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

Friday, August 31, 2018

Because It's Friday

Narrow-gauge steam

Toljaso

The FBI has charged a man accused of making threatening calls to a newspaper that criticised President* Donald Trump's attacks on the media.

The FBI says [Asswipe], 68, called the Boston Globe about a dozen times and threatened to shoot reporters.

He allegedly called journalists the "enemy of the people", using a phrase which has been frequently invoked by Mr Trump, who last tweeted it on Thursday.
Death threats to reporters ins't a bug of Trump's rhetoric, it's a feature. I believe it's what Trump wants.

I have little doubt that, as Trump walks out of the door of the White House, he'll pardon this particular Asswipe. Because the Asswipe only did what Trump has been calling for when he blows his "enemies of the people" steam-whistle.

After All, Those Tax Cuts for Trump and His Buddies Aren't Going to Pay for Themselves

President* Donald Trump is canceling pay raises due in January for most civilian federal employees, he informed Congress on Thursday, citing budget constraints.
It's pretty despicable, but Trump is only following the GOP cookbook:
  1.   Cut taxes for the wealthy.
  2.   As the deficit soars, then cut pay for Federal workers.
  3.   Cut services to the American people.
  4.   Repeat again and again.
If you or a family member works for the government and you voted for Trump, you are, in my opinion, a goddamned fool.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

The Whine of the World's Oldest Toddler

"Google is soooo unfffaaaaiiirrr to meeee."

Most people stop yelling "noooo faaaaiiiirrrr" when they turn nine or so.

But not Trump.
Trump suggested that not only was there a tendency for tech companies to suppress right-wing voices, but that Google “rigged” its search results to only show negative reporting about him. The president said that the search giant and others were “hiding information and news that is good,” and that this was a “very serious situation” that “will be addressed.”
It should be clear, by now, to even the most casual non-Trumpanzee observer that any result that Trump doesn't like is "unfair".

He must have been an awful person to play board game with: "You rolled eleven and bought Boardwalk! I wanted that! Unfaaaiiirrrr."

What a fucking pathetic and pitiful excuse for a man.

It also shows Trump's wannabee dictator impulses. Any criticism of him is unfair. All political foes should be locked up and jailed. If Trump had his way, we'd all have to have portraits of Commandante Bone Spurs in our homes.

Trump Drops into Despicable Mode

President Donald Trump*, facing scrutiny for hush money payments to a porn star and a former Playboy model, pleaded with evangelical leaders for political help during closed-door remarks on Monday, warning of dire consequences to their congregations should Republicans lose in November's midterm elections.

"This November 6 election is very much a referendum on not only me, it's a referendum on your religion, it's a referendum on free speech and the First Amendment. It's a referendum on so much," Trump told the assemblage of pastors and other Christian leaders gathered in the State Dining Room, according to a recording from people in the room.

"It's not a question of like or dislike, it's a question that they will overturn everything that we've done and they will do it quickly and violently. And violently. There is violence," Trump said, describing what would happen should his voters fail to cast ballots. "The level of hatred, the level of anger is very unbelievable."
About all Trump seemed to leave out was claiming that "them darkies will rape your daughters.”

This is just despicable. It shows Trump's level of desperation that he's going to claim the political apocalypse will happen if the Party of Trump loses the midterms. Obama lost the midterms in `10, Bush did in `06, Clinton did in `94 and there was no apocalypse.

What Trump is worried about is having the Democrats control the House, so his favorite butt-monkey, Devin Nunes, won't be able to protect Trump from congressional investigations.

Playing the fear card at such a base level is repugnant.

Cuing the chorus of Trumpanzees in three----two---one---

Watch, Read and Heed


I can't tell you the number of times that I've seen either people come to a dead stop in the on-ramp or puter down it at 30MPH.

If you can't handle driving on the highway at highway speeds, then get off the fucking road and drive the surface streets.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Monday, August 27, 2018

Talkie Report: The Happytime Murders

The critics are right.

The Happytime Murders is an awful movie. It might not make it to basic cable, as it's rated R for language and puppet sex.

You're not going to lose any enrichment in your life by missing it.

The only good thing that I can say is that, compared to Mission Impossible- Fallout, The Happytime Murders is an hour shorter.

But kudos to the puppet protagonist for his choice of heater. (S&W Model 66)

Trump's Pettiness is on Full Display

The American flags flying at the White House returned to full staff on Monday, less than 48 hours after the death of Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona) and well before memorial services later this week. ... Matt House, spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), said that the senator and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have “requested that the [Department of Defense] provide necessary support so that U.S. flags on all government buildings remain at half mast through sunset on the day of Senator McCain’s interment.”
"Magnanimous" and "gracious" are two words that will never be ascribed to Trump. I am fully confident that he, personally, directed that Old Glory fly at full staff.

Then again, Trump may have more pressing concerns.

A Petty, Hateful and Vindictive Little Man

President* Trump nixed issuing a statement that praised the heroism and life of Sen. John McCain, telling senior aides he preferred to issue a tweet before posting one Saturday night that did not include any kind words for the late Arizona Republican.
Trump's photo should be in the dictionary as an example for the use of the adjectives in the title of this post. The men on the other side of a shooting war had kinder words for McCain than did Trump.

The thing is, none of this will diminish his base a bit. All of them, including the self-titled "moral majority", knew what they were getting. Even if it's true that Trump has an illegitimate child, his supporters won't give a shit.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Right-Wing Corpse-Dancers

Republican Senate candidate Kelli Ward and her campaign think the McCain family may have released a statement about ending the late senator’s cancer treatments to interfere with her bus tour.
Because McCain's fight against cancer and decision to let go was all about Kelli Ward... or so that troll of a candidate thinks.

One has to be a Trump-grace narcissist to think of that. Which Ward apparently is.

Beyond that, from all of the hate and brickbats being thrown at McCain's corpse from the Right since his passing, you would have thought that he was Vladimir Lenin incarnate. Most of those figuratively dancing on McCain's corpse are not fit to have shined his shoes.

McCain served his country, in one fashion or another, for over six decades. I daresay that most of those now celebrating his passing have a tiny fraction of McCain' time serving this country, if any at all.

(I'm thinking in particular of Commandante Bone Spurs, in particular, who could not mention McCain's name while signing a bill bearing McCain's name. I don't believe for a nanosecond that he personally wrote the tweet to honor McCain's memory.)

Farewell, Maverick

John S. McCain, the proud naval aviator who climbed from depths of despair as a prisoner of war in Vietnam to pinnacles of power as a Republican congressman and senator from Arizona and a two-time contender for the presidency, died on Saturday at his home in Arizona. He was 81.
If there was one moment when he showed his political character, it was when he refused to pander to a display of nativist bigotry during his `08 campaign:
[W]hen a woman said she did not trust Mr. Obama because “he’s an Arab,” Mr. McCain, in one of the most lauded moments of his campaign, replied: “No, ma’am. He’s a decent family man, a citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues.”
I have disagreed with McCain on a lot of issues. But there was no doubt that McCain was grounded in patriotism, a sense of duty, and love of country.

Rest in peace, Senator.

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

A T-33:

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Caturday

Chip the bed hog.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Talkies: Mission Impossible- Fallout

Mission Impossible- Fallout is rated 97% fresh by Rotten Tomatoes.

I have to wonder: Are the critics smoking crack?[1]

I went to see it a couple of days ago. Calling it "awful" would be an understatement. The movies is nothing more than a series of fight/chase sequences connected by a plot which can only be described as ludicrous. The protagonist, Ethan Hunt, takes enough damage in some of the sequences to have put him in an ICU several times over (or in the ground).

It's a fucking cartoon with human actors. If the original series, which was somewhat cerebral, is compared to this movie, the movie is a tale told by someone with significant mental deficits.

Wait for it to come out in Redbox or on basic cable.
_____________________________
[1] I should have remembered that the critics loved The English Patient. I thought it sucked. It was one of those rare movies in which one hoped that every character would die soon.

Because It's Friday

Chinese-American steam:

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Trump Speaks Like a Mob Boss

Trump, like any other mob boss, thinks that using informers and turning underlings should be outlawed.
"It's called flipping and it almost ought to be illegal," Trump said in the interview, adding he's witnessed similar scenarios over his decades in public life. "I know all about flipping, 30, 40 years I have been watching flippers. Everything is wonderful and then they get 10 years in jail and they flip on whoever the next highest one is or as high as you can go."
Meanwhile, David Pecker, the chairman of the company that publishes the National Enquirer, flipped on Trump. The Enquirer engaged in at least one payoff to a Trump mistress to keep the story secret.

I'm sure that John Gotti and other mobsters have had the same opinion about flipping minions as does Trump. And for the same reasons.

Trump has been essentially complaining for over a year that he can't use the Justice Department and the FBI as his personal goon squad. Sessions finally pushed back.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired back Thursday at President* Trump for saying he “never took control of the Justice Department,” putting out a sharp statement vowing the agency won’t be “improperly influenced” by politics.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Almost Too Much Trump Today

Oh, there is lots to blog about.

There is former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort being found guilty of eight felonies.

There is {former} Trump lawyer Michael Cohen pleading guilty to eight felonies.

There is Example #56,793 of the casual racism of Donald Trump.

There is the question of whether or not the First Lady is trolling her husband.

It makes some sense that Mrs. Trump would be trolling him. She is probably rather hurt by the revelations of all of the affairs that Trump was having while she was pregnant and then birthing their son. Trolling him in public would indeed be a sweet bit of payback.

As to Trump's racism, there is little to talk about. The only people who don't believe that Trump is a racist old crank are Trump, himself, and the lesser intelligent members of the American Nazi movement. Which is why even if Omarosa Manigault-Newman has a recording of Trump saying the N-word, it' really not going to move the needle on the "Trump is a Racist" meter.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Stupid TV News

The TV news is sure spending a shitload of time on that Colorado cracker who whacked his family.

Story after story have been aired about this.

Meanwhile, about sixty people are being shot each weekend in Chicago, and that barely merits a mention.

Paying the Toll for the Rainbow Bridge

The daughter of a friend rescued a stray cat a few years ago. His name was Fritz. Fritz developed kidney problems and diabetes. He was not amenable to being given meds or having his glucose monitored. Hell, it took a crew just to trim his claws.

In the last few days, his conditioned worsened. I volunteered to take him on his last ride.


He had just been sedated. A couple of minutes after this picture was taken, he fell asleep. Ten minutes after that, the veterinarian and a tech came in and gave Fritz the injection to end his suffering.

Farewell, Fritz. I hope you're running free, without pain, and chasing the mice to your heart's content.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

It Doesn't Matter How Much CO2 is in Martian Soil

Elon Musk says there is enough carbon dioxide in Martian soil to pressurize the atmosphere of Mars to enable it to be terraformed. Scientists disagree.

(H/T)

I submit that it doesn't fucking matter.

Mars doesn't have a magnetic field. The atmosphere would be stripped away by solar wind. In the meantime, the lack of a magnetic shield would mean that living aboveground on Mars would be inviting a probable death from cancer.

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

First flight of the F-106B:

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Caturday

On the road with Chip.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Because It's Friday

A Corliss steam engine:


Some of them are still in service.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

"I Am Spartacus"

Admiral William McRaven, a SEAL who retired in 2014 after 37 years of active duty, including commanding the US Special Operations Command, wrote an open letter to President* Trump to request that Trump also revoke his security clearance.
Dear Mr. President:

Former CIA director John Brennan, whose security clearance you revoked on Wednesday, is one of the finest public servants I have ever known. Few Americans have done more to protect this country than John. He is a man of unparalleled integrity, whose honesty and character have never been in question, except by those who don’t know him.

Therefore, I would consider it an honor if you would revoke my security clearance as well, so I can add my name to the list of men and women who have spoken up against your presidency.
No doubt that the Trumpanzees will be lining up to slander a man who served his country with honor, a man whose service goes back to the time when Commandante Bone Spurs was having sex with everything that moved while fending off claims of housing discrimination.

Once a Petty Dick, Always a Petty Dick, Part Infinity

President* Donald Trump said Wednesday that he revoked the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan in part because of his role in the investigation into allegations of collusion between the Russian government and the 2016 Trump campaign.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Trump placed blame on Brennan for the ongoing Russia investigation, now overseen by special counsel Robert Mueller, even though Brennan has been outside the government for 19 months.

“I call it the rigged witch hunt, [it] is a sham,” Trump told the Journal. “And these people led it!”

“So I think it’s something that had to be done,” he continued.
Obstruction of justice, much?

Stripping people's clearances because they do not demonstrate sufficient fealty to The Donalds is a petty, dickish move.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Once a Petty Dick, Always a Petty Dick

Celebrating the signing of the 2019 military authorization funding bill at Fort Drum in upstate New York on Monday, President* Donald Trump New York made no mention of the man whose name is attached to the legislation: John McCain.

The John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 was named in honor of the longtime Arizona senator and former prisoner of war who is chair of the Senate Armed Service Committee and currently battling brain cancer.
Trump is a petty little excuse of a man. There are canines pooping in the park who are more dignified than Trump.

It would have cost Trump nothing to have a moment of magnanimity for McCain. But that's not Trump; he has the temper and self-control of a toddler boy and the prickly sense of personal self of a tweener girl.

And as to why he can't seem to bring himself to condemn Nazis, I suspect it's less a matter of kowtowing to his base and more a matter of Trump sympathizing with them.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Your Sunday Morning Big Prop Noise

A PBY ex-firebomber.


I'm somewhat sure that all of firebombers that were surplus from WW2 have been retired.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Who's the Biggest Liar?

Former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman claims that Trump used the N-word.

Trump denies it.

Manigault has contradicted what's in her book.

On the other hand, I suspect that anyone who denies that Trump has used (or still uses) the N-word is smocking crack. That Trump is a racist crank is, by now, beyond reasonable dispute.

(And he's somewhat mobbed-up, which seems to bother no Republicans, ever.)

Still, hard to say who is the bigger liar. Even though Trump has accumulated enough Pinnochios to stock a lumber yard.

Caturday

Chip is looking as innocent as the driven snow.


But, as you can see from the left side of his nose, he got into it with another cat.



Friday, August 10, 2018

Another Entitled Trumpanzee

A woman called the cops on a NY state senator for handing out political literature on a public street, because he doesn't support El Trumpo.

I guess wherever she came from, the cops would arrest those who opposed the local strongman.

Covering Up Medical Sodomy; USC Edition

There were over two decades' worth of complaints against USC gynecologist George Tyndall who was nicknamed "The Butcher". But USC did nothing, other than suspend him after 25 years of him allegedly abusing women during examinations. Dr. Creepo did things such as doing full-body examinations, purportedly to look for skin cancer.[1]

It wasn't until the LA Times got interested that USC did anything substantive. But they still gave him money to go away. USC didn't make a report to the state medical board, let alone to the cops.

This shit happens over and over. It shouldn't take reporters looking into things for organizations to act against known abusers. But it does.

You can bet your paycheck that there are USC administrators who are blaming the Times for this scandal, instead of taking a good, hard look into the mirror that the story is holding up to them.

Because that's what bureaucrats do.

Every USC administrator who knew or should have known what was going on ought to be held to account for covering it up, or negligence. But since that's not going to happen, I wish on USC and its administrators a plague of civil litigation.

(H/T)
_______________________________

[1] I've had decades of gyno exams done and I've never had a doctor do an examination of any other parts of my body during one.

Space Force; It's All About the Grift

President* Donald Trump's re-election team seized on his administration's push for a "Space Force" on Thursday, pledging to sell branded merchandise to his supporters.

"President Trump wants a SPACE FORCE -- a groundbreaking endeavor for the future of America and the final frontier," read an email from the Trump campaign. "As a way to celebrate President Trump's huge announcement, our campaign will be selling a new line of gear."
It's all about the grift for Team Trump. It would probably be as illegal as fuck for Trump 2020 to sell stuff branded with the logo of any of the seven existing uniformed services. But that likely won't apply to a military branch that exists only in the syphilitic mind of Commandante BoneSpurs.

"Trump 2020": That's probably the number of months that Donnie and his spawn (including the spawn-in-law) will spend in stir.

Because It's Friday

The Texas State RR

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Chain Migration

President Donald Trump's parents-in-law have become US citizens in a private ceremony.

Viktor and Amalija Knavs, Melania Trump's Slovenian-born parents, took the oath of citizenship in New York on Thursday, their lawyer confirmed.

He said the pair had been living in the US on green cards sponsored by Mrs Trump.
Because chain migration is OK when they're Trump's family? When they're white folk?

There's still some question as to how Trump finagled an "Einstein visa" for Melania, as a non-super model hardly met the criteria for an EB-1 visa.

But the rules were bendable when a member of the oligarchy wanted to sneak in his then-mistress.

Republicans Hate Liberty and Freedom

President Trump’s repeated cries of “fake news” and attacks on journalists as “enemies of the American people” have resonated with his base, with 43 percent of Republicans saying he “should have the authority to close news outlets engaged in bad behavior.” ... The survey also showed that just 36 percent of GOP voters disagreed with that statement.
Let's be clear about this: Trump regards news outlets that "engage in bad behavior" as those which publish anything that is less than flattering about El Trumpo, his spawn or his current wife.

This country is defined by our liberties, freedoms and civil rights. Without those, we are nothing more than a collection of assholes with the military and economic power to back up our assholishness. In effect, we'd be no different from being a more powerful variant of Putin's Russia.

That Trump's base would be so willing to trash our constitutional if Trump said so suggests that to them, the Constitution is a meaningless piece of paper. The Pledge, to them, is like praying in church: Meaningless words that have no relevance once uttered.

They are faithless Americans. They are, in point of fact, traitors to the principles that our forefathers fought for.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Outdated Followup

The Sesame Street folks lost their lawsuit against The Happytime Murders folks.

As they should have. It was a dick move.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Trump Admits to the Thing That He's Been Denying for Two Years

President Donald Trump on Sunday appeared to change his story about a 2016 meeting at Trump Tower that is pivotal to the special counsel’s investigation, tweeting that his son met with a Kremlin-connected lawyer to collect information about his political opponent.
There is no "appeared to" about it. Trump has just admitted that he, his son and his campaign sought to get information from a hostile foreign power about a political opponent.

That is an "in kind" donation. It's illegal for foreign nationals, let alone governments, to contribute to political campaigns.

So, sorry, El Trumpo, you not only broke the law, you just admitted to it.

If you're on the Right and you're going to defend Trump, then ask yourself how you would have reacted if Clinton had done it. If you say "no problem," then you're more than likely a pants-on-fire liar than not.

Trump colluded with the Russians. That point is now an established fact.

So now we're seeing whether the Right owes its allegiance to Donald Trump or to the United States of America, for "both" is no longer a viable answer.

We Can Do Better, Surely

One in five foster children become homeless when they "age out at 18 in South Carolina. About an equal percentage of female former foster kids become teen moms. Almost two-fifths go to prison. Almost that many are unemployed. Damn few go onto any form of college.

It's not only an American problem.

The United States is ranked 47th in the world for maternal mortality.

In the rest of the First World, this joke wouldn't make sense:



Surely we can do better.

Your Sunday Morning Turboprop Noise

A quartet of CL-415s fill up on the French Rivera:


I have no idea what corrosion issues arise from operating on the ocean.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Friday, August 3, 2018

Commentariat Doesn't Get It

Bret Stephens, a neocon, argued in the NY Times that Donald Trump will have blood on his hands when one of his unhinged supporters kills a reporter or three.

The fear isn't unfounded.

I believe that warning Trump that his rhetoric will lead to people killing reporters ignores the fact that to Trump, if reporters do get killed by his supporters, that's not a bug, it's a feature.

It is exactly what Trump wants. He probably believes that if some of his supporters kill some reporters, the rest of the media will tone down their criticism of The Presidential Baboon out of fear. That those supporters will end up being shot themselves, spend life in prison or be executed is, to Trump, the cost of doing business.

Trump is inciting murder. If somebody gets killed, he should be charged with incitement, or something.

Trump is a despicable excuse for a human being. He is a fascist. His supporters, by cheering on Trump's attacks on the press, are demonstrating that they are not true Americans. They are phonies. They recite the Pledge of Allegiance and stand for the National Anthem, but they do not believe in the concepts of liberty and freedom for anyone other than themselves.

Trumpanzees are cockroaches on the body politic.

Because It's Friday

UP 844 last month.


844 had a starring role in the latest Longmire novel The Western Star by Craig Johnson. Other than 844, it's not my favorite of the series, by any means.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Trump's Lies Get More Brazen

"You know, if you go out and you want to buy groceries, you need a picture on a card, you need ID," Trump continued. "You go out and you want to buy anything, you need ID and you need your picture."
Other than buying ammunition at Walmart (and that's only been recently) and buying guns, I can count on the fingers of one hand the last time I had to show ID to buy anything and have five fingers left over.

Of course, his gamey wingman tried to have his back. By now, if Sarah Huckster-Sanders has any shame (or soul) left, it's not evident.

World's Oldest Toddler Rages On

The Trump administration says people would drive more and be exposed to increased risk if their cars get better gas mileage, an argument intended to justify freezing Obama-era toughening of fuel standards. Transportation experts dispute the arguments, contained in a draft of the administration's proposals prepared this summer, excerpts of which were obtained by The Associated Press.
By that logic, they might as well mandate that cars weigh a minimum of three tons. That way, the cars would get shitty mileage and people would take mass transit.

We all know what's going on here: Trump's guidestar is that whatever Obama did, he'll do the opposite. If Obama wanted to send out free guns with tax refunds, Trump would propose banning all guns.

Apply Trump's Razor to everything Trump says: Everything Trump says is a lie, until proven otherwise.

Imbecile Detector in Operation

Police around the world have warned people against doing the “Kiki challenge”, after multiple people attempting the viral dance have been injured.

The “Kiki challenge”, also known as the “In My Feelings challenge”, involves jumping out of a moving car and dancing alongside it to Drake’s hit In My Feelings, while the car continues moving.
It's a sad commentary that people have to be warned not to jump from a moving car.