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

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Donald Trump Couldn't Shove His Foot Any Further Into His Mouth With a Hydraulic Ram

Touring the area [flooded by Hurricane Florence] on Wednesday, U.S. President* Donald Trump warned South Carolina that “water is coming your way.”

“Now it looks nice but it’s really the calm before the storm,” he said.
I'm pretty certain that "the calm before the storm" happened the day before the rains and winds came from the hurricane, not afterwards.

In the listing of Stupid Shit Said by Trump, this one is going to take a fairly high rank. Not as high as his repeated pronouncement that the crowd at his inauguration was larger than Obama's, or his claim that neo-Nazis are nice people, but not terribly far behind those.

John Handcock is Watching You (If You Have a Policy With Them)

One of the largest life insurance providers in North America will no longer offer policies that do not include digital fitness tracking.

John Hancock will now sell only "interactive" policies that collect health data through wearable devices such as a smartwatch.
If this is true, then if you are an executive with John Handcock, I respectfully hope that you contract a severe and loathsome disease, one that results in boils on your genitals and pustules on your face, and may you die soon, painfully, and often.

This is a perversion of the namesake of your company, a Founding Father and a patriot, who pledged his life, liberty and sacred honor in the cause of freedom. But now you propose to electronically shackle your policy owners. You dishonor his name. For shame.

Anyone who buys into this is a schmuck and a fool, and that include anyone who uses one of those electronic snitches from Progressive and Allstate.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Stay Classy, Trumpanzees

Prof. Christine Ford, who has accused Judge Kavanaugh of drunkenly assaulting her when he was in Georgetown Prep, has had to move her family because of death threats, most likely from Trumpanzees.

Meanwhile, President* "Grab Them by the Pussy" Trump finds it hard to believe that his nominee could have done things as crass a Trump bragged about.

I've been fortunate in my life not to be sexually assaulted. But I can tell you that my friends who were (and who were conscious at the time) never forget.

Trump may think it's hard to believe. I find it hard to believe that somebody with an established career and a family life would risk blowing all that up with a trumped-up allegation. The letter of support that Kavanaugh got from other women is meaningless, for reasons that should be evident to anyone with a functioning cortex.

I'm pretty sure that you can red all sorts of vile smears and teenaged innuendo. I haven't gone looking for it, because, well, there are enough people as it is who are deserving of having their testicles stomped.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Bloomberg 2020: Oh, Hell, No!

Michael R. Bloomberg is actively considering a campaign for president as a Democrat in 2020, concluding that it would be his only path to the White House...
It used to be that mega-millionaires and billionaires with more money than they knew what to do with bought ranches and farms. Now, instead of running hobby ranches, they're running for the presidency?

What do we then get in 2024; the winning billionaire from 2020 versus Jeff Bezos?

If this country has gotten to the point that the presidency is being held by billionaires, whose main interest is in preserving and increasing their wealth, then the system is rotten beyond reasonable repair.

For one thing, it's pretty clear that the recovery from the Great Recession has been limited mostly to the investor class. Oh, sure, there're jobs again, but wages have been largely stagnant.

One thing that Trump grabbed onto was that the system has failed those who aren't rich. Trump, of course, has done nothing other than work to stamp harder on those who work for a living.

Trump is a symptom of how rotten things have become. So is Bloomberg. Neither one is a cure.

I don't know where we go from here.

Monday, September 17, 2018

iOS 12

iOS 12 was released today.

I’ll wait until 12.1 (or 12.0.5) is released, thanks. More and more, companies are using the consumers as the last line of QA/QC. A lot of the early release Ruger GP-100 .44s went back to the factory for rework, a problem that is, by no means, confined to Ruger alone. I'm starting to note tremors in the Force when it comes to Kimber's revolvers.

Being on the cutting edge isn't all that it's cracked up to be.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Your Sunday Morning Rotor Noise

H-21:


The H-21 was designed for Arctic operations. Of course, the Army tried using them in Vietnam. It didn't do very well.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Manafort's Deal

You can read it here or here.

Manafort agrees:
  • Pleads guilty to the remaining charges in his trial in Virginia;
  • Pleads guilty to an amended fiiing in D.C (both are federal courts);
  • Sentencing will be done after he’s finished cooperating with investigators;
  • The sentencing guidelines would put him in prison for 17-1/2 years to 21 years, 10 months (lots of incentive to cooperate);
  • If Manafort doesn't fully cooperate, the prosecution can ask for more time;
  • If he does anything dumb after he signs the agreement, he could get more time;
  • He'll be fully debriefed, turn over all documents, and testify in any other proceedings;
  • Waives all rights and procedural defenses (statutes of limitations, admissibility of evidence, etc);
  • Agrees not to take any pay for books, speeches, appearances, or anything like that'
  • Forfeits several properties in NYC, New York state, several bank/brokerage accounts (and that this happens right now). 
There are two properties that the Feds agree to take in exchange for his home in Virginia and his Schwab account. One is a condo in Chinatown (NYC) and the other is his condo in Trump Tower.

So Manafort gets to keep something. On the other hand, once he finishes paying for his lawyers, he'll probably have nothing much left. But he'll still do less than 15 years (with good time), if he proves his worth to the Special Counsel's people.

And then there is this:
How vigorously the Special Counsel's office might cooperate with state AGs and other federal attorneys will likely depend on how much value they can get from Manafort.

If the Trump Boys haven't hired top-notch criminal defense layers by now, then they're dumber than they look.

No doubt that Rudy the Mouth will be all over the talk-shows tomorrow to cast as much shade as he can. Which at this point, may be damned little.

Edited to add: Lawfare's analysis is worth the read. Unlike your humble scribe, those folks do practice criminal law in Federal courts.

Oh, the Implied Irony

Pope Francis is visiting the Italian island of Sicily to pay homage to a priest who was murdered by the mafia 25 years ago.

Father Giuseppe Puglisi was shot dead while working as a parish priest in the city of Palermo.

The priest was renowned for working with young people to keep them away from drugs and the mafia.
As pointed out in the cutline to a photo of Puglisi, his catchphrase was "And what if somebody did something?"

So let's now jump to the end of the article:
Last month, Pope Francis visited Ireland where he asked for forgiveness for members of the Catholic Church who "kept quiet" about clerical child sex abuse.
The Beeb did all but scream in pointing out the difference between the Pope praising a priest to advocated speaking out against the Mafia and asking forgiveness for those in the RCC who kept quiet.

I gather that the distinction is that, when it comes to criminal practices, the Mafia is more of a generalist and the RCC is more of a specialist organization.

Caturday

Bella, the newspaper cat:

Friday, September 14, 2018

Rolled

Manafort has agreed to flip.
Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort agreed Friday to cooperate with the special counsel’s Russia investigation as he pleaded guilty to federal charges and avoided a second trial that could have exposed him to even greater punishment.
The overnight Trumpian Tweetstorm should be epic.

Manafort's lawyers likely made a proffer to the prosecution about what he could tell them if they accepted the deal. Maybe somebody pointed out that if the Feds took all of his shit and sold it off, he would get nothing back if Trump pardoned him on his way out the door. But if he cuts a deal, maybe he can keep some of his shit.

Because It's Friday

Aussie steam

Tropical Storm Musings

If you're in the U.S., you're probably getting wall-to-wall coverage on Hurricane Florence. On the other side of the world, Typhoon Mangkhut is moving to tear the hell out of Luzon in the Philippines and then into mainland Asia.

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One funny thing about the Right: You can find no shortage of calls from them to "let drug addicts die", instead of saving their lives by using Narcan. Yet when people refuse to heed evacuation orders and then need rescuing, you don't see or hear conservatives calling to "let them drown".[1] Why is that?
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[1] Other than when Katrina hit New Orleans and Maria tore the shit out of Puerto Rico.