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

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Caturday; Recycling Edition

This cat bed fell into disuse, none of my cats cared for it anymore.


I gave it to a neighbor. Her cat didn't care for it. So she gave it to a relative who has dogs. The relative was trying to persuade the dogs to stay off their couch.

It worked.

Friday, March 30, 2012

NYPD: A Department of Rogue Cops

Seems that Commissioner Kelly ordered his cops to stop making bullshit arrests for possession of small amounts of pot.

The street cops have, in essence, given a giant "fuck you" to the Commissioner by ramping up those arrests.

Apparently it doesn't seem to bother the Commish that his cops are disobeying his orders.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

I Miss One Thing About the Navy

When it was time for a move, you just opened your front door and they packed all of your stuff up and carried it away. Hell, they'd even pack up the dirty clothing, sleeping pets and the garbage if you didn't watch them.

Moving as a civilian sucks unless you've got a lot of cash (or a corporate relocation). On the other hand, packing yourself gives you a good chance to weed/purge old crap.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Legal Circle-Jerking

That is about what all of the so-called "legal analysis" of the Supreme Court hearing on the health care law is: A bunch of pundits who are engaging in mental masturbation.

And frankly, it is almost as productive as gutting a chicken and attempting to divinate the future by haruspicy or by reading the bones.

Monday, March 26, 2012

That's Pretty Disturbing; Literature Edition

You might have heard of the series of novels that started out with My Friend Flicka, which were published in the 1940s and were the basis of a television series and a few movies.

What you might know know is that "flicka" is the Swedish word for "girl". So the title was "My Girlfriend".

Which raises some questions about what was going on back at the ranch.

Somebody alert Rick Santorum.

Apparently, "Evil Lair of Vicious, Trigger-Happy, Murderous Mercs" Wouldn't Fit on a T-Shirt.

Academi, once known as Blackwater, operates a 435,600 square-foot “forward operating base” — which is what the U.S. military calls its warzone outposts — called Camp Integrity. ... And it even has its own t-shirt for sale...

Packing Up

I should have just hired a crew and thrown everything that wouldn't fit into my car into a 30-yard dumpster. And then set it alight.

I did find four storage containers that I hadn't opened in ten years. Other than some photos, I threw out the contents. Lots of belts, which made sense to wear when I had a smaller waistline. All now dumpster food. Five trash bags full of clothing have gone to the resale shops.

If you have Verizon for both your landline and cell, here is a free tip: Always use the cell to call them. I spent 20 minutes on hold with their customer service on my home phone, then I hung up, called on my cell, and got what I needed to do with them accomplished in less than five minutes. See, they don't care if you're on hold over a landline, but on a cell call, it's both free airtime to you and you're occupying part of their wireless bandwidth, so they want your problem addressed and you of the air.

Back to work.

Learn to Fly the Old Way

Ron Machado has a blog post about the Ultimate “Minimalist” Private Pilot Syllabus. That was published in 1971 by the FAA, when the idea was to teach students to fly, not to manage, an airplane.

Back then, there was no such thing as a "pre-solo written exam". If you look through the syllabus, you will see that the pre-solo instruction was all about flying the airplane.

The instructor who taught me to fly was a B-17 pilot in the Second World War. The instructor who gave me a "complex checkout" 20 years later was a L-19 pilot in the 1950s. The instructor who gave me a tailwheel refresher three years before the complex checkout was a former aerobatics competitor. I don't claim to be any great shakes as a pilot. If I can fly at all, it's because those guys taught me not how to manage systems, but how to fly an airplane.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Cheney's New Heart

Former Vice President Dick Cheney was recovering Saturday evening after undergoing heart transplant surgery, his office said.
The Borowitz Report's take on it is not to be missed.

I don't know if they did a "Mickey Mantle" here.[1] Cheney qualified to be in the top tier of those waiting for a donation; 20 months on the wait list isn't unusual.[2]

This is obviously good news for those who care about Mr. Cheney. It is also good news for those who want to see justice for the many war crimes committed at his command. He may indeed now live long enough to not cheat the hangman.
__________________________
[1] Mickey Mantle received a liver transplant in 1995, after being on the transplant waiting list for a single day. Similar questions with regard to favoritism were raised about Steve Job's liver transplant.
[2] Unless they are lying about his time on the waiting list.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Who Doesn't the NYPD Spy Upon?

Wingnuts, apparently. For the NYPD is spying on liberal groups because of what, exactly?

The rationale was that the NYPD was concerned, oh, so very concerned, about any possible protests during the 2004 GOP convention. But the NYPD kept spying on groups who were merely exercising their rights as guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States. The NYPD's Goon Squad seems to be a very secretive organization which makes sense, for goons tend tend be rather allergic to sunlight.

Law enforcement seems to hate, just hate, the idea of dissent. It doesn't seem to matter what political system they operate in, from a constitutional democracy or a common-law democratic monarchy to authoritarian and totalitarian police states. There has been over a century of history in this country of the police not understanding the difference between political dissent and sedition.

I'm not sure how to fix this. But if the NYPD can get rid of the cops who killed Sean Bell, they should be able to get rid of the fascists in their ranks.

Caturday; Nap Edition

George and Jake are taking a morning snooze.



In other news, I am in the process of both moving and opening up my own law practice in the Midwest. The area that I am going to seems to be primed for some decent economic growth. I've already made a couple of trips out there, the most recent to find a place to live and to talk about some office space. The movers are coming in the not too distant future to move my crap out and then there will be the moving in and unpacking and setting up shop and other stuff like that there.

While this is all exciting to me, I won't pretend that I am not a little bit scared. I'm both moving and opening a business at a time where there is no shortage of economic uncertainty. More personally, I'm taking this leap at a point in life when other people are figuring out their retirement plans. But that all is what it is and I will try to keep the risks in perspective. And I won't deny that I am looking forward to living in a state that is not as insane about firearms as the NY-NJ area.

The reason that I am mentioning all of this is that for the foreseeable future, my blogging will be erratic. I might get a few posts up on some days while on other days (or for a few days at a time), there won't be any posts. But please stay tuned and, when there is not a recent post, there is lots of good stuff to read in the blogrolls.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Use of Force and Trayvon Martin

I kind of think that George Zimmerman is going to be cooked for murdering Trayvon Martin.

Generally, the law does not reward people who act with unclean hands. What that means is that you cannot, as the saying goes, murder your parents and then ask for mercy because you are an orphan. The "stand your ground" laws were enacted to remove the requirement that victims of a crime have to try to outrun their attackers before defending themselves.

Stand your ground laws do not, or should not, give aggressors an out. You don't get to start a fight and then claim self-defense. Of course, that determination requires that there be a living witness, for absent bullet wounds in the back, the dead guy isn't going to testify.

Stand your ground laws should not be used by some crazy-ass police-wannabee who fancies himself as some sort of vigilante. The role of Neighborhood Watch is to observe and report suspicious activity to the cops. They are not supposed to jump out of their cars and confront people who are just perambulating down the sidewalk.

Under a stand your ground law, Martin would have been justified for killing Zimmerman, who was allegedly using force against Zimmerman. Martin came to the fight with clean hands, he was not committing a crime and, to be frank about it, the reason he was stopped and shot by Zimmerman was for "walking while Black." Zimmerman, on the other hand, was by stopping and confronting Martin, arguably committing a crime of false arrest or false imprisonment. He was not, in my view, privileged to use force.

I submit that if Martin had killed Zimmerman, that Martin would have been arrested.

But Zimmerman is walking around free. I don't think that state of affairs will be permitted to stand for much longer.

The Incredible Erasable Candidate

The Etch-a-Sketch Candidate: "I can be whatever you want me to be."


The Romney campaign, as much as they are trying to retract the comment, told the truth two days ago: Everything that Romney has said or promised during the primary campaign has been complete and utter bullshit. Romney will flip from being a "severe conservative" to Mister Middle-of-the-Road. He'll get up and deny that he meant anything he said during the primary campaign and that, in the Fall, we can really trust him now.

It's a lesson he learned at Bain Capital, when his job was to lie like a patent-medicine salesman to get the shareholders of a company to agree to being taken over. Romney and his boys at Bain would proclaim how they valued the company, what it did and they'd only make it better. But then, as we all know, they'd load up the company with debt and then loot the company, leaving people out of work, factories shuttered and towns devastated. All the while, the Bain boys laughed all the way to their vacation houses in the Hamptons and in Vail.

Republicans are being fools if they think they can believe or rely on anything that Romney says. I won't say that they are "being fooled", for there is abundant evidence that Romney believes nothing other than he should be in charge.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

More Traveling Thoughts

What sort of fool would drive a Smart car on an interstate highway, where the speed limit is 70 MPH and where traffic is moving along closer to 80? That damned motorized grocery wagon was effectively a moving lane-blocker, until the day comes when someone smashes over it and transforms the car into a speed bump.

A loaded-up Prius climbing a hill is not much peppier than a Smart car. But they seem to be driven by morons with left-lane blocking permits. One was followed so closely by a rusted Ford F-250 that you might have been able to slide a credit card between the bumpers. Took a while for the Prius driver to notice that all he could see in his rear-view mirror was a truck's grille.

I did not see a single truck on I-70 in Illinois that was exceeding the speed limit. On the other hand, trucks in Connecticut routinely push it up near 80 MPH on I-84 and I-95.

This cross was erected at the intersection of I-70 and I-57.


Feelings of inadequacy, maybe?

Connecticut built a third slow-vehicle lane on every little pissant grade along I-84. Pennsylvania couldn't be bothered to do the same along I-80, except for one grade eastbound in the Alleghenies.

Sunrise along I-80 in Pennsylvania:


Postscript: I was on the road normally well before sunrise. I noticed that on the intercity parts of the interstates, there were no trucks on the road. The rest stops were jammed with parked trucks. They were emptying out by eight in the morning and soon after that, the rest stops were mostly used by tourists who needed the break.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Traveling Thoughts

Is there a reason why Sheraton hotels charge for Internet access, and yet it is free at Super 8 and Motel 6 hotels? Is the Internet at the Sheratons that much spiffier?

Do they hand out medals for drivers in eastern Indiana who sit in the left-hand lane of I-70 and block traffic?

Is there an unwritten rule among truckers that when one truck passes another on a two-lane interstate highway, it does so at a relative speed of two furlongs per fortnight? Do they get extra points for doing it three-abreast on a three-lane highway?

Folks, if you have local plates and you need to zip across four lanes in order to make your exit, you obviously were driving with your head up your ass and your mind in neutral. May your genitalia spontaneously ignite.

British Petroleum, we know already that you are evil. But when virtually every other gas station puts black handles on their gasoline pumps and yellow handles on their diesel pumps, what twisted fucker at BP thought it a good idea to reverse the scheme on their pumps? (At least the person who had pumped gas into the tank of their diesel Passat at a BP station in Ohio recognized that before starting their car.)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Another Damn Good Reason to Keep Using an Old Analog TV Set

The new HDTVs are coming with cameras and microphones.

So you can invite a spy into your home and pay well over $1,000 for that "feature".

Yeah. Register the damn warranty card; you can bet heavily that the FBI has a standing NSL search with them to learn who has them and who they may want to use the TV as a wiretapping device.

But if you have one, put in in a TV cabinet and close the freaking doors when you're not watching it. Better yet, put a small white-noise generator in the cabinet with the set.

Best is to not buy a Orwell M-1984 Spy-o-Matic.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Caturday

Bella is in forbidden territory. She knows that she's not supposed to go on top of the refrigerator.


Jake is getting a little sun.


Murphy is enjoying some time in a dog park. This was one of the few seconds that he wasn't running and playing with other dogs.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Corporations Are Essentially Amoral

Bain Capital, which was founded by that really wealthy clown who is running for president, is involved in helping to make China even more of an authoritarian police state than it already is.
In December, a Bain-run fund in which a Romney family blind trust has holdings purchased the video surveillance division of a Chinese company that claims to be the largest supplier to the government’s Safe Cities program, a highly advanced monitoring system that allows the authorities to watch over university campuses, hospitals, mosques and movie theaters from centralized command posts.
I know that the Vladimir Lenin quote that "Capitalists will sell us the rope that we use to hang them" was likely apocryphal. But it is true nonetheless. American companies have been doing a good business for decades in selling the tools of repression to dictatorial regimes.

If corporations were truly people, most of them would be diagnosed as being sociopaths and they'd be in locked wards.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A Reply From Goldman Sachs

From the Borowitz Report:
At Goldman, we pride ourselves on our ability to scour the world’s universities and business schools for the finest sociopaths money will buy. Once in our internship program, these youths are subjected to rigorous evaluations to root out even the slightest evidence of a soul. But, as the case of Mr. Smith shows, even the most time-tested system for detecting shreds of humanity can blow a gasket now and then. For that, we can only offer you our deepest apology and the reassurance that one good apple won’t spoil the whole bunch.
Word.

Crash the Criminal Justice System

Michelle Alexander, in an op-ed in Sunday's NY Times, put forth this idea:

The criminal justice system depends, at the trial level, on the willing complicity of the defendants to play their part in lubricating the gears of the machine. Specifically, the defendants have to agree to give up their right to be tried in order for the system to function.

So what would happen, she wonders, if the defendants decided to stop playing their role, and if a hell of a lot more of them said: "I've got a right to a trial. Prove your case, motherfucker."

The answer, of course, is that the system would crash. It would really crash if the defendants also refused to waive their constitutional right to a speedy trial.

It would never happen, of course. The prosecutors would peel people off by offering very attractive deals. The judges would max out everyone convicted at a trial. For the system needs blood to work and it will not be denied.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Economic Destruction of American Cities Wrought By Airline De-Regulation

How deregulation and the banksters have been wrecking the American air transportation system and how that has been damaging many cities.

For those who have not been paying attention to the airline business, much of this may be astonishing.

For those who have, not so much. If we are going to have a vibrant airline system in this country, some regulation beyond matters such as aircraft maintenance and pilot certification is in order.

But it won't happen anytime soon.

(H/T)

News Flash: Goldman Sachs Exists to Rape Its Clients
Another News Flash: Knives Are Sharp!

In an Op-Ed piece that would have been startling thee and a half years ago, a Goldman Sachs senior executive charged that Goldman only cares about what makes the most money for the firm. They don't give a shit about their clients and only view them as pigs to be slaughtered.

This putz only just broke the code? Everybody else on the planet who has followed the financial crisis figured this out in the fall of 2008. By the fall of 2009, it was public knowledge that Goldman had been shorting the very same securities that it had been promoting to its clients as gold-plated investments. They knew what they were selling was garbage.

Yet when there is a call in Washington to clean up the shitpile that is Wall Street and the big banks, you can bet your paycheck that both the Republicans and certain Democratic weasels* will prostrate themselves to make sure that nothing gets in the way of the banksters' abilities to rob their clients. Come the next crash, they will all be shocked that the banksters were once again reckless. They will always be reckless until they are stopped.**
__________________________
*Carolyn McCarthy and Chuck Schumer spring to mind, and there are many others.
** Or guillotined.

Blackwater's Pistol Range in CT

I mentioned a couple of years ago that Blackwater, er, Xe, er, Academi had bought a gun shop and pistol range in Salem, CT. The place formerly was E&B Sporting Goods. Now it goes by the name U.S. Training Center.

I went there a couple of weeks ago. I was impressed. The staff are very friendly. The range is very clean and the ventilation system works well. Their backstop will handle up to .30-30, or so I'm told. They have organized events that are open to the public on some evenings.

The bad news, sort of, is that their primary focus is providing a range for the Naval Submarine Base. I gather that the security teams from the subs stationed there use the range for their qualifying shoots. They close the range for the public when that happens, so their public hours vary. It's kind of a pain in the ass, as some weeks they're not open, some days they are open at 3PM a few days they even open at 11AM.

The other drawback is that their "pro shop" sells only holsters and Blackwater clothing. If you forget to bring your cartridges with you, or if you run out, you will be shit out of luck.

If you're in southeast CT it's worth checking the place out.

(The place would be a great site for an Appleseed shoot.)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Monday, March 12, 2012

So Much for the GOP's Bilgewater on the Keystone Pipeline

It turns out what the detractors have been saying is correct: The purpose of the pipeline will be to take Canadian oil across the U.S. for export overseas. Even worse, it will work to raise oil and gas prices in much of the U.S., by making it easier for American oil companies to export the stuff.
Canadian companies backing the Keystone XL – touted as enhancing US energy security with a big new surge of imported Canadian oil – actually expect it to supply more lucrative Gulf Coast export markets as well as raise Midwest oil prices by reducing “oversupply” in that region.
Gasoline prices will rise about twenty cents a gallon in the Midwest, and this is not according to the treehuggers, no, this the from the analysis of TransCanada, the company that wants to build the pipeline.

Even worse, the pipeline will do squat as far as increasing Canadian exports. They'd export the shit anyway. It just makes it cheaper for them if the pipeline runs across the U.S., so Americans take some of the risk of the pipeline leaking.

The Canadians, of course, are waving the bloody shirt of "evil Middle Eastern oil exports", which shows both how desperate they are and how stupid they think American politicians are. As I've said before oil is a commodity that is sold on a world market. If there is any trouble in the Middle East, then the price of oil will go up and everybody who buys oil will pay that price, regardless of whether all or none of the oil that they purchased came from the Persian Gulf.

Of course, the Canadians are making a safe bet when they figure that our politicians, particularly the Republican ones, are either too stupid to understand that or too venal to care.

Say What?!?

"Nike Heifer Pills"-- (Nike Air Phils)

"Crack and Rum"-- (Kraken Rum)

It's been one of those days. I replaced the push button on a door bell. Whatever asswipe installed that cut the wire so short that it barely makes it to the button mechanism. One half-inch more on each wire would have made the job a thousand percent easier.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Open Letter to Those Assholes in HR Who Use Web Sites to Recruit People

Point 1: If you are asking for an applicant's date of birth, you are opening yourself wide to an age discrimination beef. I hope you enjoy spending endless hours in depositions and complying with discovery requests, you putz.

Point 2: Why are you asking for a Social Security Number, asswipe? For what possible reason?

Die in a crotch fire.

Afghanistan: Time to Go

Not exactly the way to make friends:
A US soldier has killed more than a dozen Afghan civilians, many of them women and children, in a night-time shooting spree in southern Afghanistan.

The Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, condemned the shootings as "intentional murders" and demanded an explanation from the US.

The victims of the shootings, which left up to 16 civilians dead, included nine children and three women, Karzai's office said in a statement.
Corruption is epidemic, the Afghan Air Force is apparently being used to smuggle guns and narcotics. The NGOs are leaving because of concerns about security.

I have no idea how this all can be turned around. I believe that if there was a time when we could have prevailed in Afghanistan, it was gone by 2005. We squandered the chance we had to make a difference and, since then, it has been more a matter of denying the flow of the tide of the war. The cheerily optimistic pronouncements from first the Bush Administration and now the Obama Administration have been the equivalent of putting pretty siding over a rotting structure.

So now comes the question: How many more soldiers are going to die for this mistake?

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Caturday

George was sunning himself.


I picked George up and carried him over to a scale so that I could weigh him and then subtract my weight. He was not at all happy about that and after I was done, he stalked off, radiating catitude. The little shitcake went into my bedroom and took a massive dump on the floor.

This came back with Gracie's ashes:


We called the vet to ask about it. They confirmed that they made the paw print post-mortem. There was one for Rocky, as well. I cannot begin to tell you how touched we were to receive them. They will be treasured. But this shit is still too raw.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Is There Anything That Romney Won't Flip-Flop About?

Apparently not.
It didn't get much notice amid the buildup to Super Tuesday. But after conservative outcry over his support for raising the minimum wage, Mitt Romney quietly reversed his position this week. ... As recently as January, Romney said he was in favor of a hike in the minimum wage. ... Romney took the same position as governor of Massachusetts, an office he held from 2003 to 2007, and as a candidate for president in 2008.
Rmoney is shaping up to be the Incredible Plastic Candidate. There seems to be no outer limit to what he will say or do to achieve his goals.

Which means, for you folks in the GOP who are supporting him, that Romney will sell all of you out in an attosecond if he sees any advantage to doing so.

A Lasting Gift From President George H.W. Bush

If you have bought ground hamburger meat from a grocery store in the last nineteen years, what you thought was ground beef contained a material known as "pink slime". Pink slime is this:
“Pink slime” is beef trimmings. Once only used in dog food and cooking oil, the trimmings are now sprayed with ammonia so they are safe to eat and added to most ground beef as a cheaper filler.
Pretty much what was once considered to be inedible offal is now in hamburger.

And even better, the Federal government is buying 3,500 tons of pink-slime burger meat to feed to school children. 3,500 tons is roughly equivalent to the full-load displacement of a FRAMed Gearing-class destroyer.


We can thank a political appointee of George H.W. Bush, Joann Smith, for adding pink slime to ground beef. She was a deputy undersecretary at the Department of Agriculture, which regulates slaughterhouses. Once she left her job of ensuring that beef-eating Americans were eating adulterated hamburger, she was rewarded with an allegedly no-show slot on the board of directors of Beef Products, Inc., which makes pink slime.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Neptunus Lex, R.I.P.

The blogger known as Neptunus Lex, or Captain Carroll LeFon, USN-Ret., was killed yesterday in the crash of a Kfir F-21 fighter. He was working as a contract pilot. flying the Kfir to provide adversary training for Navy pilots at NAS Fallon, Nevada.

I usually didn't agree with his politics. Having said that, his writing on Navy and military matters was among the best. If you read his blog, you might recall that he was very happy to get the flying job with ATA and to help train younger pilots in the ways of air-to-air combat.

My condolences to his loved ones.

Fair winds and following seas, Captain.

"I'll Be America's CEO", Where Have We Heard That Before?

[Willard Milton] Romney has repeatedly cast himself as the CEO in chief, of sorts, harping on his business experience as the main reason to send him to the White House.
We've heard that before, haven't we? Back in 2000, George W. Bush said that he would be America's CEO, based apparently on his work at Harkin Oil and his no-show job as president of the Houston Rangers.

How'd that work out for everyone?

Mittens failed to close the deal in Super Tuesday. The sole Southern state he won was a state where only he and Ron Paul were on the ballot. So Frothy and Grumpy can continue to argue that Mittens isn't the true conservative and this fight will stumble on.

Monday, March 5, 2012

What I Do; General Aviation Edition


I've not seen a General Aviation version of the "what I do" meme, so this is my somewhat shabby attempt at it. Graphic artistry is not my bag, so if someone wants to redo this and make it look prettier, have at it.

Mama, Don't Take My Ektachrome Away

Kodak is exiting the color slide business completely. The decision was probably accelerated by Eastman Kodak's bankruptcy, which is causing it to shed unprofitable products as fast as they can write the notices.

No surprise there, color slide film has dropped in popularity. Hell, so have horse-drawn carriages, which are still being made and sold. Film is more and more a niche product, used by people who take so few photos that they've never made the switch to digital and artist/photographers who like the product better.

But for the overwhelming majority of photographers, from morons rank amateurs to the Pros from Dover, digital is the way to go. In time-sensitive operations, such as news-gathering, the pros abandoned film many years ago.

Rick Santorum Has More Reverse Gears Than a John Deere Tractor

Dick Santorum has reversed himself on calling the President a snob, once it was pointed out to Little Frothy that Obama had not said that he wanted everyone to go to college. This was after he backwatered from his "JFK made me throw up" comments.

Santorum's campaign is pretty much toast, anyway. He may win a state here and there. But unless Rmoney loses badly in the Super Tuesday states tomorrow, the GOP is pretty much slouching to nominate Romney. Who will probably do as well as Dukakis and Kerry.

Big Surprise; Russian Edition

Vladimir Putin "won" the election for the presidency of Russia. Although nobody seriously disputes that Putin would have likely won in an honest election, his minions couldn't resist the impulse to rig the election.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

A Litle Sunday Sacrilege


Stolen from here.

Sleep tight! Or, as someone I know would put it:

Now I lay me down to sleep,
No pervs in my windows should peep.
But if they do, I think they'll bolt,
When they see my forty-five Colt.

And Yet Another Maudlin Gracie Post

George is lying on one of the heating pads. But unlike Jake, who sprawls out across them, George is carefully perched on about 40% of it. That was the room that Gracie gave him when she was on it, so he is still leaving her room to join him. I think he misses her and I don't know of how to help.

Jake, on the other hand, could care less, it seems. Gracie would run him off places where he was sleeping when she wanted to be there, I doubt that he misses that.

I went to Google images and searched for "Gracie the cat". She was several pages down in the results. But when I searched for "Gracie the queen cat", her photos were the first two presented and there was a third on in the first page.

It is hard, though, to have pet animals. You know that the chances are that they will pass away on you, you know that it will hurt when the time comes, but still, we have pets. Our vets (Rocky's and mine) sent very nice condolence cards.

Today's NYT had a lengthy profile of Frothy and an article how Mittens is following Obama's nomination strategy. Go read them, if you give a crap.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Why is Everybody Surprised to Learn that Rush Limbaugh is a Dirty Sexist Pig?

I mean, really. Why is this such a shocker? The bounds of decency have never been a limitation for him.

This would not be remarkable if it weren't for the point that Oxy-boy is the de facto head of the GOP. Politicians of that stripe who have disagreed with His Grossness have, in the past, quickly fallen into line. That is why Santorum issued such a lame disavowal of el Cerdo's campaign of vilification against women who would like to use contraception.

Don't worry, though. Frothy will walk it back as soon as the heat dies down.

Update, 3/4/12: Following the Dirksen Rule* (because seven sponsors have dropped him), Oxy-boy has apologized. He said that he was "trying to be humorous", which is the biggest sack of offal offered up for public consumption is the days when the Bushies were selling the Iraq War. His statement that he "did not mean a personal attack" is just malarkey. Personal attacks and character assassinations are his stock-in-trade.
____________________________
* "When I feel the heat, I see the light."

Caturday

Jake is giving me his "I know more than you think you do" look.


George is snoozing on the heating pad. By habit, he left enough room for Gracie.


"Come into my lair..."


"... and die!"


It has been almost two weeks since Gracie's death. I think George is missing her. He formerly would jump up on my bed after I got into it almost every night for some attention. He and Gracie almost seemed to be racing as to who got there first. He'd wait his turn if she did. If he got here first, a lot of the time she'd push him aside and then he'd come back after she was done. He has only climbed up once since then.

I found some old photos of her. When she was a kitten and a young adult, she loved to get up on things and lie there. I have photos of her perching or lying on my TV, a CRT monitor and my microwave. I had a dresser and a tall bureau that were separated by the width of a closet door; she would jump up on the dresser and then across to the bureau.

One time I was watching "The Life of Birds" on PBS; she jumped up into the TV cabinet and went behind the TV to try to find the birds. When she came back out the other side, she was clearly puzzled about where the birds were. After that, if there was a nature show on the TV, she would just sit on the floor and watch it. I don't know if she knew that the picture wasn't real or if she thought that the TV was protecting the critters from her.

Gracie wasn't totally a one-person cat. When she got to know someone, she would come to them and accept her due. She and I bonded, though, and if someone else was petting her and I called to her, she'd come over to me.

I miss her, a lot. But to be fair, the saying I heard once that three cats are nearly twice the work of two was, in retrospect, pretty accurate. And I feel a little bad for saying that, as if I'm trying to assuage my missing her with a bit of selfishness over one less litter box to clean, one less can of food to open and one less food bowl to wash. (There's probably a song in there.)

Too early to write this stuff, it feels as though I'm picking at a scab over a hole in my heart. Lord, do I miss her.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Mittens the Earmark Hunter

He'll happily suck at the Federal teat when he can benefit from it:



Remember the Friedman Unit? Well, now there is the Romney Unit, the amount of time it takes him to change positions on an issue. It's not a very long span of time: 3.5 hours.

Go to 1:34 in this:

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Pill Bill - Volume 1 - Blunt Amendment Debate
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I seem to recall, though, that there was at least one GOP debate in which Romney changed his stated position on an issue in less than thirty seconds. So 3-1/2 hours may be overly generous.

NYPD- Fuckery by Design

Turns out that New York City's anti-racial-profiling law isn't worth squat.

Which is pretty much the way that they wanted it when they enacted it. It was a measure to assuage the feelings of people whom the NYPD treats as serfs without in any way limiting the ability of the NYPD to continue to trample all over the rights of minorities.

TSA: Sixty Billion Dollars of Fail

This is a blistering indictment of the TSA by a former FBI counter-terrorism agent. It contains very little hyperbole and a hell of a lot of "just the facts, Ma'am" prose.

My one qualm, though, is that the longer someone is in any organization, the greater likelihood is that they've consumed the kool-aid. As an example, for the Navy, their most significant enemy was the Air Force.[1] Bureaucratic entities hate competing bureaucratic entities and there is some overlap, however minor, between what the TSA does now and what the FBI used to do.[2]

He does reference the House Majority Report on the TSA, but that was a bit of a flaw, to my mind. These days, a report that is solely by one party or the other in Congress can pretty much be guaranteed to be a piece of political hackery.[3] One thing that the Right Honorable Gentlemen were frothing about was the lack of biometric pilot's licenses. I don't know how it is in the airline word, but out here in FLIB-Land,[4] nobody ever asks to see a pilot's license, especially if you're not renting an airplane.
_______________
[1] Pretty much the same for the Army, as well.
[2] The TSA's recent push to have armed TSA officers [shudder} and its own SWAT team [shudder^10] may be a part of that.
[3] Especially from the party of Boehner. Much of the report contains whining that private companies have not been able to get their beaks wet from the TSA's pot of cash.
[4] "Fucking Little Itinerant Bastards", a well known air traffic controller epithet towards non-scheduled flights.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Nuclear Optimism, Maybe?

North Korea's pledge to suspend uranium enrichment, as well as nuclear and long-range missile tests, has received a cautious international welcome.

A White House spokesman called it a "positive first step" towards denuclearising the Korean peninsula.

China and Russia also welcomed the move, while Japan said it could "be seen as progress".

The deal followed talks between US and North Korean diplomats in Beijing last week.
One never can be too sure about what the North Koreans will do. Their logic is almost impenetrable, at times. And maybe this moratorium means nothing. On the other hand, with tensions ratcheting up in the Persian Gulf, the North Koreans might have been inclined to push harder. That they didn't may be a sign in and of itself.

Oh, You Can Have Fun on a Carnival Cruise

If the ship doesn't go dead in the water and have to be towed into port, catch fire, sink, or if you're not robbed at gunpoint, that is.

I've never understood the fun of staying in a large floating hotel, one that can both catch fire and sink. At least in a resort hotel, if things go sideways, you can call a cab and leave. Hard to do that when you're hotel is bobbing in the Indian Ocean, in pirate-infested waters.

The Willard Milton Romney Flip-Flop Finder

The Daily Show with Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Indecision 2012 - Mitt Romney's & Rick Santorum's Michigan Campaigns
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Jon Stewart is right: Romney makes it way too easy.

By the way, is Grover Norquist brain-damaged? Did he not have an inkling how nutty he would come across?

"Runway? I Doan Need No Steenkin' Runway!"



Once it became clear to the planners that airfields would more likely be hit with ballistic missiles than manned bombers/attack aircraft, the zero-length launch concept was abandoned.

Sad Comment on the FAA

Their regulations are so dense and incomprehensible that somebody had to translate them from FAA Legalese into standard English.


Only $29.95, for those whose ground school and flight instructors can't teach that stuff.