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, April 30, 2017

Traveling Whilst Muslim

As a musician, Mohammed Fairouz travels to other countries frequently.

Usually, there’s no problem.

But recently, after getting off an eight-hour flight from London, immigration officials at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York stopped him, Fairouz said. He was told to go into a room, where he stayed for several hours without knowing why he was there.

Fairouz, an American who was born in the United Arab Emirates, told The Washington Post that he was given no reason for his detention, other than his Muslim name.
Apparently, Mohammed Fairouz is a very common name. Which means jack point shit. I've not heard of Customs goons detaining men named John Smith or Robert Brown because their names are common.

Next Step: Trump Will Appoint David Duke to the EEOC

A former director of an anti-immigration group, Julie Kirchner, is expected to be named as ombudsman to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services on Monday, according to a person with knowledge of the pending appointment.

Kirchner was from 2005 to 2015 director of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, a group that has advocated for extreme restrictions on immigration.

The ombudsman’s office at USCIS provides assistance to immigrants who run into trouble with the agency, such as immigration applications that take too long to process or applications that may have been improperly rejected.
I wish that this could provoke outrage on my part, but it doesn't. Not anymore. The Trump administration is ethically corrupt. They don't want government to function, they want to sabotage it at every turn. Anything that helps corporation, economic and environmental pirates is what they will do. Anything that helps people to make informed decisions is fought.

Trump Tears Up His Oath of Office

Remember when he swore to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States"?

Well, it seems like the last Republican to infest the White House, he has little regard for the Constitution.
In an interview with Fox News to mark the 100-day mark, he declared himself “disappointed” with congressional Republicans, despite his many “great relationships” with them.

He blamed the constitutional checks and balances built in to US governance. “It’s a very rough system,” he said. “It’s an archaic system … It’s really a bad thing for the country.”
The Constitution is fine. It's only a bad thing for wannabee dictators. Like Dolt-45.

Which is possibly why he's invited another Constitution-shredding president in for a visit.

Update: The Fox News transcript makes it pretty clear that Trump is enraged at the idea that he has to compromise on anything:
We don't have a lot of closers in politics and I understand why. It's a very rough system, it's an archaic system. You look at the rules of the Senate, even the rules of the House, bit the rule of the Senate and some of the things you have to go through, it's really a bad thing for the country in my opinion.

There are archaic rules and maybe at some point, we're going to have to take those rules on because for the good of the nation things are going to have to be different. You can't go through a process like this. It's not fair, it forces you to make bad decisions. I mean, if you're forced into doing things that you would normally not do except for these archaic rules, so -
Trump pretty much seems to think that the legislative process should be trimmed down to Congress passing what he wants, with zero debate or consideration. Which is all pretty funny, in a way, for the conservative ideal was a low-IQ president who would sign whatever Congress gave him.

It's clear, or should be, that to Trump, being fair to him is the same as sycophantic praise. He has the same concept of fairness as a child who thinks that the umpire was unfair for calling him out on strikes.

Our president is a 70-year old with the emotional development of a tweener boy, at best. He has that amount of ability to see his own screwups ("everyone else is so mean to me") and the same about of impulse control.

Your Sunday Morning Turboprop Noise

Airbus A400M:

Hard to tell, but I'm assuming that the A400M uses ailerons for roll control. Getting into high bank angles with spoilers for roll control is a bad thing, as the Air Force has found out.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Move Over, Doug Feith

He has arguably been displaced from his title of "The Dumbest Motherfucker on the Planet."

Meet the new title-holder, who said:
"I want to see peace with Israel and the Palestinians. There is no reason there's not peace between Israel and the Palestinians - none whatsoever."
Donald J. Trump.

I gather that the prospect of peace in the Middle East is one of those "hard things" that he hasn't had anybody tell him is going to be really difficult to do. Maybe he needs a ten-minute lecture from some foreign leader.

Some times, it seems as though Trump is like a baboon who has been given a set of wrenches and a tractor. Nobody should be surprised when he can't fix it. He doesn't even know what he's looking at or have any understanding of the scope of the problem. Or that there even is a problem.

We are so boned!


Chip catches some Zzzzs:

It's a skill that a number of people I know would love to have.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Bayer Should Be Used to This

Bayer's chief executive acknowledged on Friday that he will face an uphill battle to improve Monsanto's reputation once Bayer completes the takeover of the U.S. seeds and agrochemicals company.

"Monsanto’s image does of course represent a major challenge for us, and it’s not an aspect I wish to play down," Werner Baumann told shareholders at Bayer's annual general meeting.
For a company that was once part of the IG Farben empire to show any signs of squeamishness about another company's reputation is almost funny. IG Farben produced Zykon B and developed Sarin.

Monsanto may be the largest producer of carcinogens in the U.S. You'd think it'd be a natural fit with a former Farben company.

What is Hopeful About Trump's Cluelessness

President Donald Trump on Thursday reflected on his first 100 days in office with a wistful look at his life before the White House.

"I loved my previous life. I had so many things going," Trump told Reuters in an interview. "This is more work than in my previous life. I thought it would be easier."
Maybe he's growing into the job, but I have my doubts. For one thing, this:
White House aides have figured out that it’s best not to present Trump with too many competing options when it comes to matters of policy or strategy. Instead, the way to win Trump over, they say, is to present him a single preferred course of action and then walk him through what the outcome could be – and especially how it will play in the press.

“You don’t walk in with a traditional presentation, like a binder or a PowerPoint. He doesn’t care. He doesn’t consume information that way,” said one senior administration official. “You go in and tell him the pros and cons, and what the media coverage is going to be like.”
Or, as was said in the 19th Century: "There go the people. I must follow them, for I am their leader." That isn't leadership, but craven political cowardice.

"How will it play in the press" is not the mark of any sort of leader. It is the mark, rather, of a narcissistic publicity whore. Trump would seem to prefer to be flattered and believe that the American people love him, rahter than provide any sort of leadership in perilous times.

This is also disturbing:
Midway through a discussion about Chinese President Xi Jinping, the president paused to hand out copies of what he said were the latest figures from the 2016 electoral map.

"Here, you can take that, that's the final map of the numbers," the Republican president said from his desk in the Oval Office, handing out maps of the United States with areas he won marked in red. "It’s pretty good, right? The red is obviously us." He had copies for each of the three Reuters reporters in the room.
Sore losers are pretty common, witness the South since 1866 (once the shock of losing wore off) and post-Great War Germany. Winners rarely feel a need to keep bragging about their victory (Patriots fans notwithstanding). People in the North rarely talk about their ancestors who marched off to crush those traitorous rebels 150 years ago.

But not Trump.

Alex Jones News

After nine hours of deliberation in the child custody trial involving internet broadcaster Alex Jones, a Travis County jury gave his ex-wife, Kelly Jones, a victory, awarding her joint custody with the right to have their three children make their primary residence with her instead of her husband for the first time since their 2015 divorce.
Jones tried to make the case that who he played on the air wasn't who he was, but his chili defense might not have gone over very well.

Nor might have his lawyers insisting that Jones doesn't really believe what he spouts and then Jones denying that.

Because It's Friday

The Valley RR in Connecticut:

Thursday, April 27, 2017

"I Want This Fucking Case Out of the Papers. Make It Go Away."

That'd be my guess of the summation of a discussion between UAL's brass and their lawyers.
CHICAGO, April 27 (Reuters) - United Airlines and the passenger who was dragged from a Chicago flight earlier this month have reached a settlement for an undisclosed sum, they said on Thursday, in the carrier's latest step to contain damage from an incident which has sparked international outrage.
The real meat may be if the settlement doesn't include the Chicago Aviation Department.

In related news, Southwest Airlines has decided that whatever they can gain from overbooking isn't worth the potential hassle anymore.

A Collision at Sea Can Ruin Your Entire Day

Thucydides probably never wrote that line, but it is indeed true.
A Russian spy ship has sunk off the Turkish coast after being breached in a collision with a freighter, with all its crew rescued, the Turkish coastal authority says.

Umm, Okayyyyyyy

The Classic Political Career Path for Bigots In Alabama

Running for Senate:
Former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore's entry into the U.S. Senate race adds another layer of drama to what's already expected to be a rollicking special election to fill the seat previously held by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

The fiery Republican jurist's stands against gay marriage and for a courthouse display of the Ten Commandments have earned him the nickname the "Ayatollah of Alabama" from the Southern Poverty Law Center - and legions of loyal followers across the country. Moore announced his candidacy among the swelling GOP field Wednesday in what is expected to be a cutthroat primary.
Moore has taken the rather strange position that removing racist language for the Alabama Constitution is racist. Which was bullshit. The reason was more likely if the sheet-wearing crowd ever got Federal law changed somehow, than Alabama would be ready to go in reapplying Jim Crow. Which he likely would be all in favor of doing.

Moore's view also is that non-Abrahamic religions aren't "real religions", so they fall outside of the First Amendment.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Trumpist Brown Shirts

Kyle Chapman, a California activist arrested earlier this month in a clash in Berkeley between anti-fascist protesters and pro-Trump demonstrators, announced this week he is forming the Fraternal Order of Alt Knights (cleverly called “FOAK).
History may not repeat itself, but it seems to have a rhythm.

Now Watch the Conservatives Yawn

From Axios:
Ivanka Trump told me yesterday from Berlin that she has begun building a massive fund that will benefit female entrepreneurs around the globe. Both countries and companies will contribute to create a pool of capital to economically empower women.

"The statistics and results prove that when you invest in women and girls, it benefits both developed and developing economies," she said. "Women are an enormous untapped resource, critical to the growth of all countries."
  • Under the radar: Canadians, Germans and a few Middle Eastern countries have already made quiet commitments, as have several corporations, a source said.
  • How it'll work: The fund will provide working and growth capital to small- and medium-sized enterprises. 
  • Who's involved: President Trump is a huge supporter of his daughter's idea, and she has consulted with World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim about how to pull it off in a huge way.
So, to recap, Ivanka Trump's going to operate a private foundation out of the White House and she's accepting donations from foreign sources.

If Hillary Clinton had tried that when she was the First Lady, you guys on the Right would have lost your goddamned minds.

Replenishing the Ol' Coffers

Barack Obama is to be paid $400,000 (£312,000) to speak at a healthcare conference organised by the Wall Street firm Cantor Fitzgerald, despite his criticism of the finance sector when he was US president.
Giving speeches for a lot of money is what Dubya said he would do and he has done.

I guess it's just capitalism. And it's not corrupt, for other than persuasion, ex-presidents have no power or any real influence.

But it does have a bit of an odor to it. To some degree, cashing in on public service seems a bit unseemly. It has for a long time.

All this makes Harry Truman's brand of morality and ethics seem quaint.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017


I use a stainless-steel triwall thermos to take coffee to work. It holds about 12oz.

I thought it was fairly clean. But following a tip that I saw elsewhere, I squirted in some dishwashing machine soap and then filled it up with boiling hot water. I let it sit for 30 minutes and then poured it out.

Sheets of brown gunk came out. The inside looked mostly sparkling clean. After a second try, it was.

(It'll also work with powder or a pod. Not sure if it'll work with handwashing soap. )

96% of Trump Voters

They'd vote for him again if the election were held again, today.

Well, no fucking shit. Why are people so amazed at that statistic? Have they forgotten what the choice was?


ANZAC Day today commemorates the 102nd Anniversary of the Battle of Gallipoli. Though, in truth, we probably should be calling ti the Battle of Çanakkale, because the Turks prevailed.

56,000 soldiers of the French and British Empires died, as well as a roughly equal number of soldiers from the Ottoman Empire.

In a more just world, a few general officers would have been shot afterwards.

Anyway, a past post, with links to others.

Monday, April 24, 2017

How Do You Say "Ivanka Trump" in Italian?

Adrienne Vittadini.
At American discount retailer Stein Mart, Ivanka Trump apparel is being sold under the guise of a different label. BoF has learned that the Jacksonville, Florida-based chain — which has 290 stores in 31 states, everywhere from Little Rock, Arkansas to Madison, Wisconsin — is selling Ivanka Trump garments relabeled as Adrienne Vittadini Studio.

Meanwhile, in Kansas:
Benedictine College Administration just announced that campus is no longer offering academic or recreational yoga classes after spring semester 2017.

The decision was made in response to a growing number of concerns from students, alumni and faculty and by the request of Archbishop Joseph Naumann and Abbot James Albers.

“Yoga as created has some potential for eastern mysticism which has caused concern among members of the Catholic Church,” said Stephen Minnis, president of the college. “[Archbishop Naumann] has expressed his concerns and the issues surrounding that. We asked ourselves if there was a way to bring those yoga benefits to our students and faculty without the possible effects of eastern mysticism and are currently investigating other alternatives.”

Starting in fall 2017, the college will be offering a “stretching and breathing” class called “Liftestyle Fitness” in replacement of what is traditionally called yoga. Minnis believes students are still hoping to reap the physical benefits of yoga and is currently searching for close alternatives.
Which sounds a lot like serving up the Eucharist, but calling it "crackers and wine", because the idea that one is symbolically chowing down on the Son of G-d is rather icky.

Self-Defense in the Show-Me State

ST. LOUIS • A woman who stepped out of the 7-Eleven where she worked for a smoke break found herself in a shootout early Monday when an armed man tried to rob her.

She pulled out a gun and exchanged fire with the would-be robber.

The 30-year-old robber was shot in the chest, arm and thigh, police said. He died from his injuries at St. Louis University Hospital.

The 35-year-old woman, whom police have not named, was shot twice in the leg. Police said the woman was conscious and breathing when she was taken to a hospital, where she was stable.
If that's what happened, then patch her up and give her a medal.

7-Eleven will probably fire her:

(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

So.she may be looking for work.

We Had It Rough In Our Day

Kids these days have it easy.

If we wanted to know about something, we had to go to the public library and look it up in books. Or magazines. Or back issues of the newspapers. And if we wanted to insult people, we had to do it face-to-face, by letter, or over the telephone.