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

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

An Apt Political Metaphor

A chartered train carrying dozens of GOP lawmakers to a Republican policy retreat in West Virginia struck a garbage truck in a rural Virginia town Wednesday.

Fifty Years Ago

The Tet Offensive was underway.

It was a flawed plan from the start. The North Vietnamese leadership had convinced itself that, if they could fight in the cities, that the people would rise up with them and overthrow the South Vietnamese government. the SVN government was corrupt, brutal and it was run by Catholics in a majority Buddhist country. But the urban dissatisfaction was not enough for an uprising.

The NVA and the VC took the city of Hue, which immediately set themselves up for a mini-Stalingrad, in that they had no sustainable means of being reinforced or resupplied. It took a month to recapture the city, but the outcome was never in doubt.

Where NVN succeeded was in exposing the lies of the Johnson White House, the Pentagon and the generals running MACV (Military Assistance Command, Vietnam). They all had been telling the American people, for years, that the corner had been turned, that the US and SVN were winning, that there was "light at the end of the tunnel." Clearly, there was no such thing. It was a war of attrition in support of a corrupt dictatorship, a fact that was becoming apparent to the American people. What was also coming apparent was the fact that the war couldn't be won, something that was known (or suspected) by most of those running the war and had been known for quite some time.

Tet also gave the South Vietnamese people a taste of what might happen if the North won. The NVA and VC summarily executed thousands of people at Hue. The massacres likely gave rise to the exodus of the boat people. A better government in the south might have exploited that and rallied the people behind it. But that wasn't the government that the South had.

It would take another five years and about 30,000 more American KIAs to end America's involvement in Vietnam.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Monday, January 29, 2018

Pro Tip for Criminals

By now, one would think that most people would be aware that having your cellphone turned on and with you is a bad idea when you're committing serious felonies.
UPS employees in Springfield, Mo., discovered on Oct. 29 that a number of Beretta firearms had been stolen from trucks on their lot.
...
Authorities also used cellphone-tower records to link five North Texas men to the theft.
I'm guessing that those five guys were the mooks who were hired to do the theft. One or more will roll on whoever supplied the information.

Shorter United Airlines: "We're Sorry That We Kicked You Off the Airplane so You Couldn't See Your Mother Before She Died. But We'll Send Flowers to Her Wake."

It just boggles the mind. At least they didn't have the cops drag her physically from the airplane.

This country essentially has an airline oligarchy. There is not a lot of choice anymore.

Meanwhile, the Trump Administration is going to le the airlines go back to their past practice of deceptive advertising (for example, fare say "$99 and are $500 once all of the additional costs are tallied up).

And airlines want to ban photography on airplanes. Taking videos of flight attendants abusing passengers or gate agent and cops dragging people off airplanes would be considered to be "interfering with a flight crew member", which is a Federal felony.

The major legacy airlines, now, are cesspits of customer disservice, if not outright evil. If you can get there in a day by driving, you're better off doing that. (Or fly Southwest, for so far, they seem to still be in the "serve the customer" mode.)

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Nice Business You Have Here. It'd Be a Real Shame If Something Happened to It

That was, of course, the line that was used to extort money in protection rackets. Fail to pay your "street tax" and a garbage can might be accidentally tossed through your storefront window at 3 AM.

That's basically what the cops are now doing in Detroit:
Businesses pay between $4,000 and $6,000 to join Project Green Light, a program that allows police to monitor businesses’ video surveillance feeds in real time. The cost covers installation of high-definition cameras and lighting. There also is a monthly fee of up to $150 for cloud-based video storage.

In exchange, participating companies are given Priority 1 status on police dispatches — but some business owners who don’t participate feel they’re being treated like secondary citizens.
...
Police said they gave 40,471 special attention runs to Green Light locations in 2017 — an average of 111 per day. That represented about 6 percent of all officer runs, according to Detroit police data.

Priority 1 runs are given precedence over other emergency calls, although Craig said Green Light runs don’t trump violent crimes. But per the agreement with the city, if there are simultaneous calls from two business owners reporting similar crimes, police prioritize calls from the Green Light locations.
Smells a lot like an extortion racket to me.

(H/T)

32 On

The Space Shuttle Challenger blew up on liftoff thirty-two years ago today.

The flight of Challenger was a disaster that epitomized expedience over safety.

Bangity; Testing 1, 2, 3.

I stopped by my local range and tried out a M&P Shield in 9mm.


I put fifty rounds through the rental gun. It seemed pretty nice. I kind of like the idea of having a thumb-safety, but if I had one, I'd have to train to work it. One of the issues I've seen with people on a range is that they never drill at working the safety.

Tempting, especially since they can come with an integral laser for not much more.

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

The Kawasaki P-1:

Saturday, January 27, 2018

International Holocaust Day.

Good thing they sent Rex Tillerson. Trump would have likely commented that "bad things were done on many sides, on many sides."

In Poland, it is now illegal to mention that Poles helped the Germans kill off Polish Jews, or mention that death camps were in Poland.

This is also the anniversary of the Apollo 1 fire in 1967. NASA has not had much luck with flying spacecraft in January.

Elsewhere, in Europe

Caturday

Warm kitty:

Friday, January 26, 2018

Here's Yet Another Post From Your Typical Career-Crazed, She-Devil Banshee of a Blogger

A Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Missouri has ignited a social media firestorm with a Facebook post in which he calls feminists “she devils” and expounds on how he wants his wife to cook his dinner.

Courtland Sykes, who campaigned on behalf of Senate candidate Roy Moore in Alabama last month, posted to Facebook Tuesday the transcript of a September interview during which he was asked about women’s rights.

Sykes, a Navy veteran and political newcomer, said he rejects “radical feminism’s crazed definition of modern womanhood” and that he wants daughters who will be homemakers rather than “career obsessed banshees” or “nailbiting manophobic feminist she devils.”
This clown also believes that keeping mum about sexual harassment and assault is what makes America great.
In a dramatic video, a U.S. Senate candidate from Missouri called Roy Moore a “legendary patriot who stands up and fights no matter what,” and he implied the reporting of sexual assault allegations against Moore could lead to the destruction of America.
So who is this Sykes dude?

Basically, he's a carpetbagger. He doesn't bother to mention where he was born or where he grew up. He's another one of those clowns who likes to brag about his military career while glossing over the point that he basically drove a Gray Steelie for his career.
He apparently applied for the CIA and didn't get in. His own FAQs are the ravings of an unhinged mind. He might indeed be the next ratfucked candidate.

UPDATED to add:

No Van Gogh For You, Donald

Trump wanted to borrow a Van Gogh from the Guggenheim Museum. They said they couldn't loan it out, but they offered him something else: A golden shitter.


Between the gold and its value as an art object, that's probably a million dollar throne for Caudillo Trumpo's biffy.

Because It's Friday

The "Commodore Vanderbilt,"a New York Central Hudson locomotive


The noted designer Richard Henry Dreyfuss streamlined other locomotives for the NYCRR, but not as fully as this one.

Sadly, all of the Hudsons were scrapped in the 1950s.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Good Going, GOP; FBI Ed.

Politico is reporting that one GOP senator is claiming that there is a secret society within the FBI.

Without some really hard evidence to back up that claim, I suspect that Sen. Johnson is off his meds.

I have had very little truck with the Federales (other than the TSA), and I hope to keep it that way. But my suspicion is that the FBI is very much populated with law-and-order/authoritarian conservatives, more than likely to support Republicans. "Liberal FBI agent" is probably a contradiction in terms.

The FBI, though, does not have a problem with having a long-term memory. To the extent that the FBI and its agents have ever been inclined to cut conservatives and Republicans a break, these attacks will put an end to those days. In the priority of self-identity, being an FBI agent is probably well above party identification.

So keep it up, guys. Keep hard at work, pissing off the very people who will investigate you if there is ever any allegation of corruption or malfeasance.

Go ahead, make their day.

---------------------------------------

Meanwhile, Trump seems to be determined to piss off the Brits. He keeps this up, the "special relationship" will sink to about where it was two centuries ago.

Summary Execution for Contempt of Cop?

That appears what happened in Fairfax County, Virginia, where, last November, the Park Police shot a man to doll rags for no good reason.

Or so it seems.

People ought to review the Chris Rock video from time to time, as it clearly now does not apply only to black people. Only now, it's not just a matter of not getting your ass kicked by the cops, but of being shot by them.

Monday, January 22, 2018

TSA-- The Stupid Agency

Making a "finger gun" sign gives the TSA the vapours.

NYT: The Newspaper of Rich Republicans

Mike the Mad Biologist has a couple of posts that illustrate why the New York Times has been rather schitzoid on the Republicans: Their market is wealthy Republicans who are not misogynistic, homophobic or openly racist.

When viewed that way, the Times's fawning over George Bush and uncritical support of the Iraq War (and total amnesia of the lessons of the Vietnam War) is understandable.

Speaking of Vietnam, 60 Minutes had a piece earlier this month on the Afghan War. Sixteen years into the war and it is not safe for Americans to travel in the capital city. In essence, the only places in the country under the control of Afghan and American forces are those areas inside blast walls and military bases (and sometimes, not even there) and where a rifleman or spotter can see.

When I watched the interview with Gen. Nicholson, I got the feeling that I was watching an interview with Gens. Westmoreland or Harkin: "Pay no attention to what is going on outside the wire, all is well."

Google's "Brain Team"

They've designed a self-replicating artificial intelligence that rapidly creates evolved AI.

There are over seven billion people on this planet. People have fouled the oceans and the air, setting up the possibility of a mass extinction event. In some places, fossil fuel extraction companies are poisoning the ground water. In others, ground water is being rapidly depleted.

So there will, someday, be an AI that will take this all into account and, well, I've seen that movie. It didn't end well.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

A Dan Air DeHavilland Comet:


Either there was a mismatch with the stair truck or those airplanes had really small doors.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Unloved Bangity- Range Report

Earlier post:

Slow DA at 15 yards:


I'll need a grip adapter, as it was barking my knuckle when I shot it.

Unlike the 90+ year old M&P that I have, the finish wear on this gun is from neglect, not from honest use. So it's going to be hit with some bluing compound.

Working for Free During the Shutdown

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Calling it “the least I can do for my country,” the White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said on Saturday morning that she would lie for free during the government shutdown.
...
(more)

Caturday

Bella was in her refuge over the holidays.


Bella is a bit of an introvert. She will have no truck with people whom she does neither know or approve of. I am honored to be on her list of friends.

Friday, January 19, 2018

A Working Stereotype

Every Trump political appointee is homophobic and a racist.

Case in point:
An appointee of President Trump has resigned from the federal agency that runs AmeriCorps and other service programs after remarks he made disparaging blacks, Muslims, gays, women, veterans with PTSD and undocumented immigrants surfaced in the news media.

Carl Higbie lasted less than six months as the chief of external affairs in the Corporation for National and Community Service.
About the only group that this clown didn't insult were Hispanics. Which puts him one up on Inspector Callahan.

Tide Pod Challenge

There is a satirical piece up on the Duffel Blog about Marines eating Tide pods.

Here is why I may be an incurable optimist about humanity: I thought "No way, that can't be a thing."

It is. Even though:
Tide Pods contain chemicals that according to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry can cause esophagus damage, burns, blood pressure changes, gastrointestinal and neurological and endocrine problems among other things. The presence of the chemical 1,4 dioxane is especially dangerous.
If you are contemplating biting into a Tide pod, then you are a fucking idiot as well as a future competitior for a Darwin Award.

Because It's Friday

UP "Big Boy" update:


Rumor has been that UP wanted her done for the sesquicentennial of the "Golden Spike", but I don't see how that's going to happen. They are basically hand-building the entire locomotive.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Russian Wrinkle in the Investigarion

The FBI is investigating whether a top Russian banker with ties to the Kremlin illegally funneled money to the National Rifle Association to help Donald Trump win the presidency, two sources familiar with the matter have told McClatchy.

FBI counterintelligence investigators have focused on the activities of Alexander Torshin, the deputy governor of Russia’s central bank who is known for his close relationships with both Russian President Vladimir Putin and the NRA, the sources said.
A lot remains to be proven. I have little doubt that Mueller and the FBI will ferret out the truth.

But, and this is a huge but, if it turns out that the NRA was a front organization for the Russians, then the NRA will have done to itself what Bill Clinton, Gabby Giffords, Sarah Brady, Pete Shields and other have never been able to do.

Pete Brownell, who was elected president of the NRA last year, needs to jump on this with booth feet while wearing track shoes.

Shorter Trump: "Die, Faggot, Die."

Just when you think they've hit the bottom of the well on being hateful and despicable, Trump breaks out his entrenching tool and begins to dig:
Health care workers who want to refuse to treat patients because of religious or moral beliefs will have a new defender in the Trump administration.

The top civil rights official at the Department of Health and Human Services is creating the Division of Conscience and Religious Freedom to protect doctors, nurses and other health care workers who refuse to take part in procedures like abortion or treat certain people because of moral or religious objections.
Let's not forget that those so-called "religiously moral" medicos would have denied service to Trump's mentor, Roy Cohn, because he was (a) Jewish, (b) gay; and (c) had AIDS.

So now, under President Stable Genius, all one has to do to be able to discriminate is claim religion or moral grounds.

Seems to me that was a tactic under the old Jim Crow era.

I'd snark more, but I have to go.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Our Broken Surface Navy

Five officers involved in two Navy ship collisions last year that killed a total of 17 sailors are being charged with negligent homicide, the Navy said Tuesday.

A Navy spokesman, Capt. Greg Hicks, said the charges, which also include dereliction of duty and endangering a ship, will be presented to what the military calls an Article 32 hearing to determine whether the accused are taken to trial in a court-martial.
I'm throwing the "Bullshit Flag" on this.

But don't listen to me. Pay attention to Commander Salamander. He has a long and excellent piece over at the USNI blog, but this is the nut of it, if you don't want to read the entire thing:
As the former COs of FITZ and MCCAIN get ready for their ordeal, there are a few things we should keep in mind.

They were not the ones who created the conditions that addressed manning shortfalls by cross-decking Sailors neither trained nor qualified for the watches they would stand.

They were not the ones that created the conditions where ships could not get the depot level maintenance they needed, so already short-manned ship’s company would complete that required maintenance out of hide – not doing their primary jobs or getting enough rest.

They were not the ones who so “optimally” manned their ships to the point there was little white-space in the calendar for the COs to fully train and drill their crews.

They were not the ones who were more than happy to deploy ships that demanded 80-100 hr work weeks for weeks and months on end and expected nothing bad would happen on their watch.

They were not the ones who created a culture where self-abuse was a virtue; where professional development and mastery of your craft was seen as an obstacle to ambition.

…and yet, they will be the ones at Courts Martial. They were in command. That comes with the package.
It is hard to train people. It's hard to persuade our skinflint do-nothing Congress to pay for it. It's hard to get funding for enough people to do the jobs, so the fraking in-house MBAs at Ft. Fumble came up with the idea of cross-decking-- "let's train gunners' mates to stand helm watches" and more stupid shit.

The surface Navy is so far behind the curve on shipbuilding and manning that, well, you ain't seen nothing yet. The Tyco-class is wearing out without any replacements in even the planning stage. In contrast, the CG-47s were being launched well before their predecessors, the CG-16/26s, were scrapped (or SINKEXed). There is no real replacement for the DDG-51s, which have been in production since the late 1980s. The LCS class will be the subject of "WTF happened there" studies for the next fifty years. It seems that insufficient manning is now baked-in to the system.

People who were aboard those ships were killed because of this shit. Others may go to prison. These charges and upcoming courts-martials are and will be the most egregious use of the military justice system to cover up systemic problems since the execution of Admiral John Byng.

The flag officers who were responsible for the lack of training and undermanning, both active-duty and retired, should be put up against a retaining wall at Ft. Fumble and shot, pour encourager les autres.

(Earlier post.)

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Unloved; Bangity Ed.

A kind of gnarly-looking Smith & Wesson Model 10-7:


There were freckles of surface rust. Under the grips, there was bright orange rust. All the rust (or 99.44% of it) was scrubbed off with gun solvent and a copper pad.

The inside of the crane is fine, so the neglect apparently didn't reach to the internals. The timing is excellent. There is no endshake. The bore and chambers are in fine shape; the bore is bright and there is very little firing erosion in the chambers.

S&W began producing 10-7s in 1977. S&W stopped pinning barrels in 1982, so I have a five-year production window for the gun. Before the days of CCW permits, six-inch barrels were very popular for non-police purchasers. Most cop shops got away from 6" barrels in the early-mid 1960s,

My guess would be that somebody bought the gun, fired it a little, and then put it away. It then laid on a shelf in a workshop or basement until it got sold off in an estate sale or a nursing-home downsizing.

It'll be treated better and shot more often.

Trumpist Normality

Trump's lawyer allegedly paid a porn star 130 large to shut her up about having sex with Trump during his 3rd marriage.

What's surprising about this: First, the story was broken by the Wall Street Journal, a Murdoch rag.

Second, nobody's at all surprised by any of this.

What's not surprising is that the so-called "moral majority" has not uttered a peep and has not flagged in their support of Caudillo Trump. They would have been in batshit-raving mode at any suggestion that Bill Clinton had sex with a hooker, let alone paid her to shut up about it. But when it comes to their guy, they're just as amorally opportunistic as a K Street lobbyist representing Greater Berzerkistan.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Manning for Senate?

Chelsea Manning is running for the Senate in Maryland.

I don't think she has a chance in hell of winning, but then again, I thought the same with regard to Trump. So maybe you shouldn't listen to me.

P.S.; Transphobic comments will receive an automatic Red Card.

Cloudy With a Chance of Missiles; 1971 Edition


What happened then.

A followup broadcast:



I don't remember this happening. But it was a Saturday morning and, unless somebody was watching cartoons, the TV would have been off. I listened to CBS Radio News a lot when I was younger, on WCBS-880 and WBBM-780, depending on where I was living. I haven't heard Neil Strawser's voice in a very long time. But I digress.

Anyway, this is a "teletype tape," for those of you too young to have seen one in operation:


This is a teletype machine:


The red arrow is pointing at the tape printer: The operator would type out a draft of a telex or radio message (these replaced Morse code) and the printer (red arrow) would spew out the perforated tape. (Telex machines were also used for remote computer access back in the days of punchcards and FORTRAN). Once the message was reviewed and approved by whomever, the tape would be placed in the reader (green arrow) and sent out.

I think some of the machines could do both functions in draft mode, so if there were a few changes to be made a good operator could run the old tape to the point of changes, and then begin typing from there. But I'm not certain of that; it's been decades since I've had anything to do with them.

The nice thing for them in the service was that if one drafted a nasty message, it could be held for a bit to rethink it. If the writer then decided "nah", they'd tear up the tape and that was that.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Today's Weather: Cloudy With a Chance of Missiles

(Updated to add:)


A false alarm that warned of a ballistic missile headed for Hawaii sent the islands into a panic Saturday, with people abandoning cars in a highway and preparing to flee their homes until officials said the cellphone alert was a mistake.
...
The emergency alert, which was sent to cellphones statewide just before 8:10 a.m., said: “BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.”
...
White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said it “was purely a state exercise.”
It wasn't an "exercise", Lindsay, you stupid, stupid loon.

This is the sort of mistake that should result in a rip, if not worse. One or two false alerts and if a real alert is then sent out, a lot of people will ignore it.

Hell's bells, when you go to exit Adobe Acrobat or Firefox and you have multiple tabs open, those programs ask if you really mean to close them all. How hard would it have been for a warning flag to pop up that says "You are about to issue a nuclear attack alert. Do you really want to do that?" and then another one: "Are you really sure you want to do that?"

Because No White House Staffer Has Any Short-Term Memory

With an eye on bolstering cyber security protocols and cracking down on leaks to the media, Chief of Staff John Kelly issued a memo to staff on Wednesday outlining the administration's new ban on personal cell phones within the West Wing complex of the White House.
...
“For the purposes of this memorandum, the West Wing means the facility generally located between the President’s Executive Residence and West Executive Drive,” a footnote of the memo reads. “For purposes of this policy, the West Wing does not include the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room, any White House Press Corps work spaces, or any outdoor common area, such as the Rose Garden or the North Lawn media positions.”
Right. Because none of the staff can remember the details of the Avalanche of Daily Trumpist Stupidity until they get out to their cars.

Guess The Donald has to leave his cell phone in his bedroom. But he can go back there and tweet during his "executive time", a little dodge that cuts his official working day down to about two hours a day.

With his light schedule and all of the time he spends golfing or otherwise fucking off, it'd be a stretch to say that Trump is on the clock for more than 600 hours a year. That's about $666/hr at his current pay rate.

Nice work if you can get it.

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

The duPont DP-1:


As a failed military procurement/R&D aircraft program goes, the DP-1 was sort of small potatoes. But it showed the power of the single congressman who kept it alive for a very long time.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Caturday

Max hasn't been on here for a long time. She thinks human beds make the best cat beds.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Because It's Friday

Patagonian steam:

Shorter Trump: "It's Obama's Fault that Bush Moved the Embassy."

Donald Trump has cancelled a visit to Britain next month to open the new US embassy in London, amid fears of mass protests.

The president claimed on Twitter that the reason for calling off the trip was his displeasure at Barack Obama having sold the current embassy for “peanuts” and built a replacement for $1bn (£750m). “Bad deal,” he wrote.

But the embassy’s plan to move from Mayfair to Nine Elms in London was first reported in October 2008, when George W Bush was still president.
Even a casual observer knows the reason that Caudillo Trumpo isn't going to London: He doesn't go anywhere where he's going to be greeted by protesters. He goes places where he believes that there will be adoring crowds. For example, he apparently has only gone back to his home in El Trumpo Tower once since he began defiling the Oval Office.

And Trump isn't going to visit a shithole country.

Trump claims that the embasy building sold for "peanuts"-- right. Possibly 681 million or so. The Brits apparently put the building on a list of historically significant structures, which, as it does here, makes it harder to do much with it. If the peanuts claim was true, then let him disclose the sales contract. Which he won't ever do.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

I Need to Refrain From the Auction Sites; Bangity Ed.


Yep, it's a gamble. Finish issues often don't translate into internal issues. The bolt notches look pretty clean. And long-barrel M&P/Model 10s are not terribly common. They're not uncommon, but I've seen maybe two or three on the shelf of the local gun shops in the last seven years.

My cell phone's starting to act wonky, so I really didn't need to do this. But the price was good and if it went for more, I'd have dropped out of the auction.

Return of the Dead; Cellphone Ed.

Phone maker TCL helped revive the BlackBerry brand last year by releasing the Android-power KeyOne and the Motion smartphones. TCL now says that due to strong response from fans, the company has promised to release “at least” two new BlackBerry Android smartphones this year.

TCL confirmed its plans during CES 2018 in Las Vegas. The Chinese company is mostly known for making budget TVs and Alcatel smartphones. In 2016, TCL reached an agreement to start making BlackBerry-branded smartphones under the BlackBerry Mobile subsidiary. TCL said that the two new BlackBerry phones it plans to release in 2018 will both have physical QWERTY keyboards, according to Engadget.
I haven't seen anyone with a Blackberry since the end of the last decade.

I wish them luck, but I suspect that the adoption rate for their phones will not even rise above the noise in sales figures.

From the Internets



I hope this looks OK. I posted the images from my cell phone and the code looks pretty messy.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Oh, Please, NO!! -- Oprah Ed.

Oprah Winfrey for president? That was the burning question in American politics on Monday after the entertainment celebrity and entrepreneur delivered a barnstorming speech that had many hailing her as the antidote to Donald Trump.
OK, so unlike Trump, Winfrey isn't showing signs of dementia and she has no known ties to Russia, but still: This is a very bad idea.

Right now, the U.S. is in the midst of seeing what happens when Americans choose a president who has no experience in politics or government and it's fair to say that it's not going well at all. Even worse, both Trump and Winfrey have been running organizations where their word, indeed, their every whim, is law.

Even coming from the military can be a bit of a culture shock, as Truman warned about Eisenhower:
“He’ll sit here, and he’ll say, ‘Do this! Do that!’ And nothing will happen. Poor Ike—it won’t be a bit like the Army. He’ll find it very frustrating.”
Eisenhower at least understood that the judiciary and the legislative branches were not his to command. Trump didn't seem to understand that, at least at first, and I'm not so sure that he does.

Unlike Trump, Winfrey is likely smart enough to know what she doesn't know and hire good advisers. But it's still a bad idea.

The Mooch Was Pretty Tone-Deaf

She may be the most lasting legacy of Anthony Scaramucci’s 11-day stint in the White House.

Professional stylist Katie Price, who previously worked as a hair and makeup artist for Russia Today and CNN, is now a full-time White House official with a desk in the press office and the title of production assistant, which includes her daily duties getting press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, counselor Kellyanne Conway and other White House staffers coiffed and camera-ready.
So, in the midst of the whole question of whether or not Trump colluded with the Russians, let alone acts as a Russian asset, they hired somebody who formerly worked for one of Russia's propaganda outlets?

Who, besides the Mooch, thought that was a good idea?

Sunday, January 7, 2018

A Little More on the Kitten-Torturers of Branson

(First post is here.)

Missouri has their court records online in a system called CaseNet. Lawyers can see the actual documents, but everyone else can see the docket sheets and charges.

Both Asswipes were charged with this:
Animal Abuse - 2nd/Subsequent Offense Or By Torture And/Or Mutilation While Animal Was Alive {Felony E RSMo: 578.012}
In short, this wasn't their first rodeo at being caught torturing animals.

But wait, there's more!

Asswipe #1 either showed up with or had a weapon in the jail, because he's also been changed with this:
Delivery Or Possession Of Weapon At County/Private Jail/Corr Cntr {Felony B RSMo: 221.111}
That these clowns are on their second conviction of animal abuse suggests to a casual observer that they are both a couple of pretty sick fucks. There apparently are no shortage of studies which indicate that adolescents who abuse, torture and kill animals are at high risk of developing into murderers.

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

Lockheed C-5, drowning out the chattering spectators.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Xmas Bangity

Since nobody'll give me what I really want, I treated myself:


Southern Ohio Gun was running a series of specials last month. One of the guns on special was a DAO S&W M64. Sale price was $229, with $10 for a hand-pick. I paid for the hand-pick, so by the time it showed up at my FFL, the price was about $255.

As you can see, the gun is clean. It's a 64-5 The timing is good and the trigger pull is really sweet.

In case you're not familiar, the Model 64 is little more than a stainless version of the Model 10, a gun whose lineage is now about 120 years old. Supposedly some of the early Model 64s were built with the thinner "standard" barrel, but I've never seen one in real life.

Even at the regular price of $309 (and I'd pay for the hand-pick, if I were you), these guns are very much a "everything you need, nothing you don't" gun.

Range report to come.

UPDATE: It works pretty well. I painted the sights (black nail polish on the rear notch, orange on the front) and gave it a whirl at ten yards. I didn't take a photo; it was about 15degF out*, so I was more interested in wrapping things up and getting into a warmer place.
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* That being 14 numbers higher than the number of football games won by the Cleveland Browns over the last two years.

The Crime-Fighting Tool That is Facebook

It works when "stable geniuses" do geniusiy things and then post about it:
BRANSON, Mo. (AP) — Prosecutors say two southwest Missouri men pleaded guilty to animal abuse after dragging a cat behind a vehicle and then posting the act on Facebook. ... Prosecutors say [Asswipe #1] posted the cat’s death on Facebook in an effort to get his audience to buy him pizza.
Should be fun for them in prison when their answer to the "whadja do" question is "beat a kitten to death".

Caturday

While I am away, Chip will schmooze with anyone who visits. Like his sitter.

Friday, January 5, 2018

"Raw Water," Penis Whitening" or
"Sweet Asteroid of Death, Smite Away!"

People are paying $37 for a 2-1/2 gallon jug of "raw water." They can refill them for the bargain price of $15.

Meanwhile, in Thailand, both men and women are paying good money to whiten their junk.

My snark tank must be running low. The only comment that I can think if "Hungry Joe" Lewis really did say "there's a sucker born every minute", that he vastly overestimated the interval between births.

Because It's Friday

A Swiss cog railway.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Guess Who Thinks That Trump & Kin Committed Treason?

Steve Bannon.

Pass the popcorn. This is going to be good to watch.

My Nuclear Button is Bigger Than Your Nuclear Button, So There, Nyaaah!

That insult is what passes for diplomatic discourse in the presidency of Dolt-45.

Nuclear war is not a joking matter. A rational adult would understand that.

But Trump, arguably, not rational.

We are so screwed.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Iranian Protests

Protests against the Iranian government are spreading in Iran.

The danger for the West is that the more Western leaders speak out in support of the protesters, especially Trump and Netanyahu, the easier it is for the regime to claim that the protesters are tools of the foreign enemies of the state.

Nearly Sixty Years Ago, the Bastards Knew

Edward Teller. known as the father of the hydrogen bomb (and part of the inspiration for the character of Dr. Strangelove), warned a meeting of oil company executives in 1959 of the danger posed to the world by the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide.

The bastards spent the next 58 years denying it.

Fuckers are as evil as the tobacco company executives who were lying about their little issue. Probably far more evil, as the risks of tobacco have been somewhat avoidable. Not so much with global warming.

Monday, January 1, 2018

2018

Happy New Year, Gentle Reader.

Hey, where is all the cool stuff that the futurists were talking about, half-a-century back?

Where are the the flying cars, the orbital hotels, the lunar cities?

On the other hand, fifty years ago, they were still doing a barbaric procedure called "exploratory surgery"-- cutting into people to see what was wrong. You almost never hear of that being done anymore.

Not to mention being able to look up almost anything at all without having to go to the library or leaf through an encyclopedia. Encyclopedia salesmen are now about as rare as locomotive firemen.

Thanks to both social media and everyone having a pocket video camera, the freedom to be young and stupid has almost disappeared. Youthful mistakes are a lot harder to live down. That's not a good thing.