Words of Advice:

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

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

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

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

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

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Trump’s Meds

Trump needs this to help him with his bad case of McCain Derangement Syndrome.

President* Donald Trump aimed new blasts of invective at the late John McCain Wednesday, even claiming credit for the senator’s moving Washington funeral though he “never liked” him — and complaining he was never properly thanked.
Let's be clear about this: The honor of lying in state in the Capitol Rotunda is an honor that is granted by both the Senate Majority Leader and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. The President has jack point shit to do with it. Further, as the article pointed out, Sen. McCain planned his funeral. Trump's contribution was to allow, after considerable public pressure, mcCain's remains to be flown from Arizona to D.C. on a C-32A. Trump only had the flag flown at half-staff for a day, raising it over the White House, until public pressure forced him to relent.

Trump's conduct during the period of the national mourning for the passing of Sen McCain was a display of pettiness, meanness, and deep butthurt. It has to gall Trump no end that even those who opposed McCain politically recognized him as a man who spent his entire adult life in service to his country, in one form or another.

Nobody will ever think that of Cadet Bone Spurs. Even those who are allied with Trump for political reasons know that he is a man without a shred of honor or dignity.

In the core of his blasted and corrupt soul, Trump has to know that Meghan McCain was spot on when she said that nobody will ever love Trump the way that they did John McCain.

And so, Trump's public display of juvenile-grade butthurt will go on.

Soon to Be an Episode of Forgotten Weapons

The Hudson H9, for Hudson Manufacturing has filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Chapter 7 is "chop up the company and sell off the pieces". If you have a H9, you now own an orphan. You had best snag as many magazines as you can find, if you intend to run your gun any. I don't know what you'll do for spares, other than watch the auction sites for parts packages.

You're probably better off putting the gun in the back of safe for a bit and then selling it as a collector's item. Hopefully, you have the box that it came in.

Per the comments: It's already on FW, which discusses the problems of bringing a new gun to market.

Field Day on Devin



Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Whiny-Ass Devin Nunes Discovers the Streisand Effect

So Devin Nunes sued both Twitter and some dude for a parody Twitter account, Devin Nunes' Cow.

At the time Devin the Whiner filed his case, @DevinCow had just over a thousand followers. It's well over 200K, now. It's adding a thousand or so followers every few minutes.

One of the bedrock principles of this country is that politicians are fodder for comedians and satirists. Funny how those people who say that they love freedom change their minds when they are on the receiving end of people who are exercising theirs.

I would have thought that we would have had to search far and wide to find a politician with a thinner skin than Trump. Well, Devin, we have a winner!

Monday, March 18, 2019

Quote of the Day

"No one will ever love you the way that they loved my father." Meghan McCain, responding to Trump's weekend tweetstorm





Trump can't let go of McCain.



What an utterly pathetic man-child we have for a president.

Dems 2020

Frankly, there are too many folks running for me to care very much. Pete Buttigieg's book was interesting. He's qualified for the debates. But he's young and, if this turns out to be a training run, he'll be positioned for 2024 and into the 2040s.

The pack will thin out over the coming months. And then, maybe I'll start to shiv a git.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Staying Home Today

I regard St. Patrick's Day as one of the three amateur-drinking holidays. No doubt that the cops will be out in force and that there will be no shortage of drunks behind the wheel as the day winds on.

Going out to eat in a crowded bar/restaurant is not my idea of fun. So I'll stay home whilst Erin goes "breaaghh".

I Assume That is Meant to Be Ironic

The 2020 race added a new player this weekend, as Senator Gillibrand debuted her “Brave Wins” slogan.
Gillibrand is not brave. She's flip-flopped around as it suits her purposes. Gillibrand is pretty much a tool of Wall Street.

I think she is as untrustworthy as all of these guys.

The Hunt for the USS WASP

This is a long article, from the Sunday NY Times Magazine, about the search for the wreck of the USS WASP.

I think it's worth the time to read.

Your Sunday Morning Turboprop Noise

A Beech Starship:


There are still a few around.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Brexit: Maybe Not This Month?

The UK's Parliament voted to ask the EU for a stay of execution more time to negotiate a Brexit deal. It'll be two years on March 29th since the UK formally notified the EU that the UK was leaving, but in that time, the Brits have been unable to agree amongst themselves the terms of an acceptable divorce package.

If the EU doesn't agree to a delay, then the Brits will, in essence, be tossed out of the EU on the 29th. All of the other countries have to agree in order to grant an extension. They may do that, but some might want some extra sugar.

The One Thing Trump Doesn't Know Anything About

“I don’t really,” Trump said in the Oval Office when asked if he saw white nationalism as a rising threat around the world, according to a pool report. “I think it’s a small group of people that have very, very serious problems, I guess. If you look what happened in New Zealand, perhaps that’s the case. I don’t know enough about it yet…But it’s certainly a terrible thing.”
Trump knows more than any experts about technology, aircraft design, campaign finance, ISIS, the legal system, government, trade, infrastructure, economics, among other things.

But about /white nationalism... he knows nothing, other than there are many Nazis who are "good people". If a Muslim had shot up a church and killed even five people in New Zealand, Trump would have been screaming about banning Muslims. Five kids were found to be innocent of a rape and Trump can't let that go, but when a white guy murders lots of people, he's got nothing to say.

Caturday

Chip is making sure that the island at the vet's exam room carries his scent.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Too Soon?

Teterboro Tower


Sort of based on a real incident.

The Cowards of the Senate

These are the Senators who chose to fall in line behind Trump, rather than stand up for the principles of separation of powers and the Constitution:
John Barrasso, Wyo.
Marsha Blackburn, Tenn.
John Boozman, Ark.
Mike Braun, Ind.
Richard Burr, N.C.
Shelley Moore Capito, W.Va.
Bill Cassidy, La.
John Cornyn, Texas
Tom Cotton, Ark.
Kevin Cramer, N.D.
Mike Crapo, Idaho
Ted Cruz, Texas
Steve Daines, Mont.
Mike Enzi, Wyo.
Joni Ernst, Iowa
Deb Fischer, Neb.
Cory Gardner, Colo.
Lindsey Graham, S.C.
Chuck Grassley, Iowa
Josh Hawley, Mo.
John Hoeven, N.D.
Cindy Hyde-Smith, Miss.
Jim Inhofe, Okla.
Johnny Isakson, Ga.
Ron Johnson, Wis.
John Neely Kennedy, La.
James Lankford, Okla.
Mitch McConnell, Ky.
Martha McSally, Ariz.
David Perdue, Ga.
Jim Risch, Idaho
Pat Roberts, Kan.
Mike Rounds, S.D.
Ben Sasse, Neb.
Rick Scott, Fla.
Tim Scott, S.C.
Richard Shelby, Ala.
Dan Sullivan, Alaska
John Thune, S.D.
Thom Tillis, N.C.

Todd Young, Ind.
I never want to hear a word from any of them about the importance of the Constitution or of separation of powers. Especially from some of the more mouthier weasels, such as Miss Lindsey and the Canadien Usurper.

They are all cowards. Every last one of them. We, as a nation, ask young people to put their lives on the line for their coiuntry. Those gutless weasels couldn't bring themselves to even risk putting their jobs on the line.

They are despicable.

Because It's Friday

PS Natchez gets under way in New Orleans.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Cheetolini Channels His Inner Fascist

President* Trump in a new interview suggested that his supporters are tougher than Democrats, and that if they actually play tough things could get "very bad."

Trump made the comments in the context of an interview with the conservative outlet Breitbart in which he argued that Democrats play a tough political game.

“You know, the left plays a tougher game, it’s very funny," Trump said in the interview with Breitbart published on Wednesday. "I actually think that the people on the right are tougher, but they don’t play it tougher."

"I can tell you I have the support of the police, the support of the military, the support of the Bikers for Trump – I have the tough people, but they don’t play it tough — until they go to a certain point, and then it would be very bad, very bad," Trump said.
I suspect that Trump may find out that there are people across the services that take their oath of office far more seriously than does El Caudillo de Mar-a-Lago.

Trump is proving the wisdom of the Founding Fathers in writing the Second Amendment into the Constitution as a counterweight to tyranny. For we now have a president who has intimated that he would not recognize losing the 2020 election.

Keep your powder dry, people. Shit could get very real in about 20 months.

You Know What Day It Is

Pi Day:


In Indiana, there was once a chance that it would have been on March 2nd.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Knee-Jerk Reaction From the Biggest Jerk

The U.S. is issuing an emergency order Wednesday grounding all Boeing 737 Max 8 and Max 9 aircraft “effective immediately,” in the wake of the crash of an Ethiopian Airliner that killed 157 people, President Donald Trump said.

Many nations had already barred the Boeing 737 Max 8 from its airspace, but until Trump’s announcement, the Federal Aviation Administration had said that it didn’t have any data to show the jets are unsafe. Trump cited “new information” that had come to light in the ongoing investigation into incident. He did not elaborate.
I am skeptical as all fuck.

One of the persistent gripes about many non-Western airlines fall into three categories. First is an inability, whether cultural or otherwise, to adopt "Cockpit Resource Management" in place of "The Captain is God". The latter mindset was, in part, behind the Asiana Airlines crash at SFO. The second is "G-d wills it"-- that if things are falling to shit, it's the will of the Almighty and there is nothing to be done. The third is that a number of pilots in non-Western airlines are "ab initio" pilots-- they did not know how to fly before being hired. They start from day one as future airline pilots. All of their flying and flight training is to that goal. So they become more systems managers than pilots (the deprecatory term is "Children of the Magenta Line"). They are not stick-and-rudder pilots.

I'm not saying that a lack of piloting skills is behind the crashes, or lack of maintenance. There is a significant and detailed investigation ahead. The data transmitted in flight as well as the data/voice recorders all need to be examined. But given that both -Max crashes have happened to Third World airlines, I am skeptical that it's an airframe issue.

One of the truisms of aviation has been when all else fails, default to pilot error. Without information as to cause, grounding all of the airplanes is a knee-jerk reaction. (I have a flight later this Spring. I would have happily taken the trip on a 737 Max.)

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Tab Clearing

Fifty people, including Hollywood stars Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, were charged Tuesday in a scheme in which wealthy parents allegedly bribed college coaches and other insiders to get their children into some of the nation’s most elite schools.

Federal authorities called it the biggest college admissions scam ever prosecuted by the U.S. Justice Department, with the parents accused of paying an estimated $25 million in bribes.
There's a lot of fuckery going on there. Bribing test proctors, faking disabilities, getting picked up for college sports teams without being able to play them. This is the list of folks charged, so far.
----------------------------------
The Brits are on the path of crashing out of the EU with no agreement.
Prime Minister Theresa May's EU withdrawal deal has been rejected by MPs for a second time, throwing her Brexit strategy into further confusion.

MPs voted down her deal by 391 to 242 - a smaller defeat than when they rejected it in January.

The PM said MPs will now get a vote on whether the UK should leave without a deal on 29 March and, if that fails, on whether Brexit should be delayed.
----------------------------------
Countries are banning the 737-Max from flying in their airspace:
The European Union and India have banned the Boeing 737 Max from flying over their airspace to ensure passenger safety.

They join a long list of countries in suspending the plane, including the UK.
As of today, the Canadian and American authorities have done so. The FAA has been known to wait for hard evidence of a problem before ordering a grounding. Meanwhile, the World's Oldest Toddler has an opinion.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Heh. Heh. Heh.

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Donald J. Trump’s $4.7-trillion budget raised eyebrows on Monday when government-watchdog groups discovered that it contained twenty million dollars for bail.

The line item for a “bail fund” was buried in the fine print of the published budget, along with a footnote specifying that the money could be used only to bail out Trump and members of his immediate family.
The rest at the link, above.

Historical Plaque

The world's first parabolic radio telescope.

Grote Reber was a pretty interesting man. For about ten years, he was the only radio astronomer in the world.

This is the telescope that he built in the backyard of his mother's house. It could tilt, but not pan.


Reber sold his telescope to the Bureau of Standards in the late `40s, where it was made fully-steerable. Eventually, it was donated as a historical artifact to the National Radio Astronomy Observatory at Green Bank, WV.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Trump Sees the US Army As a Big Version of Blackwater

For years, President Donald Trump has complained that countries hosting American troops aren’t paying enough. Now he wants to get even, and then some.

Under White House direction, the administration is drawing up demands that Germany, Japan and eventually any other country hosting U.S. troops pay the full price of American soldiers deployed on their soil -- plus 50 percent or more for the privilege of hosting them, according to a dozen administration officials and people briefed on the matter.
The most charitable analysis is that Trump is a geopolitical moron who only sees dollar signs. The less charitable is that Trump wants to do this to weaken NATO, which benefits his boss in the Kremlin.

Trump may have been listening to Betsy DeVois's brother, who is a mercenary and has had dubious ties to authoritarian regimes. It's all about the buck for those guys.

For nations, basing troops overseas is a matter of geopolitical concerns. Forward-based troops allow for quicker reaction in a crisis. They protect our national interest. They are used as a stabilizing influence, to deter potential adversaries from becoming froggy in places where we have an interest. They're not there for the naked profit of the American treasury.

That such would need to be explained to a sitting president shows how far we have shrunken as a world power.

Hellacious

The British Mk.IV tank.


Try to imagine being inside of that thing, rolling across No Man's Land.


Your Sunday Morning Radial Engine Noise

A Stinson Reliant:


Having had a much smaller Stinson (a Voyager 165), I have always lusted after the Reliants.

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Trump is Psychologically Incapable of Keeping His Mouth Shut

President* Trump on Friday called the Democratic Party “anti-Israel” and “anti-Jewish” following a House vote on a resolution broadly condemning hatred rather than specifically condemning past alleged anti-Semitic comments by a freshman Muslim congresswoman.
Rather than just keeping his yap closed and letting this issue burn Democrats, Trump had to chime in. So now, Democrats are more than happy to lambaste Trump for his hypocrisy on antisemitism. They can remind people that Trump's initial response to the violence of the Tiki-torch Nazis of Charlottesville was to say that there were good people among the Nazis. He's used antisemetic tropes, brought white supremacists into his administration. When American Nazis commit or plan murderous acts, the most Trump will ever do is say "that's a shame".

So Trump is a fine one to talk.

Caturday

Bella is watching the birds.


She and Chip had a battle last weekend. When I have let Chip out of his room, he wore a harness and a leash. That turned out to be very helpful in breaking up the fight, as I yanked his ass out of the fight.

Friday, March 8, 2019

AP Has Some Serious Science Geekery

SpaceX’s swanky new crew capsule returned from the International Space Station to an old-fashioned splashdown in the Atlantic on Friday, successfully ending a test flight that could lead to astronaut rides later this year.
...
It was the first time in 50 years that a capsule designed for astronauts returned from space by plopping into the Atlantic. Apollo 9 — which orbited Earth in preparation for the moon landings — splashed down near the Bahamas on March 13, 1969.
They're right about that. The rest of the Apollo missions, including the Skylab missions and the Apollo-Soyuz Project, all splashed down in the Pacific.

That's some top-shelf science geekery, there.

Because It's Friday

I neglected to post this Big Boy 4014 update:

Old Geezers In The Street

The New Kids on the Block are touring, 30 years after their first album.

Almost all of them are old enough to join AARP. They're hardly "kids".

King Reflector Sights

A century or so ago, the King Sight was the solution to bringing extra illumination to a front sight:


You can read more here. That mirror is slightly convex and chromed.

That's a pretty elegant device.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Democrats Recognize Reality

The Democratic National Committee said Wednesday that it won’t pick Fox News to televise one of the upcoming debates being held for its 2020 presidential contenders.

The party chairman, Tom Perez, said he has concluded that the network isn’t in a position to host a fair and neutral debate. He cited a New Yorker magazine article released Monday that detailed how some Fox News personalities and President Donald Trump echo each other.
Perez has to be a real chucklehead to not have recognized that Fox is a Trump propaganda outlet. They're not going to get anything resembling fair coverage from Fox. Why anyone even entertained pretending that Fox News is anything than in the tank for El Caudillo de Mar-a-Lago is a mystery.

Cadet Bone Spurs is, of course, not happy.

It's Hard Not to Make Fun of This Guy; Darwin Award Ed.

It's an intersection of the Darwin Awards and First World Problems:
A billionaire diamond trader has died during a penis enlargement operation at a posh Parisian clinic, it was reported.

Ehud Arye Laniado died at the age of 65 in the clinic of an unnamed plastic surgeon on the Avenue des Champs-Elysees in the French capital.

According to local media, complications during surgery proved fatal for the Belgian-Israeli dual national and he suffered a heart attack when a substance was injected into his penis.
...
According to media reports, Laniado suffered from a so-called Napoleon complex due his short stature. ... According to Laniado's friends, the only time he forgot about his short height was when he asked his accountant to read out his bank statement, something which he did multiple times a day.
The jokes almost write themselves. Imagine him standing before the admissions guy to Heaven/Hell/whatever and having to explain the cause of his demise. Or wandering around in the afterlife, among the millions of souls who died from famine, war or the Plague and having them whisper: "That's the guy who died from penis enlargement surgery."

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

How Far Away Are We From Another Major War?

I've been mulling this over for a bit. The surprise attacks of 1941, which postwar colored much of the security postures of the United States and the Soviet Union/Russia, were 77 years ago. The only participants left were the youngest soldiers and sailors at the time, and all of them are at least in their 90s.

The children who saw that war firsthand are almost all into their 80s.


The Europeans had a series of continent-wide wars in the early 19th Century. The rest of the century was somewhat bloody, with nation-on-nation fights here and there as well as civil wars-- even the Swiss had one. But there was not a major war for a century. Even when that war came, at least in western Europe, the front was largely static for most of the war; it wasn't until the second phase of that war in the early `40s that a significant percentage of Europe was turned into battlefields, with the infrastructure of entire nations reduced to rubble.

On the other side of the Eurasian land mass, countries have not borne the brunt of war for decades. The leadership of China has no memories of war. They seem to be growing more and more enamored of conflict as a means to an end; forgetting/ignoring that wars tend to spin out of control. What is planned to be a short, sharp war can turn into a meatgrinder of a bloody stalemate.

It's not hard to find more recent evidence of the costs of war. But nobody has seen large-scale armies fighting each other, with artillery and air support on both sides, in a lifetime.

As those memories fade, the delusions as to the cost of war will set in. The chickenhawks in several nations are gaining influence.

The Guns of August will be heard again.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Fine Cop Whines

I have, over the past few years, read threads on different forums where cops and retired cops are complaining that they have to abide by magazine and/or ammo restrictions when they are off duty, especially when they are traveling for pleasure.

My feeling is this: Suck it up, buttercup. Be grateful that you can carry a gun in any state under LEOSA. A retired cop from Indiana who is seeing the sights in California doesn't have the powers of his old badge in California. He's got just as much power and authority as any other schlub strolling the streets of Hollywood. He is, in fact, a civilian. Why he shouldn't have to abide by the weapon laws that the rest of us do is baffling.

Well, not really. There is a strain of cops who really do believe that they are above the law and that their "holier than you" status is a lifetime brass pass.

Warm Up Roger's Jail Cell

Attorneys for Roger Stone withheld and misrepresented plans for his new book criticizing special counsel Robert S. Mueller III in violation of a gag order in his case, a federal judge found Tuesday, warning that any “costs or consequences” that result are solely his responsibility. ... [Judge Jackson] ordered Stone’s defense to explain by Monday how he will come into compliance.
I thought that Stone was either too arrogant or too stupid to realize that his usual cookbook of dirty tricks and mudslinging wouldn't impress a Federal judge.

I would not be surprised if the judge doesn't conclude on Monday that the surest way to bring Stone into compliance with the orders of the court will be to park his happy ass in jail until his trial. Stone might want to bring his toothbrush to the hearing.

Confirmed: Anti-Vaxxers are Morons

Children who receive the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine are not at increased risk for autism, and that includes children who are sometimes considered to be in "high risk" groups for the neurodevelopmental disorder, a massive new study finds.
Even their children are recognizing that their anti-vaccine parents are imbeciles.

No matter how many times one can point out that correlation is not causation, it won't sink in. A professor I once knew used to use the example of there being almost a perfect correlation between the number of cancer cases and the number of telephone poles in one state. You'd have to be a complete idiot to then conclude that telephone poles cause cancer, but that's what the anti-vaxxers live.

Sometimes, bad shit happens. The anti-vaxxer cause is built on a lie by a charlatan. The old saying that "a lie travels around the world before the truth can pull on its boots" is appropriate.

Add to that the people who believe in conspiracies, such as chemtrails or, for example, the lunatics who think that the Navy's hospital ships trigger earthquakes, and the flat-earthers, and you have cohorts who are somewhat unhinged. Not helping are industries such as the oil companies (tetraethyl lead, climate change) and the tobacco companies (yes, that shit causes cancer) who pump hundreds of millions of dollars into propaganda campaigns that feed on conspiracy theories.

Then there are the states who are willing to accept the "religious exception" bullshit without requiring any level of evidence that the claimants are following any religious tenets, and we have kids who are unvaccinated because their parents, arguably, are nuts.

Their kids know they are nuts. We should listen to them.

Monday, March 4, 2019

Petition for an Order of Protection Against Trump

If inanimate objects could file them, that is.




Feel free to steal.

9,000 Lies and Counting

Cadet Bone Spurs has now uttered over 9,000 lies since he was sworn in. I'm reasonably certain that Fib #1 was his oath of office.

This was a big one:
President Donald Trump is suggesting that a congressional hearing Democrats arranged with his former personal attorney may have contributed to his failure to reach a deal with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
There is zero evidence for that, other than the deranged sputterings of Trump and maybe a few Fox News idiots.

The discussions with and about North Korea's nuclear program have been going on for a very long time. It was pretty common knowledge that the Norks regard their nuclear program as both giving them international heft and as a shield against meddling by the United States. They aren't going to give that up lightly. All of the experts knew that.

Trump, on the other hand, seemed to think that he could bluster and persuade Kim Jong Un to take the same deal that the Norks have been refusing to take: Nuclear disarmament in exchange for easing sanctions. Kim probably thought that he could use Trump's bluster as a sort of judo move to get Trump to agree to lifting sanctions for shuttering a reactor.

Both were wrong.

But it had nothing to do with Cohen's testimony.

Only Perfect People Can Fly on American Airlines

American Airlines is apologizing to a South Carolina mother and her young son after they were booted from a flight because of their rare, genetic skin condition.

Jordan Flake said she was discriminated against and wrongfully kicked off a South Carolina-bound flight with her toddler son, Jackson, after an airline employee inquired about her "rash" shortly before takeoff.
Flight attendants on some airlines seem to have a strain of petty tyrants running through them. What about having a rash makes a passenger a security risk to the flying waitstaff prison guards?

Visual Recognition Class for the Sacramento Po-Po

This is a gun:


This is a cell phone:


This is a gun:


This is a cell phone:


By now, it should be clear to everyone that anything that a black man has in his hands will be thought to be a gun by the cops. A wallet, a cell phone, it doesn't matter.

Now if you carry a gun and you shot some guy who had a wallet in his hand, you'd go away for manslaughter. Because you don't have the training that the cops do. {/sarc}

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Trump Must Think His Supporters Are Rubes

For his CPAC speech was laced with lies and exaggerations and the audience just ate that shit up.

The alternative is that Trump really does believe the bilge he spews, in which case, he's likely suffering from some degree of drain bamage, bless his heart.

Your Sunday Morning Turboprop Noise

A BT-67:

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Caturday

Miss Priss, the outdoor/neighborhood cat.

Friday, March 1, 2019

How a CEO Can Ensure That A Shitload of People Won't Buy His Crappy Products

For the CEO of a company that sells consumer goods, taking a strong stand on a political candidate or issue is an unforced error.
MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell declared that God had chosen President Trump to run against Hillary Clinton at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday.

In a speech to the conservative activist conference posted to Twitter by Right Wing Watch, Lindell said Trump's victory in November 2016 was "a miracle" directly caused by divine intervention.
"Divine intervention"-- using Vladimir Putin as an agent of the Almighty?

So now "mypillow-daht-com" is going to go down as a place that has the badge denoting "exclusive supplier to American neo-nazis everywhere".

Or the CEO has resumed his former habitual use of Peruvian Marching Powder.

Because It's Friday

Steam in Eritrea:

B- 4 Weeks and Counting

The Brits seem to be no closer to agreeing amongst themselves whether or not to take the Brexit deal on the table.

There is also a discussion as to whether or not the EU will agree to extend the deadline by between two and 21 months. However, that'll require the unanimous consent of the EU. Spain, in particular, is playing hardball.

This could be very interesting for lovers of cliffedge diplomacy and trainwrecks.

And this:

Thursday, February 28, 2019

A Song to Inspire Every Woman in Trump's Life


Don, Junior and Whatzizname. All of them.

What to Wear if Trump Visits Your Town

A "Stronger Than Hate" t-shirt.

This is the graphic on the front:


This is what is on the back:


Personally, I'd get it slightly oversized in order to properly conceal your heater du jour, but that's just me.

Apropos of Nothing

From the movie "Postcards From the Edge".


I saw the movie in the theaters during its first release with a date. It probably says something about me that, nearly thirty years later, this is the only scene that I remembered.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

No Surprise That Wal-Mart Is a Heartless Bunch of Greedy Fucks

As Walmart moves to phase out its familiar blue-vested “greeters” at some 1,000 stores nationwide, disabled workers who fill many of those jobs say they’re being ill-treated by a chain that styles itself as community-minded and inclusive.

Walmart told greeters around the country last week that their positions would be eliminated on April 26 in favor of an expanded, more physically demanding “customer host” role. To qualify, they will need to be able to lift 25-pound (11-kilogram) packages, climb ladders and stand for long periods.
Ayup. "We know none of you guys can do any heavy lifting, so even though some of you guys have been working for us for twenty years, we're going to redefine your jobs and push you all out."

I wish I was surprised by the level of naked greed evinced by Walmart. But they are what they are-- the scum of the universe.

Update: Read the first comment. It is exactly on point.

Update II: Walmart says they'll try to find them other jobs. Right, as if anyone would trust the word of a Walmart executive.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

The Hypersensitive Whining of the World's Oldest Toddler

Somebody on Fox News had to have told Trump that Spike Lee made a "racist speech" about Trump at the Oscars, for this is what Cadet Bone Spurs tweeted about it:


This is what Spike Lee said:
All right. I wanna thank Tonya [Lewis Lee, his wife].

The word today is “irony.” The date, the 24th. The month, February, which also happens to be the shortest month of the year, which also happens to be Black History month. The year, 2019. The year, 1619. History. Her story. 1619. 2019. 400 years.

Four hundred years. Our ancestors were stolen from Mother Africa and bought to Jamestown, Virginia, enslaved. Our ancestors worked the land from can’t see in the morning to can’t see at night. My grandmother, [inaudible], who lived to be 100 years young, who was a Spelman College graduate even though her mother was a slave. My grandmother who saved 50 years of social security checks to put her first grandchild — she called me Spikie-poo — she put me through Morehouse College and N.Y.U. grad film. N.Y.U.!

Before the world tonight, I give praise to our ancestors who have built this country into what it is today along with the genocide of its native people. We all connect with our ancestors. We will have love and wisdom regained, we will regain our humanity. It will be a powerful moment. The 2020 presidential election is around the corner. Let’s all mobilize. Let’s all be on the right side of history. Make the moral choice between love versus hate. Let’s do the right thing! You know I had to get that in there.



No rational human adult would see that speech in the way that Trump does. But then again, Trump had to be prodded hard to condemn the Nazis of Charlottesville. The modern American Nazis are part of Trump's base. When he has to speak out against them, he does it as tepidly as possible.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Trump Apparently Thinks Americans Don't Celebrate the Fourth of July

President Donald Trump says he’ll host a July Fourth celebration at the Lincoln Memorial. And though the event he’s calling “A Salute to America” is months away, he’s boasting it’ll be one of the city’s biggest Independence Day gatherings--ever.
Right. Holding a Fourth of July celebration on July 4th-- that's some real outside-the-box thinking, there.

Every Fourth, there is a concert by the National Symphony Orchestra and one of the Army bands on the west lawn of the Capitol. It's televised, live, by PBS.

It's been going on for thirty years. I gather that nobody has bothered to inform Cadet Bone Spurs of this.

He really needs somebody on his staff who isn't a sycophantic twit.

Funny Aeronautical Intersection Names

These are just to the east of Camp David:

Your Sunday Morning Big Prop Instruction

How to fly a B-25:

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Caturday

More than one shelter cat.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Going to Try to Catch This One

The Highwaymen.

Frank Hamer sounds like he was an interesting lawman. Those old-time lawmen could shoot. Decades ago, I read the biography of Bill Tilghman that had been written by his second wife. My recollection is that when he was a kid, he about wore out a black-powder Colt revolver in learning how to shoot.

Because It's Friday

Big Boy 4014 update:


The original goal was to have her ready for the Golden Spike Sesquicentennial. Nobody seems to be talking about that, so I'm taking that to be highly unlikely.


Thursday, February 21, 2019

Not Just the RCC.

The Southern Baptists have a record going back decades of protecting its child predators. Victims have been shunned, shamed and pressured to forgive their attackers. Their abusers have been able to move from one position to another.

The Southern Baptist Convention has refused to keep track of the SB pastors, officials and volunteers who have been charged and/or convicted of abusing children. The press has tried to do that.

Now we see why they love Trump so much-- he is one of their own with regard to being a sexual predator. Although Trump, as far as we know, has largely been careful to not prey on children.

But really, what should one expect from a religious denomination whose very foundation was the preservation of slavery?

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Feds Arrest a Nazi Coastie

A Coast Guard lieutenant who was arrested last week is a “domestic terrorist” who drafted an email discussing biological attacks and had what appeared to be a hit list that included prominent Democrats and media figures, prosecutors said in court papers.

[Asswipe] is due to appear Thursday in federal court in Maryland after his arrest on gun and drug offenses, but prosecutors say those charges are the “proverbial tip of the iceberg.”
[Asswipe] was arrested by the FBI and the CGIS. If you read through the second article, you may notice that [Asswipe] was using his work computer for some of his Nazi-themed research into murderous activities. So you can probably make a reasonable assumption as to how the Federal cops got onto him.

What is getting interesting is that the authorities seem to be not at all shy about labeling this particular alt-rightist as a terrorist. Maybe it's a sign that they're starting to take this American Nazi shit a little more seriously.

She'll Get a Long Time to Meditate and Reflect

An Alabama woman who left home to join the Islamic State group after becoming radicalized online realized she was wrong and now wants to return to the United States, a lawyer for her family said Tuesday.

Hoda Muthana, 24, regrets ever aligning herself with the terrorist organization and is putting herself at risk by speaking out against it from a refugee camp where she has lived since fleeing the group a few weeks ago, said attorney Hassan Shibly.
...
After fleeing her home in suburban Birmingham in late 2014 and resurfacing in Syria, Muthana used social media to advocate violence against the United States.
Providing material support to a terrorist organization, and there is little doubt that propagandizing for them qualifies, is good for a couple of decades in a Federal prison.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Achtung, BoneSpurFuhrer Donnie

Not being loyal to you is not treason, despite what you may think. You are not the fucking king,

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Donnie the Wannabee Despot Is Unclear On the Concept of Freedom of Expression

Trump is crying because he hates, hates, being mocked.



Being in political life pretty much requires one to have a thick skin. Trump's skin is as thin as an onion's. That he wants to exercise some form of retribution for being mocked is frightening. For there is, no doubt, some low-wattage Trumpanzee who might do something stupid because he thinks Trump has ordered it.

And Yet No GOPers Are Screaming "Boondoggle"!

Ivanka Trump was an attendee at the Munich Security Conference. Because of her noted experience in such matters?

If a Democratic president had sent his/her daughter to such an event, the Right Wing Noise Machine would be up in arms to decry the trip as a boondoggle. But Trump does it and all you hear from the RWNM is the sound of crickets.

How Tariffs Work, or Proof That Trump is a Moron

This is an example:

I am in Country J, you are in country M. I make widgets, which I sell for a buck apiece, FOB the port of export. You want to buy a million widgets. Your company assesses a 25% tariff on widgets from Country J.

You buy a million widgets and pay me $1,000,000. I send a container of widgets to the port, where they are loaded onto a ship and sent to your port of import. At Customs, the tariff is assessed. So you have to pay $250,000 to Customs for them to release the widgets.

The gizmo that you make uses ten widgets apiece. Since the materials cost of ten widgets has gone up $2.50, you pass that cost to the wholesalers, who pass it along to the retailers, who then raise the price of the gizmo.

Who pays Customs the quarter-mil? Not me. Your import agent does, which means you do. Ultimately, the consumers in Country M, your end-use customers, pay it.

That's how tariffs work. So, with that basic lesson in mind, let's take a look at one of Trump's tweets:


Trump has no idea of how tariffs work, despite the dead-nuts certainty that members of his economic team have tried to explain it to him. He's got tariffs stuck in his mind and no explanation of the facts will dent his dementia-addled brain.

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

Death Valley may be the American Mach Loop.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Sen, Capito (R-WV) is Dumber Than the Average Rock

This what she said about El Caudillo de Mara Lago's declaration of a national emergency:
“He’s got to ask himself, ‘What are the ramifications of what I’m doing?’” she said.
Trump has never given a shit about the ramifications of whatever he's done at any time in his life. Cleaning up after Trump is the job of his lawyers or the stupid schmucks who are dumb enough to have either loaned him money or invested in his projects. For sure, Trump does not give a fuck about the Constitution. He's probably never read it, he has a different set of reading material.

Capito has to be delusional if she thinks that Trump gives a shit as to whether or not he makes it easier for a future president to ram his or her pet projects into fruition over the objections of Congress, let alone the American people.

Color Me Skeptical; High Seas Ed.

A company called Neoline in France plans to make a commercial cargo sailing ship.

Apparently, the company feels that the day will come when having a zero-net emission ship will be advantageous. I suspect that, to the shippers, it won't matter one bit. All they want is their cargo delivered, safely, on time, and at a competitive price.

(H/T)

Caturday

Two A shelter cats:

Friday, February 15, 2019

Traitor Trump's Power Grab, or, Now We See How Republicans Hate Freedom

Repubs must not allow Pres Obama to subvert the Constitution of the US for his own benefit & because he is unable to negotiate w/ Congress. – DJT tweet 11/20/2014

Make no mistake about it,: Trump's declaration of a national emergency is nothing of the sort. It is a power grab. It is a blatant attempt to nullify the right of the Congress to appropriate money for specific purposes. Trump lost a political battle and he is now going to wreck the entire idea of checks and balances, the bedrock of our freedoms, in order to get his fucking wall.

There would be nothing to stop a future president from saying "I'll take money from the Energy Department in order to establish a national handgun registry" and send out the AFT to scan every ATF Form 4473 into a database. Or shift money from the F-35 to battle climate change. Or fund Medicaid expansion, mass-transit systems, whatever a future president wants to do. All he or she would have to do is utter the magic phrase "I am declaring a national emergency" and presto! the Constitution evaporates.

If this stands, the budget bill, in the future, might as well be as short as "here's X.X x 10^12 dollars".

If you support Trump on this, you are neither a conservative nor a Republican. You are an authoritarian, someone who would have supported King George III during the Revolution. (Or you are a despicable politician who care for nothing but his own neck, like Mitch McConnell.)

In other words: A traitor. Just like King Donald the Nutter.

Because It's Friday

UP 844 puts together a freight consist and hauls it out of Denver:


With no "helper" diesel.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

A-380 Program Has Crashed

Airbus has cut the A-380. I doubt if anyone is surprised. The A-30 has pretty much devolved into an airliner that is mainly operated by one airline: Emirates.

47 orders have been canceled this year. Orders started drying up after 2013.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Beige Betty

You'll need to have seen this commercial:


For this to seem funny:


Then, there is this:


Whenever There is Evil, You Can Find a Hedge Fund at the Core of It

You know by now, of course, that The National Enquirer, which tried to extort/blackmail the richest guy in the Solar System, is owned by American Media Inc., who is under the gun for illegal campaign contributions to Trump.

What you don't likely know is that AMI is owned by Chatham Asset Management, which holds 80% of AMI's stock. AMI is also in some financial trouble, through the usual horseshit scheme of a venture capitalist firm both owning the stock and owning the corporate debt.

"Venture capitalist" is a modern term that really means "plunderer of businesses". Forty or so years ago, they funded start-ups and new ideas. Now, it seems, they specialize in taking over going concerns and running them into the ground by taking out lots of cash through "creative financing", selling off the assets and laying off tens of thousands of people.

A strong argument can be made that the business schools, AKA B-schools, exist to degrade the American economy. A president who was a graduate of Harvard's B-school took the government from being on track to greatly reduce Federal debt and, instead, ran up the deficits and left office with the economy on the verge of a depression. The current president, also a B-school grad, has worked hard to give money to the rich and run up the deficit even further.

I propose what I suggested over a decade ago:
Here is my idea: Let's send in demolition teams and blow up all of the business schools. Even better, let the Air Force practice their surgical bombing skills on them (what could go wrong), they can do it lots quicker. Those "B-school" geniuses just fuck things up; we have had a Harvard Business School graduate in the White House for the last eight years (minus 103 days) and hasn't that worked really well? Mister "HBS class ring" has fucked up everything he has touched.

Because I'm feeling kindly, we'll let the B-schools send their faculty home before bombing them into rubble. Though I'm kind of on the fence about that.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Probably "No Deal".

Congressional negotiators reached agreement to prevent a government shutdown and finance construction of new barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border, overcoming a late-stage hang-up over immigration enforcement issues that had threatened to scuttle the talks.

Republicans were desperate to avoid another bruising shutdown. They tentatively agreed Monday night to far less money for President Donald Trump’s border wall than the White House’s $5.7 billion wish list, settling for a figure of nearly $1.4 billion, according to congressional aides. The funding measure is through the fiscal year, which ends on Sept. 30.

It’s not clear whether Trump will support the deal, although GOP negotiators said they were hopeful.
The deal isn't significantly different from what was agreed to between Democrats and Republicans two months ago. But then, the unelected bloviators on Fox ranted against the deal and Donald the Insecure listened to them. A good part of the government was shut down for five weeks and Trump got nothing.

Trump seems to be incapable of learning anything. I would not be surprised if in the next couple of days, the tiny-brained talking heads on Fox say bad things about the deal, insult Trump's manhood and then there will be another pointless shutdown.

From here

So Trump will declare a national emergency, which will be immediately challenged in the courts. Chances are good that an injunction will issue, because it's obvious AF that the "emergency" is that Trump couldn't prevail politically. Sober Republicans (the few remaining) will be dismayed, for Trump will have opened the door for a Democratic president using a declaration of a national emergency to bypass Congress to accomplish his or her agenda.

And it will provide some more reasons for senatorial Republicans to vote to convict Agent Orange in the impeachment trial.

Monday, February 11, 2019

See What They See

I've had some friends who were color blind. One thing I wondered was "how's that work?"

Now, you can find out, as there is an app, Color Blind Pal, for Androids and iPhones. You can simulate any form of color blindness.

For the color blind, the app will say what color you point the the phone at. You can also use it to intensify/alter the colors of what's on the screen, so you can see what those who are not colorblind can see. It can really help.

The neat thing, for me, is that dogs and cats don't have cones to see red. In humans, that would be protanomaly, but for our critters, it's not an anomaly. So you can see what they see.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Gotta Love the NY Tabloids (Sometimes)


David Pecker is the chairman and CEO of the company that owns The National Enquirer, which may now be in rather hot water.

What Trump Probably Looks Like

Once the artifice is stripped away:

Caturday

An outdoor cat sits in her guard tower.


Her name is Priss, which is short for Miss Priss.

Friday, February 8, 2019

What We Should Really Do to Try to Fix the Navy

First thing would be to take the people who caused the situation of undermanning, overextension, undertraining and slashing repairs and do one simple thing: Shoot all of them.

Donald Rumsfeld, Vern Clark, Ash Carter, Ray Mabus, Jonathan Greenert, and most of the congressional Tea Party, for starters.

Read this and you'll understand why. The blood of the dead sailors from the USS Fitzgerald and the USS John S. McCain are on their hands.

This is a photo that was sent out by a Navy PAO:


That, according to Cdr. Sal, is the USS Wasp. There was a day when no sane First Lieutenant, let along ships' captain, would have tolerated so much running rust.

Contrast, if you will, this photo:


That photo was of a Cold War USN warship's boat's davit which had a bad limit switch. The davit's winches raised the davit's arms past the shut-off point and bent the arms. Shit happens. But the one thing you don't see in that photo is running rust.

I heard a lot of stories about how bad it was post-Vietnam, when ships had to be creative in order to obtain parts and supplies. From what I can see, things are far worse, now.

Nobody in the Navy these days has the balls to look their bosses in the eye and say: "With all due respect, unable to comply."

I knew of one ship's captain, one time, who refused to sail because his ship did not have enough boiler technicians to man the plant, let alone enough who were watch-qualified. He was the hero of the waterfront. But I'll bet that he tubed his career and he knew it at the time. Yet he likely chose to do it that way, then end up on the bad side of the green table following a major accident or fire. That took courage, integrity, balls, whatever you want to call it.

Qualities that were scarce then, and scarcer now.

Pass the Popcorn; Tabloid Ed.

The National Enquirer’s alleged attempt to blackmail Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos with intimate photos could get the tabloid’s parent company and top editors in deep legal trouble and reopen them to prosecution for paying hush money to a Playboy model who claimed she had an affair with Donald Trump.

Federal prosecutors are looking at whether the Enquirer’s feud with Bezos violated a cooperation and non-prosecution agreement that recently spared the gossip sheet from charges in the hush-money case, two people familiar with the matter told The Associated Press on Friday.

The clash between the world’s richest man and America’s most aggressive supermarket tabloid spilled into public view late Thursday when Bezos accused it of threatening to print photos of him and the woman with whom he was having an extramarital affair.

He said the Enquirer made two demands: Stop investigating how the publication recently obtained private messages that Bezos and his girlfriend had exchanged. And publicly declare that the Enquirer’s coverage of Bezos was not politically motivated.
According to the National Enquirer, what a rational person would call blackmail is, to them, "good faith negotiations".

I find it hard to conceive of how threatening to publish salacious photos of someone if they don't agree to do something is anything other than blackmail. But, no doubt, the Enquirer's lawyers will argue that.

UPDATED TO ADD:


Don't Hold Yer Breath

White House Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney is hosting a group of bipartisan lawmakers at Camp David this weekend.

I think it's a fool's errand. As the recent past has shown, there is nobody in the Administration who has the power to negotiate things other than Trump. Mulvaney can reach a deal on anything and Trump can blow up hundreds of hours of negotiations with a single tweet. Or maybe a deal will be announced, but then Trump will watch the unelectable bloviators on Fox and blow things up because they said disapproving things.

But this is what happens when the president is an insecure, mercurial and narcissistic sociopath.

Because It's Friday

Pere Marquette 1225:

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Pass the Popcorn; Virginia Ed.

This is getting good:
Virginia Republicans claimed the moral high ground this week as a blackface scandal left the state's Democratic leadership on the brink of implosion.

But now a racist yearbook has come back to haunt a top Republican.

It has emerged that Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment edited a 1968 college publication chock-full of slurs and blackface photos.
Stay tuned!

This Problem Can Be Fixed With a Bullet

A 27-year-old Indian man plans to sue his parents for giving birth to him without his consent.

Mumbai businessman Raphael Samuel told the BBC that it's wrong to bring children into the world because they then have to put up with lifelong suffering.

Mr Samuel, of course, understands that our consent can't be sought before we are born, but insists that "it was not our decision to be born".

So as we didn't ask to be born, we should be paid for the rest of our lives to live, he argues.
It would seem reasonable that if somebody is complaining that he should not have been born, the equitable solution would be to off one's self. . If one is not willing to do that, then one has, in essence, ratified and accepted being born.

If this clown wants damages for the rest of his life, then the court should require that he mitigate his damages and give him a goodly length of rope and directions to the nearest stout tree.

This case should be filed under Assholes, Greedy; people can be such

Fine Cop Whines

Google’s navigation app Waze is known for providing real-time, user-submitted reports that advise drivers about potential thorns in their roadsides.

But one feature has Waze in conflict with law enforcement officials across the country: how the app marks the location of police officers on the roads ahead or stationed at drunken-driving checkpoints.

Over the weekend, the New York Police Department, the largest force in the nation, joined the fray, sending a letter to Google demanding that the tech giant pull that feature from Waze.
Google should tell the NYPD to fuck off. DUI checkpoints are required to be publicized, which the cops try to evade by publishing the notice in the smallest possible newspaper. Since the time and location of the checkpoint is, by law, public information, there is no legitimate reason to carp about public information being publicized.

Beyond that, speed traps are often more about raising revenue than road safety. The towns that say that it's all about road safety, funnily enough, stop running their speed traps once the state government limits how much revenue towns can get from the fines. In some cases, they go out of business.

Using the cops to raise revenue is inherently evil. It promotes disrespect for the law. It would be better if the fines are donated to UNICEF.

Brexit: This Wasn't Hard to Foresee

After two apparently unproductive days in Northern Ireland, Prime Minister Theresa May was headed to Brussels for further talks on Thursday, hoping to put her Brexit plans back on course. Any hopes that she would receive a warm welcome, however, were dashed before she could board the plane.
...
Mrs. May is scheduled to meet senior figures, including [EU Concil President] Tusk, to seek a way to help rescue a blueprint for Brexit that was rejected overwhelmingly by a disgruntled British Parliament last month. If she is to have any hope of getting her deal passed, she will need the bloc’s leaders to give her some concessions over a backstop plan to prevent physical checks on the Irish border.
I thought, two years ago, that the EU would not be interested at all in playing nice with the UK in the Brexit negotiations.

It seems to me that the Brits are playing chicken with the EU over Brexit. The Brexiteers in the UK think that the EU will blink at the consequences of a no-deal Brexit, also known as a crash-out and the EU will agree to reopen negotiations to come to a deal that the Brexiteers in Parliament will support. Also, as I understand things, any revised deal will require the unanimous approval of the EU member states. Spain, in particular, is not inclined to play nice. May's going back to the EU to negotiate a better deal with fifty days left on a two-year clock.

I think that's like getting into a Smart EQ and playing chicken with a Chevy Silverado pickup truck. The EU has no interest in giving nice deals to any country that wants out. There will be pain in the EU over a UK crash-out, but the EU apparently is willing to take the hit pour décourager les autres.