paper and is about as sturdy.

Heh.

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Eight hundred thousand people with dreams will be deported by one person with delusions, sources confirmed on Tuesday.

According to reports, U.S. residents who have obtained advanced degrees, served in the military, and saved people from Hurricane Harvey will be kicked out of the country by a man who believes that his microwave is spying on him.

Because It's Friday


Using UP 844 to push a freight train is kind of like using a thoroughbred to pull a milk cart. But sometimes needs must.

Dear Equifax: Go Fuck Yourselves. P.S., All of Your Mothers Are Whores

They had a massive data breach, which they didn't bother to tell anyone about for over a month.

They're offering free credit monitoring, if your data was compromised. Which you can check here.

But bad as all that is, this is the kicker: If your data was compromised, then this is the response that you'll get, as of today:



In other words: "Sorry about that. Get Back to us in a week or so, and then maybe we'll help you out a little."

That, Gentle Readers, is nothing but bullshit x 10^(very large number). What they are obviously hoping for is that most people will forget and Equifax can say "hey, we offered it, but people didn't sign up." No mention that they made it inconvenient for people to sign up.

So yes, Equifax executives: Fuck you. Your mothers are all whores, and so are your fathers, spouses and children. And maybe even your pets, you ignoble bunch of thieves.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

She May Not be a Member of the Klan.....

But I wouldn't be exactly surprised.
A Charlotte mayoral candidate wants people to know that she’s Republican, smart – and white.

“VOTE FOR ME!” Kimberley Paige Barnette posted on Facebook. “REPUBLICAN & SMART, WHITE, TRADITIONAL.”

Barnette, who turned 53 on Friday, is a former Mecklenburg County magistrate making her first run for office.
It's one thing to sound a dog-whistle to the neo-nazis, but Barnette was sounding a foghorn.

The state party chairman wasn't overly happy.
Chairman Robin Hayes said Tuesday any suggestion a candidate is more or less qualified based on skin color alone "is offensive to North Carolina Republicans." Hayes added "this type of suggestion has no place in our public discourse."
While that's nice of Mr. Hayes to say that, let's not forget for a second that North Carolina repeatedly elected Jesse Helms to the U.S. Senate. Helms was so racist that even Smirky Sessions probably shook his head and said "I can't believe this guy."

Barnette issued the standard "non-apology apology" along the lines of "I'm sorry if anyone was offended" because she posted a blatantly racist list of qualifications. She pretty much disproved her second claim right out of the gate.

The Dreamers Are Truly Screwed

Paul Ryan says 'Dreamers' should 'rest easy' over expiring Daca policy.
Right. Ryan is telling the Dreamers that he can deliver something that he damn well knows that he cannot. If Ryan was honest about helping the Dreamers, he'd deliver a "clean" bill, one that only handles the issue. But he can't do that. His caucus will insist on adding in amendments and other poison-pill shit that the Democrats will never go for. They'll add in provisions for building habitats for poisonous snakes into The Great Wall of Trump, or provisions that people who are worth $4 billion and whose primary residence is in Manhattan not only pay no taxes, but they get free ponies.

Or Ryan can try to get something through the House by working with the Democrats and a handful of Republicans. That'll eventually end up with Ryan getting deposed, like Boehner was.

That's how things work, these days. Dysfunction is baked into the process.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Heh. Heh.

Trump to have bin Ladin found and reanimated.


As others have pointed out, Trump took pains to describe some of the DACA people as "young adults" and not "kids". But when his 39-year old son met with Russian spooks and then didn't disclose the meeting, Trump called him "a good boy" and "a good kid".

Anyway, Jimmy Fallon is probably right: In six months, DACA will probably be Mike Pence's problem.

Keep It Up, Guys; Barney Fife Ed.

Salt Lake City police Detective Jeff Payne has been fired from his part-time paramedic job as the fallout continues from his arrest of a University Hospital nurse in July. ... At one point, Payne remarks to another officer — apparently frustrated by Wubbels’ refusal to allow a blood draw — that he could retaliate against the hospital in his role as a Gold Cross paramedic. “I‘ll bring them all the transients and take good patients elsewhere,” Payne says in the footage.
I'll bet that the ambulance company really winced at being dragged into this mess.

One of the things that was interesting was how the police department first tried to shuffle all of this under the rug by taking the cop off blood-draw duties, until, that is, the video went public. Then the shit hit the fan.

Sort of like the James Blake incident, which the NYPD officers involved tried to cover up until the video went public. The NYPD, itself, eventually did try to sweep it under the rug. Mr. Blake wasn't happy about that.

I don't doubt that the majority of cops are decent people. But a percentage of them are thugs with badges and they act that way. The thugs are poisoning the view that the people that they police have of them. The cops need to clean up their own mess. Should they not, then sooner or later, it will be done to them. Smirky the Racist Elf can dismiss and refuse to bring civil rights actions, but Smirky's not going to be the AG forever.

What Humans Have Done in 110 Years

Contaminate our drinking water with plastic.
Microplastic contamination has been found in tap water in countries around the world, leading to calls from scientists for urgent research on the implications for health.

Scores of tap water samples from more than a dozen nations were analysed by scientists for an investigation by Orb Media, who shared the findings with the Guardian. Overall, 83% of the samples were contaminated with plastic fibres.

The US had the highest contamination rate, at 94%, with plastic fibres found in tap water sampled at sites including Congress buildings, the US Environmental Protection Agency’s headquarters, and Trump Tower in New York. Lebanon and India had the next highest rates.
...
The scale of global microplastic contamination is only starting to become clear, with studies in Germany finding fibres and fragments in all of the 24 beer brands they tested, as well as in honey and sugar. In Paris in 2015, researchers discovered microplastic falling from the air, which they estimated deposits three to 10 tonnes of fibres on the city each year, and that it was also present in the air in people’s homes.
As the article explains, as the fibers become smaller and smaller, they'll get to the point where they'll easily penetrate into cells. And nobody really seems to know what will happen next.

Better living through chemistry.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Strange Women, Lying in Ponds, Distributing Swords is No Basis for a System of Government

A Yorkshire [England] school girl has made the unexpected discovery of a four-foot sword in the lake that King Arthur's Excalibur was apocryphally hurled into.

Matilda Jones, aged seven, from Doncaster, found the sword when she was paddling in Dozmary Pool, in Cornwall with her father, Paul.
Of course you're going to watch the Monty Python clip, aren't you.

Trump's Long-Term Gift to the Democrats

I'm reasonably confident that Donald John Fucking Trump has delivered the Latino vote to the Democrats for the foreseeable future.
President* Donald Trump's administration will "wind down" a program protecting hundreds of thousands of young immigrants who were brought into the country illegally as children, Attorney General Jeff Sessions declared Tuesday, calling the Obama administration's program "an unconstitutional exercise of authority."
The question, now, is whether or not there are enough Republicans in Congress who are willing to try and save DACA. If there are, then Trump could claim that all he did was force Congress to do the right thing. Which would then put the Democrats in a bind and, in essence, force them to help the GOP save themselves from Trump.

But I think that's unlikely. There are enough batshit-crazy Republicans in the House to stop any attempt to do that, so long as Ryan follows the Child-Molester's Rule. Today may turn out to presage the biggest shift in political bases since LBJ pushed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 into law.

I'll bet that, right now, the GOP party officials whose job it is to forecast future trends are shitting bricks.

Meanwhile, Spicy's hitting the Grifter Circuit.

Of Course Smirky Won't Take Questions



As we've seen in the past, Smirky the Racist Elf doesn't do well when asked questions. He starts forgetting important things, such as meeting with the Russian Ambassador.

We'll see if Caudillo Trumpo ends DACA or not.

40 Years On

Voyager 1 was launched on this day in 1977.

It was sort of odd that Voyager 2 was launched first, on August 20th.

Both probes are still sending back data. Voyager 1 is in interstellar space, -2 is expected to cross over in about two years. Both probes are expected to run out of power in about eight years.

NASA stopped launching Voyager probes after 1977. I guess they didn't want to take the risk of sending out Voyager 6.

Monday, September 4, 2017

North Korean Nukes

If anyone has a practical idea that is more workable than deterrence and sanctions, I haven't heard it.

Those blathering about going to war are beyond irresponsible.

Donald Fucking Trump Continues to Poke Our Friends in Their Eyes

Over the weekend, North Korea may have detonated a hydrogen bomb (what the SF guys call a "fusion bomb").

So, what does our Anacephalic-in-Chief do? He is about to kick off a trade war with South Korea.

How does this make even a picogram of sense, geopolitically? At a moment where there is a need, if not more than ever, to unite the world against North Korea, Trump's expressing joy at the prospect of shivving an ally.

I suspect that every nation that regards itself as an ally of the United States is now rethinkng that. With Trump at the helm, the U.S. is proving to be both mercurial and unreliable. The word of the U.S. is no longer any good. Trump treats international agreements and treaties as he treated his business deals and contracts: Pieces of paper to be torn up at his whim.

Anyone who trusts in the promises of Donald John Trump is a fucking fool.

The leaders of other nations, great and small, are not fools.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Outing the Neo-Nazis

A bar in Minneapolis shut down after it came to light that the owner gave money to David Duke's campaign.

In California, a restaurant critic named Christina Waters thinks OK to patronize neo-nazi businesses if their food is good.

Pro tip: Support neo-nazi politicians running for Federal office and you can be found out.

Your Sunday Morning Turboprop Noise

CL-415s refilling their water tanks:


The video title says "idiot boaters", but unless they changed the COLREGS since my day, seaplanes have the right-of-way over nothing.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Clear Skies Often Aren't

I went flying this morning with some friends. The sky conditions everywhere were "clear below 12,000", or "clear" if a human was reporting it.

What there was, however, was a rather filthy inversion layer. The air was tinged brown as we climbed out. At about 3,500' AGL, we got on top of the layer. The sky there was really clear and blue. And cool.

But looking down, the slant-range visibility to the ground way maybe ten miles. Over the rural areas and the forests, it was almost about as navigable as flying over the sea (or northern Maine). There was nothing along a 40-mile stretch that was usable for navigation.

Therein lies the beauty of old VOR-based navigation. VORs, unlike those fancy-dan GPS screens, don't demand constant attention. Look at them every few minutes to check to see if you're still on the radial and the rest of the time, you can do important things such as look out of the windows for traffic. In smooth air, the actual mechanics of maintaining course and altitude just are not that involved.

Sue, the screen-based navigation gizmos are nice in IFR. But when it's VFR outside, it takes real discipline to ignore those suckers and just do the basics: Course, altitude and look for traffic. If all you're going to do is look at the damned screens, then screw flying-- get a flight-sim program and have at it.

It's the difference between flying the airplane and managing it.

Caturday

A shelter cat. His shelter name is Chaplin.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Post Warning

Do not listen to these unless you are certain that you will not plunge knitting needles into your eardrums.

You have been warned.

With little further ado, here is Leonard Nimoy, singing:



Jack Webb didn't even try:


What brought this on was reading some old Dave Barry columns about the worst songs ever recorded. Over 10,000 readers responded, back in the day when that had to be done by mail. Which meant they all found postcards and mailed them in.

Some of the names that people came up with were hilarious. My favorite misquoted title was "Ain't No Woman Like the One-Eyed Gott."

The worst song, for both music and lyrics, was "MacArthur Park":


What difference did it made whether or not the pants being ironed were "stri-ped"? I don't know how much acid one has to drop in order for the chorus to make any sense.
MacArthur's Park is melting in the dark
All the sweet, green icing flowing down
Someone left the cake out in the rain
I don't think that I can take it
'Cause it took so long to bake it
And I'll never have that recipe again
Oh no!
But I'll bet that it was a considerable amount.

Runner-up was "Yummy Yummy Yummy". Second runner-up "Having My Baby".

A song that I despise didn't even make it into the final column.

Anyway, "The One-Eyed Gott" seems to be a natural for a comic book series or even a movie. (I want royalties, if you do it.)

78 Years Ago

The second chapter of the Great War got underway.

I think it's arguable that the Second World War, at least in the northern chunk of Europe, was a continuation of the Great War. Much of the underlying enthusiasm for the war in Germany and Austria was nursed butthurt over losing the last one. The Germans persuaded themselves that they had been shived by a Internationist/Jewish conspiracy; forgetting that they had been bled white on the battlefield. The blockades had taken a terrible toll on Germany and its people. They were badly short of food and military matériel at the very same time that the United States was gearing up to send a couple of million more soldiers into the war. The German military was disintegrating in the final weeks of the war as it was.

Negotiating an end to the war, even on unfavorable terms, kept Germany from being turned into a battlefield. One might imagine the vengeance that Allied troops, particularly the French, would have taken. It's even possible that the ending of the war saved Germany as a more-or-less intact state.

But the German far right didn't see it that way. They wanted to even things up. And they did, temporarily.

But the end did come.