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

"Everything is easy if somebody else is the one doing it." -- Me

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

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Pandemicide

There is an argument to be made that TFG willfully allowed thousands and thousand of Americans to die because he was laser-focused on trying to overturn a free and fair election that he fucking lost.

TFG should have been charged with gross dereliction of duty. Maybe that's not something that the House wanted to impeach him on, but one thing is clear: History will not be so kind.

Nor will it be kind to the members of the Sedition Caucus.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Speaking of Republican Sex Criminals.....

Remember the Virignia Republican who was an admitted rapist, nazi and pedophile, who ran for Congress in 2018?

He continued to be up to no good, until he got arrested for kidnapping a 12-year-old girl. The Feds are dealing with him.

Blue on Blue, 1/6/21

A retired New York police officer who once was part of the security detail at City Hall was charged on Tuesday with assaulting a police officer with a metal flagpole during the pro-Trump riot at the Capitol on Jan. 6.

The former officer, Thomas Webster, served in a New York Police Department unit that provided security for the mayor, Gracie Mansion and City Hall, according to a law enforcement official. He retired from the force in 2011.

Mr. Webster, 54, a former Marine, surrendered to the F.B.I. on Monday and was charged with six counts relating to the attack on an officer from the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, D.C., and his participation in the violent attempt to stop Congress from certifying the presidential election results.

A federal prosecutor said there were videos of Mr. Webster attacking the Washington officer, first with a metal flagpole that earlier had flown a Marine Corps flag, and then with his bare hands.

You know, of course, that if a demonstrator at a BLM protest had beaten a cop with a flagpole and then knocked the cop to the ground and tried to rip off the cop's gas mask, that the Usual Suspects on the Right would be losing their collective shit over it. But since this guy was fighting to overturn the election, as desired by their orange demigod, TFG, this crime won't garner much of a mention from the Right Wing Noise Machine.

Still, given that the perp ws a retired cop who was allegedly committing assault with a deadly weapon against a cop, I expect that the prosecutors are going to take this one as far as they can.

They're also arresting charter members of the Incel Woman-Haters Club.

Speaking of incels, the one who blew off all of one hand and part of another while making a bomb pled guilty to possessing a bomb. That story was buried by the coup attempt of TFG.

Sounds Bad for Tiger Woods

Golf star Tiger Woods suffered leg injuries Tuesday in a vehicle rollover in suburban Los Angeles and was undergoing surgery, authorities and his manager said. His condition wasn’t yet clear.

Woods was alone in the vehicle and had to be extricated from it, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement. No other cars were involved in the wreck that injured the golfer.

Mashing up the legs of a pro golfer sounds kind of bad.

A mention of Tiger Wood's name always reminds me of this case, where a solo practitioner beat one of TFG's former law firms.

Cancun Cruz Now Loves Regulation!


This from a guy who probably has a poster of Ayn Rand on his bedroom ceiling.

Rick Perry hasn't gotten Ted's memo:

In a blog posted on House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy's website, Perry is quoted responding to the claim that “those watching on the left may see the situation in Texas as an opportunity to expand their top-down, radical proposals.”

“Texans would be without electricity for longer than three days to keep the federal government out of their business,” Perry is quoted as saying. “Try not to let whatever the crisis of the day is take your eye off of having a resilient grid that keeps America safe personally, economically, and strategically.”

Rick Perry is either smoking crack or he is a dumb as everyone believes that he is. It is probably belaboring the obvious that "a resilient grid" is exactly what Texas does not have. Resiliency costs money. Preparing for severe weather events costs money.

The Texas energy grid has proven to be a catastrophe of very large proportions. Fixing it will take both increased regulation and spending money, two things anathema to Texas politicians.

So they'll just apply some band-aid type fixes, tell everyone that all is well, and hope like hell that they are in other jobs by the next time it comes crashing down.

A Half of a Million Dead

That's been the COVID-19 death toll in this country, so far. That's more than the American combat deaths in World Wars I and II. That's more than killing everyone in Winston-Salem, NC twice over. That's about the toll if everyone in Ft. Lauderdale, FL; Newport News, VA; and Pasadena, CA all died. As the BBC observed, if there was a minute a silence for every individual who perished in this pandemic, it would take into 2022 before everyone who has died so far was honored.

It didn't have to be this way. The USA has been one of the worst-hit countries:

Much of the responsibility for this butcher's bill lands on TFG and his fellow-travelers in the Toxic Freedom and Liberty Caucus. TFG, instead of leading, used the pandemic as yet another tool to divide the country. TFG and his sycophants sought to turn mitigation measures into part of their batshit-crazed culture war.

The basic mitigation measures, wearing masks, washing hands and social distancing, were too much for them. Somehow, wearing a mask to prevent the spread of the virus became equated with tyranny for the followers of TFG.

Nowhere near as many people should have died from this. And if TFG hadn't turned the pandemic into a political warfare tool, if he had chosen to have the scientists and epidemiologists run point, if he hadn't pushed quackery and attacked everyone who disagreed with him and, if above all, he had shown just even a smidgen of human decency, he'd likely still be president.

Monday, February 22, 2021

Poison Gas as a Burglar Deterrent

No, this isn't a joke:



Something poisonous was found in an old safe a decade ago. Despite what the old articles say, the boobytraps in those safes were probably tear gas.

No way in hell anything like that would be installed today.

What Appointing Three Supreme Justices Got TFG

Absolutely nothing.

In a significant defeat for former President Donald Trump, the Supreme Court on Monday declined to step in to halt the turnover of his tax records to a New York state prosecutor.

It was apparently a short order, part of a list of summary orders, with no explanation why it took them four months to get around to it.

As I undertand it, that means that Trump's accountants have to turn over his tax records.

Stand byyy for indictments.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

That Tweet From Caribbean Cruz Didn't Age Well

Ted Cruz, who fled to Mexico from Texas because of ice, had this to say two years ago about Texas's energy grid:

This is the system that Cancun Cruz thinks is a model for everyone:

As millions of customers throughout the state begin to have power restored after days of massive blackouts, officials with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT, which operates the power grid that covers most of the state, said Texas was dangerously close to a worst-case scenario: uncontrolled blackouts across the state.
...
[ERCOT president Bill] Magness said on Wednesday that if operators had not acted in that moment, the state could have suffered blackouts that “could have occurred for months,” and left Texas in an “indeterminately long” crisis.

And facing very large power bills:

According to the Dallas Morning News, some Texans have been hit with power bills totaling as much as $17,000 for only a few days of electricity, many times more than the usual cost of power in Texas.

That's a bit of an understatement. "Many times" is about "10,000 times".

Still, Texan-style grid reliability and all of the rest is what Flyin' Ted thinks we should have the benefit of.

Heaven forbid.

Not the Jet Noise That They Were Hoping For

A UAL 777 suffered an uncontained engine failure soon after takeoff, raining parts down on a Denver suburb.



But the engine itself seemed to keep turning and burning.

No word if the pilots had to be seen by medical professionals to extract some of the seat cushioning from their butts.

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

Concorde at JFK.

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Just Going to Leave These Here







Modern Defensive Revolvers

Darryl Bolke makes the case for them.

On another note, Mr. Bolke is allegedly working on a coffee-table book about 20th Century police revolvers. It'll be on my buy list when publication plans are announced.

Caturday

Bella is taking a break from bird-watching.

Friday, February 19, 2021

Texas Power Problems: The Republicans’ Wholly-Owned Disaster

In surfing around, it seems that there are, essentially, three eletricity networks. The eastern one covers the area east of the Rockies, the western one covers the area west of the Rockies. The third network covers Texas.

It seems that Texas didn't want to have to follow any Federal rules about how power is generated or distributed. They didn't want to have to bother with emergency preparedness or backups. All that shit costs money, you see.

What little regulation the Texans did was scrapped at the behest of Enron (maybe you've heard of them) during the governorship of George W. Bush. Texas went to basically allowing anyone to buy power from anyone, which, naturally, pushed both prices and profitability down. Lack of reasonable long-term profitability meant that there was no incentive to invest in anything that couldn't make cash tomorrow. The Texas utility system because a quick-buck casino.

Winterized power plants, natural gas distribution facilities, switching gear and the like? All that costs money, pal. So they didn't do it. Cheap wind turbines went up because, in places where the wind is reliable, they are a low-cost way to generate power. A cold snap ten years ago did to texas pretty much what is happening now, but other than reports suggesting that maybe something should be done, Gov. Perry did nothing.

The Republicans have controlled Texas for the last twenty-five years. They may bleat about the wind turbines and the Green New Deal being a problem for them, but what happened in Texas was as a result of their choices. Both Bush and Perry pushed the use of renewables. Renewables were not the reason why the pipelines and generating plants were knocked off-line by cold weather.

The reason was greed, pure and simple.

Because It's Friday

Chinese steam, narrated in German.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Ramping Up the Investigations of The Former Guy

As the Manhattan district attorney’s office steps up the criminal investigation of [The Former Guy], it has reached outside its ranks to enlist a prominent former federal prosecutor to help scrutinize financial dealings at the former president’s company, according to several people with knowledge of the matter.

The former prosecutor, Mark F. Pomerantz, has deep experience investigating and defending white-collar and organized crime cases, bolstering the team under District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. that is examining [TFG} and his family business...

This could be good. Pass the popcorn.

In case you don't know who TFG is.

In other legal news, TFG and his minions are being sued under the Ku Klux Klan Act for, among other thngs, their roles in the Insurrection of January 6th.

Perseverance Mars Rover

Touchdown on Mars confirmed!

First pictures are coming in.

Ted "Cancun Cruz" Flees Texas

When danger reared its ugly head, Cancun Cruz turned and fled.

Sen. Ted Cruz flew to Cancun, Mexico, with his family this week as Texas dealt with a winter storm that left millions without power, Fox News has confirmed.

Photographs of Cruz, R-Texas, at an airport began circulating on social media late Wednesday, with people alleging that the senator had left the state for Cancun amid a major crisis. A Republican source told Fox News that the allegations Cruz was traveling to the Mexican city are true.

It's pretty clear that the average U.S. Senator isn't a leader of much of anything. If it's not grandstanding to boost his cred among the neo-Confederacy, Cruz seems to be incapable of doing anything. And maybe it's unfair to expect Flyin' Ted to consider staying home in Texas to show that he empathizes with his fellow citizens.

For Cruz, it's not "we're in this all together", it's more "Imma gonna get outta here!" If Texas was the RMS Titantic, Cruz would be shaving his beard and trying to find a dress that fit, so he could sneak onto a lifeboat.

Also: "Carribean Cruz".

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Radio Rwanda Has Lost a Host

Rush Limbaugh, the talk radio host who ripped into liberals and laid waste to political correctness with a gleeful malice that made him one of the most powerful voices in politics, influencing the rightward push of American conservatism and the rise of Donald Trump, died Wednesday. He was 70.

A remembrance:

Limbaugh trafficked in hatred and bigotry for decades. It may not be proper to exult in the death of any man, but his golden microphone is now silent, and as far as I'm concerned, well, I'll settle for paraphrasing Bette Davis: "You should never say bad things about the dead, only good. Rush Limbaugh is dead. Good.”

Or, if you will, Clarence Darrow: "I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure."