Words of Advice:

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

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

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

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

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

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Delusional Donnie

House Democrats refused to participate in a Tuesday afternoon meeting with President* Donald Trump, dashing the White House’s long-shot hopes of convincing moderates to circumvent their leaders and reach a grand bargain to reopen the government.
The House Democrats know what Trump refuses to admit: That they are now the majority party in the House because Trump did his best to make the mid-term election about him and he lost, bigly. So what incentive do they have to go around their leaders to talk to Trump?

Maybe he planned to serve them room-temperature/rotting hamberders?



On another note, the White House Mess (where the staff eats) is run by the Navy. They're not on shutdown. So Trump could have given the Clemson players some decent food. But if there has been a president wh has had less class and grace than Trump, his name eludes my mind.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Powerless King

Republican Rep. Steve King will be blocked from committee assignments for the next two years after lamenting that white supremacy and white nationalism have become offensive terms.
King is done in the House. With no committee assignments and being a member of the minority party, nobody in the House will give a cockroach-fuck what King wants. In all probability, any attempts that he makes to intervene on behalf of his constituents will be ignored.

He has, effectively, been removed from the House of Representatives. If he cared about his constituents, he'd resign.

Trump, uncharacteristically, has been keeping his mouth shut. He says that he knows nothing about it. That, of course, is a lie. Trump watches about eight hours of TV a day. He knows what are the hot stories. He’s probably the sole news junkie in the country who doesn't know what King said.

Trump's silence stems not from ignorance, but from his racism. He's been dancing with the American Nazis ever since he grabbed the reins of the "birther movement". Unlike some other Republicans, Trump uses an air horn, not a dog whistle.

Ten and One Hundred Years Ago

100 years ago, the Great Molasses Flood happened in Boston. The dead ranged from two ten year-old childen to a 78 year-old messenger.

Ten years ago, the "Miracle on the Hudson" happened when the pilots of USAir flight 1549 ditched the airplane in the Hudson River after both engines were shelled from ingesting geese. There were no fatalities, other than the geese.

I suspect that the pilot, Chesley Sullenberger, has probably been somewhat uncomfortable with the "hero pilot" appellation. For one thing, the days of "the captain is a god" have long passed for all American (and most Western) airlines. The pilots are a team. Jeffrey Skiles, the First Officer, deserves as much credit as Sullenberger. So do the flight attendants, who got everyone out alive. In fact, the person who suffered the worst injury was a flight attendant. (Sullenberger recognizes this and mentions them almost every time he can.)

The fact that nobody died also has a lot to do with the captains of the ferries and other boats that went to the floating airplane and got everyone off the airplanes wings and the rafts. It was a cold day; without those rescues, people would have died of hypothermia.

There were a lot of people who responded to save lives that day.

Monday, January 14, 2019

The Closs Case

All I have to say about the Closs case is that it's too bad that Wisconsin does not have the death penalty.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Deadlock

Trump has been, in essence, claiming that he has a mandate to build his Great Wall of Trump because he won the 2016 election.

The Democrats are claiming, in essence, that they have a mandate to block Trump's edifice complex because they took the House of Representatives in the 2018 election.

Both sides have valid points.

So, where do we go from here? Trump is going to have to back off his inflexible demand for $5.7 billion. The Democrats are going to have to give him something, but since Trump has spurned smaller offers without climbing down from his initial demand, there's little reason for Democrats to budge.

Meanwhile, Mitch McConnell has pulled his head into his shell.

And so it goes.

Yep, You Can Place a Heavy Bet: Trump Worked for Russia

President* Donald Trump avoided directly answering when asked whether he currently is or has ever worked for Russia after a published report said law enforcement officials, concerned about his behavior after he fired FBI Director James Comey in 2017, had begun investigating that possibility.

Trump said it was the “most insulting” question he’d ever been asked.
"How dare you ask me that question, I've never been so insulted in my life" is textbook evasion. It almost always seems that when someone goes down that route, the answer to the question, eventually, is "yes."

Your Sunday Morning Rotor Noise

Sikorsky S-64 Skycrane water bombers:

Friday, January 11, 2019

"Border-Lying Personality Disorder"

Colbert's opening credits last night.

Heh. Heh. Heh.

Because It's Friday

"Tracks to the Trenches:"


Many of the trench railways used the Decauville system of prefabricated tracks in 600mm gauge. Gas-powered locomotives were preferred, as steam locomotives caught the eye of the observers in the Boche observation balloons; attention that was soon followed by artilery fire.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Is Your Area Recovering From a Natural Disaster? Trump Says: "Fuck You."

President* Donald Trump has been briefed on a plan that would use the Army Corps of Engineers and a portion of $13.9 billion of Army Corps funding to build 315 miles of barrier along the U.S.-Mexico border, according to three U.S. officials familiar with the briefing.

The money was set aside to fund projects all over the country including storm-damaged areas of Puerto Rico through fiscal year 2020, but the checks have not been written yet and, under an emergency declaration, the president could take the money from these civil works projects and use it to build the border wall, said officials familiar with the briefing and two congressional sources.
So Trump is going to take money that has been allocated to deal with real crises so that he can deal with his fantasy crisis.

For the sake of argument, say I'm president in 2025. I declare a national health care emergency, cancel the rest of the F-35 program and reallocate the money for Medicare for all. What's to stop me? Trump would have already set the precedent that all a president has to do is declare a national emergency and he can assume near-dictatorial spending powers.

The Republicans in the Senate, presumably, are aware of this. Trump, by discussing using dictatorial powers, is slowly poisoning the jury for his impeachment trial. There may still be enough GOP senators who are more loyal to their country, to the Constitution, then they are to Trump, for a conviction. These sort of shenanigans are making that more possible.

I say this: If you are for what Trump plans to do, then you should relocate to a place where such things are the norm. Like Russia or North Korea.

By the way, consider this: It is not inconceivable that the officers who would carry out such an order may be prosecuted for obeying an illegal order. "We were just following orders" has not been a valid defense since 1945.

"They Shall Not Grow Old"

They Shall Not Grow Old is a documentary about World War One by Peter Jackson It the States, it has had a theater showing on December 17th and 27th.

It will be shown again on January 21st.

I plan to see it.


Mademoiselle from Armentieres, parlez-vous?
Mademoiselle from Armentieres, parlez-vous?
Just blow your nose, and dry your tears,
We'll all be back in a few short years,
Hinky, dinky, parlez-vous.
They were more correct than they knew.

ABC-TV: Stuck in the '90s.

So far, ABC has "news specials" on the Bobbits (happened in 1993), the death of JFK, Jr. (1999) and Linda Tripp's betrayal of Monica Lewinsky (1996).

What the fuck, ABC? Why are you guys poaching on the History Channel's turf? What's next: Two hours on the last days of Judge Crater?

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Shorter Trump: "zOMG!!1! Illegal Aliens Are Coming to Kill Us in Our Bedz!!1!"
And More

As I guessed, Trump's speech was pretty much fact-free. Border crossings are at a nearly historic low.


Contrary to Trump's lies, most drugs are smuggled through (or bribed through) ports of entry, not hauled on foot over the border. Fentanyl is shipped in from China. Illegal immigrants commit fewer crimes on a per capita basis than American citizens (and most of those crimes are nonviolent offenses).

So, pretty much any way you slice it, Trump sent his time lying and blowing his racist steam-whistle.

On another note: Postal rates are going up on the 27th. Firs-class stamps are going up five cents (10%). But if you routinely send out stuff over an ounce, the additional postage is dropping from 2.1¢ to 15¢

Monday, January 7, 2019

Trump's TV Address Tomorrow Night

All major networks on Monday confirmed that they will air President Trump's Oval Office address on the government shutdown live, after some initial uncertainty over how the organizations would handle the speech.
I don't know what to make of it. It could range from "I resign, effective noon tomorrow" to "I am declaring martial law, suspending the Constitution and dissolving the Congress."

What I am more sure of is that, as of Wednesday morning, censure and lawsuits, if not impeachment, will be under way. What I am certain of is that damn near every word that is spoken by Trump in his speech will be a lie, including the articles, the conjunctions, and the punctuation that appears in the transcripts.

But whichever happens, count on me not to watch. I don't need to be reminded that the voters of this nation elected that ignorant and amoral buffoon.

Syria: Trump Bangs a Uey

U.S. troops will not leave northeastern Syria until Islamic State militants are defeated and American-allied Kurdish fighters are protected, a top White House aide said Sunday, signaling a pause to a withdrawal abruptly announced last month and initially expected to be completed within weeks.

While U.S. national security adviser John Bolton said there is now no timetable, President Donald Trump reaffirmed his commitment to withdrawing U.S. troops, though the president said “we won’t be finally pulled out until ISIS is gone.”
That is a full reversal from Trump's declaration of twelve days ago that ISIS was defeated and that all American troops in Syria are coming home "now", a proclamation that Trump made after talking to his fellow autocrat, Turkish president Erdogan.

Of course, Trump's never going to admit that he reversed himself. But he sure as shit did.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

If Trump Does This; Then It's Time to Impeach Him

But when asked whether he had considered using emergency presidential powers to bypass congressional approval of funding, Mr Trump said he had.

"I may do it. We can call a national emergency and build it very quickly. That's another way of doing it."
The Congress appropriates money and decides on what to spend it. The President doesn't have that authority under the Constitution. When there has been a true national emergency, the Congress can move very quickly.

If Trump declares a "national emergency" to get around a political dispute, then that would be the action of an autocrat. If the Right supports Trump for doing that, then we all will know that the Right's devotion to the Constitution depends on who is the president at the time (just like their devotion to reducing Federal deficits).

If Trump does try to invoke a national emergency because he can't get his way, he should be impeached, convicted and removed from office forthwith. Everyone who would then oppose an impeachment/conviction would show that they are loyal to Trump and not to the nation.

Man Who Has Never Earned a Paycheck Thinks They're Not Important

When he was asked about the government workers who don’t know when their next paycheck will arrive, he had no difficulty imagining that they loved him and what he was doing. “This really does have a higher purpose than next week’s pay,” Trump said. Putting himself in their shoes for a moment, he said, “I think they’d say, ‘Mr. President, keep going. This is far more important.’ ”
While some landlords and banks may be willing to cut government workers some slack for now, that won't last. They're not going to be able to take IOUs to the grocery store or the gas station.

Trump has never worked for anyone else in his life. He has no idea what it is like to be a paycheck or three from being broke.

More than that, Trump regards anyone who does work for a paycheck as a disposable, interchangable chump. He triples that disregard for government workers. Sooner or later, you're going to see the workers on furlough getting other jobs and those who are working without pay instituting wildcat slowdowns and sickouts.

So this may be a good time to revise your travel plans to either not go or drive.

Bye, Herb

Herb Kelleher has died. He was 87.

You can read the obits at the links to get a lot of details about his life. If you fly any, you'll know the differences between Southwest and its competitors (especially that they don't charge for checking two bags).

I have been on a few of their competitors. Some of their employees have all of the cheerfulness and politeness of convicts out on work-release. In contrast, on my many trips on SWA, I have only come across one employee (a gate agent at BWI) who seemed to be having a bad day. I now only fly their competition for transcontinental flights and for flight to places where either SWA doesn't go or they don't go there when I need to fly.

All of that can be traced back to Herb Kelleher. I hope they don't lose hi spirit.

Caturday

Bella


It's always fun to try and get a decent photo of a black cat.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Because It's Friday

Making Steam the Royal Navy way:

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Oh, the Humanity; Doughnut Ed.

A Krispy Kreme truck caught fire, so the krispy kremes became krispy kritters:


The cops, of course, were goofing around. Going along with the gag, Krispy Kreme gave the cops 20 dozen free doughnuts.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

1932: Massacre of Cops

87 years ago, the Young brothers, in Brookline, MO, killed six cops who had come to arrest them. The brothers fled to Texas and died in a shootout with cops there.

A "docudrama" was released in 2018, but from the ratings, it apparently sucks.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Tarawa

"With the Marines at Tarawa", which won an Oscar in 1945:


Tarawa was one of the most brutal battles fought by Americans in the war, given that the battle was fought over a small, heavily fortified island (under 400 acres) in three days.

It might have been a loss if the Japanese commander, Rear Admiral Shibazaki, hadn't been killed by shellfire in the opening hours of the battle. Between the death of Shibazaki and the disruption of Japanese internal communications by the pre-invasion bombardment, the Japanese did not mount a night counterattack on the first day, when the Marines still had smallish beachheads.

PETCO: Your CEO Can Go and Eat a Bag of Dicks

I went to a local Petco to buy a bag of cat food. There was a guy at the register who was buyng a big bag of Purina-something dog food. The clerk informed the customer that, come May, Petco won't be carrying Purina dog food because the food has too many artificial ingredients to suit the CEO's sensibilities (my take on it).

Slick move, guys. You know who carries Purina? Most other pet stores and, of course Wal-Mart. There is a super-Wally-Woild about three miles from that one Petco. Target's just up the street.

News flash, Mister CEO: Not everyone can afford pricey all-natural holistic food for their critters. So your plan is to encourage your customers who buy cheaper grades of pet food to go shop elsewhere; people coming in to buy a $15 or so bag of dry dog food are not going to buy a $35 dollar bag of yuppie-grade dog food.

But hey, if you want to send some of your customers elsewhere because your sensibilities are offended, knock yerself out.