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, June 26, 2019

Brock Turner, the Preppie Dumpster Rapist, is Still a Registered Sex Offender

In case you've forgotten who he is.

Brock limited the appeal of his conviction because it belatedly occurred to his lawyers that a retrial might open the door to Brock being sent to prison for several years. He argued that there was not sufficient evidence for a conviction. The appellate court laid out the facts of the case and, in essence, said that he was full of shit (the legal term is "this argument lacks merit").

If you want to read the opinion, it is here in PDF format (17 pages)

The judge in the case had the balls to compare going lightly on the Affluenza Rapist to Brown v. Board of Education. That argument didn't fly with the voters, who fired his ass. The judge sued to stop/overturn the recall election, a litigation which was apparently declared to be frivolous, for he was ordered to pay attorney's fees to the recall's proponents. The judge asked his supporters to kick in for that.

But don't you worry about poor little Brock. His family will, in a few years or so, probably spread around some money and he'll get a pardon.

OMG, the Dreaded Six-Engine Approach!

Daher, Airbus and Safran announced they are teaming up to develop a “hybrid-propulsion” aircraft to fly in 2022. Based on a TBM airframe still fitted with a Pratt & Whitney PT6A turboprop, the video produced by Daher reveals six electric motors mounted to the leading edge of the wing.
Clearly, it's a experimental airplane. It's going to take a long time before any of this is commercially viable.

To be frank, I am skeptical. To run those electric motors, there has to be batteries or a fuel-burning generator. All that means weight.

For almost every airplane, filling all the seats with adults and filling the fuel tanks is not possible. So one trades payload for range. Batteries make that tradeoff impractical.

For the near term, electric airplanes will be either used for specialized circumstances (like high-altitude radio relays) or for hobbyists.

(Google "seven-engine approach" if you don't get the headline.)

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Not Moving the Needle on Trump

Let me be plain: I believe E. Jean Carroll's story that she was sexually assaulted by Donald Trump. Trump has a long track record of considering any woman he meets as property. He is a serial offender.

But the thing is, Carroll's account will, in the political sense, matter not. None of the Trumpanzees will be convinced. The self-styled "moral majority" is perfectly OK with a guy who has cheated on all of his wives, who wants to bang his daughter, and who cheats everybody.

Trump could be caught on film shooting somebody or in a drug-fueled sex party with minors and none of his supporters would give a rat's ass. (Or they would say "whatabout dem emails"?)

Monday, June 24, 2019

"Don't Be Evil", My Ass

If you use Google's Chrome browser, congratulations! You are using the most spyware-friendly browser that there is.

When Google began, they were touting themselves as not being an evil megacorp, unlike Microsoft. Their unofficial motto was "don't be evil."

Funny how shiploads of money have changed their tune on that.

An Indisputable Point

The United States of America runs concentration camps for children.

Before I retired, I handled child neglect cases. I can tell you this with utter certainty: Any parent who treated their kids the way that the Border Patrol has treated those kids would have their kids taken away from them, possibly forever.

Before any defenders of Trump respond, please do me a favor: Go look at yourself in a mirror and ask if you want to go on record defending the use of concentration camps to house children.

Second Time's Not Better; Istanbul Ed.

A few months ago, the ruling party in Turkey lost the election for Istanbul's mayor by 13,000 votes. Instead of taking the loss ans using the vote differential to argue that the loss wasn't significant, they canceled the election, alleging irregularities, and ordered another one.

Which they lost by over a quarter-million votes.

Erdogan is one of Trump's buds, because he's an authoritarian. But possibly, the people in Turkey have had enough of his shit.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

How to Look Like You Served Time

Get a homemade tattoo. It's about as stupidly self-indulgent as it sounds.

Apollo 11

If you missed it in the theaters, you missed a terrific documentary.

But it airs on CNN tonight.

Your Sunday Morning Big Prop Noise

By request, a working An-2.

Two things have stopped me from getting one.

First, money. Can you imagine a recovering job on one of those things?

Second, Cessna lobbied the FAA to not let them be licensed in this country because Cessna feared that the An-2s would gut the marker for Cessna's Caravans. So they can only be flown under an Experimental/Exhibition license, which is a serious pain in the ass.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Henry Rollins is a Five-Star Idiot.
It's OK to Disagree With Me.
If You Do, You're Wrong.

Right, buff guy with a neck the diameter of a fire hydrant sneers at those who have guns.

"Might makes right" is a very old concept. When a buff young punk takes it in his mind to have his way sexually with a 5-foot-nothing girl, what are her options for fighting him off? When a couple of thugs break into the house of an old man to steal his money and prescription drugs, what's that old guy's option for defending himself?

Guns take youth and strength out of the equation. Thomas Jefferson said that all men are created equal. Samuel Colt made them so.

"Never fear any man, no matter what his size. When danger threatens, call on me, and I will equalize."

Which is why big-muscled men hate guns. At least, until they come across a guy who is bigger, stronger, and meaner.


Elliott, a shelter cat:

Friday, June 21, 2019

And Once Again, It Appears That Trump is Lying

Early in the day, the president said he called off the counterattack at the last minute because it would kill 150 people in retaliation for the downing of an unmanned surveillance drone. “We were cocked & loaded to retaliate last night on 3 different sights when I asked, how many will die,” he tweeted.

But administration officials said Trump was told earlier Thursday how many casualties could occur if a strike on Iran was carried out, and that he had given the green light to prepare for the operation Thursday morning.
So this tweet:
is a lie.

I have a hard time believing that Trump was not briefed on possible casualties until a few minutes before the strike was due to be launched.

So instead of looking wise and not willing to authorize a non-proportional strike (killing 150 people over a winged toaster), Trump instead looks like a vacillating fool who is spreading lies to cover up his utter ineptitude.

Trump Has More Sense Than Bolton

President Trump said Friday morning that the United States military had been “cocked and loaded” for a strike against Iran on Thursday night, but that he called it off with 10 minutes to spare when a general told him that 150 people would likely die in the attack.
Here are words you will rarely see on this blog: Trump was right to call off the strike. Killing over 100 people in retaliation for Iran shooting down a fucking robot would be just the sort of insanity that Bolton and Pompeo would promote.

And then there is this:
Still, there remained doubt inside the United States government over whether the drone, or another American surveillance aircraft, this one flown by a military aircrew, did violate Iranian airspace at some point, according to a senior administration official.
So we aren't sure where the drone was or whether there was another American aircraft there that did intrude into Iranian airspace? And maybe the Iranians shot down the right drone or locked onto the wrong drone?

For that, Bolton and Pompeo (and Chief Torturer Haspert) want to start a war? Jesus. Well, we all knew what we were getting with Bolton, at least, which is why Trump put him in a job not requiring Senate confirmation.

Because It's Friday

I am somewhat surprised that they're running it to Chicago. I guess swing clearances aren't an issue.

What the Hell is Going On, Now; PGW 3.0 Ed.

The United States abruptly called off preparations for a military strike against Iran over the downing of a U.S. surveillance drone, a U.S. official said, while Iran claimed Friday it had issued several warnings before shooting down the drone over what it said was Iranian territory.
President Trump approved military strikes against Iran in retaliation for downing an American surveillance drone, but pulled back from launching them on Thursday night after a day of escalating tensions.

As late as 7 p.m., military and diplomatic officials were expecting a strike, after intense discussions and debate at the White House among the president’s top national security officials and congressional leaders, according to multiple senior administration officials involved in or briefed on the deliberations.

Officials said the president had initially approved attacks on a handful of Iranian targets, like radar and missile batteries.

The operation was underway in its early stages when it was called off, a senior administration official said. Planes were in the air and ships were in position, but no missiles had been fired when word came to stand down, the official said.
Absent some unknown backchannel communications, it would seem that teeing up a military strike and then backing down is a move that the Iranians are going to take as a signal that Trump has no stomach for this.

One of My Little Litmus Tests

One of the things I look at is how whether or not candidates try to make unjustified hay from the remarks of others.

Example one, Joe Biden:
"I was in a caucus with James O. Eastland. He never called me boy. He always called me son. Guess what, at least there was some civility. We got things done. We didn't agree on much of anything. We got things done. We got it finished. But today, you look at the other side and you are the enemy. Not the opposition, the enemy. We don't talk to each other anymore."
The first one to start carping about that was Sen. Corey Booker, who is currently just outpolling dryer lint.

Booker is intentionally missing the point. Booker knows damn well what Biden's point was, but he's ignoring it in his "oooh, Joe said something nice about segregationists" bullshit. But with his manufactured outrage, Booker is getting his name in print and his face on TV.

Running for office, when one is at the ass-end of the pack, can turn one into an attention whore. Booker is a fine example of that.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Drone Shoot-Down

Iran "made a very big mistake" in shooting down a US military surveillance drone over the Strait of Hormuz, President Donald Trump says.

However, he told reporters it could have been the result of human error, saying: "I find it hard to believe it was intentional."

Iran said the drone had violated Iranian airspace, but the US military denied this.
Right now, I'm not believing anyone. It's quite possible that the drone was being used to probe Iranian reaction by flying it as close as possible to Iranian airspace.

Those who would say "why, US would never do that" has no understanding of history.

Those who would say that "no such mistake is possible" also are revealing their ignorance.

One thing that keeps getting lost in the noise is that oil coming via the Persian Gulf isn't that critical for the United States. It is more important for Europe and Asia. Those nations need to step up their involvement, for if Iran does threaten oil shipment, this one is not our circus.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Yep, Jared's BFF Is a Murderer.

Saudi Arabia is responsible for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi in its Istanbul consulate last year, and there is “credible evidence” justifying an investigation into the role of the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, a United Nations expert said in a report released on Wednesday.

The expert, Agnes Callamard, also said that the United Nations secretary general should establish an international criminal investigation to ensure accountability for the crime.
Since Trump loves murderous autocrats more than he loves his wife, don't expect this report to dent his love for Prince Bone Saw.

Is China Outplaying Trump on Tariffs?

They may be because Trump views a trade war as a two-party fight, but the Chinese are using their tariffs to encourage Chinese importers to buy from other sources.
On average, it is now 14 percent cheaper in China to buy something from Canada, Japan, Brazil, or Europe than it is to buy something from the United States. Beijing is making it worthwhile for its consumers to develop new commercial relationships. And once those new ties are formed, the Chinese may not bother to switch back.
The article goes on to point out that Trump thought that nobody would ever retaliate for his imposing tariffs, an assumption that has proved to be laughable.

Meanwhile, Trump apparently spent most of his so-called campaign kickoff lambasting Hillary Clinton. Apparently, Trump has not yet gotten the memo that she isn't running for election. Besides that bit of stupidity, only a complete moron would think that Trump hasn't been campaigning since 1/21/17. He's been holding campaign rallies ever since he was inaugurated.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Abe & JFK Say "Hold Our Beers."

Abe Lincoln may beg to differ:

So might JFK:

Or Emmett Till

Or these two gentlemen:

Or the thousands who walked and died on the Trail of Tears:

We can keep this up for a long time.

Trump is a pathetic, whiny man with the emotional maturity of a toddler. He is a snowflake; everybody is so mean to him or it's noooo faaaiiirrrr! His sons are no different.

They should, frankly, be ashamed of themselves. So should anyone who defends them on this.

Monday, June 17, 2019

The Big Push (Pin Shooting)

You have to knock the pins back 14.5' to clear the table. It's an event for the big magnums. A .44 magnum might be marginal.

Persian Gulf War 3.0

The Coalition of the (Un)Willing is going to be small this time around. For one thing, all of the players arguing that Something Must Be Done are, well, biased as all fuck.
  • Benjamin Netanyahu has been trying to get America to shed its blood and treasure on Iran for decades. If he were to trip over a curb, he'd blame Iran.
  • John Bolton similarly has been trying to cook up a war with Iran for a very long time.  On the other hand, Bolton's been trying to start wars with everyone he can, other than possibly Liechtenstein and Andorra.  And I'm not sure about Andorra.
  • Crown Prince Mohammed bin Sultan, a/k/a Prince Bone Saw, is another of the "let's let the Americans die for us" caucus.  
  • Donald Trump, a man who lies only less frequently than he exhales. But only because he breathes in his sleep. Alost every day, you can find a news item that fact-checks Trump, which probably should be titled "Stupid Shit That Trump Said Today." The point being is that Trump lies about everything. You would have to be an idiot to buy anything from Trump, including a #2 pencil
These are the guys who are agitating for PG War 3.0. Only an utter fool would believe anything they say.

Which is something that the Iranians are well aware of and are exploiting.