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, October 31, 2007

Bestselling Turkish Novel

It happens to be a novel titled "Metal Storm."

The book is about a war between the U.S. and Turkey. 600,000 copies have been sold.

(Hint: We're not the good guys.)

Yikes for `08

It's probably no surprise that I have a dislike of most of the Republican candidates, with the likes of Mitt Romney, who makes John Kerry look like a rigid idealist; Rudy Guiliani, who is a flip-flopper like Romney, flip-flopper, has all of the humanity of a wart hog and is a fascist; Mike Huckabee, who is from the anti-science know-nothing crowd; Fred Thompson, who seems to follow the Bush idea of "what, me preznit;" and Ron Paul, who while being the sole Republican who recognizes the primacy of the Constitution and who is also anti-war, is also about 80% batshit crazy.

But tonight, I want to write about Hillary Clinton. I'm not going to vote for her.

It's not that I dislike a lot of what she supposedly stands for. While she seems to be pretty hard to pin down, she is talking about dealing with some of the issues that the Republicans use to demonstrate their utter lack of caring for anyone who isn't wealthy. What I am more concerned about is the continuation of dynastic politics.

We have about 300 million people in this country. That means there are probably at least 120 million or so who are over 35 and who are natural-born citizens. The idea that we can't elect a president other than from two families should be repugnant to every American who has enough sense to drink a glass of water without drowning. We should leave the "retarded first born child as the sovereign" form of government to those countries who still have monarchies, we should not be instituting it here.

Say Hillary Clinton wins. That means we will go for 24 or 28 years without having a president other than a Bush or a Clinton. Hillary is probably a bit more intelligent that that petulant man-child now in the White House and she may understand the concept of democracy better than Bush (whose idea of negotiation is "you agree to do it my way"), but there are disturbing signs that she has surrounded herself with her own brand of sycophants. If the last six years have shown anything, it is that the "staff of sycophants and lackeys" serves neither the president in the long run nor the nation.

And then which of the genetic recessives in the Bush family line would run in 2016?

No Clinton. No Bush. No more.

Yet Another GOP Closet Case

Washington State Representative Richard Curtis (R-Closet), who has a solid anti-gay record, resigned after it came out that he had sex with another man at a video store.

All of these jerks need to be outed.

Empty Out Your Pockets, Fred

Fred Phelps and his "God Hates Fags" church got hit with a civil judgment for $11 million today.

Protesting at a funeral is just evil. Families should be allowed to grieve and mourn without the interference of turdlets like these.

Eject! Eject! Eject!

Karen Hughes is quitting her job as Undersecretary of State for improving America's image abroad.

She didn't make any progress, but to be fair to her, it's kind of hard to polish America's image abroad while Bush and Cheney and Blackwater keep applying layers and layers of more shit. Even Ron Popeil would have a hard time selling the idea of "we are really the good guys, honest", when you have things such as Bush's nominee to be the Torturer Attorney General is unable to say that waterboarding is torture and Eric Prince's goons from Blackwater shooting people in Baghdad just for the hell of it.

Another Movie I Won't Bother Seeing

Beowulf.

I have pretty much had it with computer-generated imagery in movies. They ought to just draw cartoons if they are so intent on making movies where the actors defy the laws of physics and gravity. They seem to be relying on the "wow" effect of CGI scenes instead of concentrating on things like "a decent script" or "telling a story."

OK, some CGI may be necessary for some science fiction movies. However, "Aliens" and the original Star Wars movie got along pretty well without CGI as we now know it. A million computer-generated Orcs or robots charging towards the good guys isn't exactly terrifying. One of the more enjoyable things about "Live Free or Die Hard" was that most of the scenes were not CGI.

About the only decent movie I've seen in the last several years that used CGI was "Sin City." On the other hand, "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" was one of the suckiest movies I have ever seen, it was almost as bad a movie as "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind". "Charlie" relied heavily on CGI for a "wow" factor and it was just bad. ("Confessions of a Dangerous Mind" goes to show that you don't need to use CGI to make an awful movie, I'm surprised that they didn't exhume Ed Wood to make it.)

So I'm going to pass on this incarnation of Beowulf. If you want to see a version of the story with humans, go rent a copy of "The 13th Warrior."

How Do You Apologize For Being a Racist Twit?

John Tanner, head of the (in)Justice Department's Voting Rights Division, tried to apologize for the "tone" of his racially-charged statements. But he didn't back away from the substance of his statements.

Good move. That's like first saying "the Kikes control the world" and then apologizing for using the word "Kike".

The $54 Million Pants Suit

The judge who sued his dry-cleaners for $54,000,000 has lost his job.

The article contains this line: "A source familiar with the committee's meetings said Pearson's lawsuit played little role in the decision not to reappoint him."

Yeah, right. That's a whopper right up there with "last throes."

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Robert Goulet, R.I.P.

He died this morning. He was 73 and he was on the transplant list for a lung transplant.

Unfit to be the Attorney General

AP- President Bush’s nominee for attorney general told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday that he does not know whether it is legal for interrogators to use waterboarding, a technique that simulates drowning.

That's it. If Mukasey cannot admit that waterboarding is torture, then he is either a complete moron, willfully ignorant, or a soulless toady. In any event, he is not qualified to be the Attorney General of the United States.

The Senate should stamp his paperwork with "A for effort, F for substance", kick him hard in the ass and send him back wherever he came from.

Blackwater, the sequel

Blackwater's goons mercenaries have been given immunity by the State Department.

How awfully convenient. The State Department has been determined all along to make sure that nobody will ever be held accountable from Blackwater for anything. By granting immunity to the gunmen who shot 17 Iraqis for no goddamn good reason, the State Department has ensured that.

But that's the modus operandi of the Bush Administration. This time, however, there were no E-4s or Army reservists to pin the blame upon, so they are doing the best they can to sweep the entire sanguinary mess under the carpet.

Condolezza Rice doesn't just have blood on her hands; she has bathed in it.

Addendum: Democrats have criticized the grants of immunity. (Yawn) Notify me when they actually do something about it, other than flap their gums.

The Torture Presidency

“Coercion has opened the dialogue.” Sen. Christopher Bond (R-MO)

Yeah. I bet if I kick you in the nuts a few times, Chris, you'd be more than willing to talk to me about anything.

The relevant article, in today's NY Times, had this quotation about the Burmese crackdown:

"At a House hearing on the crackdown on dissent in Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, where protest leaders have reportedly endured waterboarding, Jeremy Woodrum, a director of the United States Campaign for Burma, said American conduct was thrown back at him, testifying: “People say, ‘Why are you guys talking to us about this when you have the mess in your own backyard?’ ” "

Translation: We have lost the moral high ground. This is something that I have been saying would happen, and I have been saying this since word first broke of the reliance on torture by the Bush Administration. Our own bad conduct is being thrown back in our faces by the repressive regimes of the world.

"Lost" is too generous a word, for it implies that there was a struggle of some kind, as when you lose a hill or a battle in a war. No, we not only surrendered the moral high ground, we, as a nation, willingly strolled away from it.

We are now morally aligned with some of the more repellent governments on the planet, governments that, in the past, we condemned for the same conduct we have engaged in. That is the shameful legacy of the Bush Administration.

Couch Hog


My couch has a towel over most of it for the cats to lie upon. I sit at the right end of it, by the light. But, for some reason, when I'm not sitting down on the couch, that's where Gracie wants to lie. At times, she lies up against me and, by applying constant yet gentile pressure, she slowly squeezes me off the couch, until I pick her up and reposition her.

She's doing it even now, as I type this. And she's asleep.

Monday, October 29, 2007

My War on Music

Over at Skywritings (that blog is now defunct-EBM), Scully has written another one of her great posts, this time about her music.

My experience with making music differs, as you might expect. When I was in elementary school, back in the Dark Ages, the school offered music lessons. I wound up with the trumpet and my brother, like Scully, was learning to play the clarinet. His playing was bad enough, the strained notes being interrupted by squeaks that could shatter windows, but his lack of ability on the clarinet was exceeded by my total ineptness on the trumpet.

My first lesson on the trumpet was how to blow a note, and then they sent me home with a somewhat battered brass rented trumpet. I sat in the rec room in the basement and practiced that one note for a half-hour a day. It had to sound as though a ferry with a dented whistle was backing out of its slip.

Why my mother didn't start drinking heavily then, between one kid playing a squeak-monster and another practicing on a foghorn, I'll never know. It was a rule that we had to practice as soon as we came home from school, which probably was to spare my father the agony of having to listen to us slaughtering those instruments. At one point, my brother came down with his clarinet (as he had started lessons a few months before me) with the idea that we could practice scales together. He first played a scale, which consisted of eight notes and three ear-torturing squeaks.

He: "Now you play a G note."

"Blaaaaaat"

He: "What note was that??"

Me: "It's the only one I know."

He soon realized that I was about seven notes shy of a scale. While I was soon taught other notes, it soon became apparent that I was to playing the trumpet what George W. Bush is to oratory.

I stuck with it, however, and wound up in the third trumpet section in the school marching band. "Third trumpet" plays harmony; if the first trumpet section is like singing, third trumpet is like humming along. Our job was more to add bodies and volume. My father bought a nice trumpet for me, but it soon became apparent that was like giving a Colt Gold Cup to a blind shooter.

(I could have been worse, I suppose. There were actually kids who didn't make the cut into the marching band; their musical skills had to be akin to the sound of a bull being castrated with a rusty saw blade.)

I wasn't very good and, while I slowly got better, if I were to ever get a name as a trumpet player, it probably would have been something like "Felonious Monk." I was pretty good at playing badly, my dog liked to sit at my feet and howl right along. The bad thing was she was probably better at it than I was. At one point, there was a tape recording of my playing a duet with the dog, but that was lost to posterity. (Much to posterity's relief, I might add.)

After about six years of murdering music, I smartened up and quit. The horn went into a closet at my parents' house and, other than picking it up once or twice, it stayed in its case for well over thirty years.

Until, that is, my nephew wanted to learn to play the trumpet. My brother oiled it up so that all of the parts would move; the valves and the tuning slides. My nephew's teacher inspected the trumpet and said it was a really nice horn, and I gather he is doing OK at it.

He sure could do worse. Oh, how I know that!

Desperation? Insanity?

The Administration is turning, once again, to Ahmad Chalabi, convicted swindler and Iranian double agent, to try and save its ass.

Ahmad Chalabi, the very same man who spun a fairy tale of "sweets and flowers" to dupe the neo-cons into backing his play to become the next dictator in Iraq, is now the hope of this Administration. This is a clear sign that they are in "drowning man grasping at straws" mode, when they are turning to a vampire of a man, one whom, in a more righteous time, would have gotten staked.

If this is the best they can come up with, then the pooch has been well and truly screwed.

Sad Ending or Happy? You Decide

The LawDog doesn't know if the ending to this story is sad or happy.

I tend to drift towards "happy", but I wasn't there.

Why Bush is Losing to Islamic Extremists

Let's be clear on this: In the battle of ideas and ideology with the radical Islamicists, Bush is probably losing the fight.

This is not because of the lure of radical Islam. This is because Bush has proven, by his actions, time and time again, that all of the ideas that he espouses are ideas that he does not put into practice.

I do not think it is necessary to go into what America stands for. Yet under the name of America, Bush has put into practice the use of secret arrests, secret prisons, torture, detention without trial, rigged trials and the use of aggression. Bush has used "national security letters" to conduct searches of peoples' records without warrants. Warrantless searches. Data mining. Surveillance of opponents under the guise of national security (because the Quakers are such threats). The beating of the "fear drum" to cow people into surrendering their freedoms and to quash dissent.

So much for liberty. So much for freedom. So much for democracy.

Bush has thrown all of that aside in favor of the use of military power. He has surrendered America's moral high ground without a fight and has chosen to wade into the sewer of corruption and fascism in order to combat Islam.

This is an essential truth: You cannot quash ideas with force. If the use of the sword could crush ideas, we'd still be praying to Jupiter and the rest of the Roman pantheon of gods. Military and police force has not eliminated the desire of the people of China or Burma for greater freedom. Communism collapsed in eastern Europe of its own weight. The use of guns and truncheons can make people be quiet, but they cannot supplant ideas, yearnings or beliefs.

The counter-argument, of course, is Nazi Germany. But I maintain,however, that the fact that the Nazi ideology has been exiled to the fringes for the last sixty years is not because the Russians and the Western Allies crushed Germany, it is because the conquering of Germany showed to the world the evil nature of Nazism. Contrast this, if you will, with the conquering of Japan: The corresponding Japanese ideology, Japanese nationalism, is by no means extinct and keeps resurfacing in Japanese politics.

In a battle of ideas, Bush has come to the battle unarmed. His only real argument is "I have a bigger gun" and if history has shown anything, it is that such an argument is a proven loser.

Red Sox- Champions, Again

As you probably know by now, the Red Sox won the World Series in a sweep.

There have been stories in the press about how religious the Colorado Rockies are, that they hold prayer meetings, that they have a policy of trying to recruit Christians as ballplayers and that they play "faith-based" baseball.

It takes a pretty high level of self-importance to pray to the Creator of the Universe to win a sporting event.

They didn't win a single game in the Series.

You might presume they have an answer to their prayers.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

A Question for Bush Conservatives

You folks have kept silent or cheered this Administration on as they have done the following things, thing that, at one time, would have been condemned by previous administrations if another country had done them:

Wiretaps without warrants.
Warrantless searches.
Fishing through financial records.
Detentions of citizens without trial.
Declining to obey the law.
Stating that the executive is above the law.
The use of torture.
Prosecutions of political enemies.
Asking neighbors to spy on each other.

Then, there are the garden-variety things:

No-bid contracts to political supporters.
Massive deficit spending.
Massive expansions of the reach of the Federal government.
Salting the government with no-talent cronies.

You've supported Bush at every turn. Will you be so supportive of these things in 2009, if a Democrat is elected President? Or will you all of a sudden have a instant conversion and then, and only then, start railing about the importance of the Constitution and the rule of law?

Will you stand to your convictions and support giving all those powers to a Democratic president or will you show yourself to be a world-class hypocrite?

Or will you stand up, now, and join the chorus of those who oppose the Constitution-destroying policies of the Bush Administration, while there is still time for you to regain your honor?

When will you admit that there is something wrong with this country?



And when will you admit that part of the fault that freedom and liberty are being besieged by this government is yours?

(Thanks to TFS Magnum for the steer to tho video)

Beethoven in Orbit

Music in the Key of Zero G?

Cat Blogging

When I'm done with my coffee, George pushes to lick my coffee mug.


I use half & half in my coffee. I don't use it in tea and he shows a complete lack of interest in my tea, so I'm guessing it's not the caffeine that he wants.

New Gun Web Site

Tom Gresham, the host of Gun Talk, has a new website. There are a bunch of videos, more to come, and the focus is firearms training.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Learning About Life From Flying

There are a few things that can be learned about life from flying.

One is that when you are in a bad situation, it is not very productive to spend time moaning about how you got into the situation. You'd best think about how you are going to get out of it.

When things are in the process of going to shit, denial had better only be an Egyptian river. Denial is not a tactic and hope is not a plan. It's better to recognize that things are going bad and always have an alternate course of action in mind.

Another is that after the dust settles, there is a big difference between playing the "woulda, coulda, shoulda" game and "what can I learn from this." Recriminations are pointless, but learning the lessons are not. Yet if one is going to learn the lessons, the first step is being honest with one's self about what went wrong and one's role in it. Which may mean that you have to step up and fess up. "I fucked up" may be hard words to say, but often they are necessary if you're going to deal with the aftermath.

"Pilot in Command" is not just a column heading in the logbook; regardless of what happened or who caused it, once the airplane leaves the tiedown, the problem is yours to fix. If you're lucky and/or skilled, at the end of the flight, the airplane is usable. The minimum acceptable outcome is nobody dies.

And the big lesson is this: The Universe is uncaring. You have only your skills, the tools at hand, your brains and your composure to get out of any jam. Screaming at the Universe will solve nothing and panic will kill you.

DC-3

Two things I left out of my earlier post:

The DC-3 was the very first airliner that could make a profit flying passengers. Up to that time, airlines depended on mail contracts to make money, which is why, when FDR told the Army Air Corps to carry the mail in 1934, the airlines shut down.[1] Both before and after the Army Mail Fiasco, airline pilots were also, in essence, postal handlers and they carried guns in their flight bags.[2] Airline routes were often designated by their airmail designation; anyone who has ever read "Fate is the Hunter" will be familiar with AM-21. If the Post Office didn't have an airmail contract between cities, the airlines didn't fly there. That all changed with the DC-3.

Second, the DC-3 will probably be the first commercial aircraft to make it to 100 years of revenue service. The DST went into service in June, 1936 and the DC-3 followed three months later. Of the airplanes to follow it, the only ones that might make it could be the C-46 and the DC-6, both of which are still in commercial service, or possibly the An-2. But that's probably unlikely for any of them other than the DC-3.

You have to wonder what Donald Douglas and C.R. Smith would have thought if they knew that the airplane they conceived of would fly for a century.

[1]The Army's carrying the mail, incidentally, was a case where the propensity of the generals to say "yes, sir" got a number of young and rather inexperienced pilots killed. The only benefit to the Army was that the whole messy affair pushed the Army Air Corps to get much better at night and instrument flying.

[2]Without all folderol and nonsense of current times. You may speculate what might have happened six years ago if that was still the practice.

The True Miracle of Childhood

is that most children make it to adulthood without their parents killing them.

Detainee Status Review Hearings

Also known as "kangaroo courts."

This is not the first report I've seen that the process is basically a sham. There have been other reports over the last while which have alleged as much.

The damage that this is doing to our reputation as a nation of laws can hardly be overestimated.

Aircraft Businesses Cutting Their Throats; or, how Boeing caused the DC-3 to be made

I was surfing around for information about the Boeing Model 80, a three-engined biplane that was a contemporary of the Ford Trimotor. One thing I noted was that all of the Boeing 80s flew for Boeing Air Transport.



The significance of this comes into play when you look at the history of the Boeing 247, the first relatively fast airliner.




The problem for everyone was that the first 60 B-247s were sold to (no prizes for guessing) Boeing Air Transport (soon to be a part of United Airlines). The other airlines could not buy them and they had nothing to compete with them, as the 247s were 60-70mph faster than the tri-motors.

And so, Transcontinental and Western Air asked Douglas Aircraft if they could build a fast monoplane airliner. They did, the DC-1, of which one was built. TWA asked for some modifications, and Douglas produced the DC-2.

Over 150 DC-2s were produced, which was pretty impressive during the Depression.

American Airlines, however, was not completely satisfied with the DC-2. American's president, C.R. Smith, in a legendary 2-hour long distance call to Donald Douglas, Sr. (back when such calls were by no means inexpensive), ordered a larger aircraft that could accommodate sleeper bunks. The Douglas Sleeper Transport was born.


The DST could fly across the country with three or four stops and do it in 15 hours eastbound and under 18 hours westbound. The earlier transcontinental airline routes, even those with a Boeing 247, only flew during the day; the passengers continued overnight by rail. Think of the revolution that sparked in travel. Even a two or three day trip between rail and airliner was a major improvement over a seven day trip by train (and with no layover in Chicago, the Atlanta of the rail age). On a DST, one could leave Los Angeles in the afternoon and be in New York the next morning.

American also ordered a non-sleeper version of the aircraft, the DC-3. Douglas soon had orders for over 400 of them and their second customer was United Airlines, which recognized that their 247s were now obsolete.

Then came World War II. The DC-3 became the C-47 (and a host of variants) or the RD-4 in the Navy and over 10,000 were built. General Eisenhower reportedly said that the DC-3 was one of the three items most important towards winning the war (the other two were the Jeep and the M-1 rifle).


The Soviet Union purchased a license to build them and somewhere between 2,000 and 6,000 Li-2s were built.



Japan had purchased a license prior to the war and Showa Aircraft built about 500. You can imagine how much fun that was in the Pacific Theater with all of the combatants operating DC-3s.

After the war, other aircraft companies tried to build replacements for DC-3s, but even to this day, 70 years later, the best replacement for a DC-3 is still another DC-3 (although with better engines). DC-3s are truly the aviation counterpart to a M1911 Colt.


As for the Boeing 247, after Boeing satisfied its order by Boeing Air Transport/United Airlines for sixty aircraft, they made maybe fifteen more. If they had sold airplanes to TWA, we might not have had the wonderful DC-3.

(If you want to see a slideshow of American Airlines polishing Flagship Detroit, a restored DC-3, go here.)

Quotation on Civil Rights

"Civil rights are like a muscle. If you don’t use them, they will atrophy."

And no, this is not about Chimpy and his administration's never-ending assault on the rule of law, one that has been endorsed by Gonzales 2.0.

This time, it is about Russia.

San Diego Fires and Katrina

Some random thoughts:

FEMA claims it faked a press conference in order to "get information out." Guys, you do that by issuing press releases, not faking press conferences. You earned the Royal Order of the Chowderhead by even considering such a moronic idea. How could you not anticipate how badly this would be received once the story broke?

The Bush Defenders and Kool-Aid Drinkers are touting the Chimpy Administration's response to the San Diego fires as the anti-Katrina. Let's do a quick comparison of the numbers, shall we:

San Diego Fires: 1,500 homes destroyed.

Hurricanes Katrina and Rita: 300,000 homes destroyed (probably more).

That's like comparing a mild bump on the head to a coma. It'd be like a baseball player, having screwed up in the majors, touting his performance at a game of t-ball.

You might also note that there has been very little discussion of "should we rebuild in those locations" after two serious fires in three years. As opposed to, say, the folks arguing against rebuilding New Orleans.

Feel free to speculate on the reasons why.

Progress in Iraq? Not Exactly.

The Kool-Aid Drinkers have not been shy in proclaiming that "we are on the right track in Iraq." They point to things such as the number of deaths is down, while glossing over the main reason for that, which is that in many parts of Iraq, the sectarian cleansing has been completed.

Here is a different view.

And things are going so well that the State Department now has to force its people to go work in Baghdad.

The Draft

I mentioned yesterday that Rudy Guiliani wants to add ten additional combat brigades to the Army. I don't see how that can be done without a draft.

Ten brigades means you need at least 90,000 soldiers to make them deployable and that does not count the additional Stateside contingent of extra recruiters, instructors, medical staff for the Army's infrastructure, people to help 70,000 or so additional families, etc., etc. By the time it's all done, you may need 150,000 soldiers in order to have ten deployable brigades.[1] That's going to translate into needing to recruit 15-20,000 additional soldiers every year (assuming some of the ones in the combat brigades who don't get maimed decide to re-up).

The evidence from the recruiting numbers is that the only way the Army can meet its current demand to recruit 80,000 soldiers a year is by recruiting a sizable number of idiots and criminals, which is why a fifth of the new soldiers are coming in under waivers. And that's even with paying very large signing bonuses to those who agree to be sent off as cannon fodder.

I don't see where they have a hope of recruiting 95-100,000 a year. Keep in mind that for decades, the African-American community was a good pool of recruits and that they have largely concluded that they are not interested in dying in the Chimperor's Imperial Wars.[2]

Without a draft, where will those additional soldiers come from?

But the neo-con war criminals cannot ever agree to a draft. The only way the Afghan and Iraq Wars can avoid sparking massive opposition is by relying on an all-volunteer force, even if it shatters the Army. Once going off to Chimpy's Wars becomes compulsory, the opposition will mushroom once the induction notices start going out. People who don't feel strongly about the wars now will feel strongly once their sons and daughters are drafted. And then the supporters of Chimpy's Wars will be slaughtered at the polls as surely as if they were photographed having sex with a sheep.

So, Rudy, forget about your ten extra combat brigades.

[1] This is a rough guess, as the Army had 33 combat brigades/cavalry teams and just under 500,000 active duty soldiers in 2001.

[2] It's not that Blacks are not interested in serving their country, by the way. It more seems that the consensus is that Blacks are not as willing to go die for a lie than white folks. Those in the Wingnut blogosphere who have been saying "James Watson was right" might want to ask yourselves why this is so
.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Stopping Power

There is a term that is often bandied about in the gun press: "Stopping power." I suppose there are a ton of definitions for that, but a working one is probably: "The power of a cartridge to stop someone from harming you."

Then there is also "killing power," which is probably fairly self-evident.

They are not the same thing.

Back in the days before sterile technique came into wide use, even minor gunshot wounds had killing power. Sure, it took awhile for sepsis and gangrene to do the job, but the shots still killed. Even after sterile technique and before the development of sulfa drugs and then all of the antibiotics, a gunshot wound in the abdomen was a death shot. Somewhere I read that during the Spanish-American War, every American soldier who was shot in the abdomen died.

(Think of the "self-operation" scene in the movie "The Far Side of the World". Consider that nobody operated with sterile instruments around 1800.)

So even though what today would be considered a flesh wound would kill your opponent, such a wound would not prevent your opponent from beating you to death and, in all probability, would damn near guarantee such an outcome.

These days, though, they're probably nearly synonymous, as a wound that is serious enough to stop a dedicated attacker probably will kill him, and things won't change until we can "set phasers to stun." But "stopping power" sounds so much more benign.

Of course, if you point a firearm at someone and they stop bothering you for fear of getting shot, then you have deterred them and whether that qualifies as "stopping power" is another question.

Heckovajob, FEMA

FEMA staged a press conference, using FEMA staffers to play the reporters.

I'm surprised Chimpy hasn't tried this stunt.

Addendum: Seems the White House is backing away from this matter at Warp 7. Why anyone with five functioning neurons would even think for a nanosecond that this was a good idea is beyond my understanding.

Heh. Heh. Heh.

Like a lot of bloggers, I have a app buried that allows me to see some statistics on site usage.

So today, someone googled "christian family rules of the house" and, as a result, they came to this post. I'm fairly certain that wasn't the answer they were looking for.

Heh. Heh. Heh.

The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same

Which is why this song from 42 years ago is still relevant:

Why Iran? And Why Now?

One of the "benefits" of being out sick is that it give me time to surf around for stuff. (Of course, the next paycheck is going to royally suck, but them's the breaks.)

Which brings me to the Lawson Review. The top post (at least today) mentions that Iran has opened a commodity exchange (oil, gas, petrochemicals) on the island of Kish. The currencies used in the Kish Bourse are the Euro and the Yen. Not the dollar.

Think about that for a minute. Today, and for the last several decades, the currency used on the oil markets has been the dollar. So if the dollar weakens or strengthens, there may be little direct effect on the price of oil for the US. That will not be true if the oil markets shift to another currency. And it is certainly not good news for the American oil companies if they have to buy oil with weak dollars.

I don't know if the existence of the Kish Bourse is one of the reasons that Stupie Mcfuckwit is so eager to see if he can be the first president to start and lose three wars. But given how every rationalization for the Iraq War proved to be a line (including the words "and" and "the"), this is worth considering.

And if Chimperor Disgustus does start a war with Iran and the Kish Bourse is flattened by a few bombs, then we'll have confirmation.

(Thanks to Main & Central)

A Girl Can Dream, Can't She?

A dream that the architects of war and torture are called to account for their crimes.

It could happen to Rumsfeld.

I'm not holding my breath on this one. But if they wind up detaining him in France, it will be so much fun to watch the Kool-Aid Drinkers get spun up over this. Sarcozy could even say "Here, in Fronce, we believe in ze rule of law" and show to the rest of the world that, conservative or not, he's not Poodle 2.0.

Rummy, I toljaso. Here, too.

Hypocrite-in-Chief

I have seen a number of comments about Bush's determination to "solve" the issue of Iranian nuclear ambitions and not leave that problem for his successor.

Since when has he become so concerned about dealing with problems and not leaving them for other people to deal with? That's been his M.O. his entire life.

Let's look at a small selection of problems that Bush is leaving for his successor to deal with:

Global warming.
Federal budget deficits.
Iraq.
Israel vs. Palestine.
Rebuilding our Army.
Rebuilding New Orleans.
Pollution.
America's reputation as a torture state.

George Bush is incapable of dealing with any problem that cannot be addressed by killing people, by cutting taxes for the rich or by paying defense contractors huge amounts of money.

Rudy, Rudy, Rudy

The article deals with the fact that the same group of idiots and war criminals neo-cons who were responsible for the debacle in Iraq now that Rudy's ear.

Note in the article that Guiliani wants to add ten combat brigades to the Army. While there are about 4,000 soldiers in a combat brigade, they need 5,000 support troops, so it take about 9,000+ soldiers in all to make a combat brigade deployable. Ten more deployable combat brigades means that the Army has to recruit another 90,000 soldiers. As it stands right now, the Army is taking about 1 in 5 of its new recruits under "moral waivers", and those folks are turning out to be just the sort of "problem children" that all NCOs and junior officers love to spend their days dealing with.

Where is Rudy, the Pretender to the Throne, expecting to get his additional soldiers?

Global Warming: Not Just for Polar Bears Anymore

The AP has picked up this story that past episodes of global warming have been linked to mass extinctions in the past. They picked it up because some new studies of this have been released, though older studies have been written about in the science press here and here.

So there seems to be a range of opinion. On the one hand, we have the "global warming is a myth" line, as espoused by the extraction industries and the Bush Administration (until very recently, now it's "global warming is real, but not our problem"). In the middle, the position that global warming is a problem, but we can live with it. On the other hand, the position that global warming will probably trigger another mass extinction.

I suspect the truth is somewhere between choices #2 and #3. I don't buy the "global warming is crap" argument, because it seems that the argument originates from the extraction industries, which are using the same strategy of scientific muddling that the tobacco industry used for decades to stave off regulations. Come to think of it, that's the same strategy that Detroit has used to fight safety and pollution efforts (until they had to adopt them, then, if you paid attention to their ads, you'd have thought that Ford, et al., dreamed up those ideas).

If we move with alacrity to combat global warming and the nay-sayers are right, then we will have suffered a lot of economic dislocation in shifting to cleaner energy sources, though there are no doubt some serious health benefits for doing so. If we do nothing but wring our hands because "it is too hard", as the Bush Administration and the extraction industries want us to do, then there will be another mass extinction, possibly within the lifetimes of some children now alive, and humanity, along with >90% of the other species on this planet, will die off.

Seems to be a no-brainer of a choice. Which is why the Bush Administration will choose the wrong one.

Stupid Crook Tricks

A crook swiped a new credit card from a home in Washington, D.C. He tried to activate it, tried to charge $1,700 and even tried to change the PIN number on the card.

The victim contacted her bank and learned the phone number that the crook used o try and activate the stolen card. Apparently it was the crook's home phone number, so she turned the information over to the D.C. police.

Turns out the crook was a D.C. cop.

Restraining Orders

Several weeks ago, I offered this bit of pithy advice about restraining orders. The Dixie Chicks sung about it in "Goodbye Earl:"

"She finally got the nerve to file for divorce,
She'd let the law take it from there,
But Earl walked right through that restraining order,
And put her in intensive care."

Now comes this news story, which illustrates it
. When a restraining order is issued, I believe that under Federal law, one cannot possess firearms. If the local Federal attorney takes this on, this guy will go away for ten years of federal time, irrespective of the time he does on the state charges.

Doesn't unshoot his wife, though.

(Thanks to TFS Magnum)

Politics Trumps Justice

I saw this story on the Washington Post's website this morning, though it has been out for six days. The story is about an allegation by the former chief prosecutor at Guantanamo Bay, Col. Morris Davis, that the Administration is manipulating the prosecutions at Gitmo in order to have maximum political effect for the upcoming elections.

Screw justice, screw openness, and if the rest of the world gets the impression that what is going on is a kangaroo court, so what, as long as the thugs in the Bush Administration can make some political hay out of it. The cranked goons in the Administration don't care what damage they do to this country as long as they can eke out a jot of political advantage. They don't give a fuck about our democracy, about the Constitution, about the rule of law or about anything else; all they care about is their own political power.

They would declare a dictatorship in a attosecond if they thought they could get away with it.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

More Idiocy From Der Monkey Fuhrer

The Wingnuts are all atizzy because Barack Obama did not put his hand over his heart during a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.


Bet the same Wingnuts had nothing to say about Chimpy. When the National Anthem was played, he put his hand over his belly button. Even the young girl standing next to him (I hope she has her shots up to date), who appears to be around six years old, knows better.


(Thanks to the Munchkin Wranger and One Pissed Off Veteran)

One of the many things that outrages me is the cheap patriotism that is all the range these days. And it is even more outrageous when it comes from the Yellow Elephants.Waving a flag or putting a cheap-ass yellow ribbon magnet on a car costs little.

But that is the method of the Wingnuts: Feel-good symbols and no action that would require personal sacrifice.

Help Blackwater Get a New Logo

Over at the Wired Blog, they are running a contest for a new logo for Blackwater. This is my favorite so far:


(Thanks to Main & Central)

Miscellaneous Crap About the Chimperor

Bush's gift to the future generations: No insurance and a back-breaking fiscal burden.

Halloween costumes in a galaxy far, far away:



Then there is this opinion piece which argues that the problem with the Bush Administration is that both Bush and Cheney are bugfuck insane.

And, for something completely different, Neanderthals may have had red hair. Which does leave open to question why Chimpy doesn't have red hair. Clairol, maybe?

The Price of Being a Screwup

So you hired a contractor to build your house. And say that the house was delivered late, was not as large as designed, was overbudget, was shoddily built, used illegal labor, and there were problems with the water and electrical systems. And say that those problems were so bad that the cops were investigating the contractor.

Would you use that contractor to build your next house?

Now you might respond "fuck, no, I wouldn't" and you might think that is a stupid question.

But if you were working for the State Department, the answer would be "ya, sure, you betcha."

First Kuwaiti is building the American embassy in Baghdad. There is a criminal investigation in progress as to their construction. And the State Department keeps awarding them other contracts.

In other words: Business as usual in the "In" Administration.

Incompetent.

Inept.

Insane.

Wildfires and Fox News

Fixed Noise claims that al-Qaeda is behind the California wildfires.

So what's next: Al-Qaeda is responsible for the drought in the Southeast?

What is it with these guys? And why does anyone take them (or George Bush) seriously anymore?

The Next Generation of Idiots

Thanks to the demands of the No Child Left Behind" law, not only are schools cutting physical fitness, now they are cutting science teaching.

So what we are going to reap is a generation of fat ignorami who are good at taking standardized tests, citizens who cannot think for themselves.

In other words, clones of George Bush.

Addendum: Mark Morford would seem to agree.

No Way, Bucko

It seems that the latest fashion trend is visible lingerie.

Nuh-uh! No way, no how. I wouldn't wear clothes like that if you tried to force me at gunpoint to do so.

A-380

The first Airbus A-380 is now in passenger service.

Based on what happened with the first 747s, some of which had piano bars, I predict it won't be long before the amenities in the A-380s are stripped out in favor of putting in more seats.

The A-380:


And the 747 back in the day:

Hey, Big Spender!

Bush is indeed the biggest spender in the Oval Office, having outspent LBJ. It is pretty obvious that, in exchange for the GOP Congresses acting like sock puppets, his trade-off was to sign every spending bill that those Congresses laid on his desk.



That this is obvious is because now, after six years, Bush has decided to play the role of the "fiscal conservative," but only because his lackeys in Congress have lost most of their control of that shop.

Our Next Torturer-in-Chief?

Could be Rudy Guiliani. Besides the point that waterboarding is torture and that anybody who questions that is betraying their own lack of humanity, he denies that sleep deprivation is torture. Back in the days of the Soviet Union and the KGB's interrogation and torture of dissidents, the various presidential administrations had no problem with defining sleep deprivation as torture.

Our new motto as a nation, according to Republicans: "It's Not Torture When We Do It."

Bush's Nightmare

For the time being, it has a name: Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA). He is the chairman of the House Oversight Committee and, after six years of the Oversight Committee being asleep at the switch, he is making up for lost time.

None of this would have been necessary if the Republicans had been doing their duty as members of the House of Representatives, but no, they chose to be the loyal butt-monkeys of the Bush Administration. And you can bet your morning cup of joe that the Bushies are reacting like a three-year-old being told "no."

This is what Congress is supposed to be doing. Waxman is a bright spot amidst his spineless colleagues in the rest of the House.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Grumblings

I was going through my mail and paying some bills tonight. In the mail were solicitations from two different charities, each enclosing a set of address labels as a "free gift."

"Free gift." They're so much nicer than the gifts you have to pay for. {snark OFF}

And then there was the latest from Comcast, reminding me that it is illegal to steal CATV service and that they changed the channel lineup yet again, just because they can.

Comcast. We don't care. We don't have to. Because you suck. And we hate you.

State Sponsored Torture

From Psychsound comes the rest of the story about Abdallah Higazy, an Egyptian citizen who was held by the FBI after 9/11 because a hand-held aircraft transciever was found in his hotel room. The FBI extracted a false confession by threatening to turn him over to the Egyptian authorities. The Egyptian security services not only torture their suspects, they also arrest the suspect's family and torture them.

So he confessed. The FBI brought charges and then a pilot showed up at the hotel and did the "Dude, where's my radio" bit. The FBI dismissed the charges against Higazy and let him go.

No surprise, he sued both the government and the FBI agent who extracted the false confession. The district court let the FBI agent out of the case. Higazy appealed and the Second Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the dismissal.

Then it gets interesting: A day after the Second Circuit released its opinion, it retracted it and released an edited one. Unfortunately for the Second Circuit's clerk, once things are released to the Internet, they don't go away. Or, as an old legal phrase puts it: You cannot unring a bell.

What the Second Circuit tried to unring was about a page's worth of text. Click on the Psychsound link above and read it.

And then ask yourself if that is the way this country should be operating. Ask yourself if getting people to falsely confess by threatening to torture them and their families, whether directly or by proxy, is what we should stand for as a country.

At the end of the day, if this is the way things are done, are we really any better than the Soviet Union?

Addendum: The Washington Post now has this story.

(Thanks to TFS Magnum)

Fire Evacuees?

Maybe someone can explain something to me:

I get that the folks who are staying at the Charger's stadium are being treated a lot different than those who were in the Superdome during Hurricane Katrina. Some government officials are capable of learning lessons.

What I don't understand is this: Why is it that the people who have been forced to leave their homes during the SoCal fires are being called "evacuees" and those who were forced to leave their homes during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita were called "refugees?"

A Clear Sign That the World May Be Ending?

Fox Propaganda News actually agrees with Bill Maher on something. On Maher's show last Friday, a couple of the 9/11 Conspiracy nutjobs tried to disrupt the show and Maher personally helped throw one of the lunatics off the set.

(What gets me, though, is Fixed Noise's implication that anyone who disagrees with Bush is mentally ill, but that's about what I would expect from the GOP Sycophant Channel.)

Chimpy: Censoring the Scientists

They're at it again, trying to minimize the effects of climate change.

After all, Cheney can't have anything out there that might upset his buds in the "awl bidness."

These jerks spin and lie about everything. The only good news is that they are getting caught.

A Joke

A long-suffering married Jewish couple were on a vacation to Israel. While they were in Jerusalem, the husband had a heart attack and died. A mortician explained to the widow her options: She could have her husband buried in Israel for $1,000 or she can ship the body home for $8,000.

She thought about it for a second and said: "Ship him."

"But why would you spend $7,000 to ship him home," the mortician wanted to know. "So many Jews would relish the opportunity to be buried in Israel, why deny your husband that honor?"

The widow replied: "Well, a long time ago, they buried a guy here and three days later, he rose from the dead. I'm not about to take that chance."

Screw Safety, Keep the Sheep Happy

NASA is refusing to release the results of a safety about airline safety because they are afraid that the results will cause people to feel less safe.

Think about that for a minute. The conclusion that is inevitable is that if we know how bad things really are, we will lose faith in the airlines. So not only do we get to ride in packed, pressurized cigar tubes after having the TSA rifle through our checked bags and being abused by the understaffed "customer service" folks, the implication is that the only reason the airliners themselves aren't falling out of the sky is sheer dumb-assed luck (or very good pilots).

Hasn't there been other situation where our government has been determined to spin and lie in order to prevent the American people from finding out what was going on? Oh yeah, that pesky war in Iraq.

NASA: Not About Safety Anymore.

Diplomatic Insanity

If insanity is defined as "doing the same thing over and over again, hoping for a different result," the premier case for that definition has to be American policy towards Cuba. But let's be clear on this: American policy towards Cuba has more to do with appeasing the Cubans in Florida than anything else.

No Balls, No Balls at All

The Democrats forced Pete Stark to apologize to Der Monkey Fuhrer. Word in the blogosphere is that Stark cut a deal, that he was told that if he agreed to apologize after the censure vote, it would fail, but if he didn't agree, it would pass. Even so, five of the most cowardly Democrats wasting our air voted with the Fascists Republicans.

So let's be clear on this: Republicans can say any manner of hateful things and nobody does anything. John Boehner (OH) called the deaths of Americans "a small price to pay" and nobody called for his head for minimizing the deaths of 4,000+ Americans and the maiming of 20,000 more.

But when a Democrat says something that is only slightly over-the-top and the Republicans get very upset, they demand an apology and the invertebrates in the Democratic party go along. Bush and his henchmen roll the Democrats over like a puppy every time they choose to do so.

The Democrats had better get a clue, here, and stop acting like "Republican-lite." If they don't, then the American voters are going to conclude that there really isn't a measurable difference between the two parties, for the only difference so far between the two seems to be that the Democrats give Chimpy everything he wants, only a little slower.

The Democrats had better find their spine and their balls as a political party. Otherwise, a lot of them had better brush up their resumes, for they are going to be looking for jobs after November of 2008.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Mitt Romney is No Friend of Gun Owners

Read his words.

"Extreme weapons." What the hell is an "extreme weapon?" And, presuming that he does not think an AR-15 is not meant for self-defense, then maybe he ought to go have a chat with the Army and the Marines, who have been using the military version of that weapon for something like forty years. And that is dwarfed by the Kalashnikov, whose original design is now sixty years old.

RoboMitt is as shifty and as untrustworthy as they come. Any Republican who criticized John Kerry for being a "flip-flopper" has no business coming within ten miles of RoboMitt. Take almost any issue out there and you will find that RoboMitt has flip-flopped on that issue within the last ten years.

(Thanks to Justin Buist)

Rack Monster

Last night, two of my cats had issues. Fortunately they were not serious, but they still scored very high on the Disgust-o-Meter, which is why I am going to spare you the details.

Upshot was that last night, I got a lot less sleep than I am accustomed to getting. Today I kept going at work with alternating doses of coffee and leftover birthday cake that a co-worker brought in, but by 1700, that had worn off.

Right now I am trying to stay awake long enough so I don't wake up fully refreshed at 0430 or some insane hour like that. (I once had a job where I got up at that time every fraking work day for longer than I care to admit.)

But it won't be long before I surrender to the siren call of the Rack Monster.

Enough, Say the Pilots

The pilots are getting tired of being treated like terrorists. At least one Norwegian pilot said "enough" and quit flying. He may be the canary in the mine.

The insanity is obvious. If a pilot was going to carry out a terrorist attack with his airplane, he would not need a weapon to do so.

If you are not convinced of this, go read about Egyptair Flight 990.

I Want This Purse!


(Thanks to Cowboy Blob)

Preaching to the Choir

On the issue of telco immunity for past misdeeds regarding wiretapping, the White House will only talk to people who agree with Chimpy's stand on the issue.

That, in a nutshell, explains why everything this Administration attempts to do becomes as fucked up as a soup sandwich. The only people they listen to are sycophants, so they never get an idea of how bad things are or how reality differs from their notions until it blows up in their faces.

Discovery Launches


Discovery has a female commander and so does the International Space Station.

So, in the skies: Women rule!

We Come in Peace...

.. Shoot to Kill.
You Are an Alien

You're so strange, people occasionally wonder if you're from another world.
You don't try to be different, but you see most things from a very unique, very offbeat perspective.
Brilliant to the point of genius, you definitely have some advanced intelligence going on.
No matter what circles you travel in, you always feel like a stranger. And it's a feeling you've learned to like.

Your greatest power: Your superhuman brain

Your greatest weakness: Your lack of empathy - you just don't get humans

You play well with: Zombies


(wiping the Klingons off the starboard bow)

Get a Good Night's Sleep

It's imperative if you wish to learn. This is a fascinating article, just go read it.

The Suicide State

What is it about the Iraqis that make them prone to commit suicide on a national level? The Kurds have the only really stable, secure area in Iraq. With their oil resources, they have prospered.

But no, that's not good enough for them. The Kurds are provoking both Turkey and Iran with cross-border raids.

Nobody seems to be wondering if the Kurds' guerrilla attacks into Iran are provoking the Iranians to supply the Shiites in Iraq. The Iranians sure as hell believe that the Bush Administration is behind the attacks. They probably have some justification for that, which means that the Bush Administration's determination to "fight terrorists" does not apply to their pet terrorists.

What happens if the Turks and Iranians decide they have a common interest and then decide to act in concert to deal with the Kurds?

Fraud, Waste and Abuse

That fairly describes the contract DynCorp had with the State Department in Iraq. DynCorp had a $1.2 billion contract to train Iraqi police and the auditors have no idea where much of the money went. The State Department had only one contracting officer overseeing the work.

This one is not all Bush's fault. The Federal government has been both outsourcing work and cutting back on contract oversight since the days of Reagan. But this happened on Bush's watch and it is his responsibility.

DynCorp is small potatoes, though. They are pikers compared to the big thieves contractors in Iraq.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Blackwater: Cheating on Taxes?

Blackwater has been classifying its employees as "independent contractors" in order to evade taxes.

I love how they claim that the Small Business Administration has ruled in their favor. Last time I checked, the SBA doesn't get a vote in such a determination, it is up to the IRS. And odds are that if the IRS looks hard at this, Blackwater is in deep shit. Just like Microsoft and all of those sleazoids.

Bush can only protect them or so long. He's kind of overdrawn on his famous "political capital" account.

Glenn Beck, a True Conservative

He is, really, in that he is extremely selfish and cannot spare a good or kind word for anyone. A bunch of people are losing their homes in southern California and Beck thinks that is just great because they must hate America.

If we were playing by the rules conservatives play by, I'd be calling for Glenn Beck's head to be mounted on a pike outside of CNN's broadcast studios. For that is what conservatives do when they are offended.

But I am not going to call for that.

I want Glenn Beck and Michelle Malkin and Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter and Bill O'Reilly and the rest of the Hindenberg Brigade[1] to stay on the air and to keep broadcasting their messages of hate and intolerance. I want everyone to see and hear how utterly lacking in compassion and humanity they are. I want everyone to see the face of modern conservatism as embodied by those vicious, pompous cranks.

For every time they make mock of people who are losing their houses, every time they insult sufferers of disease or criticize the family of a sick child for getting government help in health care, they drive more and more people who do have caring souls away from their cause.

They are the embodiment of class hatred, ethnic strife and racism. Seventy years ago, every one of them would have been participating in night riding and lynchings. Every time they open their yaps, they show their true colors.

So keep at it, you drooling fascists. Keep showing that conservatives are nothing more than a pack of slobbering, yammering, hateful racists. You're doing a better job of driving the conservative movement back under its rock than any liberal could ever hope of doing.

[1] "Hindenberg," as in "flaming Nazi gasbag."

Haul Out The Rubber Stamp, You Spineless Fucks

Chimpy, having just asked for an additional $147 billion to fund his wars, is now seeking another $42 billion on top of that. Sen. Harry Reid says the Congress will not rubber-stamp the Preznit's request.

Yeah, right. I'll believe that display of spine when I see it happen. The day that happens, each one of us will be given a nice pot of gold by a friendly leprechaun and unicorns will roam the streets, giving rides to the little children, while vultures feast on Dick Cheney's entrails.

Der Monkey Fuhrer will roll the invertebrate Democrats, who will give him everything he wants. You know it, I know it, Stupie McFlightsuit knows it and Senator Reid knows it.

How The CIA Spends Your Money

They create nifty logos for fighting the War on Terror:



This came to light on the More, Better Lies blog, courtesy of Rising Hegemon. The More, Better Lies blog links to the CIA's propaganda public affairs page, so be warned.

This logo has been out there for about six months now. I wonder if the CIA's torturers aggressive questioners wear the logo on their sweatshirts as they torture question people.

But really: Why do terrorists resemble Batman with an AK-47?

When the History of Global Warming is Written

one of the major villains in the piece will be George Bush.

Not because he caused it. He (and his enabler, Vlad Cheney) will be a major villain because for over six years, in spite of mounting evidence, he sat on his hands and did nothing. Even worse, Bush actively obstructed every effort to address climate change that would have even a negligible impact on his buddies in the oil, gas and coal biz. The "last clear chance" to advert serious consequences was his and he muffed it (as he has muffed everything that has not involved making his friends even richer).

So, as a result, the ice packs are melting. Those folks who scoffed at the Dennis Quaid disaster flick "The Day After Tomorrow" may indeed live to see it happen.

As far as history goes, the Iraq War may be a footnote to this part of Bush's legacy. It is no longer a joke to say what Bush has meant all along has been a "War on Terra."

George Bush: Destroyer of Worlds. At least, this one.

Democrat for Sale: Cheap!

Over at the Wired blog, they have some interesting charts showing that, all of a sudden, Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) has been getting a lot of campaign contributions from employees at Verizon and AT&T.

I am certain it is just a coincidence that Sen. Rockefeller has now signed onto the proposal by the corrupt thugs of the Chimperor Administration to grant retroactive immunity to the telecommunications companies for giving Chimpy's Constitution-trampling goons access to the telephone records of Americans without a warrant.

Yep, I'm sure of that. And pigs fly, too.

"This is a Heist! Nobody Move, I Have a Bulldozer!"

Thieves in Florida used heavy earth-moving equipment to try and steal an ATM.

Problem was, they wound up destroying so much of the bank that they buried the ATM in the rubble.

The Horse Torturer

Kenneth Ryan Peterson, a "former student" of Texas A&M, is going to serve 9 months in jail for torturing a horse to death.

Little enrages me more than abusing animals and children, for neither animals or children have the power to consent or to say no. (Adults torturing other adults is right behind that on the scale of evil conduct.)

If this were a reality of my design, this turdlet would be walled up in a cell over a septic pit.

Insanity Spreads in Europe

Yes, they are going batshit crazy in Europe. They are going nuts over an American rockabilly musician who died in a drug-induced stupor thirty years ago.

Yes, I'm talking about Elvis. The "King."

What is it about calling one's self "the king (of something)" that induces a level of ego-driven stupidity? Elvis died from wrecking his health with drugs. Then the self-styled "king of pop," probably the hottest star of the mid 1980s, destroyed his career by turning himself into a joke with multiple plastic surgeries and repeated allegations of child molestation.

They'd have been better off with a motor home and playing gigs in bars.

Hiding From the Crooks

In Japan, you can buy a dress that you can use to camouflage yourself to look like a vending machine.

Wouldn't it be better to, say, catch and convict the criminals?

Maybe this is an outlandish concept for the Japanese, but there is a concept called "self defense."

Back to the Bad Old Days in Russia

Once again, the Russians are using psychiatric hospitals as a tool to stifle dissent. Their rationale seems to be that anyone who is not happy with the Putin regime has to be insane.

One would wonder why Der Monkey Fuhrer hasn't adopted the same policy, but probably because there is not enough room to hold 150 million people.

War With Iran

“We’re in a conflict in two countries out there right now. We have to be incredibly thoughtful about the potential of in fact getting into a conflict with a third country in that part of the world.” -- Adm. Mike Mullen, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff.

"Thoughtful", however, is not a word that is often used when discussion the Cheney Bush Administration. "Irrational," "impulsive," "incompetent" and "insane" are words more commonly used to describe the warmongering of McFuckwit.

It's Called "Evolution," Dumbass

This article describes how, by overuse of antibiotics and antibacterial products, what we have done is to force the microbes to develop resistance to them.

All of this was not just foreseeable, but inevitable. If we didn't have so many scientific illiterates in this country, we might have been able to slow the rise of the superbugs. If the drug marketeers weren't so greedy, maybe we would have delayed the rise of the superbugs.

Maybe if we didn't have so many religious zealots in this country, such as the idiots who run around with "the Bible said it, I believe it, end of discussion" bumperstickers, we might have a population with the knowledge to comprehend such matters. For you cannot understand the process of natural selection without studying evolution.

So. You can either have some understanding of how evolution works and that knowledge would give you the tools to understand what is going on. Or you can believe in creation and in some Supernatural Sky-Fucker and then you have to ask yourself why the Supernatural Sky-Fucker
is creating the superbugs.

(Don't bother, I'll tell you: You're going to blame the superbugs on lesbian judges. Do the world a favor: Go hide in a cave and screech at fire.)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Uh-Oh

So I was watching this cartoon a few minutes ago. When the cat in the cartoon first went "meow", two of my cats started watching the cartoon and watched it all the way to the end.

Good thing I don't have any similarly-sized blunt objects for them to hit me with in order to wake me up.

Because You Suck. And We Hate You

Larry Correia, over at Monster Hunter Nation, is carrying on with his war against Heckler & Koch. He is using the poster generator app at Despair.com to make anti-HK posters.

Some of them are pretty funny.


Show Restraint After a Terrorist Attack?

That is what the Bush Administration is telling Turkey. Guerrillas from the PKK ambushed a Turkish Army patrol in Turkey and killed at least 17 soldiers. The Bush Administration is trying to persuade Turkey not to cross into the Kurdish areas of Iraq to try and deal with the PKK.

Imagine, if you will, that there was a group of Montanan separatists operating in Canada and that they engaged in cross-border raids into the US, killing American soldiers. Does anyone think for a picosecond that Bush would show restraint and not send the Army after them?

Bush has set the standard that it is OK to invade another country to deal with a terrorist threat, real or perceived. Bush did it in Iraq and the Bush Administration cheered on Israel when the Israelis went after Hezbollah last year. Any honest human with an ounce of integrity would realize that there is no way to say that the Turks do not have the same right.

Buth then again, "integrity" and George Bush are not exactly on speaking terms.

Nuking Cockroaches

One of the best science shows on television is Mythbusters. They do real science in that they wonder "what happens if" and then they design experiments to see what does happen.

Now they are going to see if cockroaches really can survive a nuclear holocaust.

Leaf-Peepers

This is the time of the year when it can be downright dangerous to be on the country roads in the Northeast, as people drive around and look at all of the purty leaves. It's nice that there are people driving around and eating in restaurants and spending money on souvenirs, but come on! At least pay attention to the road while you're driving around.

All of which made me very glad that I was able to make my trip by airplane. Today, though, I saw a number of airplanes cruising around low over the hills. The hills did look spectacular from a low altitude, but that was too low for me to be playing with a camera and flying the airplane.

Still, inattentive tourists notwithstanding, this is a great time to live in the Northeast. I have lived in the Midwest and the South, too, but I love the Northeast. I love the change of seasons, from the heat of Summer, the coolness of Fall, the chill of Winter and then the sight of all of the trees and bushes popping out green leaves in the Spring.

Yes, the winters are a pain in the ass, but I cannot imagine living in a place like Florida or southern California, where you can run around in shorts in February. Winter is meant to be endured, there is something about a cold winter's day that makes one feel alive, for even in the blizzards of February, there is the hint that Spring is coming, followed by the warm days of Summer.

Shots From the Sky

I shot these over the weekend. If you click on any of the images, you can see them full-size.

This is a shot looking out towards Long Island. The layer of white above the horizon is really a layer of schmutz. More over land, it appears darkish. The schmutz layer is why the three photos after this one look a little hazy.


There's probably an approved meteorological term for "schmutz layer." I don't know what it is and I don't give a frak enough to go look it up.

Chester Airport (SNC)


A quarry. It has eaten away most of the hill.


This is a nuclear plant. For awhile, the Feds thought that a light airplane could do serious damage to one. Maybe if one hit the transformer field (next to the railroad tracks), a crash could take the plant offline, but that's about it.



I think this is a frontal boundary. It was bright sunshine on one side and overcast and humid on the other side. The camera is facing towards the north.


Low cumulus clouds and approximately the peak of leaf season.


This is the corner of the above shot. I have been flying over this area for years and never noticed this mine, probably because it is fairly close to the airport and I have other things on my mind during those parts of a flight.

Prince of Thieves

Blackwater's goons stole two aircraft from the Iraqi government.

So they are killers and thieves. Multi-tasking and winning hearts and minds, to boot.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Dodging the White Fluffy Things

What was a severe clear VFR day and was forecast to pretty much stay so didn't, at least for a few hours. I was flying along at 5,500', which in this area is pretty much above the airplanes out for farkling flights and usually below the really serious travelers in their Bonanzas, Mooneys and bigger Cessnas. There was a solid layer of low cumulus clouds further north and it was starting to edge south. To avoid dodging the scattered ones at the edge as I descended towards my destination, I deviated a little bit south.

Some poor dude in a trainer was doing a solo cross-country into my destination and he was a little but unclear on the concept of operations at a controlled field. He'll learn.

I managed to do the landing so that I arrived right over the threshold with almost no energy, I flared and the airplane just went "plop" right onto the runway, almost textbook. There was a bit of a wind, so the ground roll was maybe 800' or so.

I took a few photos inflight that, on the teensy tiny LCD screen may be useful. If they check out when I upload them to my computer tomorrow, I'll post them.

Going Visiting

So if I don't post something today, check back tomorrow night. I'm sure the Outrage Tank (tm) will be refilled by then.

(If you're bored, check out the blogs in the blogrolls on the right-hand side.)

Friday, October 19, 2007

Flying the Nukes

Like many, many others who had had some experience with nuclear weapons programs, I had a hard time believing that the Air Force could be so fucked up as to fly six nuclear weapons across the country and then leave the unguarded bomber sitting on the ramp overnight.

Sadly, it seems that the Air Force is indeed, just that fucking incompetent, for it seems hard to believe that all of those folks facing disciplinary action are willing to take one for the team so Chimpy could cover something up.

I don't know whether I'm relieved because it wasn't some evil plot hatched out the Black Hole of Morality that is this administration or appalled that the Air Force can be so screwed up when it comes to handing things that can bust a city.

We're No. 48! We're No. 48!

In press freedom, right between Nicaragua and Togo. Ten of the countries that rank ahead of the US for press freedom are nations that were, at one time, communist.

If you look at the 2002 rankings, only one former communist nation was ahead of the US and the US ranked 17th. We can fairly blame that abysmal slide on those two self-styled defenders of freedom, George "Chimpy" Bush and Richard "Voldemort" Cheney.

Well, nobody can accuse those two putzim of not accomplishing anything in six years, if you regard destroying press freedom as an "accomplishment".

(Thanks to Badtux)

Bangity, Bangity, Bangity

I left work a little early today and went to the range. I had two excuses: First, I had bought three more Chip McCormick 8-round magazines for my .45 and I needed to try them out. They fed fine and dropped free when empty. Second, I wanted to "unload through the muzzle" the self-defense ammo I had for my 9mm and replace it with fresh stuff.

I tried working on speed drills at 25', getting two quicker shots off into the center-of-mass and then one more for the head. Again, these are not full-sized silhouettes.

This was the .45:

Two clean misses, four grazes.

And the 9mm:


I was really trying for speed and touching off the shots when the sights looked close enough for gummint work, which is probably why I got a lot of vertical stringing. Three, maybe four clean misses and a couple grazes.

I do need to work on my speed drills, but man, that gets expensive fast.

Anyway, I come to report on trying out something called "Copper Cutter" from Slip 2000. It is a non-toxic gun cleaner that seems to be ammonia-based and doesn't stink up the place like Hoppes No. 9. Someone recommended it in a comment here when I was moaning about the stink of Hoppes and about having to wear a VOC-filtering respirator when using it. I ordered three bottles of the stuff over the Internets and tonight was the try-out.

It does seem to work very well. After 55 rounds through the .45, it took three patches saturated with Copper Cutter to clean the bore. And afterwards, the guns don't reek of cleaner.

p.s.; any resemblance between the targets and a penguin is purely a figment of your imagination, badtux.