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, July 30, 2018

Giuliani Just Admitted Trump Colluded With the Russians

President Donald Trump's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, said Monday that he's not sure collusion with Russia would be considered a crime.
So now, after Trump has been bleating "no colusion, no collusion", Giuliani is saying "and if he did, so what?"

Which sounds a lot to me as though Trump did collude with the Russian government and Rudy knows that it's provable.

Funny how the Right has gone from calling the Russians "The Evil Empire" to climbing into bed with them.

It's All About the Grift

The Trump administration is considering bypassing Congress to grant a $100 billion tax cut mainly to the wealthy, a legally tenuous maneuver that would cut capital gains taxation and fulfill a long-held ambition of many investors and conservatives.Right.

And then, when there's not enough money for the two current wars, plus the B-21 and whatnot, they cry will go out to cut social services becsuse there's no money.

Trump and Mnuchin are fucking evil incarnate.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Late For Your Flight? Nervous About Flying? Sleep on the Plane? Use the Biffy?

Then you may have a Federal Air Marshal following you around.
Federal air marshals have begun following ordinary US citizens not suspected of a crime or on any terrorist watch list and collecting extensive information about their movements and behavior under a new domestic surveillance program that is drawing criticism from within the agency.

The previously undisclosed program, called “Quiet Skies,” specifically targets travelers who “are not under investigation by any agency and are not in the Terrorist Screening Data Base,” according to a Transportation Security Administration bulletin in March.
I guess that the Air Fuzz don't have enough to do, so they're following people in order to justify filling their rice bowels.

I'll restate this: If you can go from where you are to where you want to be in a day, then drive.

Good Luck With That, Artie

The publisher of The New York Times said Sunday he “implored” President Donald Trump at a private White House meeting this month to reconsider his broad attacks on journalists, calling the president’s anti-press rhetoric “not just divisive but increasingly dangerous.”
Trump's a wannabe dictator, he has as much respect for the First Amendment and a free press as yo do for dogshit on your shoe.

Which is why he pitched a fit when the First Lady had her TV tuned to CNN. She didn't back down.

Your Sunday Morning Rotor Noise

A Super Cobra's last flight:



Friday, July 27, 2018

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Trump's Dickish Move du Jour

Barring a reporter from a White House press event because she asks hard questions.

If you are fine with this, then I question your dedication to freedom.

Reporters are not supposed to by sycophants. In a free country, they have a duty to ask hard questions, to discomfort the comfortable. Their duty is to hold leaders to account.

Trump clearly wants the press corps to be akin to Soviet-era Pravda. He is hostile to American freedoms.

This is just another betrayal of American freedoms and liberties by Trump and his lackeys.

Do you stand for freedom or for Trump? There is no middle ground, anymore.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Trump Contemplates Another Totally Dickish Move

President Donald Trump is said to be considering revoking security clearance for ex-CIA boss John Brennan and other Obama-era critics of him.
The rationale offered by his spokesghoul* is bullshit. The only reason that their clearances would be revoked is that they are being too critical of Owwr Deer Leedur.

That's the sort of petty action that one would expect from a tinpot dictator in some shithole country where everyone is required to have an official portrait of El Grande Stupido.

Which should give you an idea of where Trump wants to take this country.
________________________________
* aka Josephine Goebbels

Monday, July 23, 2018

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Your Sunday Morning Big Prop Noise

A DC-7 fire bomber.



Fire bombing seems to often be the last purpose for an old airliner before going to the smelter.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Trump's Toadyism; Another Theory

He may be a Russian asset and he may be a wannabee dictator, but the simplest explanation is that Trump is in hock to the Russians. And not up to his eyebrows, more like 20 feet over his head.
After Trump’s last bankruptcy, so far as press reports indicate, he could no longer borrow money at reasonable rates here in the U.S., and a real estate developer who can’t borrow money is rapidly out of business.

So Trump, as his son Eric tells it, turned away from U.S. banks and went to a number of Russian billionaires for his money. In 2014, when asked directly how he could have acquired $100 million in cash for new golf course acquisitions, Eric Trump famously said, “Well, we don’t rely on American banks. We have all the funding we need out of Russia.”

So, if President Putin were to order his own billionaires to get their money back out of Trump’s properties and refuse to give him any more, Trump could well end up broke.

Really broke.

As in, losing all his properties, from Mar-a-Lago to Trump Tower.

It could wipe out all of his remaining businesses.

His kids would have to get real jobs, and no more big-game safaris.

His wife might leave him, and take their son.

He could end up living in a cardboard box on skid row.
A slight quibble: If Trump resigns or loses, he'll get a presidential pension(about $200K/yr), a free office and staff, travel allowance and a SS detail. $200K would mean that he could afford to rent a small apartment in Treason Trump Tower.

If he is impeached and convicted, then he won't get those.

Thing is, Trump may be stupidly arrogant enough to be convicted. Then he'd face the prospect of owing very large sums of money to some people who regard that level of financial default as a capital offense.

Caturday

Chip snoozes on his perch.

Friday, July 20, 2018

The Mind Boggles

Here, Dan Coats, the Director of National Intelligence learns that Trump has invited Putin to Washington:


"That's going to be special." I am presuming that Coats is referring to "special" as in "riding the short bus", not as in "extraordinary".

Trump thinks that Helsinki went well, despite every sentient Republican telling him otherwise. So Trump does what any moronic gambler does who finds himself deeply in the hole: He doubles down on his bet.

Trump and Putin reached a secret verbal agreement. With the example of how Trump "negotiated" with Kim Jong-un, Trump probably gave Alaska back to Russia in exchange for a set of nesting dolls.

Putin is an expert at playing people. Putin is known for meticulously preparing for meetings with foreign leaders (as do the North Koreans). Trump likes to wing it. The results seem to be along the lines of some peckerwood who thinks he can shoot getting into a match with Jerry Miculek.

Trump prepared for the summit by getting into "Blame America First" mode by blaming the U.S. for bad relations with Russia.


of course, the Russians loved that.


Let's be clear about this: The Republican base is siding with their party leader who has openly and repeatedly taken Russia's side in matters pertaining to American-Russian relations. These are the same people, mind you, who get upset at football players taking a knee during the National Anthem, but they support a man who is in Russia's pocket because they think they can work with him.

History may not repeat itself, but it does rhyme.

Because It's Friday

The "Red Devil":


There is annoying music at periods throughout the video.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

The Dain Bramage Continues for Trump


I've got stuff going on, so let's have Stephen Colbert do the heavy lifting.


From lying about when the last time Queen Elizabeth II reviewed her honor guard to trying to suggest that it might have been another country, other than Russia, that hacked into the DNC's email. Even though it's now come out that Russia did hack into the DNC's email and began to do that after Trump publicly begged them to.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Traitor-in-Chief

US President Donald Trump has defended Russia over claims of interference in the 2016 presidential election.

After face-to-face talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Mr Trump contradicted US intelligence agencies and said there had been no reason for Russia to meddle in the vote.
...
At a news conference after the summit, President Trump was asked if he believed his own intelligence agencies or the Russian president when it came to the allegations of meddling in the elections.

"President Putin says it's not Russia. I don't see any reason why it should be," he replied.
To assert that, Trump has to be either a Russian asset, insane or a moron, or a mixture of all three.

Putin's a fucking intelligence professional. Bald-faced lying is the stock-in-trade for spooks.

The difference, though, is that Putin knows when he is telling a lie. Trump, on the other hand, is delusional. I question whether he knows he's lying, or he's telling the truth according to his own reality. One thing about people who are delusional, they really do believe that they are seeing and hearing what they say they are seeing and hearing.

One has to wonder what sort of proof it will take for the Trumpanzees to come to grips with the fact that they have supported a man who is either crazier than a box of weasels or is a Russian spy. They'll probably still be believing it after Trump defects to Russia.

Update: In this photo, Trump looks like a man who has been forced to eat a turd.

Meanwhile, Back at Scott Pruitt's Office


Yeah, I know he's gone home to spend more time with his family, or shit like that. But he was still probably one of the most blatant grifters in the Trump Presidency*, and he should never be forgotten.
___________________________
* I just threw up in my mouth a little.

Mountain Rescue


The story is here.

I'm guessing that the unsung hero in this is the crew chief, who served as the pilot's eyes in touching the stern that big helo into to the slope.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

30 Years Ago


Die Hard was released.

"Yippie-kai-ai, motherfucker" became a thing.

Die Hard was a good thriller that suffered from stupid sequels. But that's how Hollywood rolls.

(What I didn't know was that Die Hard itself was a sequel to The Detective, which had been made twenty years prior. By contract, they had to offer Die Hard to the star of The Detective, Frank Sinatra. He was in his early 70s and declined.)

2040?

BadTux is arguing that, because of shifting populations in coming decades, that the US is headed for a tyranny of the minority, as 70% of the population will reside in fifteen states. The depopulated states will have seventy Senators, the populated states only thirty.

Click on the link and read his post. Then come back.

Yet Another Useful Idiot for Russia's Man in D.C.

Sen. Rand Paul on Sunday sought to justify Russia's interference in America's 2016 presidential race, claiming that all countries meddle in foreign elections.

“I think really we mistake our response if we think it's about accountability from the Russians. They’re another country, they're going to spy on us," Paul said on CNN's "State of the Union," a day before President Donald Trump's scheduled summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki.
Right. And if the Russians had been meddling on behalf of Clinton, instead of doing Trump's bidding, Paul would be screaming about it to the rafters.

Anyone who willfully closes his eyes to treason because the actions of the traitor suits him politically is not a patriot. He would be a traitor, one step removed.

I have to love how Paul and Trump are not blaming Obama. For we all know that if Obama had come out strongly about TRussian meddling two years ago, Paul, Trump and the rest of the Republicans would have been screaming that Obama was trying to tilt the election.

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

My favorite jet: Boeing's 727.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Dumb Force One

Some suggestions from The Late Show for Trump's new paint job.



Caturday


It is, as Chip could attest.


Friday, July 13, 2018

Because It's Friday

The day they changed the gauge of all Southern railroads:


Though things were more efficient after the change of gauge, the railroads kept the savings.

That, in point of fact was one of the reasons why people in the early-mid 20th Century greeted the laying of highways with open arms. In the Plains states, where there usually was only one railroad serving an area, the pricing for both passengers and freight would, these days, be viewed as predatory. Few looked upon the subsequent collapse of local rail service with anything other than quiet satisfaction.

It is Better to Be Trump's Adversary Than to Be His Friend

One thing is clear from watching Trump's latest "Shit in the Euro's Punchbowl Tour": It's better to be Trump's adversary than to be his friend.

At least if you're his adversary, you know what you're going to get. Trump will vacillate between saying bad things and trying to suck up to persuade you to see things his way.

If you're Trump's friend, he will treat you like an old rug: He'll wipe shit and dirt all over you. He'll take everything he can from you, kick your ass to the curb and, even if he's known you for thirty years, will say "I hardly knew that guy."

The only way to have Trump as a reliable ally is to have serious dirt on him, stuff that he would kill his sons and sell his daughter (the one that he cares about, not the other one) into slavery to prevent it from coming out. Which may give one an idea what the Russians may have on him.

Anyone, other than maybe the neo-Nazis, who thinks that Trump is their ally, their friend, their partner or their savior, is delusional.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Just Bizarre

Trump wants a color scheme [for Air Force One] that "looks more American" and isn’t a "Jackie Kennedy color."
A color scheme that's known around the world as belonging only to the aircraft of the Presidential Airlift Group, a brand with global recognition, is not good enough for The Donald?

It shouldn't take much to do a more appropriate paintjob for El Caudillo Trumpo:


News That Should Shock Nobody

A majority of U.S. voters say President Trump has emboldened racists to express their beliefs openly, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll.

Fifty-five percent of voters said Trump has made it easier for those with racist beliefs to share those views publicly. Thirty-nine percent disagreed.

The Quinnipiac poll took the country’s pulse on issues such as civility, immigration and President Trump’s character.

Forty-nine percent of voters polled also said Trump is racist while 47 said he is not.
I respectfully submit that those 47% who think Trump isn't racist are (a) purposefully ignorant; (b) willfully blind, or (c) have mush for brains.

Donnie Thinks He Can Be Besties With Valdimir

Then, of course, he lied about not knowing Putin very well. Of course, he knows him.

Putin's not Trump's friend. Putin's his handler, his boss.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

President Chucklehead; Trade Ed.

The Trump administration is readying tariffs on another $200 billion in Chinese imports, ranging from burglar alarms to mackerel, escalating a trade war between the world’s two biggest economies. ... The administration said the new levies are a response to China’s decision to retaliate against the first round of U.S. tariffs.
I normally wonder what sort of moron would think that China would not respond to an opening salvo in a trade war, but these are not normal times.

The markets are not amused. And, of course, China will retaliate for any more tariffs.

I'm pretty sure that there's no exit strategy from this. Probably worse than Chimpy, The Donald, no doubt, has conflated his manhood with his trade war. Herr Dopenfuhrer will view any result short of what he perceives to be a win as unacceptable.

More likely is that the global economy will tumble off a cliff. Not because of the business cycle, but because of the impetuosity of the World's Oldest Toddler.

So much winning.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Trump Blows His Nazi Steam Whistle

President* Donald Trump has pardoned two ranchers whose case sparked the armed occupation of a national wildlife refuge in Oregon.

Dwight and Steven Hammond were convicted in 2012 of intentionally and maliciously setting fires on public lands.
Given the fact that the Hammond case has been a rallying point of the far Right, these pardons are going to be seen as what they are: Trump giving the neo-Nazis something to crow about.

They believe that Trump is their guy. He is signaling to them that he is.

What If It's Even Worse Than We Suppose?

As Trump arranges to meet face-to-face and privately with Vladimir Putin later this month, the collusion between the two men metastasizing from a dark accusation into an open alliance, it would be dangerous not to consider the possibility that the summit is less a negotiation between two heads of state than a meeting between a Russian-intelligence asset and his handler. ... How do you even think about the small but real chance — 10 percent? 20 percent? — that the president of the United States has been covertly influenced or personally compromised by a hostile foreign power for decades?
Three decades, to be accurate.

Funny thing: The Right's been bleating about Obama being a "seekrit Mooslim" based on zero evidence, other than his mother took him there for four years (between ages six and ten). But there is quite a bit more evidence and proven connections between Trump and the Russians, to which they close their eyes and repeat their mantra of "but, but Hillary.".

This will all come out, sooner or later. I, for one, will remind people in the Party of Trump that they have actively supported a Russian intelligence asset and a traitor.

And no, I haven't paid any attention to whom Our Traitor-in-Chief has nominated for the Supreme Court.

Monday, July 9, 2018

About the Most Fun You Can Have With Your Clothes On; Bangity Ed.

What I got to shoot today:


I shot it with and without the can. It climbed a bit more without the can. I could keep it at two-round bursts. But I can see where a good practice would be to aim at the right-bottom of an enemy's rib case, so the rise walks the impacts across the torso.

It was a hell of a way to quickly turn 200 rounds of ball ammo into noise. I would have shot more, except that it was in the mid-90s out and hotter than a furnace on the range.

I also got to shoot a gun I'd never seen before, a S&W Model 53 in .22 Jet. As I've heard, it has an impressive fireball. Also as I've heard, it is very prone to the cylinder locking up because of setback of the cases. The gun's owner wipes the cartridges down with lighter fluid to ensure that there is no oil whatsoever on them. It still locked up twice in six shots.

Finally, I got to shoot the late Frank James's favorite cartridge, the .41 Magnum. It was accurate and the recoil wasn't at all bad. I can see why he was a fan.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Caturday

An outdoor cat snoozes in a wagon:

Friday, July 6, 2018

Bangity

I have a weakness for Smith and Wesson revolvers. And, shockingly, I did not have a L-frame .357 to my name.

I remedied that:


That gives me a set, at least in frame size, of the S&W combat revolver series:

Top to bottom: Combat Masterpiece (15-3), Combat Magnum (66-3), Distinguished Combat Magnum (686-1)

To be fair, the names themselves applied to the "pre-model number" 15s and 19s. Unless they've got horrible finish issues, those are now collectors' items, with the resulting price tags. I buy guns to shoot, not collect.

A range report on the 686 will come later, as it's bloody hot.

The Trumpist Boot Comes Stamping Down

For a long time, the Army has accepted immigrants on the promise that serving this nation would result in them being fast-tracked to citizenship.


Seems Trump is breaking the deal, to the point of kicking people out of the Army
.

Meanwhile, Trump is trying to find anyone who made a mistake on their naturalization papers, so they can be kicked out. They claim that they are only going after those who committed fraud, but I submit that you'd have to be seven kinds of a fool to believe that.

we'll also see whether or not this enforcement dragnet catches anyone from Western Europe. I'm guessing the answer will be a negative.

Yes, Russia Tried to Interfere In the Election

So says the Senate Intel Committee.

I agree with Booman, in that releasing this late on July 3rd was a pretty naked attempt to ensure that the announcement was buried in the news cycle. So to that extent, at least, the Senators in the GOP tried to protect Donald I.

But at least they weren't as slavishly devoted to Der Groppenfuhrer as Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Toady) and his pack of ghouls.

Because It's Friday

The Grand Trunk Western, back in the day.


The GTW may exist on paper, but it's been long ago absorbed into the Canadian National.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Admin Note to Bloggers Using Blogspot

It used to be that you'd get notifications of new posts, if you had selected that option.

Google messed with it, probably due to the fucking Euros and their GDPR rules.

But you can get that back. Go here and follow the instructions.

(H/T)

UPDATE: Test complete. It works.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

The FART Act, Brought to You By Donald Tump

Yep, that's its acronym: The Fair And Reciprocal Trade Act. Basically, Trump wants to take a dump on the structure of world trade.

Either Putin's getting his money's worth out of this clown, or Dumbo Donald must have paid somebody to take his economics classes for him at Wharton. For he seems to have learned nothing at all. But hey, he hires the best people, right?

(Updated with snark about Lyin' Larry)

Are We At a Tipping Point?

This author argues so.

I don't know if we are, but ponder this: In the late 1930s, there were four reasonably powerful dictatorial regimes: Germany, Italy, Japan and the Soviet Union. The three that are now democratic states got there because the dictators began wars of conquest that led to their destruction. One dictator killed himself as his bunker was about to be overrun. One was shot dead and his corpse hung upside down from a meat hook. The third was tried for war crimes and hanged. The only regime that wasn't invaded and crushed later fell apart, only to be ultimately replaced by a dictatorial regime that legitimizes itself with sham elections.

Tipping points are often things that can't be easily discerned when they occur.

But if there is any truth to it, then this may be the last Fourth that we celebrate as a free people. For we are already sliding down the slope.

Checking In With the Boss

I just needed to fix this up:
President* Donald Trump plans to meet one-on-one with [his handler] Vladimir Putin at the start of their July 16 summit in Helsinki, Finland, according to a person familiar with the plans, before allowing other aides to join the highly anticipated encounter with the Russian leader.
Why Trump wants a solo meeting with Putin is probably rather evident. While some people seem to think that Trump may press Putin about Russia's meddling in our elections, those people are delusional. The only point Trump might make is that the meddling is becoming counterproductive.

Trump is (a) crazy; (b) a traitor; or (c) both.

The Fourth

242 years ago, the Second Continental Congress recognized that the American Colonies, at least the northern ones, had been at war with the British Empire for the last year.

(Open this link in a new tab and listen as you read.)

IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Right-Wing Political Correctness

U.S. retailer Walmart Inc faced an outcry from supporters of President Donald Trump on Tuesday for listing for sale on its open marketplace clothing with the slogan “Impeach 45,” an apparent reference to Trump, the country’s 45th president.
The Right is always talking about how they love them some freedom of speech, a right that they will slam in your face every time they say something offensive. The Right will then scream how you either can't take a joke or are being politcally correct.

Until, however, it's something that offends them. Then they do the very same shit that they accuse the "SJWs" of doing.

Assholes.

Putin's Poodle Piddles on Postwar Peace and Prosperity

President* Donald Trump left the door open to recognizing Russia’s annexation of Crimea, telling reporters that such a move would be up for discussion when he meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin next month.
It has been a hallmark of world order that adjusting national borders by force of arms is simply not done anymore. It's illegal, in point of fact. One of the hallmarks of the post-1945 era in Europe is an extreme reluctance to recognize any change in borders. Nations might agree to split or there may be a struggle for local independence, but one nation marching in and grabbing territory of another is not tolerated.

That was what was and is so pernicious of Russia's seizure of the Crimean Peninsula. The Russians marched in and took it. Any post-invasion vote of the population ratifying it is about as legitimate as the post-anschluss vote in Austria.

But Putin wants his seizure of the Crimea to be normalized and, as usual, Trump will be happy to do his bidding.

The question will be whether or not this little bit of treason will be too much for the GOP (or POT). I'm guessing that it won't be.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Trumpanzees Keep It Classy

A man is in police custody after brandishing a firearm during a "Families Belong Together" immigration rally at Big Spring Park in Huntsville on Saturday, police said.

Huntsville police said [Asswipe], of Huntsville was taken into custody for possessing a firearm within 1,000 feet of the protest. He was charged with menacing and reckless endangerment.
...
Lt. Michael Johnson said [Asswipe] is accused of picking a fight with a protester and pushing the protester. The protester pushed [Asswipe] back, knocking him down. That's when [Asswipe] is accused of pulling out a gun
.
Of course, Asswipe's counter-protest was a model of civil discourse [/sarc], as he marched around, chanting "whomp, womp" and "ice, ice, baby". Having a gun at a demonstration is frowned upon in Alabama.

His gun permit was yanked.

Of Course It Can Happen. The Groundwork's Already Been Laid.

Richard Cohen has a "this can't happen here" about the fall of the EU and NATO under the combined machinations of Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin.

He's quite wrong, of course. It's more than likely to happen, unless the Republicans in the Congress get some body parts implanted.

A spine,

some guts,

and some balls.

Which isn't going to happen in time to save things, of course. Even if Putin didn't have Trump by the short hairs, it still would come out the same. In his soul, Trump is a Saddam Hussein. He's always eager to point out the shortcomings of our traditional friends, while he closes his eyes to the crimes of his friends in the Club of Tyrants.

Meanwhile, Trump's base still believes that "he's draining the swamp", despite all evidence to the contrary.