Seen on the street in Kyiv.

Words of Advice:

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

“The Mob takes the Fifth. If you’re innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment?” -- The TOFF *

"Foreign Relations Boil Down to Two Things: Talking With People or Killing Them." -- Unknown

“Speed is a poor substitute for accuracy.” -- Real, no-shit, fortune from a fortune cookie

"If you believe that you are talking to G-d, you can justify anything.” — my Dad

"Colt .45s; putting bad guys in the ground since 1873." -- Unknown

"Stay Strapped or Get Clapped." -- probably not Mr. Rogers

"The Dildo of Karma rarely comes lubed." -- Unknown

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

* "TOFF" = Treasonous Orange Fat Fuck, A/K/A Dolt-45,
A/K/A Commandante (or Cadet) Bone Spurs,
A/K/A El Caudillo de Mar-a-Lago, A/K/A the Asset,
A/K/A P01135809, A/K/A Dementia Donnie

Friday, October 31, 2014

Compare and Contrast the Treatment of Two Alleged Cop-Killers

Eric Frein, 31, was captured on Thursday by US marshals in an abandoned plane hangar, ending a lengthy and tense manhunt. It followed seven weeks of tension and turmoil as authorities at times closed schools, cancelled outdoor events and blockaded roads.
and that the cops in California set the cabin that Christopher Dornan was in on fire and then watched it burn to the ground.

To be fair(ish) about it, the cops in California do have a bit of a track record of "accidentally" setting the hideouts of criminals on fire and then watching them burn to death.

Science Triumps Over GOP's Fear Agenda (at Least Once)

At least in a Maine court.
Maine suffered defeat in its attempts to restrict the movements of a nurse who returned to the state after working with Ebola patients in west Africa, when a judge reversed an earlier ruling.
The nurse, Kaci Hickox, has basically wiped the floor with two GOP governors. Chris Christie caved on quarantining her as soon as she said she was going to sue his fat ass.

And now Paul LePage has lost.

A Bad Week for Space Flight

Space Ship Two exploded during a test flight. At least one pilot was killed.

Not much else is known beyond that.

A. Wireless Carriers are Worse Than the NSA.
B. "Way to Go, Miss Lindsey!"
C. Customer Follies, Gun Shop Edition.
D. Gun Repair.

If you have a smartphone, the wireless carriers are spying on your internet use, with an eye to selling the data to advertisers. So it's not enough that those fuckers are charging among the highest usage fees in the industrialized world, they seek new ways to suck cash from their users.


Lindsey Graham had a rare bit of verbal honesty, openly pledging that if he becomes President, that he will look out for the interests of rich white guys. Dollars to donuts that Miss Lindsey is going to now say that he was "only joking" or some shit like that. But we know better, Dear Reader, don't we.


Swung by a local gun shop. There, a customer and his significant other were shopping for a handgun for home defense. The customer chose an off-brand 4" .38. Customer was standing there with the revolver in his hand, cylinder open, when the sales clerk put a Form 4473 and a pen on the counter for him to fill out. Customer closed the cylinder by flicking his wrist. The sales clerk's eyes widened, but I could see the thought balloon: "If I say something to the guy, I might bugger up the sale."

After the sale was completed and the happy couple left the store with their new gun and two boxes of cartridges, the clerk said to me: "I thought your eyes were going to come out of your head."

Me: "Yeah, well, if he'd a done that to my gun, he'd have some newly-broken fingers from me taking the gun away from him."


I sent the Model 15 that I traded for off for repairs to fix the timing issue. The gunsmith called me to tell me that the timing issue was a symptom of another problem. The cylinder yoke on the gun is slightly sprung, but not in the direction that it would be from some clown snapping the gun closed. He thinks that once that issue is fixed, the timing may come right back in.

Even better news was that he said: "I'm not going to ask what you paid for it, but I'm pretty certain it's worth more than that." Which was nice to hear, but I bought it to shoot. Still, I know a few S&W collectors and I'll run that by them.

Because It's Friday

Aussie steam, back in the day:

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Lunar Humor

When NASA was preparing for the Apollo project, they did some training on a Navajo Indian reservation. One day, a Navajo elder and his son were herding sheep and came across the space crew. The old man, who spoke only Navajo, asked a question which his son translated: "What are these guys in the big suits doing?"

A member of the crew said they were practicing for their trip to the Moon.

The old man got all excited and asked if he could send a message to the Moon with the astronauts.

Recognizing a public relations opportunity for the spin-doctors, the NASA folks found a tape recorder. After the old man recorded his message, they asked the son to translate it. He refused.

So the NASA reps brought the tape to the reservation where the rest of the tribe listened and laughed but refused to translate the elder's message to the Moon.

Finally, the NASA crew sent the tape to an official government translator in Phoenix. He reported that the elder's message to the Moon said:

"Watch out for these guys. They have come to steal your land."

TSA vs. Customer: Two Levels of Stupid

So the TSA can't tell the difference between a Glock and a Buck-Rogers ray gun. The TSA doesn't know that real ray guns don't exist and that confiscating a belt-buckle that looks like a ray gun is as stupid as confiscating a replica of Harry Potter's magic wand[1].

We all know that the TSA is staffed with morons who are in constant danger of looking up on a rainstorm and then drowning[2]. But this guy, having had to fight with one set of the TSA's sufferers of rectal-cranial inversion, wore his prized belt buckle on another flight. Where the odds were pretty good that he'd run into another TSA agent afflicted by a similarly-diminished understanding of reality. And so he did and this time, he had to give it up.

I'm not normally of the "blame the vic" mentality, but this time.... Jeez, guy! WTF were you thinking?
[1] Because the kid could cast a spell and make the wings fall off. I hesitate to even snark about that, because the TSA is stupid enough to buy it.
[2] Hell, "TSA screeners are idiots" should be the opening part to one of GEICO's "did you know" commercials.

That News Story You're Reading Online Might be an FBI Phishing Attempt

The FBI has done it before.

Between that story and now this one, it would seem that the FBI is as malevolent a bunch as any group of Russian hackers (or Nigerian princes).

It can be fairly argued that the most serious threat to American freedom and liberty comes not from ISIS or any similar group, but from the J.Edgar Hoover Building in D.C. (and from the laughingly named "George Bush Center for Intelligence", which is the official name of the CIA's headquarters in Langley, VA, a/k/a "Torture Central").

I Was Wondering About That, Myself; Daily Show Edition

I noticed this week that Koch Industries was advertising on The Daily Show. That seemed rather odd to me.

It's odd to those at the show, as well:

Koch Industries: Raping the Planet and Destroying Your Future So Two Rich Old Fuck Can Get Even Richer.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Police Firing Squad

No, this was not a Colombian or Salvadoran death squad at work. This was several brave American cops (in Saginaw, Michigan) who formed up into a firing squad and summarily executed a man in broad daylight:

The dead guy was mentally ill. He was holding a pen knife and standing there. He wasn't moving, just standing there. The cops lined up and, simultaneously, gunned him down. About all they lacked was a commissioned officer to hold a saber, shout the orders and provide a coup de grâce, if required.

It probably isn't necessary to note that the local prosecutor found nothing wrong. No doubt that the worst thing that happened to the cops involved was that they received a harsh memo for wasting ammunition, in that they fired 47 times and hit the condemned man only 11 times.

More Antares Video

Shot from a Cessna, so you may want to turn your sound off, as all you'll hear is airplane noise.

Orbital Sciences' Antares rocket uses old surplus Soviet NK-33 engines for the first stage. "Surplus" as in the engines were made when NASA was still flying Saturn rockets. The Soviets built them for their own Moon rocket program. Aerojet refurbished and inspected them, but as the old saying goes, you can't inspect in quality.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Non-Snarky Footage of the Antares Explosion

It's still a dangerous business.

Capt. Obvious Narrates the Antares Launch Explosion

"That looked like something went definitely very wrong with that launch."

No shit, guy. The explosion and fireball were kind of clues, doncha think?

Notice how they were talking as though everything was going well for a few seconds after it blew up. It sort of suggests that they weren't watching it, they were just looking at the camera with vapid stares and going by what was being told to them from the control room.

Monday, October 27, 2014

I'da Pushed the Goddam Button; Antares Launch Edition

The Orbital Sciences Corp. Antares rocket scheduled to launch at 6:45p from NASA’s Wallops Island Flight Facility has been scrubbed due to a boat in the range safety area.
Some asswipe just floated his damn boat into the firing area and with that, who knows how much that'll cost to reset everything.

I'd have said: "Hey, we put out a Notice to Mariners, this clown has assumed the risk of rocket parts landing on his fucking boat, we're go for launch."

But that's just me.

Update: This is why they wouldn't have listened to me.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Feds Can Seize Your Cash Just For Shits and Giggles

And no, they don't have to prove that you've done anything wrong. The IRS, in fact, the entire "civil forfeiture" system, runs on the French system: You are guilty until proven innocent.

And good luck with that, Bucko.

This shit needs to be changed. But it won't be. Law enforcement from top to bottom, from the Feds to the local po-po, are addicted to living off stealing people's cash without having to prove that any crime was committed.

It's For the Critters; Bleg Update

It's kind of hard to tell, as other fundraising efforts have been in play, but as best we can figure, this post generated between $1,000 and $1,200 in donations.

Thanks, guys. On behalf of the Shelter, we very much appreciate it. You're good people.

The Long View

This Republic has survived a lot.

It survived the British seeking a do-over of the Revolutionary War. It survived the disputes over slave and free states, which peaked with the Civil War (but which still echoes to this day). It survived the Grant and Harding Administrations, which have both stood out in history for high levels of corruption.

It survived Imperial Germany, Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan and the Soviet Union. It survived the domestic turmoil of the Vietnam War.

If you are a conservative, the Republic survived twelve years of FDR. If you are a progressive, the Republic survived six years of Nixon and eight years of Cheney/Bush.

The Republic has survived the Palmer Raids, the Red Scare and Prohibition. It survived nearly forty years of Hoover's FBI.

I;m not saying that there are still challenges. Despite what "conservative thinkers" such as George Will may proclaim, the issue of race still dogs this country. The growth of the National Surveillance State is a threat to freedom that still too many people ignore, or worse, actively support.*

At some level, the national debt may pose a problem.** Climate change is an issue that is being sandbagged by fearful ideologists.***

We've survived worse. Compared to what has come before, the Affordable Care Act is a popcorn fart in a windstorm.
* I'm looking at you, Mike Rogers and Dianne Feinstein.
** "[Ronald] Reagan proved that deficits don't matter." -Richard Cheney.
*** But I'm not going there. There is no point.

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

A DeHavilland Venom in Vermont:

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Not a Fun Show

I held this off for a bit to avoid describing the innocent:

So I went to a smallish gunnie swap meet. It was not a formal gun show. Some things were reasonable, but really, nothing much that I wanted. A few Enfields, but my general rule now is that if I don't have a gun in that caliber already, I'm not buying the gun.

There was a guy with a few revolvers. One was a Smith 28. It had more surface rust than bluing. I asked him if I could check the timing and he said sure. At least three cylinders were out of time. I asked him what he wanted for it and he said $400.

I put it down. I might have gone $250 on it, but that's all. It'd cost over $100 with shipping to have a good gunsmith fix the timing and that's assuming that there were no other mechanical issues. And while it's one thing to have a gun with lot of worn bluing and holster wear, rust is another matter, at least for me.

He had a nicer K-frame, but I didn't bother asking what he wanted for that. I'd probably miss the left leg that he'd have wanted for it.


Personal maintenance is important!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Charitable Cash Bleg for the Critters

(Stickied to the top.  Scroll down to read new posts.  [If there are any.])

I kind of hesitate to ask this, as it's really too close to home. For the most part, I do try and keep my personal crap out of this blog, other than cats and guns.

But here it is: I volunteer at an animal shelter. It is the only no-kill shelter in a wide radius. (Almost all of the shelter cat photos that you've seen over the last couple of years of Caturday posts have been taken there.) And it has been a tough year for the shelter.

So if you can spare some change (or a lot of it), please go here and make a donation for the critters. If you are on the Book of Face, you can go here and click on the link under the photo that says "Donation Dog". If you feel more comfortable mailing a paper check, the address is towards the bottom of this page.

It's a 501(c)(3), so your donation is 100% tax deductible.

Please, folks. If you've gotten anything out of this blog over the years, I'm asking you to please, show them some love of the cash-money kind.

And if you could mention this on your own blog, please do that.

(And if you think they're a buncha pinkos, the majority of the board has CCW permits.)

Memo to Cat:

Not every can that is opened with a can-opener contains tuna.

I made bastardized huevos rancheros for dinner (tortilla, refried beans, eggs and salsa). When I opened the can of refried beans, Jake came into the kitchen and began yowling. I finally gave up, put a dab of the bean paste on a finger and held it out to him. He licked it off, made a cat sound that sounded a bit like "wut" and walked away.

Earlier, I had closed the office soon after lunch, gone home, grabbed my flight kit and went flying. I tooled around the sky for a little bit, then returned to the airport and shot some landings on the grass parallel runway. Warmish day, little wind, it was almost perfect.

Yes. It Is.

If you want one, best bring plenty of cash to prowl the gun shows, used gun shelves at your local store and the pawn shops. Because Colt doesn't make any of those heaters anymore, and hasn't for a very long time.

Because It's Friday

Swiss steam.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Reach Out and Touch Someone, Mid 19th Century Edition

The Whitworth rifle:

A thousand dollars for a rifle and ammo in 1864 would be about fifteen grand today. (There was a long depression after the Civil War, with bad times that lasted for close to 13 years.)


Another Reason Not to Drink Their Shitty Coffee

A Phoenix-area Starbucks is facing criticism for denying a pregnant woman use of its bathroom, even after she said she would buy an item.
If Starbucks has any sense, they'll give the woman and her husband lifetime comp cards. Not that anyone with any taste would drink that swill.

Hell, maybe Starbucks'll even let them bring their guns.....

Blackwater- Nisour Square Massacre Convictions

Three security guards working for the private US contractor Blackwater have been found guilty of the manslaughter of a group of unarmed civilians at a crowded Baghdad traffic junction in one of the darkest incidents of the Iraq war.

A fourth, Nicholas Slatten, was found guilty of one charge of first-degree murder. All face the likelihood of lengthy prison sentences after unanimous verdicts on separate weapons charges related to the incident.
The sad thing is that the massacre wasn't charged as a war crime. If they had charged the Blackwater goons with war crimes, then they could have gone after Blackwater Führer Prince and nailed his slimy ass under the Yamashita doctrine.

Which, of course, they'd never do because then they'd set a precedent for charging Chimpy, Darth, Condi and the rest of the senior Bushies.

And, probably, now, Barry and his boys.

SSI Goes Up

Social Security pensions will be increased by 1.7%.

Presumably that applies to old Nazis.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

March of the Morons in Missouri; Open Carry Edition

A St. Louis open carry/firearm education walk is scheduled to take place in downtown St. Louis on Saturday afternoon.

Participants are asked to openly carry slung long guns and holstered pistols in an effort to “raise awareness of the right to keep and bear arms under the Federal and Missouri State Constitutions.”
Open carry was passed in the last legislative session over the governor's veto. I predict that, based on events such as these, the state will go back to the way that it was (cities can ban open carry) by the time the next session ends.

It should be evident to all adults that with rights come responsibilities. With rights comes the duty to exercise those rights in an adult manner. For example, you have the right to peaceably assemble. You have the right to petition for redress of grievances.
What you're not going to be able to do is hold a loud protest march outside of the mayor's house at three in the morning. The First Amendment is subject to reasonable restrictions on time, manner and place. Local governments try, from time to time, to enact stupid-ass restrictions that get struck down.

Concealed carry of defensive weapons has a societal purpose. The bad guys learn, quite quickly, that they can't count on a quick assessment of the physical size, gender and age of a prospective victim as a good tool to whether or not they can get away with a little bit of street crime. That aged woman walking with the aid of a cane might have a 9mm handy; a bit of strong-arm robbery could end very badly for the criminal. Concealed carry works something like vaccinations, in that a number of people with concealed weapons end up conferring protection on many more people.

None of that is in play with open carry. Open carry allows a criminal to take into account the potential victim's armed status and, if an attack is chosen, factor that into the attack plan.

Second, there is no reason, to my mind, why any rational human being needs to stroll down the street with a shotgun or a rifle. Those weapons have a reach that greatly exceeds the zone of self-defense that any court will recognize. You are not going to shoot people at fifty or three hundred yards (and if you do, you're going to prison for a very long time).

Third, no civilized person willingly engages in behavior that frightens people and horses. Hell, I have a CCW permit* and I am going to give a wide berth to someone who is walking down the street with a slung rifle or shotgun, because I'm going to question their sanity. If a bunch of folks come into an eatery toting long guns, I'm leaving. When I lived in rural hunting country, deer hunters had the civility to leave their .30-30s in their trucks. They didn't bring them into the opening day breakfasts at the grange hall or the firehouse.

And finally, open carry endangers everything we've worked to accomplish in passing concealed carry legislation. The open carry loons are opening the door back up to restrictions on the right to carry. Once the legislative process is open to considering limitations, we run the risk of having more limits enacted than just anti-idiot legislation.

So please, open carry folks, stay the Hell out of urban areas and towns with your long guns and your open carried handguns. You are not helping.

Update: As GolfFoxtrotYankee alluded to, one might recall what happened when the Black Panthers took advantage of the open carry laws in the 1960s. The state legislature in California passed an act forbidding it in record time, an act that was almost immediately signed into law by Governor Ronald Reagan. Hell, the Gun Control Act of 1968 itself was pushed into law because the Panthers. So one might argue that when white folk want guns rights, they get gun rights. When black folk exercise their gun rights, those rights get taken away. But that's a point I made several years back.
* Actually, several of them.

Affluenza Defense Failed This Time

Oscar Pistorius will spend his first day behind bars on Tuesday after he was sentenced to five years’ jail for killing his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.
The judge, from the news reports, specifically rejected the defense arguments of "jail'd be too hard on our wealthy client".

Unlike judges in this country.

Communists Channel Their Inner Republican. (Or Is It the Other Way Around?)

Voter suppression seems to be all the rage these days. The one difference between the Chinese Communists and the GOP is that the Commies are at least honest about it in public.
The Beijing-appointed leader of Hong Kong, Leung Chun-ying, said Monday evening that it was unacceptable to allow his successors to be chosen in open elections, in part because doing so would risk giving poorer residents a dominant voice in politics.
In this country, GOP officials have to be sort of caught admitting that their objective is to keep people different from them away from the polls.


Monday, October 20, 2014

Working for the NSA: You Don't Even Have to be Out the Door to Cash In.

The NSA let retired Emperor Alexander recruit active NSA guys to work for him part-time.

"Conflict of interest" doesn't even begin to cover it. More like "evil double-dealing fuckery."

That'd be like letting soldiers go work for Blackwater in their free time.

By the way, you might note that the NSA let this story hit on a Friday night, no doubt hoping that it'd be buried in the news cycle.

Which is why on this blog, the story goes out on Monday morning.

Because fuck you, NSA.

(And Emperor Alexander isn't the only clown working this angle.)

Now the Top 1% Can Kill You Even Easier

A review of the "Tracking Point" weapon system.

The reviewer was really off base in discussing that the Tracking Point system doesn't figure the wind:
You still have to input your own wind information. Scott said they could incorporate a sensor to determine wind but it would add too much bulk to the scope and dramatically reduce battery life. That’s likely the biggest reason first round hit probability is less than 100%. Calculating the average crosswind between you and your game is challenging. In fact, the wind at the target may be blowing 180 degrees from where it is at your position. It takes experience to accurately make wind estimates and even the best shooters don’t always get it right. But then again, the type of hunters who are buying these rifles probably welcome the challenge.
Which is bullshit. If they were up for a challenge, they wouldn't be buying a computer-controlled rifle that costs up around $27,000 and shoots specially-made cartridges at $8 a pull. Even the "cheaper" rifles that Tracking Point plans to build on an AR-style rifle will cost ten grand or more.

These are gamer's toys. The on-board computer figures it all out, the shooter holds the trigger back and when the rifle's hitting point is on the target, the gun fires. There's no art, no skill, no expertise involved. Only money.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Viginia is for Foamers!

They're not the only state, though.

Open Carry Comes to Missouri

This is how I understand it went:

Some asshole* in the state legislature proposed raising the minimum age for getting a concealed carry permit to age 25. Some other assholes said: "Oh, yeah? We see your age change and raise you- we'll lower it to 19 and make open carry legal everywhere that concealed carry is legal. Whaddya think of that?"

And now it's the law.

I sort of am in favor of open carry laws, if only to stop the hoplophobic po-po from arresting people for "brandishing" because the cop gets a glimpse of a concealed handgun. But when assholes like these clowns or these two idiots come into play, then I am open to changing my mind about the wisdom of permitting open carry.
* Probably this one.


My bed had been stripped to wash the sheets. So of course, that gave Jake another surface to lie on.

Getting a P-47 into the Fight

All it took was a crew chief who knew what he was doing, a few men with some mechanical abilities, some hand-tools, a shovel and about fifty strong backs.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Republicans, are You Happy Now?

You guys wanted an Ebola Czar, so you're getting an Ebola Czar.

Funny how all of you "small gummint" types were falling all over the microphone stands in order to go on TV to implore, nay, demand that the President appoint an "Ebola Czar". All it takes is a little whiff of crisis and you self-reliant-states-righters fall to the ground and plead for the folks in Washington to save your asses from whatever peril affrightens you so.

Fusion Power

An update to this post about Lockheed's ideas for a compact fusion reactor:
Tom McGuire, compact fusion lead for the Skunk Works' Revolutionary Technology Programs: "The smaller size will allow us to design, build and test the CFR in less than a year."
OK, I'm officially skeptical. The devil is in the details and there are a shitload of those that the Skunk Works isn't discussing,

But just imagine the implications if it works. We could decommission every coal-fired power plant in the world. With more development, petroleum-powered surface transportation's days may be measured in decades. Carbon emissions alone could fall to 19th Century levels.

If the small fusion plants work and are safe, the need for large regional power grids may go away. In the event of a catastrophe, you'd just fly in a complete new plant. One or two in spacecraft would make large ion engines practicable.

A post-fossil fuel era would break the grip on the world's economy held by OPEC. Saudi Arabia and Texas could go back to fucking camels and cattle, respectively, as their main industries. That alone is a reason to pursue this idea.

Because It's Friday

The Crossness sewage pumping station.

Why Do Props Do That?

You've probably seen photos like this:

This is why it happens. The explanation starts out at a "see, this is what is going on" and then, as you read on, gets more into the math of it.

Thursday, October 16, 2014


Lockheed Martin Corp said on Wednesday it had made a technological breakthrough in developing a power source based on nuclear fusion, and the first reactors, small enough to fit on the back of a truck, could be ready for use in a decade.
We shall see, I guess. Fusion power has been "twenty years away" for the last forty years and the big projects are not measurably closer to producing a sustained fusion reaction than they were two decades ago.

On the other hand, one underestimates the ability of Lockheed's Skunk Works to change the rules of the game at one's peril.

"Laws are for Little People"-- The Donald Edition

because getting licenses and permits is for chumps:
Donald Trump is personally liable for operating a for-profit investment school without the required license, a New York judge ruled in a lawsuit brought by the New York Attorney General against the real estate entrepreneur.

Those Terroristic Nobel Prizes

It's way past time that we rethink even having the TSA. Astrophysicist Brian Schmidt won a Nobel Prize in physics in 2011. He went to Fargo to see his grandmother who, naturally, wanted to see the medal. He can take it from there:
You would think that carrying around a Nobel Prize would be uneventful, and it was uneventful, until I tried to leave Fargo with it, and went through the X-ray machine. I could see they were puzzled. It was in my laptop bag. It’s made of gold, so it absorbs all the X-rays—it’s completely black. And they had never seen anything completely black.

“They’re like, ‘Sir, there’s something in your bag.’
I said, ‘Yes, I think it’s this box.’
They said, ‘What’s in the box?’
I said, ‘a large gold medal,’ as one does.
So they opened it up and they said, ‘What’s it made out of?’
I said, ‘gold.’
And they’re like, ‘Uhhhh. Who gave this to you?’
‘The King of Sweden.’
‘Why did he give this to you?’
‘Because I helped discover the expansion rate of the universe was accelerating.’
At which point, they were beginning to lose their sense of humor. I explained to them it was a Nobel Prize, and their main question was, ‘Why were you in Fargo?’”
Once the room-temp IQ TSA screeners realized that a gold medal is not a terrorist's implement, they should have shut their dick holsters and let Dr. Schmidt go about his business. Why he was in Fargo with his Nobel Prize was really none of their goddamned concern.

But this is what has been going on ever since we all let the failed-mall-cops who "work" for the TSA pretend that they are cops.

It's time that we re-think even having a TSA. Or if we have to continue to have them hold down those phony-baloney jobs, let's dress them in pink or purple uniforms so that everyone will be clear on the fact that they are not cops.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Only Speak Good of the Dead; Greenglass Edition

David Greenglass – who served 10 years in prison for his role in the most explosive atomic spying case of the Cold War, and gave testimony that sent his sister Ethel Rosenberg and her husband to the electric chair – has died aged 92.
The little ratfucking weasel lied his own sister into the electric chair, then blamed her for not falsely confessing to save herself.

He should only rot in Hell.

Apropos of Nothing In Particular

Carry on.

Shorter GOP: "Elections Are Only Free and Fair If We Win."

The fact that Barack Obama shellacked his opponents in the presidential elections of 2008 and 2012 seems to make no difference to Republicans, who would rather that this nation complete its descent into a Third World hellhole, complete with military coups:
“I have a question for all my friends who have served or are currently serving in our military … having not put on a uniform nor taken any type military oath, there has to be something that I am just not aware of. But I cannot and do not understand why no action is being taken against our domestic enemy. I know he is supposedly the commander in chief, but the Constitution gives you the authority. What am I missing? Thank you for your bravery and may God keep you safe,” [Jefferson County, MO, Recorder of Deeds Debbie] Dunnegan said in her post from early last week.
There is no "misunderstanding" about what Dunnegan said, regardless of how she might want to spin it. She called for a military coup. Because her preferred candidates lost, she'd rather throw away 238 years of democracy and install a military dictatorship.

Dunnegan should get a fucking clue about a few things. One is that military dictatorships are uniformly hostile to the freedoms outlined in the First and Second Amendments, not to mention the Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Eighth Amendments.

I would suggest to the voters of Jefferson County that they elect whomsoever is running against Dunnegan in the election next month. For she has proven herself to be unfit to hold elective office in a democracy.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


This is the price of crude oil over the last year:

1 Year Crude Oil Prices - Crude Oil Price Chart

It was holding pretty steady at $110 a barrel, but now has dropped down. Gasoline futures have fallen from $2.70/gal to $2.17.

So, what is going on? There's enough of the oil production market that is nationally-controlled and not part of the free market. Which causes me to wonder if the impact of lower oil prices on the Russian economy is not a bug, but a feature.

The boom-and-bust cycle in our domestic oil business is what it is. You might remember when the price of oil fell so low in the `80s that one could buy a house in Houston for little more than pocket lint.

Unhinged; Ebola Edition

Phyllis Schlafly is alleging that the Obama Administration is deliberately allowing Ebola and other diseases in so that the U.S. will be more like Africa.

The nice men who wear white uniforms need to take the poor dear back to her comfy padded room, bless her heart.

Forget About Dropping a Dime Anonymously

Companies and governments are jumping on board harvesting voiceprints from telephone calls.

So say that you see some evil shit happening and you want to alert the cops. But you don't want to get involved, because you'd rather not get killed by a MS-13 gun thug or a Mafia assassin. Or maybe you'd just rather not be outed to your neighbors as a snitch, because you live in a neighborhood where the cops are regarded as just another street gang. Or maybe you'd not care to be called as a witness in a divorce case, after you called Child Protective Services or the cops on the family down the road.

Well, forget about it. Even if they don't know who you are, now, they eventually will.

Feeling safer, yet?

Monday, October 13, 2014

I Say We Nuke Dallas from Orbit! It's the Only Way to be Sure!

(CNN) -- The deadly Ebola virus has been contracted by someone inside the United States for the first time.

A nurse who had worn protective gear during her "extensive contact" at a Dallas hospital with an Ebola patient who died tested positive during a preliminary blood test, officials said Sunday.
I am pretty sure that, however this plays out, they'll figure out how to blame the nurse for contracting the disease. Because the first rule of bureaucracy, whether it is the hospital, the local health department, the state health department* or the Feds, is "cover thy ass". After that rule is adhered to, then maybe fixing a problem is on the table.
* If there is one. Because it would be based on science and that is anathema to Rick Perry and his party.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

A MD-11 trash-hauler on a fall day:

The MD-11 was killed off by Boeing after Boeing bought McDonnell-Douglas, for reasons that shoud be obvious to the casual observer.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Bangity Time: A New Milestone

Today was the third and final Bullseye match at the local club. They're doing a full 2700 (.22, centerfire & .45). I only shot the rimfire portion.

My score was a bit better than last time. I broke 800 for the first time, scoring 801-18X.

I know I can do better. At least know when I have a bad shot, I know it when the trigger breaks and not when I see the target. (It's all about gun control, or, more precisely, trigger control.)

Still, it felt good to pull down that score.


"Put down that silly camera and bring us food!"

Friday, October 10, 2014

Because It's Friday

French steam:

Hank Greenberg May Be the Greediest Asswipe on the Planet

Hank Greenberg is suing us (the American people) because he thinks he was screwed by the terms of the AIG bailout.

Jon Stewart brings the snark and the smackdown, which is far better than anything that I could come up with.

But still, we, as in the Federal government (Bush Administration), bailed AIG out to the tune of $184 billion. AIG was going down the tubes, fast. As Stewart pointed out, the market value of AIG was $15.4 billion. So we gave AIG twelve times what the company was worth in order to save it, rather than letting it go down the tubes, in which case ol' Hank would have gotten nothing.

I love it that Greenberg is whining about how this isn't capitalism because the government stepped in and saved AIG. He has a point, for under a pure capitalist system, AIG would have gone under, the economy would have gone with it (worse than it did) and there would have been a chance that Greenberg and the the rest of the AIGers would have had angry mobs torching their mansions.

The Federal government saved AIG. And Greenberg is having a legal hissy fit about the terms?

Jon Stewart is right. Greenberg can go fuck himself.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Roosting Chickens; Drone-Slaughter Edition

The chickens are going to come home to roost on this one, some day.

President Obama and his guys might want to consider refraining from foreign travel once he's out of office. Much like you haven't seen Dick Cheney going to visit Paris.

There Was a Time When You Had a Private Life

Those days will be gone if the FBI has anything to say about it. This is the information that the FBI seeks to have on everyone:

Your gait. Your handwriting. Who your friends are (and where they are). Your bank records. Your school records, going right back to everything on your "permanent record" right back to kindergarten. Every doctor's visit you've ever made. What you sound like, what you smell like. Where your car is, right now.

Every motherfucking thing that it possible to know about you, the FBI wants in its databases. As the Privacy Blog points out, an FBI minion will be able to type your name into a computer and your entire life will be there for him or her to delve into. You might not remember who the name of your fourth grade gym teacher was, but the FBI will know. You may have forgotten the names of your co-workers at your first job, but the FBI will know.

Why do you think that there is a consistent push for a cashless society? The FBI hates the idea of you paying cash for anything. They want to know where you buy your morning coffee and what you have. There is no detail about your life that is too insignificant for the Ghost of Jedgar Hoover's massive filing cabinets.

Compared to what the FBI wants to accumulate on all Americans, the Soviet Union and East Germany were beacons of individual privacy.

Fuck ISIS. The biggest threat to our freedom comes from those thugs at 935 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC.

A Guy Died of Ebola Yesterday in Dallas

Yep, he did, and you can bet your ass that the cable news morons are going at this story hammer-and-tong right now.

I do have to wonder how many other people died in that hospital yesterday. Or how many were killed in motor vehicle accidents or shootings or what not.

One guy died of Ebola yesterday. 3,822 people died in motor vehicle accidents in Texas last year, so between ten and eleven people, on average, were croaked in crashes on the same day that the Ebola guy died. We'll lose almost ten times that many nationwide in a year in wrecks that mainly will occur unnoticed, other than for the families touched by the tragedies.

But one guy dies of Ebola and the national media loses its collective shit.

You Can Hear the Crickets Chirping From the Right About the Budget Deficit

The US budget deficit fell to 2.8 percent of the economy's output in fiscal year 2014, as government revenues rose sharply, official data showed Wednesday.

The federal government's deficit was $486 billion in the fiscal year that ended on September 30, down from $680 billion, or 4.1 percent of gross domestic product, in fiscal year 2013, the Congressional Budget Office said in a preliminary estimate.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Gun Leather

A friend of mine is a leather worker. I asked her to make a pancake holster for my Colt Detective Special.

First, this is her sewing machine. It is a Tippman and it is one huge sucker. The lever on the right is the operating lever, it is a manually-operated machine.

From the design and the hold-down bolts, you can get an idea of how much force that machine applies. (A new one has a MSRP of $1,500). I asked about electric ones. Apparently they cost about five times as much (for good ones) and are prone to going out of time, a fault that takes a tech to fix.

This is the holster:

The slots are cut to my belt. She gave it to me with the leather damp and the gun wrapped in plastic. I spent a couple of hours kneading it with my fingers to get a precise fit. I was warned not to nick it with a fingernail during the process, as that would leave a mark, but I did anyway. After it dried, I brought it back for staining.

If you want a holster that is precisely molded to your gun, I suspect that you'll be limited to Kydex. A leather holster that is fitted for a particular gun is going to be not as precise, for the maker is likely going to shove a blue gun (or a wrapped-up real one) into the damp holster and let it dry for awhile. Having a leather holster precisely molded to a gun does take a bit of hand work, with you're probably not going to get on a $50 holster.

Or you can buy a leather holster and then go through the molding process yourself, like G. Gordon Liddy wrote about doing in this book on his days in the FBI (and subverting American democracy for Nixon).

How the Current Court Would Have Ruled in Loving vs. Virginia

They would have ruled for the state of Virginia, because not enough people in the country were in favor of interracial marriage in 1967.

The "mouse-over" text:
People often say that same-sex marriage now is like interracial marriage in the 60s. But in terms of public opinion, same-sex marriage now is like interracial marriage in the 90s, when it had already been legal nationwide for 30 years.

Somebody was Underpaid for This

To be frank about it, I'm not about to switch insurance based on a commercial. But GEICO's "15 minutes can save you 15%" series approaches sheer genius at times.

A hell of a lot better than that apron-wearing bimbo for one of their competitors. For some reason, those idiots think that an animated box was an improvement.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Awesome Powers That Cops Have in Georgia

In Georgia, the cops have the power to burn a toddler's face off and there will be no consequences. Because War on Drugs and if some baby is disfigured for life, that's just collateral damage.

Which is apparently why the county that the cops work for won't pay for the kid's medical bills. Those bills are expected to be over a million dollars.

Habersham County, Georgia is run by mean-spirited shitheels. They are a pack of weasels who are hiding behind their lawyer's opinion (who was probably told by the county what they wanted the opinion to be). Instead of doing the right thing, those inhuman motherfuckers will make the family sue the county, a process that will drag on for years, and stress the family even more.

Shorter Federal Judge to the MO Po-Po: The Right to "Peaceably Assemble" Does Not Mean You Have to Keep Moving, You Dumb Shits.

In the first formal blow to the policing tactics being used in Ferguson, Mo., a federal judge ruled Monday that the “5 second rule” — a policy being enforced by some officers that required protesters to be moving at all times during demonstrations or be subject to arrest — was unconstitutional and violated the protesters’ First Amendment rights.
Of course, the po-po immediately issued a statement that they really do respect the Constitutional rights of the protestors, but we all know that's bullshit, don't we, Gentle Reader? They'd still be openly beating confessions out of people if they could.

Even the Mouth-Breathers Who Grope You at the Airport Get "Special LEO Pricing"

FN's LEO discount is available to "all employees of the TSA".

Of course, FN is entitled to give discounts to whomever they feel like. But it's worth noting that neither Glock nor Sig consider the TSA to be a law enforcement agency.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Shorter Gov. Fallin: "I'm for the Sanctity of Marriage, Unless It's Mine."

You can compare and contrast her statement today with the allegations that her marriage broke up, in part, because she was shtupping one of her bodyguards.

My general rule is that any politician who bleats about "states' rights" probably has a white sheet in the closet that is fit for wearing to cross-burnings.

Hatred and Ignorance in Good Ole Georgia

First the hatred, some good old-fashioned antisemitism:
A historically Jewish fraternity’s house was the target of graffiti Sunday.

Emory University officials said Alpha Epsilon Pi was the target of “crude, offensive graffiti, including swastikas,” early Sunday morning, shortly after the end of the observance of Yom Kippur.
And now the ignorance, the anti-drug cops in Georgia can't tell the difference between pot and okra:
A Cartersville man is upset after he said investigators mistook a garden full of okra for marijuana plants.

The man growing the popular Southern food said a helicopter woke him up Wednesday and then he had deputies show up at his door.
The cops said that okra is similar to pot, in that both plants are green and have leaves.


Sunday, October 5, 2014

New Call Sign: "Pants-Shitter One"

Lindsey Graham is contemplating running for President.
The field of potential Republican presidential candidates in 2016 might have just gained one more name: Sen. Lindsey Graham.

Known for his hawkish foreign policy approach, the South Carolina Republican told the Weekly Standard in a story published Friday that he'll enter the race if he thinks he's the most competent messenger for a more aggressive foreign policy approach.
Just what we need, a frightened little man who has the vapors over almost everything. Graham comes across as one of the most fearful politicians that I have ever seen. Everything seems to scare the shit out of him. His preferred remedy for all maladies is surgical airstrikes.

If Graham could figure out how to remedy traffic congestion and cure diseases with 500lb bombs, he'd be all over that. for it seems that's the only power that Graham things that the Federal government should have: The ability to wage war. Because for Miss Lindsey's nervous condition, explosives work better than Valium.

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

The Cirrus Jet:

I kind of don't understand it. The Cirrus has a service ceiling of 28,000', which puts it right with the turboprops. Unlike the turboprops, you'll need a type rating to fly it.

The price is quoted about $2 million, but considering that the thing hasn't been certified yet, expect the real price to be higher. Maybe a lot higher. Maybe high enough to make one think about buying a Cessna Mustang, which can cruise at FL 410, or a TBM-900 turboprop, which is 10% faster than the Cirrus.

For I question whether Cirrus is going to be able to bring its jet in at a list price that is cheaper than any of the single-engined turboprops.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Something to Read About While Contemplating Your Next Gawd-Awful Trip on a UAL RJ

What it's like to fly in Singapore Airlines' Suites Class.


One of the interesting things to me is to watch the Right Wing Noise Machine all of a sudden decide that, on this subject, they want the Federal government to be omniscient and omnipotent. And they are bitterly upset that it isn't.

Don't Buy an Anti-Gravity Belt?

First, though, watch this:

What makes all that happen is gravity.

Say you are standing outside in your yard. You flip on the anti-gravity belt. You might not want to have a large building immediately to the west of you, for you'd be smashed into the side of it at several hundred miles an hour. Which is going to hurt.

You might clear the building away if you turned on the belt between local apparent noon and midnight. Because the Earth would be moving away from you in its orbit about the Sun at just over 67,000 MPH. That's 18.5 miles per second.

In the time it'll take you to say "oh, shit" and turn off the belt, you'll be 90,000' up. At that altitude, the air pressure is 0.2psi, which, as far as a normally-clothed human is concerned, you might as well be in space. The air temperature is a balmy -90F. Your blood will boil, you'll be flash frozen and if that doesn't kill you, the hypoxia will.

But maybe it wouldn't happen quickly. For while Earth's gravity would cease to act on your body, you would still be moving at the same direction and speed that you were just before you turned on the belt, because you'd still have mass. In essence, for a time, you'd be flying in formation with the Earth.


"Gimmie that lanyard!"

Friday, October 3, 2014

Because It's Friday

A very pretty locomotive, "Clan Line".

Thursday, October 2, 2014


I got nothing.

I just don't.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Jerrie Mock, R.I.P.

Jerrie Mock passed away yesterday. She was 88.

She was the first woman to fly around the world, a feat she accomplished fifty years ago in a Cessna 180.

Your Congressman and Your Senators are
(a) Whores,
(b) Idiots,
(c) Thieves
or (d) All of the Above

You can make the ones for the other choices, if you wish.

The Daily Show has pointed out that Congress is not willing to come back to debate what to do about ISIS until after the election. The Congressvermin say that the President has to ask them to come back and debate on it. So they've been bleating that they can't do anything without an engraved invitation from the President.

But a number of the Congresscrooks found a reason to rush back to Washington and hold hearing on another matter of grave national security importance: White House fence-jumpers.

So: We're going to war against the Hajii Brothers and Congress cannot be bothered to come back from its campaigning to debate what should be done. But some clown jumps the fence at the White House and they flood the airline ticket counters in their haste to get back and hold hearings, so they can be seen on TV beating up on some hapless government official. Because why, exactly? Because it's easier? Because Congress is composed of a majority of lazy fucks who really don't want to work that hard?

Fuck. We're at the point right now where if you care about your property values, you'd be better off having a registered sex offender as a neighbor rather than a congressman.