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

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 sent 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 teach gizmo 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 J, 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 about El Caudillio 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.



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:


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.


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: