Words of Advice:

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

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

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

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

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

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Monday, December 11, 2017

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

A Lockheed L-1011"TriStar":


My only two airborne ocean crossings were in TWA L1011s.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Caturday

Chip is chilling out.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Because It's Friday

Steam in Eritrea:

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Professional Courtesy is Apparently a Thing of the Past

A Manhattan private equity director was killed by a shark while scuba diving off the coast of Costa Rica, authorities said.
I know, I'm a bad person.

Seems that the dive site was known for its abundance of shark species.

Trump to Form His Version of the SA?

Trump is considering forming his own private spy network, which would be run by Eric Price, the Henchman of Evil and the brother of Betsy DeVos.

I suppose that these folks will all be swearing allegiance to El Caudillo Trumpo.

So now we're going to have private spies to ferret out Trump's enemies. What's next, secret police?

Haven't we seen this movie before?

I got shit going on. Got a call from relatives; a wildfire is possibly going to burn their home down and they're bugging out. The fire was news to me, because everything on the media these days is about whatever stupid shit DFT did or said or tweeted.

And I've got no shortage of work to do right now. So look over the blogroll.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Heh. Heh. Heh.

This just came across my email from The Week:

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Brock Turner, the Dumpster Rapist, is Back!

From BadTux comes news that the Preppy Swimming Dumpster Rapist, Brock Turner, is appealing his conviction.

The thrust seems to be a combination of "it was her fault" and "the court was mean to me!" Yep, the same court that could have sent the Swimming Rapist to prison for years (instead of three months in the county jail).

If he gets a new trial, maybe he might get to do some hard time.

Still, the truth of the matter is that, thanks to the Internet, Brock the Convicted Rapist will never outrun what he did.

We Are So Screwed; Surgical Ed.

This article posits that the rise of "superbugs", which are microbes that are antibiotic-resistant, will push a lot of surgical procedures out of common use.

What could slow things down would be regulations on the overuse of antibiotics and increased resources to R&D into new antibiotics.

Neither of which will happen these days.

Regular readers of this blog know who I'd blame for that.

Which brings to mind this joke.

On another note, Trump might have tweeted himself into a criminal charge. Or impeachment. Or not. So now, when did Trump know that Flynn was lying to the FBI? No doubt, the chorus of Trumpanzees will trip over their over-long ties, rushing to explain why obstructing justice is less of a heinous crime than is lying in a deposition on a civil matter.

Your Sunday Morning Historical Prop Noise

A Douglas SBD:


I recently took a trip to visit my mother on her birthday. The return trip had me changing planes at Midway Airport. When I change flights there, if I don't have to rush to my next one, I like to go to the Battle of Midway exhibit and look at the SBD on display.


Those guys were all peacetime volunteers. It's probably a good bet that a fair number of the Americans at the battle, both junior officers and enlisted, had joined the Navy for a steady job and "three hots and a cot" during the Great Depression. War came calling, they stepped up and did their jobs.

The Battle of Midway was a turning point in the war, the high-water mark of Japanese expansion. Thing is about turning points, they're just of interest to historians. Most of the time, they're not apparent to those doing the fighting. It's just another day in the trenches/cockpit/engineering plant.

While I was sitting there for a bit, some dude told his girlfriend that the metal pipes under the airplane were used for launching it from a carrier:


They weren't. That's a bomb-trapeze. Its function is to swing the bomb out clear of the propeller's arc before releasing the bomb. SBDs dove at an angle of up to 80 degrees, their speed limited by perforated dive brakes. The bomb, of course, would free-fall upon release and, if not swung out clear of the propellor, would smash it.

And no, I didn't correct the dude at the airport. Though every fiber of me wanted to.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Off the Reservation; K-Frame Edition

I have a love of S&W K-frames. They are great guns. But this week, I jumped ship, a little:


That's a Ruger Security Six. If you look closely at the barrel, you'll see that the "RFTM Before Using This Gun, Moron" rollmark is not there. This is a late-`70s gun, produced before Ruger began so marking their guns.

All of the Security Sixes that I've seen recently all had the legalese rollmark and, on a 4" barrel, it is fucking hideous. This one didn't, and so.....

It shoots OK. This is at ten yards:


Caturday

A "found" cat at a shelter.


I'm preloading this post, so here's hoping that this boy has been returned to his home.

(Microchip your pets, people!!)

Friday, December 1, 2017

Gunnie Stuff

Ken Hackathorn and Bill Wilson reminisce about the beginning of modern combat pistol shooting:


They also mention some of the things that shooters did that would now be regarded as "gamer-tricks".

Because It's Friday

Steam locomotives working copper mines in Botswana:

Flynn Seems to Have Flipped

President Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, is expected to plead guilty on Friday to lying to the F.B.I. about two conversations with the Russian ambassador last December during the presidential transition. ... A plea agreement suggests that Mr. Flynn provided information to prosecutors, which may help advance the inquiry.
Yep, pass the popcorn.

In these kind of investigations, they don't let the lower-ranking guys plead out unless they bring something of value to the table. So now there's going to be a lot of speculation as to whom Flynn is giving to the prosecutors.

Still, there is something gleefully ironic in the fact that the clown who led chants of "lock her up" is pleading out to a couple of felonies.

It's also becoming apparent that Trump might be in jeopardy under the Watergate Rule*:
President Trump over the summer repeatedly urged senior Senate Republicans, including the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, to end the panel’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, according to a half dozen lawmakers and aides.
If there is any indication that Trump also was trying to pressure the Republicans in Congress to force an early end to the Mueller investigation, then that's possibly going to fall under the heading of "obstruction of justice".

But don't worry, sports fans. The Right will somehow start screaming that "this is all Obama's fault."
_______________________________________
* "It's not the crime, it's the cover-up."

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Wait, What??

Trump's Tax Cut and the AWB

If the effects of Trump's Tax Cut for the Billionaires is as bad as many say, the blowback at the polls could be enormous.

If that happens, then expect an assault weapons ban to follow shortly thereafter. And I will wager that it won't be a simple "you can't make these any more" thing, it'll be closer to a `34 National Firearms Act law, with bans on making magazines over 10 rounds, if not outlawing the drum-style ones.

So if you're a Republican and a gun owner, you might want to think about whether you are more interested in protecting the ability of the plutocrats to get even richer or protecting your gun rights. For you may not get to choose "both".

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

In Your Guts, You Know He's Nuts

Let's be frank about this: President* Donald Trump is fucking barking mad. Trump is unhinged, divorced from reality, about about as insane as they come. Only a through-and-through nut job would believe that juvenile-grade insults are a substitute for international diplomacy.

His staff has to go before the world and explain that it doesn't matter if Trump is tweeting lies. The undercurrent of their explainations is that nobody should believe a word that Trump says, because they don't.

His staff has to continually lie in order to keep him more or less functional. No rational person would have believed that the Mueller investigation would have been done by Thanksgiving or by New year's Day, but that's what his staff seems to be telling Trump in order to keep him from completely blowing out his gaskets.

He should be in a padded room where he can't be a danger to anyone else.

But to the Koch Brothers and the rest, he's their useful idiot, so for now, we're stuck with El Droolo.*
_________________________________
* I know it probably should be El Babeante.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

75 Years Ago Tonight

The Cocoanut Grove Fire broke out at this time on November 28, 1942.

It was the second-deadliest fire in American history.

The nightclub operator was convicted of manslaughter, only to be released early, because he was dying of cancer..

Cessna's Version of the Twin Otter

They call it the SkyCourier:


FedEx has committed to buying at least fifty of them.

I'm guessing that the big deal is that the Cessna-408 will be sized to take three LD3 cargo containers. I don't know if the Twin Otter can do that (and I don't have the time to go looking).

The last Cessna SkySomething, the "SkyCatcher" was a miserable failure. I wish them luck with this one.

O'Keefe the Despicable

(A followup to this post.)

I remembered that the news reports said that O'Keefe's organization, Project Veritas, was a 501(c)(3) charity.

True enough. The nice thing about such organizations is that their tax filings are available online.

O'Keefe's group paid him $235K in `15. Some assistant clown named Russell Verney was paid $169K. The group has about $1.3 million in the bank.

In case you want to drop by and invite O'Keefe out for a cup of coffee, their address and phone number are listed on the tax form.

Arby's: "We Have the Wings."

Fast-food chain Arby's Restaurant Group said Tuesday that it reached a deal to acquire Buffalo Wild Wings, which promotes the slogan "wings, beer, sports" in its advertisements, for $2.4 billion in cash.
And this:
Burger chain Wendy's stands to gain nearly $450 million following the acquisition of Buffalo Wild Wings by Roark Capital Group.

On Tuesday, the private equity firm said it would buy the chicken wing chain for $2.4 billion, or $157 per share. Buffalo Wild Wings will become a unit of Roark's Arby's and operate as an independent brand.

Currently, Wendy's owns about 18.5 percent of Arby's, with their stake valued at around $325.9 million, as of the third quarter this year.
Venture capitalists owning restaurants is a recipe for shitty food and slick advertising. Think Olive Garden, for example. They tried to portray themselves as some sort of authentic Italian dining experience, but now they're basically a sit-down restaurant with the quality of a fast-food joint.

To be fair, nobody goes to BWW for a fine dining experience. As long as they have booze and sports on the big screen TVs, their customer base probably isn't going to give a shit.

Keyless Car Security Alert

Apparently, those fobs are always talking to the car if they're in range. So if a thief has a device called a "relay box," to intercept the signal, they can then use that gizmo to steal the car.
West Midlands Police believe it is the first time the high-tech crime has been caught on camera.
...
The theft took just one minute and the Mercedes car, stolen from the Elmdon area of Solihull on 24 September, has not been recovered.
If you have a car that has such a system, precautions are advised.

(H/T)

Trump Can't Even Be Civil When He Tries

Trump had to make a racist crack in front of some of the surviving Navajo Code-Talkers.

Trevor Noah got in the best comment:



"Dances With Putin"... heh.

Monday, November 27, 2017

James O'Keefe is a Despicable Excuse for a Human Being

O'Keefe, convicted criminal that he is, tried to send one of his minions to entrap the Washington Post into running a bogus story about Roy "The Creep" Moore.

It did not go well. The Post caught it.

The paper will honor off-the-record requests if the person requesting it is being straight with them. But since O'Keefe's minion wasn't being honest, they've released what they know about the minion. Who is named Jaime T. Phillips.

Trump gave O'Keefe's "charity" ten grand in `15.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Your Sunday Morning Big Prop Noise

The Berlin Airlift Foundation's C-97:

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Trump's Shifting Reality

When the Access Hollywood tape surfaced 13 months ago, Trump said that was him on the tape.

Now he's denying that.
He suggested to a senator earlier this year that it was not authentic, and repeated that claim to an adviser more recently. (In the hours after it was revealed in October 2016, Mr. Trump acknowledged that the voice was his, and he apologized.)
Trump is gone past lying to his family, his business associates (I doubt if he has any real friends), his party and the nation.

Now he's lying to himself. If reality isn't to his liking, he constructs an alternative reality in his head and goes there.

It should be clear, by now, that Trump's lawyers were saying that Mueller's investigation would be over by Thanksgiving as a fib to control an unruly client. It's sort of like telling a five-year-old, when they're badgering you about "when will we get there", that "we'll be there in ten minutes", when you're an hour away. Trump would have flipped out if they had told him that Mueller's not winding things down, but that he's still building up steam.

It's going to be a race between impeachment, Section 4 of the 25th Amendment, and Trump blowing his fuses and collapsing.

It's a safe bet that most of the GOP establishment is praying for Trump to blow his fuses before he does more damage to his party than he already has.

The End of an Era for the NYPD

According to Glock Talk, the NYPD has announced that revolvers will no longer be authorized as duty weapons, as of August 31, 2018. One of the threads posted a blurry and unreadable photo of a memo.

UPDATE: Photo replaced with a clearer copy from the Smith & Wesson Forum:


Speculation is that there are so few coppers left on the NYPD who are carrying revolvers that the Department doesn't want to have to continue maintaining them, buying ammunition and running qualifications for them.

I suspect that there are few old cops that management wants to push out and they believe that those old guys will retire rather than switch to a bottom-feeder.

Caturday

Chip the Laundry Supervisor.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Makes Me Want to Cry; Shutterbuggery Ed.

I volunteer at a thrift store that supports the local no-kill animal shelter. My job is to triage and sort the incoming donations.

This camera setup came in today:


I can't tell you how much it aches my soul that a Canon AE-1 with a Canon 65-200mm zoom lens is now worthy only of being donated to a thrift store. I don't know if it works, as the AE-1s required a battery to run them. Unlike, say, the FTs, (I had one, back in the day) that only needed a battery for the light meter.

I've been active in photography from the prosumer level to professional press photography. The difference between film photography and digital is akin to the difference between shooting with a muzzleloader and shooting a minigun with government-furnished ammo. You'd set things up, take the shot, and unless you had access to a darkroom, it could be days or weeks until you knew whether or not you got the shot. And if you were a not-wealthy amateur, using good film like Kodachrome was expensive. so you made sure that you got the shot that you wanted.

But digital? Once you've bought the camera and the SD card, there's no additional cost differential between shooting one photo and a thousand. Oh, if you have a camera that uses replaceable batteries (I like my A1000 because it uses two AAs), you might go through a few sets. But that cost is negligible.

Yes, I can be a bit of an old-school girl. I fly a `40s airplane. Today, I carried a S&W M&P that dates back to the Roaring 20s. But I abandoned film without a qualm.

Because It's Friday

I'm going to step away from railroading this week. This is a film on making steel in Britain in 1945. There are some railroad shots in it, but not many:


Nobody would walk into such a place today. Back then, their idea of safety headgear was wearing two fedoras. Guys are peering into open steel furnaces without any sort of safety goggles, let alone dark glasses. Leather gloves seem to be it for safety gear.

By modern standards, this is almost a horror movie.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Has Flynn Flipped?

Maybe.
Michael Flynn's lawyers have told other defense lawyers in the ongoing Russia probe, including President Donald Trump's legal team, that they're no longer able to share information, a source familiar with the matter told CNN.

The source added that the decision to cease informal information-sharing could be an indication Flynn is preparing to plead guilty in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.
I'm going to dust off my popcorn-popper.

Thanksgiving Bangity

Part of the Thanksgiving ritual was to go out into the back pasture's ravine and do some shooting. Chip was "helping" me clean some guns:

Clockwise from the upper left: A FN High Power, a S&W Model 64 and a Smith & Wesson M&P.

All were used to help some pumpkins get a jump-start on recycling. I have a Savage .22 bolt-action rifle with an Accu-trigger and a scope that a early-teenaged boy used to shoot a small pumpkin into itty-bitty pieces.

At Chip's feet, you can see the bore brush that he kept trying to steal. I was able to distract him by allowing him to swipe a cotton swab.

I need to detail-strip and clean my 22/45, for the trigger wasn't always resetting.

ARA San Juan Likely Lost a Week Ago

Hopes that the 44 crew of a missing Argentine submarine might still be alive have been dashed after the navy said an event consistent with an explosion had been detected.

The "abnormal, singular, short, violent, non-nuclear event" was recorded in the south Atlantic by a nuclear test watchdog last week.
It seems that the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization has hydrophone stations to detect oceanic anomalies (such as large explosions). Eight days ago, they picked up an explosion in the South Atlantic in he area where the sub was known to be. After analyzing the data, they told the Argentinians that today.

But now it seems that the U.S. Navy told the same thing to the Argentinians two days ago. The Argentinian Navy chose to keep quiet. The families of the submarine's crew are understandably pissed off about what they see as being lied to, especially when one considers that the San Juan reported a battery mishap, a fact that the Argentine Navy kept under wraps until Monday.

King Arthur Flour

Some years ago, I posted a recipe for easy-to-make bread.

Life being what it is, I've not made it very much recently. When there is a gathering for a special feast, I'll whomp up a couple of loaves. The stores where I have been for the last several years didn't carry much in the way of flour, other than the generic store brands and Gold Medal. The bread I made from them was pretty good, all right.

But now the stores here are carrying King Arthur flour. So I bought some and used it when I made bread early this morning. A number of people at dinner today were raving about the bread, saying that it was the best I've ever made. The only change from other times was the flour.

If you're baking, look for King Arthur flour. I don't think you'll be disappointed.

Highly recommended.

Happy Thanksgiving!

("Stickied" to noon on Thanksgiving)



On a number of radio stations back in the day, playing the entire song was a Thanksgiving tradition. Some of them were commercial stations-- almost nineteen minutes of no commercials. And some of them played it twice, at noon and 3 PM.

The judge was really blind, he had a Seeing-Eye dog. He played himself in the movie (as did Officer Obie).

I hope that if you're in America, you and yours have a good Thanksgiving. Try not to punch out your racist uncle or your commie nephew.

And please, enjoy the day without resorting to rampant consumerism.

Or burning down your hostess's house.



(Yes, this is a complete repeat from last year's post. So sue me.)

Yet Another Conservative Sex Hypocrite

Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tex.), who apologized Wednesday for a lewd photo of him that circulated on the Internet, told a woman to whom he had sent sexually explicit photos, videos and messages that he would report her to the Capitol Police because she could expose his behavior, according to a recording reviewed by The Washington Post.

The woman spoke to The Post after the lewd photo was published Tuesday by an anonymous Twitter account. She shared a secretly recorded phone conversation she had with Barton in 2015 in which he warned her against using the explicit materials “in a way that would negatively affect my career.”
Barton was married when he was doing this crap. Adultery is apparently OK for the "family values" crowd.

Gee. What was it that Barton and his cronies complaining about regarding Bill Clinton?

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Running Out of Time for the ARA San Juan

It's been a week since the San Juan last made contact. As of this afternoon, the search has come up empty.

The Royal Navy is helping, a fact that didn't stop some Argentine politicians from showing that they are truly assholes.

54 Years

What I wrote nine years ago.

Haven't forgotten that the Right was so poisonous in its hatred of President Kennedy that people were cheering.

Travel Safely!

AAA projects 50.9 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more away from home this Thanksgiving, a 3.3 percent increase over last year. The 2017 holiday weekend will see the highest Thanksgiving travel volume since 2005 with 1.6 million more people taking to the nation’s roads, skies, rails and waterways compared with last year. AAA and INRIX, a global transportation analytics company, predict travel times in the most congested cities in the U.S. during the holiday week could be as much as three times longer than the optimal trip.
Be patient on the roads. You'll get there, eventually.

Start with a full tank of gas, though. You might need it, in spots.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving once you get there.

One Serial Sexual Harasser Goes to Bat For Another

Is there anyone who is even remotely surprised by this:
President* Donald Trump on Tuesday implicitly endorsed Roy Moore, the Republican Senate nominee in Alabama, telling reporters as he left the White House for a Thanksgiving trip to Palm Beach, Florida, "We don't need a liberal person ... a Democrat," in that seat.

In the past two weeks, Moore has been accused of sexual misconduct by several women, including one who told The Washington Post that he initiated a sexual encounter with her in 1979, when she was 14 and he was in 32.

"He totally denies it," Trump said on Tuesday of the sexual-misconduct allegations against Moore.
Trump, who has a long alleged history of being a creep, and whom denies it all, really couldn't do anything else but stand up for a fellow sexual-harassment-denier.

Speaking of Moore, it now seems that he might have set his sights on his future wife when she was all of fifteen. She was performing in a children's dance recital and Moore was there, watching.

Of course he was, the creep. How many adult men in their late 20s go to kiddie dance recitals, unless they have a family member who is performing? I'm guessing that, excluding pedophiles and other creeps, the number is somewhere between zero and a very small number.

At this point in the game, Trump would support a cannibal if the cannibal pledged fealty to El Caudillo Trumpo.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Fire; Political/Media

The flames of accusations against public figures are intensifying. Women and men who, in thepast, were afraid to come forth are now doing so. Jon Conyers, Charlie Rose and Al Franken are among the latest men so accused. If Wisdom of the Crowd wasn't already being axed, it might be now that its leading actor, Jeremy Piven has been accused. Kevin Spacey was deleted from a soon-to-be released movie.

I'm not discounting the possibility that some of the accusations may be bogus. The Duke lacrosse scandal is instructive. Multiple accusers, though, make a false accusation less likely.

It's also instructive to see what the accused do. Are they digging in? Are they admitting to the accusations that are true, apologizing unconditionally[1] and standing up to take whatever they have coming to them?[2] Or are they weaseling out with non-denial denials and claims of conspiracy?[3]

And what about the guy who wants to bang his own daughter and who brazenly strolled into the dressing room of teenaged girls and bragged about grabbing other women by their groins, well, he seems to be getting a pass.

"It's OK If You're a Republican" is once, more, a rule of the game.[4]
_____________________________________________
[1] "I'm sorry if you were offended by my conduct" is bullshit.
[2] Otherwise known as "acting like a man".
[3] Otherwise known as "pulling a Roy Moore".
[4] We expect less from Republicans. And that's exactly what we get.

Fire

Four seniors are presumed dead from a fire at an assisted living complex.


The facility is a multi-level care facility; independent living, assisted living (which they call "personal care"), memory care (dementia, I guess) and nursing home care.

Kendal is a high-end operation. The buy-in at those places is the cost of a nice home in a suburb of a medium-sized city; the monthly payment for the independent living sections, depending on the size of the unit, is two or more Aircraft Maintenance Units.

It's not one of those places where the nursing home has a smell that has a base note of stale piss. But at those prices, it shouldn't smell like that to begin with.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Was His Office in the Basement of a Pizza Parlor (in Tulsa)?

Ralph Shortey, a former Oklahoma state senator who last year served as Donald Trump's campaign chair in the state, was meticulous about keeping up his reputation as a pious man, according to several fellow Oklahomans. That reputation, however, has all but disappeared. According to Shortey's attorney, the former Republican lawmaker will plead guilty to one count of child sex trafficking on Nov. 30.

And Yet, He's Working for Said Dimbulb

National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster mocked President Trump’s intelligence at a private dinner with a powerful tech CEO, according to five sources with knowledge of the conversation.
...
A sixth source who was not familiar with the details of the dinner told BuzzFeed News that McMaster had made similarly derogatory comments about Trump’s intelligence to him in private, including that the president lacked the necessary brainpower to understand the matters before the National Security Council.
You might recall that Rex Tillerson allegedly said something similar.

Whether McMaster is a toady who will do whatever it takes to cleave close to a center of power or if he is bravely sacrificing his reputation in order to do what he can to preserve the Republic is a question for another time.

Meanwhile, for the first time since Nixon began going batshit, there is active discussion as to a president's powers to order a nuclear strike.

Interesting times.

Apropos of Nothing In Particular.

Only Speak "Good" of the Dead

Good!
Charles Manson, the notorious cult leader who directed his followers to commit a string of brutal murders, and who became a symbol of the dark side of 1960s counterculture, has died aged 83.
May his remains be cremated and his ashes thrown into cesspools.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

One of Argentina's Submarines is Missing

The sub may have sent some satellite comm signals. But nobody is too sure where it is.

The U.S. Navy is sending SRDRSs to Argentina.

Being trapped in a sub at the bottom has to be a bubblehead's worst nightmare. The TR-1700 class has a test depth of 300 meters, which, as it's a German design, implies a crush depth of 600 meters. The SRDRS resportedly can go that deep.

If the sub can be found in time.

Tips About Planet Nirubu or Nibiru or Whatever the Hell It's Called

The conspiracy theorists have been going batshit about their latest bit of insanity- that a rogue planet is going to smash into the Earth, eject Earth from the Solar System, or so alter Earth's orbit that Earth will be uninhabitable.

First off, none of this shit is real. It's a recurring bit of popular insanity that is driving a NASA planetary scientist bonkers.

Second, if this shit were real, there is fuck-all that could be done about it.

But this shit is not real. There is zero evidence of any such planet. So if you believe in this shit, ther's what you should do: If you're a woman, call your gynecologist and schedule an emergency tubal ligation. If you're a man, call your urologist and schedule an emergency vasectomy.

Here are some helpful tips for the believers in this shit:
  • Do not stick knives into electrical outlets.
  • Do not run with scissors.
  • Do not go outside during a thunderstorm and hold golf clubs over your head.
  • There are no Nigerian princes who want to send you fifteen million dollars.
Actually, that there is anybody who believes in this shit is depressing as all hell. It's not just one or two, but millions. Maybe tens of millions. People who vote and reproduce.

We are so screwed.

Your Sunday Morning Turboprop Noise



As suggested by The Old NFO.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Television Irony

Wisdom of the Crowd has reportedly been canceled for low ratings.

Nationwide Ain't On Your Side

A Nationwide Insurance agent named Jonathan Yeamans, who couldn't tell the difference between hibiscus and marijuana, ratted out his clients to the cops. The cops did one of their patented SWAT-stile early morning raids on a couple in their sixties, placing a 66 year-old woman, who was wearing only a bra and panties, in the back of a police cruiser in handcuffs while the cops extensively searched the property. Only to, in the end, confirm that yes, it was a hibiscus plant.

Nationwide still canceled their insurance.

The couple is suing everyone they can possibly name. Including Yeamans the Rat.

Nationwide is most definitely not on your side.

No Doubt that Trump Loves Him Some Oil Leaks

A total of 210,000 gallons of oil leaked Thursday from the Keystone Pipeline in South Dakota, the pipeline's operator, TransCanada, said.

Crews shut down the pipeline Thursday morning, and officials are investigating the cause of the leak, which occurred about three miles southeast of the town of Amherst, said Brian Walsh, a spokesman for the state's Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
And then there was this quote:
"The safety of the public and environment are our top priorities and we will continue to provide updates as they become available," the company said.
Yeah, sure they are. {/sarcasm} This isn't exactly an aging pipeline as things go. Dumping over 200,000 gallons of oil into the local watershed isn't a minor event.

You can be pretty sure that Trump had a two word reaction to the news of the leak, along the lines of "oh, well" or "shit happens", if he even heard about it. Probably not, for "Fox and Friends" is a propaganda show, not a news show.

Caturday

Chip was a contented and warm kitty on the morning that this photo was taken.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Lies of Omission; Jerod Ed.
And Other Trumpist Stupidity
And Palin

Two senators sent Mr Kushner a letter demanding additional documents as part of an ongoing investigation into Russia's alleged election meddling.

The lawmakers said they became aware of the documents through other witnesses.

A lawyer for Mr Kushner, Donald Trump's son-in-law, said he was "open to responding to any additional requests".
Senate Judiciary committee chairman Senator Charles Grassley, a Republican, and Senator Diane Feinstein, top Democrat on the panel, wrote that the emails were omitted from documents Mr Kushner was asked to turn over last month.
One has to wonder about when the Bureau of Prisons is going to repaint Kushner's father's old prison cell and ready it for Jerod.

Meanwhile, the Trump-appointed head of community outreach at DHS resigned after his history of making batshit-crazy racial comments came to light:
The Rev. Jamie Johnson, director of the Center for Faith-Based & Neighborhood Partnerships at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), resigned Thursday night after a CNN report revealed racially disparaging remarks he made during past talk radio appearances.

In a statement from acting DHS press secretary Tyler Houlton, the agency confirmed that acting Secretary Elaine Duke had accepted Johnson's resignation and condemned his past remarks.
Houlton made his comments over several years. But in his "I'm outta here" statement, he pretty much said that he's changed his mind, now that he has had an opportunity to meet black people and Muslims. If that's true, then I applaud his change of beliefs.

Elsewhere, Trump and his kids never questioned why a salesman was able to sell Trump condos in Panama for three times the market rate. Seems that as long as the checks cleared, they looked the other way.

Changing gears, Sarah Palin had some words to say about sexual harassment:


I give her props for quickly realizing that going off on a partisan rant would have not been appropriate. She was clearly about to, then thought better of it.

Revos

Yellow on the front sight of the M64 didn't work very well. I changed it to orange. I also had a light recrowning done, as it looked pretty nasty. I was able to run it at a not-terribly-low rate on a B-27 target at ten yards. It's not a collector's gun, but having a stainless gun in a place where summertime humidity can get into the "fuck me, I'm melting" zone is a good thing.

I bought the recent M15-3 kind of on a whim, and because nobody seemed to notice the auction. I already had a Model 15, but it seems that it has some collector value, in that it's a "no dash" model with original grips and the factory-installed trigger stop. Model 15s were intended to be service guns (hence the original name of "Combat Masterpiece"). It turned out that in heavy use, the trigger stop screw could loosen, the stop would rotate and jam things up. S&W advised removing them.

Revolvers have a few advantages in any possible changes in the political landscape. But you can figure that out for yourself. I do have a permit in at least one state with capacity limits. And, if the future calls for me to move toone of those places, I won't be faced with either having to sell off guns or get neutered magazines for others.

Besides that, I like them. I tend to shoot them better. And I've found that they conceal better, as the big mass in a IWB carry is inside the belt-line.

Because It's Friday

Indian narrow-gauge steam:


If the other tracks look wide to you, you're right. India uses a rail gauge of 5'6".

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Scratch a Republican Family Values Legislator and You'll find a Closet Case

[Ohio] State Rep. Wes Goodman, who consistently touted his faith and conservative values, abruptly resigned late Tuesday after being confronted with evidence of inappropriate conduct with another man inside his Riffe Center office, the second Ohio lawmaker to fall within a month.

House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger, R-Clarksville, met Tuesday afternoon with the Cardington Republican soon after the speaker became aware of an incident from weeks ago in the lawmaker’s office that, sources said, involved a male in a consensual situation.

Sucking Up to the Banksters is a Bipartison Affair

Rep. Gwen Moore, a Democrat from Wisconsin and Sen. Mark Warner (D-WV) are trying to make it easier for payday lenders to do their evil fuckery.

Considering that those vultures target people living on the edge with interest rates that are at loan-shark rates, one has to wonder why Moore is siding with them. And considering the racial identity of Moore and the state Warner is from, you'd think that both would have an interest in making it harder for the banksters and the legalized loan sharks to target poor people and minorities.

But sadly, no. You have to wonder how much of the banksters' filthy lucre campaign contributions they had to take in order to betray their constituents in such a fashion.

For shame, guys. You have a lot of gall to be standing up for guys like these two future residents of a Federal Crossbar Hotel.

Why Did Moore Stop Being a Perv?

The allegations keep coming that Roy Moore was pretty much preying on teenagers over a five-year span, even calling them up at school.

Why did he stop? It wasn't marriage, for he didn't get married until `85.

Did somebody in law enforcement pull him aside and point out that if he continued on, that he'd be arrested? Or did one of the male relatives of the girls he was creeping on have a little "man to shotgun" talk with him? Could any of that be why he left the area and went to work on a ranch in Australia?

He wouldn't be the first guy to realize that his behavior was not in line with a prosperous life. Is there such a thing as a "dry pervert"?

Self-Driving Trucks

The trucking industry and tech companies are spending a billion dollars a year, now, to develop self-driving trucks.

As I've mentioned before, I think the implementation of self-driving trucks will result in the largest elimination of working-class jobs since the railroads dieselized. Or robots took over the vehicle production lines. But so far, no politician is seriously talking about what will happen.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Meetings

I was at a meeting earlier today. The presenter and one of the people asking questions were two individuals who couldn't stop talking. I observed to the people at my table that "they must have been vaccinated with a phonograph needle." I could have been speaking in Finnish for the number of blank stares that observation generated.

Kids these days have no knowledge of the classics.

Poor Little Jeffrey's Memory

Lord only knows how Jeff Sessions remembers how to feed himself, given that his memory is so awful.

Tanks for the Memories

An Army training film on infantry countermeasures against tanks.


Some of it is still good information, especially using small-arms fire to force the tank crews to button up. That's a problem that's being worked on. I'll bet that a gizmo to launch a cloud of small flechettes at a tank to disable those camera systems is already in the works.


Coup Day

Robert Mugabe has been deposed. He tried to designate his wife as his successor, which seems to have been a step too far for the army.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Shooting at Kraut Fighters From the Air

A WW2 training flick:


Astute viewers will recognize who did the movie.

GOP Feels Sorry About Larry Craig

You might remember ol' "Wide-Stance" Larry, the senator who was busted for propositioning men in an airport bathroom. Of course, that was ten years ago, when the GOP, the Gathering of Old Perverts, had a shred of moral outrage left.

Not any more, it seems. Ten years ago, a perv like Roy Moore would have had the moral decency to slink back under his rock. Now, they have to try and push him to quit and so far, Gropin' Roy isn't going away.

Now we see that the only value that the "values voters" cherish is political power. They will tolerate anyone, even an alleged child molester, so long as said alleged molester cloaks himself in their cloth.

I guess I'm old enough to recall when the Republicans claimed that they had the moral high ground. Not any more.

So this is what I say: If the evangelicals and "values voters" are so enamored of political power that they will tolerate knowingly support the candidacy of an alleged pedophile, then that tells me all that I need to know about their so-called morals and values.

And if the voters of Alabama elect Moore as their senator, that tells me all that I need to know about their state.

10mm Revolvers

Ruger is now offering its Super Redhawk in 10mm Auto.

Unless you have a real need to shoot 10mm, my initial reaction is that this doesn't pass the Wuffo Test.

The Super Redhawk is a 54oz gun. Almost all of the other Super Redhawks are in more potent calibers. From what I can see, a 10mm doesn't do anything that a .41 Magnum can't.

My real beef is that the 10mm is a rimless cartridge, so you'd need some flavor of moon clip in order to extract the fired case. That's just one more little bit of metal, and if you're going to avoid bending them, you'll need a "mooning" and "demooning" tools. If they do get bent, then they'll likely jam the gun.

To my mind, one of the advantages of a revolver is that you don't need to have anything else: Just ammunition to shoot. Oh, sure, you can get speedloaders for a faster reload. If you're a serious competition shooter, you can have them set for moon clips for revolver rounds. But the guns so converted will still chamber, fire and extract single rounds.

If you lose the moonclips for a revolver firing automatic cartridges, or if the clips are damaged, you have a gun that is a paperweight. If the chambers are set to headspace the rounds on the cartridge mouths, you have a gun that you can shoot, provided that you have a dowel rod with which to punch out the empties.

I don't know of what can be done in any of the revolvers chambered for autoloading cartridges that can't be done with an equivalent revolver round, which is both rimmed and crimped for use in revolvers.

But what the hell do I know. If a 10mm revolver floats yer boat, break out your plastic and go for it.

Smith Model 64

Southern Ohio Gun has (or had) a number of S&W M64s in the "skosh below $300" range. I bought one through my LGS:


It is a 64-5. For some reason, somebody put square-butt Pachmyer grips on a round-butt gun. That'll be something I'll change, eventually. The timing is OK. It's kind of close on a couple of double-action cylinders, but it's good for now. There's no endshake. It's definitely a shooter-grade gun that has seen some hard use.

I took it to the range. This is at ten yards, with the bare stainless-steel fixed sights:


I'll paint them before the next range outing with some cheap yellow nail polish on the front post and black on the rear notch. Shiny metal sights are not very friendly to use. I like using nail polish for changing the colors of sights, for it's cheap, easy to touch up and if I want to change the color or remove it completely, it comes right off with some acetone on a cotton ball or swab.

Now I have three of the classic five stainless Ks. If I see a 67 at a good price, I'll jump on that. 68s are rare, I've never seen one, let alone seen one up for sale.

Monday, November 13, 2017

You Don't Have to be Crazy (or Stupid) to Join the Army, But It'd Doesn't Hurt to Be

People with a history of “self-mutilation,” bipolar disorder, depression and drug and alcohol abuse can now seek waivers to join the Army under an unannounced policy enacted in August, according to documents obtained by USA TODAY.

The decision to open Army recruiting to those with mental health conditions comes as the service faces the challenging goal of recruiting 80,000 new soldiers through September 2018. To meet last year's goal of 69,000, the Army accepted more recruits who fared poorly on aptitude tests, increased the number of waivers granted for marijuana use and offered hundreds of millions of dollars in bonuses.
I wonder if the Army cares that some people with mental health history are banned from even touching a gun.

Project 100,000 was a failure, but that doesn't keep the Army from reinventing it whenever the well of recruits starts to dry up.

The stupidity of trying to run a forever war on the backs of volunteers alone is patently obvious.

Anyone Think That This is Unusual?-- Bay State Ed.

The Superintendent of the Massachusetts Staties ordered a trooper to edit an arrest report. The arrest report was of the daughter of a district court judge. A ding letter was placed in the trooper's personnel file and the one for his immediate supervisor, for not editing the report himself.

The trooper sued. So did another trooper, whose report was ordered edited. The story went public. And the uperintendent "resigned", no doubt to go spend more time with his family (or his fish pole).

I submit that this sort of shit goes on almost everywhere. If Jane Nafka, a garden variety heroin addict, had offered sex in order to get out of a traffic beef, chances are they'd have also cited her for attempted bribery and solicitation of a sex act. But things are different for the kids of the powerful.

Hannity Fans are Idiots (Mostly)

At least these are:
Keurig's decision to pull its advertising from Sean Hannity's Fox News show is not going over well with some viewers.

Social-media users on Sunday posted videos of themselves smashing their Keurig coffee makers, two days after the company said it would no longer advertise during Hannity's show.
Right. Destroying a paid-for coffee machine because the company won't run ads on the program of the biggest wingnut troll since O'Reilly.

That makes perfect sense to smash a coffee-maker that costs $50 for the smallest one, even at the big Blue Store of Evil. In some alternate universe.

So then they'll all have to go buy another coffee maker, at $30 or more for a cheap one or three bills for a good one, if they want to keep using the little K-cups.

Here's the thing: Most coffee-makers are durable products. You buy one, you don't need another for a very long time. The tighty-righties smashing their Keurigs does jack-point-shit to Keurig. But it does create sales for the other coffee-makers.

The only people that the Keurig-smashers are hurting is themselves. But hey, have at it. The stores selling replacements will be happy.

But as to the Keurig-smashers themselves:



P.S., yeah, I should be commenting on El Trumpo's coziness with strongmen, or his continuing inability to comprehend that Congress doesn't take orders from him, but why bother. You know all that.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

A Falcon-20:


FedEx started out with four Falcon-20s.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Only a Fool Would Take a Professional Spymaster at His Word

Trump is just that sort of fool:
DANANG, Vietnam — President* Trump said on Saturday that he believed President Vladimir V. Putin was sincere in his denials of interference in the 2016 presidential elections, calling questions about Moscow’s meddling a politically motivated “hit job” that was hindering cooperation with Russia on life-or-death issues.
Of course Trump knows, by now, that the Russians have been meddling in our elections. The professional intelligence people have been telling him that.

But Trump won't listen. Deep down in the core of his putrifying soul, Trump knows that his presidency is an illegitimate one, birthed by Russian interference. It gnaws on him. That's why he was so insistent that more people were on the National Mall for his inauguration than anyone else, despite the abundant photographic evidence to the contrary. That's why, a year after the election, he keeps talking about his "victory". He can't stop talking about it becauce he knows it's all built on lies and foreign meddling.

So when his ertwhile boss in Moscow tells Trump "Donald, you know ve had nothing to do with it," Trump has no choice but to believe the lies of a professional spymaster.

The Guns Fell Silent, 99 Years Ago

At 11 AM. For almost 19 years. But it wasn't over. Not even hardly.

Today is Veterans Day. It was Armistice Day until 1954. Congress changed the name to honor living veterans. The dead already had their own day. In '54, with World War 1 having ended 36 years before, World War 2 ended 9 years before, and a year after the Korean Armistice, there were a lot of veterans around.

It would be nice if we could figure out a way to stop making them.

Thank a veteran. In this world, we need brave men and women to do the needful in harsh places.

Caturday

A shelter cat awaits his forever home.


A family came in to look at cats and they couldn't decide between two. One was Chaplin. They took the paperwork home to talk it over. Often that means "nope, but we don't want to say that". We're keeping our fingers crossed. Chaplain is a staff favorite, there will be tears when he goes to a loving home. But he absolutely should, he's a cool cat.

With any luck, as this post is being preloaded, he may already have gone home.

Friday, November 10, 2017

The Heat is Ratcheting Up

Federal investigators are examining whether former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn met with senior Turkish officials just weeks before President Donald Trump's inauguration about a potential quid pro quo in which Flynn would be paid to carry out directives from Ankara secretly while in the White House, according to multiple people familiar with the investigation.
This was the guy, remember, who was leading chants of "lock her up" during the campaign last year.

Guess Flynn will likely see the inside of the Graybar Hilton first.

Trump Thinks Everyone is as Stupid as He Is

President* Trump heaped praise on President Xi Jinping of China on Thursday, blaming past American administrations for China’s yawning trade surplus with the United States and saying he was confident that Mr. Xi could defuse the threat from North Korea.

Mr. Trump’s warm words, on a state visit to China replete with ceremony but short of tangible results, showed a president doubling down on his gamble that by cultivating a personal connection with Mr. Xi, he can push the Chinese leader to take meaningful steps on North Korea and trade.
I doubt that a seasoned Chinese bureaucrat, like President Xi, is as susceptible to flattery as Dolt-45 is known to be. But Trump, who famously claims that he is smart and knows the best words, doesn't know that.

Because It's Friday

Balkans steam:

They'll Spend Two Hours in an Elevator

The White House says that there are no "planned" meetings between Trump and Putin.

Right. What asset is going to pass up a chance to check in with his handler?

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Hate Loses in Hoboken

Hoboken elected its first Sikh mayor on Tuesday night, days after a flyer branded him as a “terrorist.”

Ravinder Bhalla, a councilman born and raised in New Jersey, defeated five other candidates to take the place of Mayor Dawn Zimmer, who announced she would step down after two terms.
Those who think that Sikhs are connected to terrorism have to be dumber than Donald Trump. Or his son, Eric.

The Hoboken cops are treating distributing the flyers as a possible bias crime. I tend to think that the First Amendment is going to have a say on that.

Another Trumper May Have Prison in His Future

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has been lying about his net worth for a very long time.

He's apparently lied in filings to the SEC and he lied on his financial disclosure forms, both of which are crimes. Add in lying to the Feds and he's got jail time coming.

Yeah, No Collusion There. [/Sarcasm]

A Russian lawyer who met with President* Donald Trump’s oldest son last year says he indicated that a law targeting Russia could be re-examined if his father won the election and asked her for written evidence that illegal proceeds went to Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
The lawyer probably won't get to testify in the U.S., as the signs are that the Trump Administration is denying her a visa to keep that from happening.

About what one would expect from those corrupt fucks.

A Bigot Lost in VA

Virginia’s most socially conservative state lawmaker was ousted from office Tuesday by Danica Roem, a Democrat who will be one of the nation’s first openly transgender elected officials and who embodies much of what Del. Robert G. Marshall fought against in Richmond.

The race focused on traffic and other local issues in suburban Prince William County but also exposed the nation’s fault lines over gender identity. It pitted a 33-year-old former journalist who began her physical gender transition four years ago against a 13-term incumbent who called himself Virginia’s “chief homophobe” and earlier this year introduced a “bathroom bill” that died in committee.
Marshall ran the usual hate-based campaign that one might have expected of his political leanings.

He lost by nine points.

Also, Chris Chrities's lieutenant governor, Kim Guadagno, sought to step up into his job. She was shellacked. Whether the NJ voters were in an anti-Trump mood or Guadagno couldn't escape Christie's stench will be fodder for the local pundits.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Paradise Papers

The "Paradise Papers" are back in the news. A lot of the financial fuckery of the super-rich is coming to light. The various financial shenanigans that were hidden from view include Russians investing with Jerrod Kushner.

There's a bank in Utah that helps Russian oligarchs buy and register airplanes in the U.S., which they themselves are prohibited by law from doing.

Seven rich Trumpanzees, including one guy whose basically a legalized loan shark, a billionaire who thinks that affordable housing is immoral, and the usual bunch of wealthy evildoers. Offshore money fueled the Trump campaign (that he said he would self-finance).

At least one Democratic donor, but there'll probably be more.

There is a shitload of stuff that's now out.

Money may not be the root of all evil, but it sure does help keep the roots of evil well-watered.

Trump Re-Filling the Swamp With Toxic Waste

A proposal by Energy Secretary Rick Perry to alter the nation's electricity markets would provide a windfall for a small group of companies — most strikingly one owned by coal magnate Bob Murray, a prominent backer of President Donald Trump.

Perry's plan would force consumers to subsidize ailing coal-fired and nuclear power plants with billions of dollars, in what he calls an effort to ensure that the nation’s power network can withstand threats like terrorist attacks or severe weather. But his narrowly written proposal would mostly affect plants in a stretch of the Midwest and Northeast where Murray's mining company, Murray Energy, is the predominant supplier, according to a POLITICO analysis of Energy Department data.
Because all of those Republicans can't resist the urge to suck on the public teat when they can.

This, folks, is nothing more than another disguised variant of Corporate Welfare. The very same folks who decried bailing out the auto industry are, no doubt, as mum as clams on this.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Yet Another Disaffected White Loser With a Rifle

SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas (AP) — A gunman dressed in black tactical-style gear and armed with an assault rifle opened fire inside a small South Texas church, killing 26 people in an attack that claimed tight-knit neighbors and multiple family members ranging in age from 5 to 72 years old.

Once the shooting started Sunday at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, there was likely “no way” for congregants to escape, said Wilson County Sheriff Joe D. Tackitt Jr. Officials said about 20 others were wounded.

“He just walked down the center aisle, turned around and my understanding was shooting on his way back out,” said Tackitt, who said the gunman also carried a handgun but that he didn’t know if it was fired. Tackitt described the scene as “terrible.”

“It’s unbelievable to see children, men and women, laying there. Defenseless people,” he said.
Sadly, Sheriff Tackitt, it is not "unbelievable" any more. This sort of slaughter, where a white gunman shoots lots of people for no apparent reason, is becoming a common event. It's been about five weeks since the Asswipe of Las Vegas killed nearly sixty people, now we have another Asswipe killing two dozen-plus people.

Apparently, this particular Asswipe had a bad-conduct discharge from the Air Force for domestic violence. The BCD isn't disqualifying for owning a gun, but the domestic violence conviction should have been. The Air Force might want to figure out how those things get coded and reported to the Feds who run the background check system.

This can't keep going on before there will be a clamor to "do something, for G-d's sake." The politicians will do something. People can die in drips and drabs here and there and nobody gets excited. I don't have the time to find it this morning, but I've written before that the 9-11 death toll was about equivalent to five or six weeks' worth of road fatalities. The number of people killed yesterday in Sutherland Springs is about half the monthly murder toll in Chicago.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

One Person's Terrorist is Another Person's Patriot

Remember, remember,
The fifth of November,
The Gunpowder Treason and Plot.
I see of no reason,
Why the Gunpowder Treason
Should Ever be Forgot.
If the Gunpowder Plot had succeeded, Queen Elizabeth II would have taken the throne in 1605. And Guy Fawkes might be regarded as a hero.

Instead, the chances of ending the persecution/disfavoring of Catholics vanished. Catholics were viewed with official suspicion in England for another two hundred years.

Imagine how the participants of the American Revolution would be regarded today if the British had won the war.

This Just Keeps Getting Better and Better; Russia-Trump Ed.

Not Trump, but his Commerce Secretary:
After becoming commerce secretary, Wilbur L. Ross Jr. retained investments in a shipping firm he once controlled that has significant business ties to a Russian oligarch subject to American sanctions and President Vladimir V. Putin’s son-in-law, according to newly disclosed documents.

The shipper, Navigator Holdings, earns millions of dollars a year transporting gas for one of its top clients, a giant Russian energy company called Sibur, whose owners include the oligarch and Mr. Putin’s family member. Despite selling off numerous other holdings to join the Trump administration and spearhead its “America first” trade policy, Mr. Ross kept an investment in Navigator, which increased its business dealings with Sibur even as the West sought to punish Russia’s energy sector over Mr. Putin’s incursions into Ukraine.
So Ross has been using a network of offshore firms in order to obscure the fact that he is in business with not only the Russians, but with Russians who have been sanctioned by the United States.

And not just Russians, mind you. Ross's business dealings include Venezuela's state oil company.

Ross's defense is "I don't talk to them directly, I just take their money."

I'm sure that Fox News and the rest of the Right Wing Noise Machine will sprain their legs, jumping to defend Ross. But when they do, ask yourself what would they be saying if you only substituted "Ross" with "Clinton".

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

Be-200:

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Doing the Bidding of the Terrorists

President* Donald Trump said Wednesday that he wants Congress to end the visa program that reportedly allowed the driver involved in Tuesday’s New York City attack to enter the country legally, and he blamed Democratic leaders for the program's existence.

"Diversity lottery. Sounds nice. It's not nice. It's not good. It's not good. It hasn't been good, and we've been against it,” the president said in remarks at the start of a cabinet meeting at the White House. “We need strength. We need resolve. We have to stop it. We need to get rid of this lottery program as soon as possible. He came in through the diversity program, as you know, and we're going to stop it. We're going to as quickly as possible get rid of chain migration and go to a merit-based system."
What the terrorists want us to force us to do stupid shit. When a mouth-breathing moron like Trump proposes cutting off avenues for emigration to the U.S., that enables the terrorists to say "see, brothers, they really are at war with all of the faithful."

Trump, of course, ever passes up an opportunity to divide people and insult his perceived opponents. He has no concept of the presidential role of being a force for unity and a consoler. No, he'd rather spit in your face, shiv you in the back and then dance on your grave. That's the way he has been since his first job of making sure black people didn't live in his daddy'd rental properties. He's never changed.[1]

The not-very-funny thing is that when a Nazi drives a car into a crowd of people or another Nazi goes into a church and shoots several black people to death, neither one of those Nazis is labeled a "terrorist".[2] The Asswipe of Charleston openly stated that he was hoping that his killing black people would spark a race war. The Nazi who drove around shooting people-- not a terrorist. The Nazi who killed people outside of a JCC in Kansas City-- not a terrorist. The Nazi who bombed the Atlanta Olympic Park-- not a terrorist. The Nazis who blew up the Murrah Federal Building, killing 169 people-- not terrorists.

A Nazi drives a car into a crowd of people...Trump has to wait for all of the facts and then praises the "good people" on the side of the Nazis. A Muslim drives a truck into a crowd of people...Trump calls for immediate changes to a green card program, because all immigrants are bad people. White guy uses a gizmo to effectively turn his rifles into machine guns and kills nearly sixty people...Trump is silent. Muslim kills over fifty people in a nightclub...Trump calls for banning all Muslims from coming to the U.S.

Do you see a pattern?

The terrorist groups, al Qaeda, ISIS/Daesh, all proclaim to their followers that "America is at war with Islam". Their chief propagandist in this is Donald J. Trump. The last two presidents were smart enough (or well-advised enough) not to fall into that trap. George W. Bush, in particular, continually reached out to American Muslims in order to counter the terrorist propaganda. Trump, on the other hand, parrots terrorist propaganda.

Trump is an unwitting tool of the terrorists. He is mentally and tempermentally unfit for his job.
______________________________
[1] Melania Trump's anti-bulling initiative is ironic as all fuck, considering that she's married to the Bullying Asshole in Chief.
[2] Some of those Nazis are "good people, according to Trump.

Caturday

Interloper alert!

Friday, November 3, 2017

Because It's Friday

More Scottish steam:


The route of the Jacobite is the line that was used for a portion of the filming the train scenes in the Harry Potter flicks.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Navy Collisions

Included here are links to the reports of the collisions of the USS Fitzgerald and the USS John S. McCain.

There are things in the reports that are inexcusable: Ignorance of the nautical rules of the road among the Fizgerald's wardroom. Failure to understand the traffic routing scheme on the part of the Fitzgerald. Screwing up the steering system on the McCain, a failure that began with the CO and worked its way down. The Bridge and CIC teams on both ships screwed the pooch.

There are also bright spots. Both ships' crew responded well to the collisions. Damage control teams stood up quickly and effectively. The Navy has emphasized damage control readiness and training for decades and it paid off.

But frankly, it's still a whitewash job. The reports dump all of the blame on the crews of the ships without an even passing look at why the ships got to where they were. It was not just failure by watchstanders and their respective captains and XOs, the rot goes far deeper.

Gentle Readers, the Navy has 84 surface combatants, not counting the DDG-1000 and the execrable Little Crappy Ships. That is 84 surface warships, total, of which, maybe 25-30% are in the yards for overhaul. Thirty years ago, the Navy had more than that number of frigates, which made up half of the total number of surface combatants (which doesn't include carriers and subs).

We have ships making back-to-back deployments. The time back home (usually less than six months) is never enough to do the training and refitting required for the next deployment.

My bottom line is this: We are asking our military, not just the Navy, to do too much with too little. The congressional leadership is too focused on stupid shit and cutting taxes for the rich, instead of doing its Constitutionally-mandated job to provide for the Army and Navy (Article I, Section 8). The fuckwads in Congress want to have a global military without paying the real costs of it. The careerists in the services, those wearing stars, do not have the spine to stand up and say "Sirs, unable."

Either we sack up and realize that having a global military is going to require fiscal sacrifices or we should pull back and revert to Jeffersonian levels. Paying for repairs maintenance and training isn't as glamorous or as popular as buying new and shiny airplanes, but Jesus God, people, pull your fucking heads out of your asses for once!

If you are in the Congress or their staffers, or if you are in Ft. Fumble: Do your fucking jobs for once in your miserable lives. You ask much of those serving, it's time that you stand up for them.

Russian Fallout; Trump Ed.

Sam Clovis, President* Donald Trump's nominee to be the Department of Agriculture's chief scientist, withdrew himself from consideration Thursday, the White House announced.
You could have grabbed ten people who were walking down the street and half of them would have been more qualified to fill that job than was Clovis. Clovis has not a single science degree or any relevant experience whatsoever. About the only way to find somebody less qualified would be to dig up Tromfin Lysenko.

But he was willing to sign on as Trump's lackey, and that was good enough for Dolt-45.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

"Baghdad Bob" in Pearls

Sarah Huckabee Sanders was sent out to deny that Trump called the justice system "a joke and a laughingstock".

The woman has some balls to go on the record and deny that Trump said what he said when the cameras were rolling.

Trump might think the Federal justice system is a joke. Bet that opinion isn't shared by those under Mueller's microscope.

What Trump clearly wants to do is to have to power to unleash death squads. He is a wannabee-authoritarian. Those on the Right, those who consider themselves patriots, should be ashamed of him. If they aren't then they are complicit in Trump's offenses against the rule of law.

Air Bags

There was a car-truck accident outside of my sister's home recently. She called 911 and then ran outside and opened the driver's door to check on the driver. The driver, a teenager, was unconscious. My sister talked to the driver as the driver came out of it, in order to keep the driver calm. (My niece had a bad concussion several years ago, so my sister has some knowledge as to these things.)

As the paramedics were loading the driver up for transport to the ER, my sister became aware that she had breathed in the dust from the air bags' deployment. She could feel it in her lungs and it was also on her face and hands. She asked the paramedics about it and was told that "yep, we all get hit with that stuff, the feeling passes."

Short-term problems with breathing in airbag dust are known.

But I wonder if we're going to see an increase in the rates of lung cancers in first responders as time goes by.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Operation Distraction

White House chief of staff John Kelly spoke to the "good" and "not so good" parts of US history on Monday, speaking highly of Confederate general Robert E. Lee and attributing the origin of the American Civil War to a "lack of an ability to compromise."
...
He continued: "But the lack of an ability to compromise led to the Civil War. And men and women of good faith on both sides made their stand where their conscience had to make their stand," Kelly added, not making any mention of slavery -- a major facet of the Southern economy and a key benchmark that separated northern and southern states when they chose sides in the Civil War.
First, that's all utter horseshit. The Civil War was about the right to own people as livestock. It was about their desire to open more territory for the farming of people. That's what they declared at the time. A lot of the Confederate soldiers were drafted and both draft evasion and desertion were huge problems for the Confederacy, as a large number of their soldiers knew that they were fighting for the rights of rich people to own slaves, while the slavers exempted themselves from fighting the war. But the officers, especially the highest-ranking ones, actively committed treason. There is no intellectually honest way to gloss over the point that they were traitors who fought to preserve slavery. The "Noble Cause" bullshit was an after-the-fact rationalization to cover up the bitter truth that the Boys in Gray committed treason and fought for the right of rich white people to own black people.

Given that, as I've explained before, none of Trump's ancestors were even in this country for the Civil War, Trump's infatuation with the Confederate traitors is either naked political calculation or a manifestation of his inner nazism.

But all that overlooks the saddest thing: Donald Trump sent out his Chief of Staff, a retired four-star general, to stoke up the fires of resentment over losing the Civil War as a way to distract the news cycle, if only on Fox, from covering the fact that the walls of the Mueller investigation are closing in on his administration.

General Kelly had the reputation of being an honorable man. But Trump just sent him out to play racist troll in order to save a news cycle or two.

The bitter lesson is this: If you work for a racist and hateful boss, especially in public life, the stink of racism and hate will rub off on you.