Words of Advice:

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

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

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

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

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

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Caturday


It is "kitten season" again. The shelters are overflowing.

Go adopt an adult cat and make room for the babies.

Or put your name in for one of the babies, once they've been weaned, spayed/neutered and have their shots.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Because It's Friday

Much Shay action on the Cass Scenic RR.


And a Heisler!

International Pushback

President Trump’s nominee to lead the United Nations migration agency has been knocked out of the race, the Associated Press reported Friday.

Ken Isaacs came in third behind Antonio Vitorino of Portugal and Laura Thompson of Costa Rica in a vote by delegates in Geneva.

The loss breaks a decades-long streak of Americans leading the UN's International Organization for Migration (IOM).
The IOM has been in existence for 67 years. It and its predecessor, came about because of the vast numbers of people displaced in Europe by the Second World War, coupled with the fact that a hell of a lot of those people didn't want to go back to their countries of origin.

Vitorino is only the second non-American to run the IOM.

This will be taken by the Trump Administration as an insult to King Donald I. Expect to see a move by Trump to slash the U.S.'s contribution to the IOM. Or, possibly, Trump will move the U.S. from being a member of the IOM to being an observer, like the nation that is run by his direct supervisor.

So Much for Civility From the Right

A West Virginia man has been charged after police said he threw feces at the Red Hen Tuesday while others were standing outside the restaurant protesting.
To al of those on the Right who are now, all of a sudden, bemoaning the lack of civility in political discourse, I say this:

Go look in the mirror.

The Right has been demonizing liberals for decades. Traitors, "libtards", you name it. Rush Limbaugh got rich doing that. Newt Gingrich made demonization of his opponents his calling card. Vice-President Cheney told Sen Leahy to "go fuck yourself." One pissant congressman heckled President Obama during a State of the Union Address.

Incivility of the Right has been a hallmark of the Right for a very long time. They have no trouble with Trump insulting people and generally acting like a kindergarten kid who has missed nap time.*

Businesses owned by Right-wingers have been putting up signs saying "no liberals" or "no Muslims" and do you see liberals out throwing horse manure at them? Do you see crowds of protesting liberals trying to shut down those businesses? You do not. Did anyone throw bull feces at the bakes and florists who deny services to gay couples? They did not.

The Right wants it both ways. They want to be able to scream demeaning insults, but as soon as they get called on it, they scream "you're not being civil."

So, to the Right, in the immortal words of Vice President Cheney:



__________________________________________________
* I apologize to kindergarteners for comparing them to Donald Trump.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Dead-Tree Death Spiral

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is dropping two days of print editions.

A few years ago, the P-G abandoned its self-owned printing plant for a new one in a rented building without rail access. The plant was many miles out of town and the building required very expensive refurbishing in order to take the weight and vibration of the presses. Over a decade ago, the P-G was clearly on the sort of downward trajectory that I wrote about back then.

Here is an oddity, though: The Tribune-Review was owned by a right-winger, Richard Scaife. The Post-Gazette has fallen under the control of a right-wing editor and publisher. Both papers lost readers and retreated from their print operations.

Maybe conservatives don't read. We know that Trump doesn't.

The Vibrator Song

A/K/A The Electric Slide.

Lyrics here.

When Might Barn' Get a Clue?

Over thirty years since Tennessee vs. Gardner, cops are finally being charged with shooting people in the back.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

The "Trumpcels"

Translation: If you're a young Trump staffie, chances are you're not going to get laid very often.
“A lot of times you’ll connect with someone [on an app] and they’ll Google you, find out you worked for Trump’s campaign, and then it’s pretty much all downhill from there,” says a Trump Administration official.
Heh.

(H/T via the Infidel)

Winner of the "Longest Distance Traveled to Perpetrate a Crime" Award

Only he ended up being shot in the process.
GOOCHLAND, Va. (AP) — A New Zealand man who traveled to the U.S. home of a 14-year-old girl he had communicated with online was shot by the girl’s mother, a sheriff said Monday.

[New Zealand Asswipe], 25, was shot Friday after he allegedly smashed a glass door and tried to enter the home in Goochland, Virginia, said sheriff James Agnew.

The Goochland County sheriff said {Asswipe] bought a knife and duct tape after arriving in the U.S. The sheriff also said the girl’s mother saw a man trying to enter her home, warned him several times she had a gun, then fired after he broke the glass on the second door he tried to open.
Asswipe probably owes his life to getting shot with a .22. And he's going to get "consular assistance".

Trump Pulls on His Jackboots

Trump is advocating deporting people without a hearing.

Let's be clear on this: Due process is a Constitutional right that applies to everyone on U.S. soil, regardless of how they got there. Without due process, there is nothing that would stop the authorities from snatching you up and then shipping your ass to another country. Do you carry proof of citizenship with you at all times? Do you have your passport or your birth certificate or naturalization papers on you, right now?

This is one more bit of Trump's frog-boiling. If he's successful at taking away due process for undocumented immigrants, do you really think that he'll stop there? If you don't take a stand for the undocumented immigrants, who are entitled to due process, then who is going to stand up for you when the time comes?

Monday, June 25, 2018

Trump is Jealous as Hell About Algeria

ASSAMAKA, Niger (AP) — From this isolated frontier post deep in the sands of the Sahara, the expelled migrants can be seen coming over the horizon by the hundreds. They look like specks in the distance, trudging miserably across some of the world’s most unforgiving terrain in the blistering sun.

They are the ones who made it out alive.

Here in the desert, Algeria has abandoned more than 13,000 people in the past 14 months, including pregnant women and children, stranding them without food or water and forcing them to walk, sometimes at gunpoint, under temperatures of up to 48 degrees Celsius (118 degrees Fahrenheit).
It's a nine-mile trek across the sands, but that's after a ride in open trucks. And some of them get dropped off well before the normal departure point.
The migrants the AP talked to described being rounded up hundreds at a time, crammed into open trucks headed southward for six to eight hours to what is known as Point Zero, then dropped in the desert and pointed in the direction of Niger. They are told to walk, sometimes at gunpoint. In early June, 217 men, women and children were dropped well before reaching Point Zero, fully 30 kilometers (18 miles) from the nearest source of water, according to the IOM.
It's a death march, pure and simple.

And I have no doubt whatsoever that is essentially what Trump would do, if he had the power to order it. And the Trumpanzees, good little Americans to the core, would cheer him on.

So Much Winning [/SARC]

Hold onto your hats:
You can try and play down a trade war with China. You can brush off the impact of rising oil prices on corporate earnings.

But if you’re in the business of making economic predictions, it has become very difficult to disregard an important signal from the bond market.

The so-called yield curve is perilously close to predicting a recession — something it has done before with surprising accuracy — and it’s become a big topic on Wall Street. ... Every recession of the past 60 years has been preceded by an inverted yield curve, according to research from the San Francisco Fed. Curve inversions have “correctly signaled all nine recessions since 1955 and had only one false positive, in the mid-1960s, when an inversion was followed by an economic slowdown but not an official recession,” the bank’s researchers wrote in March.
Waiting for Trump to explain why This Is All Obama's Fault(tm) in 3....2....1....

Trump's Tariffs

Harley-Davidson, up against spiraling costs from tariffs, will begin to shift the production of motorcycles headed for Europe from the U.S. to factories overseas. ... Harley-Davidson Inc. sold almost 40,000 motorcycles in the Europe Union last year, generating revenue second only to the United States, according to the Milwaukee company.
So much winning.

Cats v. Dogs


One of the issues with the "which animal is smarter" tests is that they seem somewhat biased towards animals with packs or other social structures.

The Red Hen Restaurant and Idiots

There is more than one "Red Hen" restaurant. It's not a chain.

This is one in D.C.:


Same for one in Connecticut and in New Jersey.

Before you go calling and making death threats, or fake reviews or fake reservations or calling in fake reports to the health department, make sure you're aiming at the right target.

Because on this kerfuffle, as far as the Right goes:

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Thieving Pruitt

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt spent nearly $3,000 on "tactical pants" and "tactical polos," according to new disclosures cited Wednesday by The Intercept.

Records obtained by the outlet through the Freedom of Information Act show that Pruitt spent $2,749.62 on the clothing items as part of his security expenditures.
I wonder how many of those Pruitt managed to glom for himself.

I don't know of any cop shop around here which hands out free work clothing to their officers.

It sure seems that since Pruitt took over the RPA, he has turned it into a massive swamp of sleaze and self-interest. But Pruitt still survives.

Maybe he's the American custodian of the Pee-Pee Tape. Or he's one of Trump's fellow grifters. I'd expect that he'll be one of the many recipients of an outgoing Trump pardon.

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

A Glouster Meteor


A two-seat Meteor trainer has begun flying in the U.S.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Caturday


As my grandmother would have said: "Chip has sat his ass in butter."

Friday, June 22, 2018

Manafort News

Paul Manafort’s request to suppress evidence taken by the FBI from a storage locker in Virginia was rejected by a federal judge in Washington.
Reading between the lines, Manafort tried to be a little too cute for words. It would seem that he had one of his employees personally rent a storage locker in which to store some of Manafort's records. I'm guessing that he assumed that the FBI wouldn't find out that his employee(s) rented storage lockers for Manafort.

But either somebody tipped off the FBI or the Feds figured that out. So they went to the employee(s) and asked to look around inside. Since the employees had personally rented the storage locker(s), they could consent. Which they did, because those guys aren't going to catch a bullet for Manafort.

So it would seem that Joe Schmo let the Feds in. They ask "whose stuff is this?" Joe says "it's my boss's shit."

And off go the agents to get a search warrant.

Dollars to donuts that Rudy the Rat has gotten word to Manafort to sit tight, that he'll be out by Nov 7th.

Heh. Heh. Heh.

http://www.trumphotels.org

Where the walls are made of the finest chain-link fencing.

And you may not be fed for a few days.

Go Get a Warrant, Barn'.

The Supreme Court [today] said the government generally needs a warrant if it wants to track an individual's location through cell phone records over an extended period of time.

The ruling is a major victory for advocates of increased privacy rights who argued more protections were needed when it comes to the government obtaining information from a third party such as a cell phone company.
More later, of course, as this just broke.

To the pro-police state folks, a Full Lewandowski:

Because It's Friday

Moving a steam locomotive:


The locomotive is apparently going to be overhauled and returned to steam in a few years.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Reading Gun Reviews is Like Kremlinology

You have to read carefully in order to find the stuff that matters.

Case in point: Let's take a look at the July, 2018 issue of Shooting Illustrated.

This is the cover:


This is the two-page center:


These are the money paragraphs:


That, to my mind, damns the gun, regardless of all of the paragraphs about how cool it looks or all of the different choices of colors for the gun. This thing is a self-defense gun and the very last thing it should be is "very difficult to shoot well". It's a gun that, for the most part, will be bought by people who are neither gun professionals, hobbyists, nor competitive shooters. Because, to be frank, nobody who is well versed in firearms will likely care that the gun comes in a range of pretty colors. It's a gun that's supposedly made for concealed carry, for the love of Dog.

The Spectrum is being marketed to people who are not gunnies. The gun's being marketed to people who may, at the very best, put a box of ammo through it every three years. For those folks, a gun with a horrible trigger and piss-poor sights will be more of a woobie than a serious tool. For unless they are shooting at contact range, with such a lousy gun, they're just as likely to miss.

All other things being equal, a sweet trigger is the berries when it comes to accurate shooting. I'd rather have sub-optimal sights and a sweet trigger than the other way around. A horrible trigger leads to spraying-and-praying.

In short, this is Taurus's latest derp gun.

Some shit doesn't ever seem to change.

Trump = Feck < 0



2A guys, if Trump keeps on his course, he could lose one or both houses of Congress. If he ends up being turfed out f office, whether early or in two years, there's going to be payback. Care to guess who is firs in line?

Another Time Magazine Cover That You Won't See on the Walls of Trump's Golf Clubs


The earlier one and why this is a thing.

Oh, and as for Melania, she's as much of a monster as he is.

Trump Lies About Everything

"Had a great meeting with the House GOP last night at the Capitol. They applauded and laughed loudly when I mentioned my experience with Mark Sanford. I have never been a fan of his!" Trump tweeted.
...
The comments were met with boos and and grumbles, according to sources in the room.

“I was very upset. It was very unnecessary and as far as I’m concerned, it was very rude,” Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.) said. “To make light of Mark Sanford is very unacceptable.
"

He's just a petty and vindictive wannabee tyrant. Possibly even his caucus is figuring it out.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Around the World

(More Deb's thing, but oh, well.)

The Long Route, 2018.

One sailor, one boat, no stops along the way. No prizes, either.

How hard is it? Other than not having to bring your own water and air, it's the sailing equivalent of flying around the Moon.

(H/T)

Space Force

The Commander in Chief:


He'd be happy to go into space, himself, but he can't get into a pressure suit with his bone spurs.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Trump Boils the Frog and the Good Little Americans Say Nothing

We are a nation that puts children into concentration camps.

There are plenty of Good Little Americans who are just fine with that. To the extent that this nation once held the moral high ground, Trump has surrendered that without a shot being fired.

The Administration of George W. Bush did some awful things, but they were reacting, in part to a large-scale terrorist attack.

Trump only has his fascist tendencies, and those of his inner circle, to blame.

First the children of undocumented immigrants go into the camps.

Who's next?

Monday, June 18, 2018

‘90s Flashback

Remember when the Right lost their collective minds about one kid being taken from his family? Now, thousands are, and all we hear are crickets.

Starting Off the Work Week


Kidnappin' Trump would probably call it "The Failing Washington Post March".

Fun fact: In the midst of the Watergate Scandal, Nixon made a visit to the Middle East. When he got off Air Force One in Israel, the band played this march.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

President Psychopath

This is immoral as fuck:
President Donald Trump suggested Saturday that he is using his administration's separation of families at the US border as a negotiating tool to get Democrats to cave on his immigration demands, which include funding for a border wall, curbing legal immigration into the US, and tightening the rules for border enforcement.
He proclaims that he "hates" to do it, but he's going to continue to rip families apart until he gets his way.

That is reprensible at best. Trump is an inhuman monster. Those who are "only following orders" are proving that in this century, "good little Americans" will be a long-standing epithet.

This is from the Book of Face:
“Through all the adversities we faced last evening with computer outages, cancellations and delays, nothing prepared me or my crew for 16 passengers. Sixteen. All dressed in black and gray cheap Walmart sweat suits, quietly boarding the 12:30am flight.

Children! Thirty-two scared eyes looking straight forward dazed. We try to speak, yet none speak English.

During the beverage service, one of the crew comes to me in tears. They can’t face these children that have been ripped from their families with a smile.

These children were probably ranging in age from 11, to the most adorable little girl maybe 6 years old. At 2:30 in the morning, deplaned here in Miami not knowing if they will ever see their loved ones again that they were separated from in Phoenix.

Those sweet innocent children, dressed as criminals silently deplaned with the same fear as our initial meeting. Except for the little girl. She looked up at me as she turned left for the main cabin door, with tears of fear streaming down her face. I’m not sure the protocol, but I leaned over hoping to offer some hope, she hugged me, which was returned - much to the scowl and comments from the adult escort.

I pray that these 16 scared little souls, as well as all the other thousands, find their way to reuniting with their loved ones.

We are trained yearly in hundreds of possible scenarios as attendants. Something like this isn’t remotely one of those. I had only met one of my crew a few years earlier, the rest never. Thank God, we had one another to lean on to not only get through the flight, but also maybe some glimmer of hope for those babies.”

This cartoon got Rob Rodgers fired from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:


This is on point:


As is this:


Republicans, this is your guy. You are the ones who are best placed to voice disapproval and to vote for people who are not going to slavishly fall in line behind Caudillo Trumpo.

Republicans: Are you going to continue to be good little Americans, or are you going to take a stand?

If you don't, then this is on you. You will not be able to truthfully claim that you did not know the horrors that were being done in your name.

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

A F-15:

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Dear Minneapolis: Warm Up Your Checkbooks, You Fuckers

You're going to get sued.
Minneapolis police officers have repeatedly requested over the past three years that Hennepin County medical responders sedate people using the powerful tranquilizer ketamine, at times over the protests of those being drugged, and in some cases when no apparent crime was committed, a city report shows.

On multiple occasions, in the presence of police, Hennepin Healthcare EMS workers injected suspects of crimes and others who already appeared to be restrained, according to the report, and the ketamine caused heart or breathing failure, requiring them to be medically revived. Several people given ketamine had to be intubated.
And you fucking have it coming to you. Maybe a few seven o eight-figure cvil judgments might get your attention.

People should be going to jail over this. But with a certain jackbooted elf now in charge of the Department o Justice, that's not going to happen.

We Will Be Reaping What Trump (and Obama) are Sowing Well Into the Next Century

First, go read BadTux's post about the ICE concentration camps for children.

I'll wait.

First off, as I mentioned there, One Day in the Life of Ivan Desniovich was not meant to be an instruction manual. (I mention that one in particular for it is among the thinnest of Solzhenitsyn's works. You can read it in a few hours and if you haven't, then get thee to a bookshop for elsewhere.)

Second. Almost every one of those kids will grow up. They will know that it was the United States government which tore them from their parents. Wherever they end up being deported to, and regardless of whether they are eventually reunited with family or not (I'm betting "not"), they will know that it was our government with separated them from their parents.

They will grow up with that knowledge. They will tell the tale to their friends, their children, their nieces and nephews and their grandchildren. They will tell the story to their children of how Abuela Maria taken from her parents by American goons and she never say them again.

Regardless of whatever good this country does in the remainder of this century, we are planting an incredible legacy of hatred and bitterness. Forty or fifty years from now, some of those children, now sitting in places that would even make Stalin blush, will be leaders in business or politics in Central and Southern American countries. They will remember that the seemingly friendly American diplomat or businessman siting on the other side of the table represents a nation that inflicted cruelty and degradation on children.

Because the one thing that we will not do for a century, or more, is admit that the horrors that we are inflicting on children today were, in fact, horrors, our own children and grandchildren will reap a bitter harvest from our cruelty.

Caturday

An outdoor cat catches a few winks on a warm Spring day:


Friday, June 15, 2018

Manafort Pulls a Shkreli, and
"All Hail the Donald! All Hail the Donald!"

President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort is going to jail.

On Friday, Manafort was ordered into custody after a federal judge revoked his house arrest, citing newly filed obstruction of justice charges. The move by U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson made Manafort the first Trump campaign official to be jailed as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. ... “You have abused the trust placed in you six months ago,” she said.
I don't know whether or not Manafort told his attorneys what he was doing before he did it, but if he had, I'd be willing to wager that their response was along the lines of:


Actually, it was worse than Shkreli, for Shkreli had already been convicted and was out on bail awaiting sentencing when he acted ignorant. Manafort now gets to prepare for trial from jail.

Meanwhile, Our Wannabee Dictator, Der Drumpenfuhrer, has a bad case of dictator envy.
President* Donald Trump said Friday that he wants "my people" to “sit up at attention” the way North Koreans do for dictator Kim Jong Un.

The comment came during an impromptu interview with Fox News on the White House's North Lawn, days after Trump met with Kim in Singapore as part of an effort to reach a denuclearization deal with Pyongyang. When asked about whether Kim would be visiting the White House any time soon, Trump responded “it could happen.” He then went on to praise the dictator for being a strong leader.

“He’s the head of a country and I mean he is the strong head,” Trump said to Fox. “Don’t let anyone think anything different. He speaks and his people sit up at attention. I want my people to do the same.”
When Trump realized how that was going over, he said he was only kidding.

But let's be clear, Gentle Reader: He wasn't kidding. Trump has nothing but contempt for democratic institutions, let alone the rule of law. He admires Kim Jong-un, who has had people executed for not paying sufficient attention to him at meetings. Trump would be more than happy to have people be required to line the roads when he passes by and sing his praises and salute him.

Here is my salute:

Because It's Friday

News report on the Big Boy:


A short update from a few months back:



If the Union Pacific intends to run 4014 for the 150th anniversary of the Golden Spike, they've got less than 11 months, now.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

An Agreement to Try to Reach an Agreement?

The text is here.

In real estate terms, it sounds like an agreement to enter into contract negotiations.

Which, in this context, is a little bit more than a nothing-burger, but not by much. Nobody has formally agreed to anything, other than Little Rocket Man and the Dotard might stop exchanging insults.

For now.

The Clearest Explanation for Trump's Foreign Policy

Is that he is Putin's man in Washington.
  • Trump's picking stupid fights with nations that are our allies. The insults being flung by Trump and his staff towards Canada were typically those used before beginning a war.
  • He's continuing to ignore the evidence that the Russians have and are interfering in our elections. 
  •  At every possible occasion, he pushes Russia's point of view.
  • He is advocating that Russia be readmitted to the G-7, ignoring that there are other nations which have large economies that have never been considered for the G-7.
  • He ignores Russian war crimes that got them booted out of the then-G-8 (annexing Crimea, supplying troops to the Ukrainian separatists and shooting down an airliner.)
  • When confronted with Russia's bad acts, Trump has dismissed them by stating a moral equivalence between Russia and the United States.
It boggles the mind. There was a time when the Republicans considered themselves to the be party of national security, always at the ready to lambaste the Democrats for a willingness to talk to adversaries.

But here is Trump, who quite possibly has given away the store to North Korea, in a complete and utter sellout of our ally, South Korea. If this analysis and this one are even close to correct, Trump gave the North Koreans what they wanted, and for what? The future chance to build a Trump beachside hotel in North Korea?

Trump is appearing to be a dimwitted version of Neville Chamberlain: Selling out allies to appease dictators. But worse, for Chamberlain likely had no opportunity for financial gain from a peace deal with Germany. Trump, on the other hand.... well, you can finish that thought for yourself.

Don't expect any pushback from Republicans. Their toadyism to Trump is exemplified by Pence's near-slavish imitation of his master:



The reaction of Trump's loyal base will be, as always, "But, but Hillary!" So let's test that.

Suppose that Hillary Clinton had been elected. And suppose that she had agreed, in outline, to a deal that envisioned selling out South Korea for a promise of denuclearization. Suppose that she had closed her eyes to Russian war crimes and advocated letting Russia back into the G-7. Suppose that she had embarked on a deliberate campaign to worsen relations with our long-time friends. In other words, suppose that she had done everything that Trump is doing.

The Republicans would have lost their collective minds. But with Trump doing it, all you get is crickets.

That tells me that Republicans love their own party more than their country. It tells me that the Republican career politicians will be good little Trumpers and close their eyes to what Trump is doing, rather than stand up, speak out and take a chance on losing their seats. The political reporters pretty much all say that a lot of Republicans in Congress are appalled at what Trump is doing, but they are keeping mum out of fear.

If they truly believed in what Trump is doing, then I could respect that. I don't have to like it, but they would be acting from principle. But in supporting Trump, even though they disagree with him, because they'd otherwise lose their jobs, well, that's somewhere between expedience and cowardice. (Before you say that I don't hold Democrats to the same standard, go read this and this.)

Monday, June 11, 2018

The Trump Spelling Bee


It's a word Trump likes to use.

Starting Off the Work Week

Trump Can't Obey Any Laws At All, Can He?

There are teams of people at the White House whose job is to piece back together the papers that President* Trump rips up. Because he refuses to comply with the Presidential Records Act.

Is that arrogance or a sign of brain damage?

On another note, it would seem that going to a conference and then, once it is over and everyone has left, getting into a spat on social media with the people at the conference would normally be construed as someone who is a bit of a bully and a childish coward. But that is pretty much what the World's Oldest Toddler is doing.



It's kind of telling that Trump seems to get along well with dictators and tyrants, but not the leaders of free nations.

And with that, I will close with the words of Hubert Humphrey that begin Borepatch's blog:
"The right of citizens to bear arms is just one guarantee against arbitrary government, one more safeguard against the tyranny which now appears remote in America, but which historically has proved to be always possible."

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Caturday

A history lesson on why cats were key to the rise of human civilization:

Friday, June 8, 2018

Tightening the Screws on Paul Manafort

It's probably a safe bet that he's going to jail for now.

One has to wonder why he would be so stupid as to engage in obstructive acts while already under indictment. If he's not so stupid, then maybe he's received a message that it doesn't matter what he's charged with, so long as he keeps his teeth together.

Better an Old Gun Than No Gun

A cap-and-ball revolver is a whole lot better than nothing.

Because It's Friday

Really tiny steam locomotives:


I'm guessing they're somewhere in between junker car and small airplane in pricing.

Politics Ain't Beanbag

Um, congrats to Sheriff-elect Mark Maggs? On Tuesday, this deputy for the Bon Homme County Sheriff’s Office in South Dakota won the Republican primary to lead the department. He blew out the incumbent (his boss) Lenny Gramkow 878 to 331. The problem was, he got fired one minute after polls closed.
The article goes on to say that "it's a mystery" why Maggs got fired.

I don't think it's a mystery at all. Do you?

Let's Have a "Credibility-Off", Rudy!

Rudy Giuliani took aim at Stormy Daniels today, saying that her career as an adult-film star and director undermines her "credibility" in her lawsuit against the president over their alleged affair.
Riight

On one side of the scale: A porn star and adult film director. On the other side of the scale: A politician, lawyer, lobbyist, a man who has turned the 9-11 attacks into his own cash cow, who sought to postpone an election so he could stay in office longer and who has spent the last two years sucking up in every way imaginable to Donald Trump (a man who wouldn't know the truth if Lady Justice came down from her pedestal and stabbed him in the ass with her sword).

So who do you think is more credible: The porn star or the political whore?

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Navy Surface Warfare Officer Training: Now Open the Band-Aid Box!

First, read this. I'm not going to quote from it, just comment on it.

It's good that the baby SWOs are going to get some training on how to run a radar set. But really, if they're standing Officer of the Deck watches underway and they don't already know how to do that, it's a serious problem.

Back in the day, sure, SWOS-Basic didn't teach how to work a SPA-4 radar repeater. But we learned pretty quickly in standing Junior OOD watches. I had one evil-ish OOD who would detune the JOOD's radar repeater. I gather that things are lot more complex, now, so formal training is a good thing.

Here is my biggest beef: They're doing that by expanding radar repeater operation training from one hour to 11 hours. That means that ten hours of training on something else just went bye-bye. The Navy is only allotting nine weeks for basic SWO training. And that training is not done prior to the junior officers reporting aboard for their first sea tours. They're already there when they get a slot to mini-SWOS. It's not unheard of for a command to yank its JOs out of mini-SWOS for an urgent need on the ship. They can do that because the JOs are at mini-SWOS on temporary orders, their home commands still own their asses.

Training used to be sixteen weeks for SWOS Basic. That was sixteen weeks of roughly 37 hours a week in the classroom, or in simulators, or even out on YPs in Narragansett Bay. Baby SWOs would go out for several hours at a time on YPs, doing things from multi-ship maneuvering drills to sea and anchor details. They stood every watch from helmsman to OOD, albeit under the watchful eyes of a Chief Bosun's Mate, a Chief Quartermaster and a SWO-qualified LT. The concept was that a OOD on a ship couldn't effectively supervise the watch team unless the OOD had hands-on experience doing those jobs.

(Mind you, there were additional specialty training schools, depending on the division officer job that they were assigned. Collateral duties, in rare circumstances, also had training schools or courses.)

Training for all baby SWOs (as well as prospective Department Heads, XOs and COs) was carried out by the Surface Warfare Officers School Command in Newport, RI. That ensured that every officer reporting to sea duty in the Fleet had been trained in the same way and to the same standard. Yes, there were some guys who were duds. I knew a few of them. But almost every junior SWO who wanted to become qualified made it. Because they all had the basic training they needed; all they lacked was underway seasoning. Which almost all got (except for the poor bastards sent to aircraft carriers).

As I said, that was sixteen weeks of receiving instruction at a firehose flow rate, in a world where high-tech was Link 11, Talos was on its way out and some of the Terriers and Tartars were still beam-riders. Harpoon missiles were new; how to use them was not the stuff of ensigns. Some things were simpler back then. Some weren't.

Training is expensive. Beancounters hate it. That's why the Most Supreme Beancounter Since McNamara, Rumsfeld, eliminated SWOS Basic in 2003, replacing a sixteen week course with a box of 21 CDs. That was an abject failure, and, so it seems, has been mini-SWOS.

The Navy sends submariners and aviators to dedicated schools prior to sending them to sea. The reasons for the wisdom of doing that should be obvious to even the most casual observer. Sending minimally-trained junior officers to surface ships is proving to have a very high cost in both ships and lives.

Big Navy needs to get a clue and stop trying to patch this problem. They need to go back to doing training right. The story of why training is necessary is being written in blood. And the real tragedy is this: It didn't have to be that way.

(H/T)

A Time Magazine Cover That You Won't See on ths Walls of the Trump Golf Clubs


Unlike the fake one he had put up.

Trumpist Nuttiness

When challenged by the Canadian Prime Minister as to why Trump had designated Canada as a "national security threat" (which Trump did to justify imposing tariffs), Trump blamed Canada for burning down the White House in 1814.

Trump probably has never known that the U.S.-Canadian border is the longest demilitarized border in the world and has been for two centuries.

Meanwhile "Rudy the Mouth" Giuliani is doing his best to try and scuttle talks between Trump and Kim Jong-un. Trump probably believes that if he can secure a deal with the NORKs, that he'll be a lock for the Peace Prize. Kim probably knows that Trump would trade Jerod and Eric for that, so I'd expect the NORKs to make as tough a deal as they can.

The Main Course Was Probably Pulled Pork, er, Chicken. Definately Chicken. Yeah, That's the Ticket.

After skipping it last year, President Donald Trump on Wednesday hosted an iftar dinner to honor the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, declaring it “a great month.
Trump didn't invite American Muslims to share the dinner. He only invited foreign diplomats; people who could be ordered to make nice with the World's Oldest Toddler.

Even George Bush, who had rather sketchy relations with Muslims, because of things like torturing people, invited Americans to his iftar dinners. But Trump can't handle anyone who won't kiss his ass.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Feel the Burn, Donnie



Yeah, that's going to leave a mark.

Being forced to engage in patriotic displays is a hallmark of fascist and authoritarian states. And this comes from a "president" who knows the words to neither The Star Spangled Banner nor God Bless America. He's a fraud, a super-special snowflake who inherited millions of dollars, is worth about that much, has never had to work for anyone else, and he thinks that the entire world is treating him just so, so unfairly.

Free people need not be forced to be patriotic. Free people have the right to dissent.

But in Trump's mind, "freedom" only applies to those who support him.

Which is not really different from most conservatives, these days.

William F. Buckley must have hit 500rmp, spinning in his grave.

100 Years Ago

The Marines entered into the Battle of Belleau Wood on June 6, 1918.

It's a date that has become overshadowed by D-Day and the Battle of Midway. But it's a battle that ranks very high in the Marine canon. Reportedly, their cherished nickname of "Devil Dogs" came from the Germans referring to them as "hell hounds". So did the motivational cry of "C'mon you sons-of-bitches, do you want to live forever?" Nearly 2,000 Marines died there.

The French government awarded the Marine 4th Brigade the Croix de guerre.

International House of (Marketing) Bullshit

IHOP says it's changing it's name to "IHOB".

I smell bullshit. Especially since they haven't filed for a trademark.

But the Arabs love it, since there is no hard "p" sound in Arabic. They pronounce "p" as "b". (Trump's "Bee-Bee Tape"?)

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Spies Have to Manage Their Assets

Russian President Vladimir Putin said he and President Trump talk “regularly” over the phone.

Putin spoke with Austrian news outlet ORF TV ahead of a visit to Vienna on Tuesday.

“Indeed, Donald Trump and I have, firstly, met more than once at various international venues and secondly, we regularly talk over the phone,” Putin said, according to the official transcript the Kremlin released online.
One might suppose that they regularly talk about the destruction of the North Atlantic alliance and how to bring that about.

New GOP Theme Song: "Oh, Give Me a Home, Where the Nazis All Roam."

A man who marched with a “pro-white” group in the Charlottesville, Va., white nationalist rally last summer has been elected to a GOP position in Washington state.

[Nazi Asswipe] attended the rally with far-right group Identity Evropa, according to The Daily Beast. He is now a precinct committee officer for a Spokane-area precinct, after his candidacy was uncontested for four days.
If this shit keeps up, the moderates in the GOP are going to be faced with staying in what is slowly becoming the American Nazi Party, or bolting.

Besides the young and old Nazis who are finding a welcome home in the GOP, the Stench of Trump will linger on for awhile, just as it did when Nixon was pushed out of the presidency by his own party.

Trump Pulls a Tweener

Shorter Trump: "If all of you won't come, then none of you can come. So there!" Trump, of course, is claiming that it was all about players taking a knee during the playing of the National Anthem, but there was a little inconvenient fact:
A separate NFL source said none of the players on the Eagles team that won the Super Bowl took a knee during the anthem during the regular season
In Trump's disease-ravaged mind, it's all about him, all the time. He really is a special snowflake, a true narcissist.

A politician who cannot handle the idea that people disagree with him does not belong in office. But it should be well-known, by now, that Trump expects everyone to kiss his ass and gets upset when that doesn't happen.

The mayor of Philadelphia had something to say to Trump about crowd size. And this shit is stunningly Nixonian.

Meanwhile, Manafort must be believing Trump's signals, otherwise why would he be doing this shit?

I'm not going to touch on Trump's talking about a really fantastic letter that he received from Kim Jong Un, which he then admitted that he hadn't yet read it. (And he won't, unless his name is mentioned in every other sentence.)

50 Years On, The `60s Went Further Off the Rails

Robert F. Kennedy was shot and killed by an asswipe who is still a guest of the CA DOC.{1}

The year would get worse, culminating in the election of a president who set a very high bar for acting as though he was an untouchable monarch.{2}
_____________________________________
[1] RFK, Jr. thinks there was a second gunman. I think Junior is short a few working fuses.
2. But King Donald I seems bent on topping it, with his assertion that he can murder people with impunity. There will come a day when those who have supported King Donald the First will go around, wearing garments made of sackcloth, with their faces smeared with ashes, and begging forgiveness from the American people. Mark my words.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Starting Off the Work Week

From NPR's "Tiny Desk" concert series:

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Olde TV

I found a DVD of a few episodes of an old TV show called Follow That Man. It was also known as Man Against Crime.

The series was broadcast live for its yearly years. The last two years were filmed, so some of them are available.

If you want to see what crime TV was like 65 years ago, here's an episode:



Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

B-52:


B-52s will still be flying when a goodly percentage of the people reading this post today are drinking mead in Valhalla.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Caturday

A working dog:

Friday, June 1, 2018

It Takes All Kinds to Run for Congress

[Asswipe the Incel], a 37-year-old accountant from Charlottesville, Virginia, is running for Congress as an independent candidate in his native state. He is also a pedophile, as he admitted to HuffPost on Thursday, who has bragged in website posts about raping his late ex-wife.
Pedophile, neo-Nazi, admitted rapist, wannabee slaveowner; this clown and convicted felon pretty much hates everybody.

Decisions on Sights

The Model 27 that I recently bought has a red front ramp insert. Come to find out, that means that it would be fairly easy to install these night sights:


They're as low as $73-ish. Or I could get the front sight alone for $40-ish.

Decisions....

Barr, Bee & Trump

What Samantha Bee and Roseanne Barr each said was inexcusable. Dealing with them is the province of each of their networks.

What is even more inexcusable is Trump's weighing in. He is the fucking president; by demanding that Bee apologize and that TBS cancel her show, he is tromping all over the First Amendment.

Let's be clear on this: The First Amendment and the cases that define it are pretty clear that the government does not generally have the right to demand that any entity say what the government wants them to say and not say what displeases the government.

But hey, to expect that Trump or his duly-appointed mouthpiece, Sarah Huckabee-Sanders, have any understanding of what Freedom of Speech means is a stretch and a half. It's pretty clear that Trump thinks that the right to speak freely only applies to those people who are giving him a verbal fluffing of his ego.

If TBS had any thought of canceling Bee's show, doing so, now, would show them to be nothing more than a pack of spineless bootlickers.

Will Trump Now Pardon Bernie Madoff?

Trump may think that Dinesh D'Souza was treated unfairly, but the facts established at the time were pretty clear: D'Souza used other people as straw men to exceed campaign donation limits, then lied about it. In Trump's view, "being treated unfairly" is pretty much a synonym for "getting caught".

And D'Souza was caught. He pled guilty. Unlike this guy, who'll probably get a pardon soon.

Trump's sending a pretty clear signal that the peccadilloes of the rich, his friends and other politicians will be winked at. He might not go so far as to let Dennis Hastert off the hook, since Hastert engaged in pedophilia. But even that might not be too awful for a man who has, on several occaisions, commented that he'd like to bang his own daughter.

Wear Orange, If You Want

So, the new kids want people to wear orange to protest gun violence.

Lots of people already wear orange. Like these guys:


I'm also seeing lots of people using a variant of "never again" as a hashtag for this issue.

Riiight. The world said: "Never again" after the Holocaust. Ask the people of Cambodia or Rwanda or Bosnia or South Sudan or Burma how that's worked out for them. Ask the people in China who have been slaughtered by the millions since 1949.

"Never again" is a hollow promise. The old saying that "in the world of the blind, the one-eyed man is king" applies to gun-free zones and a kid with a gun. But if the Children's Crusade wants to wear orange, fine. Makes them feel as though they're doing something.

Because It's Friday

Old Swedish steam: