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, July 8, 2015

The "Some Asshole" Initiative

(Stickied for a while.  Let's make this happen, people!)

I've been using the term "asswipe", but this works:
(H/T to Mr. Natural)

Another benefit is that, by not showing the face or the name of the asshole, asshole's attorneys can't claim "pretrial publicity" in a change-of-venue motion.

The only exception to the "some asshole" rule ought to be if the asshole is still at large. Then they could print his photo. But it'd have to come down once asshole was either dead or arrested.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

The Sukhoi T-50, AKA the "PAK-50" or "PAK-FA"

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Darwin Award Nominee

Seems that there was a sign that said "No Swimming- Alligators", and, well,....
"He said [fuck] the alligators and thereupon jumped into the water," Orange County Justice of the Peace Rodney Price said.

Price said the 28-year old was almost immediately attacked and another young girl jumped in after him.

"Next thing I know this girl is screaming an alligators got him, an alligator's got him and I grab a flashlight trying to zoom it over the water, trying to find him," Wright said. "The next thing I know, I don't even know how long it was, I saw his body floating face down and then he's up there for a couple seconds and then he gets dragged back down and pulled off."
All that was missing was for the dead guy to have said: "Y'all hold my beer" before he jumped in.

Taxiway Toccata

According to Tam, the Toccata is when everyone on a flight switches their phones out of "arplane mode" when the wheels touch down.

I've heard that a number of times. Mostly, it's benign. But there was one flight, where some induhvidual had the "clown horn ringtone" as his text message alert. After about the tenth time that the horn went off, I contemplated offering the pilots a Benjamin for a ten-minute rental of the cockpit crash axe.

There are a lot of ringtones that reach into the moronic. The clown horn is among the worst of the bunch.

Some Music for Today

"The Stars and Stripes Forever"


"The Washington Post". Fun fact: President Nixon, probably more than most presidents, hated the press. When he made a state visit to Iran in 1972, the band at the airport played "The Washington Post".

The Fourth

IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America
When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

Caturday

The bathroom at the shelter where I sometimes volunteer is in the cattery. Occaisionally, a cat follows me in:


The water must be fresher (or different):


At least he can't do this:


Friday, July 3, 2015

Because It's Friday

Threshing the old way:

Another Vampire Company Resurfaces; LightSquared Ed.

LightSquared, a company that was willing to effectively shut down the entire GPS network in order to make a profit, is back. And they want the companies that make and use GPS equipment to reveal all of their proprietary information to LightSquared.

It would be fun to write a response in which the first letter of each paragraph would spell out something really rude. Companies are amoral sociopathic entities and LightSquared is a shining example of that.

GPS has been integrated into modern life. It would be governmental criminal negligence to let a pack of corporate greedheads fuck with it just so some rich clowns can make even more money. THe FCC's response to LightSquared's application should be a legal and technical argument that boils down to "fuck off and die, already".

UPDATE: To launch off of Eck's first comment, below, the signal output of a GS satellite is 27 dBW or 500 watts.

The signal strength of a cell tower is 12 watts, or if I have it right, 13 dBW.

The received signal, is, at best -155 dBW, which should be 0.0000000000000031 watts.

Imagine, if you will, that somebody was whispering to you on one side of you and, on the other side of you, 25 yards away, someone else was running a jet engine at full power. You couldn't hear the whisper at all and you'd be crazy to think that you could.

Well, the difference in power levels is less between the jet and the whisper and between a GPS signal and a cell tower signal.

LightSquared's threat to GPS operations should be viewed as a national security issue.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Idiot Government Officials are Going to Learn the Hard Way About Federal Civil Rights Law

Specifically 42 U.S.C. § 1988, also know as the "Private Attorney General Statute". Basically, if you bring a civil rights case in Federal court and you win, the loser has to not only pay your damages, they have to pay your attorney's fees and costs.

So every time some low-IQ politician starts bleating about how clerks and other officials can deny people same-sex marriage licenses, those aggrieved people will have no trouble finding an attorney to take the case. And since the Supreme Court has spoken on it, we're not exactly talking Clarence Darrow-grade legal work: File a complaint, have it served, get an order and blammo! As Bobby Jindal has found out:
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiffs in each of these
consolidated cases are awarded their costs, expenses, and
reasonable attorneys' fees according to 42 U.S.C. § 1988 and any
other applicable laws.
So if the idiots in Texas want to keep on refusing to issue marriage licenses, then they can start warming up their checkbooks. And it's not beyond the realm of possibility that the courts might start holding them personally liable.

So what are they going to do, now? Pick up an axe-handle and stand in the door to the county clerk's office?

This fight is over.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The New Flag for South Carolina

I humbly propose a new flag for South Carolina:

Credit: Amhrandorcha

You should click on it, hit the "+" and take a close look at the revised state seal. Frickin' genius.

This is a week late. The email that sent this to me got lumped in with a bunch of other crap, I almost missed it. My apologies to the creator of the flag for that.

Pay Attention to John Oliver

He makes more sense on the issue of transgendered people than 99% of the non-trans people who have discussed this issue.

F-35: Dead Meat in a Gunfight

Just go read it.

The boyos at Ft. Fumble will have it build anyway. Doesn't matter if our fliers get stuck in an overweight, underpowered and wholly inferior piece of shit.

As for it being technologically superior, well, go read this old SF story.

Shorter Girl Scouts to Bigots: GFY.

Some clown gave the Girl Scouts in western Washington state a hundred grand, but then, months later, asked that none of the money be used for anything involving transgendered girls.

Two days ago, the Girl Scout Council tried crowdfunding on Indiegogo, where they explained the situation and asked for help in raising the money to return the donation. It took them a day to raise $185,000.

As of this morning, they're just shy of a quarter-mil.

O Canada

Today is "Canada Day", the day that celebrates when the British Parliament passed a law to unite the separate Canadian colonies into one in 1867, an act that got passed primarily because the Pommies had gotten tired of running the place.*

Which, of course, wasn't really independence.**
Canada didn't become a fully-independent nation until possibly 1931 or 1982, depending on what your definition of "independence" is. Which is probably why it took the Canadians about sixty or so years after the enactment of that law for them to get around to celebrating it.
__________________________________
* Also, if the Americans invaded, the Brits wanted the option to just say "oh, well" and forget about it. Which would have been difficult for them to do if they still owned it (something the Argies found out the hard way).
** When the Brits declared war in 1914, Canada, as well as Australia and New Zealand, were dragged into the war whether they liked it or not.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Yeah, The Flag of Treason's Coming Down

It's not helping the cause of the "but it was a Noble Cause"* people when these folks show up in support:
The Ku Klux Klan has been approved to hold a protest rally at the [South Carolina} Statehouse next month against removing the Confederate battle flag, with the group calling accused mass murderer Dylann Roof a “young warrior.”
It'd probably be only more toxic if a bunch of Nazis showed up. Not that there's been much difference between the two groups.**

Maybe less if Mel Gibson showed up. But not by much.
________________________________
* To fight to keep slaves.
** Other than who they hate.

Grexit

I don't understand why they're still talking about this and proposing a third bailout.

For all the talk about the irresponsibility of the Greeks in borrowing money that they clearly weren't going to repay, nobody seems to be paying much attention to the European banksters who lent money without caring whether or not Greece could repay it. In a business or consumer situation, that ends with the borrower going under and the creditors getting largely stiffed; which is why when you or HexBoltCo wants to borrow money, the lenders look carefully at your assets and cashflow before deciding whether to float a loan.*

The larger lesson for nations is that if you want to retain a degree of control over your own financial affairs, have your own currency. The Eurobanksters likely fear that if Greece exits, that other nations will follow.** With their own currencies restored, those nations become in a better position to tell the dweebs in Brussels to sod off.

As some form of trade zone, the EU may survive. But as to the EU's proponents' dream that the EU would become the United States of Europe, they should put down the opium pipe.
_________________________________________
* The banksters' refusal to do that during the `00s is largely responsible for the `08 crash.
** Ultimately, they might as well change the name of the central European currency from "the Euro" to "the Reichsmark"

Monday, June 29, 2015

Dear Texas Officials: Do Your Fucking Jobs. Or Go the Fuck Home.

The Goober-in-Chief in Texas is pledging that officials who decline to follow the law will get legal help.

Here's the thing: If your job is to issue marriage licenses, or any other damn form of license, it's not your place to insert your moral beliefs or feelings into the process. The same objection that the Jeebus Asswipes in Tejas are asserting are identical to those asserted back in the civil rights era. Only the people have changed.

If you can't comply with the law and issue the licenses and/or permits, then quit your damn job and find a job that is more in line with your moral teaching.

Oh, and as to not respecting what the Supreme Court has ruled, well, wouldn't you know that the Christian Bible has something to say about that:
All of you must obey those who rule over you. There are no authorities except the ones God has chosen. Those who now rule have been chosen by God. So whoever opposes the authorities opposes leaders whom God has appointed. Those who do that will be judged.
Damnation and the Fires of Hell await you, O Texicans who are contesting the rule of law!* Follow the law or your eternal soul will suffer the consequences!**
_______________________________________________
* Not that it didn't before.
** Ah, who am I kidding? The Cafeteria Christians won't be swayed. But feel free to snark on them.

Shorter GOP: "We Don't Need No Stinkin' Votes From Beaners."

It's been nearly two weeks since The Donald bleated out a racist tirade against Mexican immigrants and I have to wonder: Where is the Republican outrage? Even John E. Bush, whose wife was born in Mexico and who speaks Spanish better than his brother can speak English, hasn't (apparently) said jack-point-shit.

So it would seem that, once again, the GOP is willing to write of the Hispanic vote.

Chimpy got 44% of the Hispanic vote in 2004. Romney got 27% in 2012. Most Hispanics think that the GOP doesn't give a fuck about them and The Donald gave them more reasons to think that.

Best get used to the idea of the Democrats winning again.

Shorter Comcast: "Any Way We Can Fuck You, We Will."

Comcast has been offering its standard customers a "free upgrade" to its X1 service for those who use its standard service.

But you know that Comcast is expert at fucking over its customers, right? This is how they do it: Their standard customers have a Comcast-supplied DVR that is pretty much a ten-year-old piece of shit. They break down frequently and Comcast's remedy is to give people another "refurbished" DVR. But even though they're POSs, when they work, they record up to two shows at a time.

The box that Comcast is giving out as part of its X1 promotion records nothing at all. If you want a box that'll record stuff, then you're going to pay more. So Comcast's "free upgrade", in practical effect, is a lesser amount of service because, ever since the first VCRs went on sale, people have gotten away from appointment television. Comcast wants you to go back to that and if you would rather record and watch later, this "free upgrade" to X1 service will cost you even more.

The CATV companies had best get a clue. They're making it more and more advantageous to people to go with watching their shows over the Internet.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Har!
THE PENTAGON — A Department of Defense spokesman announced this week that the Army will be reactivating the 23rd Americal Division, most famous for its role in the Vietnam War. The division will be stationed at Fort Ho Chi Minh, currently under construction near Jackson, Miss.
...
Fort Ho Chi Minh will join such installations as Forts Lee, Stewart, Benning, Hood, Bliss, Polk, Bragg, and A.P. Hill, all of which bear the names of soldiers responsible for the deaths of thousands of American fighting men and women in attacks on the United States.

I would think that Fort Võ Nguyên Giáp would have been more accurate, but a lot fewer people would have gotten the joke.

This Trigger is as Gritty as Pulling a Steel Bar Through a Gravel Pit

The American Rifleman's review of the Walther CCP said this:
During testing, I found that even though the trigger pull was not particularly heavy, and that it could be managed, it was full of bumps and starts coming back and going forward for reset. If all CCP pistols exhibit that trait, Walther is going to take some heat over it.
If a reviewer is saying that in an advertiser-supported gun rag, then the trigger probably really and truly sucks.

Which is too bad, because the gun looks pretty intriguing. (See Tam's review.)

"We Appear to Have Had a Launch Vehicle Failure"

A Falcon-9 rocket, which was carrying a Dragon capsule to the ISS, blew up this morning about two and a quarter minutes into its flight.

Internal Passport Control

Does it seem to anyone else that, more and more, the TSA "screeners" are resembling the East German border guards from Top Secret? Are they using a clip from that movie as a training film?


Update: Take a close look at the officer's pistol.

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

Rafael:


The shakiness is almost enough to induce vertigo. If you know you're going to be shooting video like this, at least bring a monopod!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Caturday

Boat cat

Friday, June 26, 2015

Explosions on the Right; Marriage Edition

Justice Kennedy the Supreme Court declared Friday that same-sex couples have a right to marry anywhere in the United States.
From what I saw at ScotusBlog, 60% of the opinion was written the dissenters. I've read hardly anything of it, but the first few sentences of Scalia's dissent reads like something that could have been written by a pro-slavery judge in the 1840s.

The GOP: Wrong Side of History(tm). Smarter heads in the party are probably eager to put this issue behind them, but don't count on the firebrands to let that happen.

Because It's Friday

Portuguese steam


I have a suspicion that there is a bit of post-production sound in this one.

Why We Can't Have Nice Things; Drone Edition

As a hot wind shifted north and drove the flames toward Onyx Peak east of Big Bear Lake, fire crews deployed to save homes scattered among brittle-dry pines — waiting for help from a DC-10 laden with 10,800 gallons of retardant.

It never came. Shortly before 6 p.m. on Wednesday, an incident commander on the ground spotted a hobby drone buzzing near the drop site at 11,000 feet. The air tanker had to turn back, as did two smaller planes following it.
Shit like this will probably end with the sale of drones being controlled by the government. There's also a chance that anyone who flies a drone will be required to have a pilot's certificate.

Some assclowns don't comprehend that with the freedom to do something comes some degree of responsibility. Freedom is never absolute, unless you happen to live by yourself on a remote island. What a person does has an effect on others, which is life in civil society.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Whole Foods = Whole-Scale Ripoff

[New York City] has launched a probe of Whole Foods Markets after investigators nabbed the upscale food purveyor for routinely overcharging customers on groceries during dozens of inspections dating back to at least 2010, the Daily News has learned.

The most recent spate of violations came during a sting operation the Department of Consumer Affairs conducted in the fall that specifically checked the accuracy of the weight marked on pre-packaged products.

Inspectors weighed 80 different types of items at Whole Foods’ eight locations in the city that were open at the time. They found every label was inaccurate, with many overcharging consumers, agency spokeswoman Abby Lootens told The News.
One per store is an accident. Twice is coincidence. Every item checked overweight is deliberate.

What the fuck, guys? It's not bad enough that your prices are outrageous, but you also overcharge on top of that?

Explosions on the Right

The Supreme Court rescued the GOP and upheld Obamacare. Now they can get back to bashing Obamacare without ever saying what they would do in its stead.

The Real Terrorist Danger in the U.S.A.

The danger is more from loser-ass (and nominally Christian) white dudes, who blame others for their miserable lives.

But either way, the death toll from both types of asswipes is 75 killed in thirteen years. Which is less than a quarter of the number of people killed by lightning. Compared to the number of people who have been killed in motor vehicle accidents, the number of people killed by terrorists of all stripes is less than a rounding error.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Ten Years On

The New London Day has been running a series about the taking of the Fort Trumbull neighborhood by the City. Ten years on, the neighborhood is a vacant wasteland. Nobody will build there.*

It turned out that Pfizer was behind the bulldozing of Fort Trumbull. Pfizer got a ten year tax abatement for building its headquarters there, but as soon as the tax abatement ran out, Pfizer, like the pirates that they are, moved out. They got their plunder and so they left. Pfizer later sold their building to Electric Boat, which itself got government money for the deal.
___________________________________
* My guess is that it would be politically toxic to do so.

The Rebel Flag That Isn't Being Flown

The Flag of the Whiskey Rebellion:


That rebellion was all about taxation. But since the rebels weren't defending their right to own other people, it's largely been forgotten.

Where is LTCOL James Chambers Street?

He was a prominent Loyalist during the Revolutionary War. There were others.

We don't make a habit of naming streets or towns in this country after defeated enemies, traitors or, for that matter, victorious ones.

Spies Spy. It's What They Do.

The NSA has been spying on the French for many years. The French president summoned the American ambassador to complain.*

While the facts may be newsworthy, the larger story, that the NSA spies on our allies, is not. The French should have figured this out after it came out that the NSA was listening in on German Chancellor Angela Merkel's calls.

The NSA spies on everyone. It's what they do. Expecting the NSA not to spy on people is like a bear not to shit in the woods and steal picnic baskets. If you're a foreign leader, the NSA is spying on you. And even if you use encryption, the NSA has likely cracked your SIM card.
________________________________________________
* Being a shit-magnet is about the only function left to ambassadors since the advent of modern communications technology.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Last Confederate Flag

This is the actual flag that was used by the Army of Northern Virginia to surrender to the Union Army:


The soldiers at the time knew what they were fighting for, which was why desertion and draft evasion sapped the ranks of the Confederate Army. Other than Mississippi, there were enough men from every state of the Confederacy to form distinct units in the Union Army. It's only after the war that the "noble cause" crap surfaced, a line of bullshit that generations of apologists have bought into ever since.

Preflight


Monday, June 22, 2015

If You're Hurt, Don't Flag Down the Cops

They'll shoot you in the head for bothering them.

Here's a cop joke:
Q: How many cops does it take to change a light bulb?

A: Trick question, cops don’t change anything. First they beat up the room for being black then they arrest the bulb for being broke.
BadTux is spot-on about another point: Until the cops begin to do something about the brutal goons within their ranks, then they all wear the hat of brutality.

If you carry a concealed weapon and you make a mistake and shoot the wrong guy, you're going to prison. A cop who shoots the wrong person gets a nasty letter in his file. Even though the cops get a lot more training in the use of force, their misconduct is held to a far lower standard. Hell, you couldn't get away with shooting a dog on the same flimsy excuses that cops give for shooting people.

Speaking of shooting dogs, that's pretty much a no-limit open-season for the cops. Even if the dog is leashed, Barn' just opens fire.

(H/T for the latter point.)

The Donations of the Haters

There is a report that the racist asshole who allegedly inspired the Asswipe of Charleston has made significant donations to some GOP presidential candidates. Ted Cruz is returning the money, but Frothy and Baby Paul are silent.

I think it'd be better to have taken the jerk's money and then make a dollar-for-dollar donation to the NAACP legal Defense Fund or the Southern Poverty Law Center and say that publicly. But you know they won't, because that would piss off the racist component of the GOP base. Which as John McCain learned the hard way in 2000, is a lot of people.

Call for Photoshoppers: Flag of Traitors Edition

Can somebody redo this, only with the South Carolina State Seal around the edge of the swastika?


If you do, please send me a link or the image (email is in the right column, near the bottom, somewheres) and I'll post it with full credit to you.

Shorter FBI Director: "Terrorism is an Act Perpetrated by Muslims (and Commies)."

FBI Director James Comey is quibbling about the definition of terrorism. His point boils down to an assertion that white folks aren't terrorists. Which is just bullshit.

This is the Feebies' own definition:
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) defines terrorism as “the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.”
That is exactly what the Asswipe of Charleston did: A white separatist killed nine black people to further the social objectives of those who believe in white supremacy and segregation of the races.

Terrorism is a tactic used to scare people into moving the way that the terrorists want people to move. The Night Riders of the Klan were terrorists. Those who murdered both the black people who waned to vote and the civil rights workers who came to support them were terrorists. The crowds which lynched people were terrorists. The men who blew up black churches were terrorists. All of those asswipes were not killing people just to kill people (like the Asswipes of Newtown and Aurora), they were killing people in order to terrorize the rest of the targeted population to stay in their places.

In recent times, there have been white asswipes who have gunned down men and women who were perceived to be minorities. The Asswipe of Oak Creek was one of them, as were a lot of other such assclowns. Each of the killers' goals varied slightly, but they were all of the same stripe as the Charleston Asswipe: To terrorize people in minority groups.

What the Asswipe of Charleston did was terrorism. The FBI, by quibbling over this point, is showing its age-old stripes.

For shame, Director Comey. For shame.

800 Years Ago

The Magna Carta was signed (June 15th in the Julian calendar). Its primary purpose was to end a civil war between the English barons and King John.

An argument can be made that the Magna Carta was pretty much ignored by the English kings until the English Civil War in the seventeenth century. The Magna Carta was resurrected as an argument against the divine right of kings, to show that limitations on the monarch's powers were not a new and radical idea, but part of English legal tradition. Its resurrection was still fresh when the United States was created.

Despite those who would assert that presidential power is unlimited*, that limitation derives from the Magna Carta.

Not too shabby for 800 years.
____________________________________
* The two Despicable Richards, for example (Nixon and Cheney).

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

Il-76: Bet the noise complaint phones were ringing off their hooks!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Caturday

Nap time.

At the statehouse in Columbia, SC, they've lowered the American and state flags to mourn the people murdered by the Asswipe of Charleston.

But the Flag of Traitors is flying at full staff.

Without slavery, there would have been no Civil War. Slavery almost scuttled the Constitutional Convention of 1787. Slavery is a deep bloody stain on the soul of this nation, and the fact that a lot of white folk proudly fly the flag of the Rebellion to Preserve Slavery is as shameful as it would be if the descendants of those who fought for the Third Reich began flying that flag to celebrate their forefathers' service.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Western Movie Saloons

Why do the saloons always have glass in the windows (some cowboy always gets tossed through one), but the doorway is wide open with only a pissant swinging door that's only there for dramatic effect?  The doorway can't be closed off to cut out a cold wind or snowdrifts, even if the movie is set in Montana. 

Inquiring minds....

Because It's Friday

Mexican steam

Thursday, June 18, 2015

None Dare Call It Terrorism

Some white asswipe shot up a historically black church in Charleston, SC, killing at least nine people.

Care to estimate the amount of howling rage that would be going on if Asswipe had been yelling out "aloha snackbar" when he was killing people?

What is it with some white young men that they feel some sort of entitlement to kill large numbers of people? The Newton Asswipe, the Aurora Asswipe, the Tucson Asswipe, the Montreal Asswipe, young while bitter men, all of them.

Dry Times Coming

We're running the aquifers dry.

You want to see real fun, just wait until there is no water coming out of the tap for tens of millions of people in a large region.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Raping the Pony (Colt Bankruptcy Ed.)

Colt has filed for bankruptcy.

I've been anticipating this for awhile.

As Bloomberg News reported, a vulture capital firm, Sciens Capital, has pretty much raped and pillaged Colt.

Colt has managed pretty much to fuck itself into the ground, even without the help of the vulture capitalists. They've hitched their wagon to government sales and ignored the consumer market. Colt doesn't make a civilian handgun design that didn't exist before the Great War. They gave up innovating eons ago. All of the other major gunmakers got into the CCW market, but other than the .380 Mustang, Colt ignored it.

If it wasn't for government sales, Colt would have dried up and blown away in the 1990s. and since they are run by vulture capitalists, who can't think long-term past the length of their dicks, the chances of Colt joining the ranks of modern gunmakers is almost nonexistent. For when it came to innovation when it came to handguns, Colt's just not there.