Words of Advice:

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

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

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

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

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

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year

And All That Jazz.



Gentle Readers, I hope that 2013 brings you everything that you could hope for.*
__________________________________________
* By accepting this greeting, you are accepting these terms. This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal. It is freely transferable with no alteration to the original greeting. It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for her/himself or others, and is void where prohibited by law, and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wisher. This wish is warranted to perform as expected within the usual application of good tidings for a period of one year, or until the issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting, whichever comes first, and warranty is limited to replacement of this wish or issuance of a new wish at the sole discretion of the wisher.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

A Saab JA-37 Viggen does a bit of an interesting maneuver on the runway.



The Viggen supposedly could operate from a 500 meter length of runway. It was one of the very few combat jets with both an afterburner and a thrust reverser. Also note the main gear as it rolls by the camera.

Rumor has it that the Swedes tried to sell the Viggen to other countries. The word was that Swedish law prohibited arms sales to "aggressor nations", as determined by the Swedish government. Other nations didn't want to run the risk of getting into a conflict and then have their source of replacement parts and aircraft cut off, so they preferred to purchase weaponry from less squeamish sellers.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Big Shock: The LAPD Lies.

A one-day gun buyback event in Los Angeles on Wednesday gathered 2,037 firearms, including 75 assault weapons and two rocket launchers, officials said.


A friend who is in a position to know (Army 11B) has informed me that the "rocket launcher" the cop is holding is the tube from an AT-4 antitank rocket. The AT-4 is a single-use system-- once the rocket is launched, the launching tube itself is useless and is tossed away.

In other words, that tube the cop is holding is about as deadly as an empty 2-liter soda bottle, and is arguably less useful. As far as Federal law goes, I believe that an AT-4 tube is considered to be as lethal as a similarly-sized length of PVC pipe.

But hey, it was a weapon, once. And that's good enough for the idiots at the LAPD and the imbeciles in the press.

UPDATE: That launcher was a training simulator. In other words, it was never a weapon and it always was as deadly as what it is: A tricked-out piece of plastic sewer pipe.

Caturday; Post-Meal Edition

It looks like just a standard old messed-up bed, doesn't it?

Except for the fact that that lump under the covers is snoring.


Shorter Mayor Bloomberg: "It's No Big Deal If a Crazy Person Pushes You In Front Of a Subway Train!"

Mayor "No Gunz For You" Bloomberg is urging everyone to keep in mind that not all that many people are pushed onto the subway tracks in front of an oncoming train.
"It's a very tragic case, but what we want to focus on today is the overall safety in New York," Bloomberg told reporters following a police academy graduation.
Riight. The overall drop in murder rates in this country hasn't stopped Hizzoner from pushing for more gun controls, though. A tragic event is all it takes for him to seize on it, if that tragic event fits in with his agenda.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Portlandia

I don't get the Independent Film Channel at home, so I've never seen this show before.

But if the city itself, in any way, resembles the depiction in the show, I would not be adverse to resuming a bit of above-ground nuclear testing there. I fear that if I had to deal with such people on a routine basis, I'd be drinking heavily.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

What's Good for the Goose

You've probably heard by now that the Journal-News in the lower Hudson river valley, NY, has published an interactive map of all pistol-permit holders. If an enterprising thug wanted to scope their places out, they'd just have to flip over to Google Earth for satellite and street views. If they could have gotten information on who owned what specific types of weapons, those putzim would have published that, as well.

In response, you can now find the information on the publisher, editor, reporter, and other douchenozzles of that paper.

Serves them right.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A Christmas Story

The Shepard, an aviation Christmas ghost story, as read on the CBC.

`Bye, Oscar

Jack Klugman has died.

Charles Durning has also died. He was a character actor and a veteran of World War II. He survived the first wave at Omaha Beach and the Malmedy Massacre.

It Would Be Nice, Wouldn't It?

If we could achieve "peace on Earth, goodwill to all" for at least one day a year.

Then maybe we could do a week?

Merry Christmas, whether you are opening gifts under a tree or celebrating with the traditional feast of Chinese food, followed by a movie.

Oh, speaking of movies, a friend of mine saw "Jack Reacher". Her comment was: "It would have been a good movie if they had cast someone other than Tom Cruise." She's read a number of the Reacher books, so she had a mental image of him as this huge, physically imposing guy. Based on the opening weekend, the movie may tank, for fifteen mil with a big-ass star in the lead is dogshit.

Monday, December 24, 2012

More Cops in Schools?

To my mind, a bad idea.

There are thousands of schools. Roughly a hundred thousand public schools, with another 33,000 private schools.

There are probably about 600,000 or so cops, not counting Federal badges and university cops. Taking a sixth of the force out of action and turning them into hallway monitors will be a significant whack at manning.

Not to mention that there will be 100,000 cops looking to prevent the three or so spree shootings in any given year. Dollars to donuts that those cops will get involved in other disciplinary issues. So kids who might have been chastised by a little extra work or some in-school detention will now get the cuffs slapped on them and introduced to the juvenile detention system.

Not a good idea.

The spree shooters are looking for soft targets, remember.

Can anyone say "school buses", boys and girls?

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Biggest Crock of Shit You'll Read This Month

"Mitt Romney didn't want to run for president."

Riight. He spent eight years running for president (two election cycles) and now his family is putting out the revisionist lie that, oh, Mitt didn't really want the job.

What a load of manure.

On Guns

I am not an expert on firearms. I've done some basic teaching and a long time ago, I was a rangemaster/instructor, as certified by the Navy. I've not taken oodles of courses. I have competed in a few matches within the last year. I've never made a penny from firearms.

So now, I'm not an expert. I have used a gun to defend myself, but again, that doesn't make me an expert.

I wrote this in an e-mail a little bit ago:
These clowns have a few things in common: They are all serious losers. They would never amount to anything. But with a gun, everyone knows who they are/were. Even in death, they are famous. They become stars.

Deny them that. Make them non-persons. How about making it a felony (10+ years) to publically disclose or publish the name of a spree killer? Hell, make it mandatory that they be cremated and their ashes disposed of in a septic tank or a sewage treatment plant.
I think that needs to be discussed. The Jackhole of Newtown would have been just another nameless near-crazy person. Maybe he would have wigged out in a coffee bar when the barista got his latte order wrong and he'd be in jail for assault. Now he's famous. Every politician in DC knows who he was. Every anchorman, every editorial writer, every school administrator, they know his name. He has been the focus of the national discussion for a week.

Probably just what the little assclown wanted.

So let's take a page from the Soviet Union's handbook and let's erase these clowns from history. Make them die as they lived: Lonely, forgotten cranks.

That's one thing.

Second, the point has been made by others that it is not a guarantee that having any armed teachers or school personnel would stop a spree killer. They might freeze or they might lose a gunfight. So what? Only fools ask for such things to be guaranteed. In the shooting at the New Life Church in Colorado Springs five years ago, there were two members of the congregation who were acting as security guards. One froze, the other didn't, and she ended the shooter.

Third, and I've made this point before ad nauseum: Look at where these spree killers go to commit their crimes. They aren't going into shooting ranges or gun shows. They are going into places where it is forbidden to carry firearms. They are hunting people and they are going for places where resistance is unlikely. Even the Asswipe of Ft. Hood knew that soldiers on post were not allowed to carry firearms and he had a bit of happy slaughtering before the cops arrived.

Gun-free zones keep law-abiding people from carrying weapons and they tell the possible killers that they are guaranteed several minutes of sanguinary shooting before the cops roll in.

Fourth, any consideration of the fatality rate of children will show this: Over 6,000 children die each year in motor vehicle accidents. Which means, on average, the same number of kids died in car accidents on the same day as the Newtown Asshat shot up the school. Of that 6,000, it's probably a reasonable supposition that a thousand or so died being driven to or from school. So in the first half of the school year, 20 kids died in school shootings, 500 died commuting to school.

The difference is in numbers at once versus drips and drabs. Less than 3,000 people died on September 11, 2001, which was less than the number who died in car crashes that month. But we accept the carnage on the roads as a cost of modern life. And 3,000 people don't die in four crashes on the roads.

I bring up 9-11 for a reason: The reaction to it. As a result of those attacks, we are far less free as a nation. The government is basically watching everything everyone does. Oh, maybe they don't have eyeballs on you, right now, but every credit card transaction, every swipe of a debit card, every e-mail you send, every fax, every text message, every airline ticket and likely even every phone call you make is recorded and stored for later analysis. The cops can go rifling through your financials without a warrant, they can track your every move if your cell phone is turned on. They can even do "sneak and peek" searches and go back for a real warrant later.

Pilots know this stuff all too well. Even though the 9-11 attacks were carried out using fully-fueled airliners as cruise missiles, anyone who flies so much as a J-3 Cub within 60 miles of D.C. has to have special training. Anyone who wants to fly that same J-3 into the "DC-3" airports has to be fingerprinted, undergo background checks, criminal history checks and file flight plans, and they probably can't fly that J-3, unless they have a transponder and radio. Despite the fact that nobody has attempted to carry out a terrorist attack with a Piper Cub (or a Cessna 150), the restrictions are in place. Similar restrictions exist in a 60 nautical mile diameter circle around wherever the President happens to be.

If you fly on a commercial airliner, then you are all too familiar with the vast amount of money that the Feds have spent to supposedly make air travel safer, including meaningless bag searches.

And so now there is a tragic shooting and, as a result, restrictions will be levied against those who obey the law. You can bet that there will be a provision which erases the privacy of mental health records, so seeing a psychologist or doctor for any mental health issue will soon land you in another Federal database. Which of course means that many people who need help won't go get it, for fear of landing in that new database. People who have problems will choose instead to self-medicate. That's what happens and it has happened before.

So there will be restrictions, probably to ten round magazines and stupid rules about meaningless cosmetic shit such as pistol grips and "flash hiders". If I owned a gun factory, I would have the CAD/CAM boys busily reverse-engineering SKS carbines which, when made without the issue bayonet or grenade launcher, will easily pass the same sort of restrictions that existed in the first "assault weapons" ban. Oh, it probably goes without saying that the 7.62mm cartridge for the SKS is far more effective than the 5.56mm of the AR-15. Unintended consequences, you know.

The ten-round magazine limit of the first ban sounded a death knell for the "wonder nines", full-size large capacity 9mm handguns. Full-sized handguns shifted towards those cartridges whose magazine sizes justified them- .45s and .40s, sparking a renewed popularity, especially of the venerable (and far more effective) .45 ACP. That was a consequence of the first ban. A second one will have similar unintended consequences.

One thing the politicians in this country are good at is overreaction. And you can also bet heavily that the lawful gun owners will chafe about this and they will remember. This has all happened before and it is happening again.

Signs of overreach: The New York Times today published one of its editorials screeching about concealed carry. Doesn't matter that concealed carry has had little, if anything, to do with mass shootings, they still don't like it.

Christmas in Vietnam

That is the subject of a book of photographs from the Vietnam War-- the title is "A Snowman in Hell".

While the book has been put out by a self-publishing house, the couple who owns the company didn't charge the author any up-front costs.

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

Thuds on the runway!



Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Poor CIA Is Having An Attack of the Vapors

The little dears are simply besides themselves, proclaiming that the movie "Zero Dark Thirty" is not realistic.

Wow. A Hollywood movie isn't realistic. Who would have ever thought?


Who'd have thought that the CIA would have expected anything that comes out of Hollywood to be realistic? Or maybe they really thought that the USS Nimitz went back in time.

Yeah, We're So Screwed; Surveillance Edition

A Wired article on the massive amount of data that the Feds are now collecting on everybody. Because any one of us could be a terrorist.

The Right is likely asking "how come the Left isn't getting mad about this, like they were when Chimpy and Darth were proposing the same thing?"

They have a point.

Where is the outrage? Where are the usual senators and congressman bloviating on this? Dianne Feinstein, are you too busy savoring an opportunity to stick it to the NRA that you can't be bothered about the encroaching Surveillance State?

(H/T)

Ho, Ho, Ho, You're Under Arrest

A kid in Georgia was suspended because his plan to come to school dressed up as Santa and hand out candy canes was deemed to be a threat by the school's administrators.

Because nothing says "mass murder" like Santa Claus.

I'd say "get a grip", but if there is any profession better known for an unhinged grasp of reality than school administrators, I don't know what it is.*
______________________________________
* "Fox News on-air personality" is hardly a "profession".

Caturday

"Where is my `nip, peasant?"


Jake does love his catnip.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Bloody Mayans

Wrong again.

This whole thing has been as inane as it would be if one went to a stationary store in May to buy a 2014 calendar, found none, and concluded that the world would end on December 31st, 2013. There wasn't any real evidence, so far as I know, that even the Mayans back then thought the world would end today. Not that we know for sure, of course, because in the worst act of intellectual vandalism since the destruction of the Great Library of Alexandria, the fucking Spanish priests burned every Mayan book that they could find.

The good news is that, compared to the soft-minded loons who bought into the 2011 "rapture" nonsense, fewer people were caught up in this one.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Correspondence with Santa

This is making the e-mail rounds:
Dear Santa,

How are you? How is Mrs. Claus? I hope everyone, from the reindeer to the elves, is fine. I have been a very good boy this year. I would like an X-Box 360 with Call of Duty IV and an iPhone 4 for Christmas. I hope you remember that come Christmas Day.

Merry Christmas,

Timmy Jones

* *

Dear Timmy,

Thank you for your letter. Mrs. Claus, the reindeer and the elves are all fine and thank you for asking about them. Santa is a little worried all the time you spend playing video games and texting. Santa wouldn't want you to get fat. Since you have indeed been a good boy, I think I'll bring you something you can go outside and play with.*

Merry Christmas,*

Santa Claus

* *

Mr. Claus,

Seeing that I have fulfilled the "naughty vs. Nice" contract, set by you I might add, I feel confident that you can see your way clear to granting me what I have asked for. I certainly wouldn't want to turn this joyous season into one of litigation. Also, don't you think that a jibe at my weight coming from an overweight man who goes out once a year is a bit trite?

Respectfully,

Tim Jones

* *

Mr. Jones,

While I have acknowledged you have met the "nice" criteria, need I remind you that your Christmas list is a request and in no way is it a guarantee of services provided. Should you wish to pursue legal action, well that is your right. Please know, however, that my attorney's have been on retainer ever since the Burgermeister Meisterburger incident and will be more than happy to take you on in open court. Additionally, the exercise I alluded to will not only improve your health, but also improve your social skills and potentially help clear up a complexion that looks like the bottom of the Burger King fry bin most days.

Very Truly Yours,

S Claus

* *

Now look here Fat Man,

I told you what I want and I expect you to bring it. I was attempting to be polite about this but you brought my looks and my friends into this. Now you just be disrespecting me. I'm about to tweet my boys and we're gonna be waiting for your fat ass and I'm taking my game console, my game, my phone, and whatever else I want. WHATEVER I WANT, MAN!

T-Bone

* *

Listen Pizza Face,

Seriously??? You think a dude that breaks into every house in the world on one night and never gets caught sweats a skinny G-banger wannabe? "He sees you when you're sleeping; He knows when you're awake". Sound familiar, genius?

You know what kind of resources I have at my disposal. I got your shit wired, Jack. I go all around the world and see ways to hurt people that if I described them right now, you'd throw up your Totino's pizza roll all over the carpet of your mom's basement. You're not getting what you asked for, but I'm still stopping by your crib to stomp a mud hole in your ass and then walk it dry.

Chew on that, Petunia.

S Clizzy

* *


Dear Santa,

Bring me whatever you see fit. I'll appreciate anything.

Timmy

* *


Timmy,

That's what I thought you little bastard.

Santa

And, in a similar note, Dan O'Shea's annual Santa story.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Now For Something Completely Different: B-24 Edition

B-24J startup and takeoff:



The B-24 was the workhorse of the Army Air Corps bombing campaign in Europe. The B-17 got more of the glory and the -17 could take more of a punch. But they built 6,000 more B-24s, if that tells you anything.

The Passing of an American Hero

Senator Daniel Inouye (September 7, 1924- December 17, 2012) has died.

Interned during the war because he was of Japanese descent, he enlisted in the Army and fought in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, a highly decorated outfit. Inouye lost an arm in combat when he took on three German machinegun nests single-handedly. He was eventually awarded the Medal of Honor.*

He was elected to the House of Representatives and began serving on the day that Hawaii became a state in 1959. In 1962, he was elected to the Senate and served there until his death.

This came to me by e-mail:
I’m reminded of a story he used to tell of his first day in Congress. Walking around the capitol, he encountered then-speaker Sam Rayburn who addressed him by name. Inouye expressed his surprise that Rayburn would know his name even though they’d never met. Said Rayburn, ‘Just how many one-armed Japs do you think we have around here.’
Aloha, Senator.
_____________________________
* In the 1990s, the Army reevaluated how institutional racism led to under-awarding medals for minorities during World War II.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Who is Going to Pay for It?
The Jackhole of Newtown, CT, Part Three

(Parts one and two)

There are calls from the usual crowd* to "ban assault rifles". My question to them is: "Who will pay for it?"

When the 18th Amendment was ratified and enforced by the Volstead Act, existing stocks of alcohol in the possession of individuals and private clubs were not affected by the ban. The reason for that was simple: The takings clause of the 5th Amendment requires that if the government takes something from you that you had legally obtained, the government has to pay for it.

I don't know how many guns would be covered by such a ban, but the chances are that the number is easily in excess of ten million firearms. The vast majority of such weapons have a retail price of over a thousand dollars, though some cost much less and some cost several times more.

Those weapons will have to be paid for by the government at a fair market price, not a "gimme yer guns and get outta here" price of zero.

The magazines will also have to be purchased. When you add in the number of magazines for handguns that can hold more than ten rounds, you're probably looking at a hundred and fifty million or more magazines, most of which cost between $10 and $50.

Over ten billion to buy back the guns, over two billion to buy back the magazines, and probably a lot more than that at the end of the day. For a national buy-back program will have to be administered and that will add in more cost.

If Mayor "No Big Gulp Sodas For You" Bloomberg wanted to liquidate his personal fortune, he could probably fund the program. Here is a prediction: That'll never happen.
_______________________
* Sen. Lieberman, who has less than two weeks left in his senatorial career, has been one of those. Lieberman has a long track record of backing every proposal to limit the freedoms of Americans to do anything from surf the internet to be free from indefinite detention without trial. It is not much of an exaggeration to say that Lieberman has never met a right or liberty that he is not in favor of restricting.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Jackhole of Newtown, CT, Part Two

(Part one, which you should read first.)

This is more of a warning to the gun community: More gun control laws, in some form or another, are coming.

Constitutional rights are not absolute. For example, in the last few decades, both legislatures and the courts have been working hard to eviscerate the Fourth and Fifth Amendments. You effectively surrender your 4th Amendment rights against searches and seizures as soon as you put the keys into the ignition of your car. This happens because you can't realistically drive down the street without violating some traffic ordinance. When you do, a cop can pull you over and he can arrest you for the violation instead of giving you a citation. If he arrests you, then your car is towed to a police impound lot and it is given an "inventory search". Which means that when you get into a car, you have entered a police state.

First Amendment rights are not absolute. Depending on the form of speech, government can add time, manner and place restrictions. Content restrictions are harder to enforce, but they do happen.[1] "Protecting our children" is one of the reasons why content restrictions can be legal. It is one of the underlying justifications for restrictions on purveyors of X-rated materials. There are some materials that even possession of will land you in prison for a longer term than attempting to kill someone.

Second Amendment rights are also not absolute. You can't go down to Wal-Mart and buy a M-2 machine gun, a rocket launcher, a gallon of VX or a flamethrower.[2]

One of the mistakes that the gun-control advocates make is that they declare that a certain style of weapon "have no sporting purpose". When asked what weapons do have a "sporting purpose", to essentially concede that those such weapons are legitimate, they decline to do so.[3] The gun-rights advocates have not been gullible enough, at least since the 1980s, to play that game. And because the gun-control advocates won't budge from their "no" tactic, national legislation generally goes nowhere.[4]

The smartest thing to do, now is to say: "OK, so you say that EBRs[5] have no sporting purpose. How do you define a 'sporting purpose' and what firearms fall under that criteria?" They won't do that, they'll just keep with the "these guns are bad" drumbeat. And for now, at least, there will be no national change in gun-control legislation.

Even when the gun-control advocates proclaim that this needs to be done "to protect our children", then they should be made to define what firearms are OK to possess. They won't, for they probably feel that there are millions of families looking at what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary and saying "there, but for fate/luck/grace, go I" and they'll be able to ram a ban through. I think that a blanket ban will fail, for there are enough Democrats who know that they will lose their cushy legislative jobs if such a bill goes through.

Sooner or later, though, the gun-control advocates are going to break the code and offer to discuss what is and what is not a "legitimate sporting purpose". And then the "not now, not ever" gun-rights advocates are going to be faced with the same dilemma now faced by the "no tax increase, ever" crowd: Either negotiate or have something crammed down their gullets.

(Part Three follows.)
____________________________________
[1] Both sides of the political spectrum try this.
[2] I am not getting into a discussion of what weapons are legal and what are not.
[3] In this, they negotiate like the GOP on budget matters: "We want more cuts, so you tell us what more you'll cut."
[4] Expect to see a complete black-rifle ban enacted in CT, if not a few other states.
[5] "Evil black rifles".

The Jackhole of Newtown, CT, Part One

By now, everyone should know of the murderous rampage of the Jackhole of Newtown.[1]

I have read comments elsewhere about how this is unique to the U.S. and to this time. It has happened elsewhere[2] and mass killings in schools have been done with other types weaponry.[3] When you look into it, the incidence of assholes going into schools and killing children is depressingly common.

One thing that gripes me immensely is the use of false logic rooted in religion, of the "we didn't have these shootings when we had prayer in schools."[4] The Supreme Court decision about that was in 1963. A short list of things that didn't exist in 1963 would include widespread color TV programming, touch-tone telephones, HBO, portable telephones (let alone cell phones), shoulder harnesses in cars (seat belts existed, but were uncommon), personal computers, ATMs, Japanese luxury cars, gender-neutral help-wanted advertising, "renting a movie, the Internet... need I go on?

I want to make two observations, but due to the anticipated length of what I plan to write, I will do it in two posts. (Okay, there is a third part.)

The first observation is on how this nation treats mental illness. Decades ago, if a person was diagnosed with a mental illness, the "treatment" was to put them in a state-run "mental hospital", often for life.[5] For a lot of those patients, they were simply warehoused, out of society's sight and mind. The horrors that went on in some of those places were well documented.

That all began to change in the 1970s, as the state hospitals began to close. The concept then was to replace those hospitals with community based residential treatment programs. That rarely happened. First off, state legislatures, who were happy to be able to stop paying to run those old mental hospitals, were not willing to pay to start up a new system of treatment. Second, on the few times that there was a plan to start a residential-based treatment facility, nimbyism usually killed the plan.

People who needed mental health services were dumped onto their families. Private medial insurance has historically been very stingy when it comes to paying for mental health treatment. The insurance companies prefer to pay for drugs than therapy, which is akin to treating bone fractures with aspirin. If that didn't help and if the family was unable to pay for treatment or care for the person who was ill, they ended up on the streets and, too often, in prison.[6]

One of the reasons why people might not report a disturbed friend, family member or co-worker to the authorities is the use of jails and prisons as de facto mental treatment facilities. Everybody knows that nobody is going to get better as a result of being tossed into the county jail. Even if the cops take that person to a psychiatric hospital, they're going to be probably discharged with a handful of prescription meds and the chances are that having that on their record will fuck them up when it comes to most careers, other than fast-food service.

I think it is fair to say that nobody in their right frame of mind is going to go to a school and kill a busload of first-graders. Outlawing the possession of firearms by mentally ill people seems to be as effective as permanent revocation of driver's licenses for repeat DUI offenders. We need, as a nation, to get serious about helping those with mental health issues. Until we do, blaming guns for school killings is akin to blaming tools for shoddy construction.
___________________________
[1] I never dignify these kinds of skells by referring to them by their proper names.
[2] Britain, Russia, Norway, Germany, Finland, Canada, Brazil, Australia, Japan and China, among others.
[3] Explosives, a flamethrower, a car, gasoline and knives.
[4] Those who say that "this didn't happen when religion was in schools" are full of shit.
[5] Those often so-called mental illnesses could include being GLBT. Or, in some cases, being a protestor.
[6] So the state warehousing function shifted from the department of health to the department of corrections.

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

Swiss highway ops.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Caturday; The Great Tuesday Evening Laundry Massacre Edition

Jake is lying on his chair. You may have noted that the usual zebra-striped blanket is not covering the chair.


Tuesday evening, I came home to find out that Jake had crapped on it. And not normal cat-sized turds, no, these turds were friggin' huge. He had also crapped and barfed on my bed. Because he had done that in several spots, the normal cover, a fleece blanket, a comforter, both sheets and the mattress pad needed to be washed, along with a couple of towels used to cover other chairs.

I have an apartment-sized stacked washer, not a large full-sized unit. I did three loads of wash on Tuesday night and two more on Wednesday.

And Jake really didn't care for the bath he got on Tuesday night in order to remove the crap that had dried and matted on his fur. Not one bit.

But as of Friday morning, he had not had another bowel movement. He pooped some late that afternoon, but this is still not normal. So this morning, it's off to the vet for him.

Don't touch that dial.

Update: His colon is of normal size (they took a X-ray). There is a hard-ish turn up there that the vet could feel. She recommends giving him stool softeners, an over-the-counter kind; I have a piece of paper with the type and the recommended dosage. Jake's sleeping on his heated bed and no doubt dreaming of what vengeance he will have for this morning's indignities.

Friday, December 14, 2012

The Lights of Hannukha

A gift from a good friend.



The lights are blue and white, of course.

40 Years Ago

At 5:55 EST on December 14, 1972,* the excursion crew of Apollo 17, Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt, lifted off from the Moon on their return trip home.



Back then, I would have never thought that there would not have been another human to set foot on the Moon, if not Mars, in the next forty years (and probably sixty years, if even that).

I saw the first man to walk on the Moon. I would have never guessed that I also watched the last two men to walk on the Moon.
________________________________________
* Ten years before to the day, Mariner 2 became the first probe to visit another planet.

Obviously a Major Malfunction

CF-18 crash at Alberta in 2010:



I apologize for the paucity of postings of late. But there are a few different levels of drama going on in my life, right now, from the "this is some serious shit" levet down to "if you clowns don't knock this shit off, I'm going to have to come over there and slap you" level. It's nothing that I can share here, it is what it is. But for the mnoment, you'kll have to go elsewhere to read outrage over the GOP's further trashing of unions and shafting of Susan Rice.

Frank W. James has started a new blog, so if you've missed his old one (which was hacked after he went quiet on it, so zorch any links to it), you can read it here.

Stephen Colbert's mashup of "Downton Abbey" and "Breaking Bad" was pretty funny.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Aviation Truth



Way to Go, Navy; Parboiling the Squids Edition

On my other blog, I have written somewhat extensively about the stupid new uniforms that the Navy has recently adopted, including the one that is known as "Navy Working Uniform", or, as I call it, "Aquaflage."

Now it seems that the uniform is really, really stupid, as in criminally stupid. As in "some fucker ought to be court-martialed for this".

The uniform is not only not even remotely fire-resistant, it will burn in a fire. It will melt and, in essence, shrink-wrap any sailor unlucky enough to be near a fire.

So what happens if the word is passed: "Fire, fire, fire in compartment X-XXX-X"-- everyone on the fire party has to first run to their berthing compartment to change clothes? Into what, since the old non-melting working uniforms, wash khakis for chiefs and officers and dungarees for junior enlisted, have been done away with?

This is beyond stupid. It is criminally stupid because the danger of wearing uniforms with synthetic fibers about ship is not an "unknown known".

Somebody needs to hang for this.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

A Mig-21



The word I heard was that the MiG-21 had hydraulic systems. So you could shut the thing down and, once everything had spun down, you could set the flaps and whatnot to the takeoff position. The idea was that a fully-armed jet could be parked near the end of the runway and, if an alter was given, it would be rolling down the runway 90 seconds after the engine was started.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Happy Hannukha. Or Chanukah. Whatever.



And the traditional song:

Caturday

Jake is marking the corner of my laptop as I prepare this post.


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Ship; Sinking; Leaving; Rats

Washington (CNN) – Republican Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina will resign from his Senate seat as of Dec. 31 to take over as head of the Heritage Foundation, his office announced Thursday.
Compromising photos? Ethics complaint in the offing? Inquiring minds, etc...

This one smells kinda rank. Even ranker than Jo Ann Emerson's abrupt departure.

While I am not at all sad to see this particular clown leave the Senate, I suggest that you hold your cheering until we see what sort of batshit-crazy fucker gets appointed by Gov. Haley.

Cancer Research; Not Exactly Trustworthy Edition

NEW YORK (AP) — Pfizer Inc. said Wednesday that an experimental breast cancer drug it is developing was more effective than an older therapy at slowing the progression of advanced breast cancer.
The problem I have with that is that it seems reasonably clear that Pfizer paid for the study. You can bet your ass that if the study had shown that the the drug was ineffective, it would have been buried deeper and with more secrecy than Jimmy Hoffa.

There is probably not much doubt that when a Big Pharma company pays for a study, the researchers know who is cutting the checks. That can't help but bias a study, even a little. For they know that if they repeatedly report results that their paymaster doesn't like, sooner or later, the checks are going to stop coming.

Probably the only company that could be trusted on research was AT&T's Bell Labs[1], because AT&T had a monopoly and they were going to make money anyway. Bell Labs had people who did basic research[2] into things that had no foreseeable economic utility. AT&T knew that it was the principles and discoveries from basic research that might later be applied. For example, without research into the properties of light, lasers could not have been developed.[3]

Big Pharma, on the other hand, has a long record of glowing "scientific" studies that are used to justify the release of new drugs-- drugs that are later taken off the market because the side effects include things like sudden death and growing oddball appendages.
______________________
[1] And IBM.
[2] As opposed to "applied research".
[3] Just an example, though it was Bell Labs that patented the first laser (then called and "optical maser". Much patent litigation then followed for decades.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Really, Google? No Gun Results?

The other day, I searched on Google for sellers of a certain type of ammunition. What I was looking for was a decent deal on .38+P lead semi-wadcutter hollowpoints.

Google (correction: shopping, not general Google) came up with nothing. Bing, on the other hand, showed a few results.

I've used Google for my browsers' homepage for many years, but no more. I've been also trying out a search enginge called Duck Duck Go.

I'm not going to blast Goggle for this. They're a corporation, they have the right to censor their search results any damn way that they see fit.

But I don't have to use them. And neither do you.

To Protect and to Steal

A state trooper in Connecticut has been arested for stealing cash and jewelry from the dead body of a motorcyclist, as well as a few ancillary charges (evidence tampering and whatnot).

Seems that his dashboard cam caught him allegedly robbing the body.

Monday, December 3, 2012

GOP Offers More Wingnut Fairy Dust As a Plan

Their plan: Keep taxes low on the rich, cut them even, and make up the difference with the closing of unspecified loopholes. Oh, and slash the shit out of Medicare.

The Obama Administration is calling "bullshit" on this one. And they are right to do so.

We had a balanced budget a dozen years ago. Then George W. Bush slashed taxes, especially for the rich, and engaged in two wars that were 100% paid for by deficit spending.

Seems to me that if we get out of the second of the Chimperor's Wars and restore some of the Bush tax cuts, we can get well on the road back to were we were before the Republicans fucked it all up.

Here is the other thing: The House is bullshit. Whichever party controls a state when it is time to redistrict gerrymanders the shit out of their congressional delegation. So the House of Representatives isn't terribly representative of anything in particular.

In the 2012 election, one of the central planks of the Democrats was to let the Bush tax cuts lapse on the rich. The President won, handily,* making him only one of eight presidents in our nation's history who was both elected and re-elected by a majority of the popular vote.** Moreover, in statewide elections for the U.S. Senate, Democrats prevailed and will control 55 Senate seats.

The American people are with the President on this one. He knows it. Formerly, what would happen is that he would put out an idea, the Republicans would say "no" and then Obama would say "OK, how about this" and the GOP would pout and whine and stamp their feet until they got the deal they wanted.

This time around, he is not playing that game. And you can just smell the fear emanating from the Republicans.
_______________
* Gov. "47% are moochers" Romney got 47% of the vote.
** Andrew Jackson, Ulysses S. Grant, William McKinley, Franklin D. Roosevelt (all four times), Dwight D. Eisenhower, Ronald W. Reagan and Barack Obama. No popular vote totals exist prior to 1824, but I think it's safe to add George Washington to the list.

So.......Who Has the Feelthy Pictures??

U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson announced today she will leave her congressional post in February to become president and CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, a not-for-profit organization that represents rural electric cooperatives and public power districts.

Emerson, R-Cape Girardeau, was re-elected in November for a ninth term to the U.S. House of Representatives in Missouri's Eighth District.
Right, she gets re-elected and then, less than a month later, she decamps her seat?

Uh huh, tell me another one. At least the generic lie of "spending more time with the family" was left out of the press release.
"I just feel like its an extension of the job I am doing now," she said of her new position, which she will begin Feb. 11. Her last day in Congress will be Feb. 8.
Except now she will blatantly be representing the interests of power companies, instead of having a cover of representing the people of Missouri's 8th congressional district.

And the revolving door continues to spin.

UPDATE: Seems that Emerson is going to pull down ten times what she was making as a congressman, so expect her to fight mightily to preserve the Bush tax cuts for the rich until she quits to become the poster girl for climate change denialism.

But you have to feel for the folks in that district: Here they thought that they were going to get a break from electoral politics and now this.

(H/T)

See Bob Costas.
See Bob Step on His Crank on National TV.
Dumb, Bob, Dumb.

Bob Costas appeared to bring politics into the NFL broadcast booth on Sunday night, saying better gun control could have prevented the horrific murder-suicide committed by Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher.

Costas delivered his nationally televised message by paraphrasing part of a column written by Jason Whitlock on FoxSports.com. In the column, Whitlock writes: "What I believe is, if he didn’t possess/own a gun, he and Kasandra Perkins would both be alive today."
Right. Right. Because a defensive linebacker who was 6'2", weighed 228lbs and had 193 career tackles was not going to be able to whack his 22 year old girlfriend without a gun. [/sarcasm]

The guy's day job was to go out and hit people. He worked in a sport where the idea of hitting people is to knock them out of the game.

What bugs me is that if you listen to the bleating of the gun-control crowd, you'd think that the world was an utterly peaceful place until the invention of the handgonne. Which even a minute's worth of perusing of human history will show to be utterly false.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

All You Need to Know About the Middle East in Three and a Half Minutes (in Song, No Less)



The song is from the movie Exodus. There were a number of covers of it in the `60s.

(H/T1 & H/T2)

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

Two Dh.112 "Venom" fighter/bombers.

Army Humor

Click on the image to enlarge it, and it's from here.

(What SHARPS is)

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Reality Will Never Intrude on the Deniers' Views

There is yet again another study which shows that polar ice is melting at an accelerating rate.

Phil Plait seems to think that the global warming deniers will eventually come to grips with reality. I am not so optimistic. In a country were something like 46% of the population reject the theory of evolution in favor of the "majickal sky-fucker" belief and where a similar number reject geological evidence in favor of the "presto-chango, now there is Earth" belief, it doesn't matter how many scientific studies are done and how much data is presented. They will never be convinced. For they are immune to evidence.

And yet, the same people who deny the reality of evolution will then condemn the Taliban for burning down schools and condemn the Saudis for their extremely misogynistic society. And they will never entertain the thought that there is not very much difference between all of them.

You simply cannot fix stupidity that is driven by religion.

Caturday

Jake was getting bored with my futzing around with the camera.


Friday, November 30, 2012

Crap. I'm Old.

The Michael Jackson albumThriller was released 30 years ago.



The video came out a year later. Cable TV was in its infancy, compared to today. Most TV viewers received over-the-airwaves broadcasts; even HBO was usually broadcast in metro areas. And the comparatively few people who saw music videos saw ones where th bands were playing and maybe some scantily-clad women were dancing around the musicians. The video of Thriller changed everything.

Didn't Take Inspector Clouseau to Solve These Crimes

By now, you would think that everybody should know that downloading and possessing kiddie porn is a major-ass felony.

So you have to wonder why guys who are into child porno would even think to apply to become cops. It would be like applying to work for the DEA and listing, as a previous job, "retail narcotic sales".

But guys do it. One such clown applied to the FBI, others applied to the MO State Highway Patrol, the Chippies and the San Diego police.

These guys are even dumber than the crooks in the wind and deadbeat dads who show up to collect supposed winnings in some drawing.



Thursday, November 29, 2012

Your Earworm; Dumb Ways to Die Edition

From our friends on the far side of the world:



Tuesday, November 27, 2012

You Gotta Be Shitting Me: Tom Cruise as "Jack Reacher"?

I saw this commercial last night and thought: Seriously? Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher??

(The commercial's been yanked, so here's the trailer)


If you've read any of the books, you'll know this: Jack Reacher is a seriously big guy. He's 6'5", weighs in at 250lbs and has a 50 inch chest. Reacher's face is plain to the point of being nearly ugly.

Tom Cruise is ten inches shorter (even when he's wearing heels lifts), probably a hundred pounds lighter and a hell of a lot prettier. Compared to the Jack Reacher of the books, Cruise should be wearing curled-toed shoes and singing about being in the Lollipop Guild. He has to be close to the worst possible actor to take on the role. It'd be like filming the story of the RMS Titanic by using a forty-foot Chris-Craft to stand in for the ship.

Reacher is big enough to have deliberately taken a .38 Special slug in the chest and then beaten the shooter to death. You could probably drop Tom Cruise with a single shot to the chest from a .25 ACP.*

Even Ashton Kucher would be better, for at least he's reasonably tall. Jack Reacher doesn't exactly have a wide emotional range; there are at least half-a-dozen guys in the WWF who, with a little bit of acting training, could pull it off.** There are at least two or three times that many in the NFL. About the only way to cast the role of Jack Reacher worse would be to have Katherine Heigl play the part.***

I'm not a big fan of the Jack Reacher series. After a few, they seemed to be cookie-cutter books that can be read the same way as a Louis L'Amour western: Read the first chapter, the last chapter and five random pages inbetween.

But I don't see how a Reacher fan could watch this movie without either laughing uproariously or stalking out in seething anger.
_____________________________________________
* As Jeff Cooper supposedly said about having a .25: "Don't load it. If you load it, you might shoot it, and if you shoot it, you might hit someone. If you hit someone, they will be very, very mad at you."
** They already know how to act a litle.
*** Heigl could probably handle the emotional range. Maybe.

Monday, November 26, 2012

I'm Shocked, Shocked, to Learn That "Voter Fraud" Was a Cover For Voter Suppression By the GOP.

Big surprise, eh?
“The Republican Party, the strategists, the consultants, they firmly believe that early voting is bad for Republican Party candidates,” [Former FL GOP Chairman Jim] Greer told The Post. “It’s done for one reason and one reason only. … ‘We’ve got to cut down on early voting because early voting is not good for us,’ ” Greer said he was told by those staffers and consultants. “They never came in to see me and tell me we had a (voter) fraud issue,” Greer said. “It’s all a marketing ploy.”
It was all a cover for the largest voter suppression campaign since the poll tax. But they screamed "Acorn, Fraud" repeatedly on Fox News, Hate Radio and all of the fellow-traveling blogs and what not.

The smart ones knew what they were doing, but all of the Teabaggers and other Wingnuts, the useful idiots of the corporatists and the plutocrats, swallowed their bullshit hook, line, sinker and fishing pole. And for most of those clowns, they'll go to their graves believing that in-person voter fraud was a grave threat.

Night Flying

I wasn't going to write this post, but a comment on an earlier post changed my mind. Roughly ten percent of my flying time is night VFR, which means that I might know enough to be slightly dangerous.

First off, have flashlights. If you're not sure if you have enough flashlights, carry more. A chemlight tube or two can work as backup panel lights.

Second, raise your limits for weather. "Legal", according to FAR 91.155, will probably get you killed. I want better than five thousand and five if I am going to do pattern work and double that if I am leaving the pattern. Keep an eye on the temperature/dewpoint spread and be aware that if it is not terribly great, evening cooling can bring ground fog.

Third, night VFR is kinda-sorta-instrument flight. No, you don't need to lock onto the gauges, but the "six pack" should be in your scan. Especially out over rural areas and on moonless nights, which way is up isn't always going to be readily apparent.

Fourth, use all of the tools. If your airport has a localizer, tune it in. If your airplane have the gear for it, use the glideslope. Obviously, if the airport has VASI or PAPI, use it.

Now for some really opinionated stuff:

If you are not going to use any one tool for landing on a lit runway at night, don't use the landing lights. Landing lights can encourage "spotting", or focusing only on the area that is lit up. You need to consider the entire runway and keep your visual focus on the far end, just like you did when you were learning to land. If you are not comfortable landing without a landing light, then go get some more dual instruction.

This is also a matter of self-preservation: Other than the new (and very costly) LED landing lights, if any light is going to burn out in flight, it's probably going to be the landing light. The incandescent ones have a lifetime of maybe 10-20 hours, the halogen ones last longer.

Unless you have terrain issues, then this is the time to be flying like you have elderly nuns for passengers and nitroglycerine for cargo. Fly gently. Don't do steep "cowboy" turns, for that way lies vertigo. Don't hang on the prop in a climb. And your approaches should be stable like the jet drivers do it; motor on calmly down the glideslope and cut power when you're over the threshold. If you're too high, don't descend rapidly, go around and get set right.

Whatever you do, don't go low on the glideslope. Go around and do it right the next time.

Remember, the airplane can't tell the difference between day and night. It's all up to you.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

A Little Night Work

Sunset is now before 5PM in these parts, which means that it is time for night flying. These are the flashlights that I have with me on a night flight:


The two mini-maglights with cords attached have red filters. I wear one of them around my neck. The other two are unfiltered.

The D-cell flashlight has multiple uses. I use it for preflighting, of course. With the butt end in a door side pocket, the wand makes a useful cabin red emergency floodlight if the panel lights fail. And it is very good for walking around a dark ramp to ensure that I am seen by other people.

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise



The VC-10 went out of airline service over 30 years ago. The RAF intends to retire theirs next year.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

New York Times to Obama: "Now That You've Been Re-Elected, Please Commit Political Suicide."

Sometimes you have to wonder if they purposefully put political idiots onto the editorial board of the Times. For only those kind of fools could come up with this:
[I]n his first term, Mr. Obama did nothing to cross the gun lobby, and he actually signed legislation allowing loaded firearms to be carried in national parks. Let’s hope Mr. Obama shows more courage on guns in his second term.
Even those oxygen-deprived morons on West 43rd know that nothing would be done without Congress and that the House is in Republican hands. Not to mention that there are Democratic senators from states where passing new gun control legislation would be a sure-fire guarantee of defeat the next time they ran.

But hey, those knuckleheads on the editorial board probably live on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. It's a good bet that unless they were in the service, none of them has ever seen a gun that wasn't either in a cop's holster or in a thug's hand. They likely suffer heart palpitations at the notion of anyone having a concealed carry permit.

Caturday; Retro Edition

This is my 8,000th post on this blog. It seems appropriate that it be a Caturday post. All of the photos for today are almost eight years old.

This was George. I'm not sure how he got up on that vanity shelf.


Gracie was wrapped up in a fleece blanket.


This was Teddy. Back in the `90s, there was a big black feral tomcat in the neighborhood; it was possible that he was the father to both George and Teddy.


Teddy and Rocky. Teddy was seven months older than Rocky and Rocky adored him. Rocky was Gracie's half-brother from a litter 18 months later.


Teddy had a short life because of struvite crystals. He was a trouper about it, even putting up with a regimen of subcutaneous hydration. He died in 2006. Gracie, George and Rocky all passed earlier this year.

For this post, it seemed appropriate to remember them.

Friday, November 23, 2012

The Great Thanksgiving Festival of Food, Family, Friends and Firearms

Thanksgiving yesterday was at a friend's family farm, with lots of folks. I got up early and baked a loaf of bread to bring with me. Seems that the hostess of the feast loves fresh bread and she was very pleased to be given a loaf still warm from the oven.

After the main meal and dessert had settled in, we adjourned to the back pasture for a little bit of bangity.

I was originally planning to just bring a couple of revolvers. But then that morning, I learned that one of the attendees (active duty military trigger-puller of some flavor) was bringing a civvie version of the M-4. So besides the Model 10 that I wrote about earlier, I grabbed my AR-15A2 and my Garand.

This is them ready for cleaning:


And this was the pile of cleaning stuff, ready to be balled up and shitcanned:


I got to shoot the civvie M-4. It had an EOTech sight on it, first time that I ever had used one. It was kind of interesting and I can see that it would be fast to use in the up-close and personal realm. The M-4 sounded louder to me than the AR-15, probably because the AR-15 has a 20" barrel and the M-4's was just a skosh over 16". Military guy said that they use 10" M-4s at work.

The military guy asked to shoot the Garand, so I handed it and a loaded clip to him and then coached him on loading it (not wanting him to suffer a bout of "M-1 Thumb"). He said that it was nicer to shoot than a M-14.

Several people brought a variety of handguns. I shot a Sig P-938 and was able to keep it inside of "minute of thug" at 25 yards. I can't say that it was pleasant to shoot, but it wasn't as bad as a Ruger LCR.

I had not shot my AR-15 in a very long time. The rifle ranges that I had access to back east were over in CT and CT banned AR-15s.* It was good to get some time on it again.

It was a good day, indeed.
_____________________________________
* The stupidity of the CT law is such that my full-size AR-15 was banned, but that civvie M-4 wasn't, because CT banned weapons by make and model, not by characteristics.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Bangity; Model 10 Edition

UPDATE: I managed to do something stupid and scrubbed the original post, so let's try this again.

Someone posted a rule that says:
If Thou Seeest a Smithe & Wesson Modele 10 in Goode Conditione for Less Than $300, Buyeth It."
So I did.


This is a Model 10-5. As you can see around the muzzle and the cylinder, there is quite a bit of holster wear. There is maybe a couple of thousandths of rotational play in the cylinder, so I expect it will be a decent shooter. Probably down the road, I'll have it tuned up.


Now I have two of them. The one at the top is a Model 10-11 that was one of the Aussie police trade-ins that were being sold by Bud's Gun Shop. It has less holster wear and it locks up solidly. I have used it in two PPC club matches and from what I've been told, I was the high revolver shooter in the second one.*

The 10-5 has a firing pin on the hammer, the 10-11 has its mounted on the frame. A lot of purists like the hammer-mounted pin and it does look cooler. A previous owner painted the front sight of the 10-5 yellow and the rear sight green. The 10-5 has a grooved trigger, the 10-11 has a smooth-faced trigger. Seems odd to me to have a grooved trigger on a self-defense gun. But I guess that was the preference 40 or 50 years ago.

The 10-5 was made with both tapered and bull barrels. If you look at the top profile of both revolvers, it would seem that S&W didn't quite match up changes in the frame's profile to match the bull barrel. Or somebody changed the barrel. The roll marks on the barrel of the older gun are crisper.

I'll shoot the 10-5 this weekend and see how it runs.
_____________________________
* I was also the high woman shooter, but I earned that distinction with the first shot, as no other women had entered.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Because this never gets old:

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Karl Rove's Hissy Fit-- Another Explanation?

Anonymous is claiming that Karl Rove's computer geeks tried to steal the election (as has been alleged that he did in Ohio in 2004). They claim to have blocked the attempt by erecting firewalls to stop the intrusion attempts.

It would explain why Rove melted down on live TV on Election Night. He might have really thought that he had the election sewn up.

It would be very interesting if enough evidence comes out to warrant a serious investigation.

(H/T)

Light in the Loafers; Tehama County (and Mark Rubio) Edition

Did you know that creating parks, open space and walking trails is part of the Evil U.N. Agenda 21!!11!!

Neither did I. But the Teabaggers there sure do.
The new city park in Corning, the creation of a county trails coordinator, and the appointment of two members to a non-profit economic planning agency were all fodder for Tea Party members Tuesday to accuse the Tehama County Board of Supervisors of pushing forward a 20-year-old non-binding United Nations sustainability plan.

Tom Mohler, a regular attendee of the board meetings, said Agenda 21 has been pushed in America for decades, but few people see it. ... Another Tea Party member told the board he wanted it on the record that he opposed creating a Tehama County Trails and Open Space Coordinator as it continued to push forward Agenda 21.
Sixty years ago, their grandparents in the John Birch Society were railing against the flouridation of drinking water as being some sort of Commie Plot. Without doing any research, I'll bet that the Wingers in the `50s thought the same thing of polio vaccine, because Real `Murricans Would Rather Die in an Iron Lung Than Take a Commie Vaccine.

Morons.

Which brings me to Marco Rubio. He recently told GQ magazine that the age of the planet was "one of life's great mysteries."

Except that it is not. Geologists have estimated the age of the Earth at 4.5 billion years for a long time, probably longer than Rubio has been wasting oxygen. It is only a "mystery" for a gutless politician who is trying to pander to his base voters, people who put theology over things like "facts" and "evidence", and he is trying to do it in a way that doesn't make him sound like a total buffoon.

Which he most assuredly is.

We have a lot of problems in this country to deal with. We are being held back from addressing them by imbeciles who refuse to acknowledge reality because a book of ancient fables tells them otherwise. Then there are the "truthiness" jackasses, the ones who believe in their gut feelings over things such as data* And then there are the truly evil ones in the extraction industries, who know that climate change is real, in the same way that the tobacco industry knew that their products cause cancer, only they fight the reality because they're making money.

We cannot fix the big problems in this land, hell, on this blue pixel in space, unless we are willing to do research, evaluate the data critically and then act on what the data is telling us.

There is a word for people who do not accept reality and who, instead, act on what they believe to be true.

Delusional.

It is high time that we ease those who refuse to accept reality out of positions where they can influence the course of public events.
___________________________________
*They were predominant on the Right during the most recent election, when they were reassuring each other that Rmoney would win in a huge landslide, when he only got 47% of the vote.

Can We Have Holidays That Have Not Become Commercial Extravaganzas?

Or, in other words, don't those fuckers in the Walton family have enough money already that they need to drag people in on the middle of the day to get ready for the slavering hordes of consumers?

I think this needs to be controlled by appropriate legislation. It would be unlawful for a retail establishment to be open from 10 PM Thanksgiving Eve until 6 AM on the day after Thanksgiving. The only exceptions would be for restaurants, for retailers whose retail sales volume is at least fifty percent from the sale of motor fuels.

Everybody else, stay the frak closed, you greedy-ass motherfuckers. Let people have a traditional Thanksgiving the way the Pilgrims did: Eating lots of turkey with all of the trimmings and then falling asleep in front of the TV while watching the Detroit Lions get their asses kicked.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Israel and Hamas

Nearly four years ago, I wrote this post. I think it is still relevant.

I do believe that the current leadership of Israel is close to being a "religious thugocracy". Generally in life, if one is constantly looking for a fight, a fight will be found. Whenever a chance of negotiation has arisen, Netanyahu has never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity for any sort of peaceful dialogue.

But when the clowns and fellow-travelers on the other side (including the anti-Semites in Europe on both sides of the political specturm) start railing against "the Jews", then my side has, in essence, been chosen for me.

Creation

Heh.

Heidi

The game that changed broadcast history.

Listen to the end of the piece for a nice follow-up to the story.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

A Canberra bomber uses its cartridge starter to start its engines.



Saturday, November 17, 2012

Caturday; Staying Warm Edition

A large sunbeam was coming through the windows, the heated cat bdt was plugged in, and Jake was luxuriating in the warmth on both sides of his body.


Garmin Nuvi GPS - A Real Fucking Piece of Shit

A year or so ago, I was given a Garmin Nuvi-1450 GPS, which was nice because it came with "lifetime updates".

Except now, if I want to update the fucking thing, I have to accept a partial database, because there is not enough room on the goddamn thing for a map update, not unless I buy a micro-SD card. And because I now live in the central part of the US, the dividing line between where the fucking piece of shit thing will work and where it won't is a hard day's drive.

I deleted the foreign keyboards and the foreign language files to free up space. Not enough, it seems.

Garmin's customer service contact form is of no help.

I'll probably just go buy a new road atlas. I rarely ever got lost with one of those. The goddamn traffic alert function on it rarely worked right, anyway; it either alerted to nonexistent blockages or didn't alert to a massive jam.

Paper maps. Revolvers. Tailwheel aircraft. Uhh-rah!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

So, You Want to Secede?

There are a bunch of secession petitions on the White House's web site from whiny-ass crybabies who can't handle the fact that this is a democracy and that sometimes their candidates are going to lose.

If your faith in and loyalty to this country are so tenuous that you feel the need to throw a hissy-fit because your guy lost a free and fair election, here is my advice:

Leave now. Go ahead, move to a country where they have sham elections. Russia would be a good place for your kind.

Before
we make all of you seditious bastards leave the country that you obviously don't love anymore.

NOOOOOOOooooooooo!

No coffee??!!!1!!??
Forget about super-sizing into the trenta a few years from now: Starbucks is warning of a threat to world coffee supply because of climate change. ... The company is now preparing for the possibility of a serious threat to global supplies.
Now, if the only threat was to that bitter burnt shit that Starbucks sells, I'd not care. But obviously, Seattle Swill is made by the company and has little to do with the actual coffee beans.

Can it get worse? You betcha! No chocolate!!
It looks as though climate change is going to take a bite out of chocolate production, according to a new study by scientists at CIAT. ... The cocoa report predicts a one-degree Celsius temperature rise by 2030, increasing to 2.3 degrees Celsius by 2050. This is enough to inhibit the development of cocoa pods, which could send yields crashing and prices soaring.
If this happens, you might not want to live to see it, especially if you were a climate-change denier. You could wind up hanging from a lamp-post.

(H/T)

On This Day in History

On November 13th, Felix Unger was asked to remove himself from his place of residence.

That request came from his wife.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Raffling Off For Tamara

As you may know, Tam, a rather well-known gun blogger, has come down with a bit of cancer.

Hence: Operation Tamalanche.

A lot of bloggers are offering up bits of swag in raffles to benefit Tam.

Go enter. She has a PayPal button on her blog. Print out the receipt, scan it and you can use that to enter the raffles. Or, if you are allergic to PayPal, you can put your email address into a comment for the Old NFO and he'll let you know about sending a check.

Oh, and if you are thinking about entering the Old NFO's raffle, keep in mind that Colt Diamondbacks are notorious for being finicky pieces of shit and you most definitely do not want one. You want Carteach's .22. You can trust me on this, right?

(WARNING! Do not snark in this post's comment box about how, with a decent national healthcare system, this wouldn't need to happen. Kneecaps. 3' length of rebar. Need I say more? So go hold your own snarkfest. This is to benefit an online buddy. Понимаете? Capish?)

Train Like You'd Fight

When I was at the range for the PPC match, there was a shooter who was using some flavor of 1911 in .40 S&W. He was picking up a lot of brass on the range, far more than he would have shot. When I asked where all it was coming from, he said that it was from cops who shot in the match-- they don't pick up their brass.

It seemed kind of wasteful, but then I thought a bit about it. Back in the revolver days, there was a story about a cop in a gunfight who, at the end of the fight, found that his pants pocket was full of expended cartridges (or was found dead). Apparently the range officers in his department didn't like to have bass littering their ranges. Police departments then figured out that it was better to have ranges with empty brass lying around than to have cops picking up their brass in the middle of a gunfight.

The other thing, of course, is that if the cops now picked up their brass, that would alter the scene for any post-shooting investigation.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Who Was Supplying Kool-Aid to the GOP?

The Gallup polling folks. They had a 7% bias towards Romney.

By "bias", I mean the statistical kind, not the bigoted kind.

The problem, of course, is that polling done by telephone tends to reach people with landlines. Technology is changing, more and more people only have cell phones, and this seems to be especially true of younger and poorer voters. Traditional polling doesn't reach them.

This is not a new problem. In 1936, the Literary Digest poll predicted a landslide for Alf Landon. But they sampled three groups: Their subscribers, car owners and telephone users-- which meant that they were sampling people who had disposable income in the depths of the Great Depression. You probably remember that FDR won handily, 60% of the popular vote and all but two states (ME and VT).

This election ought to be a wake-up call for Gallup and the other big pollsters,

Saturday, November 10, 2012

A Riddle for Karl Rove

Q: What do you call the candidate who gets 270 electoral votes?

A: The winner.

Rove, you may recall, formed a superPAC and collected well north of $300 million to help the Republicans retake the White House.*

President Obama won 332 electoral votes to Romney's 206. A 126 vote margin is not exactly chump-change results. Obama won the popular vote both times as well, something that Rove's candidate didn't do in 2000. Obama won more electoral votes than George W. Bush did in either of his elections. Going into the election, the only state that Romney won that was not seen as being firmly in his camp was North Carolina. But nobody was really regarding North Carolina as one of the swing states this time. Obama won all of the swing states that were in play, to the point that he could have lost Ohio and Florida and still won.

I won't get into how everyone on the GOP side drank the Kool-aid and ignored what the polling data was telling them. It is what one would expect from a party that prizes gut feelings and belief over hard numbers.

Rove's excuse for blowing close to $400 million boils down to this: It could have been worse.

How much worse? Obama shelled Romney. The Democrats, in spite of Rove's superPAC, lost one Senate seat they held and picked up two that they didn't. GOP superPAC spending so irritated the independent who won in Maine that he'll probably caucus with the majority.

In what reality does one take almost $400 million from people, deliver absolutely nothing in return, and not end up dead in the trunk of an old Crown Victoria on its way to the crusher?

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* Presumably he paid himself a really good salary for his efforts.

Caturday

A cat at a local winery.


Their cats are very social. I squatted down to pet this one, it jumped into my lap and then climbed onto my shoulder. I stood up and walked around with it sitting there for at least ten minutes before it wanted to get down.

Friday, November 9, 2012

The Running of the Morans; Firearms Edition

From an email sent by an Internet seller of ammunition (and stuff like that):
Due to the results of the recent election, orders for ammunition and related products have increased exponentially. This has resulted in majority of our products advertised on our previous sales flyer email to be sold out. Unfortunately due to supply and demand has our suppliers and importers have increased their price to us and this is completely out of our control. Due to this and our increasing backlog, sale prices will revert back to normal price as inventory begins to return to stock.
So here we go, just like four years ago. There will be panic-buying of all things bangity by all of the Cletii* who are convinced that the Evil Kenyan Usurper is about to outlaw ammunition sales and unleash hordes of UN troops to confiscate their gunsz!!!1!

Those clowns will drive the price of a box of 9mm ball up to $40 (or higher), just as they did last time. And of course, you know that ol' Cletus isn't going to bust a single cap of his precious horde of ammunition.

Ah, well. Same Shit, Different Year. Because you can't fix stupid and, most of the time, it's illegal to kill it.
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* Plural of "Cletus", a generic gun owner who thinks that women should only carry J-frame revolvers and that the Four Rules are for sissies.

A Little Bit of Friday Fun