Words of Advice:

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

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

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

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

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

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Monday, June 18, 2018

‘90s Flashback

Remember when the Right lost their collective minds about one kid being taken from his family? Now, thousands are, and all we hear are crickets.

Starting Off the Work Week

Kidnappin' Trump would probably call it "The Failing Washington Post March".

Fun fact: In the midst of the Watergate Scandal, Nixon made a visit to the Middle East. When he got off Air Force One in Israel, the band played this march.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

President Psychopath

This is immoral as fuck:
President Donald Trump suggested Saturday that he is using his administration's separation of families at the US border as a negotiating tool to get Democrats to cave on his immigration demands, which include funding for a border wall, curbing legal immigration into the US, and tightening the rules for border enforcement.
He proclaims that he "hates" to do it, but he's going to continue to rip families apart until he gets his way.

That is reprensible at best. Trump is an inhuman monster. Those who are "only following orders" are proving that in this century, "good little Americans" will be a long-standing epithet.

This is from the Book of Face:
“Through all the adversities we faced last evening with computer outages, cancellations and delays, nothing prepared me or my crew for 16 passengers. Sixteen. All dressed in black and gray cheap Walmart sweat suits, quietly boarding the 12:30am flight.

Children! Thirty-two scared eyes looking straight forward dazed. We try to speak, yet none speak English.

During the beverage service, one of the crew comes to me in tears. They can’t face these children that have been ripped from their families with a smile.

These children were probably ranging in age from 11, to the most adorable little girl maybe 6 years old. At 2:30 in the morning, deplaned here in Miami not knowing if they will ever see their loved ones again that they were separated from in Phoenix.

Those sweet innocent children, dressed as criminals silently deplaned with the same fear as our initial meeting. Except for the little girl. She looked up at me as she turned left for the main cabin door, with tears of fear streaming down her face. I’m not sure the protocol, but I leaned over hoping to offer some hope, she hugged me, which was returned - much to the scowl and comments from the adult escort.

I pray that these 16 scared little souls, as well as all the other thousands, find their way to reuniting with their loved ones.

We are trained yearly in hundreds of possible scenarios as attendants. Something like this isn’t remotely one of those. I had only met one of my crew a few years earlier, the rest never. Thank God, we had one another to lean on to not only get through the flight, but also maybe some glimmer of hope for those babies.”

This cartoon got Rob Rodgers fired from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

This is on point:

As is this:

Republicans, this is your guy. You are the ones who are best placed to voice disapproval and to vote for people who are not going to slavishly fall in line behind Caudillo Trumpo.

Republicans: Are you going to continue to be good little Americans, or are you going to take a stand?

If you don't, then this is on you. You will not be able to truthfully claim that you did not know the horrors that were being done in your name.

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

A F-15:

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Dear Minneapolis: Warm Up Your Checkbooks, You Fuckers

You're going to get sued.
Minneapolis police officers have repeatedly requested over the past three years that Hennepin County medical responders sedate people using the powerful tranquilizer ketamine, at times over the protests of those being drugged, and in some cases when no apparent crime was committed, a city report shows.

On multiple occasions, in the presence of police, Hennepin Healthcare EMS workers injected suspects of crimes and others who already appeared to be restrained, according to the report, and the ketamine caused heart or breathing failure, requiring them to be medically revived. Several people given ketamine had to be intubated.
And you fucking have it coming to you. Maybe a few seven o eight-figure cvil judgments might get your attention.

People should be going to jail over this. But with a certain jackbooted elf now in charge of the Department o Justice, that's not going to happen.

We Will Be Reaping What Trump (and Obama) are Sowing Well Into the Next Century

First, go read BadTux's post about the ICE concentration camps for children.

I'll wait.

First off, as I mentioned there, One Day in the Life of Ivan Desniovich was not meant to be an instruction manual. (I mention that one in particular for it is among the thinnest of Solzhenitsyn's works. You can read it in a few hours and if you haven't, then get thee to a bookshop for elsewhere.)

Second. Almost every one of those kids will grow up. They will know that it was the United States government which tore them from their parents. Wherever they end up being deported to, and regardless of whether they are eventually reunited with family or not (I'm betting "not"), they will know that it was our government with separated them from their parents.

They will grow up with that knowledge. They will tell the tale to their friends, their children, their nieces and nephews and their grandchildren. They will tell the story to their children of how Abuela Maria taken from her parents by American goons and she never say them again.

Regardless of whatever good this country does in the remainder of this century, we are planting an incredible legacy of hatred and bitterness. Forty or fifty years from now, some of those children, now sitting in places that would even make Stalin blush, will be leaders in business or politics in Central and Southern American countries. They will remember that the seemingly friendly American diplomat or businessman siting on the other side of the table represents a nation that inflicted cruelty and degradation on children.

Because the one thing that we will not do for a century, or more, is admit that the horrors that we are inflicting on children today were, in fact, horrors, our own children and grandchildren will reap a bitter harvest from our cruelty.


An outdoor cat catches a few winks on a warm Spring day:

Friday, June 15, 2018

Manafort Pulls a Shkreli, and
"All Hail the Donald! All Hail the Donald!"

President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort is going to jail.

On Friday, Manafort was ordered into custody after a federal judge revoked his house arrest, citing newly filed obstruction of justice charges. The move by U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson made Manafort the first Trump campaign official to be jailed as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. ... “You have abused the trust placed in you six months ago,” she said.
I don't know whether or not Manafort told his attorneys what he was doing before he did it, but if he had, I'd be willing to wager that their response was along the lines of:

Actually, it was worse than Shkreli, for Shkreli had already been convicted and was out on bail awaiting sentencing when he acted ignorant. Manafort now gets to prepare for trial from jail.

Meanwhile, Our Wannabee Dictator, Der Drumpenfuhrer, has a bad case of dictator envy.
President* Donald Trump said Friday that he wants "my people" to “sit up at attention” the way North Koreans do for dictator Kim Jong Un.

The comment came during an impromptu interview with Fox News on the White House's North Lawn, days after Trump met with Kim in Singapore as part of an effort to reach a denuclearization deal with Pyongyang. When asked about whether Kim would be visiting the White House any time soon, Trump responded “it could happen.” He then went on to praise the dictator for being a strong leader.

“He’s the head of a country and I mean he is the strong head,” Trump said to Fox. “Don’t let anyone think anything different. He speaks and his people sit up at attention. I want my people to do the same.”
When Trump realized how that was going over, he said he was only kidding.

But let's be clear, Gentle Reader: He wasn't kidding. Trump has nothing but contempt for democratic institutions, let alone the rule of law. He admires Kim Jong-un, who has had people executed for not paying sufficient attention to him at meetings. Trump would be more than happy to have people be required to line the roads when he passes by and sing his praises and salute him.

Here is my salute:

Because It's Friday

News report on the Big Boy:

A short update from a few months back:

If the Union Pacific intends to run 4014 for the 150th anniversary of the Golden Spike, they've got less than 11 months, now.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

An Agreement to Try to Reach an Agreement?

The text is here.

In real estate terms, it sounds like an agreement to enter into contract negotiations.

Which, in this context, is a little bit more than a nothing-burger, but not by much. Nobody has formally agreed to anything, other than Little Rocket Man and the Dotard might stop exchanging insults.

For now.

The Clearest Explanation for Trump's Foreign Policy

Is that he is Putin's man in Washington.
  • Trump's picking stupid fights with nations that are our allies. The insults being flung by Trump and his staff towards Canada were typically those used before beginning a war.
  • He's continuing to ignore the evidence that the Russians have and are interfering in our elections. 
  •  At every possible occasion, he pushes Russia's point of view.
  • He is advocating that Russia be readmitted to the G-7, ignoring that there are other nations which have large economies that have never been considered for the G-7.
  • He ignores Russian war crimes that got them booted out of the then-G-8 (annexing Crimea, supplying troops to the Ukrainian separatists and shooting down an airliner.)
  • When confronted with Russia's bad acts, Trump has dismissed them by stating a moral equivalence between Russia and the United States.
It boggles the mind. There was a time when the Republicans considered themselves to the be party of national security, always at the ready to lambaste the Democrats for a willingness to talk to adversaries.

But here is Trump, who quite possibly has given away the store to North Korea, in a complete and utter sellout of our ally, South Korea. If this analysis and this one are even close to correct, Trump gave the North Koreans what they wanted, and for what? The future chance to build a Trump beachside hotel in North Korea?

Trump is appearing to be a dimwitted version of Neville Chamberlain: Selling out allies to appease dictators. But worse, for Chamberlain likely had no opportunity for financial gain from a peace deal with Germany. Trump, on the other hand.... well, you can finish that thought for yourself.

Don't expect any pushback from Republicans. Their toadyism to Trump is exemplified by Pence's near-slavish imitation of his master:

The reaction of Trump's loyal base will be, as always, "But, but Hillary!" So let's test that.

Suppose that Hillary Clinton had been elected. And suppose that she had agreed, in outline, to a deal that envisioned selling out South Korea for a promise of denuclearization. Suppose that she had closed her eyes to Russian war crimes and advocated letting Russia back into the G-7. Suppose that she had embarked on a deliberate campaign to worsen relations with our long-time friends. In other words, suppose that she had done everything that Trump is doing.

The Republicans would have lost their collective minds. But with Trump doing it, all you get is crickets.

That tells me that Republicans love their own party more than their country. It tells me that the Republican career politicians will be good little Trumpers and close their eyes to what Trump is doing, rather than stand up, speak out and take a chance on losing their seats. The political reporters pretty much all say that a lot of Republicans in Congress are appalled at what Trump is doing, but they are keeping mum out of fear.

If they truly believed in what Trump is doing, then I could respect that. I don't have to like it, but they would be acting from principle. But in supporting Trump, even though they disagree with him, because they'd otherwise lose their jobs, well, that's somewhere between expedience and cowardice. (Before you say that I don't hold Democrats to the same standard, go read this and this.)

Monday, June 11, 2018

The Trump Spelling Bee

It's a word Trump likes to use.

Starting Off the Work Week

Trump Can't Obey Any Laws At All, Can He?

There are teams of people at the White House whose job is to piece back together the papers that President* Trump rips up. Because he refuses to comply with the Presidential Records Act.

Is that arrogance or a sign of brain damage?

On another note, it would seem that going to a conference and then, once it is over and everyone has left, getting into a spat on social media with the people at the conference would normally be construed as someone who is a bit of a bully and a childish coward. But that is pretty much what the World's Oldest Toddler is doing.

It's kind of telling that Trump seems to get along well with dictators and tyrants, but not the leaders of free nations.

And with that, I will close with the words of Hubert Humphrey that begin Borepatch's blog:
"The right of citizens to bear arms is just one guarantee against arbitrary government, one more safeguard against the tyranny which now appears remote in America, but which historically has proved to be always possible."