Words of Advice:

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

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

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

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

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

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Monday, June 30, 2014

Blackwater's Threat to the State Dept.: "If You Investigate Us, We Will Kill You."

That is essentially what the top manager for Blackwater in Iraq, a thug named David Carroll told the State Department's chief investigator, Jean Richter and his co-worker, Donald Thomas in 2007. Mr. Richter reported the threat and Mr. Thomas corroborated it.

Embassy officials, including a goon named Ricardo Colon, the "acting regional security officer", sided with Blackwater and ordered Richter and Thomas to leave the country. Because even hinting that there would be any accountability for Blackwater's actions created what Colon called "a hostile work environment" for Blackwater.

Yep, being held accountable for war crimes is akin to being sexually harassed, if you worked for Blackwater,

The State Department, all the way up to Condoleeza Rice, did nothing. Blackwter was indeed well-protected.

Blackwater is now part of Constellis Holdings.

Why Isn't Bobby Jindal in Jail Right Now?

Saying shit like this is skating pretty close to breaking the law: 18 USC 2385
Whoever knowingly or willfully advocates, abets, advises, or teaches the duty, necessity, desirability, or propriety of overthrowing or destroying the government of the United States or the government of any State, Territory, District or Possession thereof, or the government of any political subdivision therein, by force or violence, or by the assassination of any officer of any such government; or

Whoever, with intent to cause the overthrow or destruction of any such government, prints, publishes, edits, issues, circulates, sells, distributes, or publicly displays any written or printed matter advocating, advising, or teaching the duty, necessity, desirability, or propriety of overthrowing or destroying any government in the United States by force or violence, or attempts to do so; or

Whoever organizes or helps or attempts to organize any society, group, or assembly of persons who teach, advocate, or encourage the overthrow or destruction of any such government by force or violence; or becomes or is a member of, or affiliates with, any such society, group, or assembly of persons, knowing the purposes thereof—

Shall be fined under this title [$250,000- me] or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both, and shall be ineligible for employment by the United States or any department or agency thereof, for the five years next following his conviction.
This is exactly correct:
This is why we’re seeing a pronounced uptick in violence committed by right wing “sovereign citizens” — because even the Republicans elected to our highest offices are spouting incredibly irresponsible evil bullshit like this.
Jindal is a tool. To borrow a 19th Century phrase, he's smoking a cigar inside a powder magazine. But he is of a piece, for he is operating in the same area that similar seditious tools were operating 154 years ago. Then as now, they are nothing more than bitter fucks who cannot abide by the results of fee and fair elections.

I once thought that Lincoln had the right of it, that the way to 'bind up the nation's wounds was to have courteously and lightly administer the defeated Souh. but I'm coming to the idea that maybe the Romans had the right idea. The problem with the South is, like the Germans after the First World War, we didn't beat them badly enough. They keep nattering away about the failed doctrine of state's rights (one of the reasons why the Confederacy was not able to sufficiently mobilize it s economy) and the "lost cause" and all of the other bullshit they spew to cover up the historical fact that the war was fought for the rights of slave owners.

These seditious fools have never gone away.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

The Anti-Vaxxer Body Count

Here's where these anti-vaccination clowns have brought this country: Twice as many children are dying from diseases that can be prevented by vaccination than are dying from accidental gunshot wounds.

Speaking of anti-vaccine nonsense, this sign is in some airports:


We are not "this close" to ending polio. We might have been. Hell, it might have even been eradicated. But the fucking CIA used a vaccination campaign as a cover to try and find bin Ladin, the vaccine teams are being chased off or killed as suspected CIA spies and now polio is spreading again.

I've heard the Loyal Defenders of the CIA lament that "we never hear of their successes, only their failures". Other than the odd presidential assassination*, it sure seems that they have enough failures to fill up a large library. From the fucking up of Iran to being blindsided by one event after another, one has to wonder if we'd be better off razing the CIA's HQ in Langley and converting it to something more useful, such as a radioactive waste dump.
______________________________
* Just kidding.

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

F-100, the first of the "Century" fighters and the first American fighter capable of supersonic flight (other than in a dive):


That airplane used so much runway that one would have thought that Republic had made F-100s.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Caturday

Jake the Concealment Cat naps under the covers on my bed.

Smoking Cigars in the Powder-Magazine of Europe

100 years ago today, a teenaged nationalistic imbecile named Gavrilo Princip assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and the Archduke's wife, Sophie. Princip was one of several Serbian assassins who were in Sarajevo that day on a mission to kill the Archduke.

While it could be argued that a war would have started over some other bit of butthurt, Princip and his co-conspirators dropped a match onto the slow-fuse that ignited the Great War. In just over four years, tens of millions of people would die as a result. Millions more would die as a result of the geopolitical upheaval caused by the aftereffects of the war.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Clinton Lies (Yawn)

The Clintons were nowhere near 'dead broke" when they left the White House. People who are "dead broke" don't buy $1.7 million dollar houses in a tony area of Westchester County, NY.

Bill says that they were "dead broke" because they owed a bunch of money.

Bullshit.

"Dead broke" is you have no money in the bank and no cash in your wallet. The Clintons might have been insolvent, on paper, but they were far from broke. The only reason that Bill didn't have cash in his pocket was that presidents don't need walking-around money.

Claiming to have been dead broke is right up there with Chimpy's obsessive brush-clearing on his ranchette in Midland. Actually, it's probably worse, for Bush was engaging in a bit of "monkey see, monkey do" because Saint Ronnie did that on his ranch in California. Clinton's lies about being 'dead broke" were more fanciful.

Because It's Friday

Edaville RR:


I visited Edaville with my family when I was six years old. I never went back, for I learned that childhood memories of a place are best left to that time.

My family's first house was a Colonial style house. My memory as a child was that the house had a long driveway that was really steep. When I was in my late thirties, I was back in that town for some reason and I drove by the house. The driveway was slightly sloped and was maybe long enough to put three cars, end to end.

That taught me that not only can you not go back, you shouldn't even try.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

World Cup Report

Sorry, can't do it. I fell asleep of boredom, just trying to read about it.

Watching it would have been fatal.

Sail Ho!

Charles W. Morgan, underway.


She is now making a port call to her original home port of New Bedford.

How Bills Become Law


From health care to diet supplements, whenever corporations start ladling out the "campaign contributions", the politicials hop on board.

Here's an egregious one from Missouri, a state where the GOP-dominated legislature has never seen a tax they aren't willing to cut. Except one: Sales taxes, which they want to raise in order to fund road construction. They did that in the same session where they passed oodles of tax breaks and cuts for businesses and the wealthy. The construction industry got the sales tax raise through by the tried-and-true method of "campaign contributions" to an influential legislator.

Because "money talks" is now the overriding principle of our state and federal governments. All of those fuckers would give a tax credit to child molesters if there was enough money in it for them.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Rolling Back the National Security State: Cops Now Need a Warrant to Search Your Cell Phone

So the Supremes have held, in a unanimous decision.
The Court rejected every argument made to it by prosecutors and police that officers should be free to inspect the contents of any cellphone taken from an arrestee. It left open just one option for such searches without a court order: if police are facing a dire emergency, such as trying to locate a missing child or heading off a terrorist plot. But even then, it ruled, those “exigent” exceptions to the requirement for a search warrant would have to satisfy a judge after the fact.

The ruling was such a sweeping embrace of digital privacy that it even reached remotely stored private information that can be reached by a hand-held device — as in the modern-day data storage “cloud.” And it implied that the tracking data that a cellphone may contain about the places that an individual visited also is entitled to the same shield of privacy.
The Fourth Amendment may be in sad shape, but it's not dead yet.

Note that all bets are off when you go through Customs. So if you have a lot of personal crap on your phone, leave it at home and get a sterile one when you go abroad.

Wørd!


I'd argue that nobody has to do CNN's job.

Rolling Back the National Security State, Just a Tad, Maybe. Or Not.

A federal judge has ruled that the Sooper-Seekrit No-Fly List is unconstitutional. Ever since the No-Fly List came into existence, there have been complaints that there was no way to find out if your name was on it and no clear way to appeal being listed on it. Now, maybe, there will be.

But don't hold your breath. The Nixon Obama Administration is obsessed with secrecy. They finally released the "We Can Kill You Anywhere" memo, though under great pressure. One writer commented that what was in the memo pales in comparison to the damage that was done by withholding it from the public.

I've never been a fan of the 2001 "The Universe is Our Battlefield", bureaucratically named "the Authorized Use of Military Force". It is pernicious and evil. By its terms, one could argue that the Administration could have designated Clive Bundy as a terrorist, said that it was impractical to capture him, and then attacked that bunch of Nevada thugs with drones. In practical effect, it's limited to the Arabian Peninsula, Afghanistan and Somalia, for anywhere else, sending in military forces on another nation's soil would be viewed rather unfavorably.



The AUMF should be repealed. It is little more than legalizing murder. It is an embarrassment to any civilized nation.

On the other hand, a different judge thinks it's peachy for the NSA to be rooting through your emails, so long as you've sent at least one to somebody in another land.

On a different note, Eli Wallach has died.


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Heavy on Final


Never Too Late

A RAF Hurricane fighter pilot from the Second World War finally gets his chance to fly a Spitfire.




Monday, June 23, 2014

A Polite Request to the News Media about MH370

Get back to me when they actually find the goddamned missing airplane.

Until then, shut the fuck up.


Before you say (or print) even more stupid shit.

HK Fanboys Never Rest

You can read a glowing review of the new HK VP9 for yourself, but what got me was this line:
The suggested retail price of the VP9 is $719, which means it will compete well.
Yeah, with what? The LEO price for a Glock is $400. The police departments, who buy them in bulk, probably pay less than that. For civilians, Glocks are $450 or so. And Gen 4 Glocks and LEO duty Glocks come with three magazines, not the single magazine that HK ships with the VP9.

Most cops are not gunnies. That sidearm is just part of a duty rig. If it's supplied by the department, it's going to be the cheapest and functional gun they can buy. If the cop has to buy it, it'll likely be the cheapest gun on the approved list. Which will either be a Glock or a S&W M&P.

HK may claim to make a better gun. And maybe they do. But if you're buying fifty or a hundred guns for your force, a $300+ price delta per gun ain't chump change. And if you're a new cop, that $300+ is two or three trips to Wal-Mart for groceries for your family. Or a good chunk of your monthly rent.

Which, of course, gives me yet another reason to link to The Classic HK Post. And Tam's HK logo.

Monday Morning


Not really, but I'd vote for acquittal.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

American Serfdom, Part II

This isn't a "Party R vs. Party D" issue. This has become structural.

For the top 0.000042%, this isn't a bug, it's a feature.

For the Court of Johnny Robers and the Supremes, this isn't a bug, it's a feature. I would hope that all five of the justices who rule that way aren't venal tools of the American Oligarchy, that most of them are blinded by their political ideology. But it matters not, the effect is the same.

We have to change things. For that we either need a Supreme Court that has at least one foot in the real world or we have to change the Constitution (or do what FDR threatened to do). I doubt if a President Warren or a President Paul would be able to fix it. The culture of "money talks" now is entrenched too deeply.

But if we can't fix it, I see nothing good coming out of this mess.

Don't Worry, Spooks, DiFi'll Have Your Back

I would not be surprised if the Senate guts this:
Surveillance reform gained new congressional momentum as the US House of Representatives unexpectedly and overwhelmingly endorsed stripping a major post-9/11 power from the National Security Agency late Thursday night.

By a substantial and bipartisan margin, 293 to 121, representatives moved to ban the NSA from searching warrantlessly through its troves of ostensibly foreign communications content for Americans' data, the so-called "backdoor search" provision revealed in August by the Guardian thanks to leaks from Edward Snowden.

The move barring funds for warrantless searches "using an identifier of a United States person" came as an amendment added by Zoe Lofgren, Democrat of California, and Thomas Massie, Republican of Kentucky, to the annual defense appropriations bill, considered a must-pass piece of legislation to fund the US military. Also banned is the NSA's ability, disclosed through the Snowden leaks, to secretly insert backdoor access to user data through hardware or communications services.
Every bit of pushback against the Surveillance State is welcome. But make no mistake, the defenders of All Things NSA are powerful in the Senate.

Democracies Don't Fight Each Other?

That's the argument of a WaPo/Voloch op-ed piece. The idea is that stable democracies find other ways to work out their problems.

The article included this map, which I think guts the argument:


Most of the "stable democracies" are not near each other. Costa Rica is the only stable democracy in Latin America. The two stable democracies in Asia are Israel and Japan. South Africa is the only stable democracy in Africa. Australia is its own continent and who the hell is New Zealand going to attack?

The Scandinavians are a special case. They've flirted back and forth with political union following their last war with each other two centuries ago. Other than Finland, they're constitutional monarchies and they've sort of realized that it's sort of better to try and get along (as much as there are Norwegians and Danes who detest the Swedes for being Quislings).

In central Europe, Germany for three decades of the time-frame was a divided country. Large numbers of foreign troops were based in West Germany to deter the Soviets from invading. Not to mention the point that Germany was rather shell-shocked from losing two major wars in the first half of the 20th Century (and for committing genocide in the second war).

North America may come the closest to making the author's point, but just barely. The peace between Canada and the United States was driven, in part, by Great Britain, which ruled Canada in the first half of the 19th Century (and more or less until the 1930s). One might argue that the treaties following the War of 1812 were de facto recognition by the British that their most direct threat came from their perennial adversary, France, and that they didn't need the distraction of having to defend a three-thousand mile border with little room for defense in depth.*

I would argue that the so-called "peace between democracies" is a consequence of geopolitical reality and, to some extent, the reverberations of the Second World War, and less a feature of the forms of governments of the nations mentioned in the op-ed.
________________________________
*Canada is geographically large, but the majority of its population, then as now, lives close to the American border.

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

T-33:


Time was that you could find a T-33 in damn near every A&P school in the country, as the Air Force donated a buttload of them to the schools.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Caturday

A cat naps on a pier somewhere in Greece.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Airplane!

Swift.


This one was built by Globe. It's been upengined to a O-360 over the original C-125. It's not terribly unusual to find them with even larger motors.

Globe went bankrupt making the Swift. TEMCO acquired the assets and sold more of them. The Swift Museum Foundation currently owns the type certificate (A766). Roy LoPresti designed a very similar airplane, the SwiftFury, when he worked for Piper. Piper took over 500 orders before the company folded (the folks making airplanes today do so as "the New Piper Aircraft Co."). LoPresti eventually was able to buy the rights to the SwiftFury (or "Fury"), but they've not been able to bring it out. Though they keep working at it, no new production Swift has been made since 1951.

Flyable Swifts can be found for $30,000 or so. But you can also find ones where the owners have spent over $200,000 in restoration and upgrades.

This is Where the "Mad Men" Get Beaten into a Coma by their Client..

Funny, but the ad agency that came up with this one had to already be suffering from severe dain bramage.

Corporations Pushing the American Police State

Fucking corporations will shove this nation right into a total surveillance state if they can see their way clear to make a buck in the process.

If "corporations are people" then they are nothing more than amoral sociopaths.

Because It's Friday

The Durango & Silverton RR:

¡Hooray para el fútbol y que te den por culo!

I hope that's correct, I don't speak Spanish. I studied German for a few years in high school because I thought that we'd have to go settle their hash for a third time. I was wrong (so far).

But I digress.

In the midst of the worst economic crisis in Spain since their civil war, with rampant unemployment and collapsing real estate values, the various local governments in Spain have been pouring hundreds of millions of euros into keeping their soccer leagues propped up.

Yep. They've slashed spending on social services, but continue to pass out bushel-baskets of cash to those clowns who run around a field and kick at a fucking ball. But what the hell, the world soccer league, FIFA, is so corrupt that a Chicago pol would look at them and say: "Guys, really?"

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Iraq War Reboot

There is a long listing of stupid fucks who should have their lips stapled shut over Iraq:

Dick & Liz Cheney, Tony Blair, Paul Wolfowitz, Condi Rice, Anyone named Kagan, David Brooks, Bill Kristol, Chimpy, Rupert Murdoch and Anyone Who Works for His Companies, Judith Miller, Fred Hiatt, Doug "the Stupidest Man on the Planet" Feith, Thomas Friedman, Paul Bremer, Donald Rumsfeld, Charles Krauthammer, John Yoo, David Bisbee (the "torture lawyers"), The Blackwater Thug Known as Prince, and a shitload of other people whose names I don't have the time to type right now.

UPDATE: From the comments, a great idea. Maybe we should have a fundraising campaign to buy all those chickenhawks plane tickets to Baghdad. On arrival, they'd be given a helmet, a camelback (have to ensure hydration), an AK, ten magazines, and a helmet. Those over 60 (or disabled) would be given a 9mm pistol and magazines.

UPDATE II: Why remembering what the aforementioned jerks said is important.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The F-35 Kludge-o-Matic

A wing-loading of 108lbs/sq/ft means that the F-35 is not very maneuverable. So it is a horrible dogfighter and a lousy close-air support aircraft. And it's a lousy attack bomber, because it has a low bomb capacity.


What I hadn't heard before is the allegation that the stealth airplanes are only stealth to western radars. The Russians use very long wavelength radars that will see stealth aircraft. The Russians apparently claim that nothing is stealthy to a radar operating below 2GHz.

That would seem to be easily testable.

(H/T)

Bangity, and Blog Readers are Smarter than MSM Readers

I finally got my scores for the Bullseye match a couple of weeks ago: 745-7x. I don't know if that's good for my first real run at it or not. I placed 3rd. The guy who placed first could have gone home for the final rapid fire string and still beaten me.

I got to shoot a Lionheart last week. It felt like `80s S&W automatic. It was OK, I hit about where I aimed at 7 yards. But for an import, they're kind of pricey. If I wanted another empty-cartridge-case-littering-gun, I could get a CZ-75 for a lot less.

This morning, I made the mistake of clicking on the "read comments" button for a newspaper that I follow. Big mistake, especially any comment that leads off with "[Name of radio blowhard] says that.." The other comments weren't much better. Cripes, I didn't know that they allowed computer access on the locked wards.

Blog readers tend to be opinionated, true, but most blog readers who leave comments can express their own opinions in their own words.

Wicked Pissah

I've forgotten where I saw this (maybe here, I dunno), but damn...


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Could This Be the Only Movie on Lifetime Without that Stupid, Sappy Piano Music?

The Grumpy Cat movie.


It'll probably still have that frigging music.

An Expensive Mistake, That

From the Dumbass File:
A developer who mistakenly built a $1.8 million waterfront house on parkland has been ordered to remove it.

The Rhode Island Supreme Court found that the Narragansett home was built entirely on land owned by the Rose Nulman Park Foundation, and therefore must be removed.

The developer, Four Twenty Corp., began building the home in 2009, but it didn't discover the error until 2011 when it tried to sell the house and the prospective buyers got a survey.
They didn't get a survey first and stake out the property?

And then they went on the legal theory that they could sue and force the proper landowner to sell to them because they fucked up?

Encryption? You Don't Need No Steenkin' Encryption!

HP's new computer system:
According to HP, The Machine can manage 160 petabytes of data in a mere 250 nanoseconds. And, what’s more, this isn’t just for huge supercomputers- it could be used in smaller devices such as smartphones and laptops. During a keynote speech given at Discover, chief technology officer Martin Fink explained that if the technology was scaled down, smartphones could be fabricated with 100 terabytes of memory.
Anyone want to bet that the NSA doesn't already have a buttload of these things?

The way things are going, most encryption protocols will slow down the NSA about as much as a speed bump will slow down a helicopter.

Calvin's Final Conversation with Hobbes

If this doesn't bring a tear to your eye or a lump to your throat, then I don't even want to know you.

(H/T)

Monday, June 16, 2014

Occaisionally, Miss Lindsey Might be Correct

Sen. Lindsey Graham is advocating cooperating with Iran to save Iraq.

Let's not forget that Graham is a notorious chickenhawk, always eager to send other people's kids off to die in one of his pet causes.

The current mess, where ISIS sent in 800 fighters and routed 30,000 Iraqi soldiers, does offer an opportunity to work with Iran on something. That might help in other areas.

But Miss Lindsey then promptly stuck his Gucci-clad foot in his mouth by implicitly comparing Iran's current leadership to Josef Stalin. Smooth turn of phrase, that.

Kind of a Not Bad Law

Illinois outlaws "ticket quotas" for police. But it's still OK to make them do a certain number of arrests and traffic stops, so what the fuck.

They'll still go on. Even more pernicious, in my view, are the little towns that have 400 yards of Interstate running though them, so they set speed traps and generate a significant percentage of the town's budget from them. Maybe if it all went into a county or state-wide pool, some of this shit would stop. For using tickets as a revenue generator for local government does not promote respect for either the law or the police.

Let's Let the Air Force Continue to Kill Our Soldiers, Shall We?

Basically, a tale of how the Air Force almost killed a bunch of friendlies a few years back. And it may explain how the Air Force did kill a bunch of our guys a few days ago.

I'm neither a former ground-pounder nor a zoomie. But it seems to me that thinking that one can use a fucking heavy bomber for close air support is indeed the fevered imaginings of a deeply unhinged mind.

The Air Force has been trying to kill off the A-10 for the last several decades. Damn their evil souls if they succeed this time.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Nonviolent Civil Rights Protest in the 1950s and 1960s Had Armed Backup

Which is probably something that the advocates of nonviolent protest tend to write out of history.

The man everyone associates with the time, Dr. King, Jr., had guns all over his home during the bus boycotts.

Nonviolent protest only works if both sides (or all sides) tacitly agree to a set of rules. If they don't, if one side tries to violently push its agenda, then the other side has to either quit or resist in kind.

(H/T)

Airplane!

It's been awhile since I've posted an airplane photo, so:

A `77 Cessna Cardinal RG:


You can't see it in the photos, but the airplane has a full set of vortex generators. Apparently, they do work.

Gulfstream-IV Crash, Bedford, MA

You probably have heard of the Gulfstream crash in Bedford, MA last month that killed seven people.

The preliminary NTSB report is out.
Initial review of CVR and FDR data revealed that the airplane's ground roll began about 49 seconds before the end of the CVR recording. The CVR captured callouts of 80 knots, V1, and rotate. After the rotate callout, the CVR captured comments concerning aircraft control. FDR data indicated the airplane reached a maximum speed of 165 knots during the takeoff roll and did not lift off the runway. FDR data further indicated thrust reversers were deployed and wheel brake pressures increased as the airplane decelerated. The FDR data ended about 7 seconds after thrust reverser deployment, with the airplane at about 100 knots. The FDR data did not reveal evidence of any catastrophic engine failures and revealed thrust lever angles consistent with observed engine performance. Review of FDR data parameters associated with the flight control surface positions did not reveal any movement consistent with a flight control check prior to the commencement of the takeoff roll. The flap handle in the cockpit was observed in the 10 degree detent. FDR data indicated a flap setting of 20 degrees during the takeoff attempt.

The airplane was equipped with a mechanical gust lock system, which could be utilized to lock the ailerons and rudder in the neutral position, and the elevator in the down position to protect the control surfaces from wind gusts while parked. A mechanical interlock was incorporated in the gust lock handle mechanism to restrict the movement of the throttle levers to a minimal amount (6-percent) when the gust lock handle was engaged.

The FDR data revealed the elevator control surface position during the taxi and takeoff was consistent with its position if the gust lock was engaged. The gust lock handle, located on the right side of the control pedestal, was found in the forward (OFF) position, and the elevator gust lock latch was found not engaged.
What that all means is that apparently the elevator gust locks had been disengaged in the cockpit but were still somehow engaged. Note that the pilots did not do a "ALL CONTROLS FREE AND CORRECT" check prior to takeoff.

RUMINT on the G-IV is that the pre-engine start checklist calls for disengaging the gust locks prior to engine start. If they are not disengaged and if the hydraulic system is online, then if the pilots unlock the gust locks, the elevator locking pin(s) can be damaged and held in place. If the pilots skip over the item to disengage the gust locks, then they have to shut off the hydraulics, let the pressure bleed off and then disengage the gust locks.

As I said, that's RUMINT. I've got zero PIC time in anything larger than a Navion.

But still, I will bet that when 90% of the pilots read the news reports that the airplane had run off the end of the runway at high speed, the initial thought was that the controls were locked.

It's by no means not the first time this has happened.

Who Runs America? (Hint: It's Not You Serfs.)

132 people gave 60% of the SuperPac money in 2012.

You could comfortably seat them all on a SWA 737. Not that any of them would be caught dead flying coach, if even on any airliner.

To them, the rest of us are just a pack of mouthy serfs.

I used the word "serfs" in the title because it's less inflammatory. In America, a two syllable word is more appropriate.

I say this because we went from an administration that was run by people who had zero respect for the Constitution to one that is run by a man who fucking taught constitutional law. And sure, some things changed. Less torture. No official queer-bashing.

But at the core, nothing much has changed. The economy collapsed, not because of the business cycle, but because a gang of $5,000 suit-wearing goons rigged the game and ripped everyone else off. Not only did they glom onto cash with both hands during the boom, once the bust happened, they pretty much held a gun to the world's economy and got the Feds, both administrations, mind you, to give them even more money.

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

F-22.



The airplane that the AF didn't buy enough of because it was supposedly too costly, and which now turns out to be a bargain when compared to the F-35 Turkey II.

The video at one point illustrates the thing that bugs me about airshows: The guy holding the announcer's mic always seems to have a bad case of diarrhea of the mouth.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Caturday

Jake is about three minutes away from commencing his morning nap.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Because It's Friday

N&W 611:


She's been idle for the last twenty years. But she's now being restored to operation.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

To the Cops, The U.S. is a "War Zone".

That's the argument that seems to be made, at least in Indiana, for the cops acquiring military hardware.

Which whom do they see themselves being "at war"? Are they going to acquire Cobra gunships? Face it, ex-Mayor Bloomberg would have had a real stiffy if his police could have bought one.

I submit, Gentle Reader, that the police officers who view their job as being to protect and to serve the general population are a dying breed.

No, police are spreading their mission of "to occupy and to suppress" away from the inner cities to the rest of us.

The question is, are we going to try and fix this by peaceful methods and join this guy? Or are we going to wait until the cops really start actively suppressing everyone? Or will we let them get away with egregious violations of our rights in the name of "being safe".

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Average IQ of Canada Just Went Up a Couple of Points

The Canadian Usurper has been granted his wish to be kicked out of Canada.
Alberta-born Sen. Ted Cruz has given up his Canadian dual citizenship. The renunciation became official on May 14, roughly 9 months after he learned he wasn’t only an American.

Cruz received notification by mail on Tuesday at his home in Houston.

“He’s pleased to receive the notification and glad to have this process finalized,” said spokeswoman Catherine Frazier.
He's also a Cuban citizen, but nobody seems to be too concerned about that.

Charles W, Morgan, Under Way

She is under way for sea trials off New London, CT.


More photos at the link, above.

She had not been under way on sail power for over 90 years.

Invade Homes and You May Find Armed Homeowners

Two home invaders in St. Louis found that out the hard way. One is dead. The other has been charged with a menu of crimes, starting with felony murder.

Up Next: The Battle of the College Professors in Virginia

Now that Eric Cantor's re-election campaign has been crushed derailed in the primary, the general election will be between two professors from the same school: Randolph-Macon College.

The Democrat, Jack Trammell, is a sociology prof who focuses on disability studies.

The Tea party Republican, David Brat, is a economics professor and a preacher of some flavor.

The political forecast in the Federal government is for More and Increased Gridlock.

(And see the Borowitz Report on this.)

Weather Channel: Unbiased Much, Guys?

In a news blurb this morning, the Weather Channel used information about school shootings from "Everytown for Gun Safety", a group that is a Mike Bloomberg-funded astroturf group.

It's a "group" which is about as unbiased on the topic of gun control as the American Coal Council is on climate change.

Dumb move, guys.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Why the FDA Needs Automatic Weapons

To protect us from the Scourge of Cheese Aged on Wooden Boards!
The federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) this week announced it will not permit American cheesemakers to age cheese on wooden boards.
Cheese makers have been aging cheese that way for centuries. The Wisconsin Center for Dairy Research studied the issue and concluded thus (pg 9):
Finally, considering the beneficial effects of wood boards on cheese ripening and rind formation, the use of wood boards does not seem to present any danger of contamination by pathogenic bacteria as long as a thorough cleaning procedure is followed.
Downer cows, pink slime and a certain amount of rat shit and insect parts is acceptable in food, but not properly aged cheese?

I'd guess that the congresscritters from the dairy states will be fixing this one, soon enough.

Update: The FDA has reversed course, while claiming that they did no such thing.

Well, No Shit. Of Course The House Will "Investigate" the Bergdahl Deal.

It's what the GOP does: Launch yet another meaningless, bullshit investigation that will only serve to provide grist for the Right Wing Noise Machine.

Obama could announce a cure for cancer and those putzim would investigate him for not following some asinine protocol.

Fuck those clowns.

But It's Not "Terrorism" when These Guys Do it?

White? Check.

Christian? probably, so check.

Nope, not a terrorist.
[Asswipe], a former TSA employee and member of the 100,000-plus “sovereign citizen” movement, planned to lay siege to a Forsyth County, Ga., courthouse and take hostages before he was killed by a sheriff’s deputy on Friday.

Throwing smoke bombs and tire spikes, [Asswipe] attacked the Forsyth County Courthouse on Friday morning, striking a sheriff’s deputy in the leg with a bullet. The deputy, 25-year veteran James Rush, returned fire, and [Asswipe} was killed after a brief gun battle on the street, which was joined by a local SWAT team.
Because Christians can kill people in this country based on their brand of political or religious extremism and it's not terrorism.

Which is why this particular asswipe was not even a blip on the news. But oh, if Asswipe had been of a certain faith held by a billion people, then we'd be seeing Asswipe dissected for six days in the Right Wing Noise Machine.

Update: The Right Wing Noise Machine is beginning to proclaim that the Vegas Asswipes were government agents. Fucking typical.

(H/T)

Yep, the RC Church Holds the Moral High Ground.......

... in Hell.
A former bishop in the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis testified in a court deposition that he did not know whether it was illegal for priests to have sex with children during his tenure as a point person on clergy abuse from the 1980s to mid 1990s.

St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson said he did not report to police the claims of child sex abuse that crossed his desk, even when the perpetrator admitted them.
Really? That's his stance, that he didn't know that it was a crime when a priest fucked a child.



Except that he did know it was a crime. For documents prove otherwise.
A Carlson memo to former Archbishop John Roach in June 1984 described information from a vocational counselor at the St. Cloud Reformatory. The counselor reported that an inmate serving time for rape had been abused by Adamson from age 14 to 16. Adamson admitted he abused the boy.

“The statute of limitations does not run out for 2 1/2 years,” Carlson wrote to Roach. “The mother and father are considering reporting this to police.”
When asked why he couldn't remember anything (Carlson said that he didn't remember over 190 times), he blamed it on having had surgery:
“I can’t make either a psychological or a physical diagnosis, other than to say I have had seven cancer surgeries. Each time, I received some kind of chemical to put me out for that. If that’s impeded my memory or not, I have no idea,” Carlson answered. “My concern is that what I say to you would be accurate.”
Okaaay, if that's the story that you want to go with. Good luck with that, Archie.
_______________________________________________________

More ancient fuckery by the RCC comes to light across the pond.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Vegas Shooting Followup-- A Hero Died That Day.

As commenters to my previous post mentioned, the man shot down at Wal-Mart was killed trying to stop one of the shooters.

The Asswipes won't get a mention in this blog. But I will mention Joseph Robert Wilcox, the civilian who died trying to stop the killers.

Wilcox could have not stepped up. Nobody would have ever known. He tried to stop one of the murderous Asswipes. That he couldn't and was killed for his efforts makes no less of a hero.

He should be buried with the same honors that will be afforded to Officer Alyn Beck and Officer Igor Soldo.

A Brief Message to Those Who Keep Writing About the Violent Threat of Progressives and Liberals

Executive summary: Go fuck yourself.

Seriously. For it seems that this sort of shit always emanates from the Wingnut fringe:
Hours after a man and woman killed two police officers at an east Las Vegas pizza restaurant and then gunned down another victim at a nearby Wal-Mart before killing themselves, a picture of the shooters began to emerge.

Residents at an apartment complex where it appeared the two lived together said they had a reputation for spouting racist, anti-government views, bragging about their gun collection and boasting that they’d spent time at Cliven Bundy’s ranch during a recent standoff there between armed militia members and federal government agents.
Those two miserable pieces of excrement walked into a pizza joint and capped two cops who were doing nothing more sinister than eating their meal. Then they went over to Wal-Mart and bravely shot down a man who was just passing by.

Seems that the Vegas Asswipes have a pretty lengthy history of being unhinged wackjobs.

If you're one of the types who writes about how there's a "gummint conspiracy to put us in concentration camps" and other shit like that, this is on you.

And if you really believe all of that chemtrails and similar stuff, then I beg of you, get some professional help.

Oh, and maybe DHS ought to dust off that report about the terrorist threat from right wing extremists, you know the one that the GOP freaked out over about five years ago.

Ol' Rence Might Want to Up His Meds

On Thursday half a million “IMPEACH OBAMA FOR LEAVING AN AMERICAN BEHIND IN AFGHANISTAN” signs were found by sanitation workers next to a dumpster behind the Washington-based headquarters of the Republican National Committee.

G.O.P. chairman Rence Priebus said," We know nothing about the litter found in the alley behind our national office. We suspect this is part of an orchestrated mainstream media smear campaign. For the record, we are opposed to littering."
Riiight. MSNBC ordered a half-a-million protest signs and then tossed them behing the RNC's HQ? Christ, how gullible is the GOP's base?

Oh. Fox New. I forget.

UPDATE: It was satire. Speaking of being gullible.... sigh.

On another note, Bergdahl's family is receiving death threats, apparently from those brave cowardly conservative defenders of all things Coulter.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

Me-262 replica


There is a good visual tell of where this airplane was flying, if you know to look for it.

Lots of stories surround the Me-262. The Jumo 004 engines were pretty crappy, often having a TBO of 12 hours. The wings were swept slightly to move the CG because the engines were heavier than designed. The replicas use J-85s, which easily have several hundred more pounds of thrust per side. The replicas are redlined at 500mph; they can be outrun by a good Reno racer.

The `60s Grade School Workout

The "chicken fat" song, a staple of gym class:


That was back when schools did things that promoted the development of students to do more than take a frigging test. There were gym classes, music classes, art classes, science classes and foreign language classes, all in elementary schools.

But as I said, they were trying to teach things back then. And, to some extent, the idea was to have physically fit and reasonably well educated young men for the next war.

No, of course, childhood obesity is a problem (if it was a communicable disease, it'd be an epidemic), which is degrading national military readiness, and the big focus in schools for the past decade has been being able to pass frigging tests in the Every Child Dragged Down program.

Update: If you play the song and follow along, it's not a bad little workout.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Bangity, Peace Officers, and Fiction

I shot a PPC match today with two weapons, a HK USP Compact .45 and a S&W Model 19. Frankly, I suck with automatics (other than my 22/45). I barely made it into the sharpshooter category with the HK, while with the Smith, I just missed the master category.* And no, it's not the sight radius or that, for I shoot a police-stock Model 10 almost as well as the M-19. The last time I shot both a M-10 and M-19, I shot the same numerical score, albeit with two more X's on the -19.

And then there is the going hither and yon to find the brass on an automatic.** With a revolver, even on a fast reload, the brass is right at my feet. Frigging automatics litter. Revolvers are more civilized.

________________________________

I'm sure, by know, everyone has heard about how the cops in Georgia tossed a flash-bang grenade into a baby's crib and pretty near burned the kid's face off. The cops, of course, see nothing wrong with tossing grenades into a room and burning people.

Matt G, an active-duty cop, has had enough of that shit. He's right, good guys don't heedlessly throw freaking grenades into rooms. Soldiers do that, but combat's a wholly different world.

Peace officers don't do shit like that. But we seem to have precious few peace officers on duty anymore.
________________________________

I'm catching up with some of the later books written by Robert Parker. I was an early fan of his stuff, but when the early-mid `80s came around, his stuff began to suck. Sometime later, it got better.

But Parker knew fuck-all about guns. In Chance, Spencer is carrying a short-barreled Smith & Wesson revolver (other books mentioned that he had a Chief's Special). Spencer carries the gun with an empty chamber under the hammer. That's just madness. Smith & Wesson hand-ejector revolvers have rebounding hammers since they were introduced in the 19th Century; they gradually added a hammer block to their guns by the 1920s and redesigned it in the 1940s. Colt's "Police Positive" have had a hammer block since around 1905.

OK, so if you have a Colt Peacemaker or one of the German/Italian clones, you'd be safer keeping the chamber under the hammer unloaded. But for all modern double-action revolvers, keeping the chamber under the hammer empty means you are giving up a round that you might need.
________________________________
* One of the other shooters said: "That HK doesn't seem to run very well. I'll give you $300 for it." I couldn't turn down that offer fast enough.
** Yes, I know that the correct term is "autoloader". Sue me.

Caturday

Do you have room in your heart for me?


(Shelter kitten, of course.)

Friday, June 6, 2014

A Statement That Was Not Read Out

Our landings in the Cherbourg-Havre area have failed to gain a satisfactory foothold and I have withdrawn the troops. My decision to attack at this time and place was based on the best information available. The troops, the air, and the Navy did all that bravery and devotion to duty could do. If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt it is mine alone.
Ike had it ready.

But, as we all know, the D-Day landings of Operation Neptune, seventy years ago today, the largest amphibious assault in history, were successful, though at a cost. Over 4,000 Allied soldiers, airmen and sailors were killed on this day in 1944.

The Germans were then truly fighting a two-front war.

Dear "Open Carry Texas": Thanks for Nothing, You Jerks.

The Daily Show devoted two-thirds (third part of that) of the show last night to mocking the cretins who carry long guns into stores and restaurants.

Do you OC folks not get it, now? As others have said, you are to the cause of gun rights what the Westboro Baptist Church is to freedom of speech and religion.

YOU ARE NOT HELPING!!! YOU ARE GIVING AID AND COMFORT TO OUR ADVERSARIES!!

If the cause of gun rights was a war, you guys would be the Italian Army. You're not helping.

In every debate that comes up from here on out, the Bloombergers will point to you guys as the reason why the right to carry should be further restricted, if not eliminated.

Sit this one out, guys. Please. I know you think you're fighting for gun rights. But your effect is quite the opposite. Yes, you believe that your so-called "protests" serve the cause. But please heed the words of Oliver Cromwell: "I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken."

For make no mistake about it, you are mistaken.

Asshats With Lasers

The FBI is offering a ten-grand reward for information about people who shine lasers at aircraft.

The penalty for illuminating an aircraft with a laser is up to five years in prison. If the laser interferes with the operation of the targeted aircraft, that's up to twenty years in prison.

Which, to my way of thinking, are both light sentences. I'd want to see them be forced to kneel on the ramp of the nearest airport and then shot.

Because It's Friday

The Bancroft Mill steam engine.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

MERS and Camel Snot

MERS, or "Middle-East Respiratory Syndrome", seems to be communicated, in part, by the mucus of camel's nasal passages.

So if you're able to maintain a camel-snot-free lifestyle, you probably won't catch MERS.

The Vultures of K Street

Now there is another kind roosting there: The kind who have feathers and fly, besides the kind wearing bespoke suits and passing out cash..

Forty Years Ago

If you were to read a ten year economic forecast back in 1974, you might have noticed a bit of an anomaly in most of them: They were really eleven year forecasts. They discussed what the economists thought that conditions would be like in 1985.

You can probably imagine why that was so.

Automated Fascism?

The Secret Service is trying to buy software that detects sarcasm. Because they think they have a benign need. And we know that the SS would never ever dream of seeking to trample on the Constitutional rights of Americans, right?

For Thursday


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

TANSTACS-- There Ain't No Such Thing As Computer Security

A truly terrifying article by Quinn Norton.

But the thing is, there is no going back. There's no real solution.

Back in the day, the naval supply system was run out of some huge-ass depot in Mechanicsburg, PA.[1] Their system was truly fucked up. The Pork Chops'[2] inventory and tracking system for supplying parts was a mess and they routinely lost track of things the size of a home dishwasher or larger. Sometimes much larger. A report back then stated that they could fix things by a complete revamping of the inventory tracking system, but that would mean that they'd have to shut down the supply system for a month. Which isn't possible.

Lord only knows how many embedded controllers there are out there that are operating on a 286-level chip an software as old as DOS 3.0.[3] There is no way to fix it all.

And there is no real way anymore to hold down a professional-type job without being online, not if you aspire to make much above minimum wage.[4] You work with computers, you play with computers. People take college courses online. They watch TV online.

There's no going back. We left the non-digital world soon after Mosaic was released.[5] Norton recognizes that:
Executable mail attachments (which includes things like Word, Excel, and PDFs) you get just about everyday could be from anyone — people can write anything they want in that From: field of emails, and any of those attachments could take over your computer as handily as an 0day. This is probably how your grandmother ended up working for Russian criminals, and why your competitors anticipate all your product plans. But if you refuse to open attachments you aren’t going to be able to keep an office job in the modern world. There’s your choice: constantly risk clicking on dangerous malware, or live under an overpass, leaving notes on the lawn of your former house telling your children you love them and miss them.
But his solution is sort of vague, basically "rise up and demand better security."

Yep. Good luck with that, pal.

(HT1, HT2)
_________________
[1] Probably in some then-powerful congressman's district.
[2] Because their collar device kind of looked like a pork chop.
{3] The Air Force still has systems that use 8" floppies, kind of on the same theory that car thieves are less likely to steal cars with manual transmissions.
[4] Or if you have some sort of obscure skill. But even the shipwrights working on the Charles W. Morgan are online.
[5] In `91, I had drinks with a guy who was trying to explain to me how FTP worked and that I could download things from the University of Sarajevo. I asked him: "Why would I ever want to do that". And now, I don't think I've been inside of a formal law library in a dozen years.

Life Copies From Art, Sometimes

Thailand's military rulers said Tuesday they are monitoring a new form of silent resistance to the coup — a three-fingered salute borrowed from "The Hunger Games" — and will arrest those in large groups who ignore warnings to lower their arms.



The military rulers will, no doubt, soon ban showings of the movies.

Elites everywhere hate democracy. They hate the idea of people having an unqualified right to vote. They despise the idea of public protests. In this country, there are persistent moves to keep those people from voting- students, the elderly, and minorities. Jim Crow, at its core, was the systematic denial of the right to vote to Black people. "First Amendment Zones" by the Secret Service and other police agencies are symbols of the distain for public protests. The powerful have had little trouble getting the cops to assist in tromping over teh rights of the people.

The difference between places such as Thailand and here is that, for the most part, the military has stayed out of naked interference in politics. The day that happens will be the day that we can mark "Fin" to the American Experiment.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Shooting For Survival, FBI Style

"Shooting for Survival"-- FBI training video from 1969.


Helo Akro


Wasn't terribly long ago that any one of those maneuvers would have ended with a smoking hole in the ground.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Come the Revolution, You're Gonna Get Yours, Bud; Health Insurance Edition

During the open-enrollment period for Obamacare, I did some shopping. None of the deals they offered were that much better than my current plan. So I didn't switch.

The month after the open enrollment period ended, those motherfuckers jacked my insurance rates up $150 a month.

OK, here's a pronouncement: If you work for a health insurance company and if you're one of the evil bastards involved in setting rates, then may you die soon, painfully, and often.

The Stupid Assholes of Texas, Open Carry Edition

They think that they are doing something good for gun rights, but as noted here, they're not helping. Not a frigging bit. Cripes, even Rick Perry apparently thinks that they're idiots.

Unless they're a false-flag operation for the Bloomberg groups.

BadTux is right, open carry of rifles and shotguns makes as much sense as carrying a chainsaw into a restaurant. It goes further, of course, would you go out to dinner while carrying a 16lb sledge-hammer? After all, something might come up in the middle of the meal and you'd have to mine another three tons of #9 coal.

OC-Texas may be well-meaning. But they are about as much help as a tanker truck of gasoline at a fire.

Please, guys, I beg of you: Stay the fuck home.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

"KaBoom" at Fox

Tonight's episode of Cosmos was about global warming, the true cost of burning fossil fuel and a clarion call to fix it- not because it is easy to do, but because it is hard. Because if you want to have a habitable and comfortable world for your children and grandchildren, business as usual is not an option.

Airing on Fox, mind you.

Try to Keep Your Face Offline

Because if you don't, the NSA will collect your ugly mug and add it to their database.

The NSA says that they don't have access to state drivers' licenses. It they're not outright lying about that, then the FBI probably does have access. So my guess would be that the FBI takes the photo databases from the state DMVs, renames the databases and then gives that to the NSA, which can then say that it doesn't have the state databases. Which would both be a literal truth and a factual lie.

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

I don't have to tell you what airplane this is: