Words of Advice:

"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

Sunday, September 29, 2019

L'Shana Tova

May you be written and sealed for a good year.

Happy 5780!

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

Lear 55:


I'm following the numerical order even though they wen't so produced.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Caturday

A shelter cat plays with light and shadows.

Friday, September 27, 2019

Media Angles for Another Massacre

A document prepared at a U.S. Army base in Oklahoma says officials have been alerted to "disturbing" online chatter about a potential mass shooting threat at a theater during next week's release of the movie "Joker," but it references no specific location.
And this:
The Los Angeles Police Department has announced that officers will have “high visibility” at theaters during premiere screenings of “Joker.”
I've seen several TV news stories about this. It's almost as though they're trying to encourage some soft-minded lunatic to go shoot up a movie theater.

We Never Will Learn

Don Winslow on the War on Drugs:
It’s not only that we can’t win this war, it’s that we’re destroying ourselves fighting it. We are literally addicted to the War on Drugs. A half-century of failed policy, one trillion dollars and forty-five million arrests has not reduced daily drug use—at all. The U.S. still leads the world in illegal drug consumption, drugs are cheaper, more available, and more potent than ever before.
How many Americans have died in this stupid war on drugs? How many Mexicans, Guatemalans, El Saladorans, Columbians and the rest? Since Nixon declared this war (as a way to have his vengeance on hippies and Blacks), millions have died, untold numbers of pyschopaths have gotten rich, we've become the most incarcerated nation in the world, the Fourth Amendment in particular has been eviscerated and for what?

The drug cartels make money. The private prison industry makes money. The cops get theirs.

The rest of us get hosed. We pay taxes to support this failed war. We suffer the crime it breeds.

I'll say this for the New World (1871-1889) and Hard Times (1890-1908) Generations: They were a hell of a lot smarter than the Greatest, Baby Boomers and X Generations. The figured out in pretty short order that their own War on Ethanol, aka Prohibition, was a failure. They figured out that it was making American consumers complicit in criminal activity and it was fueling criminal organizations, official corruption, and crime in the street. They broke the code that without Prohibition, there would have been no St. Valentine's Day Massacre.

We of the generations that have been in charge for the last fifty years, we're just not that smart.

We can break the backs of the cartels and the gangs in a year or so by one simple step: Legalize (and tax) everything. Oh, we can still keep it forbidden to drive trucks or fly planes or do other things while under the influence of drugs. But for those who want to dabble with drugs or waste their lives using them; they're adults and it's their choice to make.

In the meantime, we can tax the stuff. We can ensure some standard of purity, that heroin, for instance, is not cut with baby formula or fentanyl.

We can realize that it is far cheaper to educate than to incarcerate. We can rip down a lot of the prisons. And we can retrain the DEA to do HVAC work, pumbing or welding.

The Corruption Issue

One of the things that has been warned about for the entirety of the Trump presidency was that people were going to Trump properties to curry favor with Trump. President Zelenskyy laid that bare in his call with Trump:
President Zelenskyy: ... Actually last time I traveled to the United States, I stayed in New York near Central Park and I stayed at the Trump Tower.
To the Defenders of All Things Trump, there is nothing wrong with that. But imagine, if you will, that Barack Obama owned a share of a Hilton hotel franchise. If foreign leaders had stayed in that hotel, the Republicans would have gone batshit. Devin Nunez, who would begin an investigation if a stapler had gone missing from Obama's West Wing offices, would have tied himself in knots investigating that hotel.

Oh, Republicans would deny that, now. But it is true. What is also true is that Republicans never investigated President Obama's personal finances because even they knew there was nothing to find. Obama released his tax returns, unlike, say, our current Grifter-in-Chief.

But let's be clear: Republican presidential candidates using their campaign staff to "work with" foreign governments to do things that sometimes have crossed the line into outright treason is nothing new. Nixon sabotaged the 1968 Paris Peace Talks, for which he should have been put on trial and shot. Similarly, Ronald Reagan sabotaged the negotiations with Iran in 1980, which may be why he was so willing to later enter into the "arms for hostages" deal with Iran, when it turned out later that the Reagan administration began shipping weapons to Iran in 1981.

So by Republican standards of "When Our Guy Does It, It's No Big Deal", Trump's shakedown of Ukraine and his taking of disguised bribes is, in comparison, small potatoes.

That's why Trump is astonished that he's being impeached for it.

Because It's Friday

Post-run engine maintenance. It'll give you an idea why diesels were so attractive to railroads.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Don't Believe Trump's Transcript on His Ukraine Call

A president who will take a sharpie to a forecast map...


...will have no qualms at having a transcript altered.

Trump has diligently worked to ensure that the top-level people in the intel community are his toadies. If Trump says that the greatest threat to America is the threat from Venusian legions, those lackeys would back him up.

Monday, September 23, 2019

NY Times Moves the Goalposts to Propagandize About Guns

Yesterday, the NY Times published an article about "a summer of mass shootings". In short, they tried to do what Life Magazine did to the Vietnam War.

Here's the thing: For awhile, the definition of "mass shooting" has been four dead victims, not counting the shooter(s). But, for the purposes of making their point, the Times redefined that to three dead victims.

So what we have, therefore is the old "how to tell damned lies with statistics."

My biggest gripe about the Times and the rest is that they tend to comport themselves as though the Bill of Rights only has one Amendment. You don't see them getting too outraged about all of the "sneak and peek" being done by the FBI and other agencies under the ill-named Patriot Act. There's no editorial campaign about the cops using civil forfeiture laws to seize the property of law-abiding Americans.

They're pretty much catapulting the propaganda.

If Republicans Were Smart, They'd Help Impeach Trump

Before you spew at the screen and begin typing furiously, bear with me.

As you recall, Trump make the midterm elections about him. His pitch, everywhere he went, was "elect Republicans to support me,"

Well, we saw how that worked out. The GOP got shelled. More and more now-serving Republicans are heading for the exits, convinced that the 2020 election won't be any different.

As it stands now, the election is going to be a contest with one overriding question: Do you want Trump in for another four years? Regardless how much the Democrats may beat up each other in the primaries, the signs are that the losers will suck it up and campaign vociferously for the nominee. Independents largely seem to despise Trump. Women don't like him. For minorities, the polls are trending to the point that the margin of error about who doesn't like Trump will encompass the unborn and the dead.

In sort, all of the other issues, such as climate change or health insurance or immigration or anything else will be shuffled off to the side. Not a lot of people will care about them.

The only way that the GOP can get the issues of the day in the minds of the voters will be to push out Trump. Pence may be a tool, and maybe someone else will be run, but they'll at least get to fight about other issues. For much as the Democrats then may want yo yell about Trump and what he did, the GOP can say "in the final analysis, we helped get rid of him, so let's move on."

Trump has given the GOP a way to do that. As I understand it, once the IG for the intelligence community deems a whistleblower complaint to be of urgent and credible, the Director of National Intelligence has seven days in which to forward the complaint to Congress. That was not done. That's a violation of the law and now that the issue is of public record, Trump, by not ordering his DNI to comply with the law, is complicit in violating the law.

That's enough to impeach him.

The GOP should seize on the opportunity presented to them, now. But getting Trump out, they'll have a year to put this shit behind them.

In 1974, the GOP waited until three months before the midterm elections to get rid of Nixon. They got shelled, losing four Senate seats, 49 House seats and four governorships. If the GOP gets behind pushing Trump out, now, they may avoid a similar result. Even if Trump loses next year, the Democrats will be able to hang Trump around the necks of the GOP for quite a while.

But the GOP can save itself by getting Trump out, now.

(I'm not taking any bets on this, for they don't have the stones.)

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Your Sunday Morning Prop Noise

Spitfires!



My favorite Spitfire clip:

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Battle of Arnhem, +75

There was parachute drop to commemorate it.

Not much coverage of this in the American press, it seems. It was both a largely British show and it was a defeat.

If You Don't Have a .17HMR, You Can Skip This Post

Winchester is recalling some ammunition for it.

Caturday

Not a great photo of Priss.


As of this morning, Priss hasn't been seen in two days. We're a little bit concerned.

Friday, September 20, 2019

The Upcoming War With Iran, or
Smoking in the Powder Magazine

There have been times in history where nations, through alliances or boasting, have positioned themselves for war and all it took, or would have taken, is one foolish act to trigger a war.

One of those, which is known to almost everyone with a pulse, was the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand and his wife, Sophie, the dutchess of Hohenberg, by Gavrilo Princip. The Great War followed with the inevitability of pulling a key piece from a jenga tower.

Another, less familiar, was when Soviet Submarine B-59, which was being depth-charged by the U.S. Navy, didn't launch a nuclear torpedo, because the XO of the sub, Vasily Alexandrovich Arkhipov, would not agree to the launch. If Arkhipov had agreed to launching a nuclear torpedo, a "nuclear exchange" between the United States and the Soviet Union would have resulted in World War Three.

Of course, decisions had to be made to bring forces into alignment to where a single spark would have set things off. For the First World War,[1] it was the interlocking of most of the European powers into two opposing alliances.[2]. For the Cuban Missile Crisis, it was the siting in Turkey of nuclear-tipped Jupiter missiles.[3]

If we end up in a war with Iran, historians will likely determine the triggering event to be Trump's scrapping of the nuclear deal with Iran. Was the deal perfect? No. But walking away and then trying to strong-arm the Iranians into submission was and remains folly. It was eminently foreseeable that the Iranians were not going to buckle under the weight of sanctions. It took not a lot of wisdom to foresee that Iran would look for ways to push back.

Trump's not going to admit the sanctions were a stupid idea, for that would make him look weak.[4] The Iranians are not going to kowtow to Trump, because that'll make them look weak.

So unless someone else comes up with an idea to let the Iranians and Trump out of the corners into which they've been painted, there will be a war.

For which historians will blame Trump.

Edited to add: This, too.
______________________________________________
[1] Or "the Great War, Phase I.
[2] I'm not going to get into the history of that conflict.
[3] Or this one.
[4] Or weaker than he already does.


Because It's Friday

Argentine steam.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Don't Believe the Hype on Colt

Oh, you;'re going to read lots of shit from the hoplophobic press about Colt's decision to suspend selling AR-15s into the civilian market as some sort of victory for gun banners, but that's just malarky.

First off, there are about as many different makers of AR-15s are there are makers of M1911s. Almost anyone can make one. Eugene Stoner designed the gun to be simple to manufacture, to the point that you could conceivably make the receiver out of a decent hardwood.

Second, industry rumors are that Colt has foreign military contracts (through the DoD's FMS office) for somewhere between 50,000 and 70,000 M-4 carbines, which should keep Colt busy for the next five years.

So they don't really need to sell into a civilian market that is awash with makers of Armalite-type rifles.[1]
______________________________________________
[1] "AR" = "Armalite", not "assault rifle".

What the Hell Has Trump Done Now?

This is troubling. Someone in the intelligence community has made a whistleblower complaint:
The whistleblower complaint that has triggered a tense showdown between the U.S. intelligence community and Congress involves President Trump’s communications with a foreign leader, according to two former U.S. officials familiar with the matter.

Trump’s interaction with the foreign leader included a “promise” that was regarded as so troubling that it prompted an official in the U.S. intelligence community to file a formal whistleblower complaint with the inspector general for the intelligence community, said the former officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.
Such complaints are supposed to be disclosed within seven days to the leaders of the congressional intelligence committees, but the Trump administration is stonewalling, again. Probably because their number one duty is to Trump, not the rule of law.

Trump might as well have everyone swear an oath of fealty to His Awfulness.

This is a developing story, so:
  1. Stay tuned for future developments; and
  2. Cue the outrage of the Trumpanzees in 3....2....1....

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Storming Area-51

In two days? Not a good idea.

Warning if Your Company Uses a Third-Party Payroll Processing Company

Basically, they shouldn't be doing that shit.
MyPayrollHR, a now defunct cloud-based payroll processing firm based in upstate New York, abruptly ceased operations this past week after stiffing employees at thousands of companies. The ongoing debacle, which allegedly involves malfeasance on the part of the payroll company’s CEO, resulted in countless people having money drained from their bank accounts and has left nearly $35 million worth of payroll and tax payments in legal limbo.
The goniffs not only stole the incoming payrolls, they stole stole the pay that had already been distributed to employees. They stole money that was set aside for tax payments.

The payroll company was a subsidiary of ValueWise Corp., which also vanished like a thief in the night. They were controlled by some clown named Michael T. Mann, who is also in the wind. The Feds raided his home, but he's in the wind.

If you manage a company and this happened to you and your employees, the FBI wants to talk to you.


I've not found a photo of this guy, but it's probably a safe bet that the FBI's got one.

This goes to show the risks of both direct deposit and using third parties for payroll processing. The safest thing to do would be to take the company's check, cash it, and then put the cash into your bank account, which is at a different bank. Of course, there's the risk of being robbed on the way to make the deposit, but them's the breaks.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Trump Is Waiting for the Saudis to Tell Him What to Do


Trump wasn't so sold on the Saudis earlier:


Beyond the sheer horror of an American president putting the decision as to whether or not we go to war in the hand of a government that is not really friendly to us, ask yourself this: How much shit did they buy from Trump (condos, his yacht) to get him to roll over like a beaten puppy that Cadet Bone Spurs will go to war if Jared's BFF wants it?

I know of no treaty with the Saudis that commits the United States to go to war on their behalf. You may recall that Robert Gates, who was SecDef under both Bush-II and Obama, once said that the Saudis are willing to fight Iran to the last American. But here is Trump, once again, playing butt-monkey to an autocratic/theocratic regime.

He's going to wait for the Saudis to tell him what to do?



Does Saudi money buy our fealty? If they need to hire a mercenary force, why aren't they talking to Betsy DeVos's baby brother? So, for Saudi gold, Trump is going to hire out the U.S. military.

Congrats, all you future Gold Star mothers and father! Your kids died to keep Price Bone Saw safe.

We can't wait another sixteen months. Impeach this fucker!

Monday, September 16, 2019

Moscow Mitch Does Not Approve


Assholes With Guns

This guy at a recent farm market in Alexandria, VA:


Jeans shorts, head down, yakking on a cell phone, AR with a cheap-jack scope, a bipod, and a front sight that blocks out the scope. A true fucking nimrod. Nobody who is on the fence about gun rights will jump to favoring gun rights when seeing clowns like this. They'll go the other way.

Fucktards like this guy and his girlfriend are helping to make the case for restrictions.

The Alexandria Farmer's Market takes on city property, so Virginia's open-carry laws control.

My bet is that they will hold the market in the future on private property, so they can ban these rifle-toting attention whores.

Good going, morons.

Trust This Guy About Iran?

Remember, as Trump's administration tries to make a case for going to war with Iran, that this is the same guy who spent days and days covering up and lying about a hurricane forecast.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Got Evidence, Mikey?

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has blamed Iran for the attack Saturday on key Saudi oil infrastructure. On Sunday, senior U.S. officials again said the American government believes there is no doubt Iran was responsible, saying satellite imagery and other intelligence, show the strike was inconsistent with one launched from Yemen, where Iranian-backed Houthi rebels had claimed responsibility.
"We knowed they done it" is not proof.

We've been down this road before, with Bush43's administration hyping up bullshit and speculation in order to justify the war of aggression that both Bush and Cheney wanted to launch.

The difference here, though, is that Trump's not inclined to satisfy the warmongering wet dreams of Pompeo and his ilk.

Duluth Cops Are Not the Sharpest Tacks in the Box

Police do not believe the burning of a nearly 120-year-old synagogue in Duluth, Minnesota, was a hate crime.

Investigators have no indication that the suspect arrested, [Some Asshole], was motivated by hate or bias, Duluth Police Chief Mike Tusken said in a Sunday news conference.
I am of the position that the default position for burning down a synagogue, let alone any other house of worship, is a hate crime unless there is strong evidence to the contrary.

Sharpiegate Snark


After the Fridge is Nuked, You Can Still Drink the Beer

Yes, beer can survive a nuclear attack. So can soft drinks. The flavor might be a bit off, so there is finally a good reason to have some Coors Light on hand-- it can hardly taste much worse.

Basically, some scientists figured out how to be able to buy and drink beer on the government's dime and time. I have no idea if Brett Kavanaugh's dad was involved in the project.

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

Lear 45

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Trump Hates LED Lights Because They Make Him Look Orange

I wish that was a joke. But it's not.
“The lightbulb. People said what’s with the lightbulb? I said here’s the story. And I looked at it, the bulb that we’re being forced to use, number one to me, most importantly, the light’s no good. I always look orange. And so do you. The light is the worst.”
Except that the only reason for Trump's orange look is Trump:
Tamzin Smith, a portrait photographer in Rockville, Md., pointed out that Trump’s orange complexion is visible even when he is photographed against white backgrounds. If bulbs were responsible for casting a warm glow, anything white in a photo of the president — including the background, a white shirt, or even his teeth — should also be orange.

“You can see that even when his teeth are white, his skin is orangey-red,” Smith said. “It’s definitely not the lighting.”
...
[Makeup artist Jason] Kelly said it is generally recognized among makeup artists that Trump’s application of bronzer is atypical. “When I see him, I see a line of oxidized bronzer around his hairline,” Kelly said. “The application is like a kindergartner did it.

“Bronzer shouldn’t be applied from forehead to chin. It’s meant to contour the face,” he continued. “Putting it all over is just going to make you go orange.”

Caturday

A friend's cat. The cat is 11.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Weapons of War, Beto?

Beto O'Rourke wants to ban "weapons of war".

How about these, Beto?









These were all, at one time or another, weapons of war.

So was this, by the way:


And this:


As far as I know, the first metallic cartridge used in war was the fearsome .22 short, fired from this:


Saying you're going to ban "weapons of war" is intellectually dishonest, Beto. But I suspect you both know that and don't give a shit.

I also suspect that Beto is too young to remember what happened on November 8, 1994.


Good Christians Practice Slavery?

A dozen leaders of a California-based ministry have been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges that they lured homeless people into forced labor with the false promise that they would be provided meals and shelter, prosecutors said this week.

Instead, the authorities said, they were imprisoned in group homes and coerced to forgo welfare benefits and panhandle up to nine hours a day, six days a week “for the financial benefit of the church leaders.
At this point, what's in the story are allegations, of course.

But if the allegations are proven in court, then the defendants should be put into cells and the doors welded.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Brexit Crash-out May Be Interesting

The British government, under orders from Parliament, published the Operation Yellowhammer contingency assessment. It's only eight pages.

Some acronym help:
  • HGV = Heavy Goods Vehicle.  AKA lorries.
  • BDG = Border Delivery Group.  It's an inter-agency Bristish group that sprang into existence to figure out how to go from essentially no border to a hard border.
  • SEM - Single Electricity Market, which serves Ireland, both the Irish and British parts.
  • DHSC = Dept. of Health and Social Care.
  • DEFRA = Dept. for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
  • HMT = Her Majesty's Treasury.
  • DCMS = Dept. for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport
  • HO/NSS = Home Office National Security Strategy.
  • UKN = United Kingdom Nationals; the poor buggers who reside in or retied to EU nations.
  • HMG = Her Majesty's Government.
  • DWP = Dept. for Work and Pensions.
  • FCO = Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
  • BEIS = Dept. for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
  • NIO/NICS - may have something to do with insurance.
  • DA - beats me.
  • LA - Probably not places the bureaucrats would rather be than have to deal with this shit.
If you want to know what any of the above agencies, look them up on yer own.

Biggest "No shit, Sherlock statement: "Low income groups will be disproportionately affected by any price rises in food and fuel."

The Musical Stylings of John Hinckley, Jr.

The man who tried to assassinate President Ronald Reagan is interested in getting a job in the music industry, possibly in California, his lawyer said at a court hearing in Washington on Tuesday.

Patti Davis isn't having any of it.

9-11 +18

First, this post will take you to others I've written about the aftereffects of 9-11. I think I've said what I needed to on that score.

As of tomorrow, a person who was born after the Twin Towers fell will be a legal adult and can sign up to go fight in the forever war that came about as a result. If there was ever a chance to "win" in Afghanistan, it was tossed away by Bush the Spendthrift on his way to fight a war of aggression against a nation that had nothing to do with the matter then at hand. But he and Dick the Torturer went out and lied through their teeth to justify it. Bush's Misbegotten War destabilized the region-- ISIS is a stepchild of the Iraq War.

As far as I know, senior members of the Bush Administration still cannot travel overseas for fear of being arrested for war crimes.

Monday, September 9, 2019

Sharpiegate Continues

The Secretary of Commerce threatened to fire top employees at the federal scientific agency responsible for weather forecasts last Friday after the agency’s Birmingham office contradicted President Trump’s claim that Hurricane Dorian might hit Alabama, according to three people familiar with the discussion.

That threat led to an unusual, unsigned statement later that Friday by the agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, disavowing the National Weather Service’s position that Alabama was not at risk. The reversal caused widespread anger within the agency and drew accusations from the scientific community that the National Weather Service, which is part of NOAA, had been bent to political purposes.

NOAA’s statement on Friday is now being examined by the Commerce Department’s Office of Inspector General, according to documents reviewed by The New York Times, and employees have been asked to preserve their files. NOAA is a division of the Commerce Department.

The National Weather Service “must maintain standards of scientific integrity,” the inspector general, Peggy E. Gustafson, wrote in a message to NOAA staff members in which she requested documents related to Friday’s statement. The circumstances, she wrote, “call into question the NWS’s processes, scientific independence, and ability to communicate accurate and timely weather warnings and data to the nation in times of national emergency.”
Can anyone honestly believe, after this, that Trump is not mentally ill? We're now going to be treated to yet another investigation that basically calls into question Trump's fitness for office.

He's not. He's nuttier than a boxcar of almonds.

Trump is looking for his analog of Trofin Lysenko. Here's hoping that he never finds one.

Kickbacks: It's Not a Bug, It's a Feature,

Attorney General William P. Barr is planning a holiday treat for his boss.

Last month, Barr booked President Trump’s D.C. hotel for a 200-person holiday party in December that is likely to deliver Trump’s business more than $30,000 in revenue.

Barr signed a contract, a copy of which was obtained by The Washington Post, for a “Family Holiday Party” in the hotel’s Presidential Ballroom Dec. 8. The party will feature a buffet and a four-hour open bar for about 200 people.
Oh sure, Buttmonkey Barr has reasons for holding his party there, but they're bullshit. No large hotel runs its reservations on 3x5 cards; double-booking a function room is implausible.

What this sounds like is the old days, when city workers were expected to kick back a portion of their pay to the party.

Corruption is a feature of the Trump presidency.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

The first flight of the Boeing 367-80:


I don't know if the sound was added later. There's not a lot of footage of Dash 80 out there.

Friday, September 6, 2019

Can Anyone Mock Up a Historical Marker?

Here's the idea:


(A historical marker for Hurricane Dorian not hitting Alabama)

Please do a better one.

Sharpie-gate

Sure enough, it was Trump himself who took a Sharpie to the forecast map.
A White House official says it was President Trump himself who used the black Sharpie to doctor an official government map, which he then displayed during an Oval Office briefing, to falsely add Alabama into Hurricane Dorian’s potential pathway.

“No one else writes like that on a map with a black Sharpie,” the White House official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations, told my colleagues Toluse Olorunnipa and Josh Dawsey.
This all is further evidence of Trump's vastly inflated ego. He can never be wrong about anything, he knows everything about any subject that can be named. When he makes a mistake, he doubles and triples down on it. Trump then makes it worse and converts what should have been a simple error into yet another extended debate about Trump's mental health.

Either a simple tweet five days ago that "I was wrong about Alabama being in the path of Dorian" or even ignoring the mistake would have sufficed and both Trump and his people could have moved on.

But no.


You can hold your breath for a very long time waiting for any of Trump's supporters to admit that he's nuts. Or they'll fall back to their standard defense of "but, but, Hillary". She had a lot of baggage, she was a horrible candidate, but at least she's not start raving bonkers. Unlike Trump.

"I Said Something Stupid, But It's Your Fault For Calling Me Out On It!"

No, Gentle Reader, this time it's not about Trump.
Spiritual guru and self-help author Marianne Williamson on Wednesday posted and then deleted a tweet suggesting that the "power of the mind" helped turn Hurricane Dorian away from delivering a more dangerous blow to the United States.

“The Bahamas, Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas...may all be in our prayers now,” the Democratic presidential candidate said in the original tweet, adding, “Millions of us seeing Dorian turn away from land is not a wacky idea; it is a creative use of the power of the mind. Two minutes of prayer, visualization, meditation for those in the way of the storm.”
So, after being called out on it, she started bleating that those who were commenting on it were engaging in snobbery and religious discrimination.
She also defended the power of prayer, asserting that the dismissive and mocking reactions to her tweet were examples of how the left lost ground with religious voters.

"Prayer is a power of the mind, and it is neither bizarre nor unintelligent," she wrote Wednesday afternoon. "People of faith belong in the Democratic Party, and will be necessary to the effort if we’re to win in 2020."
It's one thing to believe in the power of prayer. Faith may help some people through tough times. Maybe believing that the Almighty has an overarching plan may comfort someone whose child died as an infant. I'm not knocking that.

But to believe that "the power of the mind" had anything to do with steering Hurricane Dorian is just fucking nuts. Does Williamson believe that because people in the Bahamas were not praying hard enough is why Hurricane Dorian, as a cat 4/5, was parked over the Bahamas for two days?

Williamson is a nut job. We don't need successive narcissistic lunatics in the White House.

Because It's Friday

A steam engine rally:

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Walmart Hates the Poors

That is pretty clear when you look at the implications of Walmart's decision to stop selling all non-Fudd types of ammunition.

I'm not going to name the gun store that I went into a few months ago, but the cheapest .38 Special on the shelf was $20/box. $33 would get you a box of 100 at Walmart. $68 would buy a bulk pack of 250. So for just a less than a 250-round bulk pack, you'd pick up three boxes (150 rounds) at a gun shop. A similar price differential existed for 9mm.

That's good for the local gun shop. It's not so good for the guy who has an old Browning High Power or a Model 10 for whom a box of ammo is a non-trivial purchase.

But that's the thing about gun restrictions, they land, by design or default, on people with less means. The whole "Saturday Night Special" fracas of the 1960s was to make it harder for people at the lower levels of the economic period to own guns. The various ideas of the hoplophobes to require licensing, training and insurance are all pointing to the same goal: Make firearms ownership unaffordable for people who don't have discretionary income or time.

Those at the lower levels of the economic strata are often minorities. Imposing gun control regimes that land more heavily on minorities is no accident.

The CEO of Walmart, some clown appropriately named "McMillion", can afford to buy whatever his heart desires. Walmart would probably give him his own security detail if he asked. He doesn't give a shit if he makes it harder for those in suburban and rural America, who have problems sometimes making ends meet, to go pop off a box of practice ammo.

Sam Walton's probably spinning in his grave.

Trump Administration: "Goddamn Your Eyes For Catching Us Lying!"

Trump's now doctoring maps to explain away his flubs.
In a White House video released Wednesday, Trump displays a modified National Hurricane Center “cone of uncertainty” forecast, dated from 11 a.m. on Aug. 29, indicating Alabama would in fact be affected. The graphic appears to have been altered with a Sharpie to indicate a risk the storm would move into Alabama from Florida.
...
White House deputy press secretary J. Hogan Gidley later confirmed that the drawing was made using a black Sharpie, while criticizing the media for focusing on it.
This is Trump holding the doctored map:


The guy sitting at the Resolute Desk is suffering from some serious drain-bamage if he thinks that nobody would fucking notice that he had taken one of his crayons to the forecast map. He's also following his standard script: Lie, double down on the lie, blame the press for catching him lying, and watch his sycophants defend him.

Best snark: Boning and then paying off a porn star named Stormy does not make Trump a weather expert.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Done With Walmart

Walmart says it will stop selling handgun and short-barrel rifle ammunition, while requesting that customers not openly carry firearms in its stores, even where state laws allow it.
I bought stuff at Walmart, in part, because I could buy practice ammunition for my handguns. But the fact of the matter is that everything else I bought at Walmart I can buy elsewhere.

And so I shall.

When it comes to guns and ammunition, Walmart is now "By Fudds, For Fudds".

What it means to me is that, instead of dropping by Walmart for a couple of boxes of range fodder, I'll probably go to a bulk online seller and buy a thousand rounds at a throw instead of a hundred here and there.

For a company that has connived for decades in hollowing out American manufacturing and has profited by exploiting its workers, this is a pretty odd way for Walmart to all of a sudden signal that they are virtuous.

Fuck you, Walmart.

Wait, What?? Congratulations on Being Invaded??

Q Mr. President, do you have a message for Poland —

THE PRESIDENT: Yeah.

Q — on the 80th anniversary of the Second World War? What (inaudible)?

THE PRESIDENT: I do have a great message for Poland. And we have Mike Pence, our Vice President, is just about landing right now. And he is representing me. I look forward to being there soon.

But I just want to congratulate Poland. It’s a great country with great people. We also have many Polish people in our country; it could be 8 million. We love our Polish friends. And I will be there soon.
That's the transcript from the White House.

What the hell flitters through his mind?

They're Still More Afraid of Witchcraft Than Kiddie-Diddling Priests

The students at St. Edward Catholic School in Nashville can no longer checkout the popular Harry Potter book series from their school's library.

The seven-book series depicting the magical adventures of a young wizard and his friends was removed from the library because of their content, the Rev. Dan Reehil, a pastor at the Roman Catholic parish school, wrote in an email.

"These books present magic as both good and evil, which is not true, but in fact a clever deception. The curses and spells used in the books are actual curses and spells; which when read by a human being risk conjuring evil spirits into the presence of the person reading the text," the email states.

Reehil goes on to say in the email that he consulted several exorcists in the U.S. and Rome who recommended removing the books.
The only thing resembling "magic" in the Potter books is how much money has been made from the books, the movies, and the theme parks.

The forces of ignorance are still strong within the RCC. Some of them would still be burning witches if they could.

Monday, September 2, 2019

Cruelty Isn't a Bug, It's the Point

The Trump administration on Monday announced that it would reconsider its decision to force immigrants facing life-threatening health crises to return to their home countries, an abrupt move last month that generated public outrage and was roundly condemned by the medical establishment.

On Aug. 7, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, without public notice, eliminated a “deferred action” program that had allowed immigrants to avoid deportation while they or their relatives were undergoing lifesaving medical treatment.

The agency, part of the Department of Homeland Security, had sent letters informing those who had asked for a renewal, which the immigrants must make every two years, that it was no longer entertaining such requests. The letters said that the immigrants must leave the country within 33 days, or face deportation.
In other words: "Go Home and Die."

This has Stephen Miller's and Trump's fingerprints all over it. I'd call them "monsters", but Godzilla and Frankenstein would probably then have a claim for defamation.

"Reconsidering" means that they'll still do it, after everyone has moved off to Trump's next outrage. Such as his clear idiocy.

An Argument on Guns That Proves Too Much

As a hunter who has owned firearms since adolescence without breaking any laws or feeling under-gunned, I think I am equipped to offer a modest proposal that could produce a safer America and also break the maniacal hold of the National Rifle Association on the nation’s recreational shooters, not to mention Congress.

My proposal is simply that we revert to the gun laws that prevailed in the United States around 1960. From a public-safety standpoint, that was far from a perfect world. The cheap revolvers called “Saturday night specials” ruled the night in many cities. Loopholes as to the sale and registration of long arms allowed the importation of the mail-order rifle that Lee Harvey Oswald used to kill President John F. Kennedy in 1963.
You know what didn't exist in 1960? Background checks. There was no prohibition against buying handguns in other states. There was no prohibition on mail-ordering handguns. You could send in an order form and a money order to Herter's and buy anything that you wanted, which your mailman would happily deliver. If you were a kid and you wanted to blow your lawn-mowing money on a box of .22 or .410 shells, you were free to do so. If you were a convicted felon, you could still buy and own guns. If you wanted to buy a 20mm cannon, have at it. While you still had to go through the paperwork hoops, you could buy a fresh-off-the-manufacturing-line submachine gun and yes, sports fans, those had large-capacity magazines. High schools had rifle clubs; kids brought their target rifles to school on the buses. Sure, concealed carry wasn't much of a thing, but as long as you met the primary qualifications of being an adult and Caucasian, nobody bothered you very much.

That was the "flawed status quo" that Mr. Raines is advocating be restored. Fat chance of that happening.

Beyond that, his argument is dangerous. If Second Amendment rights can be limited by tying them to a specific year, then so can other rights. In 1960, to the extend that CATV systems existed, their function was to bring signals to those people who lived in places where home antennas wouldn't work: People who lived where terrain blocked the signals or whose who lived in cities and so close to the powerful broadcasting antennas that the reflections from buildings caused "ghost" images. There was no Internet, so if you wanted to read a paper, you either subscribed or you trucked your happy ass to the local library or to the newsstand.

Raines is nothing more than a Fudd, a supposed hunter who is fine with any gun restrictions that don't affect him. With friends like these, gun owners don't need enemies.

Sunday, September 1, 2019

The Evidence is Clear: Trump Hates Muslims

As China locks a million-plus Uighurs into concentration camps and prisons and India aggressively seeks to declare millions of its Muslim citizens to be stateless non-persons, the most that one will hear out of the Trump Administration is mild tut-tuts.

Oh, sure, it's probably the official policy of the Trump Administration that they're only concerned about terrorism, that they don't hate all Muslims, but their inaction and radio silence about the blatant discrimination against millions of Muslims in Asia speaks volumes.

For if the people being discriminated against there Christians, you can bet your last farthing that Trump and Pence would be all over those situations. Not to mention that there would be wall-to-wall coverage on Fox News.

Then again, maybe not, as far as Fox News go. Rupert Murdoch seems to be solidly in the pocket of the Xi regime.

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

breaking up the Lear series with a Cessna Citation 501:


The Cessna 500 family, also known as the Citation I, was in production for sixteen years.