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, December 31, 2016

Trump's Not Even Trying to Hide It Anymore

Don King is standing next to Our Overlord-Elect; take a look at the flag King is holding:


That's a Russian flag.

I assume that nobody in the room was stupid enough to allow King to stand next to The Donald and not know what flag King was holding.

But you won't hear anything from the Right about this. Yet you know if someone stood next to Obama at a press conference at Camp David and that person was holding a Kenyan flag, that the Wingnuts and Trump would have been all over it.

Caturday

Shelter cats, hanging out when the weather was warmer:




Friday, December 30, 2016

Imperial Storm Troopers

Why do they even bother with those uniforms? The armor doesn't seem to be much more effective than wearing uniforms made of kraft paper.

Because It's Friday

Russian steam:


Seems like kind of a brute-force way to avoid having to turn the train around.

Gun Yoga


Hey, guy, go to your bunk!


Inauguration Day to Become Gay Marriage Day?

I know of at least two same-sex couples that are changing their wedding plans so that they get married on January 20th. They're doing it both because they are concerned that Trump will do something to repeal their right to marry and as a bit of a one-fingered salute to the new president.

It would be interesting if it became a widespread happening.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Rogue One

I give it a solid "Meh."

First off, I have some qualms about digitally digging up Peter Cushing, who has been dead for two decades, and using his likeness for the movie.

Second, as I watched the movie, I kept wondering just what the big deal was. It did close the original question of why the Death Star had such a flaw built into it.

It seemed formulaic and overdone. And there were a few things, such as an iris-type hatch that was slamming open and shut, that seemed like something cheesy out of Galaxy Quest.

OK, so Lucasfilm and the Mouse printed money from this one. By Hollywood standards, that's all the reason needed.

But the original Star Wars movie was both a damn fine movie and it was fun to watch. Lucas and the others have been trying to recapture that lightning ever since. While Rogue One is nowhere near as sucky as The Phantom Menace, it's more of a tribute to CGI than anything else.

Bottom line: Unless you're a dedicated Star Wars fan, you may want to wait for it to come out on cable.

Also: They're remaking The Mummy with that lift-wearing midget. From the trailer, it does not appear to be anywhere near as enjoyable as the 1999 version.

UPDATED: Well, Isn't That Interesting; Colt Ed.


$699 MSRP. Between this, Ruger's latest and Smith's 66/69 in snub lengths, it's an interesting time to be a wheelgunner.

If this means that there soon will be lasergrips for Colt Detective Specials, you can color me "happy". But since the ad touts a "revised grip structure", we shall see.

Another "Who Shives a Git" TV Special

ABC "News" is airing a two-hour documentary on the Menendez Brothers.

Both of those killers managed to con women into marrying them after they were sent away.

But seriously, I hope that QVC has higher rating than this warmed-over turd of a show.

Don't Worry. If the Economy Tanks, He'll Blame Obama

President-elect Donald Trump touted resilient holiday spending and a strong stock market in a self-congratulatory tweet on Monday evening.

"The world was gloomy before I won - there was no hope. Now the market is up nearly 10% and Christmas spending is over a trillion dollars!" the president-elect tweeted on Boxing Day.
Of course, the point that the September forecasts for Xmas spending were consistent with what happened makes no difference to The Grifter-Elect.

He's taking credit for good things that happen before he's in office; it's a safe bet that if the economy stutters in the next four years, he'll lay the blame elsewhere. It's what he does and the Trumpanzees will fall right in line.

Fuck You, 2016

Debbie Reynolds has died.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Donald Trump Probably Privately Approves

(Because if there is anything Trump believes in, it's vengeance.)

As you all know, the US abstained from a UN Security Council vote lambasting Israel for settlement policies.

Netanyahu is, of course, outraged.

Obama is probably quietly smiling.

It's an open secret that Netanyahu supported Romney in `12.[1] That was compounded by openly pleading with Congress to not go along with the Iran deal.

A politician who is less narcissistic than Netanyahu might have expected that the time would come when Obama would pay him back, in kind.

That time came on December 23rd.

Happy Hanukkah, Bibi.
_____________________________________________
[1] Because it's not interfering in our elections if Israel does it.

Tricare's Pharmacy Change

If you're in the military or a retiree, you know that Tricare has dropped CVS for Walgreens.

One change that a few friends have seen is that if a doctor writes a prescription for a specific drug without restricting it, CVS would fill it with the generic equivalent. That had the benefit of saving people from paying higher co-pays.

Walgreens isn't doing that.

If you have Tricare, you'll need to ask the pharmacist when you go to pick up the prescription (since most prescripts are submitted electronically) whether or not it could be filled with an equivalent that is in Tricare's formulary. If you don't, you're going to get stuck for a higher copay.

Walgreens: At the corner of happy stockholders and healthy profits.

Stupid People Doing Stupid Things

Massive brawls and food-court fights played out at more than a dozen malls across the country in what proved to be a chaotic day after Christmas.
Mall operators are balancing the idea of restricting teenagers to their need for foot traffic.

There are plenty of stores that don't operate in covered malls. And there is always online shopping-- both of which would lessen the chances of being caught up in a brawl being staged by a bunch of bored punk-ass kids, who should be at home, raiding their parents' liquor cabinets.

One of the basic rules of personal security is to avoid places where there are stupid people doing stupid things. If the malls' operators can't get a handle on this, they might as well consider closing down when school is out of session.

The Spy in Your Home-- Who Could Have Seen This Coming?

They're always on. It's a major selling point used by Amazon for it's Echo personal assistant.

Bentonville Police Department said it's why they want the device, and it could help solve a murder that happened over a year ago.

The attorney for James Andrew Bates said it's an invasion of privacy.

Allen Bates, James father said, "I have a strong feeling about personal privacy. But I have a much stronger feeling about my sons innocence."

Back in November of 2015, police said they were called to James Bates' home. That's where they found 47-year-old, Victor Collins dead, drowned inside a hot tub.

Bentonville Police Department hope any audio recordings can help decipher just what went on in the house that winter night.
Yeah, who could have seen that this would happen?

All of those electronic personal assistants are listening devices that the users have agreed to put in their homes and/or offices. It should be no surprise to anyone that various government agencies would want to access the data from those bugging devices.

UPDATE: Amazon is refusing to comply.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Gospel of JMB


Standard Political Lie

The "spending more time with family" line, for one.
Jason Miller, who was tapped only two days ago to be White House communications director, announced Saturday that he will not join Donald Trump’s administration.

In a statement to POLITICO, Miller said the decision to back out of the job stemmed from a need to spend more time with his family. He noted that he and his wife are expecting their second child next month.
No ambitious political opeative turns down a job like that two days after the public announcement.

Whenever someone in the political area drops the "more time with my family" line, it's a pretty safe bet that some heavy-duty skeletons are dancing their way out of the closet.

Ruger MSRP

For the new .357 Redhawk snubbie: MSRP's $1,079.

A 44oz snubbie seems a bit much, but WTFDIK. The S&W 627 8-shot snubbie is the same price and six ounces lighter. Go a couple of hundred more and you can get a Model 327 that has the same round count and is 20oz lighter than the Redhawk.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Happy Hanukkah

Hanukkah or Chanukah, or however you want to spell it, begins at sundown today.

So here is the obligatory video from Adam Sandler:


Hanukkha is not exactly a major Jewish holiday.* In most of the rest of the world, it's not really remarked upon. But it's celebrated in America, mainly as a holiday for the children so they can participate, if only in a small way, in the orgy of consumerism and greed that has become Christmas.
_____________________________________________
*If you look closely at most Jewish holidays, including Passover, the recurrent theme is "those motherfuckers tried to kill us back in the day, but we're still here and they ain't."

The Company Trump Keeps

One of Trump's asshole buddies is suffering from diarrhea of the mouth:
The New York co-chair for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign said his wishes for 2017 are to see President Obama have sex with a cow and die from mad cow disease and for Michelle Obama to be “let loose in the outback of Zimbabwe.”

Carl Paladino also said he wants the outgoing President to be buried next to close advisor Valerie Jarrett, who he’d like to see convicted of treason and decapitated in prison by a “jihady (sic) cell mate who mistook (her) for being a nice person.”

As for the First Lady, Paladino — a former GOP gubernatorial candidate — said “I’d like her to return to being a male and let loose in the outback of Zimbabwe where she lives comfortably in a cave with Maxie, the gorilla.”
I suppose that it's only fair to wish that Paladino suffers fatal burns from his kerosene-soaked robes catching fire at his next cross-burning.

Caturday

Chip is working on getting some warm nap time.


He's still young; he tends to be either playing and eating or sleeping.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Goombye, Asswipes; Barney Fife Ed.

(H/T)
A former East Point police officer was sentenced Wednesday to life in prison for murder and another was sentenced to 18 months in prison for the death of a man who died after he was repeatedly tased.

Fulton Superior Court Judge Henry Newkirk was obligated to sentence former East Point Police Department Sgt. Marcus Eberhart to life after he was convicted Friday of murdering Gregory Towns in April 2014. But the judge had latitude in deciding the punishment for former police Cpl. Howard Weems, who was convicted of involuntary manslaughter, reckless conduct and violation of an oath by a public officer.
Tasers have been sold, all along, as less-than-lethal self-defense tools. They weren't designed to be used for torturing people.

The family isn't happy with the sentence for the one jerkoff convicted on a charge of involuntary manslaughter, among other beefs. Apparently the max for involuntary manslaughter in Georgia is ten years, and since those cops essentially tortured Mr. Towns into a grave, eighteen months does seem a bit light.

Gee. Imagine if the Trumpanzees Weren't Boycotting the Movie.

Rogue One has pulled in $205 million in domestic sales in its first week ($388 million worldwide).

That boycott seems to have had all of the power of a butterfly's fart.

Yep. It Was the Russian Government Who Hacked the DNC.

A cybersecurity firm has uncovered strong proof of the tie between the group that hacked the Democratic National Committee and Russia’s military intelligence arm — the primary agency behind the Kremlin’s interference in the 2016 election.
I have no doubt that the Trump Transition Team has already called in an order of gift baskets and flowers to be delivered to the GRU.

You Won, Trump. Get Over It.

Kellyanne Conway was on GMA yesterday, where, when asked about why Trump isn't holding press conferences, took swipes at Hillary Clinton:


Jesus, Kellyanne, the campaign is over. The election is over. Your guy won (though three million more voters preferred the opponent). Comparing what Trump does to Clinton only makes Trump look like a petty little man.

Which is a characterization with which I have no problem. As you might have imagined.

I Got a Lot of Problems With You People, and Now You're Gonna Hear All About Them


Happy Festivus!

(The video)

In this year, an Airing of the Grievances may not be a wise idea at a family dinner. It'd be nice if the holiday could be about friends and family and not about consumerism-on-afterburners. But I guess that's what Thanksgiving is for.

It's a good thing that I'm not a Christian. For if I was, the idea that the celebration of the birth of the Prince of Peace (a man who from his birth to his death, lived a humble existence) has become an orgy of consumerism and greed would sadden me to my core. But I'm not, so fuck it.

Well, It's Going to Be an Interesting Four Years

(Or fewer)


Starting a nuclear arms race
. Trade wars with China.

Trump's new trade advisor, Peter Navarro, has called upon American consumers to boycott Chinese goods. Which pretty much most everything Wal-Mart and Target sell, other than groceries. Trump's billionaire class, the oligarchy, has been more than complicit in the hollowing out of the American industrial base. Why would Trump want to spark a trade war with the very country that has enriched his buddies?

And to what end? In a conventional war, the Chinese may be able to soak up the losses from American airpower and still prevail.

Anyone contemplating a nuclear war has mush for brains.

Because It's Friday


Diesels are like Glocks: Practical and soulless. Can you imagine somebody standing out in the cold to shoot footage of a diesel train running through the snow? Me, either. (Anyone who would probably needs to be on a Thorazine drip.)

Ruger's GP100-.44

(Original post.)

RUMINT is that Ruger will soon come out with variants that have longer barrels. A four or five inch barrel would make a good field gun. A 4.2" barrel would make the gun available to our northern friends in a bit more hoplophobic nation.

I'd normally not bother with rumors, but the source was accurate the first time around.

Ho. Ho. Ho.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Shorter Navy: "To the Rear, March!"

The US Navy is keeping its yeomen, boatswain's mates and masters-at-arms.

The quartermasters and legalmen will stick around too, not to mention the hospital corpsmen.

After months of withering criticism from rank and file, officials on Wednesday announced a course reversal from an earlier decision to scrap the storied tradition of calling enlisted sailors by their naval occupations.
The Fort Fumble mafia hasn't screwed up this badly since they ditched the traditional sailor' uniform in the early `70s. At least this time, it didn't take years for them to figure it out.

The Cabinet of Pirates

Donald Trump once suggested he wanted Carl Icahn to be his Treasury secretary. But with that job gone, he instead has tapped Icahn to serve as a special adviser on regulatory reform.
Icahn's been a corporate pirate for decades. He is as much a psychopath as "Chainsaw Al" Duncan, men who demolish companies in the name of "shareholder return".

Icahn has never given a fuck about anyone, especially the legions of workers who were "displaced" when he "maximized shareholder value." Look for him to recommend cutting regulations that protect those who earn paychecks.

The looting of the middle class continues, a process that began under St. Ronnie and continues apace. You can bet that while the press is following Trump's Twitter hot mess, that the GOP will race ahead with their plan to gut Social Security and Medicare.

Meanwhile:
According to a report by John King at CNN, the Trump transition team has been floating the idea of an executive order that would impose a 5% tariff on all imported goods soon after Trump takes office.
Smoot-Hawley, anyone? How'd that work out?

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

And the Grift Goes On

Donald Trump's adult sons are opening their father's presidency with a high-price fundraiser at which attendees can win a spot on a half-million-dollar hunting trip with Eric and Donald Jr.

The sons are hosting a “Camouflage and Cufflinks” event, pitched to ring in the new president’s “Opening Day,” the night of Jan. 21 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington. The attire, according to an invitation, is decidedly relaxed: “Jeans, boots and hats are welcome.”
Right, fundraising for unspecified conservation organizations. Given their father's history of rather flexible use of charitable donations for his own self-aggrandizement, one would be advised to be extremely skeptical of events such as these.

Oh, and Tom Arnold? Release the tapes or shut the fuck up.

Caturday, Memorial Edition

Little One, 2000-2016


Little One was the last of a line; she was the younger sister of Gracie, Sweetie and Rocky. She had first been adopted by a friend who had other cats (Teddy and Rocky), but they had a bit of a personality conflict with Little One, so Little One went to my friend's daughter. Little One soon bonded with one of her other cats and things were good for a lot of years.

She developed blood in her urine. Antibiotics didn't clear it up. The vet's best guess was that Little One had either bladder or kidney cancer. Age sixteen is pretty old for a cat, especially if the prognosis calls for fairly aggressive procedures.

So, an hour or so ago, Little One went over the Rainbow Bridge.

Brown Shirt News

Trump is bringing his private team of brutal goons to guard him in his new digs.

Russian Fascists, Austrian Nazis and Donald Trump

On Monday, the leaders of Austria's far-right Freedom Party traveled to Moscow and signed a "working agreement" with Russia's ruling United Russia party. In announcing the pact, Freedom Party leader Heinz-Christian Strache mentioned that he also met with retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, Donald Trump's designated national security adviser, in Trump Tower a few weeks ago.
As noted, the so-called "Freedom Party" was founded by Austrian Nazis after the war. That a senior Trump functionary is meeting with Austrian Nazis and getting into position to make kissy-face with Russia is rather interesting.

That low whirring sounds that can be heard in California and Wisconsin are Ronald Reagan and Joe McCarthy spinning in their graves.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Wikileaks is a Russian Tool

And, as BadTux has discovered, they're not even trying to hide it.

But hey, the Right still thinks that Wikileaks is an independent crusader who only just happens to publish stuff that embarrasses Democrats.

And, speaking of Russian tools:

Interesting News Day

A [truck] has ploughed into a busy Christmas market in the heart of Berlin, killing nine people and injuring many more, police say.

Police say they suspect it was a deliberate attack. Video shows stalls knocked over and people lying injured.

A suspect has been arrested while the suspected co-driver was found dead, police say.
And this:
A Turkish policeman has shot dead Russia's ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov, apparently in protest at Russia's involvement in Aleppo.
Russia in Syria, under the guise of "fighting terrorism", has engaged in aerial butchery of a scale not seen in a very long time. There are allegations that the Russians have deliberately attacked schools and hospitals. Which may be why Russia withdrew from the ICC.

We're Not "Fixing" the Electoral College. Get Over It.

It's probably an open secret that the Electoral College was really created to give outsized voting power to slave-holding states. And maybe the President should be chosen by majority vote.

But it's not going to change. A change would require amending the Constitution, which takes the approval of the legislatures of 38 states (3/4th). If the Electoral College was eliminated, future elections would be fought in places where most people live.

Which means that you'd have to get a hell of a lot of states to agree to a change that would ensure that, come the general election, nobody would ever give a shit about their issues.

It's not changing in my lifetime. Or yours.

Zsa Zsa Gabor

She has died at 99.

I was going to find the opening for Naked Gun 2-1/2 and trim it, but somebody did it already.


Gabor was a celebrity who was famous primarily for being famous. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

For all of her history of serial marriage, her last one lasted nearly a third of her life.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Arby's: It's Better Than Starvation

But not by a whole helluva lot.  

The beef may be a quarter-grade better than cafeteria mystery meat, when they were serving up surplus food from fallout shelters.

Or maybe not.

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

Vulcan and the Red Arrows

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Barfo Movie

I blogged about a movie named Hardcore Henry late last winter. I wasn't impressed with what I saw in the previews.

Seems nobody else was, the movie grossed less than fifteen million worldwide.

It didn't technically bomb, because it cost less than $3 million to make.

Ruger's Newest

A GP100 in .44 Special, MSRP is $829:


A snubbie Redhawk, .357, 8-shot:


The photos were lifted from gun forums

The .44 GP100 ships next week, the .357 Redhawk in January. I don't know the MSRP on the Redhawk.

I've always heard that the reason for fluting the cylinders was to reduce the rotational mass. When you work a revolver hard, the cylinder slams to a stop against the bolt. Maybe it's not that important a consideration.

A 3" GP100 in .357 weighs 36oz, the .44 should be around that range. That's doable for carrying on a sturdy belt. Purse-carry, not so much.

Anyway, I do like the .44 Special round. I carried a Smith 696 "no dash" for awhile, until the used value of those guns crossed into the low four-bill range. Carry guns, to my mind, are tools. They get used and somewhat abused. It makes little sense to carry a gun with any serious collector value. So I am interested in this new GP100, especially if/when the street price drops a bit below MSRP.

On the other hand... I'm not at all clear as to what the GP100-.44 will do that can't be done with a 2.75" Smith & Wesson Model 69. It'd be a no-brainer if S&W would only get rid of that stupid lock.

Caturday



Because he tries to escape, I have to go to and from my home through the garage. I installed a keypad for the garage door, so I can do things like go for a walk, or have friends feed him while I'm away, without the need to pass around garage door openers.

(Little varmint.)

Friday, December 16, 2016

He Should Have Shared Classified Material With His Mistress, Instead

The Army has stripped Maj. Gen. David Haight of three ranks, Army Secretary Eric Fanning said Friday, following revelations contained in documents and interviews of Haight's decade-long extramarital affair and “swinger lifestyle.
Haight's real problem is that unlike another general, he didn't have a bunch of powerful politicians as rabbis.

Shorter FBI: "Swinging Elections Is Our Job!"

FBI Director James B. Comey and Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. are in agreement with a CIA assessment that Russia intervened in the 2016 election in part to help Donald Trump win the presidency, according to U.S. officials.

Comey’s support for the CIA’s conclusion — and officials say that he never changed his position — suggests that the leaders of the three agencies are in agreement on Russian intentions, contrary to suggestions by some lawmakers that the FBI disagreed with the CIA.
No doubt that Putin's Man in NYC Donald Trump will be soon along with some denial that implies that nobody reads the Post.

Aviation Oddity- Cessna Edition

Cessna has scrapped its inventory of 162 Skycatchers. According to the article, Cessna delivered 188 of them by the end of 2012. Wikipedia says that 192 were delivered.

Yet, according to the Federales, there are 269 of them. Some of the discrepancy may be that there are 74 of them with registrations in Kansas and of those, 62 are registered to Cessna. As far as I can tell, from scanning the owner registries, Cessna has 69 162s registered to them.

It still was an expensive crump for Cessna. At one point, Cessna claimed that they had a thousand orders. But there were a boatload of other LSA companies that made airplanes that were and are much cheaper and often nicer, as well.

This one may be in the "do want" category:


With a full-fuel useful load of 225lbs, it's pretty much a single-seater.

It's a skosh over 117K Euros, or $123,000. But hey, a girl can dream.

Trump Showed His Petty Vindictiveness By Publicly Curb-Stomping Mitt Romney

Roger Stone, a longtime adviser to Donald Trump, says the president-elect interviewed Mitt Romney for the secretary of State position just to "torture him" for his former criticism.
Romney, who as much as I've opposed him politically, is still a decent man. He can't seem to understand that Trump was fucking with him, just to humiliate him in front of the world.
Romney confidants say they still believe Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence were genuinely vetting Romney for the job, with phone calls, a meeting at Trump’s golf course in Bedminster, N.J., and a sumptuous two-hour dinner at Jean Georges in Manhattan, complete with frog legs and diver scallops.
The one thing that nobody, other than those in his family, will ever say about Trump at his memorial service was that "he was a decent human being".

Because It's Friday

And winter is here for a lot of folks.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

CORPUS CHRISTIE WARNING!

Don't drink tap water. Don't bathe in it. The water is not safe to use, and you cannot treat it to make it safe. Bleach, boiling, none of that will work.
The problems occurred after an estimated 3 to 24 gallons of a petroleum-based chemical called Indulin AA-86 seeped into the city's water because of a backflow from an area oil refinery, city officials said.

That Probably Included the Time It Took to Have Lunch Brought In

A jury on Thursday found avowed white supremacist [the Asswipe of Charleston] guilty of federal hate crimes resulting in the deaths of nine black parishioners at a historic church in Charleston, South Carolina, last year.
The jury was out for less than two hours. So they selected a foreman, had lunch, and then took a vote and that was it, I'd guess.

I'll hazard a guess: It will take the jury about the same amount of time to send him to Death Row.

The really delicious point was that the Asswipe of Charleston was trying to push a neo-nazi pro-Confederate point of view, but he succeeded in breaking the logjam over removing the Flag of Traitors from the South Carolina statehouse.

Such a Petty Little Man

Vanity Fair bashed the Trump Grill, saying that "it could be the worst restaurant in America."
Renowned butcher Pat LaFrieda once dared me to eat an eyeball that he himself popped out of the skull of a roasted pig. That eyeball tasted better than the Trump Grill’s (Grille’s) Gold Label Burger, a Pat LaFrieda–branded short-rib burger blend molded into a sad little meat thing, sitting in the center of a massive, rapidly staling brioche bun, hiding its shame under a slice of melted orange cheese. It came with overcooked woody batons called “fries”—how can someone mess up fries?—and ketchup masquerading as Heinz.
Trump, of course, can't let anyone get away with saying anything bad about him or his companies, so he had to fire back on Twitter.

Onions have thicker skins than Trump. It's going to be fun when he has DoJ attorneys and Federal cops at his beck-and-call.

(Now cue the Chorus of Trump Defenders)

Update: VF subs are on sale for $5 for a year.

Are Republican Ass-Clowns Suffering From Amnesia?

Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.) on Wednesday questioned the point of investigating Russia’s interference in the presidential election.

Asked by CNN “New Day" host Alisyn Camerota whether the Kremlin "meddled" in the 2016 race, Collins replied: “I suppose we’ll never know. If we want to stipulate they did as far as hacking and releasing emails, if you want to stipulate that, that’s fine.

“I don’t think we should continue investigations, because at the end, what do we really accomplish? There’s nothing we can do to change it. We need to unite the country. People who are calling Mr. [President-elect Donald] Trump the ‘Electoral College president,’ you know, that’s insulting to our democracy.”
Even now, a few GOP jackassess haven't given up on the idea that President Obama wasn't eligible to be president. Donald Fucking Trump was a leader of that effort to delegitimize President Obama.

The Republican birthers ginned up a fact-free controversy, based largely on racism. There was no uniting behind President Obama for the good of the country. In point of fact, the GOP pretty much declared war on him on the evening of January 20th, 2009.

What we have is that the Russians, under the personal direction of Vladimir Putin and with the de facto connivance of the FBI, interfered in our election. That interference was egged on by Donald Trump.

Unite behind Trump? No fucking way.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Her Job Title: "Chief Ethics Evasion Officer"

Ivanka Trump will reportedly get an office in the space typically reserved for the first lady, according to CNN.
Since Trump has claimed that he'll "divest" by having his kids run his businesses for him, it only makes sense for them to more easily (not) tell the Grifter-in-Chief how his businesses are doing.

Trump's blind trust is shaping up to be as blind as the Mt. Palomar telescope.

I Don't Plan on Ever Seeing This Fly

Imaginactive has come up with an updated hypersonic jet concept designed to make our world a lot smaller. Named Paradoxal, the aircraft would fly at the edge of space, allowing it to cut trips from Los Angeles to Sydney down to 3 hours, Imaginactive said. Today, that trip takes commercial airlines more than 14 hours to complete. Passengers would sit in one large, theatre-like cabin rather than a narrow tube as they do in today’s commercial airliners.

Paradoxal would be powered by two rotary ramjet engines, which would power the flying wing to around 60,000 feet, reaching speeds of around Mach 3. At that point, liquid oxygen would be injected into the gas port converting the engines to rockets. The rockets would take Paradoxal at supersonic speeds to an altitude of about 40 miles where it would fly a sub-orbital parabolic trajectory at hypersonic speeds.
I thought that the whole point of ramjets was that they had no moving parts, but times change.

I'd be surprised if such a thing flew before 2050, which is why I'm not planning to fly in one.

Rand's Movie Reviews

This is a hoot: Ayn Rand reviews children's movies.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Chemtrails at Night


Now Assemble the Right-Wing Rationalization Squad on the Fright Deck

President-elect Donald Trump announced Tuesday he has picked ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson to be secretary of state, calling him "among the most accomplished business leaders and international deal makers in the world."
I'm sure they'll happily tell everyone how choosing the CEO of the biggest of Big Oil will be good for the paycheck-earners of this country.

Trump isn't draining the swamp. He's no more than another Republican who is determined to make sure that the top 0.1% gets richer and richer, while everyone else gets poorer and poorer and those in the future are stuck with the bill. You birds on the Right thought that you were getting a populist, but you got just another corporate statist.

Fooled you pretty good, he did.

(Putin's got the puck, he's in the lane, he shoots, he scores!)

And yes, fuck you, DNC.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Love a Crime With a Happy Ending

Two armed would-be robbers were shot when they tried to hold up a man at an ATM in Homewood and the victim fired at them early this morning, Pittsburgh police said.The story I've been told is that the would-be robbers, both 16, are being charged as adults with conspiracy, robbery, criminal possession of firearms and receipt of stolen property (one of their guns was hot).

Their intended victim had a carry permit.

Here Comes "Pravda on the Potomac"

Don't think for a nanosecond that Steve Bannon isn't already aware of this:
President-elect Donald Trump is about to inherit a newly empowered Voice of America that some officials fear could serve as an unfettered propaganda arm for the former reality TV star who has flirted for years with launching his own network.

Buried on page 1,404 of the National Defense Authorization Act that passed last week is a provision that would disband the bipartisan board of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, the independent U.S. agency that includes Voice of America, Radio Free Europe, Radio Free Asia, and the Middle East Broadcast Networks.

The move – pushed by House Foreign Affairs Chairman Ed Royce as a way to streamline the agency – concentrates control into a powerful CEO that is appointed by the president.

That change, combined with a 2013 legislative revision that allows the network to legally reach a U.S. audience, which was once banned, could pave the way for Trump-approved content created by the U.S. diplomacy arm, if he chooses to exploit the opportunity.
Yeah, "if he chooses to exploit the opportunity". Of course he will. I'd be somewhat surprised if either Bannon or Roger Stone aren't appointed to be the CEO of the VOA.

And the "Voice of Trump" will show up in your basic cable menu with a very low channel number.

(Satire and reality are becoming too hard to distinguish.)

Also, Sen. McConnell promises a "bipartisan review" of the hacking claims. Right. He threatened the CIA if they disclosed it before the election, but he was OK with Comey's election-rigging. Having McConnell involved in any such review is akin to putting Bernie Madoff in charge of the SEC.

Little Crappy Ships; a Synopsis (With an Update)

This is a pretty good writeup of the debacle that the program has become.

At this point, if Donald Trump and Gen. Mathis take a meataxe to Ft. Fumble, I will do little more than cheer them on. All across the board, the services can't run programs worth a fuck. The Army has made a hash of the M9 pistol replacement program and they so fucked up the M4 replacement that the decision was made to stick with that little carbine. The Tri-Service F-35 has been a serious clusterfuck. The Air Force's KC-46 program has been a horror show. The F-22 program was so delayed and so over-budget that the planned buy went from 650 airplanes down to 187 airplanes. The B-2 went from 132 airplanes to 21. The Navy's fuckups (LCS, LPD-17, USS Zumwalt, USS Ford) are the stuff of legend.

Here's one example: The initial design requirement specs for the F-22 took up almost 90 pages in the 1980s. The Army's design requirement specs for the replacement pistol ran 357 pages.

Much of this is basically embedded dishonesty bordering on corruption. The services and the contractors lowball the program costs and far underestimate the time it will take to design, test, make and deploy the gizmos. They do that because Congress essentially lets them get away with it. Then when the inevitable 250%+ cost overruns take place and it takes five times as long to get the gizmos into service, Congress is shocked, shocked.

Both the Congress and the press pretend, each time, that it's epic mismanagement and failure to control costs. They blithely ignore the plain truth that the system is working exactly the way that the services and yes, the Congress, intend it to function.

So at this point, one might well conclude that poorly-managed procurement programs are not a bug, but a feature.

UPDATE: "Alleged warship"-- pretty damning, and accurate.

Reality

The Republicans are defending the Russian intelligence services and attacking the CIA. And the FBI worked towards the same ends as the KGB FSB.

What weird alternative reality is this?

Bohemian Rhaposdy Noir

As a crime story:


I've posted a lot of videos recently, which probably puts the page loading time back around dialup waits.

Oh well.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

The Latest Russian Dirty Trick

Planting kiddie porn on the computers of those that displease them and then calling the cops.

So if, all of a sudden, incriminating stuff starts to be found on the computers of anti-Trumpers, you'll know where it may have come from.

(Even if I may have thought it up.)

(H/T)

19th Century Steampunk Gun?

It does look like something a steampunk designer dreamed up.


For a gun that old, it's in pristine condition. If a tiny bolt-action gizmo had been made for the firing pin, it might have been safe to load and fire.

It Works; Gunnie Ed.

I was shooting this gun at ten yards.


The first string was single-action, five damn near touching with one little flyer. Then I went to double-action and tried to go a little faster each time.

The sights on a late-model Model 10 feel like target sights in comparison to this old Hand Ejector. But both will do the job.

A Bit of Forgotten History

We weren't the only country to intern its citizens based on their being of Japanese heritage.

Canada did the same thing and, arguably, did it with more severity. The Canadians effectively made the internees pay for being interned by seizing their property and selling it off- everything from land to clothing. Many of the internees were housed in inhuman conditions and effectively used as slave labor.

After the war, Canada sought to deport Canadian citizens of Japanese origin. Nearly 4,000 people were stripped of their citizenship and departed to Japan. The Canadians eventually gave up on that, but they restricted the rights of Canadian citizens of Japanese origin until four years after the war ended. Initial compensation for confiscated property was minor, at best.

As in the States, things began to change in the 1980s. Those who were deported and were still alive in 1988 had their Canadian citizenship restored.

Your Sunday Morning Rocket Noise

The 1962 launch of Mercury-Atlas 6, which carried John Glenn into space for his first flight:


The 1998 launch of STS-95, which carried John Glenn into space for his second flight:

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Yeh, Well, the Same Thing Happened to the Old Bolsheviks

Trump is shanking the people who got him to where he is now:
They’ve been with him from the beginning — when no one believed he could win, and when the Republican Party establishment wanted absolutely nothing to do with him.

But now, as President-elect Donald Trump builds out his administration, the loyalists who helped launch his campaign and powered its stunning early victories are growing worried they won’t be getting plum jobs.

Many of them say they’ve heard nothing about their career prospects and, during furtive huddles, have been commiserating with one another about how they can’t seem to get their calls to top Trump transition brass returned. Some are convinced that party establishment figures who’ve taken the reins of the transition are giving them short shrift.
The writing was on the wall once Trump picked Reince Priebus as his chief of staff.

Anyone who had paid close attention to Trump's business career would have realized that he has no loyalty to anyone, other than possibly his children. But no, they all drank the bug juice and now they're learning about Trump the hard way.

Fuck them all.

A Bit of Humor

He ended strong, too.

Here We Go Again

Figures show that six million Americans are behind on their auto loan payments by at least 90 days. This delinquency is causing concerns for lenders. Researchers from the Federal Reserve Bank say that late payment levels are now at their highest since 2010, and pressure may increase for borrowers to prove their financial circumstances.

The car loan market is robust but recent years have seen an increasing level of delinquency in subprime loans. As a result, there is a mounting worry, because similar trends in behavior occurred in the lead-up to the financial crisis in 2008.
Except that car loans are easier to resolve if they're not paying (repo man). But still, the sign aren't terribly good:
Nearly 1 out of 3 car shoppers have negative equity on their trade-ins when they’re purchasing their next vehicle, according to Edmunds.com.

Edmunds’ data shows that an estimated 32 percent of all trade-ins toward the purchase of a new car through the first three quarters of 2016 were underwater.

It’s the highest rate on record, and it’s up from 30 percent of all trade-ins toward new car purchases from January to September last year.

These “upside down” shoppers had an average of $4,832 of negative equity at the time of trade-in — also a record.
Which means that if they want to trade in, they have to come up with five grand, cash, to pay off the loan.

The better choice is to not go the consumerist route and keep the car/truck/SUV until the wheels are about to fall off. A paid-off car costs you gas, insurance and, if you're smart, preventive maintenance.

Well, no worries. Trump's such a good negotiator, he'll Twitterize this problem in nothing flat.

They Sold Their Souls to Trump and Got Nothing For Them

Rudy Giuliani — Donald Trump’s top surrogate and defender in the final months of the presidential election — withdrew his name from consideration for the post, the President-elect’s transition team said Friday.
Rudolph's big mistake, like that of the piano guy and bunches of others, was not getting paid up front. Which was the same mistake Christie made.

UPDATE: Secaucus Fats reportedly also had his eye set on one job and, like Rudy, he opted to play "this one or no other" with The Donald. Trump understands who has the power in negotiating such a deal, and it wasn't either Christie or Giuliani.

Is This Where I Get to Say "Toljaso"?

US intelligence agencies believe Russia acted covertly to boost Donald Trump in the election race, US officials have told leading newspapers.

A report in the New York Times says the agencies had "high confidence" about Russian involvement in hacking.

A CIA assessment reported by the Washington Post made similar findings.
Trumps brain-dead riposte of "they wuz wrong about Saddam Hussein" is about as kindergartenish as it gets.

A Lithuanian artist knows the truth of the matter:


Expect the stalwart investigative committees in the House of Representatives to take zero interest in looking into this. (They would have spent millions to investigate Clinton for improperly removing a hangnail.) After all, Darrell Issa and Jason Chaffetz are first-rate political tools, and not the kind that one can buy at Harbor Freight.

Caturday

Adopt meeeee!

Friday, December 9, 2016

Trump and His Supporters: The Shiving Continues

Donald Trump has picked Goldman Sachs President Gary Cohn to direct the National Economic Council in the White House, NBC News reported Friday morning.

The council helps advise the president on economic policy.

Cohn would be the second Goldman-linked appointment for the president-elect, who already named former Goldman Sachs partner Steven Mnuchin as Treasury secretary.
...
Trump was a vocal critic of Wall Street banks on the campaign trail and repeatedly called on Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton to release the transcripts of the paid speeches she delivered to Goldman Sachs. He also accused former GOP primary rival Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas) of being “owned” by Goldman Sachs.
Some "swamp draining", there.

No doubt that the Apologists for The Donald(tm) will be all over social media and the talk shows to explain why this isn't just another example of Trump butt-ficking his supporters. They might as well have elected Lloyd Blankfeld, Jamie Diamond or Angelo Mozilo.

And once this site gets a feed set up, I'll add it.

Because It's Friday

Steam outboards:


Some generated their own fog banks.

Interesting How a Man Who Pulled Out All of the Stops to Avoid Military Service Loves Him Some Generals

As President-elect Donald Trump began building the top tier of his administration, he has turned to friends and advisers to ask just how many generals would be too many — suggesting he may want to tap as many as five — to fill his Cabinet and the highest rungs of the White House.
Overcompensating much?

Almost Fun to Watch Trump Shank His Supporters

Trump has picked Andrew Puzder, the head of the Carl's Jr. and Hardee's fast food restaurants, as his nominee for Labor secretary.
In other words, a guy from an industry that has thrived on paying people as little as possible and is rife with complaints about wage theft and otherwise screwing over workers. This is the guy who is going to work to protect the rights of workers in the Grifter Administration.

All the wage-earning folks who rallied for Trump and bought into this "make America great again" hype are about to feel that cold shiv coming in between their ribs.

Meanwhile, the trucking industry is hoping that Trump will remove rules which require that truck divers are adequately rested. And note that all of those "states' rights" Republicans line up on the side of Federal regulation whenever they see a benefit to it.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Fair Winds and Following Seas to the Mercury Seven

The last surviving astronaut of the Mercury Seven, John Glenn, has died. He was the first American in orbit, the oldest of the Seven and the oldest man ever to fly in space.

The "Day of Infamy" Speech


33 minutes after the speech was over, Congress voted to declare war on the Empire of Japan. Within a few more hours, the formal written declaration was presented to the President for signing.

I'll bet that very few nowadays have listened to the entire speech.

It's estimated that 81% of American households listened to the speech, which worked out to nearly every home with a radio. It was broadcast by loudspeaker into factories and city streets.

150 Years From Now

I'll be surprised if there are even a billion people on Earth. Probably a lot less.
In all previous technological revolutions, people who lost their jobs mostly moved to new ones, but that will be less likely when the robots take over. A.I. that can learn from experience will replace many accountants, lawyers, bankers, insurance adjusters, doctors, scientific researchers and some creative professionals. Intelligence and advanced training will no longer mean job stability.

Gradually the A.I. era will transform the essence of human culture. When we’re no longer more intelligent than our machines, when they can easily outthink and outperform us, making the sort of intuitive leaps in research and other areas that we currently associate with genius, a sort of learned helplessness is likely to set in for us, and the idea of work itself may cease to hold meaning.
What will happen to humanity where there is very little productive work for people to do?

Next: Trump Will Put Roman Polanski in Charge of Child Protective Services

Donald [Fucking] Trump has selected Scott Pruitt, the Oklahoma attorney general and a close ally of the fossil J.fuel industry, to run the Environmental Protection Agency, signaling Mr. Trump’s determination to dismantle President Obama’s efforts to counter climate change — and much of the E.P.A. itself.
So we can now call it the "Environmental Pollution Agency".

Pruitt is a tool of the oil industry. He hasn't seen a resource he doesn't think should be extracted or an aquifer that he doesn't think should be polluted.

(In case you didn't get the reference.)

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

75 Years

The Japanese Navy executed a near textbook perfect strike on Pearl Harbor.

"Near textbook", because there were important targets left to hit, which were not attacked.

75 years after a large-scale event is usually about the last time that there is even a few of the participants still alive to tell the tale. The Submarine Veterans of WWII disbanded a few years ago.

They are passing into history.

Historical Right-Wing Bullshit

I was at a party when a retired military officer began exclaiming: "After VE Day, we should have allied with the Germans to crush the Soviet Union." I kept my yap shut because the party was being held in a good friend's house. I don't like to cause scenes in private spaces.

But Sweet Mother of Bastet, when is this old tired line of John Bircher horseshit ever going to die out? Other than those mouth-breathing morons, does anyone truly believe that the American people had an appetite to try and conquer the USSR?

Look at the distances involved in both fighting such a war and logistically supplying the conflict. Look at the number of men the Germans committed to the Eastern Front-- in comparison, the amount of men they committed to fight the Western Front against the Anglo-American forces was almost paltry.

The American people were solidly behind the war effort because the perfidious Japanese had attacked us and the Germans had declared war. The American people were willing to do what it took to win. Americans wanted their men to come home in 1945, not engage in another tough war. Attacking the Soviet Union would have been an act that surpassed the Japanese for treachery.

It would have been akin to Wyatt Earp shooting Doc Holliday in the back immediately after the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. The American people would have never stood for it and certainly wouldn't once the butcher's bill began coming due.

Those who believe such a war would have been a good idea, let alone winnable, probably should be living in a padded room with an IV feeding them a mixture of thorazine and morphine.

Carping on Government Monitoring

Lots of people complain about government monitoring emails, text messages and phone calls. There are fairly simple steps that one can take to preclude that. But hardly nobody does.

Telegram and Signal provide end-to-end encryption of text messages. Signal encrypts phone calls. There are open-source PGP programs for encrypting emails and attachments. Telegram and Signal are stupid-easy to install on mobile phones. The PGP programs take a little more effort, but about as much as installing any other software. Then there are add-ons for most email programs to make using PGP encryption almost seamless.

But here's the thing: Nobody really uses them.

It's like complaining that the mailman is reading your mail, but you won't be bothered to seal up the envelope. or carping about your neighborhood watch patrol coming into your house, but you won't lock the doors.

If you complain about government snooping, but then you make it easy for them to do it, the fault is, at least a little, on you.

Make it harder for them.

I'm Not Sure What They're Selling, Here

And I don't care.


(The post that you're expecting to see on this day will load at the appropriate time.)

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Mock, Mock, Mock

Trump's "Thank You Tour"

I don't know about you, but I'd be a bit more pleased if he got to work on learning some of the ropes of his new job. Because it sure seems that with his inexperience and unwillingness to learn anything, not to mention his willingness to do the bidding of sycophantic suckups, that he's going to clown-foot us into a diplomatic crisis, if not a fucking war.

But no, he's jetting around the country, holding Nuremburg-lite rallies. Or running his mouth on Twitter whenever some comedians make fun of him.

I find myself yearning for the studiousness and presidential work ethic of George W. Bush.

And the Grift Goes On......

The U.S. Secret Service is the hot, new "amenity" in the Trump Tower, where desperate brokers are trying to lure well-heeled clients into the building on Fifth Avenue that has served as President-elect Donald Trump’s home as well as his campaign and transition headquarters.
Trump gets cash every time there's a new condo owner or tenant in the building and his company profits in other ways.

Are his short-fingers involved in this? Maybe. I'll bet he could shut it down if he chose.

Fat chance of that, as he's too busy trying to rally his base and sending out tweets in the middle of the night for any real work.

Trump and Fake News

His pick for National Security Adviser apparently can't tell the difference between reality and batshit-crazy conspiracy theory.

Come January 20th, we will commence yet another reality-free and fact-free period of governance. It didn't work out so well for us the last time, as Section 60 of Arlington shows.

Jews and Xmas Trees

Lot of truth in this:

But Still No Kodachrome?

According to this book, analog is cool again.

Tam was an early adopter.

The real indicator of a resurgence of analog would be if Kodachrome slide film came back. Which I'm not going to bet on.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Don't Blame Ben Carson

President-elect Donald Trump has chosen Dr. Ben Carson, a onetime political rival who became one of his leading surrogates on the campaign trail, to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development. ... Carson said recently through a spokesperson that he did not feel prepared to run a federal agency, but he has since changed his mind.
When the President(-elect) calls you and asks you to serve, I suspect most people have the sense of duty to not decline, especially if you're of the same party.

However, Carson may not have to relocate anytime soon:
Multiple Democratic senators told POLITICO in interviews last week that after watching Republicans sit on Merrick Garland’s nomination to the Supreme Court for nearly a year, they’re in no mood to fast-track Trump’s selections.
One of the oldest rules in politics is "I'll do unto you like you did unto me."

I'll be surprised if a new Supreme Court justice is seated before 2018.

Carnival's Shit Ships

Princess Cruise Lines has made history by receiving the largest-ever criminal penalty involving deliberate vessel pollution. The line has agreed to plead guilty to seven felony charges stemming from its deliberate pollution of the seas and intentional acts to cover it up.
Tha amount of detail that is contained in the story makes me wonder if they got off cheap.

When I was in da Nav', it was impressed on us that illegally discharging contaminated waste would result in a $25,000 fine being levied personally against both the chief engineer and whomsoever was actually responsible. Supposedly there was one lieutenant commander who was paying off such a fine at $250 per month.

(H/T)

Hold On, It May Still Be Legal for Cops in South Carolina to Shoot Black People in the Back

Because the trial of the cop who summarily executed Mr. Walter Scott is apparently going to be declared to be a mistrial because one juror still thinks that way.

I have almost zero doubt that a Justice Department run by Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III will not hesitate to drop the associated civil rights case.

This is what also drives me a little bonkers about the "Blue Lives Matter" crap. Cops' lives have always mattered. In most places, a person who assaults or kills a cop is going to be sent away for a lot longer time than if they had done the same deed to a somebody who is not a police officer. If you had a concealed weapons permit and you shot a fleeing man in the back after a fight, you would be headed to prison for a very long time.

But not if you're a cop, especially if you're not a cop in South Carolina. (Especially if you're willing to get on the stand and give a story that is completely at odds with the video of the crime.)

UPDATE: Yep. Mistrial.

Let's Hope That This Isn't a Typical Trumpista, or
Fake News Has Consequences

A North Carolina man was arrested Sunday after he walked into a popular pizza restaurant in Northwest Washington carrying an assault rifle and fired one or more shots, D.C. police said. The man told police he had come to the restaurant to “self-investigate” a false election-related conspiracy theory involving Hillary Clinton that spread online during her presidential campaign.
And this:
The restaurant’s owner and employees were threatened on social media in the days before the election after fake news stories circulated claiming that then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and her campaign chief were running a child sex ring from the restaurant’s backrooms. Even Michael Flynn, a retired general whom President-elect Donald Trump has tapped to advise him on national security, shared stories about another anti-Clinton conspiracy theory involving pedophilia. None of them were true. But the fake stories and threats persisted, some even aimed at children of Comet Ping Pong employees and patrons. The restaurant’s owner was forced to contact the FBI, local police, Facebook and other social-media platforms in an effort to remove the articles.
So this is where we are heading, people: An administration run by people who buy into conspiracy theory and fake news bullshit. Flynn has a reputation for believing in what his gut tells him and then ordering subordinates to come up with the proof to justify his feelings.

In other words, we're in for a lot more of the Bush-Cheney bullshit where wars are started because of what the people in charge feel is true, not what is actually true. They're the worst kind of grifter: One who believes his own con.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Hamildolph


I'm a Freaking Dinosaur; Gunnie Ed

I went to the range to do a comparison. I have a Ruger Convertible Blackhawk in .357/9mm. I take it out every couple of years to shoot, but I had never shot the 9mm cylinder. The targets below were shot with .38 158gr lead round noise and 115gr ball for 9mm.



The 9mm felt a tad bit more sporty. I wasn't sure if it would be accurate to any degree, as essentially, more than half of the 9mm cylinder is a smoothbore barrel. The bullet has to travel a ways before it engages the rifling and when it gets there, 9mm bullets are a couple of thousandths undersize for a revolver barrel. Maybe if I had fired from a rest, I might have seen more of a difference.

The reason that I went to the range was to shoot this new acquisition:


That is a Smith & Wesson Military and Police Model of 1905, 4th Change. It was a cop's gun, one who got to keep his issued gun when his department upgraded to possibly Model 19s in the late 1960s. I haven't researched the serial number, but possibly it dates from Roaring Twenties. The mechanicals were excellent (timing was good, no endshake, firm lockup) and the bore was bright. A S&W expert will note that the backside of the front sight has been modified from a half-moon to an angled flat face. The well-worn grips are postwar diamond magnas. And, as you can readily see, the gun spent a lot of time in holsters.

The price was stupid-cheap, at a point that I'm not going to pass by a solid K-frame Smith. Let's just say that it was cheaper than those cheap-jack Filipino guns and leave it at that.

The sights, compared to a later Model 10, suck. But they are good enough for me to keep it in "minute of thug", shooting one-handed double-action at fifty feet. It did twist a little in my hand; I'll have to buy a grip adapter if I'm going to shoot it very much.

As for the "dinosaur" bit, after I went off the range, a bunch of people came in and soon all of the lanes were full. Everyone was shooting a version of those self-littering bottom-feeders.

Which is probably why I could buy a ratty-looking five-screw Smith for the price that I paid for it.

Jeez, Donald, Grow Up and Grow a Skin

SNL did this:



And the Petulant Tweener-Elect immediately took to Twitter to let the world know that He Was Not Amused:
Alec Baldwin was back on "Saturday Night Live" this week to mock Donald Trump's love of tweeting, and the real president-elect hopped on his favorite social media platform during the show to let Baldwin know he wasn't laughing.


Trump has been displaying the thin skin typical of a Middle-Eastern despot, such as Saddam Hussein.[1] If he can't the level of satire and mocking that Americans typically dish out to politicians, then this is going to be a rough few years.
____________________________________________
[1] Or Richard Nixon.

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

A Sea Vixen, two Vampires and a Vulcan:



Saturday, December 3, 2016

Republicans Ignore Ethics, At Least When It's Their Ethics

As you may know, Elaine Chao is Trump's pick for Secretary of Transportation. she is the wife of Sen. Mitch McConnell, who isn't recusing himself from voting on her appointment.

The silence from the Right is deafening. Oh, imagine the uproar you'd be hearing from the quiescent conservatives if the election outcome had been different and if Clinton had nominated the spouse of a current Democratic senator. Sort of like the way that, no matter what Trump does, Reps. Issa and Chaffez will have recurrent attacks of situational blindness and deafness.

Why Not Abolish the Draft?

If you are male and you were born after 1953, you have never been at risk for being drafted. The last no-shit draft lottery was held in 1972 for men born in 1953. Of those born that year, only 646 were drafted. My recollection is that all of them were offered discharges around mid-1973.

The draft is a relic of a time when wars were fought by masses of soldiers who had received a few months of training (if that) and then were sent into combat. That was a time when wars were fought (or planned to be) between nations that had roughly equal military abilities. Wars of those types were known for chewing up men and materiel on a very large scale.[1]

As a nation, we aren't very damn likely to get into that type of war. The navy sure doesn't think so, or they wouldn't be buying those littoral combat ships and calling them "frigates". There isn't the industrial base to turn out masses of tanks, fighters or bombers that would be lost in combat. Hell, during Vietnam, the usage of bombs was so high that the ones being shipped from the States late n the war were still warm from the pouring of their explosive cores.[2]

Even when we had a functioning industrial base and we could make damn near anything, the first two years after we entered the Second World War were more of "hold and annoy" strategy until sufficient forces were built up to do something.

It would also take a span of time to build training facilities for a large influx of draftees. The Navy and the Air Force each only have one boot camp. The Marines have two. The Army has four. During the last mass-mobilization war, the Army alone had over 110 boot camps, though to be fair, the Air Force was part of the Army then. It's a fair bet that the training done was as minimal as it could be, given the need to increase throughput.

The point is that even having every man (and maybe woman) registered is almost useless. After registration, there is no requirement to keep the Selective Service people updated on one's whereabouts. Further, everyone has a social security number and if they have a job, the IRS knows where they are (or recently have been).

The shell of the draft system could still be there, with a requirement that, upon activation of the draft, that everybody register for it-- just as was done during both world wars.

For now, registering for the draft is a useless paper drill. It should be abolished most ricky tick.
_________________________________
[1] One brief example: During the Second World War, the U.S. built about 10,000 B-25s. Maybe 2,000 were ever operational at one time. Most were lost from being shot up, shot down or crashes.
[2] This is not a new problem, see "The 1915 Shell Crisis", when the Royal Artillery Corps was so short of heavy shells that they could fire their guns four times a day.

Like Wearing Clown Shoes in a Minefield; Trump's Foreign Policy Ed.

In a break with decadeslong diplomatic tradition, President-elect Donald Trump spoke directly with the president of Taiwan, a move that drew an irritated response from China on Saturday and looked set to cast uncertainty over U.S. policy toward Asia.

It is perhaps unprecedented for a U.S. president or president-elect to speak directly with a leader of Taiwan.
The three-way dance between the United States, Taiwan and China has been going on for over 40 years. Leave it to Trump to tromp around like an elephant in a chicken factory.

The Chinese are, for the moment, willing to cut Trump some slack on this; they're blaming Taiwan for it. But they certainly know that Trump could have refused to have taken the call. Which is something that anyone who had more than a Twitter-based knowledge level of Sino-American relations would have known not to have done.

However, the Trump people said that Trump was aware of the diplomatic niceties involved, that the call was planned, and he took it anyway. Which the Chinese government will surely take note of.

No surprise, there's some grifting going on:
The call also has drawn attention to Taiwanese media reports that the Trump Organization is interested in investing in the Taiwanese city of Taoyuan, near Taipei.

Caturday

Mama cat at a shelter and her kittens.


Adopt a rescued pet, if you can. They enrich your life.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Stocking With Swamp Creatures

Trump is picking banksters and other vermin for his administration. Putting "The Foreclosure King" in charge of the Treasury Department is akin to putting the head of a drug cartel in charge of the DEA.

The most interesting appointment is Wilbur Ross, the "king of bankruptcy", as the Commerce Secretary. Ross's knack was making money from companies that were in trouble, while Trump made his money by setting up companies and running them into the ground. So in a way, they complement each other.

So far, I have yet to note a single appointment of anyone who has a track record of sticking up for the working stiffs of America. Between a troll who wants to set fire to what's left of the social safety net and banksters, Trump's picks sound more like hiring the firm of Kyd, Teach and Roberts to defend the sea lanes.

Everybody Has a Video Camera, People. Please Act Accordingly.

You've may have heard about the woman who went on a racist Trumpian rant at a store because they didn't have a free bag large enough to hold her shit. Apparently, losing her shit in public is her thing.

As the cops are gradually realizing, when you do stupid shit in full view of other people, somebody's probably recording your antics. And, should your stupidity be of the sort that becomes widely known, it will fuck up your life.

I'm not writing her name, but it's easily findable. Unless the Klan or Breitbart is hiring, she's going to have a hell of a time finding a job where the human resources department does any bit of research on job candidates.

When you're out in public, act like adults, people.

Crime and Video

If you're going to do highly illegal/stupid shit, it's a good idea to not stream live video of you doing said stupid shit.
Police say a Rhode Island man who streamed himself on Facebook Live driving 114 mph before crashing into a garbage truck and a concrete barrier was driving with a suspended license.