Words of Advice:

"We have it totally under control. It's one person coming from China. It's going to be just fine." -- Donald Trump, 1/22/2020

“We will not see diseases like the coronavirus come here..and isn't it refreshing when contrasting it with the awful presidency of President Obama."
-- Trump Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, 2/25/20

"I don't take responsibility for anything." --Donald Trump, 3/13/20

"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, July 5, 2020

The German Army Has Been Infiltrated by Nazis

As Germany emerged from its coronavirus lockdown in May, police commandos pulled up outside a rural property owned by a sergeant major in the special forces, the country’s most highly trained and secretive military unit.

They brought a digger.

The sergeant major’s nickname was Little Sheep. He was suspected of being a neo-Nazi. Buried in the garden, the police found two kilograms of PETN plastic explosives, a detonator, a fuse, an AK-47, a silencer, two knives, a crossbow and thousands of rounds of ammunition, much of it believed to have been stolen from the German military.

They also found an SS songbook, 14 editions of a magazine for former members of the Waffen SS and a host of other Nazi memorabilia.
Germany's special forces, known as the KSK, may be riddled with Nazis. They have another problem:
But investigating the problem is itself fraught: Even the military counterintelligence agency, charged with monitoring extremism inside the armed forces, may be infiltrated.

A high-ranking investigator in the extremism unit was suspended in June after sharing confidential material from the May raid with a contact in the KSK, who in turn passed it on to at least eight other soldiers, tipping them off that the agency might turn its attention to them next.
That leads to an obvious question: How big of a problem is infiltration by neo-Nazis for the American military?

Seth

He had to do his 1,000th show from his attic:


He teed off on Bolton's being a true psycho and a gutless coward and why Trump tell-all books are, by now, redundant:

Dear Protesters: Smarten Up

You've probably heard of the asshole who ran over two women in Seattle. The highway, I-5, had been closed by the state police for the protest.

I have no sympathy for the driver. I hope they max him out.

As for protests: Please rethink blocking highways. Doing so inconveniences people with no regard to how they may feel about your issue. If anything, if you're one of those suffering through the traffic of a long detour on surface streets or if you're just stuck on the highway itself, you aren't going to be ruminating on the causes and blaming The Man for the delay.

No, you're going to blame those blocking the highway. After a time, you may start rethinking your support for the issue that the protesters are championing.

Blocking highways should be a chapter in a PR book: How to Lose Friends and Influence People.

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

An-225:

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Juneteenth (Saw This Late)

A post about the Military Context for Juneteenth. I think it's worth the time to read.

The Colored Soldiers

A poem by Paul L. Dunbar (1872-1906):

If the muse were mine to tempt it
And my feeble voice were strong,
If my tongue were trained to measures,
I would sing a stirring song.
I would sing a song heroic
Of those noble sons of Ham,
Of the gallant colored soldiers
Who fought for Uncle Sam!

In the early days you scorned them,
And with many a flip and flout
Said “These battles are the white man’s,
And the whites will fight them out.”
Up the hills you fought and faltered,
In the vales you strove and bled,
While your ears still heard the thunder
Of the foes’ advancing tread.

Then distress fell on the nation,
And the flag was drooping low;
Should the dust pollute your banner?
No! the nation shouted, No!
So when War, in savage triumph,
Spread abroad his funeral pall—
Then you called the colored soldiers,
And they answered to your call.

And like hounds unleashed and eager
For the life blood of the prey,
Sprung they forth and bore them bravely
In the thickest of the fray.
And where’er the fight was hottest,
Where the bullets fastest fell,
There they pressed unblanched and fearless
At the very mouth of hell.

Ah, they rallied to the standard
To uphold it by their might;
None were stronger in the labors,
None were braver in the fight.
From the blazing breach of Wagner
To the plains of Olustee,
They were foremost in the fight
Of the battles of the free.

And at Pillow! God have mercy
On the deeds committed there,
And the souls of those poor victims
Sent to Thee without a prayer.
Let the fulness of Thy pity
O’er the hot wrought spirits sway
Of the gallant colored soldiers
Who fell fighting on that day!

Yes, the Blacks enjoy their freedom,
And they won it dearly, too;
For the life blood of their thousands
Did the southern fields bedew.
In the darkness of their bondage,
In the depths of slavery’s night,
Their muskets flashed the dawning,
And they fought their way to light.

They were comrades then and brothers,
Are they more or less to–day?
They were good to stop a bullet
And to front the fearful fray.
They were citizens and soldiers,
When rebellion raised its head;
And the traits that made them worthy,—
Ah! those virtues are not dead.

They have shared your nightly vigils,
They have shared your daily toil;
And their blood with yours commingling
Has enriched the Southern soil.

They have slept and marched and suffered
‘Neath the same dark skies as you,
They have met as fierce a foeman,
And have been as brave and true.

And their deeds shall find a record
In the registry of Fame;
For their blood has cleansed completely
Every blot of Slavery’s shame.
So all honor and all glory
To those noble sons of Ham—
The gallant colored soldiers
Who fought for Uncle Sam!
In this time, when an American president is openly running for reelection on a platform of race-baiting and white supremacy and who is far more concerned about preserving statues in the honor of traitors than he in a pandemic that has, so far, killed over a hundred thousand Americans, it is worth remembering that Black men and women have fought for this country since its inception and continue to do so to this very day.

Unlike the current president who, when it was possible that he might have to go to war, miraculously had a case of bone spurs that later, and just as miraculously, disappeared.

Another Coronavirus Map

This one is by hospital regions. The darker the blue, the more cases they have.


There are 306 hospital regions shown on the map. It's a fairly coarse tool, compared to the county map available here.

One thing that this pandemic has done in my family is settle the debate of "do we move to where it's warmer." The answer is, essentially "fuck, no, those people there are crazy!"

Benedict Donald


With Trump's slavish devotion to American traitors, I'm surprised that he hasn't tried to rename West Point after Benedict Arnold, or the CIA's HQ after Jonathan Pollard.

The Fourth

244 years ago, the Second Continental Congress belatedly recognized the reality that the American Colonies, at least the northern ones, had been at war with the British Empire for over a year.

(Open this link in a new tab and listen as you read.)

IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

Caturday

Chip snoozes on his bed:


It's a heated but, though the power is off to it for the summer.

Friday, July 3, 2020

Whole People or 3/5ths People, Commissioner?

There's no racism like good old Southern racism:
A social media comment with racial undertones made by a Mississippi election commissioner sparked outrage across the state on the same weekend state legislators voted to retire the flag and its Confederate emblem.

"I'm concerned about voter registration in Mississippi," the commissioner wrote. "The blacks are having lots (of) events for voter registration. People in Mississippi have to get involved, too."

Gail Welch's comment caused an uproar Sunday, as screen shots of the comment spread quickly on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Welch said she has received calls and messages from all over the country about the post.
So far, the commissioner's defense seems to veer between "I'm not racist" and "it was supposed to be a private message".

It's pretty fucking racist, no matter how you parse it.

The Murder of Elijah McClain

In all the coverage of the murder of Elijah McClain by the Aurora, CO police in 2019, as far as I know, nobody is asking this: Why aren't the paramedics, who shot that kid up with ketamine, also being investigated?

The Serious Seven

The seven places where you're most likely to get the virus: Weddings, funerals, faith-based activities, bars, gyms, house gatherings and other small events.

That's based on some strange concept called "science".

(H/T)

Because It's Friday

A newly-restored U.S. Sugar Pacific:

A Couple of Interesting Coronavirus Maps



This is what the colors mean:


More data here.

Those places where the virus is peaking... they were told this would happen.

The state level in NY is 3.3 daily new cases per 100,000 people. The counties in NYC are right around that, maybe a couple of tenths higher.

Arizona is running 47.3 daily new cases per 100,000 people. Maricopa County is at 55.0. Florida, statewide, is at 33.2; Miami-Date is at 53.5.

This country needs to get its shit together and go in one direction. The fact that Bunker Boy is still engaged in magical thinking is not helping one bit.

In fact, an outside observer might reasonably conclude that Trump is sabotaging the country by doing his best to ensure that the national response to the pandemic is as ineffective as possible.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Teach! Teach! Call on Meeee! (Airplane Ed.)

Firefighters responded to Lake Washington after a seaplane crashed into the water near Seattle’s Leschi neighborhood Wednesday night, fire officials said.
...
The Seattle Police Department’s harbor unit also responded to the lake and will investigate what led up to the crash, {fire spokesperson Kristen Tinsley] said.
If you know anything about flying with amphibious floats, a picture tells the story.


The landing gear is down.

If you land an airplane with amphibious floats on the water and the landing gear is down (typically, shown with green lights), flipping the airplane on contact with the water is virtually guaranteed. Gear up on amphibs is shown by blue lights: Green for Grass, Blue for Water.

The problem of landing on the water with the gear down can happen with pilots who have a lot of landplane retract time. Green lights for landing can become ingrained.

Karma is a Motherfucking Bitch, Herm


Cain attended Trump's Rally and Superspreader Event in Tulsa.

This one apparently falls into the category of "Play Stupid Games, Win Stupid Prizes."

So does this:


And this:
Florida on Thursday reported 10,109 new cases of Covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, marking a new single-day record for the state, which reported 6,563 cases on Wednesday.

This is what you get when you elect a feckless trust-fund baby to be the president and national emergencies arise.

Someone Who is Going to Have a Hard Time Buying Life Insurance

British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell was arrested by the FBI on Thursday on charges she helped procure underage sex partners for financier Jeffrey Epstein.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Unsee This One, If You Can

Why Trump Cares More About Confederate Statues Than Americans Dying

When you factor in that he's spending his days denying the mounting evidence that the Russians were paying bounties to kill Americans with his feverish concern about the statutes of Confederate generals, then the reasonable conclusion is that Trump has an affinity with traitors.

For Trump has a kinship with traitors.

Or you might also conclude that Trump believes that the statues are important to his base and the pandemic not so much.

Maybe Trump thinks that a statue or maybe a geographic feature will be named in his honor.

Right now, this is the only thing that's going to be named for Trump:

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

What Trump Hath Wrought

On Saturday, for the second straight day, Florida crushed its previous record for new coronavirus cases, reporting 9,585 infections. Another 8,530 were reported on Sunday.
And:
Seven states are reporting new highs for current coronavirus hospitalizations, according to data tracked by The Washington Post — Arizona, Arkansas, California, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas — as the number of infections continues to climb across the South and West.
And:
Arizona’s Republican governor shut down bars, movie theaters, gyms and water parks Monday and leaders in several states ordered residents to wear masks in public in a dramatic course reversal amid an alarming resurgence of coronavirus cases nationwide.
I am not saying that Trump could have prevented the pandemic. What I am saying is that forthright action, based on science and not wishful thinking, would have mitigated a lot of it.

What did Trump do in response to Covid-19? He first ignored it for nearly two months. When it couldn't be ignored anymore, Bunker Boy went on TV daily, turning what was first put forth as a source of information into a daily airing of Trump's grievances and a full-on display of his tendency to act like a spoiled toddler. His daily briefings were so full of lies, half-truths and insanity that most networks stopped airing them. [1]

His actions, such as they have been, have been based on magical thinking (the virus will go away in the heat! it'll disappear in April! We're doing a great job!). When it comes to taking measures that people can do in order to reduce the spread of the virus, wear masks and practice social distancing, Trump has turned those measures into yet another culture war. As in everything else, Trump saw the pandemic as way to turn his base against other people.[2]

A different president, even one as inept at George W. Bush, would have attempted to lead, to get Americans to act together for the benefit of the country. A president who was also a savvy politician would have seen it as a golden opportunity to show those who hadn't supported him that he could indeed do the job and was worthy of their support.

Not Trump. He veered between silence, then being angrily combative on everything while handing off any meaningful response to his Prince of Merde, and then, once most states opened back up and the idiots came out to play, going back to silence. From Trump's inactions in recent weeks, as the coronavirus came roaring back and infection rates began going back up, you'd think that having a couple of hundred thousand more dead people is no big deal to him.

This stadium holds 107,000 people:


Fill that up, twice. That's how many people didn't have to die. That's how many people wouldn't have died if Trump had been good at his job.

Combating the pandemic is not rocket science for a good leader: Listen to the recommendations of the epidemiologists. Acknowledge that this is a new virus and that countermeasures will evolve as our understanding of the virus does. Lead, for God's sake! Urge people to do what can be done to slow down the spread: Wear a mask in public. Practice social distancing. Stay home as much as possible. Don't go into crowded places, especially indoors. Wash your hands.

None of that is difficult to understand. None of that is difficult to communicate. None of that has been advocated by Donald Fucking Trump.

This is on him. This is on his acolytes in the GOP who have been taking their clues from Trump. This is on the Right-Wing Noise Machine, which has been pushing scientific illiteracy for decades.

But first, foremost and most of all, this is on Trump.

And if you vote for him in November, this is on you.
______________________________________
[1] Take a drug that proved to be harmful! Flush your body with bleach! Shove UV lights up your ass! Trump's daily screeds showed that he was listening to the ideas of his similarly batshit-crazy friends and not to those of scientists and doctors.

[2] It may be coincidental that Trump pivoted from "we have to beat the virus" to "we have to open everything up" when reports began surface that Covid-19 was hitting Black and Latinos far harder than white people. But it may not be a coincidence.

Of Course Trump is Lying About the Russians

Top officials in the White House were aware in early 2019 of classified intelligence indicating Russia was secretly offering bounties to the Taliban for the deaths of Americans, a full year earlier than has been previously reported, according to U.S. officials with direct knowledge of the intelligence.

The assessment was included in at least one of President Donald Trump’s written daily intelligence briefings at the time, according to the officials. Then-national security adviser John Bolton also told colleagues at the time that he briefed Trump on the intelligence assessment in March 2019.
Trump, through his Duty Liar, has denied any knowledge of this.

One might wonder when the Republicans are going to start asking why Trump is so soft on Putin; soft enough that the question should be asked just what Putin has on Trump.

If Lindsey Graham starts asking hard questions, then you'll know Trump's done.

More From the St. Louis Karens



Sunday, June 28, 2020

Trump Blasts the Steam-Whistle of Hate, Again

President Donald Trump on Sunday tweeted approvingly of a video showing one of his supporters chanting “white power,” a racist slogan associated with white supremacists. He later deleted the tweet and the White House said the president had not heard “the one statement” on the video.

The video appeared to have been taken at The Villages, a Florida retirement community, and showed dueling demonstrations between Trump supporters and opponents.

“Thank you to the great people of The Villages,” Trump tweeted. Moments into the video clip he shared, a man driving a golf cart displaying pro-Trump signs and flags shouts ’white power.”
The hell he didn't hear it.

Trump was blowing on his hate-whistle. The Nazis in his base herd it loud and clear.

Timely Humor



1911A1


The audio is a little iffy in places.

A Number That Hasn't Changed in Three Years and Five Months

The Max (737)

It may fly by August. Maybe.

But Boeing's got a two-decades' record of fucking the pooch, so who knows.

So now there'll be two reasons not to take an airline flight: The Pandemic and the Max.

That'll Leave a Mark

The Lincoln Project on our Traitor-in-Chief

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Tell These Fuckers to Leave. Charge Them With Trespassing If They Refuse.


Depending on your local jurisdiction, presenting that fake card may be a crime for presenting false government documents. The card has the DoJ seal on it, which makes using it a federal felony (18 USC 1017).

My thought would be to get the idiot's name, kick them out and then do whatever steps are necessary to ban them from the premises forever. That would elevate a return visit to criminal trespass.

Caturday; Guest Critter Ed.

A bunny is breakfasting on a dandelion:

Friday, June 26, 2020

Voldemort May Have Been an Autocrat and a War Criminal, Sending Hundreds of Thousands of Americans to Fight and Die for Big Oil and Halliburton, But Nobody Ever Accused Him of Being Stupid

Unlike, say, Trump and Pence.

Trump's Buddy/Boss Is Paying People to Kill Americans

American intelligence officials have concluded that a Russian military intelligence unit secretly offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants for killing coalition forces in Afghanistan — including targeting American troops — amid the peace talks to end the long-running war there, according to officials briefed on the matter.

The United States concluded months ago that the Russian unit, which has been linked to assassination attempts and other covert operations in Europe intended to destabilize the West or take revenge on turncoats, had covertly offered rewards for successful attacks last year.
...
The intelligence finding was briefed to President Trump, and the White House’s National Security Council discussed the problem at an interagency meeting in late March, the officials said. Officials developed a menu of potential options — starting with making a diplomatic complaint to Moscow and a demand that it stop, along with an escalating series of sanctions and other possible responses, but the White House has yet to authorize any step, the officials said.
Of course Trump isn't going to do anything. Putin is, in essence, Trump's boss. Almost everything that Trump does with regard to foreign affairs can be predicted by asking yourself "what benefits Russia?" That's what Trump will do.

So Trump will do nothing about this.

(And neither will Moscow Mitch.)

People In the South Are Idiots; Pandemic Ed, or
Why I Despair For Our Country



Texas and Florida reversed course and clamped down on bars again Friday in the nation’s biggest retreat yet as the number of confirmed coronavirus infections per day in the U.S. surged to an all-time high of 40,000.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott ordered all bars closed, while Florida banned alcohol at such establishments. The two states joined the small but growing list of those that are either backtracking or putting any further reopenings of their economies on hold because of a comeback by the virus, mostly in the South and West.

Health experts have said a disturbingly large number of cases are being seen among young people who are going out again, often without wearing masks or observing other social-distancing rules.
As a nation, we had had some success in flattening the curve. That is until the scientifically-illiterate politicians, almost all of them Republicans, in states such as Texas, Florida and Arizona, paid more attention to the Trumpist ideology of ignorance than to actual scientists.



This wasn't hard to foresee. Flattening the curve took social distancing, avoiding congregating in large groups and wearing masks while out in public-- all things that the Trumpanzees refused to do because Bunker Boy denigrated doing those things. Because our Stable Genius in Chief believed that the virus would magically disappear in April because it would be getting hot out.

As I type this, it is 109degF in Maricopa County, Arizona. 85 in Houston. 86 in Miami. The CDC is forecasting that the pandemic will have killed 150,000 Americans by the middle of July. The EU is planning to ban travelers from the US because we don't have this shit under control.

What is the response of the Trump Administration?

Pence recommends prayer.
“I’d just encourage every American to continue to pray,” Pence said Friday during the first White House Coronavirus Task Force briefing in weeks (Trump stopped them in late April, tweeting they weren’t worth the time anymore). “Just continue to pray that, by God’s grace, every single day, each of us will do our part to heal our land.”
That's pretty weak sauce, about what one would expect from the Administration of Bullshit, Lies and Prayer.

Instead of coming up with plans, Trump and Pence veer between blaming other people, saying that it's up to the governors to fix the pandemic, offering prayers and making the taking of concrete measures to stop the pandemic into yet another culture war. Measures such as social distancing, not congregating in large groups and wearing masks in public brought out the entitled white people with their rifles, screaming "muh rights".

This is why I despair for our nation. We have an entire political party and large numbers of peolpe who believe that science and facts are subservient to ideology. Such thinking is why Germany wasn't a powerhouse in physics for decades after 1933 and why "Soviet biologist" was an oxymoron.

If we are going to make policy decisions based on ideology instead of facts and science, then we are far down the road to becoming a banana republic.

The No.1 Book on Amazon Today Is....


In case you wish to pre-order.

Because It's Friday

Virginia & Truckee RR: