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

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

A Different Justice System for the Rich and Powerful

Gen. David Petraeus gets a slap on the wrist: He gets to plead to a single misdemeanor with no jail time. Even though he admitted to lying to Federal agents, which is a felony beef if any normal mortal does it.

Yet if the Feds arrest you for misdemeanor drug possession, if you have a gun in your safe at home, they'll try to toss you in stir for ten years.

But hey, if you are politically connected and you have the money to throw $1,000+/hr lawyers at the DoJ, you, too, can get your wrist slapped for charges that would have put an ordinary schlub in prison for years and years. Especially, given this Administration's unholy zeal for going after leakers and whistleblowers.

And so, Petraeus will have to stand for having a judge wag his finger at him, write out a bit of a check, and then he can go about his merry way, becoming even filthier rich.

Rumor was that, after the Agnew deal, prosecutors had a hard time convincing juries to find people guilty. Small wonder.

Twangity

Place iPhone inside a guitar. Shoot into bright sunlight with a high shutter speed.

Reporters Are Idiots (and So Are a Lot of Bloggers); Cleveland Edition

CLEVELAND — A 12-year-old boy with a pellet gun whom police shot in November died because of his own actions, lawyers for the city said in newly filed court papers.

Tamir Rice's injuries resulted from a failure "to exercise due care to avoid injury," one of 20 defenses filed Friday in Cleveland's response to a federal lawsuit filed on behalf of Tamir's family.

"It's incredible that they would take such a posture, such and insensitive position instead of just acknowledging bad behavior," lawyer Walter Madison, who represents Tamir's family, said Sunday. "I think the more healthy thing for them to do is to come together, acknowledge that they're wrong, work on solutions so that this never happens again and allow this family to properly heal instead of insult them."
Attorney Madison is a hypocrite or an idiot.

One of the first things that every first-year law student is supposed to learn is that almost all possible defenses to a civil lawsuit have to be stated in the answer. If you don't do that, you waive them. So yes, if you get drunk, smash a car into someone else and you get sued, one of the defenses that your lawyer will raise is comparative/contributory negligence on the part of your victim. Not only is there nothing wrong with that, it'd be malpractice not to raise that defense.

Madison knows all that, which leads me to suspect that he's a shameless showboater who is trying his case in the press. When a lawyer tries his case before the press, it's often a sign that the lawyer knows that his case sucks. So he goes the PR route to try and force a settlement.

None of the reporters, and a shitload of bloggers, don't seem to know that, or care about it. Which is why they are morons.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Horseshit From Bibi

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said his coming speech to the US Congress is "not intended to disrespect" President Barack Obama.
What a load of putrid tripe! I would accept that, maybe, if Netanyahu was the President of Southeast Goofystan, but he's not. The Israeli Ambassador, who has been one of Netanyahu's closest advisers, is a former GOP thug*.

It is an open secret that Netanyahu did everything he could to support the Rmoney campaign in 2012. If the premier of China had been so involved in our elections, there would have been a national uproar over foreign meddling. Which is exactly what Israel engaged in the last time around: Meddling in our elections.

There is no way that the Israelis couldn't have known that the Speaker of the House, John Boehner (R-Tanning Bed) was trying to score cheap political points. And so, Bibi is doubling down on his bad bet.

Israel has, unwisely, chosen sides in American domestic politics**. They may find out, soon, how foolhardy it was to make that choice.
______________________________
* And a former American.
** The side that wants to establish a state religion, because fuck the First Amendment.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

PSA: Vaccinate Yer Frakkin' Kids!


Two great quotes from this clip:

"Parents here are more scared of gluten than they are of smallpox."

"If you're one of those people who knows more than doctors, that's fine, no vaccinations, but you're not allowed to go to the doctor anymore. Why would you even want to go to a doctor who knows less than you do? So, if you fall and you cut your head open, you will not be admitted to the Emergency Room. Stay at home, find that sewing kit you stole from the Marriott, and stitch it up yourself, Doc. Oh, by the way, you should also let your kids smoke. Why wouldn't you, the only people who say not to are doctors, and they don't know."

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

The BD-10:



The BD-10 was the late 1980s-early-`90s model of Jim Bede's versions of flying snake oil. A lot of people forget that, in exchange for not being prosecuted for taking deposits on the BD-5 in an aviation equivalent of a pyramid scheme (a trick that later sank the Eclipse jet), Bede was banned for ten years from selling airplanes or kits or plans. But as soon as the time on his suspension ran out, Bede was at it again, this time with the BD-10.

The jet had problem after problem. The empty weight ballooned by 50%. It was nowhere near as fast as Bede claimed and the jet's range was about that of an early Cessna 172. Five were built. Two suffered structural failures in flight, killing the pilots. A third had an asymmetric flap retraction; the plane crashed and the pilot was killed. One is in a hangar in Arizona, the other survivor is in a failed museum in Toronto.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

"I Am an Incurable Romantic." -- Leonard Nimoy

This is what he had to say at the end of his talk to Phoenix ComicCon in 2011.

You can rewind it to the beginning and you should. It's well worth your time.

Caturday

Jake indulges in one of his favorite pastimes:

If You Want to Buy a Drone

Don't buy one from DJI, makers of the Phantom series. They've adopted "geofencing", so anywhere that DJI thinks you shouldn't be flying your drone, it simply won't fly.

(H/T)

Friday, February 27, 2015

Torture Nation, Chicago Edition

More allegations about the Chicago P.D.'s black-site prison.

Don't expect ol' Rahm to do anything about it anytime soon. He's too busy fighting for his political life.

Round Up the Usual Suspects, Москва Издание

Prominent Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov has been shot dead in Moscow. Nemtsov, a former deputy prime minister and a sharp critic of the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, was reportedly shot four times in the chest by a killer in a passing car. ... Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said the president would take the investigation into Nemtsov’s death under “personal control”...
A good place to start looking for the killer would be here:


Either this case will disappear into the unsolved file faster than you can say Anna Politkovskaya, or they'll pin it on some thug who will conveniently die whilst resisting arrest.

Mr. Spock Has Gone West

Leonard Nimoy has died.

Because It's Friday

"Steam train a-comin'!"

True Fact About Class

From here.

Or Cops.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

More O'Reilly Lies

Having concrete rain down on him during the Rodney King riots-- lie.

Being present when a man linked to Lee Harvey Oswald killed himself-- lie.

Seeing nuns get shot in the back of their heads in El Salvador-- lie

Disturbing Giuseppe Zangara's aim, well, as far as I know, O'Reilly hasn't claimed that. Yet.


But don't worry. Fox News is standing by their man because they are a propaganda organ, not a news outlet.

NSA Hates the Term "Backdoors;" Still Searching For Nicer Ephemism

That's what I took away from this little exchange.

As BadTux has noted, we've been here two decades ago. The fact that a backdoor exists is going to be catnip to hackers and you can bet your goddamned house that the Chinese and the Russians will be throwing large amounts of cash at cracking the key for the codes.

And then what happens when a foreign government passes a law saying that they get the keys to the backdoors of any encryption products sold there? Because they'll know that the keys exist. It was an open secret for a long time that if a foreign business executive sent or received a fax at a Japanese hotel, the Japanese government would route a copy of the fax to whatever Japanese company with which the foreigner had business. The same thing will happen with any encrypted communications, if the NSA and the FBI have their way.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

What Has Been Seen Cannot Be Unseen

William Shatner does "RocketMan" (begins about 0:50 into this clip, if you don't want to watch the setup):

Torture, Chicago Style

The Chicago cops run their own black-site prison, where they hold people without booking them, deny them access to attorneys, and torture them.

Chicago has much to answer for. Fat chance that the city ever is compelled to do so.

The mayors for the time that the Chicago cops have been operating that site, including Mayors Richard Daley, Jr. and Rahm Emanuel, should be prosecuted under the doctrine of command responsibility. Slim chance of that ever happening.

Save the Date: May 8th, 2015

If you can get to the vicinity of downtown D.C., you might want to make the trip.

For there is going to be one hell of a flyover of American WW2 aircraft.

Helpful Hint for Criminals

Doughnut shops are not the best places to hide out after pulling a heist.
Police arrested a man suspected of robbing a bank in New Jersey ... an officer spotted a man matching the description of the suspect near the entrance of a Dunkin Donuts drinking coffee.

The Difference Between Bill O'Reilly and Brian Williams

Both have had creative recollections of war.

Brian Williams, as you know, about which helicopter he was riding in.

Bill O'Reilly first claimed to have been in the Falklands during that war, but now he seems to think that watching a loud protest march in Buenos Aires is the same as being in a combat zone.

NBC suspended Williams without pay for six months and, at this point, it's doubtful that he'll return to work.

Fox News has not only not suspended O'Reilly, they've given him lots of airtime to explain away (or double down) on his dubious claims.

The difference, of course, is that NBC News is a news organization that strives to maintain its credibility. Fox News is a propaganda outlet for the GOP and they don't give a fuck about credibility.

Monday, February 23, 2015

The Declaration of Human Rights

Adopted December 10th, 1948 by the United Nations. We've fallen short, especially when you look at Article 5, which prohibits torture. Torture was an institutionalized practice by the United States for several years of the so-called "Great War on Terror".

PREAMBLE

Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,

Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,

Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law,

Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations,

Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,

Whereas Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in co-operation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms,

Whereas a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the greatest importance for the full realization of this pledge,

Now, Therefore THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY proclaims THIS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.

Oscar Bitch-Slapped the NSA!

Citizenfour, the documentary about Edward Snowden, won the Academy Award for Best Documentary.

The NSA is probably hard at work determining who voted to give the Oscar to Citizenfour and, failing that, will watch the members of the Motion Picture Academy as though they were terrorists. I have no doubt that, to the NSA, anybody who dares question what they do is either a terrorist or a fellow-traveler.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Newspapers are Run by Idiots

I didn't get my newspaper yesterday. But this is not about delivery issues.

So yesterday afternoon, I went online to read stories on the paper's website. The paper that I subscribe to gives a free digital subscription to print subscribers. I read a number of stories.

The papers came this morning, both yesterday's and the Sunday paper. To my surprise, every story that I had read yesterday, Saturday afternoon, was from the Sunday print edition.

This is madness. As I explained over four years ago, the real customers of a newspaper are its advertisers. Newspapers make their money by distributing advertising copy to the public. To get people to pick up the newspapers and read them, newspapers have to deliver content to their readership that makes it worth the readers' time to open the papers and be exposed to the ads. By offering the same content on the Internet a day earlier, newspapers decrease the amount of time a subscriber might spend on the print edition.

If the goal is to deliver raw material to subscribers to use as bird-cage liners or absorbent matting for messy jobs, then mission accomplished. But if the goal is to get people to pick up the paper, read the stories, and deliver "eyeballs" to the advertisers, then putting print edition material up online a day early is insanity.

A number of newspapers are falling into the fallacy of the Internet. There are papers out there which are spending 10-20% of their newsroom budgets generating online-only content. But those same papers may be making only 5% of their revenue from their online editions, be it specific ad revenue or readership fees. That's fine, if you don't give a shit about making any money from the print edition, or if you bought the paper just to have a megaphone.

But if your idea is to make a profit, then, as I said before, putting your shit online is insane.

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

Russian jets that were sold to Iraq.


They look like Su-25s, both the single-seat and trainer variants.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

GOP Presidential Musings

Here is a fun fact:

In the last eighty years, the GOP has not won a single presidential election without either Richard Nixon or a member of the Bush family on the Republican ticket.

All Along the Watchtower:
Jehovah's Witnesses' Turn at It; Pedophile Edition

The Jehovah's Witnesses have (allegedly) been busily sweeping child abuse under the carpet, using the First Amendment as a shield against being held accountable. They have arrogated to themselves the decision as to whether or not somebody who has raped a child is a problem:
“Not every individual who has sexually abused a child in the past is considered a ‘predator.’ The (Watchtower), not the local body of elders, determines whether an individual who has sexually abused children in the past will be considered a ‘predator.’ ”
The Witnesses won't take action against a kiddie-fucker unless there was somebody else who saw the abuse. So if a kid tells his or her parents that Elder Buttmunch molested the kid, nothing will ever happen to Buttmunch so long as Buttmunch ensures that nobody else ever sees him raping kids.

There would seem to be much evil hiding behind the guise of organized religion. Keep that in mind when they come to your door.

Caturday

Jake noir.

Friday, February 20, 2015

The Spy in Your Pocket

The NSA and the GCHQ (British NSA) have hacked into the database of the maker of SIM cards, the little gizmos that tell a mobile phone what number it is and what networks to use.

Which pretty much means that those two nests of vipers can listen into almost every cell phone on the planet, including all of the phones on the networks of the major wireless companies in the US.

Yes, those bastards can definitely hear you now.

Because It's Friday

A steam-powered portable sawmill:


OSHA would have had a cow.

Yahrzeit

Gracie, from a roll of film that was in a friend's pocket camera that had been forgotten and then recently found.


We had no idea what was on the roll. So we rewound it and had the film developed. Which takes a couple of weeks, now, as all of the one-hour machines have been taken out of the drug stores.

Breakfast Joke

So there was a woman cooking breakfast for herself and her husband. She's wearing the oversized t-shirt that she wore to bed. Her husband came into the kitchen, still in his PJs. He poured himself a cup of coffee.

Suddenly, the wife pulled off her t-shirt and said: "I want you to make love to me right here, right now!"

The husband was delighted and they had sex right on the edge of the counter. When they finished, the wife pulled her t-shirt back on and went to the stove.

The husband said: "That was wonderful, dear, but what brought that on?"

The wife shrugged and replied: "My egg timer's broken."

Thursday, February 19, 2015

When They Feel the Heat, They See the Light; Wal-Mart Ed.

Walmart is set to give half a million workers a pay raise in the next six months, the company announced on Thursday. The US’s largest private employer is increasing the pay of about 40% of its employees as it fights to stave off criticism of its low wages. ... Workers will make at least $9 an hour, $1.75 above the federal minimum wage. By February of next year, the company says it will pay its workers at least $10 an hour.
Walmart has been a social parasite, in that they have paid people so poorly that their workers have been on government assistance. In effect, the taxpayers have been subsidizing Walmart's pay scale. Full-time workers will be paid slightly more, but it still will be low enough that we'll continue to subsidize Walmart's labor costs.

Ice Iced, Baby

"Vanilla Ice" was charged with two counts of burglary for taking stuff from a home in foreclosure.

"Just a misunderstanding," he sez.

When the Torturers Come Marching Home Again, Hurrah! Hurrah!

They bring their techniques with them. For one of the more sadistic torturers at Gitmo plied his trade as a Chiago police detective.
While }Chicago detective Richard} Zuley’s brutal interrogation techniques – prolonged shackling, family threats, demands on suspects to implicate themselves and others – would get supercharged at Guantánamo for the war on terrorism, a Guardian investigation has uncovered that Zuley used similar tactics for years, behind closed police-station doors, on Chicago’s poor and non-white citizens. Multiple people in prison in Illinois insist they have been wrongly convicted on the basis of coerced confessions extracted by Zuley and his colleagues.
Apparently Zuley learned his torturing skills in the Chicago P.D., which has a long and storied history of torturing people.

Note that Zully is now assigned to the aviation unit, which the Chicago P.D. likely uses as a rubber gun squad.

Convictions will be overturned. Convicted men and women will be exonerated. The real guilty parties have walked free for decades. The taxpayers of Chicago will be dinged for millions and millions of dollars in restitution. All because the cops are lazy and brutal.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Boozy Humor

A drunk man who smelled like beer sat down on a subway next to a priest. The man's tie was stained, his face was plastered with red lipstick and a half-empty bottle of gin was sticking out of his torn coat pocket. He opened his newspaper and began reading. After a few minutes the man turned to the priest and asked, "Shay Father, what causes arthuritish?"

The priest replies, "My Son, it's caused by loose living, being with cheap, wicked women, too much alcohol, contempt for your fellow man, sleeping around with prostitutes and lack of a bath."

The drunk muttered in response, "Well, I'll be damned!" and returned to his paper.

The priest, thinking about what he had said, nudged the man and apologized. "I'm very sorry. I didn't mean to come on so strong. How long have you had arthritis?"

The drunk answered, "I don't have it, Father. The paper says the Pope does."

I'm Going to Bid on the Hemlock/Antifreeze Concession at Starbucks in Cleveland

Could We See a Walker-Bush Ticket?

Why Cleveland, you ask? This is why.

The point that the GOP hasn't been able to win a presidential election without a Bush on the ticket since 1976, well, that's a topic for another time.

Your Wednesday Wednesday

The Boston Cheaters

Yet another allegation of the New England Patriots trying to cheat.

I can't see a locker room attendant trying this on his (or her) own. It's about time for the NFL to consider sitting Coach Belicheat down for a spell, say until 2065.

Interesting; Gun Maintenance Edition.

AR-15 armorer's class- 3 days.

AK-47 armorer's class- 1 day.

Glock armorer's class (basic & advanced)- 3 days.

1911 armorer's class (basic, intermediate & advanced): Five days.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Heard in the LGS

Customer #1: "Wow, it sure seems like Taurus has really cut the prices on their new guns!"

Customer #2" "Makes sense. Since they've got a reputation for making pieces of shit, they're now pricing their guns as though they are pieces of shit."

Not much to add to that!

And a .30-06

A poem.

Monday, February 16, 2015

True, Dat

Shorter StL Cops: "Turn Off the Cameras Before Beating Suspects."

That's the unspoken message given by one cop during an arrest:
Officer Kelli Swinton approaches Burkemper’s patrol car. There is the sound of an opening car door, and she loudly declares: “Hold up. Hold up, y’all. Hold up. Hold up, everybody, hold up. We’re red right now, so if you guys are worried about cameras, just wait.”
"Red" is cop-slang for "a camera is running." In short, the cops were alleged to have turned off all of the cameras and then beat for a few minutes on the arrestee, before they they turned the cameras back on.

Two Days Early

I should have posted this for the 18th, but nah.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

TR- Just Over 100 Years Ago

There are audio recordings that were made of Theodore Roosevelt.

From his declaration of what government was like in 1912, when he ran under the flag of the Bull Moose party, things haven't changed very much.

This is another one.

Viral Stories and Lies

There's a study out there about how the media, especially the online component, is too quick to jump on viral content rather than do a little bit of fact-checking. As the editor to Gawker put it:
“The internet next year is going to be unbelievably stupid and condescending, confusing and deafeningly loud, red-hot with misplaced outrage, unable to calibrate its reactions. ... Already ankle-deep in smarmy bullshit and fake ‘viral’garbage, we are now standing at the edge of a gurgling swamp of it.”
Of all of the places, Facebook is among the worst for this sort of crap. Somebody will post a story about some guy who's supposedly abducting dogs or some kid who's missing; but if you care to research it, you'll find out that the guy is in jail or was innocent and that the kid was found and returned home three years ago.


The thing I've found is that people get really annoyed when you tell them that they are forwarding bullshit. After a few call-outs, people who would forward chain e-mails stop, especially if you use "reply all" to let everyone know that the sender is, by implication, a gullible imbecile who swallows outrageous stories without a hit of critical thought, people will stop including you on the email chain. Which is a win, as far as I'm concerned.

"Bzzt! XCT-45T Reports All Secure! Bzzt!"

Robotic sailors are being developed for the Navy.

At least they won't be found sleeping in fanrooms. But I don't see how the robot's going to send a signal out if things are not good, or if it runs into a problem. Ships are of all-metal construction, which plays hob with radio signals. So would those ships have to install networks of repeaters throughout the spaces that the robots worked?

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

USAF PR film from the 1965 William Tell competition.


Later in the 1960s, the William Tell shoot was covered on ABC's Wide World of Sports.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Caturday

Jake "helps" me to make up the bed:

Friday, February 13, 2015

No, That Wasn't "Stand Yer Ground" in Montana

It was murder.
Markus Kaarma was sentenced to 70 years in prison Thursday morning for the murder of Diren Dede, a 17-year-old German exchange student who Kaarma shot in his Grant Creek garage last spring.
In case you've forgotten, Kaarma basically set a burglar trap.*

Tam had the right term: It was "hunting over a baited field."

Yes, saying "I was in fear for my life" might work in a self-defense situation. But not if the facts of the investigation prove otherwise.
_______________________
* Is it wrong to say "Bad Kaarma"?

Because It's Friday

Industrial steam in China:


People forget, sometimes, that there were working American steam locomotives (not heritage or tourist roads) for decades after steam locomotives began to disappear from the main lines.